Return to Transcripts main page
U.S. Intel Ramps Up North Korea Surveillance; Trump Assails White House Correspondents' Association Amid Michelle Wolf Controversy; Caravan Migrants Camp Out At U.S.-Mexico Border; No Decision From Trump On Iran Nuclear Deal. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired April 30, 2018 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:30:40] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We know the history, we know the risks. We're going to be very different. We're going to negotiate in a different way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Rapid developments in the effort to get North Korea to give up its nukes. How soon could Kim Jong Un close its nuclear testing site? We're live in Seoul.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A dramatic test of the president's immigration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border. A closely-watched caravan of migrants arrived overnight and they're vowing to stay put.
BRIGGS: And it's deadline day for the president on trade tariffs. Exemptions for key countries could end tonight. Now, top Trump aides are heading to China to ease trade concerns.
Steve Mnuchin and company --
BRIGGS: -- have a lot to handle over there.
Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.
ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour.
Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula seems more likely by the day now. U.S. intelligence agencies are ramping up their surveillance of North Korea as a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un draws closer.
Newly-minted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sees an opportunity to rid the Peninsula of nukes but insists any deal must be irreversible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POMPEO: We use the word irreversible with great intention and we're going to require those steps that demonstrate that denuclearization is going to be achieved.
We're not going to take promises, we're not going to take words. We're going to look for actions and deeds.
And until such time, the president has made incredibly clear we will keep the pressure campaign in place until we achieve that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: The dramatic progress on the Korean Peninsula had the president's supporters in a frenzy at this rally in Michigan on Saturday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RALLYGOERS, WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN: Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's very nice, thank you. That's very nice -- Nobel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: A Nobel chant. From "lock her up" to "Nobel" -- they have come a long way.
For the latest develops on the Korean Peninsula we go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula, good morning.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Dave.
Well, we are getting more information about what exactly happened at that summit on Friday.
The Blue House telling us that Kim Jong Un has agreed to shut down his nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in the northeast of the country in May. Now, considering May starts tomorrow that's a fairly tight timeframe we're looking at.
He has said apparently, as well, that he'll invite experts -- he'll invite journalists to view this to make sure that it is fully transparent.
And also, refuted reports that that test site was obsolete because part of it had collapsed, saying there are two tunnels that no one knows about that are in very good condition.
But he said that he is happy to shut it down if he knows that the United States is going to be happy to talk with him frequently, if they are going to continue to deal with ending the Korean War, and if there is a non-aggression from the United States.
He also had an interesting phrase according to the Blue House, saying that he is not the kind of person who would launch a nuclear missile at the United States. A very different Kim Jong Un we are seeing right now because just last year those are the exact kind of threats that we were hearing from North Korea.
Now, we did hear from John Bolton, saying that he wants actions rather than just words. We also know that Mike Pompeo has been speaking to Japan's foreign minister in Jordan at the moment.
There's a huge amount of diplomatic activity that is surrounding these new events and clearly, we're seeing on both sides of the border that the South Koreans also want to show that their hostile policy is over.
BRIGGS: All right. Paula Hancocks live for us. Six thirty-four p.m. there in Seoul. Thanks so much.
ROMANS: Great --
BRIGGS: Great reporting.
Joining us this morning live in Atlanta again, Chris Deaton, deputy online editor of "The Weekly Standard." Good morning.
Let's talk a little bit about North Korea developments. I mean, Friday was just unbelievable.
Moving quickly ahead here there's still a lot of work. I mean, I know they were chanting "Nobel, Nobel" on Saturday night in Michigan but there still is an awful lot of work to do here.
CHRIS DEATON, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Yes, it's like putting the cart before the horse and about 750 miles of trail there. It's pretty aggressive there.
Yes -- I mean, look, Mike Pompeo talking about needing these steps to be irreversible and referring to the past and saying that the Trump administration is going to pursue the types of negotiations that we anticipate to see in short order here as opposed to the way the United States conducted them in the past when North Korea was making overtures in a similar vein or going to be differently, I would definitely fixate on that.
[05:35:18] I mean, one of the big questions here is going to be pursuant to what Pompeo said.
Look, North Korea can say whatever it wants but how are you going to have in place the assurances when it comes to the --
DEATON: -- monitoring, when it comes to actually getting eyeballs on progress North Korea is making to hold up its end of the bargain with this type of hypothetical? Those are types of things that are only going to play out over a course of years.
