Return to Transcripts main page


Announcement Released From North Korea's State News Agency; President Has Just Tweeted About Michael Cohen; Starbucks Has Announced That All 8,000 Of Its American Stores Will Be Closed On May 29th So That Its 175,000 Employees Can Receive Anti-Bias Training; Model Janice Dickinson Testified That Cosby Drugged And Raped Her Back At Lake Tahoe Back In 1982; Three Women Dominated Headlines For Achievement, Not At Casualties; Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 21, 2018 - 09:00   ET



[09:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our clothes are made by the Dallas lighthouse for the blind. The shirts are sewn together by the visually impaired. Blindness, call me nuts, but will be cured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's what motivates us to get up every day and work on this company.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hope you make some good memories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for being with us. SMERCONISH starts now.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

The news cycle continues to astound and amaze. Kim Jong-un says he is suspending nuclear and missile tests in advance of summits with President Trump and South Korea. Many unanswered questions remain.

And in the middle of James Comey's barnstorming book tour his infamous memos about his meetings with President Trump get leaked. Surprise, surprise. Both sides immediately claim his memos support their views.

Plus, Trump's lawyer roulette continues with Michael Cohen sidelines. In rides, Rudy Giuliani claiming he can end the Mueller probe in two weeks. (INAUDIBLE) that.

And after a racial incident at a Starbucks right here in my hometown of Philadelphia, the company is shutting down all 8,000 U.S. stores next month for a day of anti-bias training. But why not all their stores worldwide?

And Bill Cosby's retrial for sexual assault is not a rerun. Lots of new evidence, including five women who say Cosby assaulted them, too. I will talk to someone who testified to corroborate one of their stories, legendary book publisher Judith Regan is here.

And today the country says good-bye to first lady extraordinaire, Barbara Bush.

But first, a stunning announcement from North Korea's state news agency. North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, it reads. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that the nuclear test site has done its job. This news coming in the aftermath of a secret trip made by CIA director Mike Pompeo to meet with Kim over Easter and coming prior to a meeting with President Trump which is now in the works.

The President, he tweeted last night. Quote "this is very good news for North Korea and the world. Big progress. Look forward to our summit."

Now keep that tweet on the screen for just a moment. Notice what's missing. There is no reference to rocket man or little rocket man which is quite a change in the President's posture. Surely, you remember tweets like these.

(INAUDIBLE) just a few months ago that were so bombastic and drew such sharp criticism from Democrats and members of the establishment foreign policy community that Senator Edward Markey, for example, tweeted that this bordered on Presidential malpractice.

And Markey continued quote "we cannot let this war of words result in an actual war."

But I have got to ask. Did President Trump's tweets work? Soon after Trump's bellicose belittling of Kim, North and South Korea began communication both about the Olympics and borders eventually beginning to negotiate a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War after more than 60 years.

And now today's news. The substantive successes compared to the escalating tensions during the Obama and Bush years, they beg a question I raised in the past. Is Trump's approach actually working? And that leads me to today's poll question at

Quote "does President Trump deserve credit for the announcement from Kim Jong-un that North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles?"

Now of course, several other explanations for the recent progress have very little to do with President Trump. The first and most obvious is that Kim has now successfully built a nuclear arsenal. And whether President Trump wants to admit it or not, North Korea can now wage nuclear war. With that ability comes a large degree of security, especially in a relationship with a non-nuclear capable neighbor.

It's also possible that China or Russia have gotten Kim's attention and positively influenced his behavior. Or at the sanctions long in place are actually bringing North Korea to its economic knees. "The New York Times" Korea correspondent today, (INAUDIBLE), writes there's growing evidence that tough new sanctions imposed on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons and missile programs have begun to bite and bite hard.

So which is it? Fear of Trump? The impact of sanctions? Maybe a little of both?

