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Trump to Meet with Kim Jong-un; Anxiety over Stormy Daniels; Trump's Meeting with Kim; 911 Audio Released in Parkland Shooting. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired March 9, 2018 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But, yes, in fact, Sam Nunberg, after a week somewhat of waffling and initial defiance, he has appeared here at the courthouse to talk before the grand jury and tell them what he knows.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Jessica Schneider in Washington, D.C. It will be interesting to find out if Sam Nunberg speaks when he comes out. He told our Gloria Borger he doesn't expect to speak to the media much more because he doesn't want to turn into Anthony Scaramucci. Take that for what it is.
Joining me now, CNN political analyst Amie Parnes, CNN political commentator and CNN contributor Salena Zito.
You know, in some ways I think it's fitting that we just saw Sam Nunberg walk into federal court on a week that largely began with his dramatic turn on television. And then with everything that happened in between.
You know, over the last 12 hours -- we're not even 24 -- we have this remarkable North Korea summit coming up. You have this really bafo (ph) jobs report, 313,000. You take those two things -- now you may not think the North Korean meeting is good, but it's an accomplishment nonetheless. You have those two major developments and then, Amy, you also, though, have the cloud of everything else, Sam Nunberg and Stormy Daniels. In some ways that tells the story of this administration.
AMIE PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It does. You know, he likes -- President Trump likes the sensation of it all. He's a tabloid guy. He likes it. He likes to do things first. He likes to do things that people won't say.
And then you have the outside spectacle of what's happening building around the White House, looming, the Mueller investigation. And so it kind of plays into each other. It's funny that, you know, the North Korean news kind of bumped everything else off the front page last night when you had Stormy Daniels and you had his own tariffs push. And that news kind of just, you know, took over. And this is the story of the Trump administration. BERMAN: You know, Matt Lewis, it's interesting, because the
administration wants to take credit for the North Korea summit. Vice President Mike Pence just put out a statement saying that the North Korea desire to meet is evidence that President Trump's strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working, the North Koreans are coming to the table despite the U.S. making zero concessions.
Again, you know, the White House is getting a lot of credit for the maximum pressure campaign, the sanctions and the like. What the White House wants to do, though, is suggest that his rhetoric, the fire and fury rhetoric, you know, calling Kim Jong-un fat, that that's part of it. Is it because of that or in spite of that, though, Matt, that that is happening?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, I think, look, this -- this thing, we don't know how it's going to play out. And the fact that Donald Trump is even meeting with Kim could -- there's an argument that it's a bad idea, as to being done without (ph) preconditions.
LEWIS: It's going to be a propaganda coup. So -- but I don't think that plays in Peoria. I think the average American is optimistic, hopeful, maybe it's the triumph of hope over experience, but the average American, I think, does like this. They do want -- it doesn't make sense to them to go through -- you know, of course Trump should meet with the leader of North Korea. So I think it is a -- it's good politics for Donald Trump.
The question is, does he deserve credit for it? And I think he actually might. Look, I don't know what North Korea is up to here. Maybe they're just buying time. Maybe they're just trolling us. But there is a possibility that we have spooked them. Maybe they're afraid of Donald Trump. He says crazy things. If anybody -- I think there was a real danger that we could have -- Donald Trump really could have gone in to North Korea and maybe Kim fears that.
There was a big -- a "New York Times" story a couple weeks ago about our generals meeting in Hawaii war gaming an invasion. And so if you take that and then you take the sanctions, it's within the realm of possibility that Donald Trump does deserve some credit for this.
BERMAN: Sure. The fact that it's happening, you know, it is, you know, it's happening and you have to take that for what it is.
The North Koreans have been trying to meet with the U.S. leader, you know, since the Clinton administration. They wanted to meet with Bill Clinton. They wanted to meet with George W. Bush. It didn't happen. This is something they have always wanted. The fact that it is happening is significant.
You know, Salena, again, and you talk to a lot of supporters here, is there ever a sense of, do you imagine how much more could be happening here? If you think the tax cuts are a great success, and the jobs numbers are a great success, and this type of meeting is a great success, how many more great successes could there be if not for all the other things?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you have to remember that voters bought into his personality and his flaws when they went into the voting booths. So there was always a level of expectation of unpredictability. Well, maybe they wouldn't predict some of the tweets that he's done. Maybe they wouldn't predict some of the, you know, scally (ph) statements that he's made. But all in all, they understood this was his personality and they were OK with that because he was commodity for them for 20 years before he ran for president. So they forgave or looked aside everything that he does that's unconventional and not sort of the same as any other president before him.
[09:35:04] He -- for them, he's had a great week. In fact, he's had a great year. He's fulfilled a lot of the promises that he made to his base. With evangelicals, they got Gorsuch. With Wall Street and sort of rotary for Republicans types, they got tax reform. With the tariffs, the blue -- the blue wall that went for Trump in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan and Iowa, they feel as though he has their back. And with North Korea, that satisfies all of them and may be part of expanding his base or expanding voters considering him.
