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North Korea Missile Launch; Trump Overseas Trip; Trump/Putin Meeting; Voter Commission's Request Rejected; Christie's Day-At-the- Beach-Gate; Hot Dog eating Contest; HBO Film Celebrates Founding Documents. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 4, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:31:08] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so the breaking news this morning, North Korea claims it has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. This just days before the world's most powerful leaders meet at the G-20 Summit. How will this test change President Trump's agenda during that European trip?

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN political analyst Jackie Kucinich.

Happy Fourth, Jackie.


CAMEROTA: So, overnight we are reminded that the weight of the world is on the U.S. president's shoulders. We go from, you know, a funny video, wrestling CNN, that people felt was, you know, veering into violence, to now this on the world stage and North Korea with more provocations. How -- what do we think President Trump's move will be?

KUCINICH: Well, he's already said that -- he's already warned China that the U.S. could go it alone when it comes to North Korea, and that, of course, increases pressure on China. This relationship has already sort of seen some bumps in the road because President Trump, last week, was talking about tariffs -- I'm sorry, tariffs on Chinese goods and all sorts of other things. So you have to imagine that meeting, he already spoke to President Xi on Sunday, you have to imagine that meeting is going to take a little bit of a different tenor now that North Korea launched yet another missile because we have been focusing, of course, on his meeting with Vladimir Putin, which, of course, still has high stakes. So what has already been an important trip for President Trump, I think just has more weight now has he goes into it.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And, look, let's just again say with President Xi, this is a relationship where the president has made an investment --


BERMAN: In both time, you know, resources and what not. So -- and now he's got the meeting with Vladimir Putin, meeting with President Xi talking about North Korea, and then the question you always ask with President Trump when he goes overseas, will he be able to leave behind what's been going on here in the United States. What do you make of that, Jackie?

KUCINICH: You know, he did that -- remember his last foreign trip. He did manage to stay off Twitter and stay on message when -- when he was at the NATO meeting. So -- and when he was in Saudi Arabia and Israel. He managed -- it was -- it was largely an error free trip and he stayed off Twitter. Now, you never -- but we never can underestimate this president's ability to be distracted. So we'll have to see. But if the last trip is any indicator, he'll, you know, keep focused and they'll keep him busy so he stays off -- he stays offline when he has all of these high stake meetings and these high stakes issues swirling around him.

CAMEROTA: Oh, to be a fly on the wall --


CAMEROTA: Of a meeting with Vladimir Putin --

BERMAN: Aright.

CAMEROTA: And President Trump. I mean this is their first face-to-face meeting after all of the talk and evidence of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. But, interestingly, it's Russia who says its patience is wearing thin --


CAMEROTA: With the U.S. because of the ousting of the, you know, of dozens of officials and closing those compounds because of the Russian meddling. That's what Russia says it wants to bring up with the president, President Trump. So how do you think this is going to go?

KUCINICH: You know, it's interesting, the Kremlin has released an agenda and the White House has been a little bit cagier as to what they're going to discuss. As you mentioned, Russia wants to discuss those compounds. They want to discuss sanctions. They want to discuss the crisis in Syria and how they can view us and Russia can cooperate when it comes to international terrorism. Again, the president's going to be under a lot of pressure. So far the U.S. has taken a hard line when it comes to sanctions and there's really hasn't been a whole -- if you take General McMaster at his word, there -- there hasn't been a whole lot of wiggle room there.

When it comes to the compounds though, we'll have to see. But -- and certainly then there's the pressure from here in the states to discuss the hacking and the meddling in the U.S. election. Now we don't think that that's going to come up, but that doesn't mean that the pressure back home isn't there.

[08:35:13] BERMAN: Let's talk of the Voter Fraud Commission right now. More than 40 states, both red states and blue states, have come out and said they will not comply with some or all of the requests for this commission, for all that information, which the commission says is all public information that it wants. But, so, Jackie, is this, you know, commission, this investigation over before it started? What's the next step here?

