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British Royal Family Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Donald Trump; Trump Calls Meghan Markle Nasty; Jared Kushner's Art Of The Dodge. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired June 3, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Shooting civilians purposely ...
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Correct.
KEILAR: ... young woman, an old man ...
MARKS: Fully to this --
KEILAR: ... someone in his custody.
MARKS: The legal process needs to play itself out. Now granted, we could take this to the far end and say the President has great flexibility and discretion in order to pardon someone. But we are not at that point at all. The Congressman should have remained quiet.
KEILAR: General, thank you so much for your insight. That is it from me. NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN. Thank you for joining me. In London today, reception fit for a king, only the guest of honor was the President of the United States, President Trump, the First Lady, and his four adult children. All in London, for his first official state visit to the U.K.
The British Royal Family, rolling out the red carpet from Prince Charles to Queen Elizabeth who gave the Trumps a tour of the Royal Collection while offering the President a first edition book by Winston Churchill. And of course no foreign visit for President Trump would be complete without a whole lot of pomp and circumstance including an Honor Guard at Buckingham Palace.
And in true Trump fashion and before he even touched down, the President took jabs at everyone from the London Mayor, to Meghan Markle -- the former American actress who married Prince Harry last year. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, the Duchess vowed to move to Canada if Trump were elected. And in response, Trump told a British paper over the weekend quoting him here, "I didn't know she was nasty." We'll get to that and the man on the other side of that interview in just a moment.
And then there's the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who in a sharply critical opinion piece wrote that it was quote-unquote, "Un-British," to give Trump such a big welcome because of divisive behavior that Khan says quote, "flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon," and that prompted the President to call Mayor Khan a quote, "Stone-cold loser."
Trump did, however, have some kinder words for Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage inserting himself in British politics in a way that most American Presidents would avoid.
So, let's begin with our senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown, who was there live in London, and Pamela, where do we even begin?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That is a fabulous question, Brooke. You have the State Visit. President Trump is only the third U.S. President to be afforded this honor of a State Visit here. This was an invitation extended by the Queen a couple of years ago and it's finally playing out here in London.
So, so far, it's been this mix of pomp, pageantry, and a spat of controversy, as you pointed out with President Trump tweeting as he was about to land here in London about the London Mayor in response, in fairness to the Mayor's comments, that it was un-British to roll up the red carpet and that Trump is a global threat.
In response, President Trump called him foolish and nasty. It seems he likes to use the word nasty, as you pointed out, he used the same word to describe Meghan Markle when he was asked about her comments in 2016.
But despite all of this, the Royal Family hasn't shown it all that they've been bothered by the President's comments and his breaking of protocol. It's really been a lavish affair so far with this grand opening ceremony with the British Royal troops. There was a lunch inside Buckingham Palace and President Trump seemed to really relish all of this particularly when the Queen showed him the Royal artifacts inside Buckingham Palace.
Following that, they went to Westminster Abbey where the President laid a wreath to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, then there was tea at the Clarence House. And then, of course, this evening is this opulent affair, the State Banquet which the President will be attending with his family.
It's interesting to note, Brooke, we have seen the President interact with the Royals -- Queen Elizabeth, of course, Prince Charles. We have not seen any interaction between him and Prince Harry, of course, in the wake of the comments the President has made, Meghan Markle also not attending these events. She is on maternity leave.
But all of this too is under this -- with this backdrop of the President's comments on Brexit. He weighed in and said that the United Kingdom should basically leave the E.U. without a deal if they don't get the deal they want. Of course, a no-deal Brexit could be something that would have a ripple effect for businesses and have a big impact on trade.
President Trump also weighing in on potentially who could replace Theresa May the Prime Minister, who will be stepping aside in a few days. The President didn't outright say that she should be replaced by Boris
Johnson. But he certainly made clear that he is a fan of him. He has called him his friend. He also tweeted today, Brooke, saying that he hasn't seen protests here in London, though we know they are there.