BERMAN: Yes, you know, it's just fascinating to see all of those things, Amie, and yet, you know, Sam Nunberg is behind closed doors with a grand jury right now. And yet the CNN reporting is that the White House is increasingly concerned about the Stormy Daniels situation. This lawyer, Mike Avenatti, who was on CNN, we saw a clip from him before, he's serious.
BERMAN: He's serious about this and he's thought this thing through and he's fighting the fight, not just legally, but politically as well. And this isn't over.
PARNES: No, and they should be worried. I mean and you hear Republicans even coming forward saying, this is problematic. We're not talking about something that happened five or ten years ago. This was something that happened in the days before the election.
And so something is happening behind the scenes. And the fact that we're talking about it every day and something is happening from Rick Gates to Paul Manafort and now this, this is -- you know, it keeps the cloud over the White House and it makes it problematic for him to like push anything further. You know, the tariffs thing, everything else is -- the main objective for the White House is to drive their message. And they have problems doing that every single day with all of this looming over them.
BERMAN: You know, Matt Lewis, you know, Stormy Daniels, we've talked about this since the sort of beginning, how serious would it be? Would it enter into the West Wing? It has now. I mean it has entered into the West Wing. Sarah Sanders had to address it. Addressed it in a way that opened the door even further. The president, Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer, you know, concilliary (ph) for a decade, is now directly involved. LEWIS: Absolutely. It's a big deal. Look, I don't think anybody cares
about the sex part of it because, as Salena was saying, that's baked into the cake. People -- before Donald Trump won election, we knew a lot about him, including the "Access Hollywood" tape. Nobody thought that -- you don't vote for Donald Trump because you want to restore honor and character into the White House, you know?
So we knew what that was going in. But the other stuff, the legal stuff, the cover-up, that could have much bigger implications here, you know, in terms of the legal angle. And, you know, look, look at Richard Nixon, you know, he had won a huge re-election landslide.
LEWIS: He had opened up China. He had gotten -- finally gotten out of Vietnam. And it's Watergate that brings him --
BERMAN: Let me --
LEWIS: It's the cover-up that brings him down.
BERMAN: Salena, you know, ten seconds or less, the president going to your neck of the woods tomorrow. What do you think the first thing out of his mouth is? Do you think it's North Korea? Do you think it's the jobs report or do you think it's tariffs?
ZITO: Probably between jobs report and tariffs. Both of those are going to really play well with the people that are showing up to this rally in western Pennsylvania.
BERMAN: Salena Zito, Matt Lewis, Amie Parens, thanks so much for being with us today. I appreciate it.
From trading insults to suddenly talking peace, or at least talking. President Trump now set to meet face-to-face with Kim Jong-un. Should he be sitting down with a dictator? I'm going to speak to a former U.S. senator, former U.S. ambassador to China, a man who's been in the middle of this issue for some time.
[09:42:47] BERMAN: This morning we're learning that the same South Korean official who brought Kim Jong-un's invitation for face-to-face talks with President Trump also asked that South Korea be given a waiver from the president's new tariffs on steel. South Korea is the third largest exporter of steel to the United States. Interesting how all of this connects.
Let's talk more about this North Korean development. Joining me now, former Montana senator, former ambassador to China, Max Baucus.
Ambassador, thank you so much for being with us.
You were ambassador to China. Obviously the Korean issue very much part of what you were focused on during those years. This was during the Obama administration. Had this offer come, do you think, to the White House during the Obama
administration the way it did with South Koreans walking in the door in the White House making the offer, the president coming out minutes later saying, we'll take it, do you think the Obama administration would have taken that offer?
MAX BAUCUS, FORMER U.S, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: I think they would have considered it. They would have seen it a great opportunity. They would have figured out a way to see if they could make it develop into peace on the North Korean peninsula.
We have to remember here that Kim Jong-un is very sly. He's very wily. He's dumb like a fox. He's been to this rodeo before. He wants -- what does he want? He wants to be on the world stage with the U.S. president and he now has that.
Second, I think he wants to keep his nuclear power, his missile nuclear capability. He's not going to give that up. It gives him leverage. And he sees an opening how he can drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States. How? By working with progressive South Korean President Moon, who is more much progressive and wants to do a deal with North Korea, compared with Moon's predecessor.
And add to that, the Russians are -- have a very interesting angle here. They're proposing a big pipeline -- gas pipeline through North Korea into South Korea. Something that Kim wants, South Korea wants. This is -- he's a very clever man, Kim Jong-un, and I -- it's -- we have to realize that.
BERMAN: This is what he wants. This is what the North Korean regime has wanted for some time. The question is, you know, have policies that this administration has carried out, have they pushed him to it in a different way. The White House says yes. Vice President Mike Pence just put out a statement, let me read it, that this move is evidence, he says, that President Trump's strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working. Is that true?
[09:45:07] BAUCUS: Well, it could be partially true, but I don't think it's nearly as true as the vice president says. We know that the sanctions have hurt North Korea, but so far the sanctions have not brought North Korea to the table. And I think Kim is coming to President Trump now because he studied trump. He knows that Trump is susceptible to flattery. He knows that Trump will probably come and visit with him. And that puts him, Kim, on the world stage.
