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Recent Celebrity Suicides Reinforce New CDC Data About Increase In Prevalence Of Suicide Rates in U.S.; Experts Share Their Viewpoints on Suicide Causes and Effects in the U.S.; President Trump's G7 Interactions Causing Controversy; Details Being Attended to in Preparation for the Singapore Summit; Trump is Tardy for G7 Summit; Miss America Pageant to Discontinue Swimsuit Competition. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 09, 2018 - 09:00   ET



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. President Trump taking on the world, ruffling feathers at the G7 Summit with his "America First" tariffs and demand and his fellow leaders re-instate Russia before he heads to Singapore to break bread with Kim Jong-un.

What's happening behind the scenes planning these momentous events? I'll ask the former events man for President George W. Bush. I heard a different perspective from this man who I ran into outside the studio this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a faithful Trump supporter.

SMERCONISH: What's the attraction to Trump?





SMERCONISH: Also, two high profile suicides this week, Designer Kate Spade and CNN's own Anthony Bourdain. Sadly, they echo new CDC findings that suicide in the U.S. is up 25% in the past two decades. Is it any coincidence that the most popular course ever at Yale University, "Psychology and the Good Life," aims to teach students how to be happy?

And the Miss America pageant ending its legendary swimsuit and evening gown competitions, but will anyone watch without the bikinis? I'll ask 2013's Miss America, who by the way, just won the Democratic nomination to an Alabama Congressional race. But first, the suicides of 55-year old Kate Spade and 61-year old Anthony Bourdain jarred many of us this week. My colleague John Berman summed up my own gut reaction to the Bourdain news when he tweeted this: "Here's the thing. Just one of the things that makes this so hard and confusing. Everyone wanted to be Anthony Bourdain. I did. We all did."

The passing of two who seemingly had it all just confirms that old island saying that you don't know if the roof is leaking until you live inside. Two days after Spade's death, one day before Bourdain's, the CDC released new data evidencing that the suicide rate in the United States has grown nearly 25% since 1999. The CDC report said this, "Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates increased significantly in 44 states with 25 states experiencing increases of more than 30%."

The rate declined in only one state: Nevada; it grew by 57% in North Dakota. One thing that has remained steady? The manner of death, roughly half by firearm. The highest incidence is among men who account for 3/4 of suicides. The demographic with the highest numbers? That would be non-Hispanic whites who are aged 45-65.

Here's something else that the report reveals. Fifty-four percent of those who took their own life did not have a known mental health condition. That means our efforts to alleviate this national catastrophe must focus on non-mental health factors that are further upstream. What are they? According to the CDC, suicide is not caused by a single factor.

Experts often cite a combination of mental health, economic despair, drug and alcohol abuse, and access to firearms. The CDC findings echo a provocative more broadly drawn 2015 study by Princeton's Anne Case and Angus Deaton. They found that middle aged white Americans are dying younger for the first time in decades despite positive life expectancy trends in other wealthy countries and among other segments of the U.S. population.

And then last year they supplemented their research for Brookings and documented what they called "Deaths of Despair," meaning suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses, particularly from opioid painkillers which are a growing problem for midlife white people. Now as you can see on the leftside map, the epidemic started in the Southwest, now it's countrywide.

The study authors write that the increase can be seen at every level of residential urbanization in the U.S., so its not just a rural problem or an urban problem. Its both. The crisis is particularly acute, as I said, among middle aged whites. As Case and Deaton wrote, "Deaths of despair come from a longstanding process of cumulative disadvantage for those with less than a college degree."

The story is rooted in the labor market but involved many aspects of life including health and childhood, marriage, childrearing, and religion. I'll never forget a lesson that I learned about suicide when trying my first case as a lawyer. It was 25 years ago in Federal court here in Philadelphia and the subject matter dealt with the tragic passing of a young woman who had taken her own life while hospitalized.

