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Report: U.S. Drops Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan; CIA Chief Speaks; Trump Says If China Won't Deal with North Korea, We Will; Interview with Afghani Ambassador. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired April 13, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: It overwhelming focuses on the United States while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations. It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is. A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, Russian military intelligence released data of victims that they obtained through cyber-operations against the Democratic National Committee. The report also found that Russia's primary propaganda outlet, RT, has collaborated with WikiLeaks. Now, for those of you who read the editorial page "the Washington post," and I have a feeling many of you do, yesterday you would have seen a piece penned by Mr. Assange. You would have read convoluted words where he compares himself to Thomas Jefferson and Dwight Eisenhower and legitimate news organizations as "The New York Times" and "Washington Post."
Assange claims to have an admiration for both America and the idea of America. But I assure you, this man knows nothing of America and our ideals. He knows nothing of our third President who is in the pursuit of happiness and continues to inspire us in the world and knows nothing of our 34th President, a hero from my very own Kansas who helped liberate Europe from fascists and guided America through the early years of the cold war. I'm quite confident that had Assange been around in the '30s and '40s and '50s, he would have been on the wrong side of history. Yes, dictators try unsuccessfully with the liberty and language of liberty and privacy but in reality, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency a clipping, their moral compass nonexistent. They do not care about the causes of the people they claim to represent.
If they did, they would focus instead on autocratic regimes and instead choose to explore the legitimate secrets of Democratic governments which has so far proven to be a much safer approach than provoking a tyrant. Clearly, these individuals are not burdened by conscience. Assange has been cavalier in disclosing the personal information of scores of innocent victims around the world. We know this because the damage they have done to the security and safety of the free world is tangible. The examples are numerous. Once Snowden went to Russia, he affected a wide range of intelligence and military operations. Despite what he claims, he was no whistle blower. True whistleblowers use discrete processes in place to voice grievances. They do not put American lives at risk. In fact, a colleague of ours at the national security agency recently explained that more than 1,000 foreign targets, people, groups and organizations, more than a thousand tried to change how they communicated. [15:35:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to keep an eye on
this, Mike Pompeo, the CIA director speaking in Washington. We'll take a quick break and get back to our breaking news on this mother of all bombs dropped in this one particular province in Afghanistan. We'll talk to the Afghan ambassador to the United States. Next.
BALDWIN: Breaking news on North Korea, they are demanding attention right now as this rogue nation says it is, quote, armed and ready for a sixth nuclear test.
[15:40:00] This comes as Japan's prime minister has warned that North Korea could send missiles carrying sarin gas Japan's way. Moments ago, President Trump was asked about this situation in North Korea as he was meeting with some emergency responders for an event at the white house and here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't know if this sends a message. It doesn't make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of. I will say this, I think china has really been working very hard. I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President xi. He's a terrific person. Spent a lot of time together in Florida. And he's a very special man. So, we'll see how it goes. I think he's going to try very hard. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: With me now, renowned expert on North Korea, Han Park. He's advised the U.S. State Department multiple times as well as former President Jimmy Carter. Through his work, he's visited North Korea about 50 times and has helped prevent the breakdown of diplomatic talks between the United States and North Korea over its nuclear weapons. Great to see you. If we may come out of the President's comments when asked about North Korea and then asked if the bomb in Afghanistan was sending a message to North Korea, he said maybe, maybe no. How do you see it?
HAN PARK, AUTHOR, NORTH KOREA DEMYSTIFIED: North Korean nuclear issue is not a Chinese problem. It is an American problem. We should not seek Chinese cooperation or rely on china too much because china doesn't want North Korea to collapse. It's very nice for china to have a communist state there. So, we should see the reality very clearly. How do we deal with North Korea? No one knows for sure because no one knows that much about North Korea. Now, one thing is very clear. North Korea has a destructive weaponry, including nuclear arsenals. One knows that much about North Korea. Now, one thing is very clear. North Korea has a destructive weaponry, including nuclear arsenals. Now, should another Korean war break out, then the victim will be basically South Korea. South Korea is so vulnerable to North Korea attack, there's no way that South Koreans can avoid being killed in mass numbers. BALDWIN: Mr. Park, if I may jump in, I was talking to Gordon Chang in
the last hour. If I can go back to my original question about Afghanistan, he believes absolutely, ahead of this birthday in North Korea this weekend of the grandfather that this was absolutely the -- the timing was spot-on with this bomb, that it was a message to Pyongyang. Do you see it that way?
