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Trump Praises Korean Summit, But Says U.S. Won't Be Played; Mike Pompeo Takes First Overseas Trip As Secretary of State; Genealogy Website Helped Crack Serial Killer Case; Sen. Tester Fires Back: I'll Never Stop Fighting For Vets. Aired 12n-1pm ET

Aired April 28, 2018 - 12:30   ET



RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: -- current and former colleagues including improperly dispensing drugs, drinking on the job and crashing a government vehicle after a party and overseeing a hostile work environment.

Now, the White House says it has documents that show some of these allegations are false. The president tweeting this morning, quote, "Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson are proven false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm, in fact, they deny any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family.

Tester should resign. Great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire and now for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester."

CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House. Abby, the president with a lot on his mind regarding this topic this morning. You know, they're really pointing to these documents as in their mind of exonerated Ronny Jackson. Give us a background on these documents. What is the president talking about?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ryan, the president is tweeting about exonerating Ronny Jackson well after he was nominated without apparently having been vetted and some of these allegations were aired not just to the Senate VA Committee but also to -- from sources to a CNN journalist and other journalists from other news outlets.

Some of these claims come from current and former colleagues of Ronny Jackson in which they describe Jackson having been on multiple occasions intoxicated while on the job. In one case, apparently according to Tester who released a list, a laundry list of some of these accusations, it was alleged that Jackson had crashed a government vehicle while coming from a Secret Service party.

Now, the White House released some documentation from the government office that oversees these vehicles, that basically said between 2013 and 2012, there were no records Jackson had crashed a vehicle while intoxicated.

That there were three incidents in which there appeared to be some traffic related accidents. Those were documented. None of them seemed to corroborate the claims that were in Tester's document.

But there were some separate incident that some sources told CNN as well including that Jackson had freely distributed prescription drugs, including prescription pain medications and also sleep medications.

Now, the White House in response to that released another document that shows some audits that Jackson's medical unit had undergone over the last 2 1/2 years. Six audits showed that prescription drugs were properly stored in the facility, but they didn't answer the question of whether the prescriptions were adequately or appropriately prescribed.

Finally, the Secret Service is responding to an allegation that Jackson was so intoxicated on one trip with former President Obama that he was banging on a female employee's door, her hotel room door and the Secret Service had to intervene.

Four sources told CNN that incident occurred, and that Secret Service had to intervene. The secret service is now saying in a statement they have no record, they've gone back and looked, they have no records of intervening in that incident.

But new information we have this morning, a source tells CNN today that someone with direct knowledge of those incidents said that there was a conversation between the Secret Service and staff from the medical unit at the time about Jackson's disruptive behavior. There's a lot going on here.

But clearly a lot of these allegations are still unanswered. And there is a reason that Jackson withdrew his nomination. The White House was not prepared apparently to defend him well enough that he could survive this confirmation process -- Ryan.

NOBLES: And the question, Abby, becomes is this now more about the 2018 midterms. All right. Abby Phillip, thank you so much live from the White House.

Meanwhile, the president is talking about the findings from the investigation into Russian meddling. He tweeted, quote, "House Intelligence Committee ruled there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. As I've been saying all along. It is all a big hoax by the Democrats based on payments and lies. There should have never been a special counsel appointed, witch hunt."

Democrats on the committee put out a dissenting report accusing the Republicans of not conducting a real investigation. While all of that was happening, we learned that the Russian lawyer who was a key player at the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower was much more than that.


NOBLES: CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow and CNN politics reporter, Jeremy Herb, is here with me in Washington. Jeremy, how does the revelation change the narrative about that meeting at Trump Tower?

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, we've heard from her since news of that meeting came out last year, that she was there independently of the Russian government. She was not there on behalf of the Russian government. I think a lot of the investigators from lawmakers to Robert Mueller doubt that.

