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Rudy Giuliani Attempts to Belittle Stormy Daniels; President Trump Meets With Japanese Prime Minister; Pardoned Woman Speaks Out. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired June 7, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: North Korea is still thinking about whether it's going to denuclearize.
So, it is good to end the Korean War some 60, almost 70 years later. But on the key issue of denuclearizing, we have not heard or seen any evidence that North Korea is willing to move or make commitments on that going forward.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The president also said, Kelly, maximum pressure is in effect, and there could be a lot more.
He said, there are a bunch of sanctions they could impose against North Korea. They're holding back right now in advance of this meeting.
"I really believe we can make a deal."
He kept coming up with that, but he also said, I'm totally prepared to walk away.
KELLY MAGSAMEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's right.
I mean, my biggest impression from this is that he is clearly eager to get a big, historic deal. And he's wrestling with that feeling, but what his advisers are basically telling him, which is, like, go slow, it's going to be phased, it's going to be a long-term process.
So, you can see him almost in real time actually trying to navigate what he wants, which is something big, like a peace treaty, and actually what his advisers and what his allies -- what the allies are telling him, which is to take this -- proceed very cautiously on the...
BLITZER: Balbina Hwang is with us from Georgetown University.
Balbina, you're an expert on the Korean Peninsula, used to serve in the State Department.
You're listening closely to all the nuances from the Japanese prime minister and the president of the United States. BALBINA HWANG, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: What is so
fascinating to me is that now both leaders have basically moved on and they're both talking about -- talking about historic changes, talking about focusing on the changes in the dynamics of the region, talking about historical shifts.
And, basically, we have just moved beyond denuclearization as the most urgent issue and the focus that has been the global focus for the last 15 months. Denuclearization is essentially -- it's a side issue. It is astonishing to me that that's not even the most urgent issue anymore.
BLITZER: The prime minister now leaving the White House, the West Wing of the white also getting into the limo over there heading out after, what, about a couple hours he's been at the White House, maybe three hours since he got there.
This an important moment in U.S.-Japanese relations as well, because Japan clearly has its own interests and what to expect.
HWANG: Japan has own its interest.
And, absolutely, the abductee issue is the pivotal issue.
BLITZER: And we're talking about thousands of Japanese citizens who were abducted over the years by North Korea and are still held in North Korea.
HWANG: I don't know if it's quite thousands, but it was clearly the single issue became the hurdle. And it absolutely has become. And Prime Minister Abe made that clear.
Unfortunately, I think, right now, for Japan, this is Japan's nightmare moment. And it's not just about the abductees.
Japan is the only country in the entire region now that has become eclipsed. And it's not -- no longer just about abductees. It's about Japan security environment. It's about Japan's economic environment.
Japan is now the only leader that has not yet met with North Korea. And if this becomes the historic moment when United States historically changes its entire relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula and China's relationship with the United States, then Japan is left out.
And how many abductees? I have heard all sorts of numbers over the years. What are you hearing?
HWANG: Dozens to maybe several hundred, probably not several thousand. But it's actually not even the numbers anymore.
It's become such a domestic political issue. But the problem is that, for North Korea -- for North Korea, this issue was settled. And if Japan continues to make this an issue, then North Korea will walk away.
And for North Korea, this means that it cannot trust. It is evidence and proof that it can trust nobody in the international community.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Do they deny that there are still people alive who were abducted?
HWANG: No, that isn't actually the issue. The issue is that Kim Jong Il made an official apology and it absolutely made a deal with Japan back in 2002 with Prime Minister Koizumi.
And so that is the problem. And, actually, it was Prime Minister Abe when he was foreign minister that made that deal. So, Japan will walk away.
SCIUTTO: It's interesting.
Clearly, Abe, it seemed to me, was making this case to the American people. There's a public message there. He made it personal.
SCIUTTO: He talked about the young girl on the post, try to make it in terms that these aren't just distant people sort of numbers, a young girl who was stolen, which was -- which is a smart way to bring it on the radar screen of Americans.
BORGER: And to bring it to Trump.
SCIUTTO: Yes, and to bring it to Trump, yes.
HWANG: And the American people, except he used the trigger word.
He referred to the Sea of Japan. And that is a trigger word that is going to upset all the Korean people, both in North Korea and South Korea. He used the Sea of Japan.
