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Who Leaked Cohen's Financial Documents?; Breaking News On Code Name Crossfire Hurricane; Giuliani Suggesting A Spy Placed In Trump Campaign; Senate Intelligence Committee: No Doubt Russia Worked To Interfere In 2016 Election; Trump Discloses Payment To Cohen In Financial Form; Trump White House; Royal Wedding; "Daily Beast:" Meghan Markle Is Everything Ivanka Trump Wishes She Could Be. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired May 16, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. Live with all the breaking news for you tonight. We're learning more about Michael Cohen's leaked financial documents. According to a report in the New Yorker, a law enforcement official was so worried about not being able to find two of those documents that official released the rest of them. More on that in just a moment.
Plus incredible new details from "The New York Times" tonight on how the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia began with a pair of FBI agents on a mission to London. A mission so secret hardly anyone else in the bureau new about it. A mission with the absolutely perfect code name, Cross Fire Hurricane, which is of course a reference to the rolling stones, Jumping Jack Flash.
But first I want to get right to Rudy Giuliani making some shocking claims tonight. Joining me now is Jack Quinn, the former White House Counsel to President Clinton, Michael Moore, a former U.S. Attorney and CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Josh Campbell.
Good evening to all of you, gentlemen. Josh, first. Rudy Giuliani was on Fox tonight. He made a surprising allegation. Watch this.
2(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Challenging the legitimacy of their investigatory authority and the way they've expanded out so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you've maintained that the expansion of this probe as it has been expanded is illegitimate?
GIULIANI: Was illegitimate. Manafort, what they did with Michael Cohen, all the illegitimate things they had done, possibly placing a spy in the Trump campaign, all these things are areas where indictment has been dismissed, because of the government's conduct. Somebody is saying people have done it. I do not understand what Bob was thinking of hiring these people. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Josh, a spy in the Trump campaign?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, Don, I mean, this is exhausting when it comes to every new day there's some wild allegation that is made, and then those who actually know the men and women of law enforcement who do this job have to step up and come to it defense.
It's exhausting, but I have to say, I mean, since you have people that actually start to buy into this nonsense --
LEMON: I was going to say people believe in it.
CAMPBELL: -- I think, it's incumbent on us who actually know the FBI, that know Bob Mueller, that know the Department of Justice and know the courts t that matter, to step up and say this is nonsense.
And then the second thing, you know, I will say to that in is that, talked about double standard. I mean, Rudy Giuliani, obviously a respected lawyer. He is was a U.S. attorney in Manhattan. I highly doubt that -- of the cases that he was supervising that involved informants, confidential human sources that he ever referred to them as spies. So it just depends on whose side you're on.
LEMON: OK. Listen, more Rudy Giuliani. Jack this is for you, he also talked about wanting the Hillary Clinton treatment for President Trump. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: We didn't ask, although I wanted to, but -- they overruled me. I wanted to ask for Hillary Clinton treatment. I wanted the report to reach in advance, clearing my client, and I wanted no oaths, then I want is just an interview, questions in advance. We didn't get Hillary treatment, but I didn't want it because --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No stenographer.
GIULIANI: The President would have been embarrassed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, in their -- and his universe, Hillary Clinton is the President. But Jack, what do you make what he is saying there? For one thing it doesn't matter if you give an interview under oath, because you cannot lie to an authority.
JACK QUINN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: That is right. And he should know that. Look, I think, you know, I've really changed my assessment of what's going to happen down the road here. I think Rudy is laying the groundwork for a protractive process in which he appears to be acting in good faith and seeing if he can't work out a reasonable compromise with the Special Counsel. And at the end of the road I think that there's probably a 60-70 percent likelihood that they say we did the best we could, Mueller was unreasonable, the President is not going to testify. And I think their calculation is that they might do better litigating over a long period of time in court.
You know, when I was a young lawyer I learned that a delay is better than a defeat. And, you know, their base is sticking with them. They think they can pull this off, demonize the investigators, as we just saw, demonized Robert Mueller and you know, frankly, do everything they can to undermine public confidence in law enforcement in this country and the FBI in particular. It's shameful, but I think that is the game plan. And I think we're not likely -- it's more likely than not that the President will refuse to testify.