And so, what we learned yesterday from "The New York Times" story and also her interview on NBC was, you know, she actually did have contact. You know, she was an informant for, you know, the chief Russian prosecutor.

And I think what we -- you know, it's, again, back to motive. She was supposed to come to this meeting with dirt on Hillary Clinton. The meeting instead was about sanctions and about, you know, adoptions as it's been called. So, I think, you know, what we now need to see is who is pushing her into that meeting and why was she really there.

NOBLES: All right. And Fred, have we heard anything from Moscow about this revelation? What are they saying?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're not saying anything at this point. And of course, one of the things that they've always said, Ryan, is they have no contact with Natalia Veselnitskaya, they never have. The kremlin denied that on several occasions.

But I think one of the things that's really interesting is that she is coming out with this at this point in time, and it really seems as though she was basically pushed into a corner to do it because you had a journalistic organization called "Dossier" that got some her e-mails between her and Yuri Chaika (ph), this prosecutor that Jeremy was talking about.

And that appear to show that her whole communications with him were a lot deeper and a lot more friendly it seemed also than she had been letting on. That, of course, led people to believe that she had much closer ties to him than she was saying originally. It's interesting she's coming out saying she's informant.

One of the things many people are asking is what exactly does that mean. Does that mean she has some sort of official capacity? She seems to indicate that it doesn't. There's others who believe that she might be some sort of Russian agent, maybe in-officially. That certainly might have played a role in that meeting as well.

And I think one of the things, guys, that's very, very important to also state is that Rob Goldstone at the time wrote an e-mail to Don Jr. trying to get this meeting and in that said that there would be a Russian government lawyer coming to that meeting.

It seems to be something where her relations with the Russian government, with Yuri Chaika, who is powerful and important man, the state prosecutor here in this country, seemed to be a lot closer than previously thought, guys.

NOBLES: And even if the Democrats and the House Intelligence Committee believe this investigation was for, Republicans say it is closed, it may be Robert Mueller that ultimately has the final say as to what these revelations actually mean. OK. Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, Jeremy Herb here in Washington, thank you so much.

President Trump once again skipping the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner instead of spending tonight being roasted by the so-called fake media, as the president loves to call them, Trump will be spending time with his Michigan supporters, returning to his favorite setting, a campaign-style rally.

Joining me now to talk about this is Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. She's a Democrat from Michigan's 14th district. Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us, especially on a Saturday.


NOBLES: All right. Let me first get your reaction to the latest developments on the Russia investigation. You heard our report there a few minutes ago, the news that a Russian lawyer who took part in that Trump Tower meeting is now admitting that she's an informant for the Russian government. Does this raise concerns for you about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the kremlin?

LAWRENCE: I have from day one said it's extremely important that we get all the facts. So, when we withdrew from a congressional hearing, it was troubling because we didn't have all the answers. Now we're getting even more information. This is extremely troubling. As you know, the Russians are not our friends. We have a long history.

And all of our intel has shown that we must be diligent in protecting the American cybersecurity, our borders and everything when it comes to this invasive destructive approach that Russia has taken to taking down the American structure.

NOBLES: All right, let's talk now about the president's campaign rally. Tonight's going to happen in your state. This is what the president sent out in a tweet earlier today. He said, quote, "Look forward to being in the great state of Michigan tonight. Major business expansion and jobs pouring into your state. Auto companies expanding at a record pace. Big crowd tonight. It will be live on tv."

Congresswoman, Michigan's unemployment rate has dropped since the president took office. There is signs that the economy's improving. Can you give President Trump any other credit for this turn in the economy in your state?

LAWRENCE: What's most troubling to me about Michigan and Donald Trump's philosophy, let's talk about education. The city of Detroit has been ranked in the lower percentile ever since he's been there and there's been no improvement. [12:10:03] You have Betsy DeVos who has admitted I do not visit or have I paid attention to the school districts that are struggling. I know for a fact we have auto industries and I supported lowering the tax percentage for corporations.

