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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Returns To Campaign Trail Amid Russia Developments; Lawyer At Trump Tower Meeting Says She's Kremlin "Informant"; NRA Facing Scrutiny Over Ties To Kremlin-linked Banker; Appeals Court Rules Voter I.D. Law Doesn't Discriminate; Korean Summit Met With Hope And Skepticism; Overcoming Anxiety With Comedy. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 28, 2018 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- home run ball, and it happened. The guy's first home run ever.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Phenomenal.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Fantastic. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in 2016, now admits that she has closer ties to the Kremlin.

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, she was a Russian spy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It certainly corroborates what we have seen of Veselnitskaya.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was working to undermine the U.S. Policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea are talking and that nuclear and missile tests have stopped for now is a cause for optimism.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's going to work out just fine. Let's see what happens. But, I think it'll be very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did it take so long; 11 years to get to this historic moment?

TRUMP: We're not going to be played, OK? We're going to hopefully make a deal. If we don't, that's fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY weekend, with Victor Blackwell and Christ Paul. BLACKWELL: Good morning to you. Good to be with you. Let's try to copy what Christi introduced a little last hour. We've got Merkel, Macron, a dictator, a doctor, a rapper, and a Russian lawyer --

PAUL: Nice.

BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. A truly astounding week for President Trump. But there is still so much more to come today.

PAUL: Yes, a lot of people wondering is that the opening act to what's happening this weekend? But today, we know the president is returning to really one of his favorite settings -- the campaign trail, with a re-election rally. He's previewing his speech on Twitter with attacks on the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, the Democrats. CNN's Abby Phillip live in Washington for us right now. So, we know how much the president loves his campaign rallies. They're friendly territory for him, particularly in Michigan as has been in the past. But look, there are some major developments following him.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The president is leaving town on a weekend in which a lot of people in Washington are going to at the White House correspondents' dinner and heading out on the campaign trail to be in a place where he's likely to be surrounded by some of his most ardent supporters. Now, the president, this is the second year in a row that he's chosen to do this. That instead of following president -- like previous presidents who have attended the dinner and told jokes and that sort of thing, he's deciding to go out and hold some counterprogramming -- a rally -- in which he can essentially put out whatever message he wants.

Often, those rallies end up with a kind of freewheeling atmosphere, talking about all sorts of things. And I can -- we can expect that given what he's been talking about on social media the last couple of days, that Russia is going to play prominently in that. Now, the president this last night sent out a tweet talking about the House Intelligence Committee's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, that report was issued by Republicans on that committee, to Democrats on the committee descendants saying that the report was incomplete at best. But President Trump is seizing on it. He wrote, "House Intelligence Committee rules 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 never have been a special counsel appointed. Witch hunt!"

Now, this is the second day in a row that President Trump has been on the subject which he's often talking about. But just this past week, he also gave an extended interview in which he attacked former FBI Director James Comey. He suggested that the special counsel probe should be ended on social media. And all of this is happening as you mentioned, as there are continuing developments on the Russia front. In the last 24 hours, we learned that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was in that meeting with Don Jr. in June of 2016 at Trump Tower, has now said to reporters that she is an informant of the Russian government. Now, this information really changes the perception that she has tried

to put out, that she was there to talk about Russian adoptions. And remember, the -- that Don Jr. issued a statement suggesting that he agreed to meet with her because she wanted to talk about the U.S. Policy with regard to adoptions. It later became clear that they had promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, and now, this lawyer is saying that her ties to the Kremlin are much closer than she previously let on. So, there is a lot happening here but I can assure you that president is not going to be talking about that. He's going to be talking about what he says is a witch hunt against him and his associates, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: We have seen the president in the past create a lot of new headlines out of these rallies. We'll see what happens tonight in Michigan. Abby, thank you so much. Important question here about this Russian lawyer, who previously denied any connections to the Kremlin, why is she coming forward with this information now? CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is following those developments from Moscow. Fred, so what do we know about Natalia Veselnitskaya and why potentially she is revealing this now?