Park: You know, North Korea is very tempted to display some celebrity activities on the occasion of the grandfather's, Kim Jong-Un's grandfather, Kim Jong-Il's 105th birthday on the 15th of April. But it's highly unlikely that he will have a nuclear bomb test or anything internationally that is provocative because North Korea needs to survive. They know that very well. But if they have to get involved in military confrontation with the United States and South Korea combined, then South Korea will have casualties because in North Korea, people will hide in bomb shelters.
PARK: So, because of this, we should be trying to stop --
BALDWIN: I apologize for the connection and the back and forth, Mr. Park. I appreciate your time. We've got to go to the breaking news out of Afghanistan and this bomb known as the mother of all bombs, 21,000 or so pounds, so massive it was released out of the back of a cargo plane and down a parachute into this remote stretch of Afghanistan targeting ISIS tunnels there. More on what we know and reaction from the afghan ambassador to the United States when we come back.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.
REPORTER: Did you authorize --
TRUMP: Everybody knows exactly what happened. What I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they've done a job, as usual. So, we have given them total authorization, and that's what they're doing. And, frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately. If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that to really what's happened over the last eight years, you'll see there's a tremendous difference. Tremendous difference. So, we have incredible leaders in the military and we have incredible military, and we are very proud of them. This was another very, very successful mission.
BALDWIN: Did you authorize it, sir? That was the question from one of the reporters there at the white house that was tossed to the President with regard to this MOAB bomb, MOAB is an Acronym for massive ordnance air-blast bomb. It was dropped by the U.S. military into the Nangahar province in Afghanistan, specifically targeting ISIS tunnel. Let's me bring in my friend Carol Lee, one of the journalists to be with the President in the oval office for the 70-minute wide ranging interview for the paper. Carol, let's get to that question from that pool spray as far as whether the President authorized that bomb. Do we know the commission?
[15:50:00] CAROL LEE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: We don't know if he personally signed off on this specific mission or if he is saying this was something authorized generally in terms of what the military understands. They have the authorization from him to do. It is just not clear. Sean Spicer, the white house press secretary, was asked the same question and he referred those sorts of questions to the pentagon and he was, again, asked if the President personally signed off on this. He didn't say, so it is just not clear and it is not clear whether this is something that would require -- when the President would have learned that this happened, whether he was updated throughout, like how it all unfolded. They haven't really said yet, and the President didn't really make it clear in his response because he said, everyone knows what happened, I authorized my military. We don't know exactly what that means.
BALDWIN: OK. There's that. There was also the question today, you were in the briefing with Sean Spicer there at the white house where, you know, he was asked about reversals or sort of the whiplash from the white house specifically on how they stand on, you know, the relationship with Russia, how they stand on the relationship with Syria and Assad, on, you know, the healthcare vote. I think you asked about Janet Yellen. All of this was posed to Sean Spicer. Here is his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If you look at what's happened, it is those entities or individuals in some cases or issues evolving towards the President's position. NATO in particular, he talked about the need of countries to pay their fair share, to live up to their commitments of 2 percent of GDP. He talked about the need for NATO to focus more on terrorism. NATO has done just that. The entity itself is moving towards the issues evolving, towards the position that he articulated, and that can't be more true in the case of NATO where he laid out two very clear positions that he had an issue with NATO. And as far back as September of last year, started to recognize that institution was moving much more towards his position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: What did you think of the response from Sean Spicer, A? B, you know, you were in the room with the President as he was changing his tune on a number of these issues you were talking to him about. Tell me about that.
LEE: The response was interesting. He was essentially trying to say people evolve, the President didn't necessarily evolve. The problem with the examples that he gave on NATO is that those things that he cited were already happening so it wasn't necessarily that President Trump forced them to focus on terrorism, they were doing that. They already agreed for the countries to submit 2 percent GDP on military. There's that basket where they're trying to say that some of these reversals are because of these other reasons, people evolved towards them or issues evolved towards them, and then there's the other one where the President in our interview yesterday was very candid about where he had reversed course. He talked about china, although it is another one that's mixed.
You know, he said China in terms of being a currency manipulator, they're no longer manipulating their currency. He said they stopped doing that once he got elected. Well, it happened many months before that, it started happening. But also, he said, made clear even if they were manipulating their currency, now is not the time for him to label china a currency manipulator because he needs their help on North Korea which is a much more serious issue. That's one. When he talked about Janet Yellen, he said he met her, likes her and respect her, and he left open that possibility of re-nominating her as fed chairwoman and a number of other things.
