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Sean Spicer Appears at Emmy Awards; President Trump Meets with French President; Trump at United Nations. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired September 18, 2017 - 3:00   ET


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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

The America-first president meets the United Nations. And any moment now, on the sidelines, President Trump will sit down with the French president, Emmanuel Macron. President Trump, a longtime critic of the United Nations, has only been at the General Assembly for a couple of hours today and has already plugged one of his properties and told diplomats to pay up.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement. While the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000, we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.


BALDWIN: President Trump may have mocked the U.N. in the past, but this week he is there to ask for help in dealing with North Korea and the country's leader, who he just referred to on Twitter as the Rocket Man.

So, I have Brian Karem standing by, CNN political analyst and executive editor for The Sentinel Newspapers.

Brian, welcome back. Nice to see you.


BALDWIN: Let's begin just in listening to the president over the course of the last couple of hours. You know, talk to me about the president's message and how you think he's done so far.

KAREM: His message, of course, is, he's a businessman and he's trying to address the business side of the United Nations. And it's not really a business. So he's kind of in conflict there.

I think he's remained staid and stoic, hopefully on-script, but there could be a Twitterstorm, some more Twitter litter at any moment, so heaven only knows. The thing that he's facing actually as he goes there is the problems with North Korea, Iran and the Far East. We have had natural disasters. There have been natural disasters in Mexico.

And what he's also facing more than that is some consternation and some concern from the Third World that as he's asking for more accountability, we're putting less into the U.N. and the very idea of trying to fight terrorism while at the same time hurting the least of our brothers who have not enough to even feed themselves will actually create more terrorism.

So he's got quite a few member of a little things he's got to deal with while he's at the U.N. And he has a speech tomorrow morning. And during that speech, many people are hoping that he stays on- script. And we will see what happens. If he goes off-script and starts ad-libbing, there could be history made at the U.N. tomorrow morning.

BALDWIN: The world will be watching. The speech is at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

We mentioned North Korea a second ago. The president likes his nicknames, as we remember back to the different nicknames from the campaign trail, but now he's added one for Kim Jong-un out of Pyongyang referring to him as Rocket man over Twitter.

What -- Brian, what's the impact of that?

KAREM: Well, that's -- I mean, at some point in time, you have to remain a little bit presidential. I imagine Bernie Taupin and Elton John are not too happy with him using the term.

But maybe he is burning down his fuse up there alone. The thing is that, really, at some point in time, he said he can be presidential. He has to actually do it. And when you're undercutting efforts, diplomatic efforts, internationally by just chiding North Korea with that kind of nickname, I mean, can you imagine if, I don't know, Roosevelt had said Hitler is a doody head before we started -- got involved in World War II?

It's just -- it's very childish. It's not presidential and it doesn't do anybody any good.

BALDWIN: No. I know. We're going to talk in a moment with some ladies about the retweet over the weekend, the golf ball, you know, which, again, raises questions, and Senator Dianne Feinstein questioning, obviously, just why he would do that, being the president of the United States.

But let me talk to you, since we're on the U.N., on Iran specifically, Brian, that the Iranian president telling CNN that the U.S. will pay the price for killing a nuclear deal, will pay the price. How will that sit with President Trump?


KAREM: Well, I mean, that's more rhetoric.

We will up the rhetoric. We have been very good with rhetoric, but it keeps you from actually reaching deals when the rhetoric is so hot and so flamboyant. So you expect that out of Iran. You expect it out of North Korea, and you don't expect the United States to respond in kind.

You expect us to be the big brother, us to be the adult in the room, so, hopefully, we will respond as the adult in the room. There are real consequences involved in this, whether it's Iran or it's North Korea. And if we continue to only engage in rhetoric and a rhetorical battle that gets us nowhere, we're the ones that are going to suffer.

And when Iran says what Iran says, you have to realize the source and you can't play to the children in the room.

BALDWIN: Brian Karem, thank you so much for weighing in on all things U.N.

Let's also talk weather. We're keeping a close eye on the Atlantic right now, as another major hurricane is headed straight for a region already just devastated by the most recent one.

Now we're talking about Hurricane Maria following very close to that same destructive path of Hurricane Irma and is quickly gaining strength. It is now one of three named storms churning down in the Atlantic.


BALDWIN: Also just in, a top Democrat, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, just called out President Trump and ordered him to, in two words, grow up.

