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Pete Buttigieg's Bid To Become The 46th President Of The United States Just Got Nearly $25 Million Boost; President Trump Makes History Becoming The First Sitting U.S. President To Set Foot In North Korea; Ivanka Trump: Daughter, Adviser, Diplomat? Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 1, 2019 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me. Pete Buttigieg's bid to become the 46th President of the United States just got a big boost, a nearly $25 million boost to be exact. That is how much the South Bend, Indiana Mayor raked in during the latest fundraising quarter. And his campaign wasted no time in publicizing the numbers.

And if that is the total for a previously unknown mayor, you might be thinking that the haul for a former Vice President, Joe Biden, anyone, will be equally as impressive, but in the e-mail to supporters, Team Biden, not spilling the details, at least not yet.

CNN's Phil Mattingly starts us off this hour and Phil, break down this this impressive haul by the Buttigieg campaign.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, you hit on a key point. When a campaign is putting out their fundraising numbers voluntarily about five hours after the deadline, that's usually a pretty good sign that they feel good about the number and in this case, it's with good reason.

The Buttigieg campaign had almost $25 million, more than triple what they raised in the first quarter, and it goes deeper than that in terms of highlighting why this is such a good quarter for the campaign.

Almost 290,000 individual donors, more than $22 million cash-on-hand. Look, it's important, contextually to point out, money is not everything, or else Jeb Bush would be currently -- the Republican 2016 nominee and maybe even the President as well. He had all the money.

But money for Pete Buttigieg when you put in perspective the fact that six months ago, nationally, very few people actually knew who he was, he came in with a limited donor list, didn't have a lot of mechanisms that somebody like maybe Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, other people who had run national office before had in their place.

His ability to raise this kind of money through different mechanisms, traditional high dollar fundraisers, which some of his competitors have issued, while also doing grassroots money as well, being able to rope in this kind of a haul at this stage in the campaign, well, it doesn't necessarily mean he is going to be the nominee, it certainly means he is going to be there for the long haul. And one of the big things to point out with the Buttigieg team is they

started lean. They started very small on the staff level. If you want to win in a primary, you have to have people on the ground in those crucial early states, and when you have $22 million on hand, you have the money to deploy those teams now and that's certainly what we've seen the campaign do in terms of building out over the last couple of months -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: So then back to Joe Biden, and again, we don't have the specifics. They're teasing a successful quarter. Tell me more.

MATTINGLY: Yes, look, it's an open question. We don't have an idea right now of when the campaign is going to release their money totals right now, and they don't have to. No campaign has to until July 15th. That's the deadline when they have to file with the FEC. So it's an open question right now.

You noted that e-mail to support are saying they blew their fundraising goals out of the water? Well, we don't necessarily know what their fundraising goals were, so we don't know what that means.

We do know that the Vice President has spent a lot of time through traditional fundraising mechanisms, a lot of high dollar money, there's a very good chance that he is going to have equal to or more than Pete Buttigieg.

I think the big question right now that has always been the case with the Biden team is, is the grassroots numbers there? Is the money coming in from the types of supporters that have bolstered Bernie Sanders, that have bolstered Elizabeth Warren, that give those candidates the ability to stay off the fundraising circuit and more on the campaign trail? We will start to get some of those answers when we get the full numbers, not necessarily top line, but when they break down individually and see where the money is all coming from.

Again, moneys, polls -- all sorts of metrics out there, but the money matters both for perception purposes, and it matters in terms of what's going to happen over the long haul, because keep in mind, it's still very early -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: News Flash. Phil Mattingly, thank you for the reminder and the report. Appreciate it. Good to see you.

Now, Kamala Harris's campaign and her fiery debate clash with former Vice President Joe Biden led to their biggest day of fundraising since her launch. That number and the California senator's performance getting a lot of interest from rivals on the left and on the right, including from Donald Trump, Jr., who in a now deleted post retweeted this right wing commentator who identifies as African-American.

So this person questioned Harris's identity, saying in part that she is quote, "not an American black because her mother was Indian and her father was Jamaican."

Don, Jr.'s comment was this. "Is it true? Wow." Nia-Malika Henderson is CNN's senior political reporter; Maeve Reston

in his CNN's national political reporter and ladies, good to have you both on and Nia just first to you.

What we have from the spokesperson from Don, Jr. told "The New York Times" that he was expressing surprise at Harris being half Indian and deleted it after his words were misconstrued. Right? That's their camp.

But the Harris campaign, several of the 2020 you know, rivals and other say it was downright racist when his own father Donald Trump pushed birtherism against Barack Obama and it is racist right now.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think that's right. I mean, it's such a deja vu moment if anybody was paying attention to the way in which Donald Trump road to prominence in the context of in some ways the 2012 campaign.

