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Giuliani Assumes President Trump Ordered Emmet Flood to Attending the Briefing; CNN: Special Counsel and Trump's Lawyers Discussed January Date For Presidential Interview with Mueller; North Korea Reacts to President Trump Canceling Summit. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 24, 2018 - 21:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: An attorney representing the President and his administration in the Russian investigation shows up to address two meetings of lawmakers and law enforcement officials for going over highly sensitive information, having to do with the Russia investigation.

According to the White House, Flood and Kelly only made brief remarks before the meetings to relay the President's desire for, "as much openness as possible." It did not go over special well according to some of the people in the room. CNN's Manu Raju joins us now with more from Capital Hill.

What are you hearing from lawmakers and others about what happened during the briefings?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Anderson, there's nothing yet that we have learned from people who were at this meeting to substantiate the President's claim that there was a spy that was placed by the FBI in 2016 -- in the 2016 campaign, to look into his campaign, provide intelligence to his opponents, which the President has suggested could be the biggest political scandal in history.

The people who were at that briefing, the Republicans have frankly does not commented about what they saw. And one Republican said, the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did say earlier tonight that there was nothing particularly surprising that he heard in that interview -- in the briefing.

Now the Democrats on the other hand say there's absolutely no evidence to support the President's claims. That was the message from all of the Democrats who put out a statement after one of two meetings today, saying there's nothing to suggest that the FBI did anything wrong. Solely noting to suggest there was a spy in the campaign.

So the ultimate question now is where the Republicans go from here? Do they demand more information? Where does Devin Nunes? The House Intelligence Committee Chairman who's been pushing this issue very hard to, what is his next step? Because he too, Anderson, not yet commenting about what happened in these classified briefings today.

COOPER: And have you heard anything about how the Congress people and others in the room reacted to the President's attorney, Emmet Flood's surprise appearance?

RAJU: Well, they were surprised by this. Even Republicans were not aware about this. This was an unannounced visit. Yesterday when the Justice Department announced this decision Emmet Flood was not on the list. The only White House official who was on that list at the time was white Chief of Staff John Kelly.

And remember Anderson, on Tuesday Senator Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said there would be no White House official in the room, even when Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr walked into the meeting we asked him specifically about Emmet Flood's appearance and he had no idea that Flood was going to be there.

Now, the White House is downplaying this, said that simply that Flood was there along with Kelly to talk about the need for transparency, how they want to protect human sources, and he did not stay for any duration of this meeting other than those opening remarks. But afterwards, Democrats said there was absolutely no reason for the President's attorney on the Russia investigation to be there in a briefing with lawmakers on a sensitive issue regarding the Trump campaign and investigation into the Trump campaign.

Adam Schiff said it was absolutely inappropriate, the Democrat, he said that he have confronted Emmet Flood about this during the briefing. So Republicans, though, Anderson tonight silent about this, not expressing any concerns whatsoever, even as Democrats express their outrage, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Manu Raju, I appreciate it. Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell serves on the House Intelligence Committee he joins us tonight.

Congressman, do you have any kind of understanding -- for of all as to why there were two separate briefings today, one just for Chairman Nunes and Gowdy and another for the bipartisan Gang of Eight? And did that make sense to you?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good evening, Anderson. No. It did not make sense actually. We never believe that there should be any meeting at all because essentially by having this meeting you are allowing a subject of a criminal investigation to reach into the evidence locker at the FBI and to see some of the evidence that exists against him. That's just wrong.

Now, the fact that they decided to go ahead with the meeting anyway, we wanted it to be bipartisan and for it to be just one. Instead, of course, there was a partisan meeting, which Mr. Schiff was able to get into thankfully because he persisted and then the bipartisan meeting where, unfortunately, Anderson, Speaker Ryan chose not to be a part of and instead go to a fundraiser.

So I think that represents the worst in Washington and he would choose a fundraises, that shows the corrupting influence of money, Trumping national security priorities, and it would have been an opportunity for Speaker Pelosi -- for Leader Pelosi and Speaker Ryan to talk about these issues and sort out, I think, a lot of the obstruction we're seeing from Members of Congress.

COOPER: So obviously with the concerns you had, to then understand that not only John Kelly showing up but Emmet Flood showing up, a lawyer hired specifically to represent the President and the administration in the Russia probe, that they were there for at least the beginnings of these briefings today, how do you interpret that?

