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Trump on South Korean Trade Deal; Trump Slams Amazon; Autopsy Results on Clark; Kentucky Community Without Clean Water; Witness in AT&T-Time Warner Case; Bolton's Sweet Stache Spotlight; Muller Pushed Gates. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 30, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Wouldn't you agree that he's got some (INAUDIBLE)?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We -- we covered it earlier in the week.

MOORE: Yes, no, I know.

BERMAN: But you know who's talking about backing off that deal with South Korea?


BERMAN: Donald J. Trump. In his speech in Ohio yesterday --

MOORE: Well, because he thinks it might not be good enough. I mean, you know, Donald --

BERMAN: Who knows what he thinks --

MOORE: Right.

BERMAN: Because he didn't make it clear yesterday.

But earlier this week the White House was bragging about this trade deal.


BERMAN: Not the president. The president had been silent on it.

Then yesterday he goes out to Ohio and says, yes, you know, we may have to wait. We're just going to wait and see depending on what happens.

MOORE: Well, look, the one thing I've learned, John, with Donald Trump, and I think you'd agree with this, whether you agree or disagree with his policies, this -- what is his best-selling book? "The Art of the Deal." This guy has proven to be a pretty darn good negotiator, especially when it comes to trade. And I think what he's doing is saying, you know, South Korea, this isn't good enough. We want -- we want more concessions from you. We want -- we want to make sure you're buying more of our wheat and our cotton and our soy beans and our blue jeans.

BERMAN: And I'm not being facetious (ph). We genuinely don't know what he means when he said yesterday it may have to wait. It might have been having to do with North Korea and nuclear policy there.

MOORE: Well, who knows, yes. Right.

BERMAN: It may have been -- just he was saying words out loud. We have no idea what he meant because he didn't make clear --

MOORE: Right.

BERMAN: What the actual policy was.

You talk about Amazon and you talk about the idea that Amazon has pushed out some brick and mortar stores here. But this is the new economy. You agree with that.

MOORE: It is.

BERMAN: Amazon added more jobs last year than any other company in America.

MOORE: That's true.

BERMAN: Amazon may be largely responsible for what Trump likes to call the Trump boom in the stock market.

MOORE: There's a lot of truth to that.

BERMAN: I mean -- so do you think he understands the nuances of this new economy?

MOORE: Sure he does. I mean this is a businessman president. I mean I think he understands why the economy is growing so well. He wants companies like Amazon and our technology companies to grow.

As I said, I think there is a real -- look, there are a lot of Democrats in Congress, John, who agree with Donald Trump on that these companies should be paying more debt (ph).

BERMAN: Absolutely. Absolutely. Keith Ellison. You know, there are Democrats who absolutely agree with him. You know, again, I'm just trying to see what the facts are here and how it all --

MOORE: Yes, but the big story -- and if I may. You know, yesterday we had some great economic news. We had the lowest number of people who have applied for unemployment insurance claims since something like 25 years.


MOORE: We had the revision upward of the economic numbers for the fourth quarter, up through just short of 3 percent growth.

BERMAN: Right. MOORE: I mean this economy is doing really well right now.

BERMAN: Absolutely. It is.

MOORE: And I just wish you guys would -- we just talk about --

BERMAN: And they also though -- they also -- we talk about every -- they also sold $300 billion in debt, the highest figure since the Great Recession. (INAUDIBLE) --

MOORE: And that's, you know -- that's --

BERMAN: But we -- I -- we've got to go.

MOORE: All right. That's the big issue for Trump is, can he start to bring that debt number down? Because I agree with you on that, too, John. That's a problem.

BERMAN: Stephen Moore, we agree on a lot. It's great to have you here. I really appreciate it.

MOORE: You too.

BERMAN: Alisyn.


Bright blue water flowing from the faucets. What led one Kentucky community into a serious water crisis, just ahead.


[08:36:33] CAMEROTA: Details of the autopsy on Stephon Clark, the unarmed man shot dead by Sacramento Police, are expected today as the protests continue.

CNN's Nick Watt is live there with the latest.

What's happening, Nick?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, this independent autopsy, the results will be released in a few hours. Now, so far we know that officers fired 20 shots. We may find out this morning how many of those shots hit Stephon Clark and where they hit Stephon Clark. And those results could, of course, inflame the protests that we have seen here since Clark was killed.

Now, he was also laid to rest yesterday. That was an extremely emotional ceremony. His brother was hugging the casket. And the Reverend Al Sharpton flew across the country to be there, he said to support the family, but he also made some political points.

