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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Attacks Maggie Haberman on Twitter for The New York Times Report on Trump's Mistreatment of Michael Cohen; Several Former U.S. Presidents, Hundreds Attend Private Funeral for Former First Lady Barbara Bush; "Smallville" Actress Allison Mack Indicted for Sex Trafficking; Beloved Musician Tim Bergling, Better Known as Avicii, Dead at 28; Brothers Bradford and Bryan Manning Donate One Hundred Percent of the Proceeds from Their Company Two Blind Brothers to Research a Cure for Blindness. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 21, 2018 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you, top of the hour now and there have been decades of name calling and threats and defiant launches, but this morning there is an unexpected pledge from North Korea that could finally bring a diplomatic breakthrough.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Kim Jong-un says his regime is stopping nuclear and missile tests. This is an announcement that shocked world leaders, but is already being praised by some of the country's toughest critics. It's worth noting here what is not in the pledge, however.

There's no mention of short range missile tests, there's no promises to let weapons inspectors into the country, there's no plans to get rid of the missiles and nuclear warheads the country already has.

But the country dos claim it has quote completed its nuclear weapons goals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests.

And the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Kim Jong-un's pledge is drawing praise from President Trump who says the move is very good news for North Korea and the world.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Abby Phillip joins us live from Florida where the president is now. Abby, President Trump also says that he's looking forward, of course, to meeting with Kim Jong-un soon.

ABBY PHILLIP, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, Victor. The president has been striking an optimistic tone about the prospect of this meeting for several weeks now, and last night he tweeted twice about the developments in North Korea, saying in -- in his second tweet this is very good news for North Korea and the world.

He called it big progress, and he said look -- look forward to our summit. Now the president is trying to have this meeting on the books by the end of May or early June, but one of the problems is that there needs to be some kind of demonstration that North Korea is actually serious about denuclearization.

That's a big concern for U.S. allies, Japan and South Korea who want to see not just words coming out of this regime, but also actions toward the ultimate goal of -- of ridding it of nuclear weapons.

And while this announcement is welcome as a step forward, there's still, as you just mentioned, a long way to go here. But President Trump has already sent one of his most senior national security officials, CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with Kim Jong-un over Easter weekend in a secret meeting.

And the president said that -- that Pompeo and Kim Jong-un developed a kind of warm rapport and that they were making preparations for this meeting trying to decide on a possible location.

This week also, President Trump met with Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan to hash out some of these concerns. And in the context of those meetings with the Japanese, he actually delivered a kind of message to North Korea, which is that if he doesn't feel like there's any progress being made or that the United States is getting what it needs out of North Korea, he is willing to walk away even if he is sitting in the room with Kim Jong-un.

So there is -- there are a lot of messages being sent between these two countries ahead of this meeting trying to get the politics in the right place so that both sides can come out of it with something of a win here, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Abby Phillip, thank you.

[08:05:00] BLACKWELL: Now this is just the latest installment in a back and forth that has gone on between the U.S. and North Korea for more than 25 years. The two countries had virtually no diplomatic relationship before the 1990s, but since then there have been several errors marked by talks and deals, and then eventually breakdowns.

PAUL: Yes, in fact the first Bush administration was marked by limited engagement, trying unsuccessfully to get North Korea to comply with an international nuclear agreement.

And then under President Clinton talk stalled (ph) when North Korea started developing weapons grade plutonium, then they restarted when former President Jimmy Carter visited, paving the way to North Korea, promising to dismantle their nuclear reactors.

BLACKWELL: The U.S. and North Korea continued talks in 1996 and again in 2000 with a visit from Madeleine Albright. Well then, the George W. Bush era begins, and North Korea is suspected of violating the 1994 deal, by secretly enriching uranium. Another deal follows in 2005, when the North agrees to abandon its nuclear program, and then they conduct their first nuclear test the very next year.

PAUL: And under President Obama, North Korea conducted a second nuclear attack (ph). Former President Clinton visits Pyongyang to free two American journalists and after Kim Jong-un came to power in 2011, we've seen only two official negotiations, one of them was a 2011 deal for North Korea to free this nuclear weapons program in exchange for food.

