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Giuliani Calls for Attorney General to Investigate Those Behind Cohen Probe; White House Says They Can't Confirm Giuliani's Promise of North Korea Detainee Release; Trump Diversity Coalition Chief Proposes Race Summit at White House. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired May 3, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Aggressively the last six weeks. Remember how we talk about Donald Trump never mentions Robert Mueller's name and Dowd and Cobb are advising him there's no reason to smear bob Mueller, he's somebody everybody likes. Well that strategy is out the window. So, now the strategy is we are going to work to actively work to discredit Mueller, the special counsel, anything he touches, use Jim Comey if you need to, use Andy McCabe if you need to. Heck use just sessions if you need to.
But make sure that whatever Mueller eventually finds out, whatever the report says, that you can go to the people who voted to you and say this is all the deep state, this is all these people -- they didn't want me to win and now they're pushing all this, to disqualify it before it is even assessed on its merits. And that's what you're --
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: To your point -- no I was just going to say -- to you point and you're setting us up perfectly for this next line of questioning, that's exactly what we heard in terms of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Before anything has even happened, here's what Rudy Giuliani had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Ivanka Trump, I think I would get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance if they go after Ivanka. If they do do Ivanka, which I doubt they will, the whole country will turn on them. They're going after his daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about his son-in-law, they talked about him.
GIULIANI: I guess Jared is a fine man, you know that. But men are, you know, disposable. But a fine woman like Ivanka, come on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: There you go. The son-in-law is disposable. Daughter Ivanka Trump certainly is not. Phil Mudd Is that a threat to Robert Mueller, stay away?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER FBI SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ADVISOR: It is. But I know director Mueller. I worked for him for four and a half years. He doesn't care. Look we were taught in this country that when you wake up in the morning, we're all equal, we put our pants on one leg at a time and then we go pee. That's it. 330 million Americans do the same thing. Were also treated the same under the law. If the mayor speeds, he gets busted by the sheriff for speeding. He can't say, well, I'm the mayor, I get off the hook.
I don't understand what the former prosecutor and a notable prosecutor in New York is saying. He's suggesting in the land of the free, home of the brave, land the equal, that if you're a family member of the president you don't have to obey the law. I can tell you Mueller's going to say if the facts take us toward either to the president's daughter, his son or son-in-law, the facts get treated the same way as if Phillip Mudd or Erika gets involved. You're going to charge them, I don't care what he says.
CILLIZZA: And remember too -- Rudy Giuliani is not freelancing. We know because Rudy Giuliani told us that he's talked to the President about these things over the last four or five days. This is not just Rudy Giuliani sort of off the reservation. Not the case. Right? The White House has had his back since his giant controversy over the last 18ish hours. When you hear Rudy Giuliani talk, remember who he's talking to and that's Donald Trump. And I think that's very important. Do not dismiss this as, well, just one guy, he just likes to be on camera. Sure, but he's also someone that has the president's trust at the moment and we know he's communicated with the president about these issues in the very recent past. And that's why it matters even more than just Rudy Giuliani saying it.
HILL: Excellent points as always. Chris Cillizza, Phil Mudd appreciate it. Thank you.
Straight ahead, another revelation from the Rudy Giuliani interview. The news that three Americans imprisoned in North Korea would be released today. Then moments ago, Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders said the White House cannot confirm that. So, could those comments now be compromising their release?
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HILL: Diplomacy is moving at lightning speed on the Korean Peninsula. We are getting word that North Korea leader Kim Jong-un has explicitly confirmed the is dedicated to dismantling his country's nuclear weapons program. This coming as we wait for a stunning turn of events revealed to his all by Rudy Giuliani of all people. Who now says the three Americans detained in North Korea will be released today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: We got the -- Kim Jong-un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: The issue we just heard from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who is clearly not on the same page as Rudy Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We can't confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release, but we certainly would see this as a sign of good will if North Korea were to release the three Americans ahead of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Joining me now Joseph Yun, CNN global affairs analyst who recently retired as the department's point person on North Korea. And you actually met with these detainees last June. When you hear these conflicting statements coming from Rudy Giuliani and the White House, what's your reaction to all of that?
JOSEPH YUN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it is quite worrisome. I would have fully expected there to be a definite answer, especially leading up to the summit. And, quite frankly, this is an item that I would expect North Koreans would do before the summit. That is expected sometime in the first half of June. So, like you, I'm a little worried.
