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Pence Warns North Korea; Growing Concern Over North Korea Aggression; Manhunt Underway For Steve Stephens In Cleveland Killing; Erdogan Declares Victory In Turkey Referendum. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 17, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Trump foreign policy is emerging this morning. We'll get into that in a moment with David Drucker but first, the breaking news. Vice President Mike Pence on the border between North and South Korea visiting the Demilitarized Zone -- the DMZ -- delivering a message to Pyongyang from an administration speaking now with one voice -- "All options are on the table."

The V.P.'s visit comes amid growing tensions with North Korea and hours after the regime's failed missile test launch. With the U.S. pressing China to get its client state under control, Pence echo's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's words from one month ago. "The era of strategic patience is over."


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We seek peace, but America has always sought peace through strength. The people of North Korea, the military of North Korea should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our ally. The alliance between South Korea and the United States is ironclad and we will continue to stand strong to achieve our shared objective across this region and across the world of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: The official message from the Trump administration on that failed missile launch, once again, deliberately low key. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis put out a very brief statement saying, "The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment."

The launch is not easing concern, though, over Pyongyang's aggressive work on ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. For the latest now let's turn to CNN's Paula Hancocks. She's live for us in Seoul. You know, we're listening to the vice president talk some very tough talk. He's also making some bold moves in South Korea, as well, getting actually very close to the North Korean border.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Alisyn. Certainly, it has to be seen as a -- as a message, as it always is when some VIP's go to the DMZ. You go there to be seen by North Korea. As soon as the vice president walked out, then you saw North Korean soldiers on the other side of the border walk out as well. It appeared as though they were taking photos and certainly that information then goes back to their leaders. So certainly, it is a symbolic show of force to be there showing that, as Vice President Pence said, that the U.S. is shoulder-to-shoulder with South Korea.

But one thing he mentioned in a -- in a later statement this Monday was really the strongest statement that I've heard from anyone in the Trump administration in recent days or weeks. He was talking about what President Trump has done when it comes to military actions in Syria and in Afghanistan and the vice president made a direct link to North Korea. Just after he mentioned that he said, "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve," talking about President Trump. So this is really a very thinly veiled warning to North Korea that this option is possible and look what President Trump has done in the past.

He did, though, specify even though all options are on the table, they would prefer the peaceful option, inevitably. And he also mentioned the word "negotiations" which we haven't heard much of from the Trump administration since President Trump took power.

But, of course, it's unlikely to make much of a difference to North Korea. The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made it very clear he intends to continue testing his nuclear weapons and he intends to continue testing his missiles. So here, in South Korea, the expectation is not when -- not if, but when there will that nuclear test. Despite this visit by Vice President Pence that doesn't seem to have changed.

KOSIK: Bold words falling on deaf ears -- North Korea. All right. CNN's Paula Hancocks live for us in Seoul. Thanks very much.

All right, a lot to go through. Here to help us understand the latest news from the Korean Peninsula, let's go to CNN political analyst David Drucker, joining us right here on the set in New York. Good morning, thanks for waking up early with us.

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning, it's good to be up.

KOSIK: What can China do to push North Korea to listen to what the U.S. wants done? I mean, we heard the vice president talk tough about China while he's been in Seoul. Listen to what he had to say.


PENCE: President Trump is very hopeful that China will take actions necessary to bring about a change in policy in North Korea -- an abandonment of its nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missile program. We're hopeful that they'll use the extraordinary leverage that they have and relationship they have with North Korea to achieve that objective.


KOSIK: North Korea and China are huge trading partners -- you see that. China gets coal from North Korea and China exports oil to North Korea, so does China need to cut off that oil supply? [05:35:00] DRUCKER: Well look, China, clearly, could be more helpful to the United States if it wanted to and I don't think China sees it, really, in its interest to be helpful to the United States because we're strategic competitors in the Asia Pacific region. China's busy building those reefs into military base islands in the Pacific and that's something that we don't recognize as legitimate. And so, there's a whole host of reasons why China probably likes us to be a little bit caught up in all of this stuff.

On the other hand, if China were to simply turn off the lights and cut off North Korea and the state were to fail, they're the ones that stand to suffer, if you will, from the fact that you could have a whole flood of refugees coming across the border into China. So I think that there's a lot more China can do. I think the question is as much as we squeeze China, how much are they willing to do because they're not really in the business, from their point of view, of making our life a lot easier?

BRIGGS: Right, because there was a lot of attention on the coal shipments that were shipped back while trade is actually up between China and North Korea. It's up 37 percent in 2017 so that may have been symbolic. But let's step back a little bit and Mike Pence also said that North Korea would do well not to test Mr. Trump's resolve and he based that on dropping the MOAB bomb, on the missile strikes on Syria. Is there a consistent approach that you're seeing to this apparently ad hoc policy or is unpredictability kind of an asset for this administration?