And certainly, in the 2016 campaign, he was at the forefront of birtherism, and this certainly has echoes of that, this idea that somehow because she has parents who were -- have sort of different nationalities that she is not an American.

[14:05:20] HENDERSON: And you saw some of a coordinated effort online around this, with many people retweeting it. It seems like they're sort of trying to push this same notion to sow doubts about her and listen, why are they trying to sow doubts about her? Because she did a bang up job in that debate, and they fear her as a potential opponent in 2020.

She might be the very candidate who could -- everybody always talks about that Obama coalition, she might be the candidate that could energize the kind of voters that could pose a real challenge to Trump in 2020.

So you see his son there, along with these conservative allies pushing this birther lie and a lot of obviously, Democrats reacting, right? And her Democratic opponents basically saying, "Cut this nonsense out."

BALDWIN: Now, that original tweet that Don, Jr. retweeted, Maeve, you know, that tweet went viral, spread partially by other right-wing accounts.

And when you look at "The Daily Beast" today, they point out that one of his associates pushed the lie that Kamala Harris is ineligible to be President because her parents weren't born here, even though she was.

So do you think these attacks on Senator Harris, are they about both dividing Democrats as well as spreading disinformation?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think it's all of those things, but the important thing to remember here, also, Brooke is that all of this stuff has been percolating on Twitter for many months now about Kamala Harris. Her campaign knew that they were going to have to confront it and it

wasn't actually just coming from the right, it was also coming from the left in terms of some, you know, people on Twitter who are supporting other candidates who started to question aspects of her background.

And, you know, she really, perhaps knowing this was coming, addressed her background in her book, in her memoir, earlier this year, where she talked about her mother coming into this country, you know, as a breast cancer researcher, and being surrounded in Berkeley and Oakland by many black academics and intellectuals, and making -- wanting her children to grow up, you know, in that culture.

And that was something that became really important to Kamala Harris. There's a line in the book where she talks about how important it was for her mother to raise her daughters as proud black women.

And so, she I think, knew that some of these, you know, completely racist attacks were coming, and she's ready to take that on, even if she's not going to do it herself, her surrogates, certainly around her will.

BALDWIN: I wonder, too, if some of these attacks and I hear both of you that this has been out in the Twitter-sphere of four months.

But Nia, do you think because she had such a strong performance in that debate last week, right, that the target on her back just got even bigger?

HENDERSON: I think that's right. And I think they know that and I think as Maeve alluded to, I think they're certainly ready for it. In some ways, they have the example of what happened with Obama in 2012 and 2016, and sort of a lot of the nasty racist chattering on the Twitter-sphere and from this President, I think they are very much ready for you.

You heard her in an interview a couple of months ago address this question that and I think Maeve is right.

RESTON; With the "The Breakfast Club."

BALDWIN: On "The Breakfast Club."

HENDERSON: Yes.

BALDWIN: She said, I'm black.

HENDERSON: Yes, I'm black. I am proud to be black. I was born black. I'm going to die black. And I think, in this way, this is -- and Maeve alluded to some of the chatter on the left and in some ways, you can find chatter on the left from prominent black academics.

So there is this question of how black is she? And in some ways, they'll say it's a cultural question for somebody people. But it is also a political question, right? How black are her politics? Is she sort of down for the cause, as it were, in terms of sort of

black liberation and black equality. So it's a very complicated a thing that's going on here. And I think those folks who were conservative and the sort of racists, who proliferated the tweet that you saw Don, Jr. retweeted and a lot of others retweeted, they sort of know that this is already percolating on the left with the ultimate goal, sowing division, sowing chaos, sowing doubt and uncertainty around her candidacy.

BALDWIN: Okay, I want to move off that just really quickly Maeve, just to you on the Buttigieg numbers. I mean, the goal was like $15 million, they blew that to smithereens.

And also why don't you think -- you know, if you're Joe Biden's camp, and you're teasing that you did so well, why not just negate the Buttigieg headline with saying how much you raked in?

RESTON: Well, we don't know yet. But we do know that, obviously that the former Vice President has been doing so many of these high dollar events and we have some idea of those numbers.

[14:10:04] RESTON: So you would expect that it would be good for him as well, but Buttigieg, we really were expecting this for a while.

I mean, just the talk among Hollywood donors, there is so much love for him as a candidate out there. And, and also, you know, just a lot of grassroots donors. And he needed this to catapult himself up into that next tier where people can see him as someone who is really viable, and he hadn't made it to that point yet.