SWALWELL: I interpret it as they see themselves that the Trump team as being invisible, and that they see that their friends in Congress are just going to look the other way or, worse, help them. And you know, Speaker Ryan could have spoken up. Mitch McConnell could have spoken up and start to draw, you know, firm lines and say we're not going to allow these to be crossed. But they just get green lights every time they try and obstruct.

[21:05:07] And I think, you know, how many times did the President have to deceive the American people, from the claims about Trump Tower being wire tapped, from the claims about the unmasking, to the claims about the memos that the Republicans wrote from Devin Nunes, how many times does the President have to deceive the American people before Speaker Ryan says enough is enough, the rule of law is more important than one President?

COOPER: I understand why Emmet Flood appearing there may be viewed as kind of a -- not a great message to send, but is there anything sort of factually or anything specifically that you think his attendance -- why his attendance was inappropriate? I mean, do you think it sent a message in any way to anybody in law enforcement who was there or any of the other representatives, or do you think it was just kind of a perception issue?

SWALWELL: I think it is trying to throw their weight around. And yes, I do think it is an effort to try to and bully the Department of Justice. And we've heard the President talk openly about Bob Mueller and Rod Rosenstein's jobs being on the line and that he has the power to get rid of them. Anderson, I think the best way to stop this type of obstructive behavior would be to pass the bipartisan legislation that's come out of the Senate Judiciary Committee which would prevent Mueller from being fired unless there was cause. But until you do that, you're going to see more obstructive behavior like this and a sense of feeling emboldened because no one from the Republican leadership is saying no.

COOPER: The fact that Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy did not get the documents they have requested, where does this go now? I mean, is this going to be the last we hear this or do you think they're going to let go of this?

SWALWELL: No, Anderson. I'm afraid that -- and until Republican leadership speak up and say that the rule of law and the independence of the Department of Justice Trumps -- any person's interest in a case, you're going to see more trick plays from the President.

Now Bob Mueller, it looks like though from press reporting, continues to make progress and, hopefully, he will be able to bring this to a close soon. But Anderson, just one thing, as the President complains about how long this is taking, remember, when you lie to investigators, it takes longer. When you have a lot of Russians to count because you drew your campaign so close to them, you can't complain that it is taking too long to add them up.

And finally, if he would just sit in the chair and answer the questions that he's already been given, this could be wrapped up a lot sooner rather than later.

COOPER: The Rudy Guilliani made it clear to CNN today that knowing about this confidential source is a prerequisite for any interview the President may have with Mueller. Is that how these kind of things actually work? I mean, I'm not a lawyer or law enforcement official. I don't think I've heard of giving information to a possible witness or subject as an incentive to talk.

SWALWELL: Absolutely not, Anderson. I have prosecuted cases and I have worked with defense counsel, and, you know, before somebody is indicted or charged what crime you would never give them evidence that exists in the case. The only legal obligation once they are charged is that you do have to provide what is called discovery, the evidence against your client. But you don't get to set the terms while the investigation is still ongoing.

COOPER: You mentioned all the times that the President has made claims that didn't hold up. Do you think he's still got what he wanted out of this? Because I mean he and his surrogates were able to tweet and go on TV and say spy and spygate and spy ring over and over and over again?

SWALWELL: Oh, certainly. For him this is just a public relations campaign to try to undermine the special counsel's work, but for the country, what we're seeing is that democracy is under assault from two fronts now. It has always been under assault from the Russians since they attacked us, but now it is under assault by President Trump and his fixers in Congress, something that we have never seen before.

And so I think the public sentiment has to stay loud on this. And as long as people put pressure on their lawmakers, they have to speak up. And if not, they will be held accountable.

COOPER: Congressman Swalwell, I appreciate your time.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

COOPER: Now, with Rudy Guilliani laying down new conditions for the President to speak with Robert Mueller, we are learning about the Trump-Mueller interview that nearly took place back in January. CNN Evan Perez broke the details on this. He joins us now with the latest.

So explain what happened why this interview end up not taking place?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Anderson. They got so close, close enough that they actually had a date that they were discussing, January 27th. It was a Saturday. There was even a discussion that they would possibly have it at Camp David, the Presidential retreat just outside of Washington.

Again, these are all discussions that were going on between the Mueller team and the President's legal team. In the end, they decided that the idea of sitting down with Robert Mueller's team was too risky, was not appropriate at that time. And a couple of days after the meeting was supposed to have taken place, John Dowd, who was then the lead lawyer on the President's team, sent a 20-page letter in which he explained the reasons why the President should not sit down, and that includes constitutional reasons.

And they also made the point that after turning over thousands of pages of documents that they believed the special counsel had enough information without talking to the President, Anderson.

