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Trump Strikes First Trade Deal With South Korea; Trump Suggests Pentagon Pay For Wall; Protesters Voice Outrage Over Stephon Clark Shooting; Top Execs Testify at Time Warner-AT&T Anti-Trust Trial. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired March 28, 2018 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:30:00] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: -- talks about that 2016, which is right around -- which is during the election, during the campaign. And specifically in October that Rick Gates is having these communications with this individual.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So Alex van der Zwaan next week is going to be the first person who is sentenced, right, in this Russia investigation. There are other court documents that basically show him begging for lenience.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, exactly. And really the point here is, there's a 30- page document that his attorneys filed and that is because they're trying to keep him out of jail essentially. He's facing up to five years in jail for lying to the FBI, for lying to the special counsel. And essentially, they're asking the court for leniency.
His wife is pregnant. They're using that as one of the reasons why. His wife is due in August. They're trying to keep him out of jail for the birth of his child.
He also was an attorney, and now his career is essentially over and that's kind of enough punishment for him. But the goal here for his attorneys certainly obviously is to keep him out of jail.
KEILAR: All right, Shimon, thanks so much.
Up next, who will pay for President Trump's border wall? Not Mexico. Now he's suggesting that the military foot the bill.
[12:35:29] KEILAR: The Trump administration is hailing what it calls a visionary new deal with South Korea. Officials say it's an example of President Trump delivering on his promise to negotiate better trade deals for the U.S., and it comes as the president appears to be shifting on his signature promise to have Mexico pay for his border wall.
He's privately floated the idea of having the U.S. Military foot the bill on that. CNN White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond here with us now.
So Jeremy, let's start with the president's first trade deal. Tell us what's in it.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Brianna. Well, the president just took to Twitter a few minutes ago to tout this trade deal. He's calling it a, quote, great deal for American and Korean workers, and saying that the U.S. And South Korea can now focus on our important security relationship.
But let's get into a few details of what this deal actually does. It's going to allow American auto manufacturers to double the number of U.S. exports to South Korea from 25,000 to 50,000. The U.S. doesn't even reach the 25,000 cap right now, so that's important to note.
It's also going to exempt South Korea from this steel tariff that the president leveled against all steel importers to the United States just a couple of weeks ago, but it is going to impose a quota, restricting South Korean exports of steel to the U.S. to 70 percent.
There is also a side agreement here on currency manipulation that's going to stress that the U.S. and South Korea should not manipulate their currencies to make their exports any cheaper to either country. But one of the problems there, and some of the criticism that this entire re-negotiation of this deal is facing, is that there's really no mechanism, at least in the currency provision here, to enforce that.
KEILAR: And now you have the vice president, who's making a bold promise on the border wall after Trump inquired about having the U.S. Military rather than Mexico pay for it, right?
DIAMOND: That's right. You know, this administration has long promised this border wall. The president in particular but now both Mexico and Congress have denied the president funding for this border wall so far. But here was the vice president just yesterday in North Dakota.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And let me make you a promise. When it comes to building the wall, we're going to build it all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: And so you see the vice president there continuing to tout this promise to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. This administration, though, still struggling with that. The $1.6 billion that we saw Sarah Sanders touting yesterday, for example, in regards to this border wall funding isn't actually border wall funding. It's going to help rebuild existing fencing and some new some new fencing along the wall.
But it is, of course, the president who during his campaign repeatedly made clear this would not be a fence, this would be a wall. Brianna?
KEILAR: Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for that.
Joining me now, Jason Miller, CNN political commentator and former senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, and CNN Political Commentator Hilary Rosen with us as well.
So Jason, you hear the vice president saying that. He's doubling down on the campaign promise to build the wall. But the president also promised this -- actually, no, but you've heard it. You've heard President Trump over and over saying that Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
Do you think the president owes that to his supporters? Do you think his supporters expect that he's going to pay -- that Mexico is going to pay for the wall?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, thank you for having me on, Brianna. I mean, the most important point here as a Trump supporter is that we start building the wall. This is something key that the president ran on. It's something that his supporters want to see done.
And to be totally honest with you, President Trump's supporters don't care where the wall gets paid for. We want the wall built. We want to increase our border security. We have to do it now. We've been kicking the can down the road for far too long.
Now here's a key point. If we can get military funding to start on it now, I mean, they've put like a billion dollars in the most recent joke of a budget, which don't get me started on Capitol Hill Republicans right now, but there's a drop in the bucket. But if we can get more military funding put to it to start getting the wall going in a little bit more earnest and then come back and NAFTA re- negotiations, we'll close that trade deficit with Mexico, I think Trump supporters will think this is a big win, it will be a big shot in the arm going into fall midterms.
