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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Mueller Files New Charges Against Paul Manafort; CNN's Anthony Bourdain Dead At 61. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired June 8, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks, Erica. The forecast for the G7 chilly and not just because it is in Canada. "The Lead" starts right now.
Minutes ago, President Trump posing for pics with fellow leaders of the G7 Summit after spending the week trolling and ticking them off but saying today Russia should get a second chance to join the group. Breaking news, the Special Counsel filing two new charges against Donald Trump's former campaign head relating to obstruction of justice, how much closer is this getting to President Trump?
Plus, he told the stories of everyone through their food and culture. It is a life he never stopped living it seemed until he took his life himself. Today the CNN family and fans around the world mourn the sudden, senseless, awful loss of Anthony Bourdain.
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to "The Lead." I'm Jake Tapper. We begin with the world lead today. This very minute President Trump is in a room full of U.S. allies with whom he's been exchanging harsh words while also reaching out to traditional American adversaries such as North Korea and today Russia.
This afternoon President Trump met with members of the G7 including the leaders of Canada and France whom he's been attacking on twitter over various issues doing with trade in a note those on capitol hill found on the way to the summit this morning, he suggested that Russia should be allowed membership again in this group of industrialized nations.
For those who don't know, Russia was a member of the G7 and called the G8 until 2014 and then as Senator John McCain today reminded us in a statement, quote, "Vladimir Putin chose to make Russia unworthy of membership in the G8 by invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea. Nothing Putin has done since then has changed that most obvious fact. The President has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies," unquote.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is traveling with President Trump in Quebec City and later the President is going to sit down one-on-one with some of these world leaders.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Jake. The President is set for some bilateral meetings with his French and Canadian counterpart in Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau. The backdrop, of course, is this tough trade talk about terrorists that the three men have engaged in over the past few days and now potentially a dispute over the Russia's membership in the G7 or the former G8, something Trump brought up this afternoon before departing for Quebec.
SANCHEZ: Donald Trump arriving in Quebec for the G7 Summit, a Summit that sources indicate he was hesitant to attend. Though he greeted his counterparts with smiles and handshakes, he's fighting public battles with some of the United States' closest allies over trade, the Iran Nuclear Deal, climate change and now Russia after Trump suggested Vladimir Putin should have a seat at the table in the group of seven.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend, and it is up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting. It should be a part of it. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.
SANCHEZ: Other G7 leaders disagreed including British Prime Minister Theresa May -- telling reporters, quote, "Let's remember why the G8 became the G7 and before discussions could begin on any of this, we have to insure Russia is amending it's ways and taking a different route."
Some within the President's own party also dismissed the idea. Nebraska Senator, Ben Sasse writing quote, "This is weak. Putin is not our friend and he is not the President's buddy. He is a thug using Soviet style aggression to wage a shadow war against America and our leaders should act like it."
Another sore spot, trade tariffs. After exchanging barbs on twitter with French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump touted his ability to strike a deal.
TRUMP: It's what I do. It won't even be hard and in the end we'll all get along. But they understand, and you know they're trying to act like well we fought with you in the war -- they don't mention the fact that they have trade barriers against our farmers. They don't mention the fact that their charging almost 300% tariffs. When it all straightens out, we'll all be in love again.
SANCHEZ: Macron initially suggested Trump may force the other six G7 countries to sign an agreement without the United States thought he later posted a video of a private chat with Trump writing, quote, "Dialogue again and again. Exchange, trying to convince constantly to defend the interest of the French and also of those who believe the world is built only together with the President before the opening of the G7."
[16:05:00] SANCHEZ: And Jake an official from the National Security Council just spoke with CNN telling us that the President's comments on Russia today were unplanned. We asked him about rumors that there was a potential summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin that was being worked on. That official told us that there was some discussion about it, some chatter, but that it was not something that the National Security Council was working on internally and that there were no logistics or details planned out for that potential summit yet, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Boris Sanchez in Quebec City. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
My political panel is here with me in studio, and Michelle Kaczynski you cover the State Department and you have new reporting. The British, the U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May has been trying to get a bi-lat with President Trump -- a meeting with President Trump. What can you tell us about that?
MICHELLE KACZYNSKI, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: I mean there have been rumblings for days that Trump was going to cut this trip short because European counterparts just couldn't really nail down a schedule; they felt like something was up. So now we know that the U.K. tried to set up a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump but they never got a clear response they said.
