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House Advances 9/11 Victim Fund Bill; Bernie Sanders Makes Case for Socialism; Donald Trump Jr. Testifies Again; Trump Meets With President of Poland. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired June 12, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): They have got influence, the influence which they were building after 1989, where they assumed a new identity of an elite of a new state.
So, this influence is still strong. This is what I can say. And let me assure you of one thing, that freedom speech is absolutely respected in Poland. Poland absolutely respects all constitutional standards, just as in the United States, the right to assemble, the right to the freedom of speech. There is free media in Poland.
There is everything that is functioning in a normal democracy. One can announce what they think. One can demonstrate. One can say what they think . In Poland, people are not attacked during demonstrations, as it happens in other Western European countries.
Police do not use truncheons or tear gas against people. People can speak their mind. They can express that they are not pleased with something. This is their right in democracy.
Please ask Polish journalists, when was the last time -- when was the last demonstration in Poland when some kind of tension happened? No, it didn't, because, in Poland, we respect the right to demonstrate and to express your concern, because we believe this is one of the foundations of democracy.
In Poland, there is absolutely free and just elections. All the standards are respected. So, please, ladies and gentlemen, come to Poland and see Poland with your own eyes. Please do not repeat certain stereotypes that are repeated in the West.
Poland today has got quite a conservative government. That is true. And this government has got certain standards of action. Nobody -- not everybody subscribes to those standards, especially people of more leftist views.
But this is the nature of democracy. So once you have got one side of the political scene in power, and then people make a different choice, and another side of the political stage comes to power. There is nothing extraordinary about that. And this is the change that has happened in Poland. But when somebody wins the elections, they have the right to implement
the program which they announced before the elections. Excuse me. However, realize that implementing the program, which you presented in your election campaign, is not only the right, but I think an obligation resting on a politician.
And this is exactly what is happening in Poland.
QUESTION: The question for both presidents.
Mr. President, you said just a moment ago that Poland will join the visa waiver program soon. How soon?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We think fairly soon. We're doing very well with it. It's a complex situation, as you know.
But we're getting very close. We allow very few countries to join, but Poland is one that we're thinking about allowing in. So we will be making that decision over the next probably 90 days.
QUESTION: Sir, will you hope or do you think that maybe when you're in Poland in September, you will make the announcement?
TRUMP: I think it's a very good idea. Thank you very much for giving me that idea.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.
(through translator): Mr. President, the visa waiver program appeared on many occasions, but then it did not come into practice. How optimistic are we about the words uttered right now by President Donald Trump?
DUDA: I'm looking at these words optimistic. I'm optimistic about that, because I think this is the first U.S. administration which has treated this problem in such a serious way and in such a comprehensive way.
So, both -- when we talk with Mr. President, the president expresses his deep care about that. Also, when I talk with president -- Mosbacher, the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw, so she looks at the problem all the time. And I firmly believe that, in accordance with the law binding the United States -- because this is something that I want to stress very strongly.
According to the law binding in the United States, by all the actions which are necessary in this respect, such as today's signing of the agreement on preventing and committing serious crimes, I believe that, through all these sanctions, this visa waiver program, covering Poles with visa waiver program, is going to be possible soon, anyway, that it is going to be possible before the end of the first term of President Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
You have been listening to President Trump there in the Rose Garden, along with the president of Poland, President Duda, talking about a lot, right, between North Korea, questions of U.S. spying on North Korea, getting -- trying to get clarification on maybe what the president had said yesterday.
We're going to get into all that and, of course, talking again about his big beautiful letter from North Korea, and patting himself on the back for the deal he's done with Mexico.
So, Gloria Borger, I'm coming to you. You're our CNN chief political analyst.
And so let's just dive in first on North Korea. So, President Trump, he is pressed on North Korea, specifically whether he said he would not spy on them. Here's that sound bite.
Yes, we have it? No, we don't. OK. No, we don't.
So, he -- basically, he proposed that he -- when he was talking yesterday -- do we have the second -- do we have the sound from yesterday? Sorry. I'm just talking to the control room. Anyone?