KEILAR: So that's how you make the case. You say there is the DOD's discretion to go ahead and do this and pay for this and then use money from a NAFTA re-negotiation. That's how you would make the case if you were still advising the White House on communications?
MILLER: Well, they're two separate things. Again, the policy prescription here is that we want a wall. And we want to go from across the entire southern border, unless it's an area where there's mountains or wastelands or something where it just wouldn't make sense to have the wall.
[12:40:02] But we want the wall going across the border. We have to secure our southern front here. And that's the most important part.
The hyperbole part that Mexico is going to and pay for it, that's great if we can make that happen, but that's not essential to the core policy promise that Trump supporters want to see done. KEILAR: This was, Hilary, the core promise of President Trump during the election, that he would build the wall. Does he have a mandate with his supporters to do this?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, let's remember why he talks about it in those terms. He talked about it as sort of a way to divide. It was, you know, an illusion to a division against immigrants and sort of this macho way he was going to deal with foreign countries.
So that didn't work. Democrats are all for border enforcement.
KEILAR: What do you mean it didn't work?
ROSEN: Well, it didn't work because Mexico said, forget it, we're not paying for this wall.
KEILAR: But his supporters want the wall.
ROSEN: His supporters want the wall. So Democrats are for border enforcement and they have supported money in the budget for border enforcement. If now the administration is saying we're going to take money out of the Defense Department, out of military support services and other things to build this wall, that's going to probably be a fight that the president will have to have with congress.
MILLER: But Hilary, don't you think the southern border, don't you think our border security is national security? I mean, we have to do something to stop the flow of drugs coming in.
ROSEN: Look, I think there has been a huge amount of support for additional border security. The big issue that is dividing this country is what you do with the millions of people who are already in this country.
So there's no question about enforcing the law and enforcing border security. That hasn't been the issue for Democrats. The issue has been what do you do about, you know, the Dreamers and people who are already here and can you treat them with the compassion and recognizing law enforcement has a domestic problem.
So, this is just all rhetoric on the Trump administration's side in terms of lack of support for a wall or any other kind of enforcement. And you know, if he wants to go and continue to sort of hype up his supporters by talking about a wall and keeping people out, go for it. I don't think it gets him anything. Those people are already there.
MILLER: So we agree that we need to increase border security. And that --
ROSEN: Border security already is being increased, Jason. That's not why the president talks about this.
MILLER: But we need the wall. And also, since you brought up DACA --
ROSEN: And by the way, experts say the wall can't be built where it needs it the most.
MILLER: And President Trump is the one who's actually leading the charge to say, let's do something about DACA, let's do something about Dreamers, and it's the Democrats on Capitol Hill that won't go and do it. They're letting him down.
In fact, if I were a Dreamer or DACA recipient, I would be ticked off at Senate Democrats for being all lip service.
ROSENL Your nose needs to grow to the end of this camera because that's ridiculous. The fact is the president is the one who pulled back on DACA. The president is the one trying to end DACA.
Democrats are trying to get this presidential decree reversed. So come on. Stop it. Just acknowledge -- I'm telling you what you said on the wall and support is accurate, but never try and tell viewers that this is not the president's goal, to stop DACA. He's in total control over this.
MILLER: No, he wants border security. He wants to do something that's fair and humane with DACA. We agree on the wall. We disagree on DACA, where President Trump wants to solve it. Senate and House Democrats don't want to. We're going to have to disagree on that one.
ROSEN: It's silly. This is in the president's control. He could actually today change the environment for DACA. He could stop pulling it back.
KEILAR: Hilary Rosen, Jason Miller, thank you so much for that spirited debate between you two.
Coming up, outrage in Sacramento. It has been 10 days since police shot and killed an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, in his grandmother's backyard. His brother was among protesters demanding justice at last night's city council meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVONTE CLARK, BROTHER OF STEPHON CLARK: The chief of police got my brother killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough.
CLARK: He shows no emotion at all. And you all get mad at me for not crying (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stevante.
CLARK: Tell him we don't (INAUDIBLE). He's not the mayor no more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[12:48:47] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you point this to our council, does this look like a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make them accountable for what they do!
CLARK: The chief of police got my brother killed. He doesn't care. He shows no motion at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Protesters in Sacramento disrupt a city council meeting and voiced their outrage, anger, and pain over police killing a 22-year- old unarmed black man Stephon Clark in his grandmother's yard earlier this month. Officers say they thought that he had a gun, but then police said no weapons were found at the scene, only his cell phone.
Clark's brother and distraught residents are demanding change from city council members. In the meantime, Clark's wake will be held today, and the mayor says city council will not meet today out of respect for the Clark family.