Joining me now is Robert Kelly. He is an American political analyst of inter-Korean affairs and professor of political science at Pusan University in South Korea. His latest piece for the guardian is titled "North Korea's nuclear pause -- grist for both doffs and hawks."

Professor Kelly, what most explains the change we have just seen?

[09:05:15] ROBERT KELLY, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, PUSAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: I think the long-term pressure of sanctions, I think particularly the President has pushed China hard on this in the last 16 months or so. We know that China is the most important gateway for North Korea to the global economy. We know that the North Korean economy, despite its talk is really not (INAUDIBLE) and needs external contact. And so if China closes that gate, it generates real pressure on the regime to the elites. And my sense is that the President has pushed China on this a lot and also sort of the bellicose rhetoric kind of scared the Chinese a little bit and they are taking this more seriously than in the past.

SMERCONISH: So you think the bellicose rhetoric had an impact on the Chinese, and the Chinese then leaned on the North Koreans but you don't think -- you discount that Trump's rhetoric had an impact on Kim himself?

KELLY: Yes. It might have. But I mean, there's really no empirical evidence to prove that one way or another, right. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious that the Trump administration would like to claim that kind of credit. It's just so hard for us to know why the North Koreans make the decisions that they do. We certainly know from the past that the North Koreans respond to bellicosity with their own, right. I mean, North Koreans are sort of, you know, legendary for the rhetoric they employ.

So it surprised me a lot if it was that. Rather, the Chinese have been very concerned about North Korea's testing record. They are very concerned about Chernobyl-style event, for example, from the North Korean testing site which is now sort of in real trouble. There was a tunnel collapse there. And that coupled with Donald Trump talking about warfare and the rest of it probably pushed the Chinese to lean on the North Koreans very hard.

SMERCONISH: Well, I guess then, in that respect, maybe he is being - she should deserving of credit for having impacted the Chinese in a way to act.

Let me ask you this question. The former advance man, I did advance for Papa Bush, Bush 41, back in the day. The former advance man in me is very interested to see where is this going to take place, the Kim/Trump meeting, and how will it be staged? What are your thoughts?

KELLY: Yes. This is turning out to be a real tangle, right. I mean, it's increasingly apparent that when secretary of state Pompeo met with the Koreans, this was actually the real sticking point.

My own sense is the easiest place to do would to be to put it on the border, right, on the DMZ. Because that way you serve both sides are close to their own friendly space. It would be remarkable if Kim Jong-un got on a plane and actually left the country. That's just something that Kim hasn't felt comfortable doing in a very long time for obvious reason that might get overthrown in a coup or something like that.

I have heard Mongolia thrown around, Switzerland and Singapore. But all those places have so far. I have a feeling this is one of the things that if the Kim/Trump summit doesn't happen, this may be why. MY sense is it just have to do what the two Korean leaders are doing which is meet at Panmunjom.

SMERCONISH: What do you think comes out of the summit wherever and whenever it takes place?

KELLY: My sense is the North Koreans are probably going to look for some kind of deal for sanctions relief right. I mean, as you suggested there is a grown body of evidence to suggest that the sanctions are starting to bite. There is sort of, you know, there have been rumors -- we don't know like the North Koreans won't tell us very much. But there have been rumors for a while that oil has become more expensive in North Korea.

So this suggests that -- pardon me. This suggests that the North Koreans are going to look for sanctions relief or some kind of economic deal. And we know the North Koreans have wanted industrials on a joint, industrial zone between the two Koreas reopened, right. And in exchange for that, they might be willing to sort of protract this test halt or may be give us some kind of inspection tour of their facilities. Their cameras back in there and they may get them back in the IAEA, something like that.

SMERCONISH: Hey, Professor Kelly, I'm appreciative of your analysis. I'm a little bummed that the door is open behind you in South Korea and there's been no action thus far.

KELLY: That's right. I left it open for just a little bit of tension for the viewers but, no, my familiarly is not here tonight.

SMERCONISH: Catherine, can you roll it? Come on.