OK, we're going to roll with it. Live television.
So he proposed that he wouldn't allow the CIA spy against KJU. This is -- this is Kim Jong-un. This is all coming out because of the "Wall Street Journal" reporting that Kim Jong-un's half-brother was the CIA source. And so he's asked whether or not the U.S. would spy.
And what was the response?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the response was a little confusing, because -- and here's the quote.
He said: "It's not what I meant. It's what I said."
So, that was a bit...
BALDWIN: Shruggy emoji from me. What does that mean?
Well, I don't know the answer to that. I mean, we know what he said very clearly yesterday, which is that keeping Kim Jong-un's half- brother as an asset, he said, or recruiting him as an asset, he said yesterday that would not happen under my auspice, for sure, meaning he wouldn't have recruited...
BALDWIN: OK. I'm told we have the sound.
BORGER: Oh, great. OK. Perfect.
BALDWIN: Stand by.
Roll the sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my -- under my auspices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right, so that was yesterday. And, again, your point today, he responded: "It's not what I meant. It's what I said. I think we're going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time."
BALDWIN: We have it. Roll the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Mr. President, you seemed to suggest yesterday that you are essentially committing to not spying on North Korea. Is that what you meant? Were those comments interpreted accurately?
TRUMP: No, it's not what I meant. It's what I said. And that's -- I think it's different than maybe your interpretation.
I think we're going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time. I'm in no rush. The sanctions are on. We got our hostages back. Our remains are coming back. You saw the beautiful ceremony in Hawaii with Mike Pence. We're getting the remains back.
There's been no nuclear testing whatsoever. They'd like to do something. I did get very -- as I said yesterday, a very nice letter from Chairman Kim. And I think we're doing very well.
When I took over as...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, my question, in listening to that, maybe because we can't really understand what he meant by, "It's not what I meant, it's what I said," why is he hedging on North Korea?
This is this is a day after he got that -- as he just said, the beautiful letter from Kim Jong-un. BORGER: Yes.
BALDWIN: I mean, obviously he wants to continue that relationship.
BORGER: Sure, obviously.
And I think he wants to have another summit. I think there is a dispute within the administration about whether Kim Jong-un is keeping to any kind of promise he might have made about testing nukes. And so I think what the president is trying to do is play the good guy here to Kim Jong-un.
So, he -- I mean, look, this is the way spycraft works, if you ask me. And I don't work for the CIA, but if you ask anybody who does, the fact that you could recruit Kim Jong-un's half-brother is a big deal as an asset. And for a president of the United States to say, no, I would never do that and I'm -- that would never happen on me, is kind of stunning, because one wishes it could.
So I think today was a little confusing, and he didn't want to go into it. It's clear. He just said, we're doing very well, and he kind of smoothed that one right over, or tried to.
BALDWIN: Right, right, waiting to see maybe perhaps what was in that letter, and if there are guarantees for a third summit or not.
BALDWIN: Dana Bash, I'm bringing you in as well there in Washington just to join this conversation.
Another piece of what he was asked about or he brought up, the Mexico tariffs, right? And he is very much doing this sort of thing in how he was able to broker this deal with Mexico with this tariff threat, saying this wouldn't have been done without me.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it's classic Trump.
He's -- this is not going to change. He's going to keep saying it. It is still not entirely clear how much the United States government actually got that it wasn't already getting. He insists it happened. He even insisted that he had a secret deal on that piece of paper that he was referring to that he was actually impressed that...
BALDWIN: "The Washington Post" would talk about.
BASH: Yes, used -- got it and used the technology to figure out what he said on it.
But, look, this is classic. Actually, it is classic politics to have a dispute and then claim victory. But this is the Trumpian version of that, where he's kind of declaring war and then claiming victory.
And that is still in question, exactly what happened. The big question now is what is going to happen with China on the same issue of using tariffs as a weapon to try to change the ways of a trading partner or an adversary in this case. And it's still open whether or not he's going to be successful on that.
