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Hawaii False Alarm; White House Disputes Quote; North and South to Meet Second Time; Queen Talks About Coronation. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired January 15, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:32:08] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, Hawaii is not under attack. And, just as importantly, no one is telling the folks who live there that they are. The worker responsible for sending out the false ballistic missile alert that had people running for their lives in Hawaii has been pulled from his job. Hawaiian officials are reassigning not firing the employee who pushed a button that caused 38 excruciating minutes for residents and tourists. And now an investigation is underway to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

Joining me now, CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.

And, Juliette, I'd like to begin by quoting a famous national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, who said, the original alert was a mistake. The delay in correcting it was shocking. The building of confidence in this system and personnel is Hawaii's obligation now. That is all.

So what is the single most important lesson here?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So I think the most important lesson is that this doesn't happen again. And I think what are -- what we're beginning to understand, John, I'm going to be careful here because there's a review, is that there was a system upgrade that maybe there was a rush to deliver on it and that there were systemic errors in how this what we call reverse 9-1-1 was established to permit this kind of mistake from happening. So you want to make sure this never happens again.

And then, of course, this 38 minute delay, which is just unforgivable. I mean how can you send something out that's incorrect, know immediately it's incorrect, and then not have an immediate sort of remedy announcement. That has to be corrected very, very quickly because that's -- that gap is where people act and people make mistakes and tragedies can occur.

BERMAN: What does this tell us about our overall state of readiness? Is this a national issue or a Hawaiian issue?

KAYYEM: It's a -- it's a -- well, look, the homeland issue is 50 different states and how they are organized, how they communicate with their people and then the overlays of course of the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security. So what Hawaii learned and the errors that happened this weekend is something that the other 49 states better figure out whether they have systems that are -- that do not make mistakes and that are correctable immediately.

Look, each state needs to be able to communicate with its people, not just because of missiles, of course, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, whatever it is, and they need to test things like capacity. Can you get to enough people, communicate what they should do?

But on the other side is people, us, need to have confidence in that system because if it's wrong too many times, the next time when it's real there's a hurricane, there's a fire, there's a tsunami, people are not going to respond in the way you want them to. So the most important thing is that Hawaiian officials have said we are going to get to the bottom of this. They need to have -- people have confidence in the system again.

BERMAN: What do you think U.S. adversaries make of this situation?


BERMAN: They saw sort of the chaos that could ensue for 38 minutes. Is there a way that they're now thinking that they could try to take advantage of this?

[09:35:08] KAYYEM: I think it would be hard at this stage because if they just sort of, you know, follow us, they know that this was obviously an error that was just unfortunately took too long to correct. There are pieces of it that actually may signal our military readiness. Remember, in that 38 delay, both North Com and Pacific Command came out with messages saying it was a mistake. So at least that shows to adversaries our military readiness and what we call military situational awareness. They knew it was mistake within actually three minutes. So that is good. That shows our readiness.

But, for the most part, it would be hard for I think our adversaries or allies to make much of this because of the fact that it was a mistake.

BERMAN: So the president came out with a statement which said basically --


BERMAN: You know, this was an error that was committed in the state of Hawaii. It was a state issue.


BERMAN: There are others criticizing the president for his slow, verbal, public response to this. But is any of this on the president?

KAYYEM: Not what happened in Hawaii. I think what we're also starting to hear, however, in your reporting and CNN's reporting and others is that the White House and the Department of Homeland Security may not have had its crisis planning and crisis communications in place and that some tests and what we call table tops, bringing all the new people together, making sure they know what's supposed to happen if an alert like this goes out in a state, have not been done sufficiently in the new White House and the new leadership at the Department of Homeland Security.

So while there are silver linings out of what happened, Hawaii's going to test its system. Also the Trump administration needs to make sure they know what to do if the next time it is actually not a mistake.

BERMAN: Right. No, I think you're -- you're smart pointing at the silver linings here because a lot positive can come from this. A lot can be fixed.


BERMAN: This can be made a lot better because of the hell that people lived through in Hawaii for 38 minutes.

KAYYEM: And that gets to the personal preparedness stuff. Look, the anger and fear that people in Hawaii felt, I get it and it is unforgivable. On the other hand, if they can take that anger and fear and begin to think through, what if that wasn't a mistake, the family communications, the home preparedness, the planning that is essential --

BERMAN: Right.