But I also stress that where is the impact, where is the lifting of the lower class or the working-class people when you talk about these tax cuts. Now, someone will say, well, everyone got $250.

But look at what he has done. His administration when it comes to health care. He has raised the premiums. So, if I have $250, it's going to go toward me trying to provide health care for my children and the immigration picture. So here we have --

NOBLES: If I can stop you for a second --

LAWRENCE: -- telling us we need more immigrants to fill our workforce and he's attacking.

NOBLES: I know you want to raise a couple other points but if I can just press a little bit on the economy. The unemployment rate is lower in Michigan. I understand you're upset with the president on health care and education and immigration, but what about the economy? Do you feel, you know, if you can even set the president aside, do you feel the economy is improving in Michigan?

LAWRENCE: It's improving but we have 45 percent unemployment in the city of Detroit. So, while you want to talk about the unemployment rate declining, I will say we have a lot to do. I said, I agree that we needed to lower the corporate rate for our corporations. I was a mayor. You have to have a strong economy and you have to have businesses that can survive. I'm waiting for the trickle down.

NOBLES: Right. OK. So, you know, obviously the president pulled out a surprise victory in Michigan. That was the first Republican -- he was the first Republican to win since 1988. What was it about the president's message do you think that allowed him to win in your state and what do you think the prospects are in 2020?

LAWRENCE: He talked about trade, which for Michigan, Detroit, and auto industries is extremely important. He talked about providing, investing in our infrastructure where Michigan infrastructure is a big deal. Our roads are in such disrepair. He talked about bringing people together and he has not kept his promise.

I can tell you our roads are still in disrepair and we have not gotten infrastructure plan. I can tell you immigrants in Michigan is a large portion of our population. And his divisive and insulting comments that he has had to when it comes to our immigration policies, DACA and the DREAMers, has been totally disruptive.

So, he's coming to Michigan on a totally different platform now because he's had time to prove what he will invest in, what is his policies. And so, it's going to be a big difference when it comes to 2020 in Michigan. NOBLES: All right, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, the president heading to your state tonight. We appreciate you giving us an opportunity. All right. Have a great day.

Still to come, a win for President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Why a judge says he will not have to testify in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit at least for now.



NOBLES: Stormy Daniels lawsuit against President Trump and his personal attorney is now on pause. A judge in California halted the case for 90 days after Michael Cohen invoked his Fifth Amendment right.

That's because Cohen is also facing a criminal investigation in New York and doesn't want to incriminate himself. You'll remember Stormy Daniels claims she had an affair with President Trump back in 2006 while he was married to Melania.

Trump's personal attorney has admitted to paying $130,000 before the 2016 election to keep her quiet. The porn star is suing to get out of a nondisclosure agreement. She argued it's void because Trump never signed it.

So, let's get our CNN legal analysts to hash out what this means. Joey Jackson is in New York. The most famous alum from the college --


NOBLES: And Areva Martin is in Los Angeles. We'll start with you, Areva. Stormy Daniels attorney is not happy with this delay. Explain what it means for the case.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, essentially Stormy Daniels attorney was asking the court to allow it to take depositions of both Michael Cohen and President Trump. He wanted to move this case along pretty quickly to get the case to trial.

The judge said wait a minute, even though we can have a concurrent civil trial while someone is under federal investigation, we have to look at whether doing so would cause that person to be prejudiced.

In a nine-page decision, the federal judge in Los Angeles said to force Michael Cohen to give deposition to continue with this case would prejudice him. He filed a declaration in court last week saying he would take the Fifth Amendment if he were forced to answer any questions because of this ongoing federal investigation.

And the judge found his declaration and his arguments that he would be forced to incriminate himself if he had to answer questions under oath. The judge found that to be a compelling argument.

And essentially said this case would be stayed for 90 days pending some outcome with respect to the federal investigation. We should note this judge also said an indictment is likely to happen with respect to Michael Cohen.

