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Kate Spade's Suicide Note; Clinton on Lewinsky Comments; DeVos on Safety Commission; Aide Who Mocked McCain is Out; Contractor Arrested at Checkpoint; U.S. Steel to Hire Workers; Facebook Shared Data With China. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired June 6, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That autopsy report later today and that will give us the manner and cause of death. It's very likely that investigators will also send out for toxicology reports, which will take much longer to get.

As far as the investigation goes, there's not too much more that detectives can do. Certainly they will be talking to family members, trying to understand the circumstances that surrounded this tragic death. As you noted, there was a suicide note that was left behind and in it her words were addressed to her daughter, who's 13 years old, and her husband of 24 years. And investigators will really try to get an idea of why this happened. However, we may never actually know that answer.

What we know, though, is that she was a fashion icon and everyone has been talking about the impact she has made on their lives. You know, this is an empire she started in 1993 in her New York City apartment with just six signature handbags and then it just grew and grew and grew. She recently sold her latest shares in 2006 of the company, we're told to spend more time with her daughter, who she leaves behind, dying at 55 years old.

I want to point out some of the responses that we've seen through Twitter, other social media. Chelsea Clinton is a notable one because it says this, my grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. I'm holding Kate's family, friends and loved ones in my heart. And that's something we've heard sort of reiterated over and over again, that everyone remembers when they got their first Kate Spade bag.

But this is also important to know is how Kate Spade says she wanted to be remembered. She spoke to "Glamour" magazine back in 2002 and she said this, quote, I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman, but as a great friend and a heck of a lot of fun.

So that's a really sweet way that she hopes to be remembered. A lot of people saying she was a lot of fun and just a kind person.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Brynn, thank you for that report. Brynn Gingras reporting from New York.

And for anyone suffering out there who may need help, we just want to remind you, the number for the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800- 273-8255. They provide free and confidential support for anyone in emotional distress. And that is a line that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Explosions are intensifying at Guatemala's Fuego volcano. Seventy-five people have passed away. Emergency crews are still searching for nearly 200 people who are missing since this volcano erupted on Sunday. And, starting today, some of the injured will be transferred to Mexico and also to the U.S. to be treated for severe burns. Officials are saying the conditions there are now extremely critical.

It wasn't my finest hour. Former President Bill Clinton's apology tour day two after his comments on Monica Lewinsky.


[09:36:55] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They had to, you know, distill it, and it looked like I was saying I didn't apologize and I had no intention to. And I was mad at me. Nonetheless, I realized, hey, there are a lot of people that don't have any memory of that and all they saw was me mad and I seem to be tone deaf, to put it mildly.

People need to know. I apologized. I meant it then. I mean it now. I've lived with the consequences. And I still support Me Too. And I think we all need to keep trying to be doing better.


KEILAR: Former President Bill Clinton continuing his apology tour. This in the wake of those pretty tone deaf comments that he made about Monica Lewinsky during an NBC interview.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: So joining us now, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator, and Caitlin Huey-Burns, national political reporter for "Real Clear Politics."

Thank you guys for being here.

Caitlin, let me begin with you.

A lot has been written about and debated whether or not the president is a liability for Democrats running in the midterms. I just wonder where you think, big picture, Bill Clinton stands now in U.S. politics given how much everything around him and society has changed and being in the midst of the Me Too movement.

CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "REAL CLEAR POLITICS": Absolutely. I was thinking back to just late last year when Democrats pushed out Al Franken from the Senate because they didn't want to have that liability of sexual harassment and assault in their midst. They wanted to claim the moral high ground on this issue.

Bill Clinton reemerging into the scene really, I think, plays to the -- what the heart of what Me Too is, which is that all of this behavior that had gone on for so long has -- the country has now faced a reckoning on how we face this issue. And if the president would -- the former president was aiming to be in cleanup mode in that interview, he did really the opposite of that. He had a long runway, really, to come up with something that was at least a little bit more thoughtful, especially against the backdrop of Monica Lewinsky herself, having her own reflections about this whole entire saga that really changed the course of her life, even admitting, acknowledging that she suffered from PTSD because of this.

So when you're looking at the bigger picture, I can't imagine many Democratic candidates are going to want the support of Bill Clinton because it is going to bring that up when they're trying to change the course of the conversation.

KEILAR: Yes, it's hard to see, Errol, where he is a benefit at this point in time.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, look, he can be deployed strategically in specific places in which case he could do a great deal of good depending on the district that you're talking about.

But let's keep in mind, this was Bill Clinton helping Bill Clinton. The reason he was on television was not to advance the Me Too movement but to help sell his next book. And so if he wants to be part of a national conversation and put himself out there in a -- sort of a Hollywood context, then all of the wrong associations with the Bill Clinton era come back, as opposed to going to, you know, for example, a tour of some of the forgotten places in the economy that were helped during the Clinton years.