And during the voir dire process, the jury selection process, I asked the roughly 75 perspective jurors whether any of them had personal experience with the subject of suicide whether it had touched their families, or anyone in their friend circle.


And I was shocked when about a third of the hands went up in the air. That result was an eye-opener for me and I would never have predicted the commonality of the experience.

I've often thought that my surprise was a result of the way in which the subject matter has been both stigmatized and shunned. Perhaps the passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain will further a necessary conversation about mental health. I want to know what you think. Go to my website, I'm curious about this. Answer the question at Has suicide touched your family or anyone in your friend circle?

Joining me now is Frank Bruni, the opinion columnist for the New York Times, who wrote this piece "The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain." And Frank, I'm so glad that you're here. I want to put on the screen a paragraph from your essay.

You wrote this, "But his death," meaning Anthony Bourdain, "coming just days after the suicide of the beloved designer Kate Spade is at least as noteworthy for another reason, how powerfully it speaks to the discrepancy between what we see of people on the outside and what their experiencing on the inside between their public faces and their private realities, between their visible swagger and invisible pain. Parts unknown: That was true of Bourdain, that was true of Spade, that's true of every one of us."

Expand on that if you would.

FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Well, I think these two deaths, Michael, it kind of goes back to the tweet that you put up from our friend John Berman who said that he wanted to be Bourdain. I think a lot of women wanted to be Kate Spade. And what they wanted to be had to do with an image that was only part of each of those people.

We're all very complicated in what we show the world and what we're experiencing inside are different. And I think these two deaths afford us a real opportunity, a moment to think about the faulty assumptions we make about people, the way in which we draw conclusions solely from appearances. We need to pay closer attention to the people around us because they're often hiding things, going through things that we don't realize. And I think we could do everyone a great service to be more sensitive and attuned to that.

SMERCONISH: And as per the CDC findings, oftentimes - I think the number was 54% that I just offered, without known markers, right? So there are many among us struggling right now that we're not aware of.

BRUNI: Yes and we don't know - the known markers thing is very fascinating because what I - I read that - I read all of that as you did. Part of it suggests that, you know, as we know that suicide isn't kind of a tidy thing. You can't say, OK, this person suffered chronic depression or acute anxiety and thus this happened.

But I also wonder whether that tells us that a lot of people are undiagnosed. There weren't known markers because nobody had marked anything, but in fact, if they had sought help or if they'd been in therapy, we would know that there was a mental illness there.

SMERCONISH: Frank, can't be a coincidence, the demand for the class at Yale to which I referred and which I'm sure you're familiar with.

BRUNI: Yes, it was the cover of the New York magazine. No, I don't think it is a - yes, happiness is a tricky thing. You know, we talk in politics about things like affluence. We talk about things like, you know, security. Happiness is a subtler and trickier thing and right now in this country, you see enormous loneliness. That's not a word that came up in your intro, but I think you kind of hovered over that entire intro.

You know we see a breakdown in a lot of community bonds and social bonds. We have a lot of people in this country who are spending a lot of time alone at their screens, not interacting with others -


BRUNI: I think all of that factors in to this and I think we need, as a country, as a people, to ask whether we are interacting with each other the way we should, whether we're paying as much attention to our emotional health as we should and whether some of the trends of modern life - the kind of the fracture, the polarization, the amount of time on the internet, technological advances.

What are those doing to our mental health and what are those doing to our bonds with each other? I think it's a good time to talk about all of that.

SMERCONISH: I - I - I think you're so right. I wouldn't have used the word "loneliness." I would have used the word "isolation" and Frank Bruni, you made me think of Dr. Jean Twenge's book from last year, "IGen" -


SMERCONISH: -- which talked about - she'd say correlation, I would say causation but I don't have the credentials, between the advent of technology, in particular, smartphones and Vivek Wadhwa has co- authored a book that comes out in two weeks that I've already read, "Your Privacy has Been Hacked," I think is the title.