HILL: So, you expect that it could happen but your worry -- I mean, how much does all of this compromise that potential release for the three Americans?
YUN: I don't think it necessarily compromises their release, but as we engage, and it's been true in the past, as we engage North Korea, they will release prisoners. And I saw these three of course when I was in Pyongyang in June of last year, and I went there fully expecting to get all of them out. But of course, I only got Otto Warmbier out, who was very sick at the time.
[15:40:00] HILL: Right. As we look at this, if a release was in fact imminent, how does that normally work? I mean, what is the messaging? When do you make that public? When they're already in transit? How close in release will we actually learn about it?
YUN: I think we'll learn about it after the release. This is why we really shouldn't be talking about their release. Nobody should be talking about their release until it happens. Because any kind of real speculation, really sends wrong signals, and it could jeopardize it.
HILL: The President also tweeted about these three, quote, the past administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from the North Korean labor camp but to no avail. Stay tuned.
Of course, two of these Americans who were talking about, one was arrested in May and the other in April of last year. So, both under the administration of President Trump. Sarah Sanders tried to spin this as if one of the people that the President was referring to may have been Otto Warmbier, who you helped to bring home, again, last year. But when this is also the message being put out from Washington, does that harm things at all, that this appears to be slightly more political? YUN: It would be nice to get all facts straight. There's no question
about it. I mean, as you mentioned, two were taken spring last year so that would be 2017, certainly after January 20th, the Inauguration Day. The one was taken in October 2015. So that would be before.
HILL: Well, we'll continue to follow this. Also, I just want to get your take on this. Hearing a Chinese official confirm that Kim Jong- un is in fact committed to denuclearization. Realistically what does that look like like?
YUN: Well, I think being committed to denuclearization and actually implementing denuclearization is a different thing. We've had talks with North Korea on denuclearization since 1994. There is a reason why it has been so difficult because North Korea is completely committed to having nuclear weapons and of course they do have nuclear weapons now. So, to expect North Korea to give up nuclear weapons now I think is very farfetched. So, at best we can hope for is steps leading to denuclearization and when denuclearization will be complete is anyone's guess.
HILL: Joseph Yun, appreciate it, thank you.
YUN: Thank you very much.
HILL: Up next, the White House floating the idea of a race summit. In event that could include Colin Kaepernick, Kanye West, the CEO of Trump's National Diversity Coalition, Pastor Darrell Scott who is spearheading that meeting joins me next.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HILL: The back and forth surrounding the Stormy Daniels hush payment only deepens President Trump's political controversies. How is his base -- particularly evangelicals -- how are they receiving the contradicting statements coming from the president? Joining me now is Darrell Scott who's founder and senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center and also CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump.
Sir, it's always good to have you with us. As we look at this and we see these contradictory statements, this shifting timeline, look, we've heard from other faith leaders in the past that they believe the president has changed, especially from his base, we've heard they believe he's changed based on things they may have learned about his past. This is all pretty recent, though. When you see the way the president is behaving here, is he a model of Christian values at this point?
DARRELL SCOTT, FOUNDER AND SENIOR PASTOR, NEW SPIRIT REVIVAL CENTER: Every person that walks with the lord is different, so we can't judge other people and the way they interact with god. Everyone has a different faith walk. One thing I know about the president and all the different tenets of the Christian faith, he believes in wholeheartedly. Virgin birth of Jesus Christ, vicarious death, burial and resurrection, ascension, second coming, he believes in all of that His sanctification process is personal and private hand individual walk with the Lord. That is between him and god. And I prefer to leave it there. As far as the members of my church are concerned. I don't peek through windows and seek through transgressions in their life. I let everybody have their own salvation with fear and trembling and have their own personal accountability to god.
So, some areas I don't intrude in. If it's brought to me I will adjust it if it needs to be adjusted. But I don't intrude. And the president is no different.
HILL: In terms of the present setting an example even just adhering to the 10 Commandments, thou shalt not lie. Does that matter? Does it matter more for the president of United States that you are setting an example?
[15:50:00] SCOTT: I mean to be honest. I have something that I call the lie test that I have given to several people. I could give it to you right on the air, but I don't want to. His walk with the lord is his walk with the lord and he's growing into this office as president. He's been president around 15, 16 months. He hasn't been a career politician that aspired to be president one day. He's a businessman and ran and was successful. Now he's growing into this role. He's growing into this arena dynamic as a role model. He's still transitioning from a private citizen or a public figure to a public servant. There's a difference between the two. And so, I think he's a little more circumspect and he was at the outset of the campaign, he doesn't shoot from the hip as much. But there is still growing into the responsibility he is undergoing the growth process.
