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The Other Side of North Korea; Interview with Rep. Tim Ryan; Interview with Robert De Niro. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired September 15, 2017 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Will Ripley, you have been knee deep in this subject for years, frankly, and in the last few weeks you've been putting together what I hear is a remarkable special that airs tonight. Tell us about it.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, often we're in North Korea reporting about things like missile launches or the nuclear test, and we're driving in the van. I look out the window and I think gosh, that would be a great story if we can just stop and pull over and talk to those people as we're rushing to an interview or some other location. And we actually had the rare opportunity to spend 15 days in the country and stop the van and get out and have unscripted, unstaged moments.

Yes, we're under the constant supervision of government minders. They restrict what we can film, but we were able to break out of that mold for the first time really ever and have unprecedented moments that were not staged by the North Korean government like this one.


RIPLEY (voice-over): In North Korea, government minders watch our every move and restrict what we can film. Even if this is what we want to see. High school students horsing around at the beach. I can't help but wonder, what do they actually know about America?

(On camera): Are you an NBA fan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No. I just wear it to play sports.

RIPLEY: Have you ever heard of Portland?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Haven't heard of it.

RIPLEY: Have you ever seen any American movies or heard any American music?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No.

RIPLEY: Ever heard of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No, not at all.

RIPLEY (voice-over): These teens have been told Americans act and look scary.

(On camera): What would you expect from an American? What would you expect an American to be like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Big nose with a hairy chest.

RIPLEY: Big nose and hairy chest, huh? Well, I don't have a hairy chest. You tell me, do I have a big nose?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): With a nose like that, it is sort of.

RIPLEY: Have you guys ever met an American before?

(Voice-over): They become visibly uncomfortable when they learn I'm an American. I'm the first one they've ever met.

(On camera): Well, I won't interrupt your game any longer. Thank you very much. It was nice to meet you, guys.


RIPLEY: It's really important when people are watching tonight that they read between the lines. People are going to say things that sound remarkably similar from the children to the older senior citizens. This is because they're force fed the government line from cradle to grave. But I think people are going to walk away from this hour really having learned something new about North Korea.

It's the first time in CNN history we traveled from the Demilitarized Zone along the coast and up into the mountainous border region near China, deep through rural areas. The pictures themselves are going to be things that people haven't seen and I'm really excited for people to watch tonight.

BERMAN: I have never heard a discussion like that with a reporter in North Korea, Will.


BERMAN: That was fascinating. Fascinating.

HARLOW: Thank you for doing it. And your entire team that was with you, risking a lot to be there to bring that to us. I can't wait to see it, Will. Congratulations to you.

Be sure to watch Will's special report tonight, "SECRET STATE: INSIDE OF NORTH KOREA," and as you saw really inside of North Korea. It starts tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BERMAN: All right. Dealing with Democrats. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi seems to have the president's ear. This just months after some in her own party wanted to unseat her. So what do those folks think about all this now?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:37:16] HARLOW: A hot mic on the Senate floor, perhaps a little bit like being a fly on the wall in a meeting between Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Listen to this.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: Here's what I told him. I said, Mr. President, you're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left. If you have to step just in one direction you're boxed. Oh, it's going to work out. And it will make us more productive. He likes us. He likes me anyway.


BERMAN: Now, if in fact he likes us, us means Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They are both engaged in these discussions with the president. They did it on the budget deal and now they may be working out a deal for Dreamers as well.

Joining us now to discuss, Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Congressman, thanks for being with us. And we should note you're not just any Democratic congressman, you are a Democratic congressman who actively sought to unseat Nancy Pelosi as your Democratic leader, so along those lines, let's just ask you, do you approve of this negotiating she is doing with the president of the United States?

REP. TIM RYAN (D) OHIO: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, we came to D.C. to solve problems and I think it's great that there's a dialog going on and I trust Nancy Pelosi to negotiate on behalf of the Democrats. I've watched her work very closely in her leadership team. When we were in the majority -- and she is a very skilled negotiator and I have all the confidence in the world having her in that room.