I wonder in 25 or 50 years when we look back at this era and look at technology and some of this subject matter whether we're going to view it differently.

BRUNI: I think you're absolutely right and I think one of the great ironies of our moment right now, when it comes to technology, when it comes to the internet is that these tools that are supposed to speed us to each other more quickly, that are supposed to bring us to new horizons are in fact kind of freezing us in place.

They're freezing us in our political beliefs and they're often leaving us alone because we can use technology to feel like we're diverted, like we have company when really we have nothing along those lines at all.


I think the promise of technology has been at great odds with reality of technology and the way we're actually using it.

SMERCONISH: Thank you, Frank.

BRUNI: Thank you, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Now for the medical perspective, joining me now is Dr. Nassir Ghaemi. He's a Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and author of these books, "On Depression: Drugs, Diagnosis, and Despair in the Modern World" and "A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness." Dr. Ghaemi, the CDC data - does that comport with - with what you see in your practice and your academic research?

DR. NASSIR GHAEMI, PROFESSOR PSYCHIATRY AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Yes. Hi, Michael, nice to be with you again. Yes, definitely. What we're seeing, especially in the younger population, teenagers and young adults is doubling, tripling rates of depression in the last decade. There's no biological explanation for that.

The cultural ones which you've touched on make the most sense: access on the internet to websites that make it easy to learn about how to commit suicide and of course social media. We could call it "Snapchat Depression" where this higher depression rate probably increases the propensity of people to be - to commit suicide.

SMERCONISH: In other words, the pressure that social media brings on one is to - to have to compete, to have as many friends, to present this - this ideal life because that's what you see among others in your social circle.

GHAEMI: Yes, there's all of that. There's the cyber bullying, there's the fear of missing out. It's complicated but adolescents and young adulthood is tough enough as it is. What social media has done has just exponentially worsened a lot of the negatives which seem that way. What positives are there?

SMERCONISH: This time of year. I didn't know this until you and I had communication in anticipation of this dialogue, but this time of year is itself a spike. Explain.

GHAEMI: Yes, well, so there is a peak of suicide in the springtime and this has been shown for over 100 years. The thought about it is that the light increases energy and it elevates mood and for people who are really sensitive to it who are susceptible to depression, usually manic depression, in the springtime they get some manic type symptoms which means they get sped up in their energy, feelings, and so on.

They're still depressed and so they get this mixed state where they're depressed but now they have the energy to commit suicide, and this mixed state is really the highest risk for suicide and not just pure depression. And that's one reason why we think that there's this peak of suicides in the springtime as we're seeing now, as we're hearing about.

SMERCONISH: Dr. Ghaemi, people do recover from depression. I mean, I think this is the most important point that you can underscore with your credentials.

GHAEMI: Definitely, and you know, let me just say suicide is an endpoint state. It's very complicated at the end, but the necessary internal kind of center of it is the depression. It's almost always there. Now 90% of people who have depression don't commit suicide, but 5-10% do which is much, much higher than the general population which is much less than 1%.

So the key is to try to get at that disease of depression. You know, there's the old saying, "If you have a what to live for, you can tolerate almost any how." And they lose that sense of meaning. The disease takes that from you at the end. And that's treatable if you get diagnosed correctly and sometimes it's unipolar depression, people get antidepressants. Sometimes it's bipolar illness and they should get Lithium or mood stabilizers.

And you get treated correctly, and I just wanted to just mention that Lithium has been proved to prevent suicide. It reduces the risk 90%. It's even been shown to do that potentially in low doses like you sometimes find in the drinking water where suicide rates are lower in the population in those areas. So we have a treatment, we can prevent it.

SMERCONISH: I was just going to say and I - I think that a step in the right direction is a reduction of the stigma which your book, "A First Rate Madness," in pointing out how many effective world leaders have suffered from mental health maladies, and nevertheless, were very effective in what they did, went a large way in that direction.