[21:10:06] COOPER: And just publicly, the President was seemingly like he might be amenable to an interview around that time. I think it was a couple of days before that?

PEREZ: Right, exactly. If you think back to January, the President's team was pushing and pushing for this interview -- I'm sorry, for the investigation to be wrapped up. We kept hearing dates that it could wrap up very quickly, and the President on the 24th of January actually told reporters -- reporters asked him about possibly meeting with Robert Mueller, and he said, I'm actually looking forward to it.

And so we go from there in January where, again, they come -- appears to be pretty close. The only time we have ever heard of an actual date being discussed for an interview -- to where we are now, which is you hear Rudy Guilliani sort of making new hurdles and making it seem like they're not going to do an interview at all.

COOPER: There were additional meetings between the President's legal team and Mueller that happened in March. Do you know details on that?

PEREZ: We do. We were told, Gloria Borger and I, were told that there were additional meetings in March, and at one of them Robert Mueller told that the President's team essentially, look, the only way we're going to be able to know what the President's intent was for some of these actions that happened once he took office is to -- for him to sit down and talk to us. So that's where he laid it out, and essentially we're not going to -- be able to finish this without the President sitting down and telling us what was he thinking about. And of course, that has to do with the obstruction inquiry.

And Anderson, think about this. I mean, if they had sat down in January, perhaps this obstruction inquiry which is still ongoing perhaps would be behind us.

COOPER: Evan Perez, I appreciate the reporting. I'll get the panel's take next. And later, why President Trump said no to the summit with Kim Jong-un and what it says about his idea to one in the first place and breaking reaction tonight from North Korea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [21:15:29] COOPER: Presidential Attorney Rudy Guilliani says he assumes that his colleague Emmet Flood went to a pair of congressional intelligence briefings today on the orders of President Trump. That's what he told CNN's Dana Bash that he assumes it. We do not know whether he, in fact knows or even what he knows. And he says a lot these days. The White House only says that Flood spoke at the top of each meeting about the President's desire for transparency, which is raising some eyebrows.

I want to get the panel's take. Anne Milgram, Rich Lowry, Karine Jean-Pierre, Scott Jennings, and Robby Mook.

Anne, just from a legal standpoint, does it make sense that one of the President's attorneys would go to this meeting to address it, to send a message of transparency?

ANNE MILGRAM, FORMER NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, it doesn't. I mean I think the message that it sends is to sort of put the film on the scale and send a message of, you know, even just saying the President cares about transparency is sort of sending a message that the President is watching this and is concerned about it.

In this particular meeting, first of all I don't think they should have had the meeting in the first place, but given they're going to do a meeting about a highly-sensitive question of confidential source, the last thing you want in the room are people who are political, and it really, I think, cuts against the President's -- you know, the sort of argument that this is something other than political, right? It sort of made this into a much more political event than I think it should have been. So it is really hard for me to understand from the legal vantage point why he would walk into that room even for a minute.

COOPER: Rich, do you see it as a problem?

RICH LOWRY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, not if the -- if it is true that he was just there at the beginning and didn't actually participate in the briefing and just emphasized that the President does have an interest in transparency. And I don't see what the problem is with the President having an interest in transparency.

I mean there are a lot of questions about this investigation and how it began, that Congress has a right to look into. I think it is ridiculous as we heard from the congressman a little earlier the make every single thing the White House does with regard to this investigation another obstructive act that perhaps might be another subject for the -- this investigation, which is turning into --

COOPER: So you don't think there's any subtext to his appearance there?

LOWRY: I think the subtext was probably the text, which is the President is interested in the most possible transparency about what occurred here, consistent with protecting sources and methods.

ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: So do you think when Bill Clinton met with Loretta Lynch during the campaign, that that was OK?

LOWRY: Well, given that --

MOOK: How is that different than this?

LOWRY: Given that potentially she would have been offered a job with a Clinton administration, a second Clinton administration that represented a conflict. Don't take my word for it.

MOOK: You were in that room --

LOWRY: You don't take my word for a take -- take James Comey's word for it who thought painted what they were doing and that's why he went and spoke --

MOOK: So nobody in that room is appointed at the will of the President in that room today, Justice Department, FBI.

LOWRY: Right.

MOOK: Maybe their jobs are at stake? We've going to heard that in the news. This is what I don't get. I mean you guys, if this ever happened on the Democratic side, ever happened --


MOOK: I know exactly what you would say, because you said it. You've always said it. But all of a sudden today this is no big deal, that the President is so blatantly intervening --

LOWRY: So someone -- a representative of the President cannot say, the President who heads the executive branch, which includes the Department of Justice, wants as much transparency on this matter as possible. You think that is a scandal? There's something wrong with that.

