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Ivanka Trump: Daughter, Adviser & Now Diplomat?; Hunter Biden Under Scrutiny Amid Dad's 2020 Run; Taylor Swift Calls Sale Of Her Music Catalog "Worst-Case Scenario"; NTSB Investigates Fiery Plane Crash In Texas Killing 10; Mexican City Covered In Three Feet Of Ice. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 1, 2019 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT- LARGE: 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. So it's a Walter Mitty-type of situation.

But on a serious note, look, Ivanka Trump, they get around the anti- nepotism call by making her a White House employee, as opposed to an agency employee. She could never have been hired. Not confirmed to her job. No one other than Donald Trump has said, yes, you can do this. No foreign policy or international relations experience.


CILLIZZA: And now she is acting as a de facto top diplomat for the United States.

And we didn't even mention her being in the photo at the North Korea DMZ. There's just a lot here. It is funny, but also not funny at all.

BALDWIN: What -- what do you think -- thought bubble for the world leaders as she is pulling a Chris Cillizza in high school --


BALDWIN: -- what are they thinking?

CILLIZZA: I think, at some level, there's a little audacity element there. This is the problem. And this is why anti-nepotism laws exist in the government, right, and why we should add the White House to it.

Because in that first video with Mike Pompeo walking in the background, who do -- Justin Trudeau or Theresa May or Shinzo Abe or Xi Jinping -- when they're talking to Mike Pompeo and then they talk to Ivanka Trump, who do they think -- look, they see this stuff. This is not immune to the -- who do they think Donald Trump listens to more? Who do they think has Donald Trump's ear? Who do they think Donald Trump values?

BALDWIN: Yes. CILLIZZA: He has said in "The Atlantic" that Ivanka would make a

great president. It's not just these images. He what he says, too. And in that sense, it's sending mixed signals to the world community and that's not what we need.

BALDWIN: No, I'm sure it's carefully choreographed. I laugh at the memes, but it's incredible --


BALDWIN: -- incredibly serious.

Chris Cillizza, thank you for pointing it out.


BALDWIN: Thank you.

In a new article, Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, opens up about his struggles with addiction and his tumultuous personal life, and now conservatives are seizing on it. So why is he speaking out now?

And an Alabama woman who was five months pregnant when she was shot in the stomach has been indicted in her unborn child's death. Police say she is the one responsible. But will she be prosecuted for manslaughter?


[14:37:04] BALDWIN: Joe Biden's 2020 campaign is bringing up new scrutiny of his own family. A new profile in "The New Yorker" examines his son Hunter's controversial business dealings, and his tumultuous personal life, including his battles with drug and alcohol abuse.

The bears a headline that poses a new question today: "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father's Campaign?"

Staff writer, Adam Entous, explains why he believes Hunter Biden gave him -- had such a candid interview.


ADAM ENTOUS, REPORTER, NEW YORKER & AUTHOR: Well, I think, you know, after his father announced that he was running for president, there have been kind of a reprising of some of these -- in some cases, kind of old controversies, if you will, about his personal relationships. There have been slices of the story of his drug abuse in the media.

And I think he wanted to be able to basically tell his story rather than having other people tell it in ways that I think he thought would be misleading.


BALDWIN: CNN Senior Washington Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, and CNN Political Correspondent, Sara Murray, are with me.

Jeff, in choosing to speak now and in this huge piece in "The New Yorker," what's the strategy for getting this out from the perspective from Team Biden?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, I think it's clearly, as Adam was saying there, it is, you know, Hunter Biden's attempt to try and get everything out at once and for him to tell the story. Not for someone else to tell the story about his, you know, deeply personal and tragic, really, addiction to drugs and alcohol and crack cocaine.

And the story really goes through many low moments, where he's living on the streets, where he's living in an apartment not far from the White House. He's essentially strung out on vodka and crack cocaine, other things.

And the vice president of the United States comes to his son's house. So there are these searingly personal and tragic details, really, inside this story.

So by doing this, Hunter Biden, it would seem, is trying to essentially answer the question or try and answer the question that has been hanging over his father's campaign in some respects, what happened to Hunter Biden. He was always at his father's side. But in this case, he not at the announcement or the debate last week. So I think just a sense of getting out the story.

The campaign, so far, Brooke, has been completely silent on this, at least to us, about their reaction to this. So I'm not sure this was part of a grand campaign strategy, as opposed to a son trying to get this story out.

It certainly does not come at a good moment, necessarily, for the Biden campaign. But it is a sympathetic view of his trials and tribulations in his family's struggles.

BALDWIN: What about, Sara, the business side of this. I know conservatives are seizing on this. One of the biggest concerns in terms of optics had to do with business dealings in China and Ukraine. Can you explain that to us?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There's this sense this Hunter Biden benefited over the course of his career with being in proximity to Joe Biden's power. There's no evidence that Joe Biden actually did anything wrong or did anything to sway things in Hunter Biden's favor. He's denied his son ever lobbied him for anything.