BALDWIN: Carol, stay with me on that point. Let me bring in Barbara Res, an engineer for President Trump's prior construction project and helping build Trump Tower. She actually became one of the first women to build a sky scraper. This is her first on-camera interview since her former boss was inaugurated. Welcome back.
BARBARA RES, TRUMP ENGINEER: Thank you.
BALDWIN: How many years were you with Trump?
RES: On and off for about 17.
BALDWIN: 17 years?
BALDWIN: When we talk about a man who, you know, does with Carol's example, has changed his mind, did he do that as a boss?
RES: He did, absolutely. I mean, you know, way back he used to really listen to us and take advice. You know, he may have an idea and we said that's not a good idea, and most of the time he did change his mind and go along with what the advisers were telling him. I think that happened a little bit less as he got bigger and bigger and more famous, but I can think of one very, very important instance.
RES: We were going to build the biggest -- the tallest building in the world, Trump City it was called, and 14 million square feet of mostly housing. There was tremendous opposition to it, and we were stuck at the environmental protection department for a long time, almost four years, and it was just not going to happen. And he was approached by some people that represented the opposition and they said, look, meet with us, work with us or forget about your project. Yeah, he said, okay. He sat down with them and they worked it out and he got his project approved. So, he did change his mind.
[15:55:00] BALDWIN: Final quick question to you, because I think with politicians, you know, sometimes they can be stuck on exactly how they believe and they don't budge. If you're the President of the United States, it is very different than being the boss of a construction project. You see it as a plus or a minus that he seems, his word, flexible?
RES: Yes, I think it is a plus.
BALDWIN: You think it is a plus?
RES: I think it would be definitely a plus for the President.
BALDWIN: Barbara Res, thank you so much. Good to see you again. Carol lee with "The Wall Street Journal," thank you.
Coming up next, more on the bomb dropped in Afghanistan. We will be talking to the afghan ambassador to the United States after this quick break.
BALDWIN: Back to the breaking news out of Afghanistan where the United States has just dropped a, quote, mother of all bombs, targeting a series of ISIS tunnels and caves there. This is the very first time this type of bomb has been used in the battlefield, although it has been available to the U.S. military for more than a decade. With me now, the afghan ambassador to the United States. Mr. Ambassador, welcome.
HAMDULLAH MOHIB, AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Thank you.
BALDWIN: How did you learn about this bomb and your reaction?
MOHIB: Well, there had been an operation in Afghanistan in this area for over six weeks, and the last week it intensified, but our security forces along with the U.S. special forces couldn't make any further progress because dash had mined the area with IEDs quite heavily, and that resulted in dropping the bomb that would clear the tunnel complex and prevent them from being freely able to move.
BALDWIN: Can you tell me about this tunnel complex? This is the Nangahar province of Afghanistan. Talking to one of our correspondence, said it was a little down the road from where bin laden had been "once upon a time."
MOHIB: It is not far from where it was the Achin district, this area where the bomb was dropped. There have been four tunnels, a complex that was used for -- to go undetected, to move freely undetected. Having destroyed the tunnel complex and the terrorists that were inside, in there, would now make -- force them to move on surface that would be detectable.
BALDWIN: I understand that we have reports of the U.S. is -- the Trump administration, undergoing this full strategy review of Afghanistan plans and policy moving forward. What can you tell me just about conversations you have had with, you know, U.S. officials and how closely you are working with them moving forward to defeat is? MOHIB: Absolutely. It's both Afghanistan and the United States' top
priority to eliminate ISIS from Afghanistan or what we call Daesh this year, and hence this intensified operation against all of their bases. The review is still ongoing. There hasn't been a decision made yet, but from our conversations so far it is moving along quite fast. And when it is completed, I guess we'll -- we'll be able to talk about it more then. But we are coordinating quite closely on making sure that we have a winning strategy in Afghanistan.
BALDWIN: Quickly, 20 seconds, Mr. Ambassador, and we will learn more about that I'm sure. 20 seconds. How do you think, this is early morning in this part of the world? How will this bomb be received in Afghanistan?
MOHIB: Well, early reaction so far is that the area has been cleared. It is late at night in Afghanistan now, and our forces have moved in to assess the impact. We'll know by the morning how -- how it has all gone.
BALDWIN: Okay. Mr. Ambassador, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate your voice in this breaking news. Thank you. Thank you all for being with me.