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Senate Committee Questions Jared Kushner's Truthfulness Regarding Communication with WikiLeaks; Another Woman Accuses Roy Moore of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior; Stanford Football Head Coach Discusses Life Lessons; CNN Hero Provides Free Technology to Children with Cancer. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 18, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared Kushner has told Congressional investigators that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Jared Kushner is in trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This house of cards is coming down.
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room. Any Russians? Anybody been to Russia?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, it's Saturday. We've been waiting for you. Good morning to you, I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. CNN Newsroom begins right now. And we're starting with two major developments in the Russia investigation and two members of the Trump family under scrutiny.
PAUL: The president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is facing accusations that he lied under oath. Sources tell CNN that in his testimony to Congress Kushner said he never communicated with WikiLeaks and didn't know anyone in the Trump campaign who had. But a now report shows Kushner did receive an e-mail about WikiLeaks and he forwarded to senior campaign officials.
BLACKWELL: The special counsel investigator Robert Mueller is now focusing on a meeting between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer and others who were at that meeting. It was set up after Trump junior was told the lawyer had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
PAUL: We have a team of analysts and reporters standing by. We want begin with Abby Phillip live outside the White House. Abby, Jared Kushner's lawyer fighting back, we know, against these allegations. What are you hearing this morning?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, Senate lawmakers from both parties raising new questions as to whether Jared Kushner was not entirely responsive to their inquiries for e- mails and documents related to their investigation. But Kushner's lawyer is saying in a statement that his client was responsive, that the e-that mails they're asking for actually deal with other people's contacts with WikiLeaks and Russia.
The senators are actually looking for some documents, an e-mail that they now know exists about Russian backdoor meetings. This is a message that was sent to Kushner. He was copied on it and Kushner then later forwarded it to other people in the campaign.
Let me read you a little bit from Kushner's lawyer statement in response to that request. He says "In over six hours of voluntary testimony, Mr. Kushner answered all questions put to him and demonstrated that there had been no collusion between the campaign and Russia." So a lot of strong pushback there, but there are a lot of questions being raised more generally about whether there's information that Jared Kushner has that he's been slow to provide. We know that as far as his security clearance is concerned, some of that documentation is incomplete. He had to amend it over 100 times. And lawmakers want information and they want some answers.
BLACKWELL: All right, Abby, thank you so much there at the White House. Let's go now to Frederik Pleitgen joining us live in Moscow now. Fred, we've learned that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking to meet -- at this meeting between a Russian lawyer and others, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort as well. This is really a crucial part of this investigation.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it is certainly is. And one of the reasons are the e-mails, Victor, that happened before this meeting every took place. And they came from a man named Rob Goldstone, who is a publicist. He's a friend of the Trumps. He's also a friend of some very important Russians as well. He's apparently also the reason why Donald Trump Jr. agreed to this meeting in the first place with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer. He wrote some e-mails to Donald Trump Jr. in effect stating what you stated before, that there was dirt on Hillary Clinton.
And then comes what many people think is a decisive sentence, and I want to read a quote real quick. It says, a quote, "This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." And in response to all of this, Donald Trump Jr. then wrote something to the effect of, if it is what you say it is, then I love it. And that's when this meeting took place.
Now, we know in retrospect that Donald Trump Jr. and some others involved in that meeting said nothing became of that meeting, that they lawyer wanted to in effect speak about something else. But certainly the special counsel is going to be very interested to speak to Mr. Goldstone who is currently in Bangkok. And apparently there are talks going on between the lawyer for Mr. Goldstone and the special counsel's office to try and get him to testify. Apparently, though, there is no date set yet. But certainly the special counsel will want to know what exactly was said prior to that meeting and what sort of dirt this man was actually talking about, Victor. BLACKWELL: Frederik Pleitgen there for us in Moscow, thank you.
PAUL: Jared Kushner played a key role, though, in his father-in-law's campaign, as you might remember, which makes him an important player in Robert Mueller's Russia probe and investigations on Capitol Hill.
So let's remember last June during the height of the campaign, Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after Don Jr. was told that this lawyer had dirt on Hillary Clinton. In September, Don Jr. messaged with WikiLeaks and sent that information to Kushner. Now, Kushner forwarded it to senior Trump advisers. Kushner held a secret meeting at Trump Tower with the Russia ambassador in December after Donald Trump was elected president, of course. And the administration says the meeting was just, quote, "an inconsequential hello."
