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Olympic Games Begin; Handshake Happens Between North and South; Omarosa Talks About White House; Storm Hits Midwest; Release of Democratic Memo; Porter White House Allegations. Aired 6:30-7:00a ET

Aired February 9, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:32] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: After months of anticipation, the Winter Olympics are finally getting underway. The opening ceremony is taking place right now.

And Coy Wire is live in South Korea with the "Bleacher Report."



The U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence. Dreams becoming reality for nearly 3,000 athletes from over 90 nations as they walk into the stadium here in Pyeongchang. The temperatures expected to feel like they're in their 20s. So preparations were made. Every one of the expected 40,000 plus spectators gets a blanket, knit cap, a heated seat cushion and other cold conquerors. So it's going to be cold, but for most of the athletes it's also going to be surreal.

And I caught up with two-time Olympian, Team USA's freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy to find out what these moments are like.


GUS KENWORTHY, FREESTYLE SKIER: It really takes your breath away. I mean you walk out and it's just this massive stadium. Everyone is screaming. There's lights flashing. USA is being chanted. And everyone's wearing these like beautiful matching opening ceremony outfits that Ralph Lauren made. And there's just a crazy sense of comradery.


WIRE: Our friends at Ralph Lauren (ph) allowed us to don the gear that our U.S. Olympians are wearing, a heated parka. It's rain proof and these tweet gloves with the fringe. Oh, Will Ripley and Ivan Watson are going to be mad at me because I am nice and toasty right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Coy Wire looking sharp in fringe, which I know you like to wear, so thank you for that, Coy. You know, sports, but also really important, historic diplomacy at

work here. North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's sister making big news at the Winter Olympics. She just shook hands with South Korea's president. Now, North Korea's presence there at all has led to protests outside the Olympic Stadium.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now live from there.



You know, the government here in South Korea, they call this the peace games. But what was always going to overshadow these Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was North Korea, which is -- the Demilitarized Zone is only about 60 miles away from here. The land mines, the barbed wire.

At the last minute, the North Koreans negotiated and came to the Olympics. The sister of the North Korean leader, her name is Kim Yo- Jong. She arrived on a private plane that landed at Incheon Airport. She was greeted by South Koreans. She shook hands with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. They have a lunch scheduled together on Saturday.

Meanwhile, they are most likely in the stadium behind me where this light show is now taking place. Among some 40,000 plus other spectators there, also believed to be the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who, from what we understand, has not met face-to-face with the North Koreans thus far.

[08:35:15] Not everybody is happy with this Olympic diplomacy here in South Korea. There have been consistent, noisy, usually quite small protests. You may be able to hear off camera this loud speaker occur in the background. There are some South Koreans that view the invitation to North Korea as appeasement to a country that was firing missiles just last November.

But, again, the government is calling this the peace games. They hope that this will be a step towards reducing tensions here on the Korean peninsula.


CAMEROTA: Yes, Ivan, we can hear that loud speaker and that protest. Thank you very much for giving us all the context.

So Omarosa is talking.


OMAROSA: Like, I was haunted by tweets every single day. Like, what is he going to tweet next?


CAMEROTA: What else did "The Apprentice" star turned presidential aide whisper about her time in the White House? We have the details, next.

BERMAN: I can't believe this is happening.

CAMEROTA: It's happening.



OMAROSA: Look, I was haunted by tweets every single day. Like, what is he going to tweet next?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anybody say to him, what are you doing?

OMAROSA: I tried to be that person and then all of the people around him attacked me. It was like, keep her away from him. Don't give her access. Don't let her talk to him. It's like -- and Ivanka's there, Jared's there.


CAMEROTA: That was former White House aide and reality TV star Omarosa whispering about her time in the West Wing on an episode of --

BERMAN: Can I read that sentence again because I find that to be stunning.

CAMEROTA: We're doing a segment on Omarosa.

BERMAN: No, no, no, that was former White House aide and reality TV star Omarosa whispering about her time in the West Wing on an episode of "Celebrity Big Brother."

[06:40:06] CAMEROTA: This is happening.


CAMEROTA: We're doing this, John. We're doing this.

And the reason we're doing this is because Omarosa resigned from the White House -- as you know, she was an aide to the president -- amid reports that she and Chief of Staff John Kelly had a tense relationship.