Senator Flake publicly chastised the president for retweeting a video over the weekend that depicted violence against his former campaign rival Hillary Clinton. You see the video on your screen now. And this is the President Trump tee-off and off the golf ball goes and smacks her in the back and she falls down there on the plane.

Let me read for you in its entirety Senator Dianne Feinstein's statement -- quote -- "The president's Sunday morning tweet of a video depicting an attack on Hillary Clinton is appalling and disgusting. He continues to obsessively lash out at her at his rallies, with his words and now through social media in a manner that is utterly unbecoming of the president of the United States. Every one of us should be offended by the vindictive and candidly dangerous messages the president sends that demean not only Secretary Clinton, but all women."

She closes with, "Grow up and do your job."

With me now, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, CNN political analyst and White House reporter for "The New York Times," Brianna Keilar, CNN White House correspondent, and April Ryan, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent with the American Urban Radio Network.

Ladies, good to have you on.

Brianna, to you first on Senator Feinstein's statement. Wow. What jumped out at you the most, the grow up piece or how he's above this?


And I think, well, also the headline, the dangerous obsession, where it describes that he has a dangerous obsession, which he certainly has an obsession, right? He's always coming back to Hillary Clinton on these things.


KEILAR: But that grow up and do your job, she may have said that publicly or in writing there, but I think there are a lot of people, including many in Donald Trump's own party, who completely agree with that, because this is a big week for Donald Trump at the U.N. General Assembly.


BALDWIN: Huge week.

KEILAR: It's gigantic.

And that is what he should be trying to keep the focus. And instead, people are looking at what is a totally jerk move for him to retweet this, not to mention -- I have the alerts that come up on my phone, I don't know if you do, Brooke, but it was retweeted.

And I looked at the name of the Twitter handle, which I can't even say on air, and I just thought, oh, my goodness, really? I'm constantly having these "Really?" moments. And that was one of the ones I had looking at the tweet that he retweeted.

BALDWIN: Totally agree with you. It is a jerk move. And, Julie, again, we can't crawl into the president's head and try to understand the why piece, right? Like, that train left the station, but it's -- this is a big week for him, to Brianna's point. He's giving this massive speech tomorrow morning in front of the U.N. General Assembly, and it's like, what part of him thinks this is OK?


You can't get into the president's head, but we have seen this him do this. It's a pattern of behavior by this president that particularly when he feels he is painted into a corner or somehow being criticized unfairly he will lash out. And we just came off of a week where Hillary Clinton was out there promoting her book, back again.

And we were talking about the 2016 campaign again. He was at Bedminster this weekend prepping for the U.N. General Assembly, a huge moment for him. He has no experience with this kind of diplomacy and no experience with this kind of a large forum and him playing such a vital role or the United States playing such a vital role on the world stage.

And he's the representative. It may be that he just felt like this was -- he was tickled by this. He felt like this would be -- this was a way of him blowing off steam, but no question that it has raised questions among Republicans, even among people on his own staff who see these things and they kind of roll their eyes.

No matter what message he's trying, no matter what he is trying to get done, be it domestically or on the world stage, retweeting something like this and seeming to take joy in a message like this is just not helpful for the president.

BALDWIN: April, I know you cover the president. And obviously I want your 2 cents on this, too. But I also wonder, do you think, when you're there in Washington, do you think other members of Congress, the president's own party, and I say women and men, congress men and women, speaking up about it, a la Dianne Feinstein?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: People are scared, particularly of this president's party, to speak up against him, because they will get a tweet, a nasty tweet.

And I have heard many Republicans say that this was childish. Not only is it childish. It shows that he does not understand the magnitude and the majesty of the office that he holds. And it makes you wonder, Brooke, it makes you wonder about his subconscious.

Why pick on someone who was your opponent, when you clearly won? And it makes you wonder, does he really believe that he is suited for this job in the midst of walking into this major international-focused week? And whereas you had Hillary Clinton, who was the former U.S. secretary of state, where she was a U.S. senator, where she dealt with these kinds of issues.

It just puts a glaring spotlight to me, just the tweet alone and the fact that he's tweeting about her and doing this childish prank, this high school prank on Hillary Clinton, that he may feel uncomfortable going into this week. It just begs a lot of questions.