[09:40:03] HARLOW: Yes.

LOUIS: Maybe go there and help some determine candidates.


LOUIS: Not sit on national television talking with comedians about why what you did was OK 20 years ago.

HARLOW: Well, remember, he's on this book tour. He's doing this to sell the book that he wrote with James Paterson.

Let me get you both on something that is striking, and that is how the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, chose to answer a question in her congressional testimony yesterday when asked about, Errol, the role of guns in schools. Here's the notable exchange.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: Will your commission look at the role of firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools? BETSY DEVOS, EDUCATION SECRETARY: That is not part of the commission's charge, per se.

LEAHY: I see. So you -- so you're studying gun violence, but not concerning the role of guns?

DEVOS: We're actually studying school safety and how we can insure our students are safe at school.

LEAHY: But -- well --


HARLOW: Guns, Errol, are not part of the charge of the Federal School Safety Commission.

LOUIS: Well, you know, except when they are because we -- we've heard Secretary DeVos on the record talk about the possibility of teachers being armed in the classroom.

HARLOW: Great point.

LOUIS: So she's right in the middle of a very convoluted position that this administration -- this line this administration is trying to walk in which they are in (INAUDIBLE) obedience to the NRA line that there should be more guns for everybody at all times. And at the same time, she's clearly dealing with a public that is fed up with the prospect of our children being exposed to this kind of violence. So what you get is the kind of incoherence that you just heard.

KEILAR: And, Caitlin, I mean that's the thing -- we know watching the "60 Minutes" interview --


KEILAR: She's not very good sometimes at answering questions. I mean it's really bad, right? And that's what we saw there. But the concern, of course, is that that -- that sort of being very bad at answering that question, how does that -- how does that effect how the commission is actually going to look at what is a very pressing issue for people, Democrats and Republicans?

HUEY-BURNS: Right. I mean the headline coming out from that answer, just that answer, that exchange that you played, is really startling to say that guns will not be considered in a topic about school shootings that involve guns.

This administration, remember, the president tried to kind of paint himself as someone willing to talk about gun control measures, only to walk it back very soon after. And he gave a speech to the NRA not too long ago, just a few weeks ago, really touting the Second Amendment, talking about his administration being the, you know, top proponent of the Second Amendment and kind of denigrating Democrats for that. So the administration -- this is reflective of the administration's position on this issue. HARLOW: So, guys, Kelly Sadler, the White House aide who made that

crude joke -- well, she says it was a joke -- about John McCain dying and why does his opinion matter in any of this anyways, didn't get fired because she said it. It took them -- it's been a month since then -- didn't issue a public apology that was promised to his daughter, Meghan McCain. Now she's out of the White House, Errol, but she's not, according to Kellyanne Conway, disqualified from other positions in the administration. John Berman pressed her on that just this morning and it seems like, according to the reporting, apparently she's out of the White House because she got into a fight with Mercedes Schlapp and pointed at her in the Oval Office and said she's a leaker. What does this tell us about what matters most to the administration?

LOUIS: Well, it tells you a couple of things. One is that there seems to be some real chaos as far as the management of the staff and these stories have continued really from day one of this administration. You compare it to the prior administration, you never heard about these kind of antics and animosity leaking out all of the time. It seems to be an almost daily occurrence.

The other thing it tells you, though, is that they may be trying to find their way to some kind of rational compromise where, you know, clearly this person doesn't belong in the White House. Clearly this person shouldn't be in high level discussions where the kind of cruelty that she displayed would be deployed in decision making.

On the other hand, people have to make a living. And if she wants to be a public servant, there's got to be somewhere in the federal government where she might be able to help the public. And so perhaps they will find their way to some rational place, get her out of that building and into a place where she can actually serve the public.

HARLOW: All right, Errol Louis, Caitlin Huey-Burns, thank you very much.


KEILAR: A contractor at the White House who was accused of attempted murder was arrested when he showed up for work.

CNN's Joe Johns here now with this.

Tell us about -- who is this guy? What does he do at the White House? And how did the Secret Service get involved here?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Low level administrative worker at the old Executive Office Building, which is the building adjacent to the White House. Now, Brianna, as you know, this is an ongoing problem for Secret Service and others who vet the staffers who work at secure facilities, especially the White House. It does raise some questions about awareness of people who have had serious run-ins with the law and when the Secret Service became aware of the problem.

[09:45:07] The contractor's name is Martese Edwards. As I said, a low level administrative type at the older -- at the old EOB. Police say his arrest stems from a shooting on May 3rd in Suitland, Maryland. Detectives said the shooting was domestic in nature. There was a male victim, we are told, from Prince George's County Police in Maryland, who was shot. That victim transported with life-threatening injuries. Edward faces attempted first degree murder and assault charges.

Now, it's the timeline, Brianna, that is concerning. This individual certainly had the event that occurred on May 3rd, arrest warrant in the middle of the month around the 17th.