[07:05:22] FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, why is she revealing it now, and what exactly does it mean when she says that she in an informant? You know, we had Bill Browder tell Erin Burnett last night here on our program that he believes that she was an agent and nothing more and nothing less, that she was trying to undermine U.S. Policies. And certainly, in that meeting that she had at Trump Tower, apparently, she was trying to undermine what's called the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russians who were accused of human rights abuse. And so, she clearly was pushing a Russian government agenda. Now, she does not call herself an agent, she said that she is an "informant." Let's listen in to what in an interview that was published yesterday. Let's listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: So, there, to translate that, she says she is a lawyer, and she is an informant. Now, all of this, guys, is about her relationship with the Russian prosecutor general -- Yuri Chika. She's always said that, yes, she's had contact with Chika, but she doesn't have any sort of professional relations and was not doing the bidding of Yuri Chika. However, it seems as though, from e-mails that have now, and this also goes to the question of why she's saying this now, because e-mails have now been hacked and leaked of hers between her and Yuri Chika that seem to indicate that she had a much closer relationship with Chika.

And in fact, the two of them seemed almost be working together in a 2014 case where she was representing a Russian businessman who was accused by the Department of Justice together with Russian officials trying to thwart that case of the Justice Department. So, she was confronted with that, and that's what she then admitted that, yes, she is an informant. Does that mean she has an official role with the Russian government? That's not clear. They didn't really elaborate on exactly what that means. However, we also have to keep in mind that in the meeting in 2016 in Trump Tower, she was actually introduced as a Russian government lawyer.

I want to read to you, guys, from an e-mail that Rob Goldstone sent to Don Jr. saying: "Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who's fighting -- flying over from Moscow for this Thursday." So, clearly, a lot closer relation with the Kremlin didn't elaborate on what it actually means that she is an informant. But certainly, this doesn't seem to mess with things that she sold U.S. authorities and told the U.S. public, guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much. CNN has learned the National Rifle Association could be getting ready for a possible investigation over its ties to a Kremlin-linked banker.

PAUL: CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray has the details for us here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The National Rifle Association is setting aside years of documents related to its interactions with Kremlin-linked banker, Alexander Torshin, and his protege Maria Batina as it appears to be bracing for a possible investigation, sources say. The gun rights group is facing congressional scrutiny over its finances and ties to Torshin -- a lifetime member of the NRA and one of the prominent Russian government officials the U.S. recently slapped with sanctions. The NRA is also battling allegations that Torshin may have illegally funneled money through the NRA to bolster the Trump campaign.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: There have been allegations that the Russians were going to funnel money through the NRA, and we sought to investigate that. There were witnesses with direct knowledge regarding those allegations that we saw to bring in; the Republicans refused.

MURRAY: The NRA has publicly denied any contact from the FBI for accepting any illegal donations. But sources say, they are anxiously preparing, collecting documents is due diligence and dealing with congressional scrutiny. The renewed attention highlights the uneasy alliance between top NRA officials and Torshin -- a relationship that eventually ensnared members of Trump's campaign team, inviting congressional scrutiny into advisers including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Jeff Sessions. The NRA went all in for Trump in 2016.

TRUMP: I've been a member for a long time, and my boys are members. So, to get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor.

MURRAY: It spent $30 million backing Trump's candidacy, more than it shelled out for 2008 and 2012 races combined, according to Center for Responsive Politics. Behind the scenes, Torshin was using NRA ties to try to arrange a meeting with Trump at the NRA's annual meeting in Louisville. In an e-mail to the Trump campaign, a Torshin associate says he is cultivating a back channel to President Putin's Kremlin, adding, "Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump."

SCHIFF: Here you have, in black and white, evidence that there was an effort by the Russians to use the NRA as their channel, one of their channels to the Trump campaign.

[07:10:05] MURRAY: Torshin didn't meet Trump at the NRA meeting, but he had an impromptu encounter with Donald Trump Jr. and even some NRA official wondered if it was set a setup by the Russians. Trump Jr. told investigators that he doesn't recall discussing the upcoming election with Torshin. Torshin's relationship with the NRA began years ago through David Keene -- now an NRA board member. In 2015, Keene took NRA backers to Moscow hosted by Maria Batina. She had attracted attention for starting a gun rights group in Russia -- a country known for its strict firearms laws. The NRA group went sightseeing and toured a gun manufacturer. By 2016, sources say, Torshin and Batina had become fixtures at the NRA's high-dollar donor events. The NRA has said Torshin hasn't made any donations aside from membership dues and said it hasn't found any foreign donations related to the U.S. election. But Russian experts say Torshin's close ties to Putin and division around guns in America mean his coziness with the NRA looks like a classic Russian influence operation.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Vladimir Putin is using these issues to divide us, to split, and make weaker the United States. And that's something that I believe all of Americans ought to be concerned about.