[10:05:07] And just a few weeks later, Kushner submitted his security clearance forms, but they were incomplete. So he had to amend them several times to add more than 100 contacts with foreign officials. Kushner supported the decision to fire James Comey in May, and CNN has learned that investigators are asking witnesses about Kushner's involvement as part of an obstruction of justice investigation.
Then on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee accused Kushner of withholding documents related to the Russia investigation and asked for them to be turned over. And that brings us to last night when CNN learned that Kushner told Congress no one in the Trump campaign communicated with WikiLeaks even though he did receive an e-mail about WikiLeaks and there forwarded it.
BLACKWELL: Here now Ron Brownstein, CNN political analyst and senior editor at "The Atlantic," and Mark O'Mara, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. Gentlemen, good morning to you. And Ron, let me start with you. I went back and did a little reading, watched some older shows back in July. I remember your saying after Jared Kushner released that opening state before his testimony on Capitol Hill that there are no subordinate clauses, subordinate clauses here, right? This is absolute. What trouble is he in now potentially? Detail how problematic this inconsistency can be.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, we are seeing a consistent pattern of inconsistency, if that's not a contradiction, where we have a variety of administration officials who have forgotten meetings with Russians. You know, this was the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I've covered every one since 1984. I have never seen a single campaign that has had as many contacts with a foreign government as we see perpetually the new revelations of attempts by Russia to communicate at the highest level of the Trump campaign. Nothing, I don't think there's every been anything like that certainly in my lifetime.
And what we have is a pattern of Jared Kushner, the attorney general, others simply not supporting on these contacts until presented with information that makes it incontrovertible. And so I think from the point of view from investigators on Capitol Hill and the special counsel's office, what you have is a pretty clear pattern of people who are not being fully forthcoming. Whether that crosses the line into false statements or perjury, we're going to leave it to others, but I think from the point of view of the public, there's no doubt of the pattern we are seeing of less than full disclosure on a perpetual basis.
BLACKWELL: So Jared Kushner's attorney Abbe Lowell says that the Senate Judiciary Committee's, their WikiLeaks question was a classic gotcha question. The questions were have you had any communications with WikiLeaks, Guccifer, and so forth, or do you know anyone on the campaign who had. I don't think how that's a gotcha question.
BROWNSTEIN: Right. No, I mean, look, it certainly seems directly to the point in the e-mail that he was informed that someone else in the campaign was in contact with WikiLeaks and said he was unaware of any such contact. Very similar to the attorney general where he said he was unaware of any campaign officials who had met with Russians and yet he was at a meeting with George Papadopoulos in which he talked specifically about the outreach from his contacts from Russia. So again, we have a clear pattern here.
BLACKWELL: Hence, the repeated, I do not recall. Mark, let me come to you now, and I want to read a portion of the opening statement that Jared Kushner reportedly red when he was on the Hill testifying back in July. "It was typical for me to receive 200 or more e-mails a day during the campaign. I did not have the time to read every one, especially long e-mails from unknown senders or e-mail chains to which I was added at some later point in the exchange." Now, that may be some preemptive defense as it relates to emails, but is it plausible to think that Jared Kushner would not read an e-mail about this topic, again, we don't know what the body of the e-mail was, from his brother-in-law?
MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: First of all, no, I don't think it's plausible to suggest that now. It reminds me to the Watergate days when you say, to the best of my recollection I do not remember. But even more importantly, Jared Kushner was prepared, well-prepared by his lawyers, a team of lawyers, to get him ready for this Congressional testimony. And we have to assume without being in the room with them that that he would go over those particular issues that are of concern to Congress. And we know what they were. It was to questions whether or not there was any conspiracy. They've used the term "collusion," but a true conspiracy which is nothing more than did you do something to act in furtherance of this potentially criminal act, in this case the potential interference with the Russian government and those acting on its behalf and the campaign.
So the idea that he comes in front of Congress and says I don't remember the WikiLeaks event if there was one quite honestly to me is patently absurd because that is precisely what I would have prepared my client for if he was about to be a with the in front of Congress on those very particular issues.
[10:10:13] BLACKWELL: Mark, what do you glean from the phrasing from Senator Grassley's letter in which he says he may have overlooked several documents that we know exists?
