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Confusion over Detainees Release; Reducing Forces in South Korea; Cavs beat the Raptors; Charlie Rose Misconduct. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 4, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:31:18] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The fate of three Americans imprisoned in North Korea is still unclear. President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said they would be released yesterday, but the White House and State Department said they couldn't confirm that.

CNN's Alexandra Field is live in Seoul with more.

There was good reason politically yesterday to kind of raise the prospects of this happening. It was a good distraction, but there are families involved. These victims are involved over there. What do we know?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president certainly indicated that there would be a big development. And it did, as you point out, catch everyone's attention. And then you had Rudy Giuliani, for whatever reason, specifying it would happen yesterday. That would certainly be heartbreaking for the families when, in fact, it didn't happen.

There is still a lot of confidence that these three men will be released before the summit, but nobody seems to be able to say when exactly that would happen. And we do know that the State Department and the White House have been working to verify reports that the detainees have been moved from where they were being held to Pyongyang, which could indicate preparation for a release. Still, though, no commitment from anyone on when this could happen.

Again, it's expected that it would happen in the run-up to this summit. That would be a good-faith effort from North Korea. Also in the run-up to this summit, "The New York Times" now reporting that President Trump has asked for plans for what it would look like to draw down the number of U.S. forces stationed on the Korean peninsula. The officials cited in that "New York Times" reporting saying that a drawdown wouldn't be used as a bargaining chip in conversations with Kim Jong-un. But certainly, Chris, at a time when we are talking about the possibility of a peace treaty that would formally bring to an end the Korean war some 65 years after the fighting stopped, questions are being raised about how large a presence the U.S. needs to maintain out here.

But, Alisyn, just this week, officials right here in South Korea said that they believe that U.S. forces need to stay here as part of a bigger picture. A security and stability picture for the region.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Alexandra, so great to have you on the ground in Seoul for all of these questions and some answers. Thank you very much.

Now to this strange story. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy rescinding his resignation in a letter to speaker Paul Ryan, who had asked him to step down. Ryan then reversed course and agreed to keep Conroy on as House chaplain, avoiding a protractive fight over what is supposed to be a unifying position in the partisan chamber. The speaker's initial decision to dismiss Reverend Conroy triggered a backlash in both parties.

CUOMO: Mandatory evacuations are being ordered on Hawaii's big island after the Kileuea volcano erupts. Take a look at this. Lava spewing into the streets. Seventeen hundred people are threatened. Close to 800 structures. A woman, who safely evacuated, took this video. You can see the lava in the distance. You know, that's the smoke, right. This is liquid rock that's coming out of there, spewing out of a crack in the street. The governor declaring an emergency, activating the National Guard to help with evacuations and security after hundreds of earthquakes rocked the area.

CAMEROTA: So, are the three American detainees being released from North Korea or not? Why the confusion in the Trump administration about this? We dig deeper, next.


[06:38:27] CUOMO: All right, it was promised to be a big day yesterday. We had assurances from President Trump and his lawyer, who's handling the Russia investigation, Rudy Giuliani. But there's still no word on the release of three Americans currently imprisoned in North Korea. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she wasn't able to provide more details on their release. Here's what she said.


QUESTION: The three Americans held in North Korea, Rudy Giuliani said that they were going to be released today. Is that true?

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 goodwill if North Korea were to release the three Americans head of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.


CUOMO: So in the new normal we understand that as no, OK, it wasn't going to happen, and it didn't. But it still might, and that's certainly a cause for hope. So let's talk about what could precipitate it. CNN political analyst

John Avlon and CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger.

You were in Seoul all last week. This would be a really big deal. We get why they were front-running it yesterday. The awkward thing with the lawyer involved with the Russia investigation saying that people are going to get released from -- from Korea.

CAMEROTA: So why did he say that?

CUOMO: Because it sounds good and it's a good distraction and it did lead people away -- everybody wants them to get released. It would be awesome.

CAMEROTA: But we want --

CUOMO: But what do we believe about that as a prospect?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, two rules about dealing with sort of hostage releases, prisoner releases like this. Number one, never predict when it's going to happen, because it's not in your control. Number two, if you're dealing with North Korea, really pay attention to rule number one. OK. OK.

[06:40:06] So a couple things on these. President Clinton went over, you may remember, and got a release early in the Obama administration, two women journalists who were held. Jim Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, went over. He didn't know he was going to come back with a group of hostages. He ended up coming back with them. It was right in the middle of the Sony hack, although the U.S. didn't know that was going on from North Korea at the time.

In this case, we don't know what kind of shape they're in. We don't know entirely how it is they're going to get out. And you don't know whether or not Kim Jong-un is going to try to hold on to them and do the symbolism of giving them to the president when he's there. Presumably he could have given them to the CIA director when he went over the Easter weekend. He didn't. So it's all -- the whole thing is a little bit dicey.

The main thing to remember is, from a humanitarian viewpoint, it would be terrific if we can get them back.

CUOMO: Sure.