[23:05:07] LEMON: Michael, he had previously called Jared Kushner disposable. He was asked about that tonight. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said Jared is disposable. I am not sure that went out.
GIULIANI: I was kidding around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know but it went over all.
GIULIANI: Jared loved it. Jared loved it. He said did my wife tell you to say that, and I said no, but you are disposable, Jared. I'm disposable, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Michael, is this a joke. Did he clean that up? 2
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR GEORGIA: You know, I don't think he claimed that or anything, but you know, I don't know actually Rudy Giuliani has done anything in good faith since he is come into the President's legal team. I think in fact probably at the end of the day, he is hurt the credibility of the President's efforts to move the case forward. You know, when you bring a lawyer into the case that has relationship to the prosecutor and judge, you do that, because they already get some credibility built-up, there is some relationship there, and it means the parties don't have to get to know each other to trust each other.
But apparently every time that a TV cameras comes around Rudy Giuliani likes to make some crack or some (inaudible) on Mueller or his team. That does not advance his case as he talks to them about bringing this -- keep this matter to a conclusion. Without the president is going to testify, but I think at the end of the day it probably hurts his client. If he wants the Hillary Clinton treatment, let's put the President in front of congress for a 14-hour hearing, like he did on Benghazi and see what he has to say to questions in front of congressional leaders. I don't think you can expect that inside him in the near future.
LEMON: You're talking about a 14-hour hearing. MOORE: That is right.
LEMON: That one. Because there were others and multiple investigations --
MOORE: Yes, we, you know, he talks about the authority of Bob Mueller, I mean, you remember the Clinton investigation --- Bill Clinton investigation started back in Arkansas, and this thing expanded out. And I don't remember the indignation and outrage that we now see from Giuliani and other Republican leaders on the hill.
LEMON: Yes. So, listen. I want to turn now to the breaking story from Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker. He spoke with the law enforcement -- law enforcement official who leaked Michael Cohen's confidential financial records. He says he did it, because he had grown alarmed after being unable to find two reports. So he released the remaining documents. What do you make of that, Jack?
QUINN: Well, you know, it is concerning that these documents were apparently missing. I mean, I take that on faith for the moment. You know, this individual is clearly trying to turn himself not into a leaker, but into a whistle-blower. Whether he'll be able to enjoy the protections that whistle blowers get, that remains to be seen. The information is, you know, at least on the surface alarming that these records supposedly disappeared from the (inaudible), from the record system where suspicious activity reports would normally be found and accessible to government employees who have a right to utilize them.
LEMON: So, I just want to read, Josh, some of what the law enforcement official told Ronan. OK, he said I have never seen something pulled off the system. That system is a safeguard for the bank. It's a stockpile of information. When something's not there that should be, I immediately became concerned that is why I came forward. So there's a question as to whether these financial records are truly missing or just restricted and, and the source of the leak couldn't access them. But if they did go missing, does that concern you?
CAMPBELL: Well, so a lot of eyes in that statement till we saw, I mean this is his optic or his or her, you know, view on what happened. I think what we have to do is divide this into two parts. The first part being was there malfeasance, which I'm suspicious of. I don't think that these records would just disappear. What I do think is probably more likely as you had a very sensitive investigation where access was limited. I know as a former FBI agent I can search these documents, I can search across records when I'm working counter terrorism investigations or other matters. It wouldn't be unusual for investigators to say, you know, here we have a very sensitive case. Let's limit that access.
But the second part of that is if there is malfeasance, what do you do with that information and where do you take it? And again, you know, it will be up to this person. He or she, to ultimately, you know, live with what the decision was made. I know personally there are a lot of other avenues out there that a person can go to, if they're trying to unveil themselves to the protections of a whistle-blower, you know, whether it's Congress or the courts. I mean, take for example, you know, Senators Feinstein and Grassley who are about as surly as it comes when it comes to their impatience for any type of government malfeasance. So, I think there are other avenues. I don't know if I would have gone to New Yorker.
QUINN: And Josh if I may say, that official who may have requested that this be maintained at a super level of secrecy could very well had been Special Counsel Mueller himself.
LEMON: Yes. That is right. I was going to say why turn it over to that organization or to anyone else, rather than turn it over to a law enforcement official. That is your question as well, Josh, right?