BLACKWELL: And that broke down when they tested a rocket the following year. The U.S., then, announced a policy of strategic patience. No more formal talks until the North commits to denuclearization. Well that continued until last year, when the Trump administration shifted toward a policy of increased pressure and informal engagement.

So, clearly a lot to talk about this morning, joining us now, Phil Mudd, CNN Counterterrorism Analyst and former CIA Counterterrorism Official and FBI Senior Intelligence Advisor and Samantha Vinograd, CNN National Security Analyst. She's served on the National Security Council during the Obama administration. Good morning to both of you.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Phil, let me start with you. In the context on the promises made, promises broken, what's your degree on confidence? What's your reaction to this announcement from the North?

PHILLIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, obviously, is a good step, but count me more on the skeptical side than on the confidence side. Two basic questions -- probably, 30 questions, but let me just give you a couple Victor. Number one, it looks to me like Kim Jong-un is not saying that he wants to remove his ballistic missile and nuclear capability. It said, "We accomplish" -- he said, "We accomplished what we wanted."

Is this him trying to be accepted by the globe as a nuclear power, or is this him saying, which I didn't read in the statement, that he's going to reverse what the North Koreans have accomplished. I think there's -- there's too much optimism on this one. Second question, if we believe that the North Koreans are serious, I don't see anything that gets into things like, what the verification measures are? Will they let inspectors on-site? What will those inspectors do? So there's a lot of questions here but the big one is, is this about reversing what the North Koreans have done or acknowledging that they're a global nuclear power for the future?

PAUL: Well, we know that he does care about how he is viewed on the international stage, no -- no doubt about it, but Sam, the other question here is, what does Kim Jong-un want from this at the end of the day, when we know that a meeting is coming shortly, face-to-face with President Trump?

VINOGRAD: Well, Christi, I look at this from a fact or fiction perspective. Like, Phil, I am a cynic, but I think it is a fact that this is a positive step, at least in the short-term. We have at least a short-term, de-escalation intentions in the region. Look back six, seven months when we had threats of missiles flying at the United States. So factually speaking, this is a positive step.

I do think it is fiction that Kim Jong-un, in the matter of six or seven months, did a complete 180 and decided to take complete and verifiable steps towards denuclearization, for nothing.

And that gets to what would have to give Kim Jong-un for him to do what we want? And we have to think about what Kim Jong-un cares about. First, he cares about himself more than anything. So, I would image that whether it was during Mike Pompeo's secret visit to North Korea or through some other channel, we've given Kim Jong-un some kind of guarantee that we're not seeking regime change, and that he can stay in power.

Second, he cares about his international credibility and Phil alluded to this. I think he may be seeking some kind of recognition that North Korea achieved a nuclear capability and is on par with other nuclear countries. I think he wants that kind of positive branding.

Third, he cares about money. He wants to have the money that he needs to lavish on his military and his other hobbies, so I think he may be looking for lifting pressure or some kind of sanctions relief or assistance of some -- of some other kind.

And finally, he does care about his image on the Peninsula. We've heard him talking about trying to reunify North and South Korea. So I think he may be looking for some kind of -- some kind of pathway for him to be viewed as unifier and chief between North and South Korea.

BLACKWELL: And those, possibly, decisions or those offers of what will come in exchange, might of come from the U.S., might of come from the meeting with President Xi a couple of weeks back. Phil, let me come back to you.

The last nuclear test, if I have this right, was back in September. Based on what we -- we know and what we've seen, the successes and failures, is it possible that this -- this statement is accurate, that the -- the testing is complete, that they could really have, now this nuclear tipped ICBM?

[08:10:00] MUDD: I think it's possible, but the big problem you have in this case, the same problem we saw with the Iraq situation years ago, is confidence in the U.S. intelligence and other western security service capabilities, South Korean capabilities to insured that we really understand what's happening in North Korea.

We learned from the Iraq example that I don't think we should be overconfident in understanding how far the North Koreans have come. Even to basic questions of where their developmental facilities are, whether we understand their scientific and engineering capabilities.