And you know, even with a very good debate performance, but he needed to show the numbers and that he could carry on going forward because we are going to see a lot of these candidates drop off very quickly as we go through the summer, and they're not able to raise the money they need to meet the thresholds.

BALDWIN: All right, Maeven, Nia; ladies, thank you very, very much for that discussion.

We continue on, President Trump makes history becoming the first sitting U.S. President to set foot in North Korea. But did the U.S. get anything out of this? And now there are reports that the administration is considering a major concession in nuclear talks we have that.

And Ivanka Trump adviser, daughter, diplomat? Why her attempt to crash a conversation with world leaders at the G20 -- it is just one of several recent moves getting criticized.

And Taylor Swift's music just sold for millions of dollars. So why is she blasting the deal and warning young artists? I'm Brooke Baldwin, and you're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:16:25] BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. After becoming the first sitting American President to step foot into North Korea, a new report suggests that President Trump is considering a move that is a step back from full denuclearization.

Trump over the weekend took 20 full paces into the Hermit Kingdom during a last minute visit to the Demilitarized Zone. He was in Asia for the G20 Summit.

And as President Trump shook the hand of the North Korean dictator, "The New York Times" is reporting that the President is weighing what could be considered a big concession to Kim Jong-un.

Let me read part of the reporting, quote, "The concept would amount to a nuclear freeze, one that essentially enshrines the status quo and tacitly accepts the North as a nuclear power," all of which goes against what the President has said he wants from Kim Jong-un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I just like to see ultimately denuclearization of North Korea.

The sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs.

The big thing is it will be a total denuclearization --

QUESTION: On North Korea, you said you believe in complete denuclearization. What does that mean exactly?

TRUMP: It means they get rid of their nukes.

QUESTION: Mr. President, did he agree to denuclearize?

TRUMP: We are starting that process very quickly, very, very quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The President's National Security adviser, John Bolton has denied the report of a White House considering a nuclear freeze. So we start there.

CNN global affairs analyst, Max Boot is a senior fellow in the Council of Foreign Relations and a columnist over at the "Washington Post", Max Boot. Read your piece in "The Post," and we will move past Earth one and Earth two and you can feel free to go there if you want to.

But bottom line, you say this whole thing was just a photo op and that denuclearization is totally off the table. Tell me why you think that.

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it's been pretty clear for the last year ever since the Singapore Summit that Kim Jong-un has no interest in actually giving up his nuclear weapons.

I mean, he is happy to meet with Trump. He would love to see sanctions relaxed, but he is not going to give up what he views as being a guarantor of regime survival. Now, you look at this report in "The New York Times," what that

suggests is that some folks in the administration are waking up to that reality and understanding that if they're going to salvage anything out of this process, it's not going to result in complete denuclearization.

The best they could maybe hope for is to close down a few North Korean nuclear plants, maybe to get a freeze agreement from North Korea, although how they would enforce that, how they would verify that, I have no idea.

BALDWIN: If they were to somehow figure that out, would that though -- wouldn't that still be progress?

BOOT: It could be. It depends on what they have to give up. I mean, they have set very ambitious goals of denuclearizing North Korea and have said they are not going to relax sanctions.

So there are some experts who would argue maybe an interim agreement would make some sense, but it would definitely amount to de facto recognition on North Korea as a nuclear power and essentially give Kim what he wants, which is A to keep as weapons and B to have sanctions relaxed.

So it may be the best we can do, but it would definitely be a victory for Kim and would not be achieving what Donald Trump has set out and it certainly would fall well short of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he called the worst deal ever.

BALDWIN: Well, we'll come back to Iran in just a second but to your point in your piece, he is also -- he being a Kim -- saw what happened to Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

This is also with "The New York Times," it says, quote, "At the core of Mr. Trump's argument is that his friendship with Mr. Kim alone constitutes diplomatic success. On Sunday, the President asserted that the tremendous danger from North Korea he inherited when he took office has passed. We're a lot safer today."

BOOT: This is so crazy, Brooke. The reason why there was an elevated danger was because Donald Trump was talking about going to war in his first year in office. When he stopped talking about going to war, that danger receded.

And this notion that he's achieved something that nobody else has achieved by becoming pals with Kim Jong-un, that's ridiculous. Any previous President could have easily gone to North Korea, any North Korean dictator would have been happy to meet with any American President. But no previous president was willing to do that, unless they had some concrete guarantees they were going to get something in return.

And Trump is happy to give away America's prestige and not get anything else in return.

[14:20:30] BALDWIN: Meantime, juxtapose what's happening with Iran. We know that Trump has taken this hard line on Iran -- that Iran, according to Zarif had blown past the enriched uranium levels that was agreed upon based upon this Iran nuclear deal.