SCIUTTO: It's a possessive. It's like the Arabian Gulf, Persian Gulf.
BLITZER: Because, Kelly, if you have spoken to North Korean officials, as I have -- and I'm sure many of you have as well -- for them, World War II with Japan has never really ended.
They still have a long memory of what Japan did to Korea during World War II. MAGSAMEN: That's right. These are very sensitive...
HWANG: And South Korean people too.
BLITZER: But the tensions, especially with North Korea -- it's eased with South Korea -- but with North Korea, the tension with the Japanese is -- and, Balbina, you know this.
HWANG: That's right.
But the South Korean people are watching this -- was watching this press conference today. And this is not going to play well in the South Korean public today.
MAGSAMEN: I agree with that.
The other thing I was struck by in the news conference was how many times the president praised President Xi Jinping, which is extremely awkward for a Japanese prime minister to be standing next to him.
Tons of praise for President Moon. Tons of praise for Xi Jinping. Not so much praise for Prime Minister Abe, which is interesting, given the amount of personal effort that the prime minister has put into this relationship.
SCIUTTO: Not to mention a defense treaty between the U.S. and Japan going back decades.
BORGER: Is he aware that it's insulting?
MAGSAMEN: I -- he appears he is not aware.
SCIUTTO: Well, but beyond the personal insult, right, there's a substantive issue here, right? Japan wants a trade deal with the U.S. It is a difficult negotiation. You saw the president there publicly accuse Japan once again of a trade imbalance, an unfair trade imbalance.
Meanwhile, he's just given a trade deal to China, with ZTE, rescuing ZTE, which U.S. intelligence, just a reminder, looks at as a national security threat.
SCIUTTO: And the U.S. has thrown a lifeline before it has negotiated successfully with one of its oldest allies.
BLITZER: And I thought, Gloria, it was significant that, at the very end of the news conference, after the reporters finished their questions, two Japanese reporters, two American reporters, the president went out of his way to express his love for the Otto Warmbier family. He was an American student, a University of Virginia student, who was taken prisoner in North Korea, returned, but in a very, very sick condition, and died within a day or two after his return to the United States.
BLITZER: He was -- the president expressed his love for the Warmbier family.
At the same time, he thanked North Korea for releasing those three American citizens who had been held up for a long time as well.
And the Americans have been released, but if your Abe, and you're standing next to him, you're going to say, well, what about my citizens? What's going to -- what's going to happen with that?
And maybe it was the president's way of saying to Abe, I heard you, I understand how difficult a situation this can be by -- by mentioning the Warmbiers.
But you just -- you just don't know. I think that, as Abe was standing there what struck me was that he knows he's dealing with someone who is unpredictable. And so he came here specifically to make his point to kind of just bang it in there in the Oval -- in the Oval Office in his meeting with Trump.
And I'm sure he left a lot of paper and said, this is it, one, two three. And if you're my ally, my friend, I have talked to you 30 times, you have to know what will be very upsetting to the Japanese people.
And he came to deliver a message. Sounded like the president heard him. But, again, it's unpredictable.
BLITZER: We will see what happens.
There's other headline that jumped out at me, Jim, on Iran.
BLITZER: The president, on his own, says Iran is not the same country that they were only a few months ago. And he took credit, suggesting that ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, as far as the U.S. is concerned, has changed the Iranians. They are not as aggressive, he suggested, in Yemen, not as aggressive in Syria or Lebanon, he said moving towards the Mediterranean.
"Things are changing right now," and he credited himself, because he ripped up that Iran nuclear deal.
SCIUTTO: Well, imagine that. He credited itself.
But on that point, some head-shaking here as he made that comment. So, Iran -- he said -- he went as far as saying its leaders are entirely different in the last three months.
Two days ago, if I remember correctly, his secretary state, Mike Pompeo, said that Iran was -- made some strong comments about Iran's threat to enrich uranium to a higher level, right? So, what is the president basing this statement on that Iran has suddenly found God, for lack of a better phrase here, on this issue?
It seemed a bit of a stretch. No one challenged the president's statement there. So it's hard to see what exactly he's basing that off of.
BLITZER: "They are much different than they were."
BLITZER: That's what the president said, Kelly.
MAGSAMEN: I mean, it's living on a different planet, frankly.
But what's interesting to me is, he keeps raising the bar on himself by talking about the JCPOA as a bad deal. And he keeps talking about how he's willing to walk away from any deal with North Korea if it isn't a good deal.