NOBLES: So, Joey, if you're defending President Trump or Michael Cohen and maybe you see it differently depending on which one you're representing, how do you see this decision?

JACKSON: I see the decision as right on point and good afternoon to you, Ryan, good morning to you, Areva, in California. Look, here's the reality. My advice would be to settle this case. This case has peril written all over it. Now, why is this decision proper?

[12:20:09] It's proper because we're talking about a civil case that's pending in California. Civil cases involve money, in this case, a nondisclosure agreement. Whereas criminal cases involve freedom, involve liberty interest, freedom, wrecking families and futures.

And so whenever, and it's not uncommon -- and it's quite common for a civil case to be stayed pending the outcome of a criminal case. Now, the judge said 90 days. It could go on from there. My advice is you have to get this case from out from under you.

I think if President Trump testifies, we know how he plays fast and loose with the facts. I think there's peril in terms of perjury, for Michael Cohen, the same thing. I just don't see the sense in proceeding in this case. Do whatever you have to do but settle it. There's no sense in moving forward. That's my view.

MARTIN: Let me just add to that, Ryan, although I agree with Joey, the best course of action would be to settle the case, but there's a wrinkle here. This isn't just about getting out of the disclosure agreement for Stormy Daniels. Remember, Michael Cohen has also been sued in this case for defamation.

Stormy Daniels attorney said that Michael Cohen defamed her. So, it's not as easy for Cohen to say I'll dismiss the action involving the nondisclosure agreement. He's facing potential huge civil damages for defamation.

JACKSON: Whatever it is, whatever it costs, if you're the protector of the president, get out of this litigation. Ryan, I always said that the Mueller investigation was potentially problematic. I mean, having the development of this. I think Mueller's not going to take Trump down, I think Avenatti is going to take Trump down. For the current moment, I think it's the right course of action to have this matter stayed for 90 days.

NOBLES: All right. Let's move on to another topic now, Michael Cohen asserted his Fifth Amendment right this week. I want to play for you what President Trump has said about people who assert their Fifth Amendment right in the past. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (via telephone): From what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why is he pleading the Fifth?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Because he's got other things. He's got businesses.

(on camera): So, there are five people taking the Fifth Amendment like you see on the mob, right, you see the mob takes the Fifth. If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?


NOBLES: So, obviously we heard the president defending Cohen's right to take the Fifth Amendment there first and then essentially saying the only people who take the Fifth Amendment are people who are connected to the mob. Joey, is that a fair assessment by the president? Why is it so important Cohen is taking the Fifth?

JACKSON: Of course, it's not a fair assessment. Look, here's the reality. That is political hyperbole. When you're on the campaign trail and you're looking to, you know, scorch your opponent, you say, hey, taking the Fifth, they're all guilty. It's an outrage. You'll have people chanting and agreeing, that's true, that's true, speak if you're innocent, speak.

But on the legal side of the matter, it's customary, if you're going to be implicated, we all have a Constitutional right. It's called the Fifth Amendment. As a result of that, we stay quiet. In terms of the other issue, Michael Cohen needs to be quiet. Why?

Because anything you say, we've all heard it, can and will be used against you in a court of law. So, he does himself no favors no matter how articulate he may be or smart he may be to say anything regarding the case.

NOBLES: Right, and Areva -- let me move on to another topic if that's OK. And this week, you know, Michael Cohen, or the president acknowledged Michael Cohen has been representing him in this Stormy Daniels saga.

In the past, he said he knew nothing of the payment, had nothing to do with it. Now by essentially saying that Michael Cohen was the person who represented him with Stormy Daniels, isn't he implicitly saying that he was aware of this payment or does that put him in a sticky situation in terms of that admission?

MARTIN: Absolutely, Ryan. And I think we need to stop and acknowledge what's happening here. We're talking about the personal attorney for the sitting president of the United States. We're not talking about ordinary litigants who, as I agree with Joey, would take the Fifth Amendment, would do everything to protect themselves from a criminal prosecution.

