Return to Transcripts main page


Report: Trump to Hold White House Celebration; White House Said Only 4-10 Eagles Players Were to Attend; Designer Kate Spade Found Dead in Apparent Suicide. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 5, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN. We are moments away from this White House press briefing where Sarah Sanders will be taking the podium and answering questions about why the Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles are not invited to the White House today. The White House releasing a statement, quote, "The vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans." Trump tweeting, "Unfortunately only a small number of players decided to come, and we cancelled the event. Staying in the locker room for playing of the national anthem is disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry."

There will be a White House event apparently complete with the national anthem and the Marine band just minus the Philadelphia Eagles. This isn't the first time we've heard the president outraged over the NFL.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In my opinion, the NFL has to change. Or you know what's going to happen? Their business is going to go to hell.

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.


BALDWIN: Now, the only problem is the Eagles did not take a knee during the national anthem. They did stand. And linked arms in a sign of unity and they were on the field, not in the locker room during the entire regular season. So, let's go to the White House to our senior correspondent there, Pamela Brown, who is standing by in that briefing room. Pamela, no Eagles players took a knee in protest during the regular season, but this White House called off this whole thing pretty abruptly is my understanding yesterday. Can you take us inside this decision?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN WHITE HOUSE SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It certainly was abrupt, just a day before the Philadelphia Eagles team members were supposed to come here to the White House, the White House released this statement saying that they were disinvited essentially. This is an unprecedented decision, a time-honored tradition here for the super bowl champs to come here to the White House. What doesn't add up is the White House was saying this has to do with the national anthem. But as you pointed out, no Philadelphia Eagles teammates actually took a knee during the regular season or spent time in the locker room during the national anthem during the regular season. So, the idea that this has to do with the national anthem simply doesn't add up.

Now, the White House released a follow-up statement today saying that there have been conversations going since February with the team, that in late May team members said there would be 81 representatives of the Philadelphia Eagles coming to the White House and then they just found out recently there will be less than ten members. So, it is clear that this is an attempt to avoid embarrassment for the president with less than ten members of the Eagles coming to the White House. Also, worth noting a Philadelphia Eagles team member told my colleague Jake Tapper that the national anthem concern never came up in these conversations that have been going since February.

So, there will be a celebration today, just without the team member. There will be fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Marine band will play the national anthem. What is clear here, Brooke, is that this is an attempt by the president to play to his base. He knows talking about the national anthem, standing for it plays well with his base. It appears to be an idea to deflect from the idea that less than ten members were coming to the White House and make this more about patriotism.

BALDWIN: Pamela, thank you very. Let's take a closer look. Kelvin Washington is back, he's the host of the church league champ podcast and a former radio host for ESPN. Chris Draft as a former NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons. And also, with us Hadas Gold, CNN politics and media and business reporter.

So welcome, welcome, everyone. Chris, as a former player, let me just start with you. Listen, you can listen to all different kinds of folks. One camp says this is a total -- it's disrespecting the White House for turning down this elite invitation to go be with the president. Obviously, these players feel differently. Can you put yourself in these guys shoes and understand first and foremost why they would turn the invite down?

CHRIS DRAFT, FORMER NFL PLAYER, ATLANTA FALCONS: I think when you talk about invite to the White House, it is an honor when that happens. These guys are men, it's not just about being an NFL player. As a man that does a job playing in the NFL, there are concerns and those concerns are not just as a man but as an American citizen. If they see that there are things that are wrong, if they feel like things aren't being addressed, they're just not willing to do a photo- op to do it. And I continue to think, you know, it's been crazy with all these things going on, I keep thinking about with all the cancer advocacy work that I do, and I think of how when somebody is fighting for their live or they really feel like that something is wrong is they're not willing to do just a photo-op either.

[14:05:00] And I think that's what it comes down to is America is great because of our willingness to allow people to advocate, our willingness to challenge people to see things that are wrong and challenge our leadership to do better. If we're willing to do that, that's what allows us to be great, that's what allows us to move forward. It's when we get in the way of that, things are not great.