SMERCONISH: One of the greatest - we are showing it right now, by the way, professor. If you are wondering why I'm laughing. We are showing the old footage.

KELLY: Sure. It's fun.

SMERCONISH: All right. Thank you, sir, for your analysis. I really do appreciate it. One of the great moments of live television.

What are your thoughts? Tweet me at Smerconish. Go to my Facebook page. I will read some of the responses throughout the course of the program.

What have we got? Sanctions did not work. Trash talking worked. Joe Ferraro, I think it's fair to ask, right?

I mean, let me say this, Joe. If it had a different result, and if we would been drawn even closer to the brink of nuclear disaster, what would people be saying? They would be saying, you know, Trump, he did it by calling him little rocket man.

And I also note that, you know, that the President is no longer using that moniker. So apparently he thinks it was successful and it doesn't want to upset the apple cart. Time for one more if I have got it real quick.

Give me a break. He has done with testing which means he is locked and loaded. Well, Alicia believes that strength comes from reaching that capability.

And then I guess we have got to say, well, how did we allow him to get that far? Glass half empty, glass half full.

I want to know what you are thinking. Continue to go to and answer the question of the day. Does President Trump deserve credit for this announcement by Kim Jong-un that North Korea is going to stop its nuclear tests and launches of ballistic missiles? I will give you the results later.

Up ahead, as the President's lawyer, Michael Cohen, seems on the verge of being indicted, Trump adds Rudy Giuliani and a pair of Florida heavyweights to his legal team. Where is all this heading? I'm going to ask Alan Dershowitz.


[09:14:35] SMERCONISH: Hey, I had a big introduction planned for professor Alan Dershowitz summarizing the crazy week this has been from a legal standpoint. But something just happened and so I asked them to take it out of the prompter and I would rather just go with this on the fly.

The President has just tweeted about Michael Cohen. Catherine, can you put those tweets up and show everybody what he just said. And I will read along.

"The New York Times" and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman known as a crooked H Flunkie (ph) who I don't speak to and have nothing to do with are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will flip. They use nonexistent sources and a drunk, drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked and respected. Most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible witch hunt and the dishonest media.

Alan Dershowitz, of course, is the Harvard Law school emeritus professor. And he joins me now.

Hey, professor, you are good on the fly. I'm sorry to catch you cold. But what's your reaction to what the President just tweeted?

[09:15:49] ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, he is clearly sending a message of support to Michael Cohen. This is a struggle for the heart, soul and testimony of Michael Cohen. We know that the government has incredible leverage over him. First because they raided his office and that raised some concerns. They are going to have to indict him. If they don't indict him, and just leave him alone, it will seem like the raid was unjustified. And he could face many, many, many years in prison. And we know that no matter how close a person is to another person, when you put them in the risk of imprisonment for many years, they will not only sing but sometimes compose. That is, they know the better the story, the better the deal.

So even if you're innocent, you have to be worried about your friends flipping and elaborating on a story or making up stories. So I think this is an effort to send a message to Cohen saying, be strong. I support you. And don't believe what you are reading in the newspapers. By the way, Maggie Haberman is a great journalist. So I don't think the President is right in attacking her.

SMERCONISH: That goes without saying.

So professor, I read it the same way and I have just seen it for the first time as well. But I wonder, why would the President feel it necessary to wage a public campaign to convince Michael Cohen?

DERSHOWITZ: Oh, that's very simple.

SMERCONISH: He had a conversation with Michael just a couple days ago. Go ahead.

DERSHOWITZ: Very simple. He can't wage a private campaign because that could be obstruction of justice. Whatever he says has to be in public. He can't call him. He can't have his lawyers try to prevent him from testifying. The real hard issue is whether he could offer him a pardon or make it clear that he would get a pardon. There are some people who believe that the Scooter Libby pardon was such a message. I don't believe that. I think Scooter Libby deserved to be pardoned and that was a pardon on the merits.