AVLON: Only the best people.

CAMEROTA: Let's bring back CNN political analyst John Avlon and David Gregory.

David, part of why this is fascinating, despite John's incredulity, is because Omarosa is now a truth teller. She's out of the White House and she's talking about what it was like in there. And she's saying that she lived in fear. She was haunted by the tweets that would come out every day.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think we can stick to real life in the White House and have so much to scrutinize without drifting into fantasy island land of reality TV.

CAMEROTA: But, hold on, she can speak more clearly than people who are in the White House right now. She can speak more opening than people who are still there.

GREGORY: Well, I -- yes. I mean I just saw a -- I mean I think this is so ridiculous, you know, that this is part of, you know, the landscape of the White House, that now you have someone who is a reality star, who's now in a reality show, speaking about what's really going on. So maybe it is a window into what's really going on. Maybe it's puffed up, exaggerated. I have no idea. It is just -- it's so ridiculous it's hard to take seriously. But it's actually, you know, it is part of a revolving door drama about the White House, about the personalities involved that we don't know where, you know, the reality star stuff begins and ends and, you know --

CAMEROTA: Well, there you go.

BERMAN: Hang on.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

BERMAN: Let me see your ridiculous, David Gregory, and raise you one absurd.

GREGORY: Let's go.

BERMAN: Which is that at the White House briefing yesterday, the most rehearsed line, the most prepared line in the entire briefing was the answer to the Omarosa question. Listen.


RAJ SHAH, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Omarosa was fired three times on "The Apprentice." And this is the fourth time we let her go. She had limited contact with the president while here. She has no contact now.


BERMAN: So, you know, the White House is now a cast member of "Celebrity Big Brother."

AVLON: Yes. But, look, yes, we are through the looking glass, but this is perfect. This is a reality show president, running a reality show administration, getting dished on, on a reality show. And the role here is Omarosa as truth teller.

But one of the stunning things in -- you know, it was in this -- she said, first of all, this isn't going to end well.


AVLON: And the other thing was, she would never, in a million years, vote for Trump again. Now, look, in any -- let's just put it through a prism of normalcy at the risk of being naive. People who have served in a White House and have been friends with the president rarely will say that was the biggest mistake of my life and I'm afraid of -- for the country.

BERMAN: If she's --

AVLON: That's effectively what she (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: I will say -- I will say, if she -- you know, she said that in an interview, you know, to Charles Kuralt or something on "60 Minutes."


CAMEROTA: That would truly be incredible.

BERMAN: Charles Kuralt, because of all there being -- there being some supernatural issues here.

AVLON: You reiterated (ph) Charles Kuralt this morning.

BERMAN: But the point is, it would be news. It would be news if you said that to anyone. The fact that it happened on "Big Brother" is just --


CAMEROTA: But that --

AVLON: But news. It's weird news.

CAMEROTA: That's a great point.

OK, listen, to -- for your viewing pleasure, David Gregory, since you think this is to ridiculous it's redonkulous, here is --

AVLON: Redonkulous.

CAMEROTA: Here is how Stephen Colbert saw it last night.


STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, really? Oh, really? You were haunted? Out here it's been the trumpityville horror. Also, Omarosa, pro tip, when you're on a reality show, whispering doesn't really work. Trump can still hear you.


CAMEROTA: Your thoughts, David?

GREGORY: You know, I mean it's like -- you know, I covered the O.J. Simpson trials and, you know, Kato Kaelin going off and having, you know, his television career afterward. I mean it feels similar. It's pathetic. I mean to have -- you know, I know we're kind of beyond, you know, the norms of Washington and the White House --

CAMEROTA: You think?

GREGORY: With this -- with this administration.

AVLON: What gave you that impression, David?

GREGORY: But this too takes it to a new level. I mean to have from the White House podium on a day when there's very serious controversies being dealt with about how they're handling this issue of Rob Porter, to actually say as a point of reference and credibility, let's remember, she was fired from "The Apprentice."


GREGORY: And we should take note of that. Oh, yes, that's a good point.

AVLON: And a looming shutdown.


AVLON: And a thousand point drop on Wall Street.


AVLON: But the White House really wanted to get the sound bite of Omarosa right.