[23:10:05] CAMPBELL: That is right. Yes. We have different avenues and obviously, you know, we're in the media business, so we like when people tells us thing. I think that person has just understand, I'm sure they did, because they mentioned toward the end of Ronan's article that this person is very much fearful about what happens next, which, you know, tells me at least going in that they knew what the consequences might be.
LEMON: Yes. I want to talk now about, this fascinating Times story about how the FBI's Trump investigation, code name Crossfire Hurricane began. This story describes just how close to the best the FBI kept the investigation. Josh, was there a double standard when you look at how the Clinton investigation was handled?
CAMPBELL: So I look at it through different optics, and obviously with the distance of time now in hindsight. We look back and say it appears as though, one case was handled one way, another case was handled another way. And I think what we have to wait and see what the inspector general comes up with, because I think, that would be the only independent arbiter who can actually say the Clinton investigation was on one track, the Trump investigation was on yet another track and so, you know there are different, you know, we talked about sides. People saying, well, you know, looking through their lens that you treat one person this way, you treat another person the other way. I understand all of this arguments. I think at the end of the day, we'll just have to wait and see. You know, what was in the mind of the investigators and the IG report that hopefully sheds some kind of light in to that? But, you know, with that said, I do see, that, you know, there's a lot of criticism on The New York Times piece today as far as, you know, what was the FBI should have been using the same group of people to work on those investigation. I think it is a completely fair arguments. So, I think there's a lot of criticism in there that is warranted.
LEMON: Well, Michael, the story also details how some in the FBI and Justice Department, questions why Comey consolidated both investigations at headquarters versus a field office. And they fault him for using the same team in both the Clinton and Trump cases. Do you think that criticism is justified?
MOORE: Yes, there's probably fair criticism to go around about how the investigation was managed from the top and the question of consolidated out of the FBI office, I think is one that could be raised. I don't know that that is particularly unusual, cases of extreme sensitivity or of particular public interest sometimes or managed from the highest places. I mean, I've been in involved in cases where the Attorney General of the United States are sitting around a table talking about a criminal case in the district of the country. So, it's not completely unusual. I think it's a fair question might be rather than fair criticism at this point.
LEMON: Yes. So --
CAMPBELL: Can I say, Don, on a note quickly, I think looking at those two issues, the first being whether you consolidated the headquarters, I can look at, you know, seeing in a different world maybe if this had gone off the rails and it had been handled in a field office, I can look at people saying, how could you let this handle by a field office rather than manage by the central nervous system, their headquarters? So, I think that arguments, you know, I don't really buy it. But I think the other arguments is as far as having the same team, especially now in hindsight, now that we are looking, you know, this two people Strzok and Page, and you know, a lot that was going on there and look like, that was probably not the best decision.
LEMON: Jack, I want to get this in quickly if you can.
"The Washington Post" reporting tonight the FBI agents are probing Michael Cohen $150,000 deal with South Korean aerospace firm. What could they be looking for?
QUINN: They could be looking for Michael Cohen promising to deliver government favors, illicitly. You know, I don't know when he strike this deal, he pretty plainly had nothing to offer in the way of expertise or experience in the field in which this client is engaged. He was offering access, and I'm sure that they're interested in what that meant, who was involved, what was he going to deliver.
LEMON: Thank you all, I appreciate it. When we come back. I'm going to ask a member of the House Intel Community what she thinks of Rudy Giuliani's team. The Special Counsel has informed Trump's legal team that they have concluded that they can't indict a sitting president.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Rudy Giuliani says, a Special Counsel has informed Trump's legal team that they've concluded they are not able to indict a sitting President. What impact will that have on the investigation?
I am joined now by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a Democrat from the House Intelligence Committee. Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.
LEMON: First let me get your reaction. This is Dana Bash's reporting that Mueller has told the Trump team that he'll follow Justice Department guidelines which say a President can't be indicted. What does that mean for this investigation? SPEIER: Well, it means that in all likelihood that Special Counsel,
Mueller will provide us with a list of particulars that will indicate what crimes of any have been committed. And then it will be up to congress to do what it is challenged to do, which is to impeach and to try if there is sufficient evidence to do so.
LEMON: So, is that something you think that Mueller, the Mueller team would have told the President's team at this point, Trump's team at this point?