But I think there are those who would look hard at the messages that the President is sending to Cohen to be sure that he doesn't cross the line into obstruction of justice. And you know, I think --

SMERCONISH: Do you think if he said -- if he said these words to Michael Cohen in a private conversation, could that be interpreted as obstruction of justice?

DERSHOWITZ: No, but if he said it in a private conversation, Cohen could turn around and elaborate on what he said and make it seem like obstruction of justice. So if he is going to say anything, and I don't think he should say anything, he is much better off doing it in writing and doing it in public. So there's no ambiguity about what he said, no ambiguity about the tone because otherwise a prosecutor could take Cohen and say, don't you think he actually offered you a bribe to not testify? And that would be an obstruction of justice. So he has to be very, very careful about what he says and how he says it.

I also think the decision to hire Rudy Giuliani, who is a great lawyer. I have been opposed to him in many cases. Won some, lost some. But nobody can doubt his terrific background as a lawyer. I think that also sends a message. Maybe it is unintended message saying we have the southern district covered. We have a very strong lawyer. Used to be the U.S. attorney in the southern district. Don't worry. We are standing behind you. Don't worry. We are defending ourselves. We are not rolling over. So there are a lot of subtle messages is being sent. I think the prosecution sends messages as well when they --

SMERCONISH: I want to ask you one more question. Put that text -- pardon me, about Michael Cohen from the President back on the screen. Maybe this is of significance and maybe it's not. But there is a line in here, professor, where President Trump says Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked and respected.

Why that line? Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer. Is that of some legal significance relative to privilege or am I reading too much into it?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, no. I think what he is saying is if Michael Cohen is in trouble for the medallions, the taxing medallions or whatever, that's his own problem. I had nothing to do with that. The lawyer part of it, of course, is to protect any lawyer/client communications. That issue is now in front of Judge Kimbal Wood who is also my former student, a terrific judge. And she is going to have to make a decision as to who gets to make the vetting concerning whether or not their lawyer/client privilege. I don't think the vetting should be done by FBI agents or U.S. attorneys. They have no right to read material that may turn out to be privileged. It should be done by a judge or magistrate or somebody appointed by the judge.

[09:20:31] SMERCONISH: I denied you promotion of your book. Can we put the jacket up there and give the good professor a plug of the book because I went on the fly with the intro.

DERSHOWITZ: I understand that.

SMERCONISH: Can we have it? And there we go. "Trumped up -- how criminalization of political differences endangers democracy."

Hey, professor, thank you. I appreciate your being here. Thanks for rolling with me.

DERSHOWITZ: My pleasure. Thank you. Sure.

SMERCONISH: OK. What are your thoughts? Tweet me @smerconish. Got to my Facebook page. I will read some responses throughout the course of the program. What do we got here? Smerconish/Dershowitz, give me a break. Trump

is laying the groundwork that when Cohen sings it will all be a lie.

Well, he may be - I mean, he may doing that because he says most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. So that very well could be the predicate that the President is laying (INAUDIBLE).

By the way, I have to ask this question. All this flip talk, is it grounded in any fact? Did it come from anything that Cohen has said thus far? Or have these seeds been laid by people who want him to flip? Just asking.

Up ahead, after a young black man tries to use a bathroom at a Starbucks here in my hometown in Philadelphia without making a purchase, he and a friend end up in happened cuffs. Within a week, the company announces a national shutdown of all Starbucks for a day of anti-bias training.

I have got a couple questions about all of this.


[09:26:11] SMERCONISH: By now you know that two African-American men were arrested at a Starbucks on April 12th here in my hometown of Philadelphia, not far from where I'm located, after one them asked to use the bathroom without first making a purchase.

This video of their arrest posted on twitter went viral. Over 11 million views. After a national outcry, Starbucks has announced that all 8,000 of its American stores will be closed on May 29th so that its 175,000 employees can receive anti-bias training.