But by actually talking about the JCPOA in negative terms, which was a pretty substantial and comprehensive deal, I actually think he's raising the bar on himself ahead of the summit.
BORGER: But this is the way he did real estate negotiations.
He always told people who worked for him, you got to be willing to walk away. And there were many meetings into which he would walk, throw a grenade, I was told, and then walk out.
And if he feels slighted in any way, shape or form, which is why meetings are often full of flattery for Donald Trump, he would leave.
And I think Kim Jong-un is very, very well aware of that, sent him that nice letter, as we heard the president talk about, was great, very felicitous.
And so I think that people understand how to deal with Donald Trump now, the world leaders. They are kind of used to him.
HWANG: Except that Kim Jong-un is exactly the same way, supposedly.
So the North Korean leaders are very much the same way, that they also need to be...
HWANG: Be flattered.
And they will also walk away if they're insulted. So now we suddenly have a situation where we have two leaders. And, unfortunately, one is very dangerous. So what happens when you have exactly the two characteristics in the same room that will react the same way? We never have had that...
BLITZER: And let just remind you what the president tweeted earlier this morning.
I will just read it to our viewers: "Isn't it ironic? Getting ready to the G7 in Canada to fight for our country on trade? We have the worst repeals ever made. Then off to Singapore to meet with North Korea and the nuclear problem. But back home, we still have the 13 angry Democrats pushing the witch-hunt."
I will leave you with that thought.
Guys, thank you very, very much.
Extensive live coverage.
That's it for me. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. Eastern in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
In the meantime, the news continues right here on CNN right after a quick.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we will take it from here.
Hi, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin. This is CNN.
Let's start now with president's -- President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani. He is unapologetic and on the defense. He is standing by his comments that cut down the credibility of Stormy Daniels.
She's the porn star suing the president and his attorney, Michael Cohen. This stems from an alleged affair she had with Trump back in 2006.
Rudy Giuliani says he does not believe her, not because he knows her personally, but because of what she does professionally. Giuliani says Daniels' job as an adult film actress means she has -- quote, unquote -- "no reputation."
That is what he just told a business conference in Israel when asked how Melania Trump sees the scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: She believes in her husband. She knows it's not true. I don't even think there's a slight suspicion that is true, when you -- excuse me -- when you look at Stormy Daniels.
I know Donald Trump. And look at his -- look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women. Classy women. Women of great substance. Stormy Daniels?
GIULIANI: So, I think she...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to respect on this stage every woman.
GIULIANI: Yes, I respect porn stars. Don't you respect porn stars?
Or do you think...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I respect..
GIULIANI: Or do you think that porn stars desecrate women?
Do you think that porn stars don't respect women, and therefore sell their bodies? So, yes, I respect all human beings. I even have to respect criminals.
But, I'm sorry, I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person, and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.
So, Stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross-examine you, because the business you're in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight.
And, secondly, explain to me how she could be damaged. She has no reputation. If you're going to sell your body for money, you just don't have a reputation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Those comments are making all kinds of waves.
Our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, actually hopped on the phone with Mr. Giuliani this morning over in Tel Aviv.
And, Dana, I was watching you this morning saying, first you had to explain to him that his comments were a thing over here.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
BALDWIN: And how did he respond to you? BASH: He seemed surprised that it became a thing, as you put it.
And what I was saying to him was, the reason it is a thing is because the comments that he made that you just played are, in the eyes of many people, antiquated, that it used to be that it was maybe understood in a broad sense that if a woman, as he put it, sold her body -- although usually that's used to describe prostitution, not being a porn star -- but put that aside -- that they didn't have credibility.
And there are a lot of corners of the feminist world who say that is empowering. So it's not that black and white as it used to be.
And when I -- I didn't suggest in that detail, but I did say it's looked upon as antiquated. He pushed back. And he said a couple of things.
First of all, he said this: "If you're a feminist, and you support the porn industry, you should turn in your credentials."
But then, Brooke, on the broader question about Stormy Daniels' credibility, here's what -- here's what he said: "If you're involved in a sort of slimy business that says something about you, says something about how far you will go to make money, our real point about her is that she's not just generally uncredible. She's uncredible from the point of view of wanting to get money. She's a con artist."