So they decided they would just try to catch up on the side, something that's called a brush pass. And they're not really annoyed with this, because Theresa May just spoke to Trump this week for 30 minutes and it was an okay conversation. They have NATO coming up. They have the Trump visit to Britain coming up. But it is kind of strange that, you know, he's talking about setting up a summit with Putin and Kim Jong-un but he couldn't make time for Theresa May at the G7.
TAPPER: Right, and obviously David Urban, it is the long history of the British and the United States having a special relationship, President Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May don't seem to have a special relationship.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right, so as we've seen in the past, the President's diplomacy is based on -- largely based on personal (inaudible). Right, one on one. The President is not a fan of multi-lateralism, he's not a fan of these big gatherings where he is one of many. The President likes to sit down one on one across the table and engage in a personal dialogue. So I think whether it's the G7 or the G20 or whatever group it's going to be, this President prefers multi - prefers bi-lats rather than multi-laterialism. And I think he's obviously got something bigger on his mind as he moves forward here coming this next week. I think this G7 meeting is - I don't want to say be offensive but largely irreverent on a large part I think.
The President -- the group here is obviously upset with him of Paris , about paying more for NATO. I mean we could go and on, the list of the things that the U.S. and the E.U. and Canada don't agree about right now. And so for the President, he's looking forward to trying to get peace on the Korean Peninsula. I think he thinks is a lot more important.
TAPPER: Then Paul, David just said that the President probably thinks of the G7 as irrelevant. I'm wondering what you think about that?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right now, they are our best customer and we have gone to economic war against our best customers and our best national security allies. It makes no sense. He is saying that Canada and the European community are a national security threat to America. That is the legal requirement to impose these tariffs. It is madness. It is bad business. it is bad national security. At the same time, David, if he prefers bilateral meetings, why not have a bilateral meeting with the British Prime Minister that asked for one.
TAPPER: I don't know the timing situation is.
BEGALA: It is not timing.
KACZYNSKI: Part of it was timing, but it is timing because he's cutting this trip short.
URBAN: Because he's headed to Korea to try to solve - get world peace.
KACZYNSKI: Although that's on Tuesday and this is Friday.
URBAN: It's a long --
KACZYNSKI: OK, I will say that when you talk to his European counterparts and the diplomats surrounding them, they feel like getting away early to get to Singapore early was more of an excuse.
URBAN: He's leaving six hours early. He's leaving Saturday at 10:30 versus Saturday at 5:00 I think is what --
TAPPER: Let me ask another question --
KACZYNSKI: It's a luncheon; it's a whole day.
URBAN: He's missing lunch.
KACZYNSKI: He could have hada bi-lat --
TAPPER: A lot of European - you diplomats were shocked was President Trump talking about readmitting Russian into the G7; it would become the G8. Of course, look, I'm not a master deal maker so I don't know but David, could you explain why letting Russia in without getting a concession from them such as leave Ukraine, leave Crimea and stop interfering in our elections, why that makes any sense?
URBAN: No, I can't but I do know obviously look again, not to pound on this the G20 is much more relevant in the world. You have - you talk about economics - and I understand the E.U. is a huge market but to talk about global economics without India, China, the Russian Federation, Brazil, some of the biggest economies in the world I think is a little bit deceptive.
TAPPER: Deceptive. Michelle?
KACZYNSKI: These are America's closest friends --
URBAN: I understand, no I get that --
KACZYNSKI: -- with whom they banned together --
URBAN: But, but right now Michelle --
KACZYNSKI: -- to put pressure on China.
[16:10:00] URBAN: I know but right now you'll admit there's tension because of -- because of the trade sanctions because of ponying up money for NATO, because of Paris, because of Paris Accord --
URBAN: -- and those things that will get discussed in a G7 Summit.
TAPPER: One of the - one of the reasons why, as Michelle points out people think that the G7 is important because for instance when President Trump wants to pressure Russia, wants to pressure China, wants to pressure India on environmental or human rights issues, the G7 are the ones that do it. That is how he get the group -- Japan and France and Germany, et cetera.
KACZYNSKI: That is how sanctions work, when everybody gets together. And just this week days ago in a conversation with a former CEO of the U.S. multi-national, we were talking about this and the tariffs. And he said, he agreed there needs to be a level playing field. He agrees in new approaches like let's do this, but he said, why don't you sit down with China and say you need to buy $500 billion worth of our goods, and I'm generalizing here. But he says to do it this way to place tariffs on our allies, he felt was a weakness and a defensive move and by no means a proactive.
TAPPER: Paul, what was your take on President Trump basically reinviting Russia into the G7.