SPEIER: Rudy Giuliani hasn't been particularly thoughtful and accurate in the kinds of statements he is made over the last few weeks, so I don't know if the Mueller team actually has said that to him or not. But there is a lot of discussion that is taken place over the last few decades about whether or not a sitting President can be indicted.
LEMON: And it hasn't been tested.
SPEIER: And it hasn't been tested and it's uncharted territory. I suppose if a President had murdered someone, you have to at some point, sit back and think, well, do you not indict someone who you're accusing of murder? So again, it is uncharted, and we'll have to address it when and if, the Mueller investigation provides us with a list of particulars that would be relevant.
LEMON: Yes. And as you said this is what Rudy Giuliani is saying at this point. Listen, I want to read, this is about from Chairman Richard Burn, a statement he released today. He is running the Senate Intelligence Committee, he said that, there is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere in our 2016 election. Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, trade crafts and analytic work and we see no reason to dispute the conclusion. So, that directly contradicts the finding of Republicans on your committee. What's your reaction to that? .
SPEIER: Well, they have done their due diligence, they have studied the issue completely and their conclusion are consistent with what the Democratic minority has found on the House Intelligence Committee.
[23:20:04] And the House Intelligence Committee majority has discredited itself, because Devin Nunes, from the very beginning became the puppet for the President and was following a script that the President had provided him with. So our investigation, unfortunately, was somewhat difficult to undertake, because we never were able to use the subpoena power that we should have been able to use in doing a comprehensive investigation.
LEMON: Do you feel this vindicates Democrats and you, because as you said you believed Republicans weren't pressing witnesses hard enough?
SPEIER: I think that you have the evidence from the senate, a bipartisan Republican and Democratic Committee that has found that the ICA, the Intelligence Community Assessment, was accurate and that the trade craft was appropriate. That is something that the Democrats on the House side also found, and I think three quarters is more than majority.
LEMON: We learned today, Congresswoman, from the transcripts of Donald Trump Jr. testimony that in the midst of setting up a Trump tower meeting with Russians, Don Jr. made a call -- made a call to a blocked number and when asked if it could be his father he said he had no idea. House Intelligence Democrats wanted to investigate further, but Republican wouldn't, why not?
SPEIER: Because they have never been a truly an independent entity doing the investigation. They were unwilling to subpoena. That would have been a very easy thing for us to subpoena the telecom company and find out who that block number was too. What we do know is that on the third of June of 2016, he got a flurry of e-mails from Ron Goldstone, he then had a couple of conversations with Agalarov and there was this blocked call.
And then on the 7th you had the President, then a candidate of the New Jersey primary announcing his win and saying very forcefully that I am going to give a major speech early next week. Maybe Monday on Clinton and all the horrible things that she has done. On the 9th they have the meeting with the informants for the dirt they were going to get, and it did not pan out. So that speech that candidate Trump had indicated he was going to give, he never gave. So I'm convinced that he knew about it and that Don Jr., had made a call to him and that is what the block number was.
LEMON: OK. So you think that blocked number, because Donald Trump before he was President, he had used block numbers before. You think it's him, right?
SPEIER: I think there's no question.
LEMON: So, if Democrats retake the House come November, do you think that the investigation should be restarted?
SPEIER: I think the investigation is incomplete at this point in time. I think it should be restarted by the Republican majority now. But if they don't take steps to reopen it, yes, I absolutely believe we should.
LEMON: Congresswoman Speier, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
SPEIER: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come back the President acknowledging today he repaid Michael Cohen more than $100,000 for expenses during the election. That according to his financial disclosure released today. So was that hush money paid to Stormy Daniels?
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump acknowledging in a financial disclosure form that he paid Michael Cohen more than $100,000 for expenses in 2016. Stating it was reimbursement for expenses in 2016 in the range of $100,000 and $1 to $250,000. Well, the form doesn't specify exactly what the reimbursement was for, but we do know that Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money in 2016. So, let's talk about this now with CNN Contributor, Walter Shaub. He is a former Director of the Office of Government Ethics and David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter, who is the author of "The Making of Donald Trump."
Good evening gents. Thank you for joining us. Walter, I am going to start with you. This report raises a lot of questions about why the President didn't disclose this earlier. But does this filing suggest President Trump broke the law?
WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it suggests it's a definite possibility, because the Department of Justice -- the Office of Government Ethics has said what I've been saying all along, which is that the President's debt to Michael Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payment was reportable and needed to be reported on the form. This year, when Trump disclosed it they put a wisely statement, and by they, I mean the Trump team, the wisely statement at the bottom of his form saying, well we don't think is reportable, but here is all the information that we would have reported, if we did report it.
And because that information was in there, the Office of Government of Ethics went ahead and certified the report, meaning approved it but added a note at the bottom saying the President and his team are wrong and this information needs to be reported. Which means it needed to be reported last year. And the only question we don't know the answer to for sure is whether the President knew, but of course he knew. I mean, it's just completely implausible this claim that he didn't know. Rudy Giuliani says that he started repaying the debt at the beginning of 2017.
LEMON: $35,000 increments or something like that.
SHAUB: Yes, but he didn't even file the form until six months later. So he knew.
LEMON: Here's the thing though, I mean, if they're saying they didn't think it was reported or it needs to be reported, if this information hadn't been revealed, David, would we have ever know, would we have ever reported it?
DAVID CAY JOHNSON, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Unlikely, and that raises a second question. Are there other transactions we don't know about that were not reported? And as Walter knows, this law is not -- what was your status on a snapshot date at the end of the year. At any point during the year, you had a liability above the threshold, which is $10,000 you have to report the liability. So were there other payments to other people? Remember what Michael Wolf said, he was told by Steve Bannon, you know, there were hundreds of cases out there like this.
So, is this the only case covered by the period of the 2017 and 2018 filing?
LEMON: Do you remember when Giuliani was asked by George Stephanopoulos, 2do you know if he has made any other payments like this, and he said not to his knowledge --
LEMON: -- but possibly because he was --
JOHNSTON: That was the part, possibly.
LEMON: Possibly because he was transacting business or conducting business.
JOHNSTON: And you know, Jared Kushner has had like 40 revisions, not separate filings, but 40 revisions with his report. So I think the reasonable question is really, is this a full and complete report? Can we rely on it?
LEMON: Do you guys remember what he did on April 5th aboard Air Force One? He denied knowing about the Stormy Daniels payment. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No. No. What else?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?
TRUMP: Well, you'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
TRUMP: No, I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, the president lied to the American people on Air Force One.
JOHNSTON: Well, that certainly is what appears to be the case. I mean it is possible he did not know because he had setup a fund and said, just pay people and take care of this and don't bother me with it. Not likely, but within the realm of possibility.
But by the date that he spoke on Air Force One, if he didn't know that would be such a dereliction of responsibility, we should question his fitness to hold office just on that grounds alone.
LEMON: What do you think, Walter?
SHAUB: I just don't see how he could possibly not have known. It's such a personal matter. Attorneys don't go around settling cases or claims for their clients without telling them. Michael Cohen, according to the annotation on the report that the president filed today was demanding reimbursement. And according to Rudy Giuliani, he started paying the reimbursement. So, I just don't see how he could not have known.
JOHNSTON: And Don, that goes to another point. This is billionaire who had to make installment payments on $130,000.
JOHNSTON: A real billionaire wouldn't take the time to have his staff issue multiple checks.
LEMON: So we haven't seen. We don't know.
JOHNSTON: We don't know.
LEMON: We haven't seen the --
JOHNSTON: What we do know is there is not one shred of verifiable evidence that Trump is or ever has been a billionaire.
LEMON: That's what we do know.
JOHNSTON: That's what we do know.
LEMON: So Walter, you tweeted today about some newly public information about Trump's disclosures last year when you're in charge of the Ethics Office.
You write, the strangest moment in my entire career was when Trump's attorney, Sheri Dillon, asked me to allow Trump's financial disclosure form to be the "first" out of all of the millions filed not to contain the file's certification that its contents were true.
LEMON: You're making David's point. What happened? Why did this happen?
SHAUB: Yes, and to be clear, I can talk about this because the information was released in response to a freedom of information act request, and there was a document recording it. But it's just insane. I was sitting there and thinking I've got to pinch myself to make sure I'm awake. I'm sitting across from the attorney for the leader of the free world who's telling me that she wants her client to be the first person to ever not certify that the report is true.