CNN's Dan Simon is joining me now. Dan, the outrage over this shooting, it is persistent. This is not going away. Tell us more about these protests and explain why the Sacramento Kings closed their doors early last night.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, as far as the protests are concerned, what we saw last night was really incredible. At the city council meeting, you had speaker after speaker just really voice their distress to their local leaders about what they see are the problems in the black community, this latest shooting, of course, really setting them off.
[12:50:07] And then from the city council, you had this spontaneous protest when they went back to the Golden 1 Arena, where they were last week, and really blocked the entrances so you could not have fans get inside. Police basically, you know, in a stand-off mode, not really intervening, and letting those protesters block the entrances.
As a result, you still had the basketball game take place, but the fans couldn't get in, and you see a photo of inside the arena. And basically, nobody is there as this basketball game is getting under way. But the environment here is obviously volatile, and the police chief just doing the best job he can to try to bring some level of transparency and try to get the community essentially to calm down.
KEILAR: You spoke to the police chief last night. What did he have to say?
SIMON: Well, this is the first African-American police chief for the city of Sacramento. He grew up in this community. He was a police officer here for many years. And he announced yesterday that the California Department of Justice is going to oversee the investigation.
In his mind, perhaps that would signal to the community that there will be some level of transparency, but there are lot of questions in this case. One of the biggest questions has to do with what we see on the police body camera video. At one point just moments after the shooting, you see the officers, or at least you hear the officers turn their microphones off, and the chief himself has acknowledged that has raised suspicion.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF DANIEL HAHN, SACRAMENTO POLICE: But I think the bigger question even beyond this specific case is if we should allow people to mute their mikes at all or under those circumstances. It didn't help with the suspicion of our community of what they were talking about. And so it might be and probably is a time to not allow that anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Well, this is a chief that has been on the job really just for seven months. He inherited a department where there was already deep mistrust within the black community. People feel like they are aggressively targeted by police. He is hoping that he can bring some kind of comfort to the community with his presence.
We'll see what happens. More protests expected in the days to come. Brianna?
KEILAR: Dan Simon, thank you so much.
Coming up, it is the anti-trust case that could have a major impact on the media landscape. The government trying to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Lawyers for AT&T grilling a dish executive on the stand. Details ahead.
[12:52:03] KEILAR: Now to a court case that could affect you as a consumer. It concerns the proposed merger of AT&T and CNN's parent company Time Warner. And the Justice Department is suing to stop it, citing anti-trust concerns.
And the court has been hearing testimony from some major players in the media industry that includes Turner CEO John Martin and the president of streaming service Sling T.V.
CNN's Hadas Gold has been following this trial. She's joining us from the D.C. district court. Where do things stand right now, Hadas?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: So, Brianna, right now Turner CEO, our boss, is on the stand. And the government is trying to prove with him, going through e-mails with other executives, how they see Turner content, including CNN, TBS, TNT, so important and this sort of must-have content that other distributors wouldn't be able to survive without it.
And the reason that the government is trying to establish this is to try to say that if Time Warner merges with AT&T, AT&T would inappropriately leverage what they call a tool and turn it into a weapon against other distributors and really just be completely unfair to competition with stifle innovation, and possibly raise prices for consumers.
What's ironic is right now, AT&T is trying to argue that that's actually not necessarily the case, that Turner content is not that must have. We heard yesterday from AT&T and Time Warner with Attorney Dan Petrocelli that if you look at the top 500 rated shows, none of them are from Turner.
Now, the other side will argue, well, it's about hours watched. But it's really ironic to hear the lawyers for AT&T and Time Warner argue, actually, our content is not that important, and then the lawyers from the government side which (INAUDIBLE) represent the administration which is bringing this lawsuit argue that, yes, actually CNN, TNT, TBS are so important, considering if you think about how the president has let us know he is not a huge fan of CNN.
So this trial just continues to give us lots of twists and turns, Brianna.
KEILAR: That is all very awkward. So Hadas, tell us the timeline for this.
GOLD: So initially, we thought this was going to take maybe about three weeks. Then the judge said six to eight weeks. And the reason the timeline is important here is because if they do not figure out how this is going to go before June 21st, Time Warner could theoretically walk away from this deal. And it's possible that then they would go seek other deals.
That's not clear. They could extend this merger agreement. But the timeline here is very important for both parties involved.
KEILAR: All right, Hadas Gold, we do appreciate the report. Thank you so much.
And joining -- thank you so much as well for joining me this hour. Wolf starts right now.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1 p.m. here in Washington, 6 p.m. in London, 1 a.m. Thursday in Beijing. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.
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