[14:40:04] But when you look at Ukraine, Hunter Biden was on the board of this energy company, and it was being investigated by a prosecutor in Ukraine. Joe Biden got the prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold U.S. aid. Everyone says that's because the prosecutor was deeply corrupt but you can see what the optics are.

Similarly, in China, Hunter Biden was working with a company that was trying to land a big deal with the bank of China. Takes Air Force Two with Joe Biden to China in 2013. A few days later, this business deal is finalized. And so it sort of gives the impression that Hunter Biden is constantly using his connections with his father essentially to get these deals done.

And there's an interesting quote in "The New Yorker" article that says, as a former senior White House aide put it, "There was a perception Hunter Biden was on the loose for potentially undermining his father's message."

Another former business associate said, "the appearance of a conflict of interest is good enough at this level of politics to keep you from doing things like that."

And, Brooke, frankly, that's what Republicans are betting on. They're betting on the fact that the appearance of impropriety is just as important as the actual impropriety itself.

BALDWIN: You know, Jeff, you've been on the trail, talking to potential voters and supporters. You know, some of these headlines or his story has been out there. How much do voters, quite frankly, care?

ZELENY: I'm not sure, Brooke, that they are all that aware of Hunter Biden. Certainly, the Biden family tragedy and family story about how he lost his beloved son, Beau, who was the attorney general of Delaware, and really the prodigal son in many respects, how he died of brain cancer. It's one of the reasons that Joe Biden didn't run in 2016.

His life has been, you know, sort of a moving tragedy throughout many chapters, from the loss of his wife and daughter in a traffic accident in the '70s. He raised these boys by himself with the help of his second wife, Jill Biden, who the boys refer to as mom.

But I don't think voters really, you know -- I think they're certainly sympathetic to Joe Biden. But Hunter Biden is not a household name in terms of -- to Democratic voters out there. But I think in one case, it certainly is a distraction, potentially, for Mr. Biden.

But it also, we should point out -- one thing I was struck by reading the piece, how Joe Biden continues to love his son, be close to his son, and wants, you know, him to get better throughout all of this.

So it's potentially, I guess, a humanizing -- something that many people in this country certainly can relate to as it relates to addiction.

BALDWIN: Yes. I just finished Dr. Biden's book. It just came out. It is clear that family for them is number one.

ZELENY: Right.

BALDWIN: Jeff Zeleny and Sara Murray, thank you both very much.

Coming up next, Taylor Swift. Her music catalog just sold as part of a $300 million deal. She is none too pleased about it. Hear why she is warning young artists.

And stunning photos out of Mexico. Have you seen this? Mexico, folks, three feet of ice fell in one city. We'll tell you what's behind the freak storm.


[14:47:28] BALDWIN: Taylor Swift's music catalog has been sold, and this deal is creating some bad blood for her former record label and the new owner. The pop-music superstar is calling the deal her worst- case scenario.

This has happened after a company owned by music manager, Scooter Braun, paid $300 million for the rights to the record label and Swift's music. This sale prevents Swift from owning the first six albums in her catalog.

In a lengthy Tumblr post, Swift lashed out at Scooter Braun, claiming she has been bullied by him for years, and accused the former label of blocking her from buying her own music.

She wrote, in part, "For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to my own work. Instead, I was given a chance to sign back up to Big Machine Records and earn one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in." Adding, "I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past."

Bill Werde is director of the Bandier Program recording and entertainment industries at Syracuse University at the Newhouse School. He is the former editorial director for "Billboard" magazine.

Bill, thank you so much for being with me.

And again, for those not in the entertainment industry, when she talks about this being her worst-case scenario, spell it out for us. Why is this awful for her?

BILL WERDE, DIRECTOR, BANDIER PROGRAM FOR MUSIC BUSINESS AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, I think there's two things happening here. Number one, it's about money. Right? If you own your masters, you're taking the master's royalty. So every time it's streamed, your music is licensed in a commercial, you're getting a much greater share of that license fee.

And then number two, it's about control. If you own your masters, you get to decide exactly where the recorded versions of your songs go. And if you don't own your masters, the people that do own them get to make those decisions to a certain extent.

It's a very complicated rights picture. But that's the basics.

BALDWIN: So was she never given an opportunity to buy it herself?

WERDE: Well, I don't really believe that, if I'm being honest. And from what I've read and from some of the conversations I've had with folks in the business, Taylor Swift's money spends just as well as anybody else's.

And I don't believe for a second that if, you know, she wanted her masters badly, that she couldn't have made her own offer or directly negotiated with Scott Boresheeta (ph) and made that happen.

It also seems pretty clear, Scott Boresheeta (ph), the label president, the founder, who just sold these rights, he's released some deal memos, which make it pretty clear that it seems she had some opportunities to take back her master rights.