And let's be clear. There have literally been millions of financial disclosure reports filed. Each one is unique except for the fact that everyone the filer certified that the contents were true. So, I was not about to let him become the first and I didn't, and now I'm really glad I didn't.
LEMON: Why do you think she would make this sort of she wanted this disclosure to happen that way? SHAUB: You know, I got to asked that in an interview by a print reporter and I said that, you know, I sure hope she didn't know and shame on her if she did. And the firm fired back with a response indicating apparently that she did not know. So I accept their statement. I believe them.
But then that means that Donald Trump concealed this from his own attorney, which suggests to me that he knew he was doing something wrong because, you know, he wouldn't even talk to his own attorney about it.
And I can tell you nobody ever asked the Office of Government Ethics if it was reportable. They did this year and they got their answer. And they didn't like it, so they put a silly note at the bottom of their report.
LEMON: This sounds like writing your own doctor's report, right, for --
JOHNSTON: oh, absolutely, very much like that.
LEMON: I got to ask you because you went back and you checked the tape. And you said Sheri Dillon was the same lawyer that appeared in the press conference alongside Donald Trump. This is in January of 2017, to discuss Trump separating his business financial dealings from his presidency. So what does that tell you?
[23:35:00] That's you.
JOHNSTON: Oh, well, it tells us that he never intended to separate these things. And by the way, we never got to see the folder, the papers that were in that folder.
JOHNSTON: They could all be blank for all we know. Donald knew enough to not sign something under penalty of perjury, what the law calls Perjury Act (ph), and that's what on the form that Walter is talking about. Now he's made it disclosure.
It will be very interesting to see if there's an investigation whether anything else that's material is incorrect on that form, things we don't know about, and remember Avenatti says more things are coming.
LEMON: So you're going to go with billionaire or not a billionaire? Where would you go?
JOHNSTON: No evidence of a billionaire at all, none.
LEMON: Wow. Things aren't always as they appear. Thank you, gentlemen. When we come back, whatever happened to the art of the deal? Lately it seems like President Trump is undoing deals instead of making them.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Trump loves to talk about the art of the deal, but his summit with Kim Jong-un is in doubt, and he has been undoing a lot of other deals like pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Accord, the Paris Climate Accord, TPP.
[23:40:00] So I want to bring in now CNN National Security Analyst, Samantha Vinograd and CNN Contributor, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth About Trump."
So Sam, let's first talk about North Korea. What is the status on this potential summit right now, let alone a deal?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think anyone really knows. We heard from the president it was happening. Remember when the South Koreans were at the White House, he committed to going to this thing --
VINOGRAD: -- without having any idea what the North Koreans were actually willing to talk about. So he got ahead on this. Then we had just a few days ago, he announced the date and the location. So it looks like everything was lock and loaded.
LEMON: If memory serves me right, he stuck his head in a briefing room and said get ready for something big. But remember when we were all saying, is he getting played?
VINOGRAD: I think the truth is, Don, probably yes. But at this point, I think he's so eager to show that he was able to do something that nobody else was, which was have a deal with the North Koreans where they actually denuclearize, that he might just show up to say that he was able to do that.
And the North Koreans kind of backed out of this thing a few days ago when they said that no, they weren't getting rid of their nuclear weapons and no more military exercises. But is Donald Trump really going to miss an opportunity to shake hands with Kim Jong-un?
VINOGRAD: And won the Nobel Peace Prize because they changed their minds. I don't know.
LEMON: He wants it really badly. It's interesting though because Kim Jong-un, hey, he put him on the world stage on sort of equal footing with the U.S. which is what he wanted. He's gotten pretty much everything he's wanted, right?
VINOGRAD: I think Kim Jong-un is pretty happy.
LEMON: Yes. Michael, President Trump likes to boast about how he alone can strike the best deals. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am going to make great deals for our country.
I mean what I do is I do deals. I deal.
I negotiate by creating leverage so I can extract a good deal for the United States, for the people.
I make deals. I negotiate.
Everybody wants me to negotiate. That's what I'm known as is a negotiator.
I'm so anxious to negotiate.
Nobody can out negotiate these deals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, that was businessman and candidate Trump talking. But I mean, President Trump, has he closed any deals or is he just breaking up Obama's deals?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, for the most part, he has been just breaking up Obama's deals. And, in a way, this is a departure from all previous presidents who when there's a treaty or an international agreement or even something we would consider the long- standing status quo, that we're in America's case, we've led the world since World War II, the changes have been incremental.