O'MARA: My quick response as a lawyer is you overlook something like that, and you're going to be cross-examined for two hours on it and you're going to be devastated by it. Sure, that's the cover. I forgot. I didn't know. I overlooked it. We can all say that, but it has to be taken in context with all of the other information that's being looked at by Congress, and much most importantly in my opinion by special prosecutor Mueller, because he's looking at this and doing a very methodical job, this is going to fit into context in effect one or two or three pieces of a very large puzzle that he's putting together. And unless there is a better answer than I don't remember, I forgot, I overlooked it, then he's in trouble.
BLACKWELL: Ron, let's talk about Mueller investigation. Reportedly he is now looking forward to speaking with this British promoter Rob Goldstone who set up the June, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Natalia Veselnitskaya and Don Trump Jr. and Manafort and Kushner and so forth. Remind everyone what he can offer to this investigation?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, he was the link between the Russian lawyer and the campaign. He was the contact. He was the one who made the approach. And as we noted in the previous segment, you know, said there was dirt being offered as part of the Russian government's support for your dad. And rather than, you know, as we talked then, what we talked about when the e-mails came out, rather than the first action being going to the FBI and saying, hey, you know, the Russian government is trying to offer dirt on our political opponent, interfere in the election, it was let's take a meeting.
It's very similar to what we saw with George Papadopoulos. Again, the same thing, no one in the campaign when informed of the outreach to him by the professor in London, no one's reaction was, OK, we need to inform the authorities that there's a Russian effort to insert information, or insert damaging information into our campaign. So, again, it is a consistent pattern.
And the other thing that we talked about last summer that I think this really reinforces, it's very hard to handicap a criminal investigation the same way as we do a legislative fight or a political campaign. Robert Mueller knows a lot that we don't know. The George Papadopoulos guilty plea came really as a surprise to anyone as big a surprise as you can have in Washington. I think the safest assumption for everyone involved is that he knows a lot of things that we are not discussing yet and that that could bleed -- probably produce rather more than less difficulty for those who are the target of his investigation.
Mark, let me wrap up with you. This may be a pedestrian question. I just don't know the answer to it. Rob Goldstone, not an American citizen. British promoter, he's in Bangkok right now. Do the rules of the game still apply when you're testifying in front of this special counsel when you're a foreign national?
O'MARA: Not quite, no. They actually had to get him back here much more voluntarily than try to force the issue. It's going to be a little difficult if he wants to not come back here to be a witness. There's many, many more procedures have to be followed to get him here. My hope and my thought is that with Mueller and what he's got going on
and the weight of his investigation, someone like Goldstone is not going to avoid coming and speaking or testifying, it's going to cause him more problems than it's worth.
BLACKWELL: And not telling the truth to those investigators.
O'MARA: Absolutely. The worst thing you can do, if you want to buy yourself a federal crime that you didn't commit before, lie to a federal investigator because that's a crime in and of itself.
BLACKWELL: All right, Mark O'Mara, Ron Brownstein, thank you both.
PAUL: An eighth woman has come forward now accusing GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The moment he walked in, it was a full-on assault. I mean, he was very, very flirtatious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:18:35] PAUL: Well, an eighth woman has come forward now, telling CNN's Erin Burnett Roy Moore grabbed her when she was in his office. This was over a child custody battle with her mother.
BLACKWELL: This was in 1991 as she was 28 years old at the time. The Republican Alabama Senate nominee was married. Watch a portion of this interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA JOHNSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: The moment we walked in, it was full-on assault. I mean, he was very, very flirtatious and coming at me constantly the whole time. It was not like for five minutes. It was like we were there for a long period of time. It was so uncomfortable. I knew something was up, but I just ignored it, tried -- you know, just what it was. He proceeded to come to the end of the desk and really close up on me.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: You said so close you could sort of feel his breath?
JOHNSON: Right. Actually, I think his knee might have been touching my knee. You know, his hands were not only -- it was like his knee was brushing mine or something. And then when it was time for us to leave, my mother had got up and left the room -- you know, to go up to the door. And when she was going out the door and I proceeded out, and he just grabbed me from behind on my buttocks. And he just squeezed it really hard. And I remember thinking I was so ashamed. I felt humiliated in that moment. It took everything out of me.