BALDWIN: Brianna, to April's point about going to the U.N. and thinking of Hillary Clinton, today on NPR, apparently, Hillary Clinton has said that she -- quote -- "would not rule" out questioning the legitimacy of a 2016 election if the Russian interference is actually deeper than currently known.

What do you make of that? You cover her.


This is something that really bothers her, and even when you look at the reasons that Hillary Clinton lost -- and they are varied and they are numerous -- this is one that really, of course, sticks in her craw.

And so saying there that she doesn't -- or that she would question it if this went deeper, the problem with that is there's really no way to quantify what the interference was to votes, right? That's the difficulty in it.

So she then would be questioning the legitimacy of Donald Trump as president, which, you know, obviously, is something that would really bother him, but I think this is something that she believes is very real. I think she believes that it is something that potentially did cost her the election, and I think it really speaks to where she thinks the causes of her loss lie.

BALDWIN: Ladies, do me a favor and stick around. I have more I want to ask of you, including last night, Emmys, Sean Spicer.

What do we think about him coming on stage with his podium and making jokes about lying about crowd sizes, a punchline? Was it outrageous? Was it funny? We will discuss that as he tries to repair his battered image.


And we will talk live with the reporter who overheard the conversation between two of the president's lawyers openly griping about the Russia investigation sitting outside of a D.C. restaurant and why he's reporting that White House officials are worried their colleagues might be wired.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN.


BALDWIN: All right, we're going to come to these live pictures. We are going to see them in just a moment, President Trump sitting in a meeting with the president of France, President Macron, here at the United Nations.

Let's see. I'm going to just stop talking and see what we hear. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much,


It is a great honor to be here with the President Macron of France, who had one of the greatest election victories of all time. I will tell you, that was an exciting evening.

And I must say, I'll tell you that I watched every moment of it. It was a very, very exciting time. He's doing a terrific job in France. He's doing what has to be done. He's respected by the French people. And I can tell you, he's respected by the people of the United States.

So we have a lot of things to talk about. We will be discussing many different elements. I'm not sure we should discuss all of it with the media, but they probably know before we know.

So, I just want to thank you all for being here. I want to thank your representatives for being here, many of whom I know already, and we will have very productive meetings. France is a great country. It's a beautiful country. I won't soon forget our dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower, where we really got to know each other and our families.

And thank you very much.


Thank you, everybody.

I will say a few words. I mean, I totally concur with Donald on what you say.

So, I will just say a few words in French for the French people here.

BALDWIN: These are just the moments. These are the windows that we have to the likes of the president here and others throughout the rest of the week as the world has really gathered here in New York with some exceptions, some heads of state, for the U.N. General Assembly.

And so I have Julie, Brianna and April standing by.

So, just while here on this, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, let me just ask you. We think of obviously France is a good, good friend of the United States. We think of the previous moments captured on camera between these two men and the famous white-knuckled handshake.

The two seem to get on quite well, though, and this is just one moment of so many that the president will have this week, his first, right, as president during a week like this.

HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: Well, no question.

Their relationship seems to be a lot better than it initially did. The body language is much more sort of comfortable ever since President Trump went and visited Paris over the summer. They seemed to really have a little bit more of a personal rapport and they certainly seem to get along. They do have a lot of issues dividing them, you know


BALDWIN: Sorry, Julie. Let's listen back in. I think they're back in English. Hang on.


TRUMP: It was two hours on the button.

And it was (INAUDIBLE) and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France. And people don't know what great warriors they are in France. But when you see that and you see all the victories, it was a tremendous thing.

And to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that in July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania.


TRUMP: I don't know. We are going to have to try and top it, but we had a lot of planes going over and we had a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see.

It had representatives from different wars and different uniforms. It was really so well done.

But I came back. And one of my early calls were, I think we're going to have to start looking at that ourselves. So we're actually thinking about, Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength.

We are spending this year $700 billion more than we have ever spent on our military, which is a good news for (INAUDIBLE) France, OK? And I think we really -- we are looking forward to doing that.

I am speaking with General Kelly and with all of the people involved, and we will see if we can do it this year, but we certainly will be beginning to do that. So I appreciate it.

OK? Most importantly, I appreciate you being here. Thank you very much.

MACRON: Thank you.

And I have to say, just for the American people, that our people in France were very proud to have you and your wife, Melania, in Paris 14th of July for Bastille Day, and people were very proud to have you in front of them and participating to this ceremony and this parade.