DRUCKER: Unpredictability is never an asset unless it is within a framework of values, so unpredictably as a tactic is great. If other countries, adversaries and allies, don't really know what our policy is, they don't know what limitations they shouldn't test and they don't know what they can count on. So I think what the administration needs to do is develop a framework of a foreign policy and then within that, definitely, they should be unpredictable.

I mean, you never -- I've never seen a president sort of telegraph, you know, we're going to attack you next Tuesday. I mean sometimes we have to position troops and we have to position carrier groups in such a way that people can kind of get the idea of what we're doing but, I mean, you never kind of let them know exactly where the bombs are coming and when. And I think in the case of North Korea we have to remember we're dealing with a very belligerent thug --

BRIGGS: Right.

DRUCKER: -- who brutally suppresses his own people and you're not going to be able to work a deal with him the way you can, you know, the prime minister of Great Britain.

BRIGGS: Diplomacy won't work with this guy. Yes, you're right.

KOSIK: OK, let's switch gears and talk a little bit of politics here. There's a big race going on in Georgia. Talk to us about it.

DRUCKER: So there is a special election to replace now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia's suburban Atlanta sixth district. It's been Republicans since Newt Gingrich won it in 1978. It's conservative -- it's really not a problem -- but it's the kind of Republican district that didn't really take to Donald Trump. Marco Rubio won this district in the Republican primary presidential contest even though Trump won the state, and Donald Trump only won this district over Hillary Clinton by 1.5 points.

So you have a ton of Democratic energy in the district trying to flip this district and the candidate there, Jon Ossoff, has raised more than $8 million -- which like for a House race is nuts -- and it's come from all over the country. Democratic activists have flooded in and Republicans are nervous enough that they're now investing. They're going to be good for over $5-$6 million of their own money. They've also sent field staff.

At the end of the day, I think it's going to be hard for the Democrat because he will win but if he doesn't get over 50 percent it goes to a run-off and then you no longer have this crowded Republican field dividing up the vote, then it's one-on-one and the Republican will win. But it's still a good gauge for how energized are the Democrats, what are they able to do tactically on the ground?

And let's look at this in one respect. If Democrats are going to make a dent in the Republican House majority next year they're going to have to win these Republican-leaning districts that are suburban and affluent that weren't necessarily that high on Donald Trump. Twenty- three districts the Republicans hold were won by Hillary Clinton so there's a lot to learn here even if the Democrat doesn't win this race.

BRIGGS: Interesting after Mike Pompeo had that district where he left, Trump won there by 27 percent. A special election, down to seven percent. All right, I want to end on a lighthearted note. Over the weekend, did you see "SNL"? Well, the Spicer bunny was back. Sean Spicer back in the bunny costume. He was the Easter bunny in 2008 under the Bush administration --

KOSIK: He really was.

BRIGGS: -- so, hence, here's the backdrop to Melissa McCarthy.


MELISSA MCCARTHY AS SEAN SPICER: Everybody shut up so I can apologize. Yes, you all got your wish this week, didn't you, huh? Spicey finally made a mistake. We all know President Trump recently bombed Syria while eating the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake America has ever laid eyes on. That's a fact.

Well, at least Hitler never used chemical weapons and everybody freaked, OK? They were all like boo hoo, boo hoo, what about the Holocaust centers? Yes, I know they're not really called Holocaust centers, duh. I clearly meant to say concentration clubs, OK. Let it drop. It would be really great if the nitpickers could try to see the big picture and didn't solely focus on every little slur and lie I say. That'd be nice. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[05:40:25] BRIGGS: Now, amazingly --

KOSIK: I don't know if I want to laugh or cry.

BRIGGS: -- the president did not tweet about this. But this is based on the 2008 picture you're looking at when Sean Spicer, as a trade rep -- in the trade rep office -- was the Easter bunny for the White House Easter egg roll. We don't think he'll dress up as the character today at the White House Easter egg roll.

KOSIK: How funny would it be if he did? You know, this was --

BRIGGS: It would be hysterical.

KOSIK: This was a truth in comedy.

BRIGGS: But look, I mean, on a serious note, though, has he survived all this? Did he weather the storm, even the Hitler comments?

DRUCKER: Has he done anything worse than his boss?


DRUCKER: Sean Spicer is a -- look, he's a good guy.

KOSIK: Dare I say yes?