(END VIDEO CLIP) [10:20:17] BLACKWELL: Well, Roy Moore has not responded to repeated requests for comments on Johnson's allegations, and he has vehemently denied other women's allegations against him. CNN's Nick Valencia is following this story in Gadsden, Alabama. Nick, any indication when we will hear from the candidate about these latest claims?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. We shouldn't expect to hear from Roy Moore because his stance has been the same from the beginning as has the stance of the campaign. They say he's repeatedly denied these allegations. They simply aren't true. And his supporters have really come out aggressively this week to defend the character of Roy Moore. They say these accusations are simply ripping to shreds an innocent man.
Of course to those who have accused him of in some cases sexual assault, that's in a sense victim blaming. They said they've come forward after all these years, about 38, 40 years since these alleged incidents took place because they feared at the time that they would not be believed. In some case they were just happy to get away with nothing worse happening for them.
Of course that has not been enough fodder for gossip here for supporters saying that it is very suspicious that these women have come forward. Roy Moore has run for public office multiple times they say and they've never heard anything like this leveled against him. They claim that he is a good Christian man that is 100 percent innocent. His accusers, of course, they believe he's gotten away with something terrible here, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yesterday, Judge Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, defended him. What have you heard from people there in Alabama in response to what she said?
VALENCIA: You know, it's interesting because these new FOX News polls came out yesterday morning showing that Roy Moore was behind his Democratic challenger by 20 points among women, eight points overall. But that's really not the sense you get here when you talk to people. We have had multiple people coming up to us saying that they support Roy Moore, that they believe him over the women. One of his most ardent supporters, of course, is Kayla Moore, his wife, who was at a press conference yesterday among 30 women who says that they personally know Judge Roy Moore and this is not the person they know. About 30 minutes after the press conference started his wife Kayla Moore took to the podium to say that she and her husband are in a fight, a battle, really for their lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYLA MOORE, ROY MOORE'S WIFE: Even after all of the attacks against me, against my family, against the foundation, and now against my husband, he will not step down.
KAYLA MOORE: He will not stop fighting for the people of Alabama. In his words, and I quote, "I will not stop until they lay me in that box in the ground."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: One interesting point to note here is that the Moore campaign is blaming the GOP establishment as much as anyone else. The name Mitch McConnell has been brought up several times this week while we've been here. They say that he's the man that needs to step down. And they blame the Republican Party who they say spent $30 million to defeat him in the Republican primary a few weeks back. They think that they're to blame for these accusations. And they also believe that "The Washington Post" may have paid these women to come forward. Of course "The Washington Post" denies that. The women say they had to be convinced to tell their stories, they just didn't really want to relive the trauma. Right now, though, Roy Moore still affords a lot of support here locally. Victor?
BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia there in Gadsden, Alabama. Nick, thank you. And we'll talk more about his with our panel coming up after the break.
[10:28:08] PAUL: We're always so grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning.
PAUL: So new questions for the White House over what Jared Kushner told Congress.
BLACKWELL: A source tells CNN the president's son-in-law and senior adviser told Congressional investigators he did not communicate with WikiLeaks, and he also said he did not recall anyone in the Trump campaign who had. But a new report says that he forwarded an e-mail to senior campaign officials from Donald Trump Jr. and in that e-mail, according to "The Atlantic," Trump Jr. said he had made contact with WikiLeaks.
PAUL: In the Alabama Senate race and eighth woman has come forward with accusations against Roy Moore. She says Moore grabbed her inappropriately back in 1991. Our panel with us now, CNN political commentator Jack Kingston, and Tara Setmayer, former communications director for Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Thank you both for being with us. We appreciate it. I want to ask you, Jack, first and foremost, now with this eighth women who has come forward with accusations against Roy Moore, where does he stand? What does the Republican Party do with this?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they all have dug in. I've talked to a lot of people in Alabama and it seems like they're getting in their camps and they're deciding that this issue is still credible or it's not. Some of them have already come to the conclusion that it isn't.
But I also think we're seeing some tribalism in that some say some of these women are probably telling the truth but that was a long time, but am I willing to vote for somebody who is pro-abortion, pro-gun control, who is going to vote against the Supreme Court nominees of President Trump? And so I think that you are seeing that kind of tribalism.
And then I think there are also people who say I'm weighing the evidence, but I'm going to accept some of it and then I'm going to say maybe I can say I'm going to forgive him because it was a long, long time ago. I would say this, that his wife yesterday did come off very credibly. But so are these women.