If you remember, Sarah Sanders said from the White House that this was, quote, a local matter. Sharpton said this is definitely not a local matter. He said that brother could have been any one of us.

So, as I say, we are on the lookout for perhaps more protests today depending on the results of those autopsies.

John, back to you.

BERMAN: All right, Nick Watt in Sacramento.

Nick, thanks so much.

Clean water for drinking, cooking or brushing your teeth, most of us take it for granted. Not in Martin County, Kentucky. A severe water crisis there as people calling on President Trump to step in and help.

Our chief medial correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has more.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The hills of Appalachia are part of America's legacy. The people here in Martin County, Kentucky, proudly self-sufficient. But it's hard to take care of yourself when you don't have the most basic of necessities.

HOPE WORKMAN, MARTIN COUNTY RESIDENT: So we have blue water here.

GUPTA: It's left Hope Workman with no other choice. Twice a week, Hope and her daughter drive up this dirt path on the side of a mountain.

WORKMAN: This is what we go through to get water.

GUPTA: Twenty years ago she placed this three and a half foot long pipe into this hillside to tap a spring just to collect clean drinking water because obviously no one drinks the water here.

GUPTA (on camera): Do you drink it?

GARY BALL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE MOUNTAIN CITIZEN": Oh, no. No, no, not -- no, no, there's no way that I drink it.

GUPTA (voice over): Gary Ball is the editor in chief of the local weekly paper, "The Mountain Citizen." Water has been a front page story for most of his career.

GUPTA (on camera): What's going on here? I mean if the citizens, the people who live here and deal with this every day, where do they put this on their list of concerns?

BALL: In 2018, in the very place where LBJ declared the war on poverty 54 years ago, water is our number one issue. That's hard to imagine.

GUPTA: If you declare a war on poverty, 54 years later, you come back there and you can't even reliably get clean water, what progress have we really made?

BALL: It's like a third world country here as far as water. We've let our water system just dilapidate to the point of collapse.

GUPTA: You went how long without water?

WORKMAN: By that time it was ten days.

GUPTA (voice over): To manage that, Hope has turned her pool into a makeshift reservoir, collecting rain water for even the most basic needs.

GUPTA (on camera): In order to wash your clothes, in order to get water to bathe in, this is what you have to do?

WORKMAN: Yes. I did this in 17 degree weather. And we had to take a chainsaw to drill through the ice.

[08:40:02] GUPTA: Oh, my goodness.

WORKMAN: To get to the water.

GUPTA: So you used a chainsaw to get through the ice --


GUPTA: And then syphoned the water with your mouth out of this hose?

WORKMAN: Yes. Yes.

GUPTA: That's what it's come to?

WORKMAN: That's what it's come to.

GUPTA (voice over): In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States drinking water infrastructure a grade of a D.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the water that is coming out of my tap.

GUPTA: So how does the water get so contaminated here in Martin County? It's worth looking at how we get our water. Here, it comes from the Tug Fork River, where it is then pumped into the Crum Reservoir. And from there, it makes its way into this water treatment center.

GUPTA (on camera): After getting treated, about 2 million gallons per day of fairly clean water then leaves this treatment facility through a cascade of pipes traveling all over the county. The problem is, those pipes are also old and cracked. More than 50 percent of the water leaks out before it gets to the people who need it. Even worse is what's getting into those pipes and into the water.

GUPTA (voice over): We reviewed the most recent EPA data. And the Martin County water district has violated federal drinking water standards every quarter between October 2014 and September 2017. In fact, until just a few months ago, the district's nearly 10,000 customers received notices that their water had exceeded federal limits for potentially cancer causing chemicals.

GUPTA (on camera): Doc, I got this thing, what am I supposed to do about that? Am I going to get cancer?

DR. LAU LAFFERTY (ph): It's a very difficult question. And I can't tell them that it's safe or that it isn't safe.

GUPTA (voice over): Dr. Lau Lafferty is the quintessential small town doc. He's pretty sure that almost every person in this county has come to see him at some point in his clinic.

LAFFERTY: We shouldn't be asking in 2018 whether or not the water is causing cancer in our region. We should be at a point in 2018 in the richest country in the history of the earth that we have clean water. It shouldn't be a question.

GUPTA: Eastern Kentucky has some of the highest cancer rates in the country. And there's plenty of blame, smoking, obesity. But one thing stands out to many who live there, the water.