MOOK: So why doesn't the President testify?

LOWRY: Now there's something wrong with congressional oversight too?

MOOK: Why won't the President --

LOWRY: Have you consistently been against congressional oversight of intelligence agencies?

MOOK: OK, first of all, this administration has no place to speak about congressional oversight, OK. I mean, they won't -- this Congress has exercised no oversight whatsoever. It will be interesting to see what happens --

LOWRY: Are you for or against congressional oversight?

MOOK: You are reinforcing my point here. You are not answering my question, OK.

LOWRY: I answered your question and you are not answering mine. MOOK: We have seen very similar examples of this kind of thing happen in the past, and conservatives across the board have cried every sort of conspiracy about what happened.

LOWRY: When the President has had someone in the room saying the President is interested in transparency on a matter, the conservatives on principle are against that? Since when?

COOPER: Scott --

LOWRY: What are you talking about?

COOPER: Do you believe that it was necessary to have the lawyer go in to say the President is concerned about -- you know, is interested in transparency?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It may not have been necessary, but, Robby, I don't think this five-minute handshake and hello is anything like a 90-minute meeting on a tarmac with the former President of the United States. I don't think there's anyway --

MOOK: A handshake and hello?

JENNINGS: That's exactly what was said.

MOOK: I didn't thought it was a speech about transparency.

[21:20:02] JENNINGS: They showed up, made greetings and said the President wants transparency and they left. Here is what you guys are good at. You got really good at making people believe things that don't happen.

MOOK: What!

JENNINGS: It is made to seem like Emmet Flood showed up today and did something untoward.


JENNINGS: That he was in the briefing. He was not in the actual briefing.

MOOK: Donald Trump never makes --

JENNINGS: He showed up and said hello. He said hello.

MOOK: Just so you're clear, you're saying that Democrats, not Donald Trump, made people believe that things happened that didn't happen?

JENNINGS: I watched Eric Swalwell just now intimate that Flood mean there was some -- he said he was there to bully the Department of Justice. Bully the Department of Justice, they want from the executive branch.

MOOK: He was there to say hello. JENNINGS: He says that Emmet Flood was there doing something inappropriate. I don't understand. Anne, you're the lawyer, tell us, was there anything illegal or unethical about showing up today?

MILGRAM: I think -- I don't think there's anything illegal about him showing up today. But I think the one point that we're not talking about is what Rich said is true, that this is a job of congressional oversight. And it is hard to understand why a separate branch of government is sitting in that room.


MILGRAM: The executive branch is separate from the congressional branch. And so just to me as a lawyer on the outside, it just felt to me like it was an unforced error. It was just a foolish thing for them to do.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, I just want -- what you said originally is the meeting shouldn't have happened in first place. And here is the thing. We're not talking about a normal President here. We are talking about Donald Trump who believes he is above the law, who bends constantly the Department of Justice to his will and how does he do it? He does it through conspiracy theories. He did it through a lies. I mean, this is just one other lie on top of another lie. And he is muddying the waters because he doesn't want the investigation.


LOWRY: The person undertaking the investigation that he hates and has not been obstructive and it is still ongoing as we speak.

JEAN-PIERRE: The meeting should never have happened in the first place.

LOWRY: What's wrong with --

JEAN-PIERRE: Spygate is a lie.

LOWRY: Congress has a responsibility to do oversight.

JEAN-PIERRE: Just like Obama --

COOPER: Should there have been two meetings or should there just have been the gang of eight in there?

LOWRY: I think there probably should have been just one. But there's an aspect of this that has been ongoing kind of Republican-on- Republican violence because it is the House Intelligence Republicans who are more suspicious and have the lowest regard -- low regard for the department -- or the Department of Justice than any Democrat does. So that's sort of how that came about. But I think McConnell and others were right and Schumer as well for that matter to push to have Democrats included.

COOPER: The fact that Nunes and Trey Gowdy did not get the documents that they wanted, do you see them -- I mean is this done or is this going to continue?

JENNINGS: No, I don't think it is done because I think there are legitimate questions about what the FBI did in the presidential campaign, and not just to the Trump campaign. I still think there are legitimate questions about what they did to your campaign. I think they messed up on both campaigns. I think when it is all said and done --

JEAN-PIERRE: How did they mess up on the Donald Trump campaign?

JENNINGS: -- if they messed up across the board and there are a lot of questions.

