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Giuliani Contradicts Trump; American Hostages in North Korea; Hapsel Recommendation from Clapper; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 3, 2018 - 06:30   ET

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


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[06:33:06] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: At least six police officers injured in an explosion after responding to a call about a woman being held hostage in a violent, domestic dispute. This was in North Haven, Connecticut. Officials say that police were trying to resolve this situation when an apparently booby-trapped barn behind the home exploded. The official told a local paper that the woman was able to escape, but her husband's fate is unclear. A Connecticut police spokeswoman says she believes he was in the barn when it exploded.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'll tell you, there's so much violence attached to domestic violence. It would shock you. We have a documentary coming out about it for HLN. It comes out next month.

All right, another story. An investigation is underway into what caused that deadly cargo plane crash near Savannah, Georgia. A surveillance camera from a nearby business captured the final moments. The Puerto Rico Air National Guard WC-130 was heading to Tucson to be decommissioned. That means not use this plane any more. Suddenly, banked to the left, as you just saw -- maybe we're going to re-rack it -- plummets to the ground really almost in a direct line. All nine crew members on board, gone.

CAMEROTA: That's just terrible, terrible video.

The FAA is investigating another broken window on a Southwest Airlines flight. Flight 957 from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, was diverted to Cleveland after that window cracked in midflight. The FAA says the cabin did not lose pressure. No oxygen masks deployed. And the pilots did not declare an emergency. No one was hurt. This incident, though, comes a few weeks after a Southwest passenger was killed when an engine failure blew out a window, fatally injuring a woman.

CUOMO: All right, Robert Mueller's team is interviewing a former Trump campaign aid. This already happened. Now Michael Caputo, you've seen him on the show, you've seen him elsewhere, he's going to come on, he's going to tell you what he believes this investigation is about, what he learned in that meeting, and what this has meant to people like him, their life, and their wallets, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:38:57] CAMEROTA: We have all sorts of breaking news this morning. Here is one of the big ones. Rudy Giuliani makes this stunning revelation that President Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen, his long- time personal attorney, for the $130,000 worth of hush money that was paid to the porn star Stormy Daniels. Now that directly contradicts what the president and the White House have repeatedly said.

So, someone is lying. Is it Michael Cohen? Is it Rudy Giuliani? Is it the White House? Is it Sarah Sanders? Is it President Trump? Is it somehow all of the above?

Let's discuss with CNN political analyst David Gregory and associate editor for RealClearPolitics, A.B. Stoddard.

A.B., Michael Cohen has said he was not paid back by President Trump, directly or indirectly. Sarah Sanders has said the president didn't know anything about this payment. The president has said varying things about whether or not Michael Cohen was representing him with Stormy Daniels. Now Rudy Giuliani said, oh, yes, the president actually did pay him back through a monthly retainer. Somebody's lying.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Oh, Alisyn, this is not news.

CAMEROTA: Oh, naive Alisyn, how can you just be figuring this out.

[06:40:04] STODDARD: This -- this is -- this is not news. We watched Sean Spicer's tenure at the podium and we know that Sarah Sanders often has the toe the company line, which may usually turn out to be either slightly untrue or entirely untrue. And that's her job and she does it well.

President Trump has no problem, according to the latest assessment by "The Washington Post" fact checker, he's up over six untruths a day. Michael Cohen did slip up when he said he facilitated a payment to Stormy Daniels.

But this revelation by Mr. Giuliani comes after a poll released yesterday following a similar polling result last month that a majority of the public knows, believes that the president paid off Stormy Daniels and that they don't care. And President Trump, candidate Trump, has never, in his eyes, paid a price for lying. And he continues to retain a solid base between 35 percent and 40 percent of the country. And he just believes that he can create his own reality. And we have seen many people working for him, Alisyn, who have been rewarded when they backed him up by lying for him.

So I don't expect anything else. I expect it to continue. And unless people are talking to the FBI or are under oath, this just happens all too frequently.

CUOMO: Right. And that's one of the interesting dynamics here, right? So, here's what we know. Other than, you know, Michael Cohen didn't slip up when he said he facilitated the payment. That's what he knows to be a fact from his perspective. And that he was bringing it out just to show that this wasn't the way it was understood by the media. He did it. His money. Wasn't repaid. Now, we'll see how he deals with what's coming out with Rudy Giuliani.