That's what I wanted to say. Dr. Ghaemi, thank you for coming back.

GHAEMI: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

SMERCONISH: That's Nassir Ghaemi. Remember, vote at my website, it's on this sensitive question, anonymity of course reigns, you're just clicking a button. Has suicide touched your family or anyone in your friends circle? We'll have results at the end of the hour. Tweet me at smerconish, go to my Facebook page, I'll read some as time allows throughout the course of the program. What do we have?

From Facebook, "Tough subject. I got into an argument with someone this week who said Kate Spade was selfish because she left a child." Yes, she was clearly suffering under some mental health malady. The last thing that I would do would be to blame her. Give me another one if you can.

"Smerconish, we don't know the roof is leaking until we are inside. That is the wisest thing I've read regarding this."


Hey, McMarkerson, it was said to me by a housekeeper who worked for me - my - Grace - Grace Nags (ph) who worked in a domestic capacity for my family for 30 years. She's from Tobago and she would say that. You don't know if the roof is leaking until you live on the inside.

Up ahead, we'll go to the high powered G7 Summit live in Canada. Allies are unhappy about the president's "America First" tariffs and requests to re-invite Russia to the meetings. And then, the president heads to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un. We'll hear from a former presidential advancement about how tricky it is to stage these big- deal events. What are the possible pitfalls?


SMERCONISH: Hey, the foreign policy intelligencia has its proverbial hair on fire over the president's interactions at the G7 Summit with other world leaders. I'm looking at a headline in the Times today by way of example. "Stark Rejection of the Geo-political Order." And it makes me wonder, well, what are the political consequences of the president being a disruptive influence on the world stage?


Saturday mornings before I begin this broadcast, I often do a Facebook live sometimes while walking down the street and give a preview of the show. This morning while doing exactly that, I came upon Nathaniel (ph) smoking a cigar. Watch.


SMERCONISH: So, guy's smoking a cigar. I'm envious. How are you?


SMERCONISH: Hold on now, I'm doing a Facebook Live. Are you OK being on it?


SMERCONISH: All right.


SMERCONISH: What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nathaniel (ph).

SMERCONISH: Nathaniel (ph). Nathaniel (ph), what are you smoking there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's called Z Palma.



SMERCONISH: Well, it smells good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, I'm from the old school like - we're - we're probably from the same era. I'm 57.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I used to listen to you every day on the radio.

SMERCONISH: So - so what's the deal? You're just here on - what - what time is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm a concierge.

SMERCONISH: OK. It's 7:30, you're just enjoying a fine cigar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I start at 8, so I give myself some time, you know.

SMERCONISH: To just enjoy a cigar.


SMERCONISH: I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to tell you something.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a faithful Trump supporter.

SMERCONISH: A faithful Trump supporter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a diehard -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and you know how many people in my neighborhood voted for him?



SMERCONISH: Secretly. On the down low.


SMERCONISH: Because what's the attraction to Trump?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. A man of his word.

SMERCONISH: A man of his word?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't seen that in a long time. And the more you know what he does, I respect him more and more.

SMERCONISH: Are you getting what - this is a good interview. I had no idea I'd be able to conduct a good street interview here. Are you getting what you wanted from him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Every promise that he has - during the campaign -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- he kept his promise and he's keeping his promises and the thing with him is when he says it, he means it.

SMERCONISH: There you go. All right. Cast your ballot for Donald Trump.


SMERCONISH: All right. You going to enjoy the rest of that cigar?


SMERCONISH: All right. Let me see you take a hit on it just so we - oh, yes. Yes. All right, have a good day.


SMERCONISH: See you, bud.


SMERCONISH: Some see erratic behavior, Nathaniel (ph) sees backbone among those who supported the president. I think it underscores a point, they're getting exactly what they wanted. Needless to say, enormous social reaction to that interview. Katherine (ph), hit me with something. What do you got from my Facebook page?