BALDWIN: Well, the president was furious, this is what we're hearing. That's when he cancelled this whole ceremony. You think of the optics, the photo-on. Crowd size is a thing. So, Kelvin, to you, no eagles player took a knee during the regular season. Is this just about crowd size and what that photo would look like on tomorrow morning's paper?

KELVIN WASHINGTON, HOST. "CHURCH LEAGUE CHAMP" PODCAST: Brooke, you know that it is. You know that it comes down to the narcissism of our president and having to look as if he is the best and having to look as he is all powerful and everyone loves me.

It was said to be around ten players or maybe less. How would that look? That would be embarrassing? But opposed to using that as an opportunity to maybe speak with some of those players, maybe have a conversation with those players and you go back to what he said earlier in the NFL season last year, he called them s.o.b.s. And we just heard recently on the clip you played, they can get out of the country.

Andy continues to use these codewords in these code phrases. Get out of the country. People say that when they're upset with African- Americans, they would say you can go back to Africa. He uses these code words and continues to play the fiddle with the puppet master with the NFL. And allow them to react to everything that he does. Should we go this way, should we do this, should we kneel, not kneel? Do you even recall when there was a moment earlier last season when only two of the 1,500 players of the NFL kneeled, only two, and yet the president called them s.o.b.s.

Next thing you saw Jerry Jones and other owners kneeling as well. The NFL themselves don't know what to do. I think this is bigger with the NFL than it is with the president. He just says what he wants. We are already used to that. But the NFL needs to find out what the players want and have a relationship with their players and stop alienating them.

BALDWIN: I want to follow up on that. Just big picture this. But

another side piece of this story is Fox News. Fox is forced to apologize because they throw up this video on TV last night of the Eagles taking a knee only they're taking a knee in prayer. Tell me more about that.

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Brooke, that's exactly right. On Shannon Bream's program on Fox News she was doing a segment about Trump uninviting the team from the White House. The issue is the pictures that they showed on the screen at the same time supported this false idea that the Philadelphia Eagles knelt in protest during the national anthem because those pictures with were actually Philadelphia Eagle players kneeling in prayer, not during the national anthem. One of the Philadelphia Eagle players tweeted to Fox News, he said this was Fox, he called it propaganda. And as a result, Fox News has now apologized, issued a statement admitting the error. The anchor has always tweeted admitting the error and asking for people to accept their apologies. And they also deleted the tweet that showed this video. The issue is that a lot more people probably watched that show than might necessarily see the follow-up. And the problem is that it supported this false idea, again, that the Philadelphia Eagles were kneeling in protest when in fact they were not at all.

BALDWIN: They were praying. Let me go to the statement, this is part of the statement from the president when he disinvited the Eagles. "The Philadelphia Eagles were unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem hand on heart in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

Chris, is this about the president attacking players' patriotism or is it more than that?

DRAFT: I think it's more than that. When you see our players really as men, they're not just playing the game of football. Than anything where you attack our guys it really is an affront to everyone out there. We have guys who have real concerns and their right to be able to stand up and protest and voice those concerns shouldn't be scuttled. Every time we keep trying to make this about a national anthem or something like that, we get away from the real issue and we need to go back to the real issue. I think what makes the Philadelphia Eagles great, what makes the Super Bowl team great is that Super Bowl teams face the real issue. They see the problems on their teams and they fix those problems. They don't just keep dancing around them. That's why the Eagles won.

[14:10:00] BALDWIN: Your whole point is to be a championship team, you got problems, you fix a team and you listen. Are you saying -- what is it that you're not saying? Are you saying that someone else that we're discussing isn't listening?

DRAFT: No, what I'm saying is that there are definitely people that are not listening, but I say that is the difficulty of being a team. It is that you have to be willing to do that. What we are talking about is not good enough to say there are sides because the only side is America. The only side is the United States right now. If we can't get together, we hurt our team. So, every time somebody's trying to pick sides, that's where we lose.

BALDWIN: Kelvin, quickly, just back over to you. I wanted to go back to your point on code words. One final thought I was reading a sports reporter who made a point about there are certain sports that the president really hails, right? NASCAR, golf, the Olympics. It seems football and basketball, as he put it, are the target of this administration's ire. Why do you think that is?