GUPTA (on camera): Is it the rain water that you're getting is better than what's coming out of your faucet?


GUPTA (voice over): On this day, Hope is filling up three additional pots of water from her pool.

WORKMAN: It's not easy, but it beats not being able to flush the toilet or take a bath. I hope you see this, Mr. Trump, because I don't know who else to talk to about it. They ain't doing a damn thing.

GUPTA: President Trump released a $1.5 trillion plan to address all of infrastructure for the whole country, but experts estimate $1 trillion alone is needed just to meet our drinking water demands for the next 25 years.

LAFFERTY: Central Appalachia, at this point, is being left behind. Central Appalachia certainly voted for President Trump, but we always kind of take a wait-and-see kind of attitude. Time will tell.

GUPTA (on camera): Is water a basic human right?

BALL: I believe so. I believe so.

GUPTA: That's not happening here.

BALL: That's not happening here.


GUPTA: And, Alisyn and John, I can tell you, this is not a unique situation. There are about 150,000 water systems in the country, but it is the small ones, like Martin County, that accounted for 72 percent of the total EPA violations. These are often small water systems, often rural and often ignored.

Alisyn. John.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, that was so eye-opening.

BERMAN: Look, water is life. Water is life. And these are people who need help desperately and have been left behind again and again and again and again.

CAMEROTA: I mean and just seeing how they live and what they have -- the trouble that they have to go through to take a shower, to flush the toilet, to drink water, something has to be done soon there.

BERMAN: All right, one of the government's witnesses may have backfired in the high stakes AT&T/Time Warner merger trial. We'll tell you how, next.


[06:47:59] CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news right now because a U.S. official says that preliminary reports show at least one of the two people killed in Syria yesterday is a U.S. service member. At least five others were wounded in this roadside bombing and their identities and nationalities have not yet been released.

This news comes as President Trump contradicts his top military officials, telling the crowd in Ohio that U.S. troops will withdraw from Syria very soon. But a defense official tells CNN the current military assessment is that now is not the time to withdraw. The State Department also said they were unaware of any plan to withdraw U.S. forces.

BERMAN: An important discussion.

A courtroom twist in the high stakes media merger trial. One of the Justice Department's own witnesses may have helped the other side. The government is suing to block AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner, CNN's parent company.

Want to bring in CNN Politics media and business reporter Hadas Gold.

Hadas, this witness seemed to undermine one of the key, if not the key point that the government is trying to make.

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: John, that's exactly right. One of the government's main arguments against this merger between AT&T and Time Warner is that it would give AT&T unfair leverage when it came to negotiations for carriage (ph) of Time Warner content. That includes HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS. And they're saying that they would be able to raise prices. They could even do blackouts or something like that.

So yesterday, when the government called a Comcast executive up to the stand, it was a little bit surprising that on cross examination he pretty much undercut that argument because Comcast is a big rival for AT&T. But he said on the stand, I don't know how they're going to operate the company, but I have no reason to believe it would impact my negotiations with Time Warner or HBO. And that was really surprising for a lot of us in the courtroom because that is a clear negation of what the government is arguing in this case right now.

CAMEROTA: So, Hadas, I don't suppose there's any way at this early date to tell whose -- which side is getting the upper hand with the judge yet? GOLD: It's really hard to tell. But it was interesting yesterday.

There was another witness, an MIT professor, who did a survey that was commissioned by the Justice Department to look at how many cable subscribers would potentially drop their packages if they lost access to Turner channels like CNN or TNT. And he found about 12 percent would switch, would drop their cable subscriber if that happened.

[08:50:16] But then the judge asked him some questions about the survey, that it was conducted online, and he said, how do you know that they're telling the truth? How -- what if they have questions during the middle of the survey? They can't call you up in the middle of it and ask you how it goes. And, you know, that doesn't necessarily tell you everything, but you have to keep in mind that there's no jury in this trial. It's just the judge who gets to decide it. So any question that he asks gives us a little bit of a clue into what he's thinking.

BERMAN: He's very active, it seems, in this case as it goes on day by day. Watching how he operates is fascinating.

Hadas, who's next. Who is the next big witness that you're watching?

GOLD: So there's actually another Turner executive that's coming up. This is a Turner executive, Coleman Breland, who used to be in charge of content acquisition for Turner. And in the future, though, what we're paying attention to, is when the big CEOs are coming up. When Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, or Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner are going to come up. Those are going to be the big days that we're looking forward to.