MURRAY: Now, the White House, the Trump campaign, and the NRA did not comment for this story. When I spoke with David Keene, he said he did not want to talk about his 2015 trip to Moscow, but he did say he was not aware of any donations from Alexander Torshin. Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Sara, and we will talk more about that exclusive throughout the morning. Let's bring in now CNN Politics Reporter, Rebecca Berg. Rebecca, good morning to you.

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITCAL REPORTER: Hi, Victor, thank you.

BLACKWELL: I want to start with this conversation from Natalia Veselnitskaya that she is an informant for the Russian government. What substantively, considering many people assume that when we got the reporting in July of last year about the meeting haven't happened in 2016, what does that substantively change?

BERG: Right. Well, it doesn't change anything because so many people assumed that she was working with or for the Russian government. But it's significant in the admission itself, I would say Victor, because you have to wonder why did she decide to disclose this information now? Is Russia trying to create further controversy, refocus attention on this controversy or the potential Russian interference in our election? And then, of course, this brings us back to the question of this meeting at Trump Tower between Veselnitskaya and some of the top Trump campaign officials including Paul Manafort and his son, Donald Trump Jr. So, this raises, again, questions about why they took this meeting, what other contacts they had with Veselnitskaya and others prior to the election and afterwar, and what did they know about her intentions? Did they know that potentially she was trying to infiltrate the campaign and gain access and gain information for the Kremlin?

BLACKWELL: You mentioned communications after the election. And the ranking Democrat on House Intelligence, Congressman Adam Schiff tells CNN that Veselnitskaya reached out to the Trump family after the election. I want you to watch here. This is Don Jr. in July of 2017 in this interview on Fox News, in which he talks about follow up with Veselnitskaya. It's quick. So, we'll have to watch and listen closely.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Do you ever have any contact with this woman again?

DONALD TRUMP JR. SON OF DONALD TRUMP: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: No contact again. It's not clear if that attempt to reach the family actually got through. But remind us, Don Jr. says that he effectively shut down that line of communication with Veselnitskaya after the meeting turned out not to be what he expected it would be. There would seemingly be no reason to follow up in late November after the election.

BERG: Right, you would think so. There's so many holes in this story, Victor. It could look like a piece of swiss cheese. There are so many unanswered questions, inconsistencies with what Donald Trump Jr. has said, others relating to the Trump campaign have said, and what the Russians are saying about this, as well. And information that we have gleaned from documents relating to this meeting. And so, this is part of what Robert Mueller is looking at in his investigation, trying to get answers about why this happened and who knew what, when? And so, potentially, we will have answers to these question at some point. But you're absolutely right to point out the inconsistencies here. There have been so many from Donald Trump Jr., from others in the Trump orbit. The president himself. And we are, you know, looking for answers to that right now.

BLACKWELL: Let's turn to Iran, a major topic of this week. Macron came from France to try to, among other things, convince the president to certify the Iran deal. And Iran's compliance when it comes up on May 12th, and then Angela Merkel of Germany was here just yesterday. I also want you to listen to the new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:15:05] MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: No decision made. So, the team is working, and I'm sure we'll have lots of conversations to deliver what the president has made clear. Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal. He is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACWELL: So, Rebecca, Republicans unanimously opposed the deal back in 2015 when it was proposed. At this point, are they likely to impose those snapback sanctions if the president decides not to certify? Where are they on Iran's compliance now? Is there a significant enough percentage of Republicans on the hill who will make this a bit of a challenge for the president?

BERG: You know, politically, Victor, this has remained pretty consistent with Republicans. There will be some who feel that the president should remain in the deal or at least be working toward some sort of other solution as Macron suggested during his trip to Washington this past week. But by and large, politically, this is a good issue for Republicans and the president to say that they want to pull out of this deal because it was a deal that President Obama crafted. It's become this sort of political liability or very unpopular among Republicans who feel that he entered into the deal, giving Iran too much and not getting enough in return. And of course, we heard during the presidential campaign what a popular rallying cry this was for President Trump and his supporters. And most Republicans, polling shows, still support the president, most Republican voters. And so, you'll probably see congressional Republicans, by and large supporting the president's decision.

BLACWELL: Well, the president will be with some of those supporters tonight in Michigan. We'll see if that is one of the topics --

BERG: Could be.

BLACKWELL: -- that he talks about. Rebecca Berg, good to have you.