Now here is my question. Does this incident represent a uniquely American problem? Think about it. Starbucks is closing 8,000 American locations for training but not the totality of its more than 12,000 worldwide. They clearly didn't think that the issue was limited to one Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets. They didn't stop with all of Philadelphia or all of Pennsylvania. No, Starbucks expanded to the entire United States.

Is that because the problem only exists here? Or is it a PR move? Because this is where the media outrage has been most heated? So either this is a uniquely American issue or Starbucks is employing a PR stunt because it plays well at home. It has to be one or the other.

Joining me now is "Washington Post" global opinions editor Karen Attiah who had another take on the story under the headline "Calling the Police on Black People isn't a Starbucks problem, it's an American problem."

Hey, Karen, we came at this from slightly difference angles, but humor me for a moment on my issue. What do you think about Starbucks closing only the U.S. locations? KAREN ATTIAH, GLOBAL OPINION EDITOR, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, it's a

really interesting point that you bring up. Starbucks is an international brand. And one thing that is also international is anti-blackness and is racial bias. So it would be very interesting to figure out, you know, does this happen in its locations in Europe, in airports?

But for me, again, I agree in the sense that whether or not this is a PR move, look, an afternoon of racial bias training, and we don't even know exactly what is going to be entailed in that training is not going to solve the issue.

What I argued in my piece for "the Washington Post" was that this is an American problem. So when you have white folks -- nonblack people of color that are so quick to call the police on black people in a particular space, knowing what we know about what can happen to black people after encounters with police, whether it be arrests, detentions or injury or even death, I think is what we really need to be talking about. So who is going to train not only the Starbucks employees but who is going to train teachers refraining from calling the police on black kids in schools? Who is going to train the mom and pop stores? Real estate developers? Landlords. I man, it is really and honestly, I think America needs about 100 years-worth of racial bias training.

SMERCONISH: In your piece you wrote - you ask, I should say, white America, where can we be free? Where can we be safe? Where can we be black?

ATTIAH: Yes, and that's a throwback to the pop singer (INAUDIBLE) who tweeted that perhaps two years ago after the footage of police brutality. I mean, that's really the fundamental question. I think for some reason, the Starbucks incident has really sort of shaken me up and has shaken up a lot of my friends. I think Starbucks has sort of branded itself even as a place where you can just go and sit and chill.

I mean, I have gone to Starbucks and have not bought anything and waited for friends or waited for meetings and had nothing happen to me. But I think it's this issue of where we can just be black and not have the cops called on us, not have -- not be kicked out of spaced. And it just really kind of has this eerie throwback to even a sort of segregation era feeling of we just don't belong, and the police can be callous for any moment. Remember, these guys were only there for two minutes. Two minutes.

[09:30:19] SMERCONISH: Yes, that's the stunning part.

ATTIAH: You know? Yes.

SMERCONISH: I had a caller to my radio program say something provocative. I asked the question, is implicit bias uniquely American? And a caller said to me what's uniquely American is the combination of implicit bias and a gun culture which adds another dynamic to all of this. You get the final word. Go ahead.

ATTIAH: Yes, I mean, we live in a culture and a history where fear of black skin has been -- is as American as pie or baseball. And I think, you know, for us to be able to deal with this, the Starbucks incident is just another long line of incidents where, again, force can be used to basically, as a form of social control. This is a form of social control with black people in public spaces. And really, until we have this national, not only conversation but active steps to really treat black people as first class citizens, I am not sure that just one day of training is really going to help anything, unfortunately.

SMERCONISH: Karen Attiah, thank you for being here from "the Washington Post."

ATTIAH: Thank you so much, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Hey, by the way. We reached out repeatedly to Starbucks for a comment on my question. Why aren't all Starbucks worldwide? But we never heard back. I love to hear what they would say just in terms of explaining that decision. I'm intrigue by it.

Let's see what you are saying via my social media. What do we have Catherine?