BRIGGS: Yes, actually you say that because the two words that are key for the Trump administration and you hear them repeated over and over again over the weekend -- irreversible and verifiable. DEATON: Yes.
BRIGGS: And as to that verification, John Bolton talked about that with Chris Wallace of Fox News on Sunday and he said we're going to use, really, the Libya example of 2003 when we took everything away from them. They didn't have nukes yet but had a nuclear program.
Of course, if you're Kim Jong Un and you hear they're going to use the Libyan example -- well, what happened to Gaddafi in 2011? Does that influence your thinking and the negotiation, do you think?
DEATON: Well, it certainly could because now, all of a sudden, I think you're feeling much more threatened than you would be otherwise. This certainly is kind of diplomatic chess game, I think, that is going on right now -- so much of it.
And especially, this is the case with the criticism of people perhaps getting out ahead of themselves and saying that there is going to be something definitely positive that comes of these initial steps.
And people saying well, wait a minute, let's back up a little bit here for a moment and talk about how Kim Jong Un has pursued these sorts of optical illusions, if you want to call them, during the course of the Trump administration with what he's done with Pyeongchang (ph). Trying to sell his country as much more open to the west and open to new ideas.
I mean, I don't want to rely on like an old -- I don't think it's hypochriful (ph) but I do believe it's a Maya Angelou quote, but why would you not believe the guy when he's shown you who he is 29 times before? And now, all of the sudden, we're expecting this whiplash type of change. I would be cautious about that.
BRIGGS: Well done, sir.
ROMANS: Let's -- absolutely. Let's talk about the White House Correspondents' Dinner which is sometimes just an inside baseball roast of media elites in Washington, but it's getting an awful lot of attention. And frankly, the White House Correspondents' Association's distancing itself from the -- from the comedian and her content.
Let's listen to this joke about Sarah Sanders that everyone's talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN: I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful.
But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It's probably lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Ouch. Now, this is what Kirsten Powers -- I love -- she's a -- she's a contributor here.
"If you haven't objected to DJT's attacks on Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, women (and yes on their appearance) I don't want to hear about your outrage over a comedian at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Yes, a few of her jokes went too far. She's a comedian. He's president, and he's not joking."
So there's been now, backlash.
ROMANS: Where does Chris Deaton fall on this?
DEATON: Oh man, I'm not going to provide backlash to the backlash to the backlash. I will promise you that. I don't want to get too far down the hole there.
DEATON: But I definitely hear Kirsten's point, though. I mean, when we're talking about trying to equate a comedian with what the President of the United States has done -- how many times have we heard the last 24-36 months that the Trump phenomenon has gone on, the term normalizing certain behavior.
You know, this is the type of normal, edgy, pushy stuff that even if it does go over the line you kind of expect it from a person who is wearing the comedian shoes. If you're the president, you definitely don't.
But that isn't necessarily a defense to go after people in person pretty viciously, pretty personally, face-to-face at these types of events, just because I'm not exactly sure what it accomplishes.
I mean, again, I do think it's true Christine that C-SPAN late-night is kind of like closed-circuit television and, you know, nobody's really watching that stuff. So the only news that's going to get generated off of it is the type of needless outrage that we see in this vein. I'm not just really sure what it accomplishes, to be honest.
ROMANS: Well, it makes the media look bad and elitist and it sort of feeds in the Donald Trump narrative, doesn't it?
BRIGGS: Right. Look, I mean the White House Correspondents' Association vetted her like the White House vetted Dr. Jackson. They didn't at all. Just watch some YouTube.
But the president does set the tone. When you say son of a bitch, s- hole countries, when you mock a reporter's disability -- we could go on and on. Very fine people --
ROMANS: Dave has a list --
BRIGGS: -- there to protest --
ROMANS: -- a whole list.
BRIGGS: It's taking up my entire notepad of offensive statements from the President of the United States.
So look, it is an intriguing debate. We appreciate you weighing in on it. Chris Deaton --
ROMANS: Chris Deaton, thanks.
BRIGGS: -- appreciate it.
DEATON: Thanks, guys.
[05:40:00] BRIGGS: And here now, the (INAUDIBLE).
Breaking overnight, at least 29 dead and 49 injured in a pair of blasts in Kabul. Among the dead, at least eight journalists, including a cameraman for the French Press Agency AFP.