BERG: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt could now be facing new ethics reviews in addition to the ones that are already underway, of course. In a letter to Democratic members of Congress, the EPA inspector general detailed a list of possible reviews. They include a look at Pruitt's travel expenses, security team, and raises for staff members now.

BLACKWELL: After years of legal fights, a big victory for Texas on its voter I.D. law. Next, what this means for the upcoming elections?

PAUL: Also, the Stormy Daniels lawsuit was trying to force the president to sit down for a deposition as it went after the president's attorney, Michael Cohen. Well, now, a California judge has put the suit on hold, not permanently, though. We're going to talk about that next. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:21:46] PAUL: Well, a California judge has now done what the president could not -- he halted the Stormy Daniels lawsuit temporarily here. The porn actress is suing President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen. The judge put the case on hold for 90 days while the criminal case against Cohen continues in New York. Cohen told the court that because of the ongoing investigation there, he would plead the fifth in the lawsuit to avoid incriminating himself. All right. Let's talk about this with Page Pate, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney. We also have a couple of other things to discuss here besides Michael Cohen. But first and foremost, this day is just -- essentially hitting the pause button. With that said, how vulnerable is the president still to a deposition in this case which is what Michael Avenatti wants to do?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. I think eventually, the president is very likely to be deposed in this case. But what the judge has done is said, look, I'm going to stop the civil case because you may be facing criminal charges. And saying that you're going to take the fifth here, I don't think it's a delay tactic, I think you have serious exposure. So, I want you to be able to answer the questions that are being raised in the civil case, but you can't do that while you may be under criminal investigation in New York. So, let's stop everything for 90 days, see what happens in the New York situation, then we'll revisit the issue.

PAUL: But you're saying President Trump, most likely, will have to sit down --

PATE: I think so. I mean, listen to the statements that he's made, that Cohen has made about whether or not he was even aware of this deal, whether Cohen was representing him in connection with this deal. There's a lot of factual information that can only come from the president about whether or not he was involved in this agreement with Ms. Daniels, and whether or not Cohen was representing his interests when they agreed to the payment. So, yes, he's a fact witness and a very important one.

PAUL: Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' attorney, had something to say about this yesterday. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY TO STORMY DANIELS: If this was only about 90 days, I don't think we'd be taking it up on appeal. I mean, we might, but we're concerned about it being delayed beyond that. My client continues to fall under this NDA, according to the defendants, they continue to threaten her with additional millions of dollars of damages. She wants to be clear as this, and she wants the defamation claim against Michael Cohen fully adjudicated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: He said they continue to threaten her -- Stormy Daniels -- with millions of dollars in damages. Should Avenatti be a little more forthcoming about what these threats are and does it really affect this 90-day stay?

PATE: It doesn't. And there aren't any expressed threats. I mean, that's just their position in the lawsuit.

PAUL: OK.

PATE: Cohen and Trump are saying, look, you know, you violated this agreement, you're going to owe us a bunch of money, if you have this money.

PAUL: But she's still talking.

PATE: Absolutely. That hasn't stopped. Obviously, she's getting interviews, her lawyer's talking about this case everywhere, any opportunity he can get. And I think that may have kind of ticked off this judge. I mean, the judge sees this case being used for political purposes, publicity purposes. I think that may be another reason why he said, look, let's just stop it for a minute.

PAUL: OK. I want to get to the Texas voter I.D. laws here. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold Texas voter I.D. law -- it's SB-5. Critics say that it suppresses votes. I want to read here something from a sheriff in Texas, Lupe Valdez, she's running for governor of Texas. She said, "Disappointing setback to see Texas' discriminatory voter I.D. law upheld. We should be making it easier for eligible Texas to vote, not harder." Is there a chance that this could turn around again in Texas? They're vowing to fight.

[07:50:08] PATE: Right. It's possible. This case has gone up to Court of Appeals, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a pretty conservative court, especially now with the recent Trump appointees. The panel, a three-judge panel, decided this one is OK. The first law was really bad, but this one we're going to let this stay. The plaintiffs can appeal that decision. Because that's just a panel with three judges. They can take it to the whole court. But given these conservative judges, I think this particular law is going to stay on the books.

PAUL: A lot of people, I think, were surprised by what happened with Bill Cosby this week, were you?

PATE: Absolutely.

PAUL: You were. OK. So, found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, essentially. This is a man who's 80-years-old. The judge released him. Didn't remand him into custody immediately saying, look, he's 80, and he's complied, he's shown up for every court hearing.