We're talking about the personal attorney for the president, who we should expect to be above reproach. We're talking about the president of the United States, who we should expect the truth from. But what we're getting are these inconsistent stories suggesting that someone's not telling the truth.

Either the president was represented by Michael Cohen, he agreed to the settlement, he knew about the settlement, he has knowledge about the payment or he didn't. But we keep hearing these different stories and that is a problem for the federal investigation that's happening with respect to Cohen and probably the Mueller investigation that's happening.

It's also an issue and will be a big issue in the civil case. At some point, the truth will have to come out. People are going to be under oath, i.e., Michael Cohen and possibly the president of the United States and they will be forced to tell the truth.

[12:25:10] The public deserves the truth and we deserve better than what we're getting which is these inconsistent stories and this tennis ball that's going back and forth about whether he knew or didn't know about the settlement.

NOBLES: All right. Joey Jackson, Areva Martin, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Ryan.

NOBLES: A historic moment on the Korean Peninsula. Both North and South Korea agreeing to denuclearize and end a decades long war. What do these developments really mean? Does President Trump deserve more credit?


NOBLES: Just a day after the historic summit between North and South Korea, President Trump is weighing in on plans for his own talks with North Korea's leader. Tweeting out, "Just had a long and very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well. Time and location of meeting with North Korea is being set. Also spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations."

Let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley. He's live from Seoul. Will, how much did that meeting between North and South Korea move things forward?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it moved things forward in a number of ways. One, it's teed up the potential summit with President Trump as expected to happen in late May or early June. Also of course these very stunning but vague declarations that North and South Korea are pledging to move towards complete denuclearization of the peninsula and also saying that they want by the end of the year to sign a peace treaty formerly ending the Korean War.

But of course, Ryan, we know they can't do that without the United States, China and the United Nations being involved. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

NOBLES: Now, President Trump obviously tweeting this morning that he was speaking with Japanese President Abe. What is Japan's role in all of these? Are they supportive of the President meeting directly with Kim Jong-un?

RIPLEY: Prime Minister Abe has been side lined a bit in all of this. Although he did get -- he was able to save face a bit when he had that meeting recently with President Trump and President Trump assured him that he will bring up the issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea in the late 70s and early 80s. That's a very important domestic issue that Prime Minister Abe has not been able to get much ground moved with the North Koreans.

And so if President Trump can raise that issue, it will certainly help Prime Minister Abe score points at home. But what he wants ultimately is his own summit with Kim Jong-un. No indication if the North Koreans will do that though.

NOBLES: And then of course the big question that still remains is where will this summit take place. Any thoughts as to where the location may end up being?

RIPLEY: Well, yes, two U.S. administration officials familiar with the discussions say if the United States is leaning towards Singapore, we've been hearing for a while that Singapore is the front-runner because they're looking for a neutral location here. That rules out Pyongyang or Washington or Beijing or Seoul. But there's also still the possibility it could happen in Sweden as well. The only issue with Sweden would be if Kim Jong-un is willing and a bell to travel that far.

NOBLES: All right, Will Ripley in Seoul, South Korea. Will, thank you for that update.

Let's discuss this now. Joining me now to talk about these developments is Balbina Hwang. She is a former senior adviser to the State Department. And Balbina, what's your take on this unexpected diplomatic move? It must have been, for someone who's been tracking the movements in this part of the world to so long, it must have been pretty incredible for you to see those two leaders of North and South Korea come together.

BALBINA HWANG, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, I don't think it was necessarily unexpected because we know that President Moon Jae-in has been trying to establish these sorts of connections for a very long time. In fact, he worked for President Roh Moo-hyun, the predecessor, before President Park Geun-hye. So this is part of the legacy.