COOPER: But isn't that what the inspector general is looking at?

JENNINGS: I hope so, and I'm glad he is looking at it because he nailed McCabe. This is the guy who got McCabe and clearly did a good job on that. So I hope he gets to the bottom of it for both people --

COOPER: Robby.

MOOK: This is depressing to me. Where was the outrage before Election Day? It didn't exist because you were all out there chanting lock her up. I just --

JENNINGS: I have never chanted. That's false.

COOPER: Scott was --

MOOK: What is true --

LOWRY: A low tone of voice.

MOOK: What is true is all of a sudden today you care about what happened to Hillary Clinton, you care about how the justice department was treating her.

JENNINGS: That's not true.

MOOK: You did not care before Election Day.

LOWRY: Robby, my colleague and partner, Andy McCarthy, former prosecutor who has written about this matter extensively said, during the campaign, he never -- Comey never shouldn't have gone outside of the guidelines and talked publicly about the investigation.

MOOK: Did you say that?

LOWRY: I came by the end to have that point of view. But I do realize he was in a difficult position because he thought the investigation was tainted. It would have been better if he played by the book, hadn't talked about it privately and have recommended her indictment.

COOPER: Let's take a break there. Coming up, the President calls off the much-anticipated summit with North Korea. Now there's a response from North Korea that it is still willing to meet. We'll get the latest from the White House, next.


[21:28:08] COOPER: North Korea says it is still willing to meet with the United States in a statement to state-run media North Korean official said that President Trump's letter cancelling the upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un was not in line with those who hope for peace on the world and on the Korean Peninsula.

Pam Brown joins us with the latest from the White House. Can you walk us through why and now the summit fell apart?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, White House officials are pinning it on the North Korean broken promise also as well as odd judgment calls, and it really started about a week ago and culminated with that statement from North Korea last night, Anderson, where a North Korean official called Mike Pence a political dummy and threatened nuclear war.

That was the final shrug according to U.S. officials, but it all started before that, there was a situation in Singapore where the U.S. delegation was stood up by the North Koreans who never sent the advance team to meet with them as they were supposed to as planned.

Officials say that there were a number of inquiries that were left unanswered by the North Koreans, so all of that was a red flag. And then you had the change of tone from the North Koreans last week, threatening to pull out of the summit. And there was still a pretty big distance between the U.S. and the North Koreans on some key issues, and the summit was right around the corner. And so there was a growing skepticism already, Anderson, that the summit wasn't going to happen as planned.

We heard it in the -- from what the President said earlier this week. And then the decision was made following the North Korean statement last night to call off the summit, at least for now, though the President is still certainly keeping that door open.

COOPER: And while the President did threaten North Korea with the U.S. is, "greatly enhanced military" this morning. He also indicated there is still a possibility the summit will happen and that it could happen on its original date of June 12th, which seems certainly ambitious if that is the case.

BROWN: It certainly does seem ambitious and unlikely. A senior White House official was asked that today, could it still happen on June 12th? And the official was like, well, that's like tomorrow. I mean, it is very unlikely it would happen then, but certainly the White House is keeping the hope alive that the summit could happen down the road.

[21:30:13] Now, in order for that to happen, the senior White House official said that North Korea would have to do the opposite of what it has done this past week in the view of the U.S. with these broken promises and these odd judgment calls. But the President wants this summit to happen eventually. There is no doubt about that. He views this as an opportunity to have a big foreign policy achievement. And of course, there were chants, Anderson, that he could win the Nobel Peace Prize for this. This is something that the President wants to happen, even if it doesn't happen on June 12th.

COOPER: All right, Pamela Brown, thanks very much.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea he joins us now with reaction from there.

So Paula, North Korea issued its response to the President's letter tonight. Just explain some of what it said.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it was a cool headed and measured response that we had from KCNA, from the vice minister of the foreign ministry. So, a high-up member of the regime saying that we reiterate to the United States that we are willing to sit down with them at any time.

Also, pointing out that President Trump's statement is not in line with what those who want peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula want and also not in line with the world's wishes, saying that Chairman Kim Jong-un has made every effort to prepare for this summit.

So a fairly conciliatory tone from the North Koreans, showing clearly they still want this summit to happen.

And Anderson, I want to show you some exclusive images as well from the max military drill that have been happening over recent weeks are just ended today. This is the U.S. and South Korean Air Force. And remember, just 10 days ago this is the military drill that the North Koreans used as an excuse to cancel high-level talks between North and South Korean.