HILL: You were there at the White House to meet with the president to talk about hosting a summit on race. How did the meeting go?
SCOTT: It went tremendous. We had a great ceremony in the rose garden signing the executive order for the faith-based initiative and moved it from health and human services to the White House and a great ceremony and immediately afterwards he allowed myself, my wife and my business partner to come into the White House and discussed the summit. He wants to dispel the racist narrative against him and heal this racial decide in this country. Some people are taking me to task for inviting artists and athletes, but these are the influencers in our society. They have that high profile. They speak to the masses and they also speak for the masses. So, looking forward to it. He embraced the concept wholeheartedly.
HILL: Obviously, this comings on the heels of controversial comments of Kanye West including this. I just want to play this for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANYE WEST, RAPPER: You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years and all of you all? It is like we're mentally in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Kanye West, of course, after the backlash to backtrack a bit on Twitter but what is your reaction to that? Slavery was a choice for centuries.
SCOTT: No. When you say Kanye West tried to backtrack I think more to clarclarify, I think -- I think what he wanted to say, and it got garbled in the translation and didn't come out the way he wanted it to come out and then he went on --
HILL: What do you think he meant? What did that say to you?
SCOTT: He went on to talk about later on in the interview he said I don't want to use the word slavery. Let's say prison and then he said how people impressed if their minds and without me having a chance to talk to him about it I don't think he meant to hurt anybody or he meant to diminish slavery in any way, form or fashion or to hold black people responsible for being victims of slavery. It didn't come out the way he wanted it to come out.
HILL: You mentioned the president is open to people of Kanye West and Collin Kaepernick, people leading the conversation and what about people working on a daily basis in this arena dealing with racism and leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus? Will they be part of the discussion?
SCOTT: Listen. We want to have a discussion that is seeking to have, you know, positive results. I don't want race baiters. I don't want those that make a living off of division. I don't want those with several different opportunities to meet with the president. I'm not going to invite them. In fact, I don't want to even give anyone an opportunity to grandstand and turn down the invitation.
The president went to the opening of that museum in the south and I saw these civil rights leaders on television grandstanding about how they would never attend the museum with the president there. I won't give anybody that opportunity. We'll talk to some people in the back channels and I want those that quantity to participate express their willingness and not to grandstand off of and get tv time but somebody for positive contribution to this dialogue and I'm looking for people such as a Jay-Z that doesn't need the attention and he said we need to have this conversation. I'm tired of us having conversations about having a conversation. Let's have the conversation.
[15:55:00] HILL: A lot of people would love to have that conversation. And we'll see as you point out if civil rights leaders want to be a part of it to contact you. Interesting to see what happens there. I have to let you go following breaking news, sir, out of Nashville. Appreciate the discussion, as always. There are reports of a shooting at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. We are following the report and will have a short update after the break. Stay with us.
HILL: We are following breaking news. Reports of a shooting at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. We have the latest with CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell. What do we know?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: We are getting law enforcement sources telling CNN Metro Nashville Police responding to a shooting at Opry Mills Mall. They have not given information about a potential number of victims or if there is a person at large who is still armed but I can tell you about this mall that it is a very popular location there with movie theaters, a gaming station there, right across the street from the grand ole opry. A tourist destination, as well. We're getting information from the local officials, checking social media from the police department and the mall. They have not said anything officially there but the law enforcement sources again telling us that Metro Nashville Police are responding to a shooting at opry mills mall. This is in the northeast quadrant of the Nashville area. Erica?
HILL: Josh, in terms of that response, the first thing to do is locate a potential shooter and securing the rest of the mall.
CAMPBELL: That's right. Facility of this magnitude, this large will have security agents, officers on the scene so they'll not -- no doubt first responding and then see that flood of law enforcement officers from the nearby area to determine there's a threat here under way or has it already been mitigated? Details we don't have right now.
HILL: All things to be looking at and one would imagine, too, sealed off the area which, of course, would be typical. You don't want people in or out to compromise the situation or anyone's safety. We'll continue to stay on this. Victor, josh, appreciate it. More coverage just ahead. Continues on "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper. It starts right now.