But this is not normal. Three thousand and one misstatements and lies in 466 days, which is what "The Washington Post" came up with their tabulation of the mendacity factor of Donald Trump is not normal. We've never seen anything like this. And it's not because we're looking more closely at Trump.

So, David Gregory, they're lying to us. This isn't new, but it is relevant. The question is how this dovetails with political implications and legal implications. Because I've got to tell you, I don't think Rudy Giuliani has it wrong. I think he's going to have his facts right. What they mean, what they can sell, that's the story.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the obvious ramification legally is, the president is wading into territory that, you know, Bill Clinton was in, where you start lying about --

CUOMO: It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

GREGORY: Right and -- and, in this case, you know, all kinds of questions about obstruction. The president says, well, if there was never any crime, how can there be obstruction. These are the kinds of things that now he's in a process, a legal and a political process, that I think absolutely have ramifications.

And, you know, this is kind of Trump's way. There have been so many provable lies in the campaign and now as president. It should undermine his credibility and he should be held accountable for that. And I think people who support the president, those who don't support the president, you know, you've got to have accountability for this. This is not what should happen in a democracy.

You know, and this is the kind of stuff that Putin does in Russia. Whether it's taking on reporting that's accurate by calling it fake. And basically getting the citizens to believe that what's true is false and what's false is true. We cannot accept that. And, you know, there are so many lies that go back. The president lying about President Obama and him being born in America and all of these things build on each other. And now the president's in a different position because now he's in a position where he's got to deal with a special prosecutor breathing down his administration's neck.

CAMEROTA: You know, A.B., you were making the point that the president has, you know, used untruths before and it doesn't seem to matter. But at some point people tire of it. And something interesting happened last night with Laura Ingraham, conservative commentator, obviously, on Fox News, and she was pointing out that politically this is bad. And so let's listen to -- I mean this is on the same network where Rudy Giuliani just told her colleague, Sean Hannity, his new version of events. So here was Laura Ingraham's take on the political ramifications.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR, "THE INGRAHAM ANGLE": I love Rudy, but they better have an explanation for that. That's a problem. Look, I'm -- I was a criminal defense lawyer. This is what I did. I was always looking for inconsistencies and statements, like any lawyer would.

The left is going to seize on that. It's all about credibility and impeaching someone's credibility throughout the process. So if you're not being -- if you're not being truthful about this, then are you being truthful about the Russians. I mean you can just see where this is going to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Is she part of the left? Because she has the same questions that anybody with a reasonable and open mind is asking this morning. It's not about the left or the right, it's about the truth. That's the problem.

CAMEROTA: And, I mean, and I thought that she -- she tied it up well there. It's about credibility. If you're lying about this, what else are you lying about?

[06:45:05] STODDARD: Well, that's a tough question for the Trump administration because whether it's his doctor reports or, you know, the crowd size or, you know, whether he's going to pull out of Syria or Afghanistan as he promised Senator Rand Paul, it's very, very, very hard to take any word these days on matters big or small from the president or this administration. So that's -- that's an -- that's an issue that, you know, can be raised any day. It's interesting that she was questioning Rudy Giuliani.

I think what Giuliani did last night, even though it was embarrassing and revealed that the president lied a couple weeks back, was very intentional and it was a -- and it was a way to assuage Michael Cohen.

CUOMO: And, you know what, politically, on talk TV, you can say, oh, it's the left's fault, Obama did it too, it's Hillary Clinton. None of that will wash in front of a federal investigators. So there's going to be a big reckoning for somebody at some point.

David, A.B., thank you.

Coming up in our next hour, we're going to talk with President Trump's former campaign aide Michael Caputo. Now he is especially relevant this morning. Why? He met with Mueller's investigators and he has decided to give you a straight read on where he thinks they're headed. And it comports with a lot of what you may suspect

CAMEROTA: OK, more big news. We're told that three Americans, imprisoned in North Korea, could be released at any time. Is this a condition ahead of President Trump's meeting with the North Korean dictator? We discuss all of this, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:50:23] CAMEROTA: A source tells CNN that three Americans currently imprisoned in North Korea could be released soon. Last night President Trump hinted at the development on Twitter saying, in part, stay tuned.