He used a helicopter to get around. The streets were cleared for him. And so, there's really a lot going on during this three-day trip here of his State Visit here in London. The President will be meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow and there is a lot on the agenda to discuss.
[14:05:02] BROWN: Of course, there is Brexit, where the President has made clear what his opinions are but also there's some key differences on Iran, on climate change, on China. So, we expect all of this to be brought up tomorrow as well -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Pamela Brown, Thank you very much. And Pamela mentioned the opulent affair that is that the state banquet. So next hour, the President will head back to Buckingham Palace for that dinner and for even more time with the Royal Family. And just a few days after insulting one of its newest members, former American actress, Meghan Markle.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
TOM NEWTON DUNN, POLITICAL EDITOR, "THE SUN": She wasn't so nice about you during the campaign. I don't know if you saw that.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I don't -- I didn't know that, no, I didn't know that ...
NEWTON DUNN: Yes, she said she'd move to Canada if you got elected. Turned out she moved to Britain.
TRUMP: Well, that'd be good. You got a lot of people moving here. So, what can I say? No, I didn't know that she was nasty.
NEWTON DUNN: Is it good having an American princess, then, Mr. President? Does that sort of help the link?
TRUMP: I think it's nice. I think it's nice, and I'm sure she'll do excellently.
(END VOICE CLIP)
BALDWIN: Tom Newton Dunn, is the political editor for "The Sun." He conducted that interview with President Trump. So Tom, nice to have you on, welcome.
NEWTON DUNN: Thank you very much.
BALDWIN: The President, the White House, his allies, all denying that he ever referred to Meghan Markle as nasty. You were there. You heard it. The transcript shows it. So what is your response today to the White House denying that he said it? NEWTON DUNN: Well, I think this is all a bit of a roundabout
semantics. He clearly said the words, "I didn't know she was nasty." And that's on tape. We played the tape. We've had it on our website since Friday night, since we published the whole interview. So I don't think that's in dispute, perhaps what is in dispute is what he meant by that.
Now, if he's finished the sentence, I didn't know she was nasty about me or to me, then clearly, she will be referring to the fact that she was pretty disparaging about the present during his 2016 election campaign.
It therefore leaves it open that he might have been saying that she was being nasty, thought per se, she was nasty person. So, it feels like it's a little bit of a route, perhaps a bit overblown. I have to say it's not a huge play here. Prince Harry has just been to lunch with the President. Some suggestions, he might have been a bit grumpy over lunch, although we haven't quite confirmed that as yet. But ...
BALDWIN: Who he, Harry of the President?
NEWTON DUNN: ... so far, the visit seems to be going according to plan. Prince Harry, apparently. He was holding back, the Queen then took the President around the Buckingham Palace to show him various historical artifacts, various gifts from former Presidents, including one from himself, which he seemed to have forgotten about giving last year, a big cast of a horse.
But Prince Harry came into the room late. He was with the lunch party, but they're held back, didn't mingle with the lunch party, which I think raised a few eyebrows. But that just may be as horrible journalists idle speculation. We're trying to find out.
BALDWIN: Let me ask you this, just back to the "nasty" comment in your interview with the President. And so, we know that the Duchess made those comments, you know, years ago, it was during the 2016 campaign, as you as you bring up. So Tom, I mean, you brought those comments up, were you nudging President Trump just a little bit?
NEWTON DUNN: Nudging the President, would a journalist do such a thing?
BALDWIN: Nudging the President.
BALDWIN: We were trying to get his reaction to a whole manner of different things. I mean, you know, he was a massive big deal for us. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a Brit. We obsess about the special relationship. We obsess about how much we matter to you. Whether we matter you more than the French to the Germans. It's a perennial, national psychological problem. It has been for about a hundred years.