"If what that man said is true, Trump is in for another four years. Maybe Canada or England will take us in." Angela (ph), I think that the point that needs to be made in the face of the condemnation of the president, oh, he arrived late, he's leaving early, he didn't want to be there for climate discussion, he's showing disrespect.

You know, to Nathaniel (ph) and others, he is rattling the cage of those world leaders in a way that he said he was going to. Hit me with another one. "I guess Nate (ph) hasn't been listening to the news." Marilyn (ph), I think Nate (ph) has been paying attention to the news. You know, news - and Nates (ph) take is just different than the one we're accustomed to seeing on the front page of "The Times."

One more if I have time for it. "They voted for him secretly because he has backbone. Interesting about the inner-city. Tremendous peer pressure. Diamond and Silk (ph) touched on the topic." Yes, James (ph), not overlooked I guess by me is the fact that he - he was making a point not only what he respects in the president but that he says his neighbors voted similarly for him.

I have to say that I don't think the data bares that out, but given the decline in the black unemployment figures perhaps in the next go- round. Who knows. Anyway, look, I told you a year ago when President Trump was elected, I got to get out of my own bubble. I'm trying to do it, and that's good evidence.

Still to come, we'll be live at the G7 Summit in Canada where the president's "America First" policies and his demand that Vladimir Putin be re-invited to that group have put him at odds with other world leaders. How is this going to play out?



SMERCONISH: Between the G7 Summit in Canada this weekend and the Korean summit in Singapore on Tuesday, President Trump is in the midst of one of his busiest and most fraught weeks of international diplomacy ever, yet tensions remained high as he pushed tariffs against allies, asked Russia to be re-instated and arrived so late that he missed his first scheduled sit-down with French President, Emmanuel Macron.

And he's planning to cut short his attendance by several hours to fly to Singapore ahead of talks with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. What fascinates me as a former advance man, myself, are the practicalities of planning these momentous events. And joining me now is someone who knows a great deal about that, Spencer Geissinger. He worked for George W. Bush as Deputy Assistant to the president for operations and advance, has traveled over 100 foreign countries organizing trips for the president.

Thirty percent of those trips were summits. He planned the G8 in 2004. Spencer, thanks for coming back. Let's look forward to Singapore and the possible pitfalls when the president meets with Kim Jong Un. What is going through your mind in terms of hazards to avoid?

SPENCER GEISSINGER, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS AND ADVANCE: Well, first of all, Michael, thanks for having me this morning. You know there are so many things that have to be planned out with the - for this summit, especially with no prior track record.

That, you know, these two countries haven't met at this level in many, many, many years. And so, you know, just the - the simple things of who arrives first at the venue, who sits on what side of the table, what meeting participants will be allowed in the room, will there be press coverage, will there not be press coverage? How are the press pools made up? You know, this will be interesting to see how Kim Jong Un reacts to the U.S. media in a pool situation.

You know, he - with a state run media, there would never be anybody in the - in the state, North Korean media, that would shout out questions, I'm quite certain. And so -


GEISSINGER: Kim Jong-un reacts to the U.S. media in a pool situation. With a state-run media there would never be anybody in the state -- North Korean media that would shout out questions, I'm quite certain and so he's going to have to see how the U.S. press and world press operates when they go into a meeting like this and shout questions at the leaders.

So there are so many things that have to be worked out, hours and hours and hours of planning meetings, several trips, some secret, some not secret in the planning process, so this has been going on for months. And, one little decision, one little decision that has to be made could take hours and hours of meetings to get to the result.

SMERCONISH: On that endless list of minutia that need to be dealt with, things like the height differential between the two of them, right? I'm sure that is something that the North Korean side is going to want to handle as best they can.