[10:30:00] And so I think it's going to go down to the wire. I heard somebody say earlier on this network that the polling is fluid. And I believe that is the case. I believe there are a lot of people who aren't saying what they're doing if they already know. And then there's others who are going to let it play out and see what happens.
PAUL: Tara, that is one of the questions when you look at a recent poll, he is down in the polls and his opponent is up. But Jack brings up a good point. You there Doug Jones at 50 percent, Roy Moore at 42 percent according to this poll. However polls have not been our friend recently. So, the question is, do you agree that people are perhaps going to vote for him regardless of what's happening, they're just not willing to say it publicly?
TARA SETMAYER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, GOP CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER: Well, I think the "Access Hollywood" tapes last year is a clear example of how when you're this far away from an election anything can happen. Obviously there's been a significant shift in momentum towards the Democrat Doug Jones since these allegations came out, but we're still several weeks away from the actual election. So these polls are snapshots in time.
And, you know, I think that the Roy Moore campaign is trying to use the Donald Trump strategy here of just riding it out. We may sit it shift back because we see a lot of these man on the street interviews with folks that are saying exactly what Jack Kingston said, which I find to be troubling because I think that in the long term, if Republicans elect Roy Moore to the Senate, they are going to be saddled with this Roy Moore issue all the way through not only the midterms but into 2020. Politically in the long run it's going to be really damaging to the Republican Party.
The best interest of Republicanism, if folks -- if that was what was at stake here, would be for Roy Moore to step aside and to give the opportunity for another Republican that doesn't have this baggage, that's not accused of being a child predator, be on the ballot. There are so many other ways. And I think it's a selfish decision by the part of Roy Moore to continue to stay in this race knowing the level of these allegations and the credible allegations -- let's not act like it's a one-off or two. We're talking nine women and almost 50 other people that have been able to corroborate a lot of their story.
PAUL: I think it's eight women.
PAUL: You're right.
Jack, is there a potential for this to affect policy if he's elected? Where do Republicans go with it?
KINGSTON: I think Tara's right, number one, this is a double gift to the opposition because, number one, there's a scandal right now happening. Number two, there's a huge dilemma after he's elected in terms of do you see him, do you embrace him? Do you put him on committees? And then every single senator who's up for reelection is going to have to answer to whatever decisions are made. So I think it doesn't go away with the election unless there's some huge intervening event that wipes it off the map, but I don't think it goes away.
I think it's going to affect policy probably less than it does politics. I think it affects politics enough then the policy will ultimately suffer because the president won't be able to pass his agenda. And right now as you know with Murkowski and Collins and McCain, it's already difficult trying to get the 51 votes in the Senate.
PAUL: The other big story today is Jared Kushner, you know, some are saying he lied under oath -- well, he wasn't actually under oath, but he lied in his testimony regarding WikiLeaks and if he ever knew of anybody in the Trump camp who had discussed WikiLeaks. How much trouble do you think he is in here, Tara?
SETMAYER: Listen, Jared Kushner, first of all, has no business having a job in the White House. He has no business having security clearance, even if it's a temporary one. Both Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were not qualified to have the positions they have. It's just pure nepotism.
And not only that, Jared Kushner's own family history of very unethical business practices has also followed him into the Oval Office, followed him into the inner circle of the president. And the taxpayers are the ones that have to suffer at this. Even though he's not taking a salary, but still he's representing the American people.
This is a problem. Jared Kushner, who is supposed to be this some kind of wunderkind that was going to solve Middle East peace and he has this large portfolio in the White House and he's going to solve all these big problems. He couldn't figure out even how to fill out his F-86 security clearance form. He had to revise it multiple times. He forgot over 100 meetings with over other foreign agents.
It's strange that this guy made simple clerical errors, this is the same thing with this with the e-mail situation. Oh, he just forgot? We're supposed to believe this? You have to remember that the Senate committee, this is a bipartisan effort. It's both Feinstein and Chuck Grassley who have sent a very pointed letter explaining that they're not thrilled about the fact that Kushner omitted these e-mails.
[10:35:10] This is a problem, and it seems to be a pattern of behavior with Jared Kushner all the way, still here we are almost into this administration. And it just shows a pattern of dishonesty.
PAUL: Jack, I only have a couple seconds left. I'd like to you to respond to that. Do you think Jared Kushner is solid in his position?