There's a difference between implicit and explicit bias and while implicit bias is not a uniquely U.S. problem, it's a larger problem here than in other areas of the world.

Now, Nick, I don't doubt that, but I don't know how you can substantiate it. And I just don't know. I'm not that experienced. But you know, I watch enough football from overseas to know that some of these players of color have been subjected to all sorts of offensive statements and bias and discrimination.

So to me, whatever it's going on here, it's not just uniquely American. We are reaching a worldwide audience right now. So, folks, you can comment.

I remind you to go to and weigh in on today's survey question. Does President Trump deserve credit for the announcement from Kim Jong-un that North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles?

Still to come, at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial, model Janice Dickinson testified that Cosby drugged and raped her back at Lake Tahoe back in 1982. But it was not mentioned in her 2002 memoir. So Dickenson's book publisher Judith Regan also testified to corroborate her story and Judith joins me next.

[09:37:34] SMERCONISH: Much has changed in the sexual assault retrial of comedian Bill Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in which testimony is now winding down. Last year's ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked. This time the judge allowed the jurors to know the amount of the civil settlement paid to Cosby's accuser Andrea Constand. It was $3.38 million. And where the first trial included only one other woman making a similar charge, this time, there were five. Also new, the judge permitted the testimony of Margarite Jackson who

testified that while bunking with Constand during a basketball road trip to road island, Constand spoke of framing a celebrity. That's a claim that Constand denies.

And here is something else different at trial number two. The testimony of famed book publisher Judith Regan. The prosecution called Regan to bolster the testimony of one of the five additional accusers, Janice Dickinson who says that Cosby raped her in 1992. Regan published a 2002 Dickenson memoir that made no such mention of the incident. When Regan was cross-examined by Cosby's lawyer Tom Mesereau, things got testy.

Judith Regan joins me now. You should know that in her career, her authors have included Wally Lamb, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Moore and Khloe Kardashian to name just a few. She also famously conducted the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview about the death of Nicole Brown Simpson which finally aired last month on FOX. She is currently the CEO of Regan Arts.

Judith, great to see you. What do you think happened to Janice Dickinson in Lake Tahoe?

JUDITH REGAN, CEO, REGAN ARTS: Well, I don't know what happened. All I know is what she told me which is something she did in 2001, early 2002. We published her book in 2002. And she was very upset when she told me the story. She said that he had drugged her and raped her and she was very, very clear about it. She was emotional. She was angry. She was sad and told me this story repeatedly because she begged me to include it in her book which we could not do because of any possible legal issues.

The legal department at that time, they were much more conservative about including things like that and Cosby had the reputation for being extremely litigious. And it was their decision that we not include that story in the book. She was very upset about that and she worked with a collaborator, Pablo Fuentes, and they recreated that part of the book and wrote what they chose to write about it.

[09:40:08] SMERCONISH: OK. The trial lawyer in me wants to say truth is a defense to defamation. So why not publish it on the basis that, hey, it's the truth and we can defend against it.

REGAN: Well, that's a good question. But in publishing houses, they are very, very conservative about publishing anything that might create litigation. Litigation is expensive. It's really basically a business decision. And at the end of the day, the attorneys prevail. And it was their decision that we not include the story because of the potential for litigation.

And Marty Singer who was Bill Cosby's attorney, was notorious for suing people. And the legal department felt that it was far too big a risk. It's a risk/benefit analysis. And their feeling was this is far too big of a business risk to take on a lawsuit, whether it's right or wrong, true or false. That's really not given careful enough consideration because the consideration at the end of the day is a business consideration.

SMERCONISH: I wish I could see your footwear. I'm not sure if you're wearing quote/unquote "gasoline stilettos." What the hell is this all about? Put this up on the screen. After Judith testified, the statement was released from Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

Quote "St. Peter has been given direct orders from Jesus and his father not to let Judith Regan near the pearly gates. However, they have informed Satan that he will have a guest by the name of Judith Regan coming in on a rocket and she is wearing gasoline stilettos."