GEISSINGER: Absolutely. There is quite a significant health -- height differential between the two. So, yes, all of those things come into play and you know, what's interesting is that international protocol, order of precedent, Kim Jong-un has been in office longer than President Trump and according to international protocol, he gets to arrive last and leave first and so all of those little details have to be worked out and it's going to be interesting. There's really no road map to follow with these two leaders. and they're both quite different in the way they conduct their foreign policy so, it's going to be interesting TV.

SMERCONISH: Spencer, how about food preparation?

GEISSINGER: Yeah. That is an interesting topic. Obviously food security is extremely important and so, you know, the secret service is going to have their hands full with making sure that the meals that are prepared are safe for President Trump to consume. I'm sure the North Koreans will be interested in making sure that the food that their President consumes is safe and so, all of these little details, I mean, there's not a single detail that's not accounted for, looked after, and watched by somebody on either side within the delegations.

SMERCONISH: So, right now because this all is on Tuesday in Singapore, at this particular moment, you would expect that on the ground, in Singapore are representatives of the Presidential Advancement for the United States and some form of contemporary for the North Koreans working through all of these aspects.

GEISSINGER: Correct. They're probably in the final walk-through stages of the advance, meaning that most of the details have been worked out. You know, if there's anything still undecided, they're probably going to have some late meetings to figure that stuff out, but generally at this juncture in the trip, everything has been decided and now it's just a matter of doing the final walk-throughs to make sure they haven't missed anything. You know, but this is -- the two leaders can decide to take this totally off the road and, throw away the map and do their own thing. So as much as this has been planned and scripted, it could easily change completely by the time that this thing is over.

SMERCONISH: Spencer Geissinger, thanks so much for coming back.

GEISSINGER: Great, Michael. Good to be with you.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, we'll be life at the G7 Summit in Canada where the President's America First Policies and his demand that Vladimir Putin be reinvited to the group have put him at odds with the other world leaders. How is this going to play out?

And the Miss America Pageant ending its legendary swim suit and evening gown competitions, but will anyone watch? I'll ask 2013's Miss America, who by the way, just won the Democratic nomination to an Alabama Congressional race.



SMERCONISH: You're looking at a life shot of the G7 Summit. We'll go there momentarily. Charlevoix. I've been getting my pronunciation right. Papadopoulous. Papadopoulous. Charlevoix.

Meanwhile, this week the same day that the Miss America Organization announced it was ending swim suit and evening gown competitions, a former Miss America won the Democratic primary for Alabama's Third Congressional District. Mallory Hagan was Miss America in 2013 and after working as a local news anchor in Columbus, Georgia, this week she won the primary in Alabama to represent the Third Congressional District in the Democratic Party. She will face Representative Mike Rogers in the fall.

Hagan was one of the former contestants was fat shamed in emails by the Organizations' Chief Executive Sam Haskell who ended up having to step down. Mallory Hagan joins me now. She's the author of a recent piece titled, "I'm a Former Miss America Winner. Good Riddance to the Swimsuit Competition." Mallory, how come? Give me the take that you have on this.

MALLORY HAGAN, 2013 MISS AMERICA AND POLITICIAN: Hey, good morning. You know, here is the thing, throughout my year as Miss America I did so many wonderful things that most of the general public knows nothing about and partially that's due to poor branding and poor marketing by the former board of directors and the former executives at Miss America

[09:40:00] but a part of that is also because this telecast reflects nothing of what we do throughout the year. And so what we're really trying to do is just marry what Miss America does with what the general public sees in the pageant and I think it's going to really help people understand that Miss America is a job. It's a very well paid job. It's a very demanding job and it's one where you're expected to be an advocate and speaker throughout the year and not a bikini model.

SMERCONISH: Okay but will anybody watch?

HAGAN: I certainly hope so. You know, we have enough models and aspirational body types out there in the entertainment industry. I want to see young women have a spokesperson to look up to and someone to aspire to be and perhaps Ava DuVernay or Emma -- Emma Roberts or Oprah or anyone one of these inspirational women across the country who doesn't necessarily use their body in order to create change and do good and I think that we need more young women in public eye who our young people can look up to and aspire to be and I hope that people will tune into Miss America to see that we have a lot of young women across this country who are just that and now we need to showcase them the way that they should be showcased.