WASHINGTON: Brooke, we know why that is. Both of them are predominantly black. Both have 75 percent to 80 percent black players. But I think the difference in I see it quickly between the MBA and the NFL, the NFL doesn't know what they want to do. The NFL is listening to their president and they changed their policies based off of them. He's upset he couldn't get an NFL team. That's why he plays and picks at them and tries brings the country against them. He's still mad about that. He has a revenge issue with that.

In the NBA, they work with their players. They allow their players to express how they feel, they allow those players to use and advocate for certain social justices. They have a relationship they're building with their players. They're not alienating them and making them feel they're less than. That's where the NFL will have some big issues come this fall. Nobody wants to see it, but it seems we're headed down that road.

BALDWIN: Kelvin and Chris and Hadas, thank you all so much. That event happening at the White House where they're going to be playing out the national anthem happens next hour. Still ahead, also at the White House, we're waiting for Sarah Sanders to take questions at the briefing. That will happen in mere moments. We'll see what she has to say about this Eagles event today.

She's also going to get asked about this pressure assault on his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, again blaming him for the Russia probe, tweeting he should have chosen someone else for the job again. And then #bye-bye bikini, Miss America scrapping the swim suit competition after 97 years. By the way, don't call it a pageant. It's now a competition for all shapes and sizes. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.


BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. Terribly sad news from the world of fashion today. American designer Kate Spade has been found dead at her Park Avenue apartment in New York City. New York police source tells CNN she was found hanged by a scarf, hanging by a scarf in an apparent suicide. Her body was reportedly found by her housekeeper. Social media already erupting with tributes as word of her death spreads. She was part of a powerful group of designers who emerged in the 90s launching a collection of clothing and accessories including of course those iconic Kate Spade bags.

I have with me Jean Casarez, Kate Bennett and journalist Cindy Levy, former editor in chief of "Glamour Magazine" and "Self." Jean, first to you. Everyone is shocked trying to wrap their heads around, why this would've happened. What do people know?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I don't think anybody knows the whys. All they know are facts, alleged facts. A police call came into the police department unit. They said Kate Spade was found hanged by a scarf on her door knob. It's believed she hanged herself. A note was also found. We don't know where in relation to the body. But this all became very real just minutes ago because the New York Medical Examiner's office went inside with a gurney about an hour ago and just minutes ago they brought out what is believed to be a body covered by a white sheet.

And of course, she leaves a husband, her business partner, a young daughter and the international fashion community is shocked, as is the Kate Spade company. They did give a statement just minutes ago. Kate spade, the visionary, founder of our brand has passed. Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly heartbreaking time. We honor all the beauty she brought into this world. And the Fashion Designers of America, Diane Von Firstenberg said they are devastated at the loss of their colleague.

BALDWIN: Cindy Levy, I wanted to talk to you in particular. Of course, I follow your career, you were "Glamour" for so many years and met so many different designers.

[14:20:00] One of whom I imagine was Kate Spade. Reading about her, she was originally the accessories editor of "Mademoiselle" magazine. Started her whole what would be empire out of her apartment with her husband to be back in 1993. And how she paved the way for women. Can you talk to me about that?

CINDY LEVY, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF OF "GLAMOUR MAGAZINE" AND "SELF": Yes, I really met her first as you say because I was at "Glamour" but I met her she started as the accessory editor of "Mademoiselle" magazine which was owned by the same company as "Glamour." I was so inspired by the fact that when she was working as an editor, she felt she couldn't find the bags exactly right for her, so she had the gumption and the daring to quit her job and decide to make bags and an entire eventually lifestyle that just reflected her.

If you shopped in her stores and bought her bags and you absorb the colors and the light, you really felt like you are getting to know her as a person. When you met her, she was that brand. One of the most important parts of her legacy as a designer and artistic visionary was that she understood that women are going to respond to things that feel like they're made by a human, that they're expressing somebody's personality, that if you put a pulse into it and every kind of fiber of your being, people are going to respond. And now that's kind of a given. Everybody wants to create their own personal lifestyle brand. But that was new at the time. And, you know, in a lot of ways, the contemporary version of it really came from her.