BEGALA: It was -- there is no good explanation for it. There is one really bad one and that is he has some peculiar affection for Putin and Russia. Russia is not a very customer. They have lots of tariff and non-tariff barriers to American goods. So it's not like there's a good economic reason; there's certainly not a national security reason. They committed an act of war against the United States of America for which they have not been punished. In addition to that, they're attacking and invading their neighbors in Ukraine; they invaded their neighbors in Georgia. There is no good reason and there is a lot of speculation that Vladimir Putin's got something on Donald Trump and he sure -- Mr. Trump is sure acting like it.
TAPPER: So I want to give David the last word but I just want to read this from Ben Sasse. URBAN: -- weekly news --
TAPPER: Republican Senator Ben Sasse responded to the President's comment saying quote, "This is weak. Putin is not our friend and he's not the President's buddy. He's a thug using Soviet-style aggression to wage a shadow war against America and our leaders should act like it." Do you disagree with that?
URBAN: Look, I don't disagree with Senator Sasse. I think the Russian Federation has done horrific things. I'm not going to defend - listen, Ukraine, is a proud country it was invaded. Crimea, I've been there. I've been to Sevastopol. I've seen the Black Sea Fleet. I've visited these places before and there's no excuse for that but I do think they are part of the G20 and if you're looking at negotiating global trade deals and talking about things, I think that's what the President is more focused on and the G7 has nothing in common with this President and I think on a lot matters and I think that's why he takes umbrage at a lot of these folks. Push it back on Iran - on the Iran sanctions they've been pushing back hard as well.
TAPPER: All right. Special Counsel Robert Mueller just filed new charges in the Russia investigation; they could result in more jail time for a former Trump campaign chair. That story is next.
[16:17:27] TAPPER: And we have some breaking news from Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation. This afternoon, prosecutors filed new charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice against Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort as well as charges against one of Manafort's close business associates, Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant.
Let me bring in CNN's Sara Murray.
Sarah, what's behind these charges, obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: All right. So Paul Manafort is facing a bevy of charges before this. These are two additional. And basically what prosecutors say and what they sort of tip their hat to earlier this week was that after Paul Manafort's business partner Rick Gates flipped earlier this year and Paul Manafort faced another wave of charges, you know, it seems like he got a little nervous. And so according to prosecutors, he started reaching out to some of these witnesses in this case trying to get their story straight and at least, according to the witness accounts, essentially trying to get them to lie in their testimony.
Now, of course, we know Mueller's team has been keeping a very close eye on everyone involved in this case, including Paul Manafort. And so what came earlier this week in a court filing has now turned into a new state of official charges against Manafort.
TAPPER: Very interesting. And tell me -- speaking of interesting, tell me about Konstantin Kilimnik.
MURRAY: Konstantin Kilimnik, the first time he is officially being brought in to these proceedings, the first time Mueller team is naming him and bringing charges, again, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice. He's 48 years old. He lives in Moscow. He worked with Paul Manafort, including on these efforts to do lobbying work for Ukrainian politicians, things that got Paul Manafort in the hot seat. But the other reason that Mueller's team is so interested in him is they say that he has tied to Russian intelligence.
So they say that this is someone Paul Manafort has worked with in the past and, you know, if prosecutors are correcting what they're alleging, someone Paul Manafort is still in touch with even as these proceedings are ongoing. Now, it's worth noting that even though Paul Manafort's business associate flipped and pleaded guilty, Paul Manafort has still maintained his innocence and says he's going to take this all the way to trial.
TAPPER: All right. Stay right here, Sara. I want to bring in Phil Mudd, too, so we can all talk about this.
Phil, what do you make of these new charges?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER FBI SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ADVISER: I think there's a couple of things to make of them. First, I double down on what I've said to you before, Jake, I cannot believe Manafort is ever going to go into a court with these charges. We had charges before when you read the indictment that I thought were significant. Now you add years on to those -- that previous indictment and you say, "He's got to sit down and flip at some point."
The second issue is, figure this out, Jake. This guy walks into a courtroom and says, "Prove that I'm guilty. I never did anything wrong." He puts out a statement -- a public statement after Gates flips and says he's going to prove his innocence. And then in the wake of that, he's got to go and do something that's incredibly stupid, reach out to potential witnesses.
MUDD: And knowing that he's being assessed by the FBI and trying to persuade them to say he's not guilty. Sounds guilty to me, Jake.