But in the case of President Trump, he very much wants to blow things up and start all over again. And I think what Sam said about him getting ahead of himself with the North Koreans is absolutely true. If you consider he's talking about his Nobel prize already, and his favorite thing to do is say a lot of people are saying.
I won't say it, but a lot of people are saying. And he must be hearing voices because he now hears that there's all these great things happening when the rest of the world sees he may be being played.
LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about a lot of broken deals. There is the Paris Accord, there is Iran nuclear deal, there is TPP. We don't know what's going to happen with NAFTA. What stands out to you the most about this?
VINOGRAD: Well, I do feel like it has become a race to the dotted line for Donald Trump. It's about being able to say that he got a win, that he got a positive score rather than the substance of the deal. And from where I come from on the policy side, it's about the quality and not the quantity.
And so you want to take the time to actually figure out what you're trying to achieve, take the time to talk to your team and find out what the other side is looking for, and try to prepare an actual negotiation rather than again rushing to be able to say I got a deal. A bad deal is not what we're after here. We're after a good deal even if that takes time.
LEMON: What about some alternative offers or solutions? Are we seeing that coming from the White House yet, anything?
VINOGRAD: I can't really tell what's coming out of the White House right now. I think there is a lot of important (ph) messages that are in all these different deals.
Look at this China trade debacle that we have. We have the team going over to China with supposedly a list of demands from the Chinese. That didn't go so well.
We come back, we have the ZTE scandal that came out when the president tweeted about relief for ZTE as part of a trade negotiation. So we have different voices coming from different parts of the administration. That's not really going to lead to a good deal.
LEMON: Let's talk about diplomacy because just wanting to get a deal done, right, that's the end game for him, Michael. I want to get this deal done because he needs to have something, to get something under his belt so that he can live up to this deal maker, the art of the deal, which was written by someone else, according to the person who wrote it -- who says he wrote it.
[23:45:00] So, have there been any successes for the president in terms of deal making? I mean, he did get his tax plan through.
D'ANTONIO: Well, but the tax plan was Republican boiler played, and I think he sold himself to the American people as someone who was going to stand up for the working class, that you are going to see a big difference in your paycheck, and I think it's pennies a week on average for working class people.
So, that was something that was delivered by the Republican majority in Congress to the eternal benefactors of the Republican Party, the 10 percent or five percent or one percent. So, there are some successes you can say in his judicial appointments. Mitch McConnell is very proud of the Senate approving so many judges, but he's not been created.
That's the strange thing about this president is he doesn't seem to stay focused on any one policy long enough to create momentum and understand all the parts that need to go into achieving something that's complex and lasting.
LEMON: I only have just a few seconds left here. If you can talk about something he has. He's had judicial wins, his supporters really like that. But he said he's going to be the best deal maker. It's not translating in Washington, is it?
VINOGRAD: It's not because again, this stuff takes time and it takes building relationships and credibility.
LEMON: Yes. OK. Thank you both. I appreciate it. When we come back, she's an activist and advocate for women and girls and half of one of the world's most famous couples. No, not Ivanka Trump, Meghan Markle. My next guest says Meghan Markle just might be everything that Ivanka Trump wants to be.
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LEMON: Less than three days until the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Tonight, TMZ is reporting that Meghan's father appears to have successfully undergone heart surgery. Thomas Markle is saying he'll be hospitalized for the next few days, which means the father of the bride won't be there for the wedding that will be watched by millions.
In a matter of months, Meghan Markle has become one of the most famous and admired women in the world. And an article in the Daily Beast suggests Meghan Markle is everything Ivanka Trump wishes she could be.
Erin Gloria Ryan, a contributing editor wrote it, and she joins me now. Thank you for joining us.
ERIN GLORIA RYAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "THE DAILY BEAST": Thanks for having me.
LEMON: It's a fascinating title and it's a fascinating article. And you -- in the piece -- I just want to read the paragraph where you talked about Meghan Markle.
You said, activists with a decades-long track record of advocating for women and girls coupled with one of the most visible and desirable men in the world. Designers want to dress her. Adoring crowds gather to catch a glimpse of her. A woman for kids to look up to settling comfortably in her role as pleasant figure head on the world stage. These are things that Ivanka Trump wants to be. These are things Meghan Markle actually is.