And in fact, this is really the third inter-Korean meeting that's really begun with President Kim Dae-jung in 2000.

NOBLES: So what do you think the difference was here? Obviously, you know, North Korea had to be willing to participate in something like this. Is it economic sanctions? Is it pressure from Washington that led to this? What do you think is the most important aspect?

HWANG: It really is the entire package. And certainly I think the very, very strong show of force from the United States, the intent that the United States was really willing to put maximum pressure. But, frankly, also the very close show of alliance and cooperation between the United States and South Korea. And between Moon Jae-in and President Trump I think absolutely pushed Kim Jong-un to come to the table.

NOBLES: OK. There's a word that's being thrown around amongst all these world leaders, denuclearization. Is there a different view of denuclearization in the North and there is in the South and even that there is here in Washington?

HWANG: Oh there is no doubt. And I think that is exactly the problem. And that's why we've been trying to solve this very difficult problem. For almost, you know, 25 years. We can try to blame one administration or another and try to say that every administration failed. It's essentially partisan politics.

Frankly, every government and all these hard working diplomats, they deserve a lot of credit. They really did try their best. In the end, it comes down to the fact that North Korea has a fundamentally different idea of what denuclearization means. From what the United States and the rest of the world means.

NOBLES: Right. And is there a chance that Kim Jong-un feels as long as nuclear program is at a stage where he doesn't need to test anymore and he already has a place of power?

HWANG: Well clearly, that is why he is willing to come to the negotiating table with apparently such a strong sense of confidence.

[12:35:05] On the other hand, I think he is also showing a sense of weakness. Otherwise he wouldn't be here. So I think we do have some leverage. And now it's the time to really test that.

NOBLES: Right. So the other big question out there is human rights violations. How far, if President Trump gets in front of Kim Jong-un, how strong does he need to be about serious and systemic changes to North Korean culture?

HWANG: Well, that is also fundamentally the problem. And really the nuclear weapon is part and parcel of the regime and the nature of the regime itself. It's a regime that is willing to invest so much of its capital in these weapons of mass destruction, in and willing to actually starve and torture its people in exchange. So you can't divorce the two.

And I have to say that President Trump, despite everything else and all the criticism, the one thing he has been so consistent about is on condemning North Korea's human rights. So we'll see. And I think if he continues to press North Korea on this, that's great, except it will make the denuclearization process that much more difficult.

NOBLES: Right. And I wonder, too, how much do we really know about Kim Jong-un as a man? It's such a secretive country. His regime is so secretive. I mean, I would imagine before summits like this, the State Department prepares a president for all the little idiosyncrasies about a world leader when he goes into a meeting like this. Do we know enough about Kim Jong-un to prepare President Trump for a meeting like this?

HWANG: Well, you know, it is a secretive regime but on the other hand, how well does the world really know President Trump.

NOBLES: Right, right.

HWANG: And so I think it almost doesn't matter. I think Kim Jong-un has actually revealed himself to the world so much more than his two predecessors. And I think that we actually probably do know more about Kim Jong-un. And it almost doesn't matter. I think that we have these two leaders who are quite enigmatic, including President Trump himself.

NOBLES: Right, right.

HWANG: And so, it is certainly going to be a summit that is like no other that the world has seen.

NOBLES: And even if they do come to a deal, how difficult will this deal then be to implement afterwards?

HWANG: Well I think again this summit is not so much about a deal. I think the summit is really about setting the tone and the atmosphere and about really setting off the whole process. And from there, it's a momentum. And from there is really where the hard work begins.

NOBLES: OK. Balbina Hwang, thank you so much. Terrific insights.

HWANG: Thank you.

NOBLES: Appreciate it.

Still ahead, brand-new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his first overseas trip meeting with leaders and delivering a strong message about the future of the Iran deal.