KINGSTON: I don't think he's solid but I don't think he's in trouble either. This was a forwarded e-mail. It wasn't one that originated with him or that was sent directly to him in which he responded. He received like all of us do during a campaign, hundreds of e-mails a day. Many of them you don't read --
PAUL: But you know attorney O'Mara made a very good point that Kushner was most likely well versed going into this by his lawyers, so to use that I forgot may not hold water.
KINGSTON: And I think that's going to have to be litigated. With six hours of testimony, he answered all the questions. I think the question on this one was did you have direct contact with WikiLeaks. And the e-mail does not show that he did. It does show that he should have known that somebody on the campaign was.
But I'll say this, been in Washington for 25 years, I know Tara has. People miss things on disclosure all the time.
SETMAYER: Not at this level, Jack.
KINGSTON: I was reading this morning a September 29, 2012, article in "Newsmax" reported by "Bloomberg" that the Obama agencies in terms of disclosure, 19 out of 20 of them did not disclose proper travel reports. And the context the article was that this is a very transparent administration, and yet they missed it as well, 19 out of 20 agencies.
SETMAYER: You forgot 100 contacts with foreigners? You forget the fact that you own the company named Cadre that you make millions of thousands of dollars on in your financial forms? Come on.
PAUL: It's a conversation that will continue obviously. There's much yet to be answered, no doubt about it. Jack Kingston, Tara Setmayer, I'm sorry we've ran out of time, but thank you both for being here.
KINGSTON: Thanks, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, China stresses the importance of improving relations with North Korea but makes no mention of their nuclear weapons program. All that was said and not said during that special envoy's visit to the North Korean nation, we'll talk about that.
[10:41:42] BLACKWELL: This morning, North Korea says it discussed matters of mutual concern with China's special enjoy during their visit. Now, this is coming after China said the friendship between the two countries is a valuable wealth. They put out a statement saying both sides must work together to further the development of relations between the two parties and two countries to benefit their two peoples. However, there was no mention of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, we don't know if it was discussed, actually, despite President Trump calling China's visit a big move.
Joining me to discuss, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson. Mr. Ambassador, good morning to you.
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Hello, Victor, nice to be with you.
BLACKWELL: Good to have you. So what is your expectation, what will come out of this meeting in Pyongyang?
RICHARDSON: Well, I believe China is threading the needle. And I think it's a good development, a step in the right direction. First, North Korea and China, there's been tension lately. They haven't met in a long time. The fact that a meeting took place is significant. Number two, the fact that it didn't include Kim Jong-un shows there's still a little tension.
Now, the issue is what the message that the Chinese delivered? Obviously, it's not consistent with what president Trump said that China's against the freeze for the freeze position, which is very important here. South Korea and the United States stopped their military exercises for a while, while North Korea stops its missile test for a while. Even though there's no agreement there, I think, Victor, it's a step in the right direction in terms of maybe narrowing the differences to start a dialogue between the United States and North Korea.
BLACKWELL: So it's been more than 60 days since the last missile test. To what do you attribute that specifically? I've read that it could be a focus on maybe another type of test that will -- you know, another -- I guess it was a fourth magazine I read yesterday in which they said because of crop harvesting maybe they have to refocus resources.
RICHARDSON: Well, you never know what the North Koreans are going to do. They don't think like we do. I think there's some positive significance in that over 60 days there has not been a missile test. You know for the last two years, or a year, almost every month there would be a missile test. Maybe that was a pause to send a signal that they're ready to listen to an American or Chinese intervention to cool things down.
I don't know the answer. I suspect that you will know very soon. I suspect North Korea will conduct another missile test soon. I think that would be unfortunate. But the good news here, I believe, is that China is engaging a little more. They haven't pressured North Korea not to make a difference, like cutting off their oil exports. But the fact that they're going to North Korea, talking to the North Koreans, maybe calming them down is a good thing, but not enough to make a positive difference to bring them to the table quite yet.
[10:45:00] BLACKWELL: Finally, Mr. Ambassador, the White House has announced that next week the president will announce his decision on whether or not North Korea be added back in the list of countries, state sponsors of terror, I should say. What would be your recommendation? And what's the implication there? RICHARDSON: Well, I remember when President Bush took them off the
terrorism list because there was going to be a dialogue. There was going to be some negotiation. I would say to President Trump -- who, by the way, doesn't listen to me, so I hope he doesn't do what I recommend, is that he not do it. Not quite yet. He can do it later. He can make a decision later on putting them on the list.