HARLOW: OK. You were on with us not that long ago and you talked to us why you were running for her seat, and you told our colleague Don Lemon that in some parts of the country, Congressman, you believe Nancy Pelosi is more toxic than Donald Trump.

Do you still think that's the case and do you still want her job?

RYAN: Well, you know what, I'm not going to get into this. We -- she has been elected our leader and she is again negotiating on our behalf and again very skilled at that and very talented at that and we have all the confidence in the world that she could make good deals on behalf of the Democrats.

And I'm just going to leave it at that. I mean, I said my peace over the course of the last six or seven months. We're going to move into an election season here and we all -- you know, it's got to be all hands on deck. We do have newer, younger members rising up. I don't have any interest in running for House leadership at this point. I mean who knows where I am in 18 months or two years, but right now, I don't really have an interest in doing it.

BERMAN: OK. RYAN: But the key is, for Democrats we've got to run and win in off-

year elections. That's the problem we have. We get all excited for presidentials, we don't get as excited for off-year and we've got to run hard in '18 for governors races and the House and Senate races in '18.

[10:40:04] BERMAN: Let's not talk about Nancy Pelosi for a moment. Let's talk about President Donald Trump. What do you make of his politics over the last few weeks? Do you still see him as a conservative?

RYAN: Yes. I was one of the people who never really believed that he was a conservative. I felt like he thought he could run easier in a Republican primary. I always felt he was more of an independent kind of, you know, taking issue with both political parties. And that was part of his allure and why he won.

But I think what's happened is, he's recognized what I think a lot of Americans have recognized, is that the Republican Party is in shambles. I mean they can't get anything done. They cannot govern. And I think it's still going to be hard for him. All of these deals that are being made and talked about, they're great to talk about but at some point they've got to go through Congress.

You know, Article 1 is a son of a gun. You know, I mean, and so it's got to get through the House and Senate and as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell sitting there, so it's great to have the press conference and say hey, we've got the structures of a deal, but you got to go get the Tea Party Caucus in the House and then those people aren't in agreement with a lot of what he's saying and what the deal looks like.

HARLOW: Thank you for the Friday morning rhyme, Congressman. Representative Gutierrez of Illinois said something interesting that John pointed out to me earlier. OK. He said, why are we discussing border security? I thought we were talking about DACA so already you see the slippery slope of this conversation. He went on to say, "I hope and pray that Pelosi and Schumer are more sophisticated and smarter than everyone else that has been duped by Donald Trump." Does he have a point?

RYAN: Well, you always got to be careful. I mean, Trump has a 30, 40-year history of making deals and not keeping his word. We talked a lot about this during the campaign of union members who never got paid, waitresses, waiters, bar tenders, lawyers, accountants that never got paid from Donald Trump. He went bankrupt three or four times.

He has a long list of things that he did in his lifetime that shows that he can't keep his word. So I think Luis, who is a great guy, a great advocate, one of the best in the country for DACA, that he's got a good point. We've got to be very, very careful. But again I do believe that Nancy Pelosi has the wherewithal and the understanding to take on Donald Trump and understand where he's coming from but he's right, you've got to be careful with this guy because he -- again, he can't -- he doesn't always keep his word. BERMAN: Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, great to have you with us. The

Schoolhouse Rock lesson, "Article 1 is a son of a gun." Appreciate that.


RYAN: That's a little update on I'm just a bill, I guess.

BERMAN: That's right.

HARLOW: There you go. Moment of levity for you this morning. Here's your moment of Zen. Thank you. Sir. Have a nice weekend.

Ahead for us, giving hope to an island reduced to rubble by Hurricane Irma. We sat down with actor Robert De Niro, his pledge to rebuild Barbuda. Our exclusive conversation with him is next.


[10:46:39] HARLOW: Hurricane Irma left pure destruction in its path. The monster storm took lives and devastated the economic engine for so much of the Caribbean and Florida. Tourism. If you look at the island of Barbuda 95 percent of the structures there were destroyed.