And by the way, Judith, how is the prose. I mean, would you publish that?

REGAN: No, it needs heavy editing. I think Sigmund Freud may have something to say about that statement. The pearly gates, you know, me coming in on a rocket, wearing stilettos. These porn shoes. By the way, I didn't know what gasoline stilettos were. I had to look it up on Google. And they are these bizarre shoes that basically, you know, have heels that go up about eight inches and deform your feet.

But I think it's a very bizarre thing that a guy who is being accused of indecent assault kind of indecently verbally assaults me in this fashion. I mean, I thought it was so out of line and so strange and brazen and vulgar and disturbing. What do you think?

SMERCONISH: I thought it was bizarre. I mean, that's the word that comes to my mind. And I know that it got testy when Tom Mesereau was cross-examining you. I want you to say a word about that, among other things we learned that apparently he wanted you to publish his book.

REGAN: Well, he didn't want me to publish his book. I want to be clear about that. We had an email correspondence. I had sent him a note saying, you know, you have had an interesting career. Is publishing a book something you would ever consider? And he sent me back a note with various details and also asking me for my advice, right?

So this was a guy who in the courtroom really tried to smear me in essence in his questioning. He knew that, for instance, asking me, you know, were you trying to hide money with O.J. Simpson and you worked at the "National Enquirer," by the way, 40 years ago. And didn't you lie and blah, blah, blah.

The questions were very bizarre. And he knew that they were never going to be allowed. But he wanted to smear me and throw mud at me. Why, I don't know, because he very simply could have just said, although I testified that Janice Dickinson told me these things, I didn't experience these things firsthand. I don't have any firsthand knowledge.

But instead he chose to just, you know, verbally assault me. They continued to verbally assault me, obviously, in this piece that you just quoted. And I just thought it was strange. I mean, here was a guy asking me for my advice on the one hand and in the courtroom, of course, took on a whole different persona. And I would say threw mud, you know, all over me and in a - I have been in lots of depositions. I have been in court. I have testified. I have never seen anything like this. I thought it was really unethical, unprofessional. It was bizarre. It was bizarre. The whole experience was bizarre.

SMERCONISH: Before you leave me, give me a gut check on where you see this thing going. Because I thought with the five women coming in and paying close attention, albeit not in the courtroom, I thought the case had gone in well for the prosecution. Then, of course, the Cosby defense gets to introduce Margarite Jackson who says, hey, she told me she was going to make up something like this. And at the end of the week, Cosby's defense included some evidence that he was not even in the place where he could have committed the act. Do you have an overview or gut check that you want to offer?

REGAN: Well, I think it's very hard to convict celebrities. I mean, we see this over and over again, right. And you know, I interviewed O.J. Simpson. That case is probably one of the more famous ones. But if you are famous, I think it's almost impossible. Number one, he does have good lawyers in terms of -- I find their behavior bizarre and unprofessional. However, you know, what their strategy is to just throw mud at everybody. Probably fabricate things. They certainly fabricated things in their line of questioning with me, you know. Who knows what's true and what isn't true. I think you never really get to the truth in these matters. And anything can happen. But I think it's a tough, tough, tough thing when it's a celebrity. Very tough.

[09:45:33] SMERCONISH: Judith Regan, thank you for being here. I really appreciate it.

REGAN: Thank you, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, in the news this week, a first lady, a Navy pilot and a veteran turned senator. Three prominent women with three amazing stories when we come back.


[09:50:16] SMERCONISH: Last six months have been dominated by new stories of women who were victims fighting back. Six months. That's how long it has been since "the New York Times" blockbuster story about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein ushered in the #metoo movement.

But this week was different. Three women dominated headlines for achievement, not at casualties. A matriarch, a life saver and a mom. Barbara Bush, Tammy Jo Schultz and Tammy Duckworth.