So one of the big questions coming into this is, we've seen, as you're talking about, Victor, what's happened in tests both on the nuclear and missile side, but I'm not sure that we're seeing everything there is.

And that puts a premium on a question I think the North Koreans are going to be uncomfortable with. Can we have inspectors on the ground from the west or from the U.N. that verifies what the North Koreans say. I think the details here are going to be a lot tougher than people think.

PAUL: Yes, and Sam real quickly, we have to remember there are three Americans that are still being held prisoner in North Korea. What does the president do with that?

VINOGRAD: The president spoke briefly about this during his press conference with Shinzo Abe. But I think that this has to be on the table if President Trump meets Kim Jong-un. And I think it's entirely possible that Kim Jong-un does release these prisoners ahead of the talks to increase a positive momentum. And I certainly hope so for all the prisoners' sakes and their families.

PAUL: No doubt about it. All right, Phil Mudd, Samantha Vinograd, we appreciate you both so much and love your insight. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

PAUL: All right, let's talk about Michael Cohen. He said he'd take a bullet for the president but given recent developments in his case, some think that he may be reevaluating this promise. What could it mean for President Trump if this man flips?

BLACKWELL: Plus, President Trump again is trying to delegitimize the Mueller probe. This time by saying it's illegal because it was, in his view, based on leaked, classified documents. What could it mean for the future of the Russia investigation.

PAUL: And the world is remembering former First Lady Barbara Bush today. We are going to talk about some of the more moving statements and stories about her from people who got to know her. Stay close.

[08:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: So President Trump made this claim in a tweet last night that's getting a lot of attention. Casting doubt essentially on the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation saying quote "James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a special council, therefore the special council was established based on an illegal act. Really does everybody know what that means?"

BLACKWELL: So can the President really discredit the Russia probe. He's been trying for quite a long time now. Here's what the former U.S Attorney Michael Moore told me this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I think it's rich that he's talking about whether or not there's been information leaked especially after he of coursed meet with the Russians in the Oval Office. I don't think there's a great deal of -- of importance on whether not or how the Special Council at this point came about.

I mean there's been an act, it's been authorized. And -- and remember this is a follow up to basically what all of our intelligence agencies said about Russia medaling in the elections. You know there could have been a Special Counsel pointed under a number of circumstances.

So at this point, I don't -- I think this is another example of the president simply getting excited about something and trying to cast doubt both on the investigators and the investigation. And that's what he's done really from the beginning. The way that he's trying to come about and -- and boost up his own creditability as to attack the people who -- who are looking at him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right, joining us now, Joey Jackson, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney. Joey, good morning to you first.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning Victor.

BLACKWELL: What do you make of the President's logic there?

JACKSON: You know, Vic, I have to say that we have to know and understand who the President is. And just to be fair and trying to be objective we know that he is the deflector, distracter, and distorter in Chief. I say that with no malice but you know when something happens he sends out a tweet and has everyone running somewhere else.

I mean, you know of course you're going to deflect, you're going to distort, you're going to you know distract because this imperils your presidency. Everyone's talking about the Russian Probe. Everyone's talking about Mueller. He's attempting, I gather, to do other things for the American people, but he's mired down in this entire mess.

And so whatever he can do in order to get people distracted from the main issue, which is what was the nature of the collusion, if any with the Trump (ph) campaign you're going to do. And so it's hard. I know we're here to talk law but not to really understand the gravity of the politics involved here. It's politics.

And then the other point Victor is has an enormous following right? And as soon as he sends something out on Twitter, millions of people get it. So now you're going to have conspiracy theorists running around with that, oh it's Comey that's absolutely right. He leaked classified information. It shouldn't have been sought in the first place. And it's pure nonsense. There's been 19 indictments, right? There's been five guilty pleas and we know there's more to come. And then there's separate investigations in the -- in the southern district we know of.

And so, you know I just am not buying the whole conspiracy theorist of it's an illegitimate investigation, it should end now. BLACKWELL: Yes. This -- this is maybe the president venting. He said that he won't fire Rosenstein. There still there was his -- his last statement on them but the president has done this several times before. OK. Let's move on to -- to this Stormy Daniels development here.