BALDWIN: Some folks are coming to Scooter Braun's defense, i.e. Justin Bieber, who is managed by Braun, criticizing Taylor Swift's post, saying she was looking for sympathy and accusing her of crossing the line when she questioned his character.

[14:50:10] Do you think musicians like Justin Bieber are just out there, you know, doing the right thing as they see it, defending their manager, or do they have a point?

WERDE: Well, I just think, generationally, this is what everyone expects. If you're -- you know, if you're 29 or under, I think that any time anything important happens in the world, you know, everyone who has a public profile feels it's important to get in line and share their stance.

I do -- listen, I've worked pretty closely on and off over the years with both Taylor and Scooter. I think they're both great people. I think they're both very smart business people. And -- but I have a very hard time seeing Scooter painted as a bully, seeing Scooter painted as a sexist in some corners. That doesn't add up with anything I've seen or with the track record he's built.

So I -- you know, I'm not surprised I'm seeing artists and not just ones he's managing and other folks from the business sort of get online and share their viewpoint. Because they feel he's being a little bit unfairly lashed out at.

BALDWIN: Got it.

Bill Werde, thanks for the perspective. Nice to have you on.

WERDE: Always a pleasure. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Five-time Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams, has been upset in the first round of the All England Club by a 15-year-old Cori "Coco" Gaulf, an American who just became the youngest to qualify for Wimbledon in the open era. Stunned Williams. Ahead of the match, the teen admitted that Venus and her sister, Serena, were her inspiration for her when she picked up a racket years ago. Williams, at 39-years- old, was the oldest player in this year's ladies' draw at Wimbledon.

Coming up, a fiery plane crash moments after takeoff leaves no survivors. What investigators are hoping will help them piece together what exactly happened, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:56:23] BALDWIN: Federal investigators are trying to figure out what caused this deadly plane crash in a Texas airport just north of Dallas. The private plane had just taken off from the Addison Airport Sunday when it veered left and slammed into that hangar, bursting into flames. All 10 people on board -- that's eight passengers, two members of the crew -- were killed. Their families are being notified right now.

CNN's Scott McLean is live in Addison.

So, Scott, what happened?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke. NTSB investigators got on scene late last night and so today is really their first full day on the scene to try to figure that out and figure out what exactly happened here.

The lead investigator said that her initial look showed that there's extensive damage from the initial impact and a lot more damage from the fire that followed. You can see some of the damage to the hangar here. This is just what you can see from this vantage point. There's a lot more that you cannot see.

Now, thankfully, there was nobody inside the hangar at the time, but all 10 people who were aboard that aircraft were killed. There were two crew members and eight passengers bound for St. Petersburg, Florida.

Now, this flight, this plane, veered right into that hangar, right after takeoff. It is oddly similar to an incident in Hawaii, about a week and a half ago, in another small plane that killed 11 people.

Now in this particular incident, this plane, a Beechcraft Super King Air 350, it is a dual engine plane, a turboprop, known as pretty reliable. It's usually used to shuttle corporate executives from place to place, according to CNN's safety analyst, David Soucie. He says this plane has a good safety record. He actually called this the Cadillac of super props.

Whether or not it contains a black box, though, is unclear. If it is used as a charter plane, it is required to have one. If it's just a private plane, it may not have one at all.

Brooke, we're expecting to hear from the NTSB in about two hours from now.

BALDWIN: Great. We'll check back with you then.

Scott McLean, in Texas, thank you.

BALDWIN: Meantime, winter in Mexico? Question mark? A freak hailstorm hitting Guadalajara, swallowing up cars and streets in more than three feet of ice.

A regional governor tweeting he has never seen anything like this. And added, quote, "Then we wonder if climate change exists." Tom Sater is in the Weather Center for us.

Tom Sater, I woke up, I was obsessed with these photos. How does this even happen?

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's hard to say it's climate change-related. It really isn't, Brooke. Because this is one storm, and they do have thunderstorms in Guadalajara. It's a mile-high city. It's like Denver, 5000 feet.

Cold air, just last week on the summer solstice, on the 21st, dropped one to two feet of snow in the mountains of Colorado. A parcel of cold air was able to make it to Mexico.

But there's more to these pictures than you actually would understand. It looks terrible, like three feet of hail fell in one area. But we were able to go back and find out that, when this storm system developed down there, this mountainous area is going to develop storms.

But all of that hail was associated with heavy rain, as well. So that heavy rain, Brooke, took all of this hail from all of the surrounding villages and communities and shoved it into the lowest part of town, which was like a catch basin. So unfortunately, it funneled this into this region.

So it's hard to say that three feet of hail fell in just this spot. Most likely, it was swept in and the water receded and left in its wake all of this.

But crazy pictures, you're right.

BALDWIN: Crazy, crazy, crazy. I knew you would be able to explain it.

Tom Sater, thank you very much.

SATER: Sure.

[15:00:01] BALDWIN: We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here.

We all know that Joe Biden has been seated firmly atop the Democratic 2020 polls for weeks and weeks now.