This -- it's really an opportunity that Kim sees more than is, my judgement, pressure that the United States has put on him.
BERMAN: What does the United States needs to get out of this now?
BAUCUS: Well, clearly, we want peace on the peninsula. That's the ultimate goal. It's going to be very difficult. We have to work with our allies, not just South Korea but Japan and we have to work with China. There will be no solution here without the direct involvement of China. China will have its interests and they want stability. They don't want a peninsula controlled by South Korea or for that matter controlled by North Korea.
SO we have to take this route carefully, gradually find out what Kim really has in mind. We'll find out after we have some of these meetings. There should be initial treaties by the U.S. administration and the North Koreans to get a better idea of what Kim really has in mind before President Trump sits down with President Kim.
BERMAN: Again, just simple yes or no, would you have taken this meeting?
BAUCUS: I would have looked for an opportunity to take the meeting, but I'd like to -- I'd find out more in advance to see what I'm getting into.
BERMAN: Max Baucus, former ambassador to China, former U.S. senator from Montana, thanks so much for being with us.
BAUCUS: You bet.
BERMAN: All right, dispatch calls just released from the Parkland, Florida, massacre. The deputy who stayed outside during the gunfire, he told other officers to do the same.
[09:51:27] BERMAN: All right, new this morning, we are hearing chilling 911 calls as the Parkland massacre unfolded. And the dispatch calls from the deputy, the one who stayed outside during the shooting. Not only did he keep his distance, he told other officers to do the same.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEPUTY SCOT PETERSON: Make sure I have a unit over in the front of the school. Make sure nobody comes inside the school.
Broward, do not approach the 12 or 1300 building. Stay at least 500 feet away at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Our Athena Jones is in Tallahassee with more details here.
Athena, what have you learned?
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
Well, we're learning all of this from documents and audio recordings that have been released by the Broward Sheriff's Office. You just played some of that sound from the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, telling others to stay away from the building, saying, stay at least 500 feet away at this point. That is, of course, one of the law enforcement on site who has been criticized for not acting sooner to stop the shooting.
We're also learning from this new timeline that it took officers 11 minutes to enter the building. There was also confusion about the direction the shots were coming from.
And this is also important. The Broward Sheriff's Office could not -- their radio system could not connect with the system of the Coral Springs Police Department and so the two agencies weren't able to communicate quickly about just what the shooter looked like and what kind of weapon he was using.
And I want to note, the public integrity office of the house of representatives here in Tallahassee is investigating law enforcement's response to that incident. They've subpoenaed documents from the relevant agencies and that investigation is going to continue even as the session comes to an end.
BERMAN: And, Athena, I understand we're also hearing some 911 calls from parents that day.
JONES: That's right. These are always a frantic, harrowing calls to listen to. Listen to this call that's been released by the Broward Sheriff's Office. This is a mother talking to a student and giving that student advice. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: OK, what is that -- what is -- what is she saying what is happening?
CALLER: Somebody just entered the room.
911 OPERATOR: OK. Who is it that entered the room?
CALL: Are they the police?
BACKGROUND: Stay together. I love you. I love you. It's mom (INAUDIBLE).
CALLER: Is it the police?
BACKGROUND: No. It's not the police. It's OK. It's OK. (INAUDIBLE).
CALLER: It's the police. They said put your hands up.
BACKGROUND: I love you. I love you. It's going to be fine. Can you hide somewhere? Can you play dead?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So harrowing to listen to that mother. You can imagine how hard it was to hear her child on the other end of that line, not knowing what was going on.
One more thing I want to mention. We're here, of course, in Tallahassee, where the legislature has passed a school safety bill. It's now on the governor's desk. Governor Scott has 15 days to decide whether to sign it or to veto it. That 15-day clock started yesterday when the bill hit his desk. And if he doesn't act within those 15 days, the law will automatically go into effect. But the big question here is that this law -- this legislation includes provisions he does not like, namely a three-day waiting period to buy firearms and also this controversial program that would allow some school teachers and other staff to be armed.
The teacher's union here in Florida is urging the governor to use his line item veto power to veto the funding for that program to allow the arming of teachers. So we'll wait and see what he decides. Today he is meeting with families of Parkland victims.
BERMAN: All right, Athena Jones for us in Tallahassee. Those 911 calls from the parents, every parent's worst nightmare. Just chilling.
[09:55:00] All right, the meeting that no one saw coming, President Trump and Kim Jong-un. We're following all the new details.
BERMAN: All right, good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.
The world went to sleep stunned, waking up in a state of wonder on the news that President Trump accepted an offer to meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. It is a huge development. And the White House taking credit this morning, even as there are questions about how it went down, who conceded more, and whether it's a good idea to begin with.
[10:00:00] Our Kaitlan Collins at the White House with the very latest.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, John, we actually just got a brand-new statement from the vice president, Mike Pence. I'm going to read that for you.