So let's bring in CNN national security analyst James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence.

Director Clapper, thanks for being here.

I want to read to you the full thing about what President Trump tweeted because some of it needs to be fact checked.

He said, as everybody is aware, the past administration, meaning Obama, has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned.

That makes no sense because two of these hostages or detainees were taken while President Trump was in office. Only one was when President Obama was.

So, let's start with the news. Do you think that their imminent release will happen? Do you think it's tied to the sit down that President Trump is going to be having with Kim Jong-un?

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, thanks, Alisyn, for having me.

Yes, I do. I think there is a relationship here. And I think this would be a sincere gesture on the part of the North Koreans if they are serious about negotiating with the United States. And so I think as a -- you know, kind of a precondition, I would think that the U.S. government would establish that these three must be released.

And I have to say as well that the last administration was pretty determined and stalwart about trying to get Americans who were imprisoned in North Korea -- one of the high points of my time as DNI was bringing out two Americans who had been imprisoned in hard labor in 2014. So I think this is a -- if it happens, a very positive development.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CLAPPER: And you're right about the fact checking.

CAMEROTA: Listen, any way you slice it, this is great, OK, getting Americans home. This is a positive development. There's no other way to see it. And whoever -- whoever's watch it happens on, whichever president, it's wonderful and it's a feather in their cap.

However, facts matter. And the president trying to blame these three detentions on President Obama when two of them were taken on his watch.

CLAPPER: Well -- CAMEROTA: And it just leads us, director, to, you know, what we can trust coming out of the White House. We've been talking about it all morning. I mean this is a far cry from the Stormy Daniels situation. But why is he making this mistake and trying to pin this on President Obama?

CLAPPER: Well, I think anything at all that he can, it appears to me, that he can pin on President Obama and find fault with, even if it's stretching the truth, which is certainly the case here, and there's, you know, a body of evidence that this is a consistent thing he does. And it's regrettable. It certainly detracts from his credibility as president. Even, you know, when it's a good thing happening somehow we have to find a way to cast aspersions on the prior administration. I don't know why he does it. This is -- this is late into his -- this long into his administration. But it just seems to be -- he can't resist. And it is kind of Orwellian where, you know, the minister of information and up is down, black is white, war is peace, et cetera. It's very disconcerting.

CAMEROTA: So can you believe what comes out of the president's mouth?

CLAPPER: Well, I'd like to, but at least for me almost automatically, you know, you want to do the fact checking. I mean facts are important. And it's just, I think very -- what distresses me is this is becoming normalized here in this country where people just accept the fact that, you know, the place to look for truth isn't the White House.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about another topic, and that is Gina Haspel, who is being considered to become the next CIA director. The administration, the Trump administration, is using your praise of Gina Haspel as part of their endorsement for why she should be the director of the CIA. Here's the graphic.

James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, thinks the world of Gina. She is capable, smart, very experienced, well respected by the agency rank and file and a great person.

Well, that's nice that they're using your endorsement, particularly after some names that they've called you. I believe, not to open an old wound, it was "leaker" and "liar." So why are you now to be trusted with this?

[06:55:12] CLAPPER: Well, the -- and, in fact, the latest variant of that is lying machine.

Yes, it is -- it is ironic that the White House would cite both me and John Brennan, who have -- both of us are supporters of Gina, that they would point to us as an endorsement for their nominee. I won't dwell on that.

I'll just say that we do support Gina. I think in some ways her past association with so-called extraordinary interrogation techniques actually make her a stalwart to resist it in the future.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CLAPPER: But I will tell you that one thing that I believe that she's -- a question she's going to have to be able to address is if she's -- she's asked by a member, you know, if you're directed by the president to reinstitute (INAUDIBLE), what we do, comply or resign, she needs to be prepared for that.

CAMEROTA: For sure.

Director James Clapper, thank you. Always great to get your perspective.

CLAPPER: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so Rudy Giuliani's revelations, his spin last night, what he's making the theory of his case, it triggers so many questions about how it doesn't line up with what you have been told consistently by people who represent the United States government, including the president. Now the president is responding. And I have to tell you, I'd be shocked if he wrote it. But somebody's making the case to you and we'll bring it in moments.

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