DRUCKER: I've known him for a long time. He's a good guy. He made a mistake. Anybody who speaks in front of a camera for a living knows they've either made a mistake or come close to making a mistake. He tried really hard to fix it. He eventually fixed it. This is part of the job. But I mean this seriously, has he really done anything worse, really, than his boss? Not so much, and this is part of, I think, what his challenge is. He's trying -- when you're the press secretary you reflect the administration you represent and the president, and so I think a lot of what we see from the podium is him trying to fulfill that.

BRIGGS: You're not suggesting he had heard that somewhere before?

DRUCKER: No, that's not what I'm saying.

BRIGGS: OK, OK, I just wanted to be clear.

DRUCKER: But have you read -- have you read the president's tweets?

BRIGGS: Absolutely.

DRUCKER: So is Sean Spicer -- it was a mistake but, I mean, is it anything more like bizarre than anything that you've seen in a tweet? And Sean Spicer --

KOSIK: It's not just bizarre, it's wrong.

DRUCKER: And, Sean Spicer --

KOSIK: Well, all right, I know. I get it.

DRUCKER: We know that. We know that. He knows that. Everybody knew he knew that. It was just one of those instances where he was digging a hole and he had trouble getting out of it, but it was never intentional. But, you know, sometimes tweets are written in a weird way and, clearly, there's some thought that went into it --


DRUCKER: -- because you're not speaking off the cuff on camera before the entire country. So my point is this is the kind of -- it maybe seems like it's different but it's the kind of thing that we see out of this White House all the time.

BRIGGS: He should be back in the bunny suit today, right?

DRUCKER: Hey, you never know. There are going to be a lot of kids there.

BRIGGS: David Drucker, really appreciate your analysis --

KOSIK: Thanks very much.

BRIGGS: -- this morning. Thank you.

KOSIK: All right, we got some breaking details on a multi-state manhunt for the suspect in a murder and Easter day that was posted to Facebook. We're going to tell you where police are hunting for Steve Stephens, next.


[05:46:45] BRIGGS: All right, some breaking news. Police may have a clue in their search for a suspect authorities say made a video of himself killing an elderly man in Cleveland, then posted it on Facebook. Authorities, earlier, said Steve Stephens may have left Ohio and now we've just learned a ping was detected from Stephen's cell phone in Erie, Pennsylvania. That's according to the Erie Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police. Stephens was last seen driving a late model, white Ford Fusion with temporary plates. Officials say Stephens is armed and dangerous.

KOSIK: His mother, Maggie Green, tells CNN she spoke to her son Sunday and that he said he was shooting people because he was "mad with his girlfriend." Authorities say hundreds of leads have poured in. They are urging Stephens to surrender.


CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: We need to bring this to a conclusion today. We need to get Steve off the streets. People, later on, can dive into exactly why this happened, but there needs to -- there is no need for any further bloodshed in this incident tonight. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Stephens also claimed to have multiple homicides but Cleveland police say, so far, Godwin is the only known victim.

BRIGGS: And it's about 100 miles from Erie to Cleveland.

Also some breaking news overnight. Two Detroit police officers shot while responding to a burglary call, one of the officers struck in the face. He's in critical condition, still being treated at a local hospital. The other officer suffered a left arm wound and is expected to recover. Police say three people are in custody, a minor, a teenager, and an adult female.

KOSIK: OK, time for an early start on your money. Asian markets closed mixed and most European markets are closed for the Easter holiday. We're looking at U.S. stock futures. They're slightly lower this morning. The dollar dipping to a five-month low against the Japanese yen earlier today over rising tensions in North Korea.

OK, we've got some disappointing retail news to tell you about. Retail sales fell for the second straight month in March. This is the first consecutive decline for retail spending in two years. The big reason for the fall, a decline in auto sales. The big three automakers all reported worse than expected sales in March and this comes after the auto industry actually saw seven straight years of record sales. Some analysts are blaming the late tax refunds for the decline as consumersweren't able to spend that money as quickly as they normally would. In case you were wondering, taxes were not due on April 15th, they are due tomorrow.

BRIGGS: And that's why we believe people aren't buying cars? People get the tax refund and they go buy --

KOSIK: They are able to go to that. Expendable income.

BRIGGS: Got it. All right. Well, democracy as we know it might be over in Turkey after a referendum to consolidate the powers of the president. We're live in Istanbul with reaction and the bigger implications of this vote.


[05:53:45] BRIGGS: Some are calling it the death of democracy in Turkey. President Recep Erdogan declaring victory in Sunday's critical referendum vote but the country's main opposition party is challenging the result, alleging massive voter fraud. Erdogan won just over 51 percent of the vote. If that holds up it means an all- powerful presidential system in Turkey. This, and a key U.S. ally in the region, one that is also very critical in the war on terror.