BERMAN: All right, Hadas Gold, thank you very much for being with us. Appreciate it.

GOLD: Thank you.

BERMAN: More than 40 percent of kids and teens sent to juvenile detention in Texas once will be back within a year. So a Dallas chef opened a cafe with a built-in training program to make sure they get the opportunity to serve meals instead of serving more time.

CNN hero Chad Houser describes his a-ha moment.


CHAD HOUSER, CNN HERO: I remember consciously thinking that the system is rigged. Based on choices that were made for him, not by him, the color of his skin, the part of town that he was born into, the schools that he had access to, and I just thought, it's not fair. He deserves every chance that I had. And I thought, if you're not willing to do something yourself, then you're being a hypocrite. So either put up or shut up. And that was it for me.


BERMAN: Put up or shut up. For more on Chad's story, go to And if you know someone who deserves to be a CNN Hero, go ahead and nominate them.

CAMEROTA: All right, so late night and social media are not being tight lipped about incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton's upper lip.

BERMAN: Oh, I get it.

CAMEROTA: Yes. The relentless bash of the stashe. Do you get that one?

BERMAN: I got that too.

CAMEROTA: That's next.


[08:56:21] CAMEROTA: President Trump's pick for his next national security adviser is getting a lot of attention. And it's all about that sweet stache that John Bolton is rocking.

BERMAN: CNN's Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The man President Trump wants as his national security adviser must be pretty secure to step on the world stage knowing the first thing people will meet is his mustache.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": This is John Bolton, by the way. Mustaches don't always tell you everything you need to know about a person, but this one does.

MOOS: He must be resigned to being portrayed heading to the White House for his first briefing as Yosemite Sam. He's not just depicted as a loose cannon, but one with a mustache. Already the president's hair has been affixed to Bolton's upper lip.

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVER NOAH": If Bolton looks familiar to you, it may be because he's been on the Cap'n Crunch box for over 40 years.

MOOS: If you believe the reporting in "Fire and Fury," one of President Trump's issues with Bolton initially --

MAGGIE HABERMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Was his mustache. I mean that was the singular focus of derision.

MOOS: Steve Bannon is quoted as saying Bolton's mustache is a problem. Trump doesn't think he looks the part. But more than a year later, the president got over it and comedians can't get enough of it.


MOOS: When Dana Carvey joined Stephen Colbert, he gave his mustache a name. COLBERT: I'm sorry, who's General Snowball?

DANA CARVEY, COMEDIAN: That's the name of my mustache.

MOOS: Carvey kept making weird noises and his mustache kept growing.

CARVEY: Easy, fella. No, boy, Stephen friend, Stephen small little feminine man.

MOOS: Carvey called his mustache a little engorged.

But don't expect Bolton to capitulate. Back in 2016 he tweeted, I appreciate the grooming advice from the totally unbiased mainstream media, but I will not be shaving my mustache.

Of course, that was before he was portrayed breast feeding a puppy. That's enough to make your facial hair stand on end.

CARVEY: Come on, nussle up sugar buns, here we go.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: By the way, John Bolton's mustache could not be reached for comment.

CAMEROTA: What was that at the end? That -- that took a very deviant turn.

BERMAN: You know, I can see the connection between mustaches and breast feeding puppies.

CAMEROTA: You can?

I think he's going to bring back the stache. I think that he is going to single handedly -- he already has a hashtag. I think he's going to single handedly bring back the stache. And I don't mean the stache with the goatee, like the hipsters. I mean the full-on -- I don't even know what style stache that is to call it, but I think that that will become the (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: It is interesting that Tom Selleck is being brought in to interview as a possible replacement of Jeff Sessions because as a P.I. he does have experience and the mustache.

CAMEROTA: The stache. It's all about the stache.

BERMAN: It's all about the stache.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

OK, hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Happy Easter to everyone.

BERMAN: I wore an Easter basket. CAMEROTA: You look fantastic.

BERMAN: Thank you very much. Happy Passover to everyone as well.

Time now for NEWSROOM with an upgrade today. Ana Cabrera is there.

Go ahead, Ana.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera. Happy Friday to you.

The big question this morning, collusion or no collusion? Brand new details in the special counsel's Russia investigation show just how Robert Mueller and his team are using information from former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and how Gates could help tie the campaign to the Russian intelligence agency.

[09:00:01] CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has been following every development, is joining us now to explain the connection.

So, Shimon, why is it significant that Rick Gates is now cooperating with Mueller's team on this part of the investigation?