KAYYEM: Not just for missile bombings, but, of course, tsunamis, earthquakes, other things that Hawaii may encounter. That may be one silver lining out of this.

BERMAN: Juliette Kayyem, always great to talk to you. Thanks so much.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

BERMAN: The White House digging in against the "The Wall Street Journal," the Rupert Murdock owned "The Wall Street Journal" saying the president was misquoted. It all boils down to one word. You decide, next.


[09:41:48] BERMAN: Our standoff this morning between the president and the Rupert Murdock owned "Wall Street Journal." Did President Trump say I have a good relationship with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un or was he speaking hypothetically saying, I'd, with a "d," have that relationship. Listen for yourself. "The Wall Street Journal" posted its audio.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'd (ph) probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.


BERMAN: Then the White House released its recording.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'd (ph) probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.


BERMAN: Joining me now, anchor of "Reliable Sources," CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, who I hope has better ears than I do because --


BERMAN: I mean I heard "I." You know, I don't know what I -- I don't have any -- I didn't hear a hard "d."

STELTER: No, I also heard I probably have, the same way "The Wall Street Journal" did, and "The Journal" is standing by its transcription of this.

I think it matters for two reasons, John. On one level it's important to understand what's going on between these two leaders of two countries that are locked in this dispute. President Trump in this interview seemed to be suggesting that he has this relationship with Kim Jong-un. He even -- he didn't answer the question of whether they've talked before. There was a suggestion that maybe they had spoken before. That seems outlandish. But again last night, Trump didn't rule it out.

BERMAN: I want to come back to that last point in a second.


BERMAN: How long did it take for the White House to come out and say that "The Wall Street Journal" version of the story wasn't true? This story was published Thursday.

STELTER: Yes. Forty-eight hours.


STELTER: And that's the other piece of this. I think the White House is toying with the press. In this case, toying with "The Wall Street Journal." Once again using that fake news slur against any news outlet that it's disappointed by or frustrated by or angry with.

The story comes out on Thursday evening. President Trump loved the interview. He said it was fun. He said he loves the paper's editor.

Then, on Saturday evening, this fake news claim comes out. The audio comes out. The argument starts.

What happened in between is really interesting. "The Wall Street Journal" had a story about a payment to a porn star. This was back before Election Day. One of Trump's lawyers arranged $130,000 payment to an adult film star who may or may not have had an encounter with President Trump more than ten years ago.

BERMAN: Right. STELTER: Was the White House trying to get back at "The Journal," trying to get revenge with "The Journal" by coming out and calling it fake news? I can't say for sure, but the time line is curios.

BERMAN: And then you brought up before, and I think this is fascinating, equally strange to the president saying I probably have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un --


BERMAN: Is in that same interview the reporters were clearly shocked and the president, who allegedly can read a room, should have seen that they were shocked when he said I or I'd probably have a good relationship with Kim. Then they asked him, had he spoken to them, and he refused to answer one way or the other. That's really weird too.

STELTER: Keep -- and in some ways, though, it keep -- it's keeping in line with President Trump's strategy of being unpredictable -- if it is a strategy, of being unpredictable, of keeping people guessing. But it seemed to be a question suggested by the reporters and then President Trump played along with it and said, I'm not going to tell you if I've spoken with him or not.

You know, the North Korea leader recently called President Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Am I getting that word right, dotard?

[09:45:02] BERMAN: Dotard. Who knows?

STELTER: Dotard. Maybe I am as well.

The point is, this is a very, very tense relationship. The idea they have a good relationship strains (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: And then, very quickly, the White House says it recorded -- it, you know, did its own recording of the interview. That's not unusual. I mean a lot of politicians that I interview, they will have their people come in with a recording device to do the same thing, correct?

STELTER: With a tape recorder, yes. That is -- yes, that is normal. What is abnormal is to see the White House using the tape --

BERMAN: Right.

STELTER: Against a newspaper that until Saturday it seemed to really like "The Wall Street Journal."

BERMAN: And, also, when there's no discernible differences between the recordings, at least by my ears. But, who knows.