[12:41:58] NOBLES: Mike Pompeo is on his first overseas trip as Secretary of State. He arrived in Saudi Arabia a short time ago and met with the Saudi Foreign Minister. He'll also be meeting with the crown prince and dining with the foreign minister later today. The Iran nuclear deal expected to be a major topic of discussion.

This weekend, Pompeo saying that President Trump is unlikely to keep the U.S. agreement in place. CNN's Elise Labott is following the details of this trip. Elise, what do you know?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well he just arrived as we said a short time ago, met with the foreign minister. Tomorrow he'll meet with the crown prince. I think he'll meet with the king. And I think we're getting back to, Ryan, what we expect, you know, from a Secretary of State, you know.

Secretary Tillerson never really had the air of having the ear of the President, of really representing the President's policies. And we see that Mike Pompeo just confirmed on Thursday, head out for that meeting in Brussels, wanted to engage with those world leaders and his counterparts and now he is already in the thick of it, talking about Iran, talking about other issues. And then he'll be going on to Israel and Saudi and Jordan, so he's really kind of hitting the ground running.

NOBLES: Literally the quickest trip for a Secretary of State after confirmation --

LABOTT: That's right.

NOBLES: -- was confirmed and then got on a plane. You know, you mentioned having the ear of the President. It seems already Pompeo's word abroad is carrying more weight than Secretary Tillerson ever did. Obviously we can't predict this administration, we've learned that a long time ago. But do you expect that to continue? It seems as though the Pompeo-Trump relationship is a pretty close one.

LABOTT: Well, that's why he appointed him. You know, he never really had that kind of relationship with Rex Tillerson. And previous secretaries have said and even Mike Pompeo, when he met with all the previous secretaries before he was confirmed, the one thing he said that's the most important is the relationship with their president. And he built that up by giving him the daily intelligence briefing. He knows how to talk to this President.

And when he goes overseas and he says something, these world leaders know that they could take it to the bank. Now they might not like what they're hearing because sometimes Secretary Tillerson had a little bit of a different view on the President --

NOBLES: Right.

LABOTT: -- and thought he could sway this President along. We've seen that that's not the case. And so I think you're going to see a lot more consistency in terms of U.S. diplomacy.

NOBLES: So a little bit less likely Pompeo says something and then the President tweets something completely contradictory as we saw --

LABOTT: I think you're going to see a lot more so enough policy and a lot more echoing what the President says rather than trying to get in front of him or change his mind at least publicly.

NOBLES: Yes. And just quickly, you know, how important is Secretary Pompeo with this deal with North Korea and the summit?

LABOTT: Well, he's the man, you know, we heard that he went out over Easter, met with Kim Jong-un. This intelligence channel between the CIA and the North Korean intelligence has been in place for years. And so that's how that was originally set up, those intelligence officials. But now Secretary Pompeo is the Chief U.S. Diplomat, I think he's going to be really in the lead and we were going to look maybe for him to go out before this summit, maybe even go to North Korea, which would be historic.

NOBLES: All right, Elise Labott, thank you for your perspective. We appreciate it.

[12:45:02] Police spent decades trying to find the so-called golden state killer. How a genealogy website helped bring a 40-year-old manhunt to an end.


[12:49:37] NOBLES: The alleged golden state killer, a serial rapist and murderer who kept Californians on edge for decades is now on suicide watch. Joseph James DeAngelo appeared in a court Friday in a wheelchair. Police have linked the former police officer to dozens of rapes and murders in the 70s and 80s using decades old DNA samples and in a surprising twist, an online ancestry database.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.


[12:50:06] STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Entering the court while handcuffed to a wheelchair, Joseph DeAngelo spoke softly while addressing the judge. He did not enter a plea to murder charges stemming from a place from 40 years ago where he allegedly killed a young married couple.

An attorney for DeAngelo says the 72-year-old is depressed and fragile. Investigators alleged he is the golden state killer, a brutal rapist and murderer who terrorized Californians during the 1970s and 80s.