SANGER: In terms of the nuclear discussion underway, it's totally meaningless. They have returned hostages before and then turned around and built what they called the hydrogen weapons.

CAMEROTA: I'm still interested in the bizarre statements, OK. So not only does Rudy prematurely announce that they're being released that day. OK, not just being released imminently, that day. Then President Trump sends out this bizarre and wrong tweet. The past

administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean labor camp but to no avail. Stay tuned.

Well, that's interesting. He says it was the Obama administration that wanted them released. They were taken in, John, one of them, October 2015. OK, during the Obama administration.


CAMEROTA: Arrested in April 2017 and May 2017.


CAMEROTA: On President Trump's watch.

AVLON: That's right, two of the hostages were held on Trump's watch.

CAMEROTA: How does he -- why does he not know that?

AVLON: Well, it's the gravitational pull to blame everything on Obama. I mean that is an almost irresistible force to say Obama couldn't get it done, I could.

Look, he has made great progress on North Korea under his watch, but the two folks who were taken, that's on him, not on the previous administration.

And, also, these hostage situations transcend whoever the president is right now. This is bluster. This is sort of chest beating. But it does, I think, first of all, create another credibility problem. He's basically wrong on the facts that matter.

CAMEROTA: He is wrong on the facts.

AVLON: Facts matter. And, second, Rudy got over his skis with announcing it, but it's really not his position to announce it.

CUOMO: Right.

AVLON: Because you're talking about delicate, geo-political negotiations with human American lives at stake. But it's also a play actually of something that they've tried, even during Watergate in the Nixon administration, which is to say, look, this is a partisan distraction. Let's stay focused on what in this case Nixon was doing with China and these great statesmanship moves. And Trump -- what Rudy was trying to say on air was, look, we should be talking about the great progress he's making on North Korea, not this tawdry investigation.

CUOMO: Right.

AVLON: But, you know, you -- both things can be true.

CUOMO: So "The New York Times" has a report out that Trump is asking the Pentagon to look at a descaling of troops on the peninsula. That's interesting. It is also interesting what you learned about how the South has learned to massage this particular president going forward.


CUOMO: Tell us your insights.

SANGER: Well, when I was in Seoul last week, what struck me was that everybody around President Moon, who I would go often see, basically had one theory of the case. Whatever goes right with the negotiations with North Korea -- and so far nothing big has happened but all the music is right -- give this to President Trump. Make him own it. Say to everybody, this is his working, whether it is or whether it isn't, because they want him so invested in the success of this thing that it is hard for him to then turn around and threaten military action if it goes bad.

And, look, the history of every negotiation with North Korea is, even if you get to where you want to be, we have a lot of crises between here and there. And they're trying to get him fully invested.

Now, on the first -- the first point, "The Times" story this morning by my great colleague Mark Landler, we have 28,000 American troops there. That's down when I lived out in the region. We used to have 40,000. After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq --

CUOMO: And family members.

SANGER: And family members on top of that. And several hundred thousand Americans living, you know, just doing business in South Korea. Twenty-eight thousand is not a defensive force against North Korea. It is a symbolic force, but a vitally important psychological force because it means the North Koreans know that if they attack, they're going to kill Americans.

CAMEROTA: David Sanger, John Avlon, thank you both very much.

OK, to sports. LeBron James does it again. What else can you say? I don't know. That's why the "Bleacher Report" is coming next.


[06:48:42] CUOMO: The Cavs will never beat the Raptors. They're a one- man show. But what a one man he is. King James holding on.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Hey, I was a buyer on that. I thought the Raptors were going to roll.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: We all -- you know, a lot of us thought that this was finally going to be the year they were going to be able to take down LeBron. But I'll tell you what, Chris, I was just shaking my head last night watching that game. LeBron was just ridiculous. And it's just -- I mean it's coming to the point where he just owns Toronto. And it was so bad at one point even the play-by- play guy, Mark Jones, welcomed everyone back to the broadcast saying, welcome back to LeBronto (ph). Now, LeBron has eliminated the Raptors the past two seasons, but this

year, you know, it was supposed to be different. Toronto's a one seed in the east. Home court in the series. But it just hasn't mattered. LeBron ripping the hearts out of those fans there in Toronto with fade away after fade away last night. Finished the game 43 points and 14 assists. First time that's ever been done in playoff history. The Cavs win this one easily, 128-110.


LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVS: When the ball was popping, the guys were just throwing their ball, everybody throws with confidence (ph). And no matter how I'm on the road, you want to try to play that type of basketball.

KEVIN LOVE, CLEVELAND CAVS: You could just sense it. I mean, you know, he knew what was at stake. He came out and he played that way from the jump tonight. And, like I said, you could just sense that he was going to have a special night early on.


[06:50:00] SCHOLES: Now, LeBron has been to seven straight NBA finals. And, Alisyn, I guess until he doesn't go to one, we should just pencil him in.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I'm going to get out my date book and just pencil that in.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: Andy, thank you very much.

OK, so there are new allegations to tell you about of sexual harassment and misconduct against Charlie Rose by more than two dozen women. The reporter who broke the story joins us next.