We know that the attorney, Keith Davidson, who represented both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in their hush money deals related to the president in these alleged sexual affairs, is now cooperating with that federal investigation as you mentioned in the Southern District. And from the criminal defense attorney's perspective what's that mean that he is now supplying limited electronic information? We're talking emails here?

JACKSON: Yes. We certainly are. Emails, text messages, any communications that may have a gone on between him and Michael Cohen. And from a defense perspective, you're concerned. Whenever anyone is cooperating with the government and of course it's always good to be on team America, they protect you, the coddle you, you don't have

[08:20:00]

You don't have to worry about any criminality after you, if there were any, because we're going to clean you up. We're going to make you the best witness available. And you're going to testify.

But let's understand that this is a significant development. Why? We know that they certainly have some recordings that Michael Cohen had. But there are a few things they're focusing on.

Number one, the investigators want to know, and the attorneys want to know how were you really acting? What was the relationship like? Were you acting as an attorney for the president? Were you acting in a familial capacity, or otherwise? How exactly was Michael Cohen acting? That's significant. And they'll glean that from their discussions with the attorney now cooperating.

The other issue is what was his intent in settling and resolving these issues? Did it have anything to do with the campaign, right? Well, 11 days beforehand kind of suggests it does. So was it an in-kind campaign contribution?

And then of course, vector (ph) number three, following the money. Where did the money come from? Do you have any knowledge when you were actually sent this money? Was there a statement made to about where he was getting it? Was it a home equity line?

And more importantly, vector -- the final thing -- I know I said three things. But the final thing is what was the president's knowledge? If you were representing him, what were the conversations like? Was Donald Trump directing you to do this? Or were you doing this out on your own?

So a lot of questions, I think will be answered with this limited type of, I gather, agreement or cooperation that he has. It's all coming out. BLACKWELL: And of course the important element in all of this is, how does this affect the president? People don't so much care about Michael Cohen or his fate, but what does this mean for President Trump?

JACKSON: I think it means everything. And the reason I say that is because understand this; the larger issue, let's focus on the larger issue, Victor. Well you put your thumb right on it, and that's the president.

To the extent that I could get information which is damaging, illegal, criminal, that your main guy has done, right, has engaged in, the government has a way of saying, right, seen it many times -- personally in cases, you know, we're not so much concerned about you. We have a mountain of evidence against you.

In fact, let's invite you into the office to do what's called a reverse proffer. We're going to tell you the -- all of the -- the book of stuff that we have against you, but I'll tell you what, we'll forget about all of that if you just tell us about the president and what he was doing, what he wasn't doing, what he was up to, what he wasn't up to.

And so I think the end game is to find damaging information. And if you squeeze, and squeeze, and squeeze Cohen, I know he had these montages, and see President Trump's the best person in the universe. I love President Trump -- the best negotiator. When it involves you, your family, your children, your wife, your liberty; then you know what? Sometimes you sing to a different tune.

Last point, Victor --

BLACKWELL: Yes?

JACKSON: -- and that's this, we know and understand that he could get pardoned. Yes, of course he can. But just because something is a federal crime does not make it a state crime. And we also know that New York is seeking legislation that if you are pardoned, we can prosecute you anyway.

I believe it's legislation that will pass. Remember the political dynamics in New York.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

JACKSON: I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't pass, whether there's some concurrent state investigation that's being done anyway.

BLACKWELL: All right. So you know, we know Michael Cohen has said he would take a bullet for the president. We'll see if he'll take -- have to take that proverbial one, legally, if it comes to charges.

Joey Jackson, always good to have you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Victor. Great day. PAUL: So President Trumps campaign is dismissing a new lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party. Along with the Trump campaign, the suit targets Russia, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and several relatives and associates of the president.

Now it says they worked with Russia to disrupt the 2016 election. That's the allegation. The president tweeted about the lawsuit saying this, "This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC server, that they refused to give to the FBI."