Do you think this is how Ivanka Trump pictured herself and is she doing that in Washington today?
RYAN: Well, here is something that is different between the U.S. and the U.K. There is no princess in the executive branch of the American government. And you know, a princess with a figure head doesn't necessarily have a lot of political teeth. Someone marrying a prince doesn't have a lot of political teeth.
Therefore, they don't have to answer very many political questions. Ivanka in her public appearances has proven to be a little bit leery of answering questions that are difficult. Like even back in the campaign, a writer at Cosmo asked her something about her father's policies and she bristled and ended the interview. Every time she has been confronted with anything that is actually about policy, she tends to get upset and end the interview as though --
LEMON: As a daughter, she will say, you're not in the role of the daughter, you're in the role of an adviser --
RYAN: You're a senior adviser to the president of the United States. Exactly.
LEMON: Yes. But she is her father's daughter because she wants as you point out in the article, she wants to be adored. She wants people to love her. But when you're in political life, not everybody loves you. That's the risk you take, right? It's not just about branding.
RYAN: Yes, well, that's absolutely right. One thing that I think is interesting about Ivanka's branding prior to her father's political tendency is that she always marketed herself as an empowered woman for empowering women.
She didn't really go into many details about how she was empowering women or in what way she was empowered. Her Ivanka's advocacy was to feminism as like an ice cube is to an ice cream sundae. It has something in common with it but most of the flavor is missing.
LEMON: OK, hold that thought, because there is a contrast between Meghan and Ivanka that you write about. This is what you write about Meghan, because you said she started her advocacy long before she became famous, right? Before she got to this point.
Markle first publicly advocated for women and girls when she was just 11 years old, when she started a letter-writing campaign against an ad that suggested only women perform housework. The campaign got the attention of the Nick News. Per the AFP, her role as a global ambassador for World Vision Canada took her to Rwanda and fostered her advocacy for children in other developing countries.
So that's her, right, this sort of modern woman. Then you write in contrast. This is Ivanka. You said, this February, Ivanka Trump tweeted a photo of herself sitting at her father's desk in the Oval Office noting the importance of women having a seat at the table.
This would be a nice photo-op for an advocate if pesky political reality hadn't gotten in the way. Ivanka's father whom she is supposed to be advising has nominated or appointed white men to positions of power at a rate not seen in decades.
She is not really living up to her promises, you said.
RYAN: Right. I mean --
LEMON: That's direct contrast of Meghan Markle.
RYAN: Exactly. So when she said women should have a seat at the table, I guess that we took that literally. They did have one and that's Ivanka's seat at the table where she poses behind her father's desk.
Ivanka Trump's advocacy and her role as a White House advisor has been one more weak (ph). We get a lot of stories about Ivanka and Jared being frustrated or mad or they are embarrassed they don't know how to handle Donald.
What ends up being the -- I guess the putting is that they aren't really effective advisers and Ivanka isn't really an effective adviser in getting her father to actually enact policies that benefit women. And you know, on the other hand, Meghan Markle's job isn't to enact policies to benefit women and never will be. [23:55:00] So she never will be held on the same standard that Ivanka is held.
LEMON: It's interesting that she is -- Meghan Markle should be the figure head. But she is actually an advocate.
LEMON: And Ivanka Trump should be an advocate but she is basically a figure head.
RYAN: Right. Well, it's more of what the two women want to be, because Meghan Markle -- there have been these reports about how Meghan Markle has said that she will continue to be a feminist after she is married into the royal family. And you hear Ivanka Trump saying, you know, trying to lower the bar for what people expect of her.
LEMON: I'm just wondering, quickly, if this is what he found -- what he saw -- what attracted to him about her because his mother was a humanitarian as well and a role model for women. Do you think that's part of his attraction?
RYAN: You know, I didn't watch the lifetime original movie about their courtship yet so I can't answer that definitively but I like to imagine that it was.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
RYAN: Thanks for having me.
LEMON: I appreciate it. And don't miss CNN's special coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. We are going to have all the news leading up to the big day and we are live for the ceremony Saturday beginning at 4:00 a.m. Eastern.
That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.
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