CAMEROTA: A "Washington Post" investigation reveals new allegations of sexual misconduct against former CBS News anchor Charlie Rose. Twenty- seven women came forward to the paper claiming that Rose had sexually harassed them, with allegations some of them dating back to 1976. "The Post" also reports that some managers at CBS knew or were alerted about the alleged conduct on three separate occasions over the span of these 30 years.

[06:55:03] So, I'm joined now by one of the reporters who broke the story, "Washington Post" contributor Irin Carmon.

Irin, great to have you here.

The numbers are staggering. You found 27. More women, I think, than we had previously known, who had some of these stories about Charlie Rose.


CAMEROTA: And so were you surprised by the scale of this?

CARMON: Alisyn, we had eight women in our initial story, which led to Charlie Rose's story, his show being canceled at PBS and him being fired from CBS.

What we were trying to do in the second story was not so much look for as many people as we could, although we were certainly interested in talking to anyone who had a story that they wanted to share. What we wanted to know was the accountability piece of it. We wanted to know who knew what. It's just that along the way we were able to speak to so many women and corroborate and vet the accounts that they had shared with other people at the time and some had documentation and so on that had these unwelcomed experiences with Charlie Rose along the way.

Honestly, we could have kept on going.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

CARMON: We could have kept on reporting and perhaps ended up with a larger number, but our focus was really on the knowledge.

CAMEROTA: And let's get to that. But, first, I just want to give people a little sense of the kinds of things that women were enduring at the hands of Charlie Rose. And this is just one of the anecdotes from one of the 27 plus women that you spoke to.

Annmarie Parr, a 22-year-old news clerk, delivered a script to Rose. He had made lewd little comments about her appearance before, Parr said, but that day Rose took it further. Annmarie, do you like sex?, she said he asked her. Do you enjoy it? How often do you like to have sex? She said she laughed nervously and left.

That is so gross really. It makes my skin crawl that she had to endure this at work. And so what did you learn about what managers knew at the time I mean for these past 30 years and what they did to address it.

CARMON: Well, Alisyn, I mean, the story that you told about Annmarie Parr, she then went and did the thing that you're supposed to do. Even in 1986, it was known that you reported it to your manager. She got reassigned and Charlie Rose kept being brought back for ever more prominent roles at the network. He was the host of the morning show. He was a correspondent on "60 Minutes." And along the way women did alert each other. They did warn each other about working with him. And there were -- we've identified three different occasions. The earliest one is Annmarie Parr in which women went to their managers and they said that they either had concerns or they had a specific experience that they wanted to share with those managers.

Now, if you think about the fact that the most recent account that we have is from a woman who was 22 years old in 2017, Annmarie Parr reported having an unwelcomed encounter with Charlie Rose before that young woman was even born. CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, that really does put it in perspective.

And so in your reporting you did find that some of the managers did know about this and tried to address it and tried to do what they thought at the time was protocol and was accurate. But then there were others who said they didn't know anything about it. And I'm just wondering if you find that plausible since this was a pretty open secret in the news business.

CARMON: Well, we're really confident in our reporting. We've done everything we can to verify the accounts that we decided to publish. In the case of the two executive producers of "CBS This Morning," who we have reporting showing that they were told specific incidents or a warning about Charlie Rose. In one case with Chris Licht (ph), who's now the executive producer of "The Colbert Report," he says that he followed the wishes of the employee and he did not further escalate it.

But this is a good thing for people to know. The policy generally now at CBS and what's considered best practices is, when you get that kind of report, you do have a responsibility to move that up the chain and make sure that there's broader accountability.

CAMEROTA: But I think that when Chris Licht --

CARMON: In the case of the 27 --

CAMEROTA: Sorry to interrupt you, but, I mean, I think from your reporting --


CAMEROTA: That when Chris Licht said that he was honoring her wishes for confidentiality and for not reporting it, that then was the company protocol that -- that if the employee didn't want it, you didn't have to --

CARMON: Right. They've since changed the company protocol.

CAMEROTA: Right. So, there you go. I mean so that --


CAMEROTA: And that' leads us --

CARMON: But there -- but there is also -- there's also legal best practices, you know, where we spoke to attorneys that, in fact -- you know, it's at least debatable because when you -- there's the needs of the individual employee and then there's the needs of the workplace. And if somebody then becomes a repeat offender, in a legal sense it's something that is often considered to be a best practice.

CAMEROTA: Of course. And so that leads us --

CARMON: But the suggestion here is --

CAMEROTA: Just -- yes, so just -- I mean I just do want to get to the broader question and answer, which is, do you feel --


CAMEROTA: Do you get the sense that CBS, and on a larger scale the news media, have mended their ways as a result of all of this?

[06:59:55] CARMON: Well, what I observed in the reporting is that it's really difficult -- it's relatively easy -- I wouldn't say it's very easy to report on an individual offender who has made women feel uncomfortable or women have specific stories about. What's really difficult is what happens after that person is gone. And this is true of any industry. It's true of the news media --