Officials in the Afghan capital say a suicide attacker on a motorbike detonated explosives around 8:00 a.m. local time. A Kabul police spokesman says someone disguised as a cameraman carried out the second attack. That explosion killed AFP's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai.
AFP says that attack targeted a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of the first explosion.
ROMANS: Right now, an immigration showdown playing out at the U.S.- Mexico border. A caravan of Central American migrants is camped out, waiting at the border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.
After a hard month-long journey, dozens of asylum seekers are vowing to remain outside an immigration processing center until every last one is admitted to the U.S.
BRIGGS: At a rally in Michigan over the weekend the president talked about this approaching caravan and did not sound sympathetic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Are you watching that mess that's going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this?
And our laws are so weak, they're so pathetic, given to us by Democrats. They're so pathetic. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer --
Our laws are so corrupt and so stupid that -- I call them the dumbest immigration laws anywhere on earth.
BRIGGS: Last week, Homeland Security said it would arrest anyone crossing the border illegally. For the latest let's check in which CNN's Leyla Santiago.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, what remains of the caravan, the migrants still here say they will wait throughout the night to be able to reach the United States -- to reach some of those asylum officers and make their claims.
Well, let me show you around right now, what we're seeing. We're seeing some of these Central American families that have actually put down blankets with intentions of staying the entire night here. They say they will get to the United States to seek asylum.
So what's the problem right now? Well, the United States is saying that they do not have the capacity to process these claims.
These migrants have had a very long day -- obviously, a very long month in this caravan as it has made its way north. Right now, inside, behind the gates beyond where we are right now there are about 20 to 40 women and children who have made their way inside but they were told by U.S. officials -- again, they don't have the capacity to process their asylum claims.
So they are waiting to see if that will change overnight. In the meantime, they plan to stay here.
Again, it has certainly been a long journey for them. March 25th they started at the southern border of Mexico. They have made their way up, staying in shelters, riding on trains, riding on buses, walking for days.
And they say it's important to do this the legal way. They have turned themselves in -- or are trying to turn themselves in at the port of entry as U.S. federal law permits. But now, they are waiting to see when asylum officers, when U.S. officials will actually allow them to go through with their claims -- Christine, Dave.
ROMANS: All right, Leyla Santiago. Thank you for that.
All right. A deadline for President Trump's trade tariffs -- trade tariffs. Say that 10 times fast. Trump's trade tariffs, Trump's trade tariffs, Trump's trade --
BRIGGS: I'm out.
ROMANS: Exemptions for key countries expire today. Their first stop, aides are heading to Beijing to ease trade tensions. "CNN Money," next.
Trump's trade tariff.
[05:48:25] ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money" this Monday morning.
China and U.S. trade tensions are simmering and team Trump heads to China this week to avert a full-blown trade war. President Trump sending his top economic officials to Beijing for trade talks. The high-stakes meeting starts Thursday.
Each country is threatening the other with billions of dollars in tariffs. The hope here is these talks will result in a trade framework both sides can live with.
One potential problem here, Trump's team must present a united front. That could be a challenge.
His delegation includes trade hawks like trade adviser Peter Navarro and trade representative Robert Lighthizer. They're joined by free trade advocates, economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. Officials have downplayed their differences noting that all four are critical of China's trade practices.
But even before officials head to China, the U.S. could face another trade fight. The U.S. slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports back in March and gave several countries temporary exemptions. Those expire in less than 24 hours.
The exemptions make up two-thirds of U.S. steel and aluminum imports and includes some of America's closest allies, like the E.U., Canada, and Mexico.
Global stocks higher right now around the world. We'll see if the market moves on news that T-Mobile plans to buy Sprint for $26 billion, leaving just three major carriers -- wireless carriers in the U.S.
Wall Street closed mostly higher Friday. Just barely, all three indices down for the week.
The Commerce Department reported economic growth slowed in the first quarter. The Labor Department said wages jumped at the fastest pace in 11 years.
That renewed concerns about inflation which could mean faster interest rate hikes. We're going to get more information on that tomorrow. The Federal Reserve starts a two-day policy meeting.
[05:50:00] For now, strong earnings are overshadowing fears of higher interest rates, but 79 percent of companies have reported profits higher than predicted.
All right, Amazon stock is on fire. Amazon's profits doubled in the first quarter, sending its shares up nearly four percent, just below an all-time high. Amazon's stock is now up 35 percent this year.