ANNE MARIE SCHUBERT, SACRAMENTO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We all knew as part of this team that we were looking for a needle in a haystack. We found the needle in the haystack. And it was right here in Sacramento.

ELAM (voice-over): Investigators were able to unlock the cold case with a DNA sample left by the killer in one of the attacks.

PAUL HOLES, RETIRED CONTRA COSTA COUNTRY DISTRICT ATTORNEY INSPECTOR: We ended up generating a DNA profile from the golden state killer evidence. And then we're able to take that profile and upload it into a open source public genealogy database called GEDmatch. GEDmatch then is able to search that profile against the other public profiles that individuals have placed in there. Once we got the initial DNA match results and found very distant relatives, it took us four months.

ELAM (voice-over): DeAngelo is a navy veteran who served aboard a missile cruiser during the Vietnam War. He was also a police officer in the towns of Exeter and Auburn where officials say he was fired in 1979 for stealing a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore. For 27 years, he worked as a mechanic at a Save Mart distribution center in nearby Roseville. He retired last year. The 72-year-old was taken into custody in Citrus Heights, a Sacramento suburb.

SHERIFF SCOTT JONES, SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: When he came out of his residence, we had a team in place that was able to take him into custody. He was very surprised by that.

ELAM (voice-over): For those who survived the golden state killer's attacks like Jane Carson-Sandler, released mixed with shock as new details emerge.

JANE CARSON-SANDLER, VICTIM OF JOSEPH DEANGELO: I also lived in Citrus Heights at that time. So he very well could have been my neighbor, which is -- I just can't imagine. I often wonder how long he had stalked me, where he had first seen me.

ELAM (voice-over): Carson-Sandler clearly remembers a moment a masked man broke into her home.

CARSON-SANDLER: When he ran down, you know, the hall and had that flashlight in my eyes and that big butcher knife facing my chest, he immediately said with clenched teeth, shut up or I'll kill you.

ELAM (voice-over): Law enforcement officials believe DeAngelo is responsible for 12 murders and more than 50 rapes in at least 10 counties. They say he also terrorized some of his victims by phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to kill you.

HOLES: The fact that he would call his victims years in some cases afterwards just to continuously torment them underscores the type of person he is.

ELAM (on camera): He was the type to not leave fingerprints. Police were unable to identify their suspect until recently. DeAngelo is expected next in court on May 14th.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Sacramento, California.


NOBLES: Stephanie, thank you. There's much more ahead in the next hour of the NEWSROOM right after this short break. We're learning Senator Tester is responding to President Trump's tweet today calling for his resignation, saying he'll never stop fighting for them as their senator. We'll have more on that at the top of the hour.

Bit first, in tomorrow's season premiere of the "United Shades of America," W. Kamau Bell heads to the border. How does a wall or lock thereof affect people on both sides? Here's the C.P. (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think when you hear them talk about the wall?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an irresponsible inhumane policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There must be 50 or 70 bodies here. And they're all unidentified. They wouldn't be dead except they crossed a dangerous desert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a sense, every arrest that I make is a rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I moved here, there were four border patrol agents. But now it's over 1,200.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think this wall make it more safe or less safe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less safe because there's more restriction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say it takes three, four, five, six years to build something like this. And the politics have changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll help define who we are as a country.




[12:59:14] NOBLES: Hello, thank you for joining me. I'm Ryan Nobles in for Fredricka Whitfield.

A Democratic Senator now responding to President Trump's demand for his resignation. Just moments ago, Jon Tester, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, issued this statement. "It is my duty to make sure Montana veterans get what they need and have earned. I'll never stop fighting for them as their senator." He s responding to the President's tweet this morning basically blaming Tester for derailing his choice to lead the V.A. Dr. Ronny Jackson.

The President said, "Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against Admiral Dr. Ron Jackson are proven false. The secret service is unable to confirm. In fact, they deny any of the phony Democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign. The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire, and now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been --