Bush was a first lady married for 73 years to a President while raising both a President and a governor. Known for her wit and wisdom, and white pearls, she served her country as a vice President's wife, President's spouse then President's mom. A longtime boaster of literacy and civil rights. Today, Barbara Bush will be laid to rest in an invitation only funeral.

Tammy Jo Schultz, the captain of southwest flight 1380 saved an endangered flight en route from New York's LaGuardia to Dallas. The Veteran Navy pilot showcased her nerves, steeled from flying supersonic FA-18 hornets when the left engine exploded after the breakage of a fan belt. Even more impressive, she trained in an era when women weren't even permitted to fly combat missions.

And then there's Tammy Duckworth, the retired U.S. army lieutenant, first disabled woman elected to the Congress after losing both her legs and damaging one arm from injuries sustained on November 12th, 2004 when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. Senator Duckworth was the first senator to give birth while in office. On Thursday she brought her newborn baby daughter, Miley Pearl Bowlsby. On the senate floor, after rules changed that allows children up to age one to accompany their parents to votes.

Beyond the partisanship and incivility dominating the majority of our headlines here is an acknowledgment of the character and the Grace of a first lady, first mother, Navy lieutenant commander turned pilot hero and a veteran turned senator mom.

Still to come, your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments. And we will give the results of this survey question. You got one more shot to vote at Does President Trump deserve credit for the announcement from Kim Jong-un that North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of ballistic missiles?


[09:57:12] SMERCONISH: All right. Let's do this.

Time to see how you responded to today's survey question at

Does President Trump deserve credit for the announcement from Kim Jong-un that North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles?

What have we got? Six thousand, six hundred and eighty nine votes casted. The Nos have it, pretty decisively. Pretty harsh judgment, 64 percent saying no, 36 percent saying yes.

I have to say I'm surprised. I don't know that I expected that the yes would win out, but I thought my guests' argument that whether he had a direct impact on Kim Jong-un or an impact on the Chinese -- he meaning President Trump because of his bellicose nature, that that were about to change. So I'm more sympathetic to that issue to the President than the audience who voted.

What have we got? Social media, Facebook, twitter. Hit me with it, Catherine.

Smerconish, he gets the blame for all the problems in the world, why not take credit for something that goes right? Surprised he didn't have something to do with the Starbucks fiasco (INAUDIBLE).

Bill, I mean, that's my point, right. If the reactions to those tweets have brought us to the brink of nuclear disaster, God forbid. You know, he would be getting hammered for it. I'm entertaining the possibility that they had a positive impact on Kim. That Kim looked at Trump and thought like who the hell is this guy? I don't want to have to deal with him. Maybe I should go to the table.

What else? Hit me with another one. Why would anyone believe anything Kim Jong-un says?

Well, Dr. Joe, you are right, only time will tell as to whether this bears any fruit. And I know that he has reneged (ph) in the past. So that's a point well taken.

What's next? No, I would rather give credit to Dennis Rodman, the Berke effect. I don't know. Is that serious? Does Dennis Rodman, the only - a part from Mike Pompeo, the only other American I think who has ever been in the company of Kim Jong-un.

I have to believe, by the way, that the President's briefing will include -- not directly from Rodman but something that Rodman may have given to our intelligence apparatus at some point along the way.

One more real quick if I can. Smerconish and everyone else, I'm hoping his kids burst in again. Robert E. Kelly.

Mia, I hope that wasn't lost on everybody, that my guest was the one that had that viral moment. Yes, there it is. I never get tired of watching this, especially because I do these own remotes myself. And I always live in fear that it will be my miniature Dachshund (ph), Mr. Lucy, who will come crashing into the room barking while I'm doing a live hit with Brooke Baldwin.

Hey, you can catch up with us any time on CNN go and On Demand.

Coming up next here on CNN, Wolf Blitzer with live coverage of the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.