So, we had a lot to put in -- what did he think who will be Theresa May's successor because the Prime Minister here is just about to step down, what he thought of Brexit, and of course, you know, what it was like to meet members of the Royal Family? One in particular, had some pretty outspoken views with him. Now, she
is not part of this visit at all. Technically, she's on maternity leave. She's about 50 miles down the road, in Windsor, looking after her newborn, baby son, Archie.
So, we were pretty interested to hear the President's views. I think nudging is a little bit strong, really. I've interviewed the President once before. You basically, to use the cricket analogy, bowl him a full toss. And he takes a whack at it every single time. You really don't need to push him too far. As you know, you have seen in many press conferences and you really don't need to push him too far to get a pretty strong opinion out of him.
BALDWIN: Well, continuing your analogy of taking a whack at it. Let's talk about Trump's tweet about your Mayor of London. This is moments before he landed. So granted Mayor Khan was provoking President Trump first. But to read the response from the President of the United States calling him a stone-cold loser. Tom, what is the reaction among Brits today?
NEWTON DUNN: Well, there we were on tenterhooks, waiting for his arrival, waiting for Air Force One to touch down at Stansted Airport. And literally, as the wheels hit the ground as the puff of smoke emerges. This tweet emerges, clearly he just got some signal - got some reception, and it was literally the first thing he wanted to do. So I think we're all expecting him to land with a bang.
[14:10:07] NEWTON DUNN: A tweet bang was something extra. Clearly, it dominated a lot of the conversation today. I would say though, that this is precisely what Mayor Sadiq Khan absolutely loves.
Mayor Sadiq Khan is on the left of British politics. There's nothing he enjoys more than being singled out by the President of the United States as a bad boy. It plays brilliantly to his base, much as it might do to President Trump's base. So this is one of those grudges that's been going for some three years now. I expect it to continue a lot longer to both men's mutual satisfaction.
BALDWIN: In your interview, you also got President Trump to endorse Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. You got the world exclusive there. And so, do you think that will help Boris Johnson or might it hinder him as one of a dozen candidates now for leader of the Conservative Party?
NEWTON DUNN: You know, I think, it's one of those remarks that will neither help nor hinder him. It's really priced in to confirm stereotypes. You know, if you like Boris Johnson, you probably like the fact that the U.S. President -- as someone as controversial as Trump is tweeting or saying nice things about him. If you don't like Boris Johnson, it will make you even less likely to want to vote for him.
He's a Marmite politician, I know the phrase that is familiar to you. Marmite is a spread you put on bread over here. You either love it or you hate it. You either love Boris Johnson or hate him. He's a bit like Donald Trump over where you are, I suppose. So it probably won't change the barometer very much at all. It won't
really alter the race one way or another, I think. . BALDWIN: Now, given -- that said, it's our understanding there are no firm plans for these two to meet -- Boris Johnson and President Trump on this trip. But if he does, how will -- last question Tom, how will the outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May feel about that?
NEWTON DUNN: Well, the outgoing Prime Minister isn't going. So there's a rather wonderful carefree attitude about this entire visit. It almost, like, it doesn't really matter how it goes tomorrow when the Prime Minister meets the President in Downing Street for these talks where they're talking about some pretty important things China, Iran, Brexit, big clash areas between them.
It will irritate her, I think a little bit, but nowhere near as much as it could have irritated her, if she was still in the job and still trying to keeping the job because Boris Johnson is obviously the nearest challenger and has been, without a doubt, her greatest bugbear over the last year as she has been trying to deliver Brexit. So, it will bother her not as much as it could have.
BALDWIN: Tom Newton Dunn, thank you so much. Good to see you.
NEWTON DUNN: Thank you. Thank you, you too.
BALDWIN: Victoria Arbiter is a Royal expert in the CNN Royal commentator. And I mean, how fascinating? First, it was Tom and off the top, you know, talking about how he's hearing reports that through this lunch that that Prince Harry was grumpy -- his word. Because you know, the President called his wife nasty. How awkward would today have been with everyone?
VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think it would have been incredibly awkward. But this is where the Royal Family does what they do the best. The Queen is the master when it comes to diplomacy. Some people suggested that Prince Harry could have been given an out because of President Trump's comments.
It doesn't work that way. The purpose of a State Visit is to make the guest feel as welcome as possible. This trip is all about reaffirming this special relationship, a phrase coined by Winston Churchill between our two nations. And so, today Harry will have shown up, I'm sure he would have loved to have had a few choice words for the President, but he was there to support his grandmother. He's been raised in terms of how to behave and so he will have done the job that was handed to him.
BALDWIN: Of course, his grandmother, the Queen would never led on, how she may feel about this President. But would she act off-ish at all?
ARBITER: No, not at all.
BALDWIN: No. ARBITER: And I actually think, you know, the Royal Family, they find
characters like Donald Trump quite fascinating. I think it was interesting last year, when he was on his working visit last July and he had tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle. Royal timing is of militaristic precision, and that tea ran over by 15 minutes, which would suggest she was perhaps rather enjoying Mr. Trump. His tea with Charles and Camilla ran over by 15 minutes today.
So no, I think for a day like today, the Royals would have been standing on ceremony trying to make him feel as welcome as possible.
BALDWIN: There are renovations going on at Buckingham Palace, which traditionally would be where President Trump or a U.S. President would be staying. So, tell me more about -- is that truly, that's the reason why they're not there?
ARBITER: Yes. Much has been made this ...
ARBITER: ... that they're not staying at Buckingham Palace. What does that mean? Does it mean that the Queen doesn't like Donald Trump? No. It's simply the fact that ...
BALDWIN: There really are renovations and they really can't.
ARBITER: There really are ongoing renovations and I think, you know, when we talk about figures that perhaps the Queen didn't like in 1978, Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator was visiting London for a State Visit, and the Queen had been warned in advance that he was tricky. She'd had all the valuables removed from his room because she'd been told they will want to take them.
She saw him in the garden. She was walking her dog and Robert Hartman, a Royal biographer later said she hid behind the bushes so she wouldn't have to interact with him. So, whether she likes the visitor or not, they stay at Buckingham Palace. In this instance, there are renovations going on.
BALDWIN: Tricky is one way to describe Ceausescu.
BALDWIN: Victoria Arbiter, thank you very, very much.
ARBITER: Thank you.
BALDWIN: In a new jaw dropping interview with the President's son-in- law and top White House Adviser Jared Kushner, struggles to say whether birtherism is racist or if he would tell the FBI if Russians contacted him in the future. We have that for you.
Also, Mexican and U.S. officials are meeting today trying to avoid a trade war after the President's threat to hit Mexico with tariffs over migrants crossing the border. Now a new survey of U.S. economists shows there is a new worry, a recession is on the horizon. Stay right here. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
[14:20:23] BALDWIN: We are back, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. His father-in-law is known for "The Art of the Deal." And now, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner is showing his skill at "The Art of the Dodge." The President's son-in-law gave a wide- ranging interview to Axios on HBO, and he was repeatedly put on the spot about President Trump's past birtherism claims that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN SWAN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR AXIOS MEDIA: Who is birtherism racist?
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER: Look, I wasn't really involved in that.
SWAN: I know you weren't. Was it racist?
KUSHNER: Like I said, I wasn't involved in that.
SWAN: I know you weren't. Was it racist?
KUSHNER: Look, I know who the President is and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So again, I was not involved in that.
SWAN: Did you wish he didn't do that?
KUSHNER: Like I said, I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.
SWAN: The other issue that often gets brought up in this conversation is -- that he campaigned on banning Muslims. Would you describe that as religiously bigoted?
KUSHNER: Look, I think that the President did his campaign the way he did his campaign did and I think --
SWAN: He did, but you wish he didn't -- you wish he didn't make that speech?