Former Attorney General, Eric Holder, tweeted, in response to the lawsuit, "If the opposition party refuses to protect our Democracy, Democrats must." Other Democrats, though, have been more skeptical of the suit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: I actually think this lawsuit is ill conceived. And I am not very supportive of it. I think we have a very serious criminal activity underway in this country, by the Russians and possibly by those within the Trump campaign.

And to make this political is actually the wrong thing to be doing. I'm not interested in a political tit for tat. I'm interested in getting to the truth, and if there's criminal conduct that has been engaged in, holding people accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: President Trump's campaign manager calls it a sham lawsuit and a desperate ploy by Democrats to raise money, he says.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still to come CNN's Kaylee Hartung is live in Houston for the funeral for former First Lady, Barbara Bush.

Kaylee?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, REPORTER, CNN: At the invitation of the Bush family, 1,500 people will fill St. Martin's Episcopal Church behind me later today.

Coming up I'll tell you more about the service Barbara Bush helped plan to celebrate her life of service and devotion to family and friends.

[08:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: All right, welcome back.

Just moments ago, we had a conversation about the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen, and the potential he could

[08:30:00] flip in some investigation involving him, and offer information about President Trump, if there is information to offer -- we should say that.

There is a story out of "The New York Times" late yesterday that a lot of people are waking up and reading today, and in part by Maggie Haberman, who's been on this network several times -- she's a contributor.

I want you to listen to what she says about the relationship between President Trump and Michael Cohen. This is Maggie with Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Michael Cohen has, over the years, done all kinds of things, you know, at the president's urging because the president wanted him to, because he came to sort of intuit what the president would want -- it didn't always work out.

Sometimes, those things were handled in a way that was either ham- fisted, or came back to bite the president later -- the Stormy Daniels case would be one of them -- but Cohen was basically trying to do right by his boss, and was seeking his boss' approval.

And Trump, time after time, treated him -- and you know, Trump is very fond of using the phrase "like a dog" -- he treated Cohen quite poorly over a -- over a period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, the president is at Mar-a-Lago this morning, and in the last few minutes, he has now responded to that report and reporter tweeting this:

"The New York Times" and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don't speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will "flip."

They use non-existent "sources" and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family."

PAUL: He goes on to say, "Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!"

So almost makes it sounds as though even if he does flip, it would just be a lie. As he says, the government -- if the government gets to them, and gets them in enough trouble, this is what they would do, and this is how they would get themselves out of it. This, of course, coming from President Trump this morning on Twitter.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the president still clearly standing by his man here --

PAUL: Michael Cohen.

BLACKWELL: -- Michael Cohen. We know that the president made a call to Michael Cohen. Of course, it was said to just to check in to see if he's OK, but a well-timed call, even if it's not about the news of the day or the issue of the moment can be influential.

We also know that there was a friend, an attorney, who has known the president for some time now who told him that he could not trust that Michael Cohen would not flip, and mentioned specifically in an interview with Erin Burnett two nights ago that, even if it meant lying or making up stories, that it was quite possible that Cohen would do that to save his own hide.

We know that the investigation continues. Michael Cohen is expected to be back in court sometime this week, but the president, putting down a marker.

If it was ever ambiguous up to this point --

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: -- where he stood on Michael Cohen, he now says that Michael is a businessman, in his own camp -- someone he has always liked and respected. "Most people would flip. I don't see Michael doing that," despite, what he calls, the "Witch Hunt" and "dishonest media."

PAUL: So this is what President Trump, you know, as we said, tweeting this morning.

Meanwhile, his wife, first lady Melania, is in Houston as they have their final good-byes to former first lady Barbara Bush. We'll take you there live to Houston in just a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:37:59] BLACKWELL: A private funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush will begin in just a few hours.

Several former U.S. presidents and hundreds of others are expected to attend the service. This is at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.

PAUL: President Trump will not attend in order to avoid disruption, but first lady Melania Trump will attend on behalf of the first family.

BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung is outside of that church.

Kaylee, what more can you tell us about what will happen today at the services?