Now, nevertheless, what the U.S.'s allies may feel about this, because I'm mindful of that, Trump's tactic with Iran obviously isn't working.

BOOT: It's not working and in both -- and it's hard to reconcile them because the Iranian nuclear accord that Donald Trump called the worst ever and that he exited, is actually way stronger than anything he is ever going to get out of North Korea.

And now, we have a situation where both Iran and North Korea are becoming more dangerous, where they are both building up their nuclear programs.

In the case of Iran, they don't actually have nuclear weapons yet, but they are increasing uranium production. So Trump's foreign policy with both has been a complete bust. And the question is, where does he go from here? There's not an obvious next step, unless he wants to rejoin the nuclear deal that he trashed and exited.

BALDWIN: We're just looking at so much at this through the prism of politics. Last question, and I'm wondering how will Republicans -- how will his base see both of this back home? How will they perceive it as we go into 2020?

BOOT: I think his base will back him no matter what he does. I mean, it's kind of ludicrous for me to see this. But you know, people like Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and many others, who would be excoriating a Democrat who met with Kim Jong-un and called him his best buddy and said, they were in love with this communistic leader.

BALDWIN: Disturbing.

BOOT: They would be calling -- screaming for impeachment. They would be saying this is treason, but when Donald Trump does it, it's wonderful. He is pursuing peace.

So it's not going to shake his base along at all, I don't think, but it will certainly cause independence and moderates, people who have misgivings about Trump to have even further doubts because clearly, his policies are not working. He's not achieving what he set out to do and what he claimed you'd already done.

BALDWIN: Max Boot, thank you very much.

BOOT: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Meantime, Ivanka Trump facing criticism after this new video apparently shows her trying to insert herself in a conversation with world leaders at the G20. The details of this awkward moment ahead.

And stunning pictures out of Hong Kong today. Look at this. Protesters storm this government building over a controversial bill and police fight back with tear gas. We will take you live. We will tell you what is going on. Next here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:27:20] BALDWIN: So as we mentioned, President Trump will now go down in history as the first sitting U.S. President to step foot in North Korea, but his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump is doing something unprecedented in her own right, appearing side by side in photo ops with world leaders representing the United States and roundtable discussions seemingly acting as a diplomat more than ever before.

Chris Cillizza is our CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large and I know you're calling her role as you'll go through all these photos, hugely inappropriate.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes, I mean, let's start here. She's not a foreign policy or international relations expert. And more importantly, she has a job that she's not been confirmed to.

Remember, this is a job that Donald Trump had just appointed her, not like the Secretary of Treasury or the Secretary of State, for example.

Anyway, let's run through some of the moments from this weekend that you might have missed.

BALDWIN: Facts schmacts.

CILLIZZA: Okay, now here's the actual Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, if I could just get in here. There's got to be a spot here somewhere.

No, eventually, Ivanka stays there. Actually, Jared Kushner, her husband was like, "Hey, Mike, why don't you pop in?" But again, Ivanka Trump front and center.

Okay, let's go to the next one. By the way, this next one is effectively me in high school. Okay. This is Ivanka Trump. Now, you see her here. Justin Trudeau, Christine Lagarde, Theresa May, and like they're talking to one another. This is like an A, B, C your way out of the conversation-conversation, right? This seriously was me. I was like, "Hey, what are you guys talking about? You guys talking about sports? I like sports." Like this is definitely like that kind of vibe.

Now, there's more. Let's go to the photo from the G20. Now you recognize these two people, Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump sitting next him, Shinzo Abe, look at -- Justin Trudeau the Prime Minister of Canada is in the second row.

Theresa May because she is resigning, she is barely in the picture. But look, front and center. This is not the first time by the way, Brooke, that we have seen this G20 in 2017.

This is a bit of a grainy photo, but here's what you can make out. Here's Theresa May. There's Ivanka Trump. Why is she sitting at the table with world leaders at the G20? She was taking her dad's place while he stepped out.

This is not someone who lacks for a desire and a willingness to put herself front and center and of course all of this because the internet is great has led this.

BALDWIN: It's so good.

CILLIZZA: You remember this famous photo of the Beatles walking across Abbey Road.

BALDWIN: It's so good. Abbey Road.

CILLIZZA: A lot of times they crop it here with John Lennon. But interestingly enough, is there's Ivanka right there.

BALDWIN: Ivanka was there.

CILLIZZA: Now another -- speaking of the Brits, here's another photo from the Brits that might interest you. Meghan Markle, Prince Harry -- yes, there she is.

Again, it's just often cropped here so you don't see it. But there you go.

[14:30:09]