Let's see what North Korea comes back with. Maybe this pause, maybe this Chinese visit is going to yield for some. Keep that in his pocket, don't do it quite yet. That would be my advice. But they don't listen to Democrats. They don't listen to anybody outside of their immediate circle.
BLACKWELL: Maybe they'll listen to you, Mr. Ambassador, maybe you.
RICHARDSON: I doubt it, Victor, but anyway --
BLACKWELL: Ambassador Bill Richardson, good to have you this morning.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: Well our Coy Wire goes one-on-one with the head coach of Stanford University David Shaw to find out how he finds strength through struggle. Stay close.
[10:50:58] PAUL: You know, it's hard to look for some inspiration sometimes. You need it, and Coy Wire is delivering this morning.
BLACKWELL: Yes, he went back to his alma mater, Stanford University where he played ball, recently caught up with the current coach there, David Shaw. Watch.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This "Difference Makers" is presented by the 2018 Ford F-150.
Coach David Shaw is in his seventh season as an inspiring figure as the head football coach at Stanford University. With a win against the Cardinals arch rival Cal tonight, he can surprise the legendary Pop Warner as the winningest coach in Stanford football history.
Growing up, young David Shaw, you're in Michigan somewhere playing high school ball. What's one thing if you could go back today and tell him, maybe a life lesson you've learned, what would you say to him?
DAVID SHAW, STANFORD HEAD COACH: Just to continue to trust and believe. One thing I struggled with early on, which a lot of young people struggle with, which is where is my life going? What am I going to do? And that's not what's important. What's important is knowing where you are and doing the best of what you have at that point, because you never know what twists and turns life is going to give you. But where you are, do the best job you can and believe if you work hard and do what you're supposed to, things are going to work out.
WIRE: What do you say to people going through adversity? Is there a way you can find strength through struggle?
SHAW: Adversity shapes us. You learn through adversity. You grow through adversity. Growth is a painful thing sometimes. You're not grateful to the situation necessarily, but you see that it helps you. It helps makes you stronger and helps make you better. I like to say we're not judged by what happens to us. We're judged by how we respond to what happens to us.
WIRE: Coach Shaw once said pressure is imagined, it's not a real thing, a great lesson he taught to his players over the year and one that we can all think of the next time we have a big life moment that we hope to conquer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Listen, we want to know your vote for CNN Hero of the Year. We want to introduce you to one of this year's top 10 heroes, Leslie Morissette.
LESLIE MORISSETTE, CNN HERO: My son Graham passed away two years after he was diagnosed with leukemia. We spent two years pretty much in and out of the hospital. When he was sick the computer definitely helped him stay in contact with his school and friends.
When you lose your child, the love doesn't go away. It has to find a place. I really wanted to make a difference for the families and the children that I had met in the hospital.
So I heard you like iPads. Is that true?
We give away free technology to children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
We love to say that we're connecting kids when their world is out of reach. One of our major goals is to connect kids to their classrooms, which really helps them continue their education.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Phillip's going to have a bone marrow transplant. We're going to be here in the hospital like six weeks. Thanks to that robot he's not going to miss out on anything.
MORISSETTE: Nothing makes me happier. The joy they have fills my heart back up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Vote for Leslie or any of your favorite top 10 heroes now at CNNHeroes.com. PAUL: Thank you for spending your morning with us and we hope you
make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: There is much more ahead in the next hour of CNN newsroom. We turn it over now to our colleague Fredricka Whitfield.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good to see you guys. I got the catch.
PAUL: Hi Fred.
WHITFIELD: Appreciate it.
It is 11:00 on the east coast. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Welcome. Newsroom starts right now.
The hovering Russia investigation threatening to cause major problems for the White House. This time the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner under growing scrutiny. Kushner is accused of not being truthful about the campaign's communications with WikiLeaks and Russians. Sources tell CNN Kushner told Congressional investigators he did not communicate with WikiLeaks and also said he didn't recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had. But a new report shows Kushner did receive an e-mail about WikiLeaks and forwarded it to a campaign official. All of this after accusations this week that Kushner withheld Russia related documents from a Senate committee.