GREGORY: Yes, right.

BERMAN: It's also awesome just to see how deeply uncomfortable David Gregory is today addressing (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: I know. I know. I'm enjoying that part.

GREGORY: I'm not trying -- no, no, don't -- hey, don't make me the -- I'm not trying to be overly prudish about this. I think we should just call it what it is.

CAMEROTA: That's good because I have five more questions for you.

BERMAN: When we come back, David Gregory, and "Big Brother." Much more.

AVLON: "Celebrity Big Brother."


GREGORY: (INAUDIBLE) I think is a bigger deal, the fact that whether it's -- I've always wondered why on soap operas and reality TV, why there's so much whispering going in? Why do people -- why -- aren't they worried that people won't hear them is my question?

BERMAN: He's got a lot of issues with this.

CAMEROTA: He does. He does. All right.

BERMAN: We're just now beginning to scratched the surface.

[06:45:00] CAMEROTA: We're going to -- we're going to have to cut it off, I'm sorry, David.


CAMEROTA: David Gregory, John Avlon, thank you.

BERMAN: All right, anxiety on Wall Street, which played second fiddle to all the Omarosa news. U.S. markets enter correction territory. What will happen today? We will discuss, next.


CAMEROTA: So the Dow suffered its two largest point drops in history this week. The market is now officially in correction territory with the Dow down 10 percent from its record high two weeks ago. It shed 1,033 points yesterday.

Now, overnight, Asian stocks closed down sharply with European markets also lower. Right now Dow futures are down slightly.

BERMAN: All right, more than 1,000 U.S. flights canceled as a huge snowstorm pushes through the Midwest.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, it really is a big storm for Chicago and Detroit and it is snowing all across the southern portion of Michigan right now. And 1,002, not to correct you, just to get specific, flights already canceled this morning.

So, the snow continues. The rate of snow, one to two inches per hour. Almost before you could get the plows to catch up, the more snow is coming down. Two inches.

This weather is brought to you by Jared, the galleria of jewelry.

You want to talk about ice, you want to talk about snow, there you go. Valentine's Day is next week. You better hurry up.

Here is the snow for today. It moves across the northeast. It moves into New England. Like you need more. And then more rainfall into parts of the southeast for the weekend.

Now, it is going to be a heavy snowfall. You're going to see spots where a foot of snow. And that's -- that's some -- that's some deep, deep snow. And also some very, very heavy rainfall.

Here's what Chicago looks like right now. Now, put this in your mind, it's 5:49 and traffic is doing like five.

CAMEROTA: Can winter be over now?

MYERS: No, not yet.

CAMEROTA: Not yet.

All right, thank you. We'll check back.

MYERS: You're welcome.

[06:49:46] CAMEROTA: President Trump still deciding whether to release that Democratic rebuttal memo to the Devin Nunes memo. So, will it come out today? If so, what happens? We discuss that, next.


BERMAN: As the White House faces growing questions about how top officials handled the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal, President Trump now weighing whether to declassify the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican memo which alleges FBI surveillance abuses.

Joining us now to discuss is chief CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He is also the executive producer of the new CNN original series, "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst," which we'll talk about, rest assured, in just a moment.

First, though, the memo, Jeffrey.

It strikes me as an incredible moment. If the release of a Democratic memo, which I think in some ways will indict the administration and Republicans in Congress, whether it might be a welcomed distraction to this White House from a scandal inside having to do with domestic abuse.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It shows how low things have sunk.

You know, I think the Nunes memo is such a complicated story, frankly, that ordinary civilians have a hard time following. I suspect most people have made up their mind to the extent they have an opinion about this story at all. It's turned into a partisan food fight. The Democrats' memo -- their point has been made already. I expect some version of this memo will be declassified, although, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if the FBI and the other intelligence agencies demanded some sort of redactions for it.

[06:55:27] CAMEROTA: Yes, but today's the day, right? I mean isn't this the deadline?

TOOBIN: The deadline, yes.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And I agree that this hyper-charged news cycle moves so fast that it's almost an afterthought. If it comes out today, then who knows what cover it's going to get. TOOBIN: Well, and, remember, the Democrats have already made their

arguments about the whole subject. So, you know, the memo itself, I mean people will read it, those who are interested. But, you know, I think, you know, this has been the story in his past Trump year, stories that were, you know, explosive and big and, you know, who, you know, who can -- you know, remember, you know, Obama -- he said Obama wiretapped me. What? It's like, what? That was a huge story we spent months on. Forgotten.