KUCINICH: I mean it certainly seems like they've hit some pretty fundamental bumps in the road with, what is it, 41 states saying, yes, thanks, but no thanks at this point and we're not talking about all Democratic states. And Mississippi, I believe, their secretary of state said they can jump in the Gulf. So there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of state laws and that they can't -- because a lot of these states just can't give over some of this information that this commission has requested or there is a formal process. There also are concerns about the -- how this -- how this data will be kept, whether there's a possibility that it might not be safe. So there are a lot of concerns that just haven't been addressed by this letter that Kobach sent. So we'll have to see. But it certainly seems difficult for them at this point.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Forty-two is a tough tide to turn.


CAMEROTA: Jackie, thank you. Have a great holiday.

KUCINICH: Thank you. Happy Fourth.

BERMAN: On this Fourth, it is a Fourth of July tradition, get hungry because we're headed to Coney Island live for the annual hot dog eating contest.


BERMAN: We'll get a pregame update from the hot dogs.

CAMEROTA: Good. That's better than post-game, believe me. Much better.

BERMAN: You keep (INAUDIBLE) on the post-game.


[08:40:27] CAMEROTA: All right, good news. New Jersey's three-day government shut down is over, but Governor Chris Christie's day at the beach will not be forgotten any time soon.

BERMAN: If ever.

CAMEROTA: Christie got scorched for relaxing on a beach that was closed to the public but open to him and his family. And the Internet piled on. CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a governor lounging on a sunny beach, Chris Christie sure is getting a lot of shade, all because a photographer in a plane spotted the governor relaxing on a New Jersey state beach that was closed to everyone else because of a budget standoff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You would think you would at least still want to leave office with not everybody hating your guts.

MOOS: A plane with a banner, tell Governor Christie get the hell off Island Beach State Park was cheered. It was a mocking reference to the time the governor said --

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Get the hell off the beach.

MOOS: To make beachgoers take shelter for a storm. Waves of mocking tweets rolled in. "Island Beach State Park is all mine." It didn't help that when asked the governor first said he didn't get any sun.

CHRISTIE: I didn't get any sun today.

MOOS: Which his spokesman tried to explain away by saying he did not get any sun, he had a baseball hat on. True, the governor has a residence there.

CHRISTIE: This is where we live, one of the places we live.

MOOS: But what will live on are the PhotoShoped memes, Governor Christie transferred to "From Here to Eternity," to the George Washington Bridge scene of Bridge-gate, from "Forest Gump's" bench, to the "Planet of the Apes." Another time Chris Christie thought he had the whole beach to himself.

MOOS (on camera): Not so sunny, the governor's poll numbers in his own state. His approval rating is at low tide, 15 percent.

MOOS (voice-over): Photojournalist Andrew Mills (ph) shot the photos. "I've been on enough stakeouts to know when I've been made, and Governor Chris Christie looked right at me as I pointed the long range lens at him." The governor tweeted that New Jersey beaches are open in 119 of our 130 miles of coastline, but use sunscreen and hydrate. Instead of hydrating, people are venting that the governor sunbathing is like saying, let them eat sand.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

CHRISTIE: Get the hell off the beach.

MOOS: New York.


BERMAN: All right, Governor Christie enjoying the beach no doubt again today on the Fourth.

We're going to get to a key Fourth of July tradition right now. Some breaking news from Coney Island. Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest about to get started. Nine-time champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut is defending his title after taking down, bringing in, eating a record 70 hot dogs in ten minutes last year.


BERMAN: CNN's chief hot dog correspondent Karin Caifa live on the boardwalk.


KARIN CAIFA, CNN REPORTER: This is really what I dreamed of when I went to journalism school. No, what a great day here on Coney Island. What a great tradition. I mean competitive eating. I mean, come on, this is something that's actually sanctioned by a major league eating. And these contestants do not come to it lightly, particularly Joey Chestnut, who has 43 competitive eating titles under his belt. Not a -- you know, everything from apple pie to burritos. But not kale. That is where he draws the line.