Brian Stelter, great to have you with us. Thank you very, very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BERMAN: All right, the first face-to-face talks worked now. North and South Korea are meeting again this week. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:50:09] BERMAN: New this morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says threats by the U.S. are destabilizing the world, but he says Moscow supports the direct talks between North and South Korea. Those two countries are actually now talking about skating together on an ice hockey team in next month's winter Olympic games. The idea came after North and South Korea sat down for their second meeting in less than seven days with another one set for this week.

CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks has the latest.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we do have some agreement after the end of that second meeting between North and South Korea. North Korea has said that it will send a delegation of around 140 members of an orchestra from the North, an orchestra that traditionally plays a mix of western and traditional music, and they won't just be performing in the area where the Olympics is being held. They will also hold a performance here in the capital in Seoul.

Now, we hear from the South that they have said they will assume the safety and the convenience of this delegation. You can only assume that potentially that means they will be picking up the tab for them.

The North also saying they'll send an inspection team to the South to try and sort out logistics ahead of time.

North Korea has said they would like to travel across the border, across the DMZ, to come to South Korea. The South hasn't agreed to that yet. So it appeared they were favoring sending a cruise ship to go and pick up this delegation because then, of course, they have the accommodations sorted out as well.

This is just the first agreement we have. And it's from a cultural sense.

On Wednesday, they'll have higher level talks between North and South Korea. We understand the South is going to be pushing for a joint Korean women's ice hockey team. They want an ice hockey team with women from North and South Korea on the same team, competing at the Olympics under the same flag for the first time ever.

And then on Saturday you have the IOC deciding exactly who North Korea can send. So that's going to be a very crucial meeting as well.


BERMAN: All right, Paula Hancocks, thank you so much.

Straight from the president's mouth, he says he is the least racist president ever interviewed, but his comments about Africa, El Salvador and Haiti keep drawing attention. New reaction from a key Republican just moments ago.

Plus, for the first time in history, the queen talks about what it's like to wear the crown. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on , it stays. I mean it just remains itself.



[09:57:04] BERMAN: This morning, the queen, like you have never heard her before, not even on Netflix. No British monarch has ever spoken on camera about his or her coronation, until now. Queen Elizabeth opening up about the 1953 ceremony in a candid conversation for the documentary "The Coronation." CNN royal correspondent Max Foster tells us more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Question Elizabeth watching footage of her own coronation for the first time since being crowned 65 years ago. Her majesty speaking openly about her procession from Buckingham Palace in this stunning gold state coach weighing nearly four tons, bound for Westminster Abby.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: Horrible. It was not meant for traveling in at all. I mean it's just not -- it's only sprong (ph) on lever (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it rocks around a lot.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It's not very comfortable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you in it for a long time then?

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Halfway around London.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We must have gone about four or five miles. But can only go at a walking pace.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: The horses couldn't possibly go any faster.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It's so heavy.

FOSTER: The queen offering her candid thoughts about the imperial state crown, which only three people are even allowed to touch.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It's much smaller, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Significantly. QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I mean it was -- it was the same height. You know, it would be -- it would have been up to about there when my father wore it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was huge then.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Yes. Very unwieldy.

FOSTER: Britain's longest reigning monarch describing the rigors of wearing such a heavy crown with its lavish diamonds and precious stones.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on, it stays. I mean it just remains itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to keep your head very still.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Yes. And you can't look down to read the speech. You have to take the speech up. Because if you did, your neck would break, or it would fall off. So there are some disadvantages to crowns. But, otherwise, they're quite important things

FOSTER: The television special giving viewers a rare look at the crown and the sovereign scepter also used in the queen's coronation, which holds the world's largest, clear-cut diamond. Those, along with other sacred symbols of the British monarchy. The crown jewels have never before been filmed.


BERMAN: Just like all of us. That was Max Foster reporting.

Next up on the royal calendar, another baby for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and the wedding of Prince Harry and American, at least up until now, Meghan Markle.

We got a lot of news. So let's get right to it.

[09:59:58] BERMAN: All right, good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman. Welcome to the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day of the Trump presidency in the 95th day that the president has spent at a Trump golf course. And the words that hang over it all this morning are, I'm not a racist.