KEILAR: A month ago. Sure. OK.

JOHNS: And then the individual finally is taken into custody on Tuesday. Some questions there for the Secret Service that we are reaching out now.

KEILAR: So the event May 3rd, but the arrest warrant the 17th. So that's --

JOHNS: Right.

KEILAR: I mean this is over two weeks.

JOHNS: Exactly. So --

KEILAR: Since this guy should have been on the radar, right?

JOHNS: Precisely right. When you have contact with authorities and the case is an allegation of attempted murder, that's quote serious.

KEILAR: Yes. The EOB, right across the street from the West Wing, we should say.

Joe Johns, thank you so much for that.

Now, Facebook is under fire again for sharing users' private data, this time to a Chinese company that's been called a U.S. security threat.


[09:50:51] HARLOW: All right, welcome back.

Right now the president is gearing up for what looks like a contentious meeting with key allies after hitting them with new tariffs on aluminum and steel. Here at home, though, a possible success story for U.S. Steel, announcing its plan to hire 300 more workers, citing more demand for U.S. steel, partly because of the tariffs from the president.

Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, steelworkers celebrating there in Granite City, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis. You know, this entire facility city idle back in 2015. But the president's steel tariff announcement back in March led U.S. Steel to restart a blast furnace and hire back 500 steelworkers. The demand for American made steel means U.S. Steel will restart now another blast furnace by October 1st, hiring, the companies says, another 300 workers. U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt, in a statement, after careful consideration of market conditions and customer demand, including the impact of section 232, the restart of the two blast furnaces at Granite City Works will allow us to serve our customers growing demand for high quality products melted and poured in the United States.

It is exactly, Poppy, the type of win the president wants in the face of anger among allies. Mexico just announced retaliatory tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, like steel, pork, cheese and bourbon. And there's also concern from business executives. The powerful business roundtable is worried about Trump's overall trade strategy. And that uncertainty means they are scaling back plans for hiring and spending. It say 89 percent of America's top CEOs worry that trade policy will slow the economy. Ninety percent think it will lead to higher business costs.

But, Poppy, looking at a win like at Granite City, that's really important for the optics of this president, even as many other allies and business leaders are concerned about the president's trade policies overall.


HARLOW: All right, Christine Romans, thank you so much for that.

Buckle up for this breaking news, folks, because we've just learned that Mexico is slapping $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods. This is in retaliation to what President Trump did to Mexico just days ago, our U.S. ally. Here's an important reminder, Mexico is the second largest market for U.S. exports. Meaning, they are the second biggest consumer of goods we make here in this country with American jobs. They buy $345 billion worth of U.S. goods and services every year according to the Commerce Department, Brianna.

So, you know what, this is what a trade war looks like.

KEILAR: Yes, this is -- and that's the big question, you know, is this the kickoff to it? It sure is looking like it, Poppy. And we'll be exploring that throughout the hour.


KEILAR: Also this morning, you know, Facebook is not getting the headlines that it wants. The social media giant is taking heat for data sharing partnerships that it has with a Chinese tech giant. Why? Well, because U.S. intelligence officials have called that Chinese company, Huawei is the name of it, a security threat to the U.S.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted this overnight. He said, this could be a very big problem. If Facebook granted Huawei special access to social data of Americans, this might as well have given it -- it might have well have given it directly to the government of China.

Joining me now we have CNN Money tech correspondent Sam Burke.

And, Sam, Facebook is saying there's no issue here. There's no problem. But they're ending the program, which speaks volumes. What do you make of this?

SAM BURKE, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. People waking up once again this morning and asking, where is my Facebook data? And the explanation that Facebook is giving for this is quite interesting. They say basically this is from a bygone era, before there were app stores. So the phone makers, like Apple, like Huawei, had to make the apps themselves.

But take a look at this list, Brianna, of the details that they were handing over to some of these companies about us, starting with your education and work information, also your relationship status, work, religion, political leanings. And it begs the question, if I invite you to lunch, Brianna, I might need your phone number, but why would I ask you for your Social Security Number, all this type of information? Same question here. If you're designing apps and you want to give people a good experience, why does Apple or Huawei, that the U.S. intelligence agencies have said for many years, long before the Trump administration, is a security threat, why would they need all of that information about us?

[09:55:09] Now, let me just put up on the screen what Facebook is saying in response to all of this. They're kind of shrugging it off. The vice president saying, quote, FaceBook, along with many other U.S. tech companies, have worked with Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their service on to these phones. We're not aware of any abuse, they say, but the fact that there could have been abuse means that Facebook had our data in a vulnerable position.

KEILAR: Yes, it's a very good point.

Samuel Burke, thank you so much for that report.

Now, Democrats appear to averted disaster in one of the most consequential primaries of the season. So what does this mean for the possible blue wave, as we are hurdling now toward the midterms? We're going to discuss that ahead.