Thanks very much, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Well, I was proud -- I was proud to be there.

And, also, when Emmanuel called me, he said it's the 100th year, in terms of timing, First World War, 100 years. MACRON: Yes.

TRUMP: And I said, well, that's a very important period. So we went and really -- I was very proud to say that we are very, very, very good friends with France.

That was a beautiful day. And thank you very much. Thank you.

Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: Thank you all very much. Thank you.

QUESTION: Mr. President, your plans on the Paris climate accords?

BALDWIN: All right.

Looks like that's all we have got. You heard some of those questions being shouted about pulling out of the Paris climate accord there speaking to the French president.

But it looks like pulling the plug, lights out on the two of them talking.

And I have Julie Hirschfeld, Brianna Keilar, and April Ryan with me.

And, Julie, forgive me, we were dancing back and forth with the English and the French. But just to put a button on your point, the president had gone over to be with Macron and the first lady over there. It seemed he was really wowed by the pomp and circumstance that was Bastille Day and all those celebrations and those two days in France.


And you heard him talk about how he wants to have a military parade just like that and how much he enjoyed seeing all their manifestation of France's military might, and I feel like they really bonded over that.

But as you heard from the questions that were just shouted there at the end, they are still divided on some really important things, the Iran deal of course being one of them and the Paris climate accord another.

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes.

Let's talk about Sean Spicer, shall we? The former Twitter press secretary made quite the debut during last night's Emmy Awards. Here's a clip.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is. Is there anyone who could say how big the audience is.

Sean, do you know?


SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.


COLBERT: Wow. Well, that really soothes my fragile ego.


COLBERT: I can understand why he'd want one of these guys around.

Melissa McCarthy, everybody. Give it up.



BALDWIN: And then the cut with Melissa McCarthy and the look on her face.

April Ryan, you are in the White House press corps. You asked many a question of Sean Spicer. Did you find that funny?


RYAN: No, not at all.

I actually felt sorry for Sean last night. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. And let me explain why. Sean has left the White House. We have heard many television networks saying they're not going to hire him as a contributor.

So, Sean is viewed as someone who lied. Sean told the world that there's fake news from all these people that he's now going to get a job. And they're not hiring him. So it looks like they're trying to rebrand him, change his image.


But there's a lot of healing that needs to take place or redemption that needs to happen on his part. You know, that's the highest office in the land, and when you purposefully go out and change the facts or support something that's not true, people's lives are on the line every day.

And those issues about lives are in that building. And to lie is something deep. And to make a joke about that, people are still very hurt about it. And, you know, I think last night, Colbert even kept jabbing at him, because he even called him -- after he left the stage, called him the wizard of lies. He was used as the butt of the joke. He -- I don't know. It just

fell on deaf ears, and I was -- I felt bad for him last night.

BALDWIN: You felt bad for him.

RYAN: Yes.

BALDWIN: I hear you. I hear you on that.

Let just me add this one nugget. What we know that Glenn Thrush, "New York Times," apparently has interviewed Sean Spicer. And Sean Spicer says he regrets berating reporters over the inauguration crowd sizes.

RYAN: Oh, really?

KEILAR: So, I have to...

BALDWIN: Go ahead, Brianna.

KEILAR: That just is the kind of nuts to me, because if you regret that, then you go on the Emmys and you make a big laugh out of knowingly lying to the American people, who have trust in you and who are paying your salary, quite frankly. It's not like LOLs after that. You know? There's no LOLs. It's not funny.


RYAN: But that wasn't the only thing he lied about either, yes.


Hollywood seemed to find it funny at the Emmys, but I thought it was just sort of sad. As you said, you felt sorry for Sean. I agree with you on that, April. It seems like he sort of liked the attention and the celebrity, but I thought it was sad.

BALDWIN: We will have to read the rest of Glenn's piece. It just posted on "The New York Times."


RYAN: He needs to apologize more for other things, too.

BALDWIN: Maybe he will. I don't know what...


RYAN: Shaking the head, calling Tara Palmeri an idiot. Yes, he needs to -- yes.

BALDWIN: Ladies, thank you very much. Thank you.

RYAN: Bye.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, the reporter who overheard a conversation between two of the president's lawyers sitting outside at his table at a D.C. restaurant joins me live -- his reporting on what the conversation revealed about the Russia investigation and worries maybe among staffers about wiretaps at the White House.

We will be right back.