PATE: Right.

PAUL: Based on what we know about this, is that protocol when you have somebody who is convicted for the crimes that he has been convicted of?

PATE: No, it's not protocol at all. I mean, he's been convicted of serious sexual assault charges. Once that happens, you'd normally go to jail. And then, sentencing can come later. We don't know the length of the sentence of will be. Very unusual because the conditions for bond -- I mean, talking about showing up to court, you're not a flight risk, that's the analysis before you're guilty.

PAUL: Right.

PATE: But once you're guilty, the presumption is you go into custody. So, what the judge may be saying is, yes, he's old, he may not be well. They've got an appeal. I may let him sit out while this appeal has been --

PAUL: That appeal could take years?

PATE: It could take years. But what I think the judge is really saying here is I listened to this evidence, maybe I'm not 100 percent sure that he did it. Because he's not --

PAUL: The judge may not agree with the jury, is what you're saying. All right. Which will be interesting to see what happens in sentencing.

PATE: Right.

PAUL: All right. Very good. Page Pate, always appreciate your insight. Thank you.

PATE: Thank you.

PAUL: Victor?

[07:26:56] BLACKWELL: All right. The Korean summit is being met with hope and skepticism as many are questioning if this summit will lead to more than just this great photo op. We'll ask an expert who lived in North Korea undercover during Kim Jong-il's last days.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:31:58] PAUL: It is 7:31. Hope that doesn't mean a darn thing to you and you just get to sit there today and have a relaxing morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you.

PAUL: So, this morning, North Korea state media is calling the Korean summit a "new milestone".

BLACKWELL: Yes, this was a day of smiles and hugs and great photos as North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in agreed to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But they haven't discussed the specifics yet.

PAUL: The President Trump, called the meeting historic, and U.S. officials saying they're looking ahead to the president's meeting, now with Kim Jong-un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle because you had a different kind of a leader. We're not going to be played, OK?

JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I don't have a crystal ball. I can tell you we are optimistic right now that there's opportunity here that we have never enjoyed since 1950. So, we're going to have to see what they produce --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right, joining us now, Suki Kim author of Without You, There Is No Us. She spent six months undercover in Pyongyang during the last days of Kim Jong-il working as a teacher and missionary, all while writing her book. Good to have you back on the show.

SUKI KIM, AUTHOR, WITHOUT YOU, THERE IS NO US: Hello, hi, thank you.

BLACKWELL: And so, let's talk about the optimism versus skeptimism of the summit. We've seen this before, right? 2000 and 2007, between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il. There was this moment where the two Koreas were much like these photographs we've seen, holding hands, looking forward. Where are you on that scale of optimism versus skeptimism based on your personal experiences?

KIM: Well, I have to say that I cannot really share the euphoria that is definitely -- at least in South Korea among the public, of this moment. Historical moment that people keep talking about that -- you know, as you just pointed out, we have seen this before. Kim the Jong, back in 2000, even won the Nobel Peace Prize as a result of it.

So, I'm not really sure what is so different this time that makes people think that this is finally it. So I mean, just judging from what we've gone in the past and also what North Korea is, it's as if we also got what North Korea really is like. You know, they conducted their nuclear test back in September. That's when at this point seven months before. And the whole system that's built on war and lies, that's what North Korea really is and has been for 60-some decades. So, suddenly, it's as if there is collective amnesia that we just forgot all of that.

PAUL: Suki, you have an opportunity that many of us have not. You were there for six months, you saw things we did not see. Help us understand what you saw, what life is like there that makes you so skeptical about this?

[07:34:50] KIM: Well, I've visited there multiple times, cover the place for over a decade. I think the more and more I dug into North Korea as really -- you know, conceptually, what is this place about? You know, the whole thing was just an entire lies, built on lies. The entire great leader meet, of course, is a lie, but also the violations where absolutely no human rights are -- you know, there is literally no right for any individual. The system built around really this idea of cult ideology as well as a military dictatorship.

When I lived there, I think that finally -- you know, not as a reporter taking notes which you only get the government sanctioned, you know, sort of P.R. messages. But if you were actually -- you know, immersed, embedded in there, living with, which I did with future leadership of North Korea who are age 20, you know, it's pretty clear more and more and more there was really actually nothing but this concept of the great leader.