HARTUNG: Hello (ph), good morning, Victor and Christi. It will be a simple service; that's what Barbara Bush wanted. Here, St. Martin's Episcopal Church, this is where the Bush family worshiped for more than 50 years. Barbara Bush taught Sunday school here. She was a member of the needlepoint club, and the rector here has said this is a service that could've planned for any of its congregants.

Again, that's what Barbara Bush wanted. She had a careful hand in planning this event.

She chose her eulogists -- among them, her son, Jeb Bush; as well as Susan Baker, her longtime friend and the wife of her husband's secretary of state; and also, Jon Meacham, the author and historian who in recent years wrote George H.W. Bush's biography.

A hundred -- I'm sorry -- 1,500 people have been invited by the Bush family to attend today's service.

Among them, the Obamas; the Clintons; Melania Trump will be here, as you mentioned, representing the first family, President Trump saying out of respect for the family, and the additional security his presence would require, he wouldn't attend.

The Carter family, we should mention, won't be attending either -- Jimmy Carter traveling overseas, his wife recovering from a recent surgery.

Now, after this 90-minute service conclude, a motorcade will load up and then drive just behind me. It will process through the city of Houston, through Memorial Park, and then, make its way to Barbara Bush's final resting place. It'll be about a 90-mile drive to College Station, the home of George H.W. Bush's presidential library.

It is there where Barbara Bush will find her final resting

[08:40:00]

place alongside her daughter Robin, who died when she was just 3-years old -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Yes, all right. Kaylee Hartung, so appreciate it, thank you.

Listen, we have more now from Bureau -- Washington Bureau chief for "USA Today" and author of "The Matriarch," Susan Page, who is with us; as well as CNN presidential historian, Tim Naftali.

Both of you -- which I find so interesting -- both of you have sat down with this woman. You have talked to her. You have gotten to know her.

Susan, you're in the -- in the process of writing a book that's coming out in the spring about Barbara, and you said that you have been able to speak with her every month, and that she actually let you read her diaries. There's a lot of trust involved (LAUGHTER) --

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, USA TODAY: Yes.

PAUL: -- in that allowance.

What did you read that really stuck with you?

PAGE: You know, actually, I first met Barbara Bush in 1980 when George Bush was running for president -- the first time I was covering my first campaign.

But for the last six months as I've been working on this biography and speaking with her, I've gotten to know a woman I didn't fully understand.

And I think that is one of the things that is interesting about Barbara Bush, and I think she is more complicated, more interesting, and was more influential than I think most Americans realize during this extraordinary, long career in public service at the side of her husband, and then, as the mother of yet another president, George W. Bush.

And, you know, you've -- you mentioned the simplicity of the service.

You know, Barbara Bush wasn't convinced she needed to have a big funeral. She wasn't convinced that a lot of people would want to come (LAUGHTER) to her funeral, and on that, I think she was proved to be wrong.

BLACKWELL: Yes, 1,500 people there today.

PAGE: Yes.

So, Tim, I understand -- I think we have a picture of you with Barbara Bush and George, and it (ph) apparently was taken not too long ago.

You have, I understand, a story to tell us about when the CIA developed a body double for her husband -- something we may not have heard before.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes.

PAUL: Is that right? No?

NAFTALI: No, I don't know about that.

BLACKWELL: (LAUGHTER)

PAUL: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

NAFTALI: I -- but --

PAUL: But --

NAFTALI: -- I'm sure someone else might. But my --

PAUL: -- you'll (ph) pop up clearly.

BLACKWELL: (LAUGHTER)

NAFTALI: -- I don't -- I didn't know Mrs. Bush very well.

I had this remarkable opportunity to spend a day with her and the former president -- actually, thanks to my friend Jon Meacham, who'll be one of her eulogists today.

What I was struck by was -- as just as Susan said -- there is a Barbara Bush that -- she didn't fully share with the American People.

This is a woman who was in the public eye for 50 years, and was a national --

PAUL: Yes.

NAFTALI: -- figure for almost 40 years, and yet, she managed to hint at this remarkable sense of humor --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes (ph).

NAFTALI: -- this remarkable -- this eye for detail -- that she didn't fully share.

And I am looking forward to seeing what Susan writes about her.