So, absolutely not backing down. I gave him several sort of attempts to do so in the quick phone conversation that we had. He is still in Israel. And he's -- he's just not going there.
And that is very Trumpian, to not apologize, and even to double down, as you know.
Two things. One, let me just play this sound. This is Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, swiftly responded to these words from Rudy Giuliani.
Here he was last evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY FOR STORMY DANIELS: Mr. Giuliani is an absolute pig for making those comments. He's basically stating that women that engage in the adult film industry or other forms of pornography don't have reputations, they are not entitled to respect.
I certainly hope that we're not going to reach a place where Rudy Giuliani is going to be the police that are going to -- is going to decide which women deserve respect or not.
His comments are piggish. They're outrageous, especially in today's day and age. And he should be fired immediately by the president.
And if the president doesn't fire him as his personal attorney and condones this behavior, I think it's disgusting and it's an outrage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And, two, on just the counterperspective. And I know you have heard this, but what about the men who pay and enjoy these women, enjoy this slimy business?
What about the married men who sleep with these women with a newborn child at home? I know that is Daniels' allegation, which Trump vehemently denies. What about the men who are married to women who have posed nude and made money for it in the past?
What would Rudy Giuliani say to that?
BASH: Well, I asked about -- just, for example, I did give him an example. What about the men who are in porn films? What about them? Do they not have credibility?
BASH: And his answer was -- and his answer was, no, they don't have credibility.
Then I asked about men who have affairs with women who are in porn films. And he said, well, are you suggesting that maybe that you're talking about the president, allegations about the president?
I said yes.
And he said, well, I'm not even going to go there, because he denies it. And I'm standing by that. He says it didn't happen.
So, he was -- he was staying in his box, staying in his lane. To be fair, he was actually touring a hospital in Israel when I got him on his cell phone, so we didn't have a lot of time to go through all of the hypotheticals.
But it was pretty clear that he was not going to change what he said in Israel, which is very, very controversial. Just the opposite. He's saying, I stand by it. And he actually said -- when I explained that some people view feminism differently now, he said, well, I like my view of feminism better.
Dana, thanks for get up at the crack of dawn and calling Rudy Giuliani just to get those comments.
BASH: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank you very much. Coming up next: free at last.
Alice Marie Johnson rushes into the arms of relatives after 21 years in prison. Look at this. Her sentence commuted by President Trump. We will talk to her live about that moment and what is next.
Stay with me.
BALDWIN: We are back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Home, sweet home, that is where Alice Marie Johnson is finally today, after walking out of prison following 21 years of incarceration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Can you imagine? Johnson had been serving a sentence of life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. She was a first- time offender.
Her case really put the spotlight on the grave sentencing disparities and injustices in the system. And it became a cause celebre for prison reform.
In fact, her release comes one week after Kim Kardashian West with the president of the United States and asked him to commute Johnson's sentence. And West was the one who told Johnson she was getting out of prison.
And, this morning, President Trump tweeted: "Good luck to Alice Johnson. Have a wonderful life."
Johnson praised the president, saying that she will make him proud.
Alice Marie Johnson is with me now.
Alice, welcome home.
ALICE MARIE JOHNSON, RECEIVED PARDONED: Yes.
BALDWIN: Welcome home. Welcome home.
JOHNSON: Thank you, Brooke.
JOHNSON: I'm so happy to be. You cannot imagine how it feels...
BALDWIN: I can't. JOHNSON: ... to be back with my family.
BALDWIN: I can't. I can't. I read that when you went in, I think it was your daughter was pregnant. Now your daughter -- daughter's daughter is pregnant, as you're out and with your family.
BALDWIN: After 21 years, Alice, what does freedom feel like?
JOHNSON: Oh, it is an amazing feeling.
Just when I think about where I would be at today at this moment in time, it makes me -- all day long, I have just been whispering, thank you, thank, you, thank you, lord. Thank you.
That's all I can say, is, thank you, thank you for touching hearts. Thank you for giving me another chance.
This is -- this a very humbling experience for me, because I know that it's all grace. I know that is all grace.
JOHNSON: And it's a miracle for me.
BALDWIN: What would you be doing this time -- this time yesterday, this time two days ago, this time the last 21 years?
What would you be doing?
JOHNSON: I was -- at this time yesterday, I was still locked up.
However, I had just gotten -- I was in RND (ph), ready to be released soon yesterday. The hour before, they printed the paper --