And there are a lot of people in a lot of important states around this country who are holding their breath, hoping that he is not bluffing, that he could actually get this done.
BALDWIN: Right. The question came in, appropriately, as to whether or not -- when that would even happen on the additional $300 billion anyway, like this, pointing to his brain, like only right here we will know when additional tariffs are slapped on, on that.
BALDWIN: All right, ladies, Gloria and Dana, thank you so much for jumping on, on President Trump there speaking today with the Polish president.
Ahead here on CNN, it is the first subpoena issued to a member of the president's family. And, today, Donald Trump Jr. showed up on the Hill. What he says he was asked to clarify about that infamous Trump Tower meeting.
And the former Stanford University sailing coach who pleaded guilty to taking $600,000 in bribes is sentenced today in federal court -- what his sentence could signal for those celebrities involved in the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, FORMER HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": They did their jobs. Eighteen years later, do yours!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Jon Stewart implores members of Congress to help the heroes, the first-responders of 9/11. And he gets through.
I will talk to one FDNY first-responder who is battling a lifelong illness from inhaling contaminants at Ground Zero.
You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
BALDWIN: Senator Bernie Sanders, hoping to unseat President Trump from the White House, making his case today for Democratic socialism to American voters. Sanders is fighting back against President Trump and some of his
fellow Democrats who sought to distance themselves from that label, as Republicans try to paint the party as extremists.
Ryan Nobles is at George Washington University, the site of Senator Sanders' speech. He just wrapped up.
What was the message, Ryan?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, there's no doubt that the Sanders campaign understands that the term socialism is something that Sanders' opponents, both Republican and Democrat, are going to use to attack him.
So what the senator attempted to do today was flip that on its head and then actually show tangible policy plans that could be born out of a Democratic socialist administration.
And as part of that, what Bernie Sanders called for today was what he's calling a 21st century bill of rights, an economic bill of rights that would include a guarantee for every American for the following, a good job that pays a living wage, the right to health care, the right to an education, the right to affordable housing, the right to a clean environment, and the right to a secure retirement.
Of course, Sanders says that these goals cannot be accomplished without what he's calling a political revolution, something that he's talked about for almost the entire balance of his 40-year career in politics.
But he did one other thing that was pretty interesting here today, Brooke. He also turned back to socialism tag on Donald Trump. He said that Donald Trump only likes socialism when it benefits him and his wealthy friends. He actually called Trump a corporate socialist. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of Democratic socialism, they don't really oppose all forms of socialism.
They may hate Democratic socialism because it benefits working people, but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: So what you see here is Bernie Sanders offering a choice, pick your form of socialism, if you will, our socialism, which he says will empower average, everyday Americans, and then Donald Trump's form of socialism, which only empowers the rich.
Of course, this isn't just about Donald Trump, Brooke. This is also about this massive Democratic field that Bernie Sanders is trying to wade his way through, more than 20 candidates. And you heard Joe Biden earlier today say...
NOBLES: ... that, for the most part, all these Democrats are pretty much along the same ideology, there isn't all that much difference.
What Bernie Sanders was trying to show today is, yes, there is a big difference. There is a major choice here. I'm talking about a political revolution. And if that's what you believe in, that's who you should support for the Democratic nomination -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: They will be on those debate stages soon enough. It'll be noteworthy to see how the other Democrats react to how he is labeling himself as the socialist. Some others align themselves, some others not so much.
Ryan Nobles, I appreciate you very much in Washington.
Coming up, a breakthrough after comedian Jon Stewart implores members of Congress to help the heroes of 9/11. I will talk to an FDNY first- responder who's battling this lifelong illness from inhaling contaminants at Ground Zero many years ago.
BALDWIN: One day after Jon Stewart's fiery speech on Capitol Hill on behalf of sick and dying 9/11 first-responders, a House panel has just voted on a bill that would permanently authorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, today's vote unanimous.