This was really the turning point in the relationship, when things turned sour because North Korea said that they saw this is an intentional military provocation by the U.S. and the South Koreans. It wasn't in keeping with the Panmunjom Declaration between North and South Korea. So they cited these drills, which we went to just 10 days ago, as a reason why potentially this summit should not happen. Anderson.

COOPER: And you're in South Korea. I wonder what reaction has been from South Korea about this. I mean, did they know in advance that the President was going to cancel this?

HANCOCKS: No, they found out about this when everybody else found out about this. The U.S. saying that they gave Japan and South Korea a heads-up after that letter was publicized. So South Korean officials are reeling, I mean we had a national Security Council meeting at midnight local time with the president, with all of the ministers that were concerned with this issue. They gave us a photo, and you can see that the stoney faces of the president and everybody there, they did not see this coming. And President Moon has just got back from a meeting in Washington, D.C. he was meeting with the U.S. President. They went with the message that absolutely the North Koreans wanted this meeting to happen. In fact, the national security advisor on the way over there said he was 99.9% certain this summit would go ahead. So the South Koreans have been completely blind sided by this, Anderson.

COOPER: Do South Korean officials believe the summit may happen at some point as the President seems to kind of have left the door open today?

HANCOCKS: They're not publicly talking about this. I think to be honest at the moment they're trying to figure out exactly what is going on. They want this to go ahead. President Moon has staked his credibility on this whole diplomatic process. He has really been the driving force with this. U.S. President Donald Trump didn't want this at the beginning.

Last year he even called Mr. Moon an appeaser for wanting to engage with North Korea, but Mr. Moon's really brought Mr. Trump along with him in this renewed engagement with North Korea. So certainly from the South Korean side they have set it is regretful but they're going to do everything they can to make sure that does summit does happen at least some point in the future.

COOPER: All right, Paula Hancocks from South Korea, thanks very much.

Much more ahead, we will talk about what Kim Jong-un's next move could be and not to mention the President's with the panel ahead.


[21:37:52] COOPER: Hours after President Trump called off the summit with North Korea's dictator, a response tonight. And North Korean official says they're still willing to sit face-to-face at in any time, in any way. Earlier today the President said this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world. I've spoken to General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world and has been greatly enhanced recently, as you all know, is ready if necessary.


COOPER: JOINING me is Kimberly Dozier, Jamie Metzl, Robby Mook, Molly Ball and Rich Lowry.

Kim, I mean does it surprise you that the summit has been called off, I mean given that it was called on with very little preparation?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Not really, especially because we didn't see much preparation going ahead of this summit. Look, summits start with leap also of faith, but usually there have been behind-the-scenes negotiation and a senior administration official told us this afternoon they hoped to have some of those negotiations in the run-up to the summit but they got stood up.

You also had a situation where the national security team was saying different things to different audiences, but the North Koreans were listening. And the adversary gets a vote. So when they're hearing Mike Pence talk about the Libyan option for them, they had to respond.

COOPER: Jamie, I mean do you think there's a chance the North Koreans didn't want the summit to take place? I mean for them -- for Kim Jong-un, isn't it a win?

JAMIE METZL, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY STAFF, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION: This is such a massive win for Kim Jong-un. This whole summit idea was really a sham from the starter. Another way of saying it, the North Koreans won from the beginning. Once the President of the United States agreed to meet with the leader of North Korea, which is something that any past President could have done in an instant because the North Koreans were begging for that kind of legitimacy.

So we gave them a lot of what they want in the beginning, and now the situation is that we are walking away from the deal. The reason that we're walking away is that we aren't signing on to the gradual process that North Korea, South Korea and China all support.

[21:40:09] So now North Korea is much stronger because they have legitimacy that they have wanted. They put a wedge between the United States and South Korea, and there's going to be no way for sanctions to snap back with China and South Korea not on board. So they are -- North Korea is stronger and, unfortunately, the United States is weaker.

COOPER: Rich, do you agree that North Korea won just by the President agreeing to do this, which is something obviously past regimes in North Korea --

LOWRY: I think he never should have agreed to the meeting in the first place, but I don't think it is the worst case. I think the worst case would have been the summit going forward, which I think was very likely to serve North Korea's interest rather than ours.

My fear is we have not heard the end of this summit. There are obviously a couple of escape hatches in the President's letter. He underlined them in public remarks, saying it still might happen. What we've heard from the North Koreans so far is quite conciliatory. So it may be that we are still involved in a negotiation over the negotiation over a summit that will still eventually happen.

MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean one of the criticisms of Trump from the beginning of the process was that he was too eager, he wanted this too much. And he got so much positive reaction to this domestically. The American people really liked it. Experts, a lot of them were praising him for doing this bold, unexpected move. There was the sense that he wanted it so much he would giveaway the store. So I do think he deserves some credit for being willing to -- at least for the moment walk away from it, and I think that may be the North Koreans thought they could keep asking for more and more from an American President who seemed so politically invested in the process. And I think they may have been surprised that he was willing to walk away.

COOPER: It is -- I mean, Robby, do you see this as kind of just a sign of, you know, the President liking a big event, he likes the praise, he likes the headline, but, you know, as Kimberly was saying most sum minutes are done from the bottom up with weeks and months and if year, not years of boring meetings laying the ground work between functionaries?

MOOK: Well, I think this proves the President's style, which we all know. He's winging it. There is no plan. He is taking it day by day. In fairness, I will say sort of like Molly was just saying, Democratic and Republican administrations have not been able to solve this problem. That usually means it is very hard, and Donald Trump took a gamble here, right, and I think he is still living in this gamble. And it looked like at one point it might pay off. Now who knows?

But I think probably what is going to happen is the odds are not good of the gamble paying off. If it does, big reward, right? I actually think in terms of a reelection, in terms of his political standing, this would be a big trophy for him. You know, to say, look, I solved the major -- or I took a step forward on major foreign policy problem, but I think the likely outcome is it won't work because it has never worked before. And I don't -- you know, he was probably trying to look strong by pulling back first, but I think the reality was this was probably headed in a bad direction. That's why he did it.

COOPER: It is surprised me though that the South Koreans were not informed about this, you know, even a couple of minutes in advance of this. I mean apparently the statement was released and then, you know, Paula Hancocks was saying the South Koreans were given a heads up. A heads up is actually when you are given a heads up before something happens?

METZL: No, no, this whole thing is just preposterous. That is why we, the United States, have put so much on the line for nothing with no strategy. And now the U.S./South Korea alliance is really in danger because President Moon put his credibility on the line. He came to the United States to speak with President Trump, to assure him that there could be a process, and the process was these gradual negotiations with North Korea.

And for the United States, if we pushed for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons up front, North Korea was never going to sign on. But if we agreed to a gradual process, that's the same deal that past Presidents have agreed to, which Trump is so critical of.

LOWRY: And critical of for good reason. It failed and it materially advanced North Korea's interests. So that's why the administration was right to be so insistent that it has to be rapid, immediate, signs of seriousness right from the beginning. And it was bad for Trump to wobble on that a little bit earlier this week, but one of the reasons maybe if the North Koreans don't want this meeting is they realized that there's no way they can actually meet that goal because they're not serious about denuclearization. And they probably never will be.

MOOK: But that's where I wonder for them how much are they psychoanalyzing Trump and trying to figure out do we actually have an opportunity to leave him at the altar in a really dramatic way? Do we have an opportunity to maybe set the Americans back so that they're going to -- you know, if there's a future administration, they will be more tenuous about doing anything? I'm not a North Korea expert, but I -- at this point I would be thinking about that. I would be thinking how I can play this guy because he seems to react.

COOPER: Kimberly?

DOZIER: Just a little bit of history. The Trump administration is not the first one to make a mistake in terms of parts of different parts of the security apparatus making a misstep and throwing it all out the window.

[21:45:00] Remember, in the Bush administration in 2005 the North Koreans had agreed to denuclearize as part of the six-party talks, but then the very next day the Treasury Department slammed sanctions on Banco Delta Asia in Macao and it was a little too effective. It turned of the top in terms of money going to the North Korea elite. They walked away from the six-party talks until those sanctions were released.

COOPER: Interesting. Thanks, everybody. I appreciate it.

One quick piece of unrelated breaking news, CNN has just learned that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will turn himself into authorities here in New York City tomorrow. According to a source familiar with the investigation he will be charged with raping one woman and forcing another to perform oral sex on him. We'll have details on that coming up. We're also just getting new details on this.

Also, coming up, we'll get reaction to the new NFL policy on the national anthem. President Trump saying today, if player who don't stand for the anthem, "maybe they shouldn't be in the country," we'll talk with Seattle Seahawks star player Doug Baldwin who is taking issue with the President's remarks.


[21:50:11] COOPER: In a taped appearance on Fox News today, President Trump turned to professional football. He was asked his reaction to the new National Football League policy that its players must stand for the National Anthem if they're on the field, otherwise the NFL says the team will be fined.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Well, I think that's good. I don't think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still I think it's good. You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. Or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing if that's what they've done.