ROMANS: Wow -- shareholders love that.
Compare that to the broader S&P 500. It's down less than one percent.
The market value now of Amazon, $735 billion. Only Apple is worth more.
Great news for the CEO Jeff Bezos. He's already the world's richest person. He's now worth $135 billion.
"AVENGERS" assembled the biggest box office opening ever, both in the U.S. and around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHADWICK BOSEMAN, T'CHALLAH/BLACK PANTHER, "AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR": Engage all defenses and get this man a shield.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: "AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR" made $630 million globally with $250 million in the U.S. alone. That just edges out "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS." It made $240 million.
That's hard to say on a Monday morning, right? It's usually --
The biggest winner, Disney. It now holds nine of the top 10 biggest openings in North American history. They have like 20 -- what, 20 superheroes in that?
Jimmy Carr, how many superheroes? Like, 20 in there?
BRIGGS: Our producer saw it twice.
We know Chris Cuomo saw it if you follow him on Instagram.
It actually turned it from a negative box officer year into the positive. The power of these superhero films is amazing.
ROMANS: People want a superhero --
BRIGGS: All right.
ROMANS: -- or 20.
BRIGGS: The secretary of state in the Middle East with a major decision approaching. Will the president pull out of the Iran nuclear deal next week? We're live in the Middle East.
[05:56:10] ROMANS: National Security Adviser John Bolton confirming President Trump has not yet decided whether to back out of the Iran nuclear deal. He has less than two weeks to make up his mind.
BRIGGS: The Iran deal just one of the major issues being tackled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is in Jordan this morning after slamming the Iranians as the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday. So let's check in with Ben Wedeman who is live in Amman, Jordan for us this morning. Ben, good morning.
Any hints as to whether or not the president will stay in or get out of the Iran nuclear deal?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard John Bolton, the national security adviser, suggesting that he hadn't -- President Trump hadn't made up his mind yet.
But certainly, from the rhetoric that Sec. Pompeo used in Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel, where he sees eye-to-eye with both of those countries when it comes to the nuclear deal -- they opposed it since it was signed in 2015 -- it would seem to indicate that it's more likely than not that the president will pull out of that deal.
However, we know that Emmanuel Macron, the French president, was on the phone for an hour yesterday with Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, and they apparently were discussing how somehow to preserve -- to save this deal because, of course, there's many concerns that if the deal is scrapped we could be looking at very rough couple of months here in the Middle East.
Now, while Pompeo was here in Jordan, however, most of the discussions were about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jordan very unhappy with the administration's decision to move the embassy -- the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Also, of course, Jordan is very concerned about the threat of instability spilling over the border from Syria into Jordan. We have been at for about a week of military exercises between the Jordanians and the Americans.
They're looking at all sorts of possibilities. Perhaps another migrant crisis, perhaps a chemical nuclear or biological attack, perhaps the possibility of having to evacuate U.S. citizens out of the country in the event of protests.
So, Jordan has much more immediate concerns than Iran at the moment.
BRIGGS: Indeed. All right, just about 1:00 p.m. there in Jordan. Ben Wedeman live for us. Thank you.
Breaking news from the U.K. Britain has a new Home secretary after the previous secretary resigns amid an immigration scandal. Amber Rudd stepped down Sunday, saying she had inadvertently misled a government committee about deportation quotas for immigrants.
"The Guardian," on Sunday, published a memo refuting Rudd's earlier claim she had no knowledge of the quotas.
And just a short time ago, Prime Minister Theresa May naming Sajid Javid as the new Home secretary. Javid had been serving as the secretary of state for communities and local government.
That will do it for us, my friend. Happy Monday. ROMANS: It does, yes. Thanks for joining us this morning.
BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.
ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.
BRIGGS: See you tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTIAGO: They've been on trains and on buses. This is the moment that they have been waiting for.
TRUMP: Are you watching that mess with the caravan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an administration that looks at this as a border security problem, but this is a humanitarian problem.
TRUMP: What do you think President Trump had to do with it? Like, how about everything.
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: An upcoming summit, I think, is a terrific opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nobody in the Trump administration starry- eyed about what may happen here.
WOLF: She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye.
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I thought she was funny. I laughed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House Correspondents' Association has allowed this annual dinner to turn into more and more of a spectacle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)