When the entire island of 1800 people was evacuated, not a single person is living on Barbuda today. But Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is on a mission, a mission to rebuild that island, an island where he was just about to break ground on a huge hotel venture. He said it's incumbent on everyone to help. He also weighed in on this moment in America. Will we come together? Will we be further divided? And his message for President Trump.


HARLOW: Your mission today is the island of Barbuda after Irma. What does --


HARLOW: What does it mean to you?

DE NIRO: Well, I've been working on a project for a few years. It's an ambitious project that will take a long time, but we were about to start with investors and people and so on, so it -- so I'm involved with the people on the island and so feel a responsibility that I'm there to help everyone and to get everything up and running.

HARLOW: Before we get to the project, the hotel that you're building in Barbuda, let's just talk about the people.

DE NIRO: Well, the people I don't know that well. I mean, I've interacted with them and met them and I go down for a day or two and I come back, but the people are very nice.

HARLOW: The prime minister of Barbuda who I know you've been on the phone with. DE NIRO: Yes.

HARLOW: Prime Minister Brown, quite a bit since this tragedy, told us, 95 percent of the structures on the island, the homes, the buildings, devastated. Make the case that this matters for Americans, wealthier nations to help?

DE NIRO: Of course. People have been calling me and offering help in certain ways. People come out of the woodwork that you never even knew were involved in this sort of thing but I have some relationship with. So we're sort of getting all that together and figuring out how people can actually really be of help.

HARLOW: Because the challenge becomes, as you know, when the news cameras are no longer pointed at it.


HARLOW: When the headlines are no longer Irma.

DE NIRO: Right.

HARLOW: When the spotlight is no longer there, the devastation remains.

DE NIRO: Right.

HARLOW: How do you get people to continue caring?

DE NIRO: Well, you have to have the people who are -- you have to keep -- it's not easy. And I don't even know with myself what I'm going to be asked to do and do to help, but I'll be there.

HARLOW: So the project that you were and are working on is a luxury hotel.


HARLOW: Tourism is the lifeblood of these islands.


HARLOW: It's everything. It's the economic engine. Without it they lose so much.

DE NIRO: Right.

HARLOW: And Barbuda doesn't have that now.

DE NIRO: Right.

HARLOW: As you watched what the devastation, you know, in real time over the weekend, did you ever question, should we build this anymore?

DE NIRO: No. Because I mean as devastating as it is, and as terrible as it is, it will come back. You know, that's -- that's not going to be stopped. So we want to be part of that.

HARLOW: You and your team down there had been working not just on the hotel, but also on creating a 90 percent renewable energy program for Barbuda.


[10:50:07] HARLOW: Is there an onus on those who have wealth, who develop, like you?


HARLOW: To do more outside?

DE NIRO: Well, you to -- our intention is to help the island. The island has to be healthy and back up and running, at the same time what we're doing with the hotel, that's great, but the most important thing are the people first and then the hotel and it will all -- it can be done simultaneously, but it's a big endeavor.

It's just -- it's a beautiful place. And it's quiet and the people are nice and it's been kind of unspoiled in a certain way, it's just that it's been one of those places that's unique. You don't find places like this anymore as far as I know.

HARLOW: So Barbuda's prime minister told "TIME" magazine this week, quote, "We have no doubt that this is a result of global warming and sea level rise and climate change." The White House came out this week and said, when asked about this, that it would need to conduct, quote, a trend analysis to determine if there's a connection. Any thoughts?

DE NIRO: Well, I think we all know the feeling from the White House, that they're not too in favor of the idea of global warming and so we have to deal with that. People will deal with it because no matter what the White House wants to do, the world sees it. There are changes. And we're not certainly helping it by ignoring it. We could, at the least, exacerbating the situation. And for the administration to turn their back on that is disgusting.

HARLOW: I think we have seen some of the most beautiful parts of this country in terms of the heart of this country come to the fore in the past three weeks in the devastation and the recovery of Harvey.


HARLOW: And the same with Irma. This comes at a time of such division.


HARLOW: In America. And it seems to me like, and I wonder what you think, that people are yearning for togetherness?