And if you have nothing in a normally society, if you have things like history or literature, or philosophy. You know, and that plays as you would imagine in an extreme fundamental cult, there was really nothing else. And all of that was really built on this idea of the hatred of imperialist America. Still, suddenly, we now have this moment whereas if that is not at the foundation of the great leader system is -- you know, that in itself is some sort of a big North Korean P.R. that we, I think the world is right now a part of.

BLACKWELL: So, that begs the question, who is hoarding in North Korea to get to this point, right? I mean, the North Korean people have -- many of them starved for years in many parts of the country. So, the people of the country have not been an impetus to get to this point. Who has to be hoarding around Kim for him to say if that's exactly what he's doing, we will give up our nukes, disable this test site?

KIM: Well, I mean, disabling the test sites and we'll give up the nuclear weapons mean that exact line we've heard, you know, repeatedly in the past. And the thing -- one thing about North Korea is they have never kept to their promises. So, whatever they claim right now -- I guess people are they've moved. Which I can understand, you know. It's been 65, 70 years of division between the two Korea which really involves a lot of heartbreak. That you almost want to believe in whatever they're claiming.

The sanctions have hoard them, and also, you know, remember right before this, there was a banter between Trump and Kim Jong-un about nuclear war taking place which, of course, served as a bargaining chip, because here we are. Everything North Korea has wanted, which is a one-on-one meeting with the United States and also removal of the army -- U.S. army from the Korean Peninsula. Both of these things are now on the table and that's what they've been asking for all this time. So, it's actually win, win for North Korea.

Right now in North Korea, their an only newspaper because they don't have freedom of press, which will -- it serves as press release for the great leader --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KIM: Ran articles and articles about this meeting -- summit. Because it actually works for propaganda for the great leader because it shows a great leader is so great, right? He's making this historical moment happen.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And we'll see when this summit if it still happens between Kim and President Trump. Where we're still getting answers about where that will happen. And if the president gets out of it what he's hoping for, denuclearization. And what does that mean to every party at the table?

PAUL: Does it mean the same thing to Kim Jong-un as it does --

BLACKWELL: Yes. We'll talk more about that threat. Good morning, Suki Kim, good to have you.

KIM: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

PAUL: So we've heard the president talk, as well, about the migrant caravan. We've heard that dozens of times here. How easy or how hard is it really to find refuge in the U.S.? Well, we did some digging on that. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:43:24] BLACKWELL: The Department of Health and Human Services says that it has lost nearly 1,500 migrant children. An official with DHS told the Congress this week, it lost track of the children that it places with sponsors across the country. Now, of course, one concern is if those children possibly ended up in the hands of traffickers.

PAUL: And you know what, that's a common fear for families trying to come to the U.S. And rest in places such as Honduras, is part of what's driving the so-called migrant caravan across Mexico and to the United States. CNN Correspondent Leyla Santiago spoke to a family about their journey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The pushing, the walking, the riding, the waiting, the exhaustion. But Gabriela Hernandez, says she has no choice. This is what she must do to reach this point. Often the distance behind a tall fence, for the first time, she's getting a glimpse of the United States of America.

She said that it just doesn't seem real that she's that close given all that do they have struggled through to get here. We met Hernandez in Puebla, Mexico.

I'm asking where she's from.

On live T.V., early in her journey with a large group of Central American migrants making their way north. She had just gotten off the bus, and knowing she was part of a group that had become the latest target of President Trump, he called them dangerous.

Asking if they're dangerous. She said the child of this age cannot be dangerous.

We tracked her journey as the pregnant mother of two, boards more than half a dozen buses for road trips totaling more than 50 hours. We watched her wipe away her own tears after realizing her children would sit on mountains of scrap metal on a freight train with little to no money or food, she has tried to protect them in search of a better life.

A month ago, she joined more than 1,000 migrants on Mexico's southern border for an annual march north. A caravan calling attention to the plight of the migrant including a number of people planning to seek asylum, a legal way to enter the U.S. under federal law. Trump has ordered Homeland Security not to let what he calls large caravans into the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already said, he will make sure enough U.S. attorneys and judges are in place at the border to rule on the cases of this caravan.

[07:45:59] GABRIELA HERNANDEZ, MIGRANT Headed FOR U.S.: A lot of people are against us. A lot of people think we just woke up one morning and left for a trip. It's difficult with kids.