He's going to be going for title number 10 here at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest today. The mustard belt is the treasure that they are awarded with if they win this competition. So Joey Chestnut going for a tenth time and hoping to maybe best that record of 70 hot dogs. We know he can do it. His personal record is 73 hot dogs, although not on the Fourth of July. So he's going to have some competition from the guy who bested him in 2015, Matt Stonie. And then Chestnut came back really with a vengeance last year, determined to take back the title.

The guys are not the only ones who will compete here today. There are also the ladies. Sonya Thomas, who is known as "the black widow," holds the record for the ladies here at the Nation's Hot Dog Eating Contest. She'll be in the mix. But she'll have to take down Miki Sudo, who won here last year and has also won this three times. The ladies get a pink belt for their efforts. Last year's winner ate 38 and a half hot dogs in that ten-minute span, which is still pretty impressive. And what's also impressive is that the crowd that comes out to watch this. They're expecting about 35,000 people here at the Coney Island Boardwalk. I've seen some of them already this morning. And, John and Alisyn, some of them are dressed in hot dog costumes. So, there you go, Happy Fourth.

BERMAN: Makes total sense to me. It's what they do.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes, people take this very, very seriously. And, Karen, I don't want to yuck anybody's yum at all, but have you covered this before?

[08:45:07] CAIFA: I have never covered this competition before. This is a new turn for me.


CAIFA: This is totally new and different. So --

CAMEROTA: Good. My -- my only advice, Karin, is that it's really, really exciting, the eating part of it. It's really exciting and watching those 72 hot dogs and then I would just avert your eyes. Just -- just turn away after that.

CAIFA: That is good advice, Alisyn. Thank you for that. CAMEROTA: You're welcome.

BERMAN: You are obsessed with this.

CAMEROTA: I've done this too many times, John.

BERMAN: All right.

CAMEROTA: I feel it is now my responsibility to alert the public.

BERMAN: It's good advice. Good advice.

CAMEROTA: In the spirit of Independence Day, we have a new look at the words that unite us. We'll meet the creator of the documentary, "The Words that Built America," next.


BERMAN: As we celebrate American Independence Day, we're reminded of the words and meanings behind the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Tonight, HBO is airing a new documentary called "The Words that Built America." It brings together politicians, including all living presidents and celebrities to read these documents aloud. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursue of happiness.

PEGGY NOONAN, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


[08:50:05] BERMAN: All right, joining us now, the Emmy Award winning filmmaker behind the project, Alexandra Pelosi, a friend of mine for a wicked long time now.

Thanks so much for being with us.

What possessed you to have people read these wonderful documents out loud?

ALEXANDRA PELOSI, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER, "THE WORDS THAT BUILT AMERICA": I knew that after the election half of the country was going to be disappointed. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something to unite people. So I sat down with Sheila Nevins at HBO, my boss, and said, what can we do to bring everybody to the party? And the only document that we could come up with was the Constitution. So -- and the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. So -- but the Constitution being the one that we could get Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell and all of the, you know, across the political spectrum, we had to have everyone. For it to be a success, we needed to have all the Democrats and the Republicans and the Supreme Court justices and secretaries of state and defense all the -- all the living presidents, the vice presidents, the 50 U.S. senators all the way --

BERMAN: And Jack Black.

PELOSI: And Jack Black. But we knew because in the summer blockbuster season we needed a little celebrity to (INAUDIBLE) it up a bit, we needed to bring in some of the big names, like Morgan Freedman. I don't know that Jack Black is any kind of political anything, but he's entertaining and people like Jack Black. So if you want to pull people in, it's hard to say, hey, you know, the fireworks are on, but you know what you should do, you should come inside and watch Mitch McConnell read the Constitution. I'm not sure what a big sell that is, so we needed some celebrity magic to pull people in, and that's where all the big celebrity names came in.

But we still divided them equally. We have, you know, the Sean Hannity and Toby Keith and The Rock and Caitlyn Jenner. You know, more Republican names from Hollywood. There are -- it's not just Hollywood liberals, they're also more conservative Hollywood people too.

CAMEROTA: Oh, you got a lot of good people. You have a great roster. So give us some behind the scenes color of some of the funny things that happened while you were filming all of this.