BALDWIN: Kate Bennett, over to you. We're about the same age. I remember when my mom bought me my first Kate Spade bag. I treated it like a piece of art with the white Kate Spade label on the outside. It breaks my heart to think of leaving behind this 13-year-old daughter.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It's such a sad story. I think we all remember our first Kate Spade and the term Kate Spade became a thing. Can I borrow your Kate Spade? Are you going to bring your Kate Spade? It very much became an embodied her brand and who she was, as Cindy was saying. Even Chelsea Clinton today tweeted saying "I remember my first Kate Spade, my grandmother got it for me" when she was in college. And if you know someone struggling with depression, speak up, say something. Kate Spade just launched a new line called Francis Valentine, was trying to find footing in the fashion industry, using her creativity and brilliance to mount that climb to the top of the fashion pile. And clearly her legacy is so much that Kate Spade label you and I just talked about.

BALDWIN: What about Kate Spade the woman? Let's throw the picture back up. She's got -- you think of her as the bouffant hair and the glasses. Just that personality, for all the fans out there who have never met her, tell us more just about the woman.

LEVY: She really was all those things you would think if you were looking at that picture. She talked about how one of the inspirations --

BALDWIN: Forgive me, Cindy. Let's go to the White House.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Since President Trump took office the economy has created nearly 3 million jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, matching the lowest level in 50 years. The Bureau of Labor statistics reported today job openings hit a record high of 6.7 million in April, meaning job openings outnumber those that are unemployed. American workers looking for new opportunities are finding them because of this president's policies of lower taxes, deregulation and fair and reciprocal trade. America's economic potential has been unleashed. I've invited the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, to join us today and offer more details about the growing economy and answer questions on that topic. After that I'll take questions on news of the day.

KEVIN HASSETT, CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: I watch these things a lot. I notice not everybody is always in the best mood, so I told Sarah what you guys need some charts are. So, we've got some charts for you today.

[14:25:00] So I think that Sarah said it best, that we're in, as the president has tweeted, one of the best economies I've seen in my career. And that there are a number of facts that have developed over the last few months that are, I think, confirming some of the stuff we talked about last fall when we talked about, gosh, was it maybe November, the tax bill and the economic impact that the tax bill might have on the economy. The president has pursued a trade agenda and deregulation. We're beginning to see the effects of this in the data.

The first supplied is one of my favorite ways to look at a summary of how the economy is doing is look at the GDP growth from the previous year. When president ran for office and when I came in, we were looking ahead to 3 percent growth, everybody said no, no, no, we've got a new normal, the blue lines during the Obama years where we've got growth in the 1s up to 2s but we could never get 3 percent growth again. In the latest data that we have, we have growth that's just a smidgen less than 3 percent and the Atlanta Fed is that second quarter GDP will be high enough to make the year-over-year growth 3.1 or 3.2. We've gone from a new normal of low growth to just normal, which is the 3 percent growth that Americans used to expect.

Could I have the next slide, please. In this chart I want to show something that we again talked about in the fall, which is that the one of the reasons why we had such low growth in the previous administration is it was so anti-business and it was basically discouraging capital formation in the U.S. with inappropriate tax policy and high regulation. And you can see that in the data if you look at the blue dot from q1-2015 to q4-2015, it stayed about the same level. Subsequently after the election, we saw a big increase in capital sentiment and spending started to go up and now that we passed the tax bill, you can see capital spending skyrocketing and that higher capital spending is one of the key factors driving growth at this time. I can remember way, way back in the fall saying that if we passed the tax bill, we'd expect to see capital spending this year higher by about 10 percent. If you look at the last bar in the first quarter of GDP this year, capital spending was up 9.2 percent.

BALDWIN: This is the top of the briefing. Kevin Hassett there, council of economic advisers, he joked off top he was going to bring some charts to this briefing. So, with that said, we really do want to hear what Sarah Huckabee Sanders has to say. We're going to get a quick break and take you back to the press briefing here in just a moment. You are watching CNN.