DE NIRO: Yes. Yes. And wasting everybody's time about being a wall between Mexico and the States is, you know, come on, we need a lot of money for this. And we're not -- we're paying for that wall somehow later on they'll find a way to say that we have to pay for it but I know the Mexicans aren't going to pay for it, just on principle.

And so we really -- we need to really focus on other things, Harvey, Irma, I mean total devastation. Come on.

HARLOW: It seems like a moment to me where America makes a choice, do we come together or do we separate further from one another?

DE NIRO: Well, you would like everyone to come together and maybe we will. I don't know. I mean I -- as far as Trump goes he hasn't changed and I was always -- I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he'll change and do something. He hasn't done anything as far as I can see that changes from who he really is.

HARLOW: What about DACA?

DE NIRO: There you go. I mean what about it?

HARLOW: He says they're going to get DACA legislation through Congress.


HARLOW: The Dreamers are going to stay here?.

DE NIRO: Yes. So he put it on to them.


DE NIRO: Right? So in six months. So we'll see what he does. If it's not dealt within those six months.

HARLOW: So if you were to make --

DE NIRO: We'll see.

HARLOW: If you were to make a bet, do we as a country -- you and I sitting here five years down the road, is this country more together or further apart?

DE NIRO: I don't know. Maybe some miraculous things will happen where even Trump will do something that's surprising. I don't think so. But you never know. I'll even then say OK. I give you that, but I just don't think so.

HARLOW: I spent a lot of time along the rust belt and Kentucky, in places that where people put all of their hope in this president.


HARLOW: And their livelihood depends on his success.

DE NIRO: Right.

HARLOW: Do you feel like Hollywood, you know, those living on the coast like I do, like you do, are too disconnected, we're too disconnected from that pain?

DE NIRO: I understand that people feel -- even I am hesitant sometimes to endorse somebody because I don't want to be just an elite Hollywood person doing that, but we -- many of us feel that the right thing has to be done for people. And we really believe that. Someone like Trump doesn't really believe that. He can give lip service to it, but he doesn't really believe it.

HARLOW: But they disagree with you. They tell me, because I've sat with them.


HARLOW: Had dinner with them and they say he gets me, and he is standing up for me and he is putting America first so --

DE NIRO: You know what the best con artist in the world say, I'm putting you first, and what happens?

[10:55:05] HARLOW: So he is -- the president of the United States of America, do you want him to succeed?

DE NIRO: Of course I want him to succeed. I don't believe that he will.

HARLOW: The number one piece of legislation you would like to see him support?

DE NIRO: The DACA is one.

HARLOW: OK. So if he were to --


HARLOW: -- signs DACA legislation to get Dreamers stay here you will be hopeful?

DE NIRO: Yes. Because he will -- his action will have spoken louder than his big mouth and words because all he does is open his mouth and talk and insult people and put them down. You can't do anything. That's inexcusable.


HARLOW: His politics are clear and what he and everyone is hoping is that the recovery for Barbuda and for Florida and for Texas, after these hurricanes, is so far beyond politics.

BERMAN: You know, look, that's a guy who doesn't do a lot of interviews, he doesn't sit down and talk a lot.

HARLOW: Right.

BERMAN: It just goes to show how committed he is to getting the assistance to Barbuda that he wants to get there, that he was willing to sit down to give it that focus. HARLOW: That's true. And his team said that they will, as they

rebuild and build this hotel, they want to give every Barbudaen a job that is looking for one. They're hoping.

BERMAN: Fascinating discussion. Thanks so much.

HARLOW: You got it.

BERMAN: Well, we got a lot going on. Robert De Niro could take home his first Emmy this weekend. He's in contention for his role in HBO's "The Wizards of Lies," HBO has more nominations than any other network including 22 nods for "West World." Also we knew the fact that 22 nominations for "Saturday Night Live," the most nominations it has ever received in a single season.

We have breaking news out of central London. A manhunt under way after an improvised device explodes on a rush hour train. We are watching all the details. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We are beginning with breaking news. A terrorist on the loose in London after leaving a homemade explosive device on a crowded subway.