PELOSI: Oh, my God. Well, for -- for my friend John Berman here, just to go back to visit our old friend, George W. Bush, I got all -- I got both Bushs, George H.W. and W. But I -- for you to go see his art collection now in this library in Texas, magic. I mean you have to give the guy credit, he's a real artist.

CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure. For sure.

PELOSI: And to get the sort of behind the scenes tour of his collection, like a real artist, that, for you, I think would have been the highlight, because we were on the bus together when he ran for president.

BERMAN: We covered George W. Bush together.

CAMEROTA: Right. I know you were.

BERMAN: So, President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, you had them read it as well. You -- your mother is the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

PELOSI: Oh, you had to go there. We were -- we were just bonding. We were doing the unity. I was saying nice things about the Bushs. And then you had to pull out the Pelosi.

CAMEROTA: And drop the name.

BERMAN: Did the president -- well, the president and vice president, did they know when you showed up who you were? Did they care? PELOSI: No, they were very professional. I was invited into the White

House and I had both President Trump and Vice President Pence read for me. And they did not -- even though it was the day after the State of the Union and Nancy Pelosi was calling for all kind -- anyway, we're not going there because it's Fourth of July and we're going to -- we're bonding here.

CAMEROTA: But they did know who you were, right?

PELOSI: They did not because they were whispering something about Nancy Pelosi on the side and they didn't look at me, so I don't think they had any idea. I was a -- I've made 11 films for HBO. I'm an award-winning filmmaker.

BERMAN: Very true.

PELOSI: I was there in my own rite in the White House. So they didn't give me any dirty looks or say anything. So if they knew, they were very professional and didn't say anything. But it was all very professional.

CAMEROTA: And what about with Speaker Ryan? Isn't there a story about your son saying something to Speaker Ryan?

PELOSI: Oh, Speaker Ryan. I have a soft spot for Speaker Ryan. My kids, they -- they weren't -- their nine and ten, so they weren't really living through the Speaker Pelosi years, so they love to tell Speaker Ryan that he's their favorite speaker, which was like, wait, you know that sounds funny because -- anyway, grandma might not like that part so much.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

PELOSI: But, anyway, they -- so we had a bond with Speaker Ryan because, you know, it goes back to Campbell Brown, our old friend, whose husband, Dan Senor -- anyway, goes back --

CAMEROTA: Hold on. Keep going. Tell us all the juice (ph).

PELOSI: It goes back all very -- what happens on the bus stays on the bus. But, anyway, so Speaker Ryan, perfect gentleman. You know, we crashed his party when he became speaker and he was -- had a big party at the Botanical Gardens and I brought my kids and we crashed the part. So --

CAMEROTA: How'd that go?

PELOSI: Great. He was really nice. He took us for a tour of the Botanical Gardens. So we feel like a real bond. For this Fourth of July, I feel like I should tell all the stories about how we're friends with the Bushs and Speaker Ryan's such a gentleman. And, for the show, I had to film Mitch McConnell, the leader -- Leader McConnell wanted me to film in Washington. He didn't want me to use the Capitol as a Hollywood set. So he said, I'd like you to film at the National Republicans Senate Committee, which is where they do all the Dialing for Dollars, where the Republicans go to do their fundraising --

BERMAN: Right.

PELOSI: Because they're not allowed to fundraise out of their offices. So I went and I was working out of the actual building where the Republicans go to do all their fundraising calls. And there I was set up filming all the senators coming and going. And Leader McConnell said to me, Alexandra, I be you never thought you'd be working at a place like this.

BERMAN: All right, Alexandra Pelosi --

CAMEROTA: You are bipartisan.

BERMAN: Always great to see you.

PELOSI: She is -- she said, come on, say something nice, Fourth of July, let's have a little group hug on the couch.

BERMAN: Happy Fourth. Happy birthday, America.

[08:55:00] CAMEROTA: Great to see you. Thank you so much.

PELOSI: Thank you.

BERMAN: The HBO documentary film "The Words that Built America" debuts tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on HBO. It is fantastic.

CAMEROTA: And CNN "NEWSROOM" with Fredericka Whitfield picks up after this very quick break.

Happy Fourth, everyone.