SMERCONISH: But can't we do both? Listen, I do this as a compliment not to be demeaning.

HAGAN: Sure.

SMERCONISH: We have the image of you when you were Miss America. You're stunning in that bikini. What I'm thinking about when I remember -- by the way, don't embarrass her but we can put it on the screen. It's OK, she looks great, she won. Yes, there it is.

You know Mallory, it's not just guys who like to look at beautiful women. Women like to look at beautiful women. My mother is 1 of 11; 8 sisters and 3 brothers. When I was growing up, I remember when, before the cell phone era, they would all be working their push button phones and calling one another and saying, "My God, look at Miss Mississippi and look at Miss Texas and Pennsylvania." They loved getting caught up in all of it.

HAGAN: Sure. We can absolutely do both and there are women everyday out in the community doing wonderful things that are both beautiful and service driven and you know, no one is saying that moving forward in the Miss America Pageant, the young women who participate shouldn't take care of their bodies, they shouldn't be healthy and shouldn't be beautiful.

Listen, the Miss America Organization is not going to change their public's perception of what is beautiful or what is desirable and in every judge's minds and in the public eye, they're going to be drawn to the young woman that they are attracted to and that is totally acceptable and a part of human nature. But what we're trying to do is let people know that Miss America is a spokeswoman for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

She is an advocate for her platform; mine had to do with child sexual abuse prevention, and she's a spokesperson for many brands across the board throughout her year and so we just want people to see that on stage. It's not to say you can't be beautiful and can't do both because you certainly can and we celebrate that. We just want to show our audience what it is that Miss America does and that's she's a spokesperson.

SMERCONISH: Mallory, good luck in your Congressional bid.

HAGAN: Thank you so much, appreciate it.

SMERCONISH: Let's see what you're saying on my Smerconish twitter and Facebook pages. Smerconish, I'm not understanding why everyone thinks the beauty is going away because they're getting rid of bathing suits, they are not one in the same. Well, that's a great point, Krissy (ph), isn't it? I mean you're still going to see beautiful women, I imagine, albeit not as of them. How is that? One more if we have time for it.

Smerconish, archaic. Ditch the entire stupid degrading thing. Well, I wonder if it's not now on a downward spiral if they get rid of this aspect of it. Time will tell. We'll see what the ratings hold. Right?

We're going to go live to the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada - I think I did it -- where the President has been tardy to this morning's breakfast on gender equality and has generally been at loggerheads (ph) with the other leaders.



SMERCONISH: There's a lot of tension behind the smiling handshakes at this weekend's Summit of the Alliance of the Industrialized Nations, known as the Group of Seven or G7 in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada.

The other leaders have been confronting President Trump about his tariffs and so far only one, Italy's Giuseppe Conte, has agreed with President Trump that Russia should be reinstated after being banned for its actions in Crimea. And this morning the President arrived late to the breakfast on gender equality. We go to CNN's Boris Sanchez for an update. Boris, was he just late getting out of the sack or was that a reflection of the subject matter that was being discussed at breakfast?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is a good question, Michael, one that I presented to White House officials. I have yet to get a response. Some may say that the President perhaps took a bit too long picking out a tie, this was just a coincidence that he was late, but we should point out that the President was late to the Summit by more than an hour. He had to reschedule bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and obviously White House officials told us that he is departed early.