PAGE: (LAUGHTER)

NAFTALI: I will mention that, even though she didn't know me at all, she was very quick to make me feel at ease, and to have me understand, she was going to tease me for as long as I was around her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (LAUGHTER)

PAUL: She --

PAGE: Yes (ph).

BLACKWELL: (LAUGHTER)

PAUL: -- Susan, talk to me about, though -- because you teased it a little bit, about reading her diary.

But what did you learn about her that you didn't know before that surprised you?

PAGE: Well, you know, it was only after several months of interviewing that she agreed to let me look at her diaries. She initially told -- said I couldn't do that, and then, she said it would -- it would be all right.

Here's the remarkable thing -- she started keeping a diary in 1948, and she kept it --

PAUL: Mm.

PAGE: -- until just before her death (LAUGHTER). Those are a lot of diaries.

And the thing that I think has surprised me the most is, I thought there would be maybe a different Barbara Bush in the diaries than the one I was interviewing, and there's not.

It's very -- it's a -- it's a little --

PAUL: Yes (ph).

PAGE: -- more candid; she does a little more of naming names. But the perspective that she had that she presented in the interviews -- and, actually, in her memoir as well, her -- that she wrote after she left the White House, it's all of a piece.

This is someone who is pretty authentically Barbara Bush in every one of those ways.

That said, the diaries which I am still reading have been pretty --

PAUL: Yes.

PAGE: -- have been very interesting, and it's a real privilege to be able to see those.

PAUL: No doubt about it.

Was she ready to go, as George W. Bush had said earlier this week?

PAGE: Yes. She was not afraid of dying.

I think her only concern about passing away was whether she would pass away before her husband -- her husband of 73 years. But she was pretty matter of fact about the reality that we are all mortal, and that was -- that was remarkable. I think that's an -- that's a reflection in large part of her faith.

She didn't talk a lot about her faith in public.

[08:45:00]

She wasn't -- you know, she was very Episcopalian in that way, I guess (LAUGHTER), or Presbyterian, which she -- which is the religion she -- the church she attended before this -- St. Martin's --

PAUL: Sure.

PAGE: -- in that she didn't seem to prophetalize (ph).

But --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes (ph).

PAGE: -- her faith was a source of deep comfort to her, especially, I think, as she talked about the death of her daughter Robin, when Robin was just 3-years old, to leukemia.

PAUL: Yes.

So, Tim, we've been seeing all these pictures -- we rarely see a picture of her alone -- it's with George H. W. Bush, and I think we have a picture, we can pull it up real quickly from yesterday, when he was with her by the casket, greeting people who were coming by to wish him well, and to pay their respects.

Can you imagine him without her?

NAFTALI: No. And, you know, they had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history.

I -- so even if they weren't a presidential couple, after 73 years together, this is a horribly difficult moment, I can imagine, for the former president.

I wanted to mention one more thing about her -- Mrs. Bush.

I met her when she was 90, and at 90, she was still not only absorbing the world around her, but reacting to it, and learning from it.

What struck me as amazing is for a woman who had earned the right to turn off -- to say, "Ach, I did my part," she, at least at 90, was more than willing to engage not only with politics, but with people and society.

My conversation at the end with her had to do with transgender Americans --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes (ph). (LAUGHTER)

NAFTALI: -- and she wanted to understand that issue more, and those Americans better.

PAUL: Yes, isn't that something.

Tim Naftali and Susan Page, thank you both so much for sharing, you know, your memories. We appreciate it.

NAFTALI: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely.

PAGE: Thank you.

PAUL: And we want to give you a reminder, CNN's live coverage of the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush starting at 10:00 am Eastern with Wolf Blitzer today. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:51:26] BLACKWELL: An actress known for her role in the TV show "Smallville" has been indicted for allegedly recruiting women into a sex cult.

PAUL: Allison Mack played Clark Kent's friend Chloe. In real life, apparently she's accused of helping an alleged sex cult called Nxivm, and forcing at least two women to have sex with the group's leader.