Let's go live to Istanbul and bring in CNN's Ian Lee. Good morning to you, Ian. Now, these election results are disputed but even if they hold up it's a bit of a surprise for the opposition, correct?

IAN LEE, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Dave. The opposition, right now, is saying they want the Supreme Electoral Board to look at 37 percent of the ballots that were cast yesterday. They say that there were some discrepancies that they want looked at. They still believe that they could win this thing. It was such a narrow margin and deeply polarizing for this country. With the "yes" supporters saying this will make a stronger Turkey economically and with security. With the "no" voters, though, they say that this could be the death of their democracy. This is what one woman had to say.

[05:55:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I'm sad. I cried all night. It's really sad that we have to do this whole thing even. I mean, 15 years we saw that, you know, the radical Islam has come to power and we ended up with dictatorship.


LEE: But Dave, the president did say, though, that this was a referendum. That's the people's voice needs to be heard.

BRIGGS: Now, the key question here for us is what does this mean for the United States? They are a key ally and very important in the war on terror as well. What might this mean?

LEE: Well, you look at the president, himself. This will give a lot of power to the president when it comes to the Parliament and Judiciary and, really, when it comes to governing the country, taking that away from the prime minister. So when the United States is going to be talking to Turkey -- and they've been talking to Erdogan before. Most action by the United States when it comes to the war in neighboring Syria and Iraq when they're using Turkish air bases, it has to go through the government and a lot of the times the buck stops with the president, Erdogan. He is the man who's ruled over Turkey for over a decade. A larger than life figure here.

So as far as the relations go with the United States, as long as relations are good with Erdogan, then expect things to go well when it comes to the war on terror in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

BRIGGS: And this would give Erdogan power for, some say, another decade. Ian Lee live for us. Thank you.

KOSIK: OK, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. And, United Airlines continuing to do its damage control. The airlines saying it will now require commuting staff to check into flights at least one hour before departing. The change coming in in the wake of the incident last Sunday when a passenger who had already boarded the flight was dragged off by law enforcement officials. United later said a commuting crew member needed the seat. If the commuting crew member had to check in at least an hour before that, the passenger would have never boarded the flight to begin with and it would have avoided that whole scene.

More bad news for Uber. The ridesharing company revealing it lost $2.8 billion last year but the company continues to see big growth. Its profit from booking hit $20 billion last year -- incredible -- more than double from the year before. So it's interesting to note that Uber isn't a public company so it's not required to disclose its financials, but what Uber may be trying to do here is boost confidence after a former employee made public allegations of sexism and harassment at the company.

Planning to make a career change? Well, I'm about to show you the highest paying company in America. Drum roll, please. It's A.T. Kearney, a business consulting company. It beat out the likes of Amazon. It beat out Google. Its median total salary is $175,000. Most of the companies on the list were in the tech business consulting industry. And one reason these companies pay so well, they require a skillset where demand far outpaces the supply, meaning you can't be replaced by a computer, you can't be replaced by a robot.

BRIGGS: And, you know, so much attention on, yes, the outsourcing of jobs.


BRIGGS: Look, it's all about automation. You need to retrain our workforce. Stop fighting battles that have already been lost.

KOSIK: This is an example, though, that your skillset can also win out --

BRIGGS: I love it.

KOSIK: -- to get that great job.

BRIGGS: All right. Well, it's great to have you here. We'll have you here all week.

KOSIK: I'm happy to be here. I'm here all week and thanks for joining us. I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now -- Chris Cuomo and Poppy Harlow. We'll see you tomorrow.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, April 17th, 6:00 here in New York. Alisyn is off. Poppy Harlow joining me and, once again, we do have --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's good to be here.

CUOMO: -- breaking news. Strategic patience is over. Do not test the president's resolve or our military strength. That is Vice President Mike Pence's warning to North Korea. The vice president making an unannounced visit to the demilitarized zone amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. CNN's Dana Bash has an exclusive interview with the vice president at the DMZ.

HARLOW: Meantime, military experts are analyzing these images of ballistic missiles being paraded through the streets of Pyongyang. After this weekend's failed launch, what do they say about their capabilities and is the United States on a collision course with the reclusive regime? Major global concerns on day 88 of the Trump presidency. We, of course, have it all covered for you. Let's begin with our Dana Bash live in Seoul, South Korea with this exclusive interview, Dana -- very, very telling, with the vice president.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No question. This was always going to be an intense, intense trip but the fact that the vice president decided to go to the DMZ at this time when sabers are definitelyrattling, it was even more noteworthy and his remarks, even more telling.


BASH: Mr. Vice President, I was watching you watch what is behind you earlier. What was going through your mind looking at North Korea?