KUSHNER: I think he's here today and I think he's doing a lot of great things for the country and that's what I'm proud of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We should point out HBO is owned by WarnerMedia, the same parent company as CNN. Dana Bash is with me, our CNN chief political correspondent. And my question to you is -- I mean, did Kushner think he was going into a friendly interview and, like, he just obviously couldn't answer the question.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
BALDWIN: He's the Senior Adviser of the President.
BASH: So, friendly interview -- I think that anybody in the administration thinks that they're not going to get asked tough questions, that they're living under a rock and Jared Kushner is not living under a rock.
My understanding in doing some reporting on this is that Kushner felt like -- and feels like he has a good story to tell on a lot of issues. Criminal justice reform, that is maybe the one bipartisan piece of legislation that the President and Congress worked on and he pushed the President to do that.
He felt good about the Middle East plan that he at least started to propose, the immigration plan that he started to propose. This interview was done before. The President announced that he was going to increase tariffs against Mexico, which I would imagine -- our reporting is the Jared Kushner was not happy about this.
But this interview is a case study in the perils of, never mind being the President's son-in-law, but trying to do good things from your perspective, criminal justice reform let's just -- you know, from that perspective. But having all of this other baggage -- that of course, you're going to be asked about if you don't do a lot of interviews.
He chose not to answer the questions and that is the reality of working for this President. It's a reality that Ivanka Trump has run into a lot, where she is trying to do important policy initiatives in a bipartisan way.
BALDWIN: But she's got to be prepared to be asked the tough questions and everything else?
BASH: But she has to be prepared the answer the tough questions.
BALDWIN: Let me play one more clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: I show up at the meeting. I stay for 15 minutes. It's a it's a clown show. One second, let me finish this. I text my sister and say, you know, can you give me a call and get me the hell out of here? This is a waste of time, I'll leave. I never would have thought about that meeting again.
SWAN: Does it not set off at least some alarm bell when you see an e- mail saying that the Russian government wants to help?
KUSHNER: Like I said, the e-mail that I got on my iPhone at that time basically said show up at 4:00. I didn't scroll down. I never would have thought about that e-mail.
SWAN: You had Russia in the subject call?
KUSHNER: Again, I would get about 250 e-mails a day. And so, I literally saw show up at 4:00. I showed up at 4:00.
SWAN: Would you call the FBI if it happened again?
KUSHNER: I don't know, it's hard to do hypotheticals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So it's -- this is all in reference. I should have said that, in reference to the to the Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016. And so, he describes it as a clown show. And, you know, if he's asked about Russia, he sort of ignores it, you know, Russia intervening, which is, which is a "wow?"
BASH: Yes, I mean, listen, he has given a version of that answer before. To me, what I thought was surprising was the follow-up question, which I took as, if you -- if and when you are part of a Presidential campaign, not as an adviser to the to the President, but in a campaign, a political setting, if knowing what you know now, if you get the same kind of e-mail, would you then report it to the FBI? And he didn't answer that, that's --
BASH: Well, and that's like, that's a "gimme," especially given what happened and what he has clearly learned ...
BASH: ... about the protocols. And you already see people like Mark Warner, the Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee in the Senate saying like, "Come on, this is something that you now should know and you should automatically raise the flag."
[14:25:03] BASH: And so look, again, this is a case and point of how hard it is to try to put your head down, do work on your issues, whether it's the Middle East, immigration, trade, or of course, criminal justice reform, when you have so much else swirling around you that you have to answer for, no matter who you're working for if you are a Senior Adviser to the President of the United States.
BALDWIN: Danna Bash, thank you very much.
BASH: Good to see you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank you, thank you. High-level talks between the U.S. and Mexico are underway this hour speaking of, and this is happening after President Trump vowed to hit Mexico with tariffs unless it does more to stop illegal immigration. I'll talk to a Trump ally who says tariffs will hurt his auto industry, next.