COOPER: NFL star wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who plays with the Seattle Seahawks was blunt today when he was asked his reaction to the President's remarks.


DOUG BALDWIN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS WIDE RECEIVER: He's an idiot, plain and simple. But for him to say anybody who doesn't follow his viewpoints, or his constituent's viewpoints should be kicked out of the country, it's just not very empathetic. It s not very American- like, to me. It's not very patriotic. It's not what this country was founded upon. So it's kind of ironic to me that the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.


COOPER: Doug Baldwin joins me tonight from Seattle.

Doug, what's year response to these comments from the President that if the players don't stand for the National Anthem maybe they should, "shouldn't be in the country?"

BALDWIN: I mean, what more can you say? I mean, anybody who knows the history of our country, knows what our country is founded upon, will find these comments were unpatriotic, very questionable, especially coming from the President of the United States. So it's very disheartening, very disappointed. But at this stage, I can't say that I'm surprised.

COOPER: Earlier I know today at a press conference, you called the President an idiot plain and simple. Is that how you see him and do you think he just doesn't understand what these protests are about or do you think he just has another motive?

BALDWIN: Honestly, I don't know what it is. I'd like to claim ignorance on his behalf, but I think, again, at this stage, it's just, it continues to perpetuate itself from (inaudible) that shows a lack of empathy. And when you continuously do that, when have an opportunity to discuss these very important topics with people who care so desperately about these topics and about the things that are happening in our communities, you can't claim ignorance at that point, so, yes, I do stand by my statement.

COOPER: You used the word, empathy. And I know that's a word I've seen in print you use a lot. It's a word that's important to me as a reporter. I'm wondering what you -- why you believe empathy is so important especially this time and why you believe that there's not enough of it right now?

BALDWIN: I mean, you see it play out in the media every day, you see it play out in social media. On the conversations that I've had with friends that I grew up with back home, there's a lack of empathy. And truly, what it comes down to is -- I'm an African-American man. Anderson Cooper, you have experiences that I haven't experienced as an African-American male. I have experienced you haven't experienced. And so for you to tell me or for anybody to tell you that I know what it's like to be in your shoes is just false and it's incorrect and the truth of the matter is that, in order to do that -- in order to take a step back and say, you know what? There's some things that I don't know, some things that I could learn from you, that's being empathetic. And I think that in this entire conversation, that's what we've been lacking the most, because the opportunity to be emphatic to learn from one another and see each other as human beings in this whole topic.

COOPER: I know you've attended a lot of meetings with NFL owners, with Roger Goodell and others on a number of issues and on social justice issues as well, on issues that you would like to see the league take a role in. Do you see a real disconnect between, as you said, the majority African-American players and the team owners or the people who run the league?

BALDWIN: It would seem so. You know, obviously, the league wanted this vote to come out in a unanimous fashion, even though that was not the truth. So I do think there's a disconnect. However, I can't go off of what has been said in the media or what has been coming out from the NFL office because I wasn't in those meetings. Obviously, I know there was a debate, there was a discussion, but, again, as a player, just very disappointed with the decision that did come out of the league office.

COOPER: What do you think players will do now, and players who had been taking a knee or raising a fist during the anthem, will they stay in the locker room? Will they find different ways to protest on the field? What do you think?

BALDWIN: That's still get to be seen or to be discussed, honestly. I think right now, all of us are kind of really figuring out how we're dealing with this news. To be honest with you, I won't -- I can't say that it was easy information to take in, so we're still dealing with that and still discussing how our feelings and emotions fit into the grand scheme of things. Then from there we'll go out and make a decision on what's going to happen next.

[21:55:18] I do personally think that the conversation that was being had between the players' coalition which is separate from the demonstration -- some the demonstrations that you saw on Sundays in the NFL, I thought those conversations were positive and that we were going in the right direction and that we were reaching an amicable relationship in that the demonstration would subside.

And so this policy coming out really kind of inflames the gap that was already there that was subsiding so I don't know what's going to happen. I would hope eventually we would reach some resolution in all of this but as it stands right now, this policy really inflamed the whole topic that there's a desire for all of us to live peacefully on this earth as such, as human beings.

COOPER: All right, Doug Baldwin, I appreciate talking to you. Thank you, Doug.

BALDWIN: Sir, thank you for having me.

COOPER: We'll be right back.


[22:00:05] COOPER: Thanks for watching 360. Time to hand it over to Don Lemon. CNN Tonight starts right now.