[16:20:15] TAPPER: Well, certainly not the wisest thing Mr. Manafort has done. But, you know, I have to ask, Sara, so the prosecutors already kind of announced that they suspected Manafort was doing this, was trying to witness tamper or had witness tampered and they told the court that days before the charges, which came down today. Why?
MURRAY: The timing on this is all very bizarre. Today has been the deadline for Manafort and his legal team to respond to these allegations of witness tampering. So it's possible that the Special Counsel's office wanted to get out in front of their filing and sort of firm up their case and say, "Look, we are really serious about this and so we're filing charges," but it's also another way to just ramp up the pressure on Paul Manafort. There was actually a glimmer of hope for Manafort who has been under house arrest for more than seven months pretty recently where it looks like the Special Counsel's office might go along with him getting out on bail. And then this week, it was the sudden about face. They said, "We have this evidence that you've been tampering with witnesses and we think that you should go back to jail and await trial there." So, some interesting moves on behalf of the Special Counsel's office.
TAPPER: And as prosecutors have said, the best way to get somebody to flip is have them spend a couple of days in jail.
Phil, Mueller has a list of 23 defendants, 23 for those out there calling this a hoax or a witch hunt. That includes 20 people, three companies. There's been this anticipation for Mueller to wrap this investigation. From your seat as somebody who used to be with the FBI, does it look like he's in any hurry?
MUDD: It doesn't. But, I mean, people sitting in my position would be there saying, "I'd expect something more to happen by September." There's a rule of thumb in the Bureau that you don't put down political indictments going into elections or going into midterms.
I'd anticipate that if Mueller doesn't roll something out by, let's say, early September, that they won't roll anything out after until the elections, that pushes you back into December. Think of the timeline that we're already hearing people discussed in Washington and the frustration, even among some Mueller supporters with the pace of the investigation. If we don't have more indictments or some closure on the investigation until December, I think there's going to be a lot of commentary about how long this is going to go on.
TAPPER: Sara Murray, Phil Mudd, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
When Anthony Bourdain once described how he approached his work, Bourdain said, "We ask very simple questions, what makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go we tend to get some really astonishing answers."
The global impact of the chef, writer, world explorer, journalist, husband, father and to many of us at CNN, friend. Coming up.
[16:27:09] TAPPER: And now to some news that's been simply hard to comprehend, the loss of our colleague Anthony Bourdain, a longtime chef, gifted storyteller, a father and friend to so many us here at the network. Bourdain had a way of sharing his life experiences, traveling the world, exploring new cuisine, yes, but more importantly showing us how though we are also different, we are also so much the same.
Let's bring in CNN's Erica Hill now.
Erica, Bourdain led this very public life. He seemed very confident. He seemed very happy. But clearly, there were struggles going on that we didn't know about.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Jake, Anthony Bourdain was found in his hotel room in France. He was there on a shoot for an upcoming episode of his show, and he did take his own life. As news of his death broke this morning, the reaction was swift and heart felt.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: I don't even know what this is. I love you noodles.
HILL (voice-over): Called the original rock star of the culinary world, the Elvis of bad boy chefs. Anthony Bourdain was a cultural icon.
HILL: His mission to explore the world, meet the most interesting people, and of course, find the best food.
BOURDAIN: We ask very simple questions. What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers.
HILL: Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Anthony Bourdain began working in kitchens as a teenager. Eventually becoming a celebrity chef. A best-selling author and also a TV host.
BOURDAIN: What do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I loved it.
HILL: Behind the success, Bourdain struggled with demons, including an addiction to heroin, which he says began in a Cape Cod Restaurant when he was just 17.
BOURDAIN: You know, something was missing in me, whether it was a self-image situation, whether it was a character flaw. I came from a stable family, the suburbs. You know, I have a lot of advantages. There was some dark Genie inside of me that I very much hesitate to call a disease, that led me to dope.
HILL: Bourdain spoke openly about his struggles and about the person who inspired him to do better.
BOURDAIN: I have a seven-year-old daughter now, who I never would have had, I never would have thought. I looked in a mirror and I saw somebody worth saving or that I wanted to at least try real hard and save.
HILL: Using his celebrity to raise awareness about opioid addiction. Along with his advocacy, Bourdain remained a passionate explorer. Bringing his adventurous spirit to CNN in 2013 where he shared his ineffaceable curiosity with audiences around the world on his series "Parts Unknown."
BOURDAIN: Look at the greasy, fatty, yes, come to daddy.
HILL: Viewers looked to Bourdain for restaurant recommendations and travel ideas, embracing his unique style and his ability to connect to others.
BOURDAIN: All right. You can add to I will walk you through --