He's not taking part in a number of sessions dedicated to the environment, climate change, the health of the world's oceans. So for the President to arrive late to this meeting perhaps could be read with some intention on his part especially when you consider the idea that Donald Trump is so sensitive to optics. This is a President that understands


the power of an image and for him to show up late to this meeting, perhaps it sends a signal to these other leaders about how he feels. After all, he spent much of this week in a spat with his French and Canadian counterparts on twitter, talking about what he perceives as unfair trade practices. Right now there is a podium set up and we just got an alert, just now, that President Trump will be speaking at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

We're going to get remarks from the President of the United States, likely to discuss his private conversations with Emmanuel Macron and Justin trued about trade. Again, the President has been very vocal about what he feels is a disadvantage when it comes to the United States bargaining and trade deals and trade deficits. However, some of the other leaders have pushed back, specifically Macron. He tweeted out on Friday night saying that if the President of the United States wanted to isolate himself, then the leaders of the other six nations in the G7 would ban together and move forward without him.

We haven't really seen any fireworks on camera, save for the President showing up late to this meeting but it may be that behind closed doors there have been very tense discussions; so far only handshakes and smiles. We'll see what the President of the United States says in just a few minutes Michael.

SMERCONISH: So Boris, he's scheduled to speak in less than 10 minutes then he'll be leaving Quebec soon thereafter presumably because he needs to prepare and get to Singapore which seems at odds with what he said yesterday, "I've been preparing for this my whole life and frankly one doesn't need to over prepare for a summit like this. Look what happened to Hillary," et cetera, et cetera." There's a contradiction in there, is there not?

SANCHEZ: You certainly could say that. Of course the President would argue that it's all about attitude when it comes to these negotiations. He consistently touts his abilities as a deal maker so it is notable that he's leaving the G7 early, perhaps not surprising he's missing those sessions on climate change. After all, he has claimed that climate change is a hoax being perpetrated by the Chinese. However what we've heard from the sources inside the White House is that the President was hesitant to come to the G7 because he didn't want it to be a distraction from this historic summit that he's going to have with Kim Jong-un next week, the leader of North Korea.

Again, this say President that is sensitive to optics so he certainly wants to play up that historic meeting. He's again and again said that he is the reason that this meeting is taking place though critics have pointed out that the North Koreans have been pushing for one on one meeting between their supreme leader and the President of the United States as a way to sort of elevate that regime. It will be interesting to see what happens next and perhaps we may hear a preview of what the President is going to say in Singapore here in the next few minutes when he speaks at the G7.

SMECONISH: Nicely done. Thank you, Boris. We appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

SMERCONISH: We'll see what you're saying on my Smerconish and twitter Facebook pages, what has come in? Well your President showed up late to G7, maybe it's cause I'm Canadian but that's just rude to show up later. When Boris said maybe it was because he was picking out a tie I was going to say, it's always the red one. I would have been wrong. It was a blue one today.

What else? One more, if we have -- quickly time for it? My motto, by the way is if you're not early, you're late. Michael, words matter. Trump did not demand Putin be included in G7, he suggested that it be considered -- big difference. Hey Michael (ph), but it does raise the question of why he's doing the bidding for Vladimir Putin, especially in the context of the ongoing Mueller probe and what we think we know about the meddling efforts in the 2016 election. Myriad, right if that's part of America First.

Still to come, more social media and we'll give you the final results of the survey question. Have you voted on this at my website yet, Cast a ballot. Has suicide touched your family or anyone in your friends circle? Results in a moment.



SMERCONISH: We're awaiting remarks from President Trump at the G7 Summit in Canada. Meanwhile, let's see how you responded to today's survey question at Has suicide touched your family or anyone in your social circles; 7,301 votes cast. Wow, look at that, 84% saying yes and there could be confirmation bias in there, right? Perhaps the people responding are the ones who had a story to tell but that's pretty stunning and comports with me being surprised when I tried a case 25 years ago in federal court and during void dire had that kind of reaction.

I know we're limited on time, Kathryn (ph), what do you have in terms of social media from today?

One thing I often quote is a line from a Vietnam War film uttered by private joker, "The dead know only one thing; it is better to be alive," Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket." Quite a program. All right, here comes the President and thank you for watching. See you next week.