CAMEROTA: Even though that is what this is. I mean that is about the memo and the rebuttal.

TOOBIN: It's delayed (ph).

CAMEROTA: That is the heart of this memo.

TOOBIN: Yes, but -- I know. But we're -- it's whiplash.

BERMAN: I will say --


BERMAN: When the Republican memo finally came out, we did learn some things. It didn't necessarily support the argument they were making, but we did learn a few items there. It's possible we'll learn a few new things when the Democratic memo comes out.

One -- one question, Jeffrey, about the scandal in the White House right now. These abuse allegations about a key White House aide.

We've been talking, you know, about the honesty issue, frankly, inside the White House right now and the cover-up and how they treat domestic abuse, but there's a security issue here. A fundamental security issue here, which is that the gatekeeper of paper and information to the president, you know, could have been compromised.

TOOBIN: Well, you know, we talk about security clearances as if it's some sort of box just to check. There's a reason people have to get security clearances, especially if you have access to such incredibly important classified information, which is, can you be blackmailed.


TOOBIN: And domestic violence is exactly the kind of thing you can be blackmailed. If someone said to Porter, look, we are going to expose that you're -- you had beaten up two wives or give us this classified information, that's a scary thing. And that --

CAMEROTA: So then why was he able to function in the White House without full security clearance?

TOOBIN: Because he had powerful patrons who didn't care about domestic violence, period.

CAMEROTA: But meaning that somebody who doesn't have security clearance, forget the domestic violence, they can still operate right next to the president?

TOOBIN: Well, that's why we have this system of interim security clearances. And, you know, under -- it is understandable that on January 20, 2017, everybody cannot have a security clearance. But here we are more than a year late later and this is why -- and I -- you know, I had a security clearance for a while when I worked on the Iran Contra investigation many years ago. I mean, you know, it's a complicated, lengthy process. But at some point you have to decide whether people get it or not and here --

CAMEROTA: Yes. And when questions are raised about it, you have to decide if you're going to pay attention to those, since we know (INAUDIBLE).

TOOBIN: Well, that's right. And you have to decide what matters. Does domestic violence matter?

BERMAN: Can I -- can we -- can we turn from legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to producer Jeffrey Toobin.

TOOBIN: Media mogul.

BERMAN: Because you are -- media mogul, the producer of this new CNN series on Patty Hearst, which is remarkable, I might add.

Let me just play a little bit of it.


BERMAN: Or not.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegations made against Rob Porter, as we understand them, involve incidents --


CAMEROTA: I don't think that's it.

TOOBIN: Rob Porter --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case became a media frenzy right off the bat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hostage was not just Patricia Hearst, the whole media was a hostage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one-line story about an heiress who had been kidnapped by crazy revolutionaries from the '60s changed in the blink of an eye.

TOOBIN: Patty Hearst had her story and access to the press. And she used it like a master.


BERMAN: It's uncomfortable, almost creepy, Jeffrey, how much I like your book on Patty Hearst. But what --

TOOBIN: It's not uncomfortable. I'm not uncomfortable.

BERMAN: What's interesting about this story in general, it's a story about the '70s. It's a story about America. And it's a remarkable drama that I think people have largely forgot about this woman.

TOOBIN: Well, that's the thing is that at once it's about the '70s, this incredible period of terrorism. A thousand political bombings a year in the United States. Just think about that alone.

But it's also a mystery about one woman. What side was she on? Was she coerced? Was she really a member of the SLA? I mean -- the Symbionese Liberation Army, for those people who don't remember those initials.

Anyway, Sunday night, two hours, 9:00, and then two more Sundays for two hours. So it's six hours altogether. And it's really good, if I do say so myself.

CAMEROTA: It sounds really juicy.

TOOBIN: It is good.

CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, thank you. Can't wait to see it.

Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.

[07:00:03] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Chris is off. John Berman joins me.

What a night. It's been a roller coaster.

BERMAN: Yes. We had a shutdown.