SANTIAGO: About 130 of the migrants, planned to turn themselves in to authorities in San Diego. Volunteer attorneys are helping the migrants who get the chance to plead their case. Hernandez says this is about survival. She says the gangs that control her neighborhood in Honduras threatened to kill her 6 year old son. Having no faith in any sort of government protection in her own country, she fled.

HERNANDEZ: I don't care if something happens to me, but not my kids.

SANTIAGO: Mexico granting many in the caravan temporary permission to be in the country. Some have opted to seek asylum in Mexico, avoiding any possibility of ever dealing with Trump. Hernandez knows in the U.S., detention is likely, deportation a possibility. Her concern now, her family.

HERNANDEZ: I fear they will take away my kids.

SANTIAGO: She worries she could be separated from her children while in custody of U.S. immigration officials. Homeland Security insists children are only separated to protect the child or if there's any doubt the adult is the child's legal guardian. But what will happen under the watchful eye of the Trump administration as the caravan approaches the U.S. border, remains unknown.

She doesn't know what she will do if we, she can't get in because she can't go back to her country. And yet, that uncertainty hasn't stopped them yet. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: All right, to the migrants in route from Mexico to the United States border are soon going to find out if this journey was worth the trek. But what happens when they actually get to the border is the question. The U.S. can't just turn them away. If they're seeking asylum, migrants do have legal rights to plead their case. So, to qualify, they have to show that they're unable or unwilling to return home because of persecution or credible fear of persecution because of say the race, of religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion, and it generally has to be more serious than harassment or discrimination.

So when migrants ask for asylum, an officer will then interview them to prove their credible fear. This is supposed to take place within 48 hours, but sometimes it takes a lot longer. And for that time, migrants that are placed in detention facilities. So, when they get to the border, they have to go through that interview process before they can even apply for asylum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLGA CABALLERO, HONDURAN MIGRANT (through translator): I don't know if I'll have to stay there until I fall asleep, or cry until I know what to do, but I'm not going back. Maybe this border patrol agent will be a father who knows the pain of losing a child and knows what it means to take care of a child. So, he knows what the kids have been through just to get here and how it makes us feel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: So, if they pass the interview, then, they can apply, and eventually present their case to an immigration judge for final decision. Here is the thing that process can take years. In fact, listen to this, in 2016, the U.S. immigration court and asylum systems were backlogged with more than 620,000 pending cases. Wait times, up to six years. Now that's an extreme, but just one possibility for migrants who are waiting for an answer.

This is time that they're separated from family, time that they may not be able to work, and possibly time that they're held in detention. So, all of this carries the risk that if you're turned away, it could be years before you can return. As you see, the process for receiving asylum in the U.S., it is long, it is difficult, and when people do arrive at the border, they think that their journey's been long thus far, it may really at the end of the day, it just be beginning. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:53:58] BLACKWELL: All right this week's "STAYING WELL" features what we try to get a healthy dose of on this show every weekend, and that is laughter.

PAUL: And it's usually during the break when you can't see us.

BLACKWELL: Maybe it's --

PAUL: But the thing is people are able to overcome anxiety through a comedy class.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fear of failure has held me back. A lot of things cause anxiety, worrying about the future and like dwelling on the past. With improv you can't really think about it, then you just have to like act in the moment.

BECCA BARISH, HEAD, THE SECOND CITY WELLNESS PROGRAM: Improv for Anxiety is an improv program designed specifically for people with anxiety. A lot of times when people feel anxiety, you want to avoid the thing that makes you feel that way.

So, this class provides people with the skills where they're getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. One day a week is just your regular everyday improv class. The other is a therapy group run by licensed social workers who've had a background in improvisation.

[07:54:56] NIMEET SHAH, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONAL: I was a very, very kind of a -- in my shell-type person. Making eye contact was even so difficult for me. But little by little through this program, you realize that just because things are uncertain, it doesn't mean they're frightful. I got more fit, I got more engaged, I have got a promotion at work. Things have been going gangbuster.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: "STAYING WELL", brought to you by Alka Seltzer, heartburn relief gummies for fast heartburn relief.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in 2016, now admits that she has closer ties to the Kremlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN LAWYER: I am a lawyer and an informant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, she was a Russian spy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly corroborates what we have seen of Veselnitskaya. She was working to undermine the U.S. policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea are talking, and that nuclear missile tests have stopped, for now, is it cause for optimism?

TRUMP: I think it's going to work out just fine. Let's see what happens, but I think it would be very good.

(END VIDEOTAPE)