And I just want to show you an emotional Jon Stewart just moments before his blistering testimony on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNY SPECHT, RETIRED FDNY FIREFIGHTER: Jon made it his mission to outbid three other people yesterday and see to it that Jon Stewart had Ray's East Meadow Fire Department bunker coat.
So we appreciate your help, Jon. And this comes from Jon. And this comes from everybody in this hallway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Stewart receiving a gift of gratitude from those 9/11 first- responders he's been trying to help for years now.
The gift, a bunker coat belonging to the late New York firefighter Ray Pfeifer, who passed away due to numerous cancers linked to his service on September 11.
Stewart and Pfeifer share a close bond. Moments later, Stewart shamed absent members of Judiciary -- the Judiciary Committee for not showing up to hear testimony from these 9/11 first-responders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours!
Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first-responders, and, in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one.
Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity, time. It's the one thing they're running out of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The fight for these 9/11 first-responders is far from over.
With me now, retired FDNY Lieutenant and 9/11 first-responder Michael O'Connell.
And, Mike, it's a pleasure to meet you. And just thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for this country and these first-responders and firefighters.
I want to ask. I want to get you back to 9/11 in just a second, but you were in the room yesterday on Capitol Hill. You were watching him just a second ago, still nodding along. You had had a conversation with Jon earlier in the day. Did you know he was going to do that?
MICHAEL O'CONNELL, RETIRED FDNY LIEUTENANT: I could see the fire in his eyes and realized that he was emotional before he even got out there.
BALDWIN: Yes. Why?
O'CONNELL: Because he wants to do right by us.
I mean, this is -- this is part of his work. Jon told me a long time ago that he's done numerous things in his life. Obviously, everybody knows who he is and how highly publicized he is. But he said, this is his greatest body of work.
So we know how passionate he is about this. And you saw it in not only his speech, but before we got on, he looked at me and said, "I just don't want to screw this up."
BALDWIN: Why does it make you emotional talking about it?
O'CONNELL: Because we have been through a big -- a long ordeal. I mean, it's been 18 years and we're still fighting.
I mean, if you put us back on that day, we're going to do it all over again. You just never thought you would be continuing to fight 18 years later.
BALDWIN: So as you're sitting in that room on Capitol Hill, and you see those empty seats, and members of Congress say they wander in and out of these hearings, there's a lot of hearings every day on Capitol Hill, Jon Stewart said it was an embarrassment to this country.
What did you think when you saw those empty seats? And what would you say to those members of Congress?
O'CONNELL: I felt the same way he did. I mean, I'm not really too up to speed on how these guys do their jobs and where they're coming and going.
But just like any American citizen and first-responder, I looked at it like a slap in the face. I mean, you felt like, this is 9/11, this is America. I mean, when it happened, everybody through their flags up on the front of their houses, on their trees and said, listen, we're together.
And, yesterday, you're looking for the people that lead this country to be there with you together, and they weren't.
BALDWIN: Back on 9/11 -- I was watching a speech from you earlier today. On 9/11, you were a kid. You were 25.
O'CONNELL: I was.
BALDWIN: You had just come from NYPD. You had yet to graduate the fire department school. Is that right?
O'CONNELL: That's right.
BALDWIN: You're in Long Island. You get the call, South Tower is hit. You do what all heroes do . You race toward danger.
And you told the story about these Pak devices. Explain what they are and why that is seared in your memory.
O'CONNELL: So, as a firefighter, a Scott Pak obviously helps you breathe. Along with that Scott Pak, we have an alarm that's sitting on the -- on our chest, that basically we can send off if we're stuck.
But, typically, what winds up happening is, if you're laid motionless or you're unconscious, that alarm goes off probably in about 30 or 40 seconds, most likely, so we can actually hear it and come get you.
So, on that horrible morning, when we got there, and we start digging through the pile, that's all you heard, just heard hundreds of them screeching. And you couldn't get to them.
BALDWIN: Motionless firefighters.
O'CONNELL: That's it.
BALDWIN: You're there days, weeks in the dust cloud.