Here's our information from affiliate WPIX, and I do want to give you a head's up here, some of these details are disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLISON MACK, PLAYING CHLOE, SMALLVILLE: Clark, sorry I missed you, but I only have two minutes to try get (ph) to Truman (ph) so we can get back in there (ph) --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She played Clark Kent's best friend on "Smallville" -- Chloe Sullivan, the brainy editor of the school newspaper. A hero on the show, she's now in a heap of trouble in real life.

She was arraigned in federal court on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor --

MACK: (INAUDIBLE) last season of "Smallville" was really --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- a far cry from the interview she gave Pix11 in 2010.

MACK: -- to honor my character, and honor what my character's done for women in sort of iconic positions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Mack is one of the top members of an alleged sex cult called Nxivm, and was involved in recruiting women and helping to turn them into sex slaves for the founder of the group, Keith Raniere, himself recently arrested, and is Mack's co- defendant in the case.

On the group's website, Raniere posted a statement saying there is, quote, "no merit to the allegations."

("DYNASTY" THEME SONG MUSIC PLAYING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the alleged victims in this cult is the daughter of actress Catherine Oxenberg, best known for her role as Amanda Carrington on "Dynasty."

Stanley Zareff, a friend of the Oxenberg family, spoke outside court and talked about the ordeal they've been going through.

STANLEY ZAREFF, FRIEND OF DYNASTY STAR CATHERINE OXENBERG: -- and she's deeply upset, her family's torn apart. She loves her daughter, and she wants her daughter to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cult is based in Upstate New York, but authorities say it also has a presence in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors allege Nxivm operates under the guise of a secret self- help organization that empowers women, but instead, they were turned into sex slaves for Raniere, and his initials were branded on to their bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what do you say to that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zareff has choice words for Mack.

ZAREFF: So (ph) (INAUDIBLE) I want to see her put away. She's dangerous, she's sick, she's evil, she's dark, and she's done harm to many people. Imagine having your initials burned into a woman's body? She's (ph) -- that's happened.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: And our thanks again to our affiliate WPIX for the report there.

("AVICII -- WAKE ME UP" PLAYING)

BLACKWELL: Well, fans around the world are mourning the death of one of the music world's biggest stars, Grammy-nominated Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat, Oman yesterday, and he was 28-years old.

And even if you never heard of him, you've probably heard his music -- you might know that hit. No cause of death has been released. He had retired performing two years ago after he said he needed to focus on treating several health issues.

We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:58:49] PAUL: In today's "Smart Small, Think Big," meet two brothers diagnosed with the same eye disease who are now on a mission.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRADFORD MANNING, CLOTHING DESIGNER, TWO BLIND BROTHERS: I'm Bradford Manning.

BRYAN MANNING, CLOTHING DESIGNER, TWO BLIND BROTHERS: I'm Bryan Manning.

BRADFORD MANNING: And we run a company called --

THE MANNING BROTHERS (in unison): Two Blind Brothers.

BRADFORD MANNING: We have a simple mission -- it's to cure blindness, and we do that by making the softest shirts that we possibly can.

We give a hundred percent of the profits to pre-clinical research.

BRYAN MANNING: We were diagnosed with Stargardt's at 7. It's a juvenile form of macular degeneration.

You lose your center vision, but you keep your peripheral vision.

When I first moved to New York, we went shopping, and we had walked out holding the exact same shirt. The first thing we do when we interact with something is we touch it. And then, it was a little, "Aha!" moment. "Let's start a fashion company."

BRADFORD MANNING: It was supposed to be a little fun side project, and we'll just tell our story, put it out on social media, and see what happens.

BRYAN MANNING: And the video just went viral.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW: Explain your diagnosis and when it was.

BRADFORD MANNING: We were fortunate enough --

BRYAN MANNING: Yes, happily. So --

BRADFORD MANNING: -- to be on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Our small project, you know, was now getting in front of a national audience. At that point, we decided, let's go full-time with this.

[09:00:00]

Our clothes are made by the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. The shirts are sewn together by the visually impaired.

Blindness -- call me an optimist -- will be cured --

BRYAN MANNING: And it's what motivates us to get up every day, and work on this company.

(END VIDEOTAPE)