Return to Transcripts main page


CNN's Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61; Trump: Russia should be reinstated to G7. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 8, 2018 - 09:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

[09:00:04] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: And we begin with breaking news that hits very close to home for us at CNN. Good morning, I'm Pamela Brown.

Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN's "PARTS UNKNOWN," has died. The award-winning and incredibly talented storyteller, writer, traveler and chef was found this morning in his hotel room in France. He took his own life. Bourdain there shooting an upcoming episode of his show. His death is a shock to family, friends and fans worldwide.

Let's start with Alex Marquardt with more on Bourdain's life and career -- Alex.

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pam. That's right. This is such a terrible shock and heartbreaking news. Not just for those of us here in the CNN family, but really for his legion of fans around the world.

We so often use the word unique. But that really is the best word to describe him and what really was a gift. He was a truly unique character with a unique ability to connect and to tell stories that were ostensibly about food, but ended up being about so much more.

CNN did put out a statement this morning. It reads in part, "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us. And we will miss him very much."

Here is a small look at part of his immense body of work.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Chapter one. To fall in love with Asia is one thing. To fall in love in Asia is another. Both have happened to me.

Is there value in just beautiful people and objects moving through space in beautiful ways?

CHRISTOPHER DOYLE, CINEMATOGRAPHER: Is there a value to the color of a pomegranate?

BOURDAIN: Yes. Yes. There is. DOYLE: Exactly.

BOURDAIN: New York City where I live. And it's easy to think having lived here nearly all my life that this is what America looks like. Thinks like. That the things that are important to me are important to everybody. That every place else is out there, unthinkable. Maybe even unknowable.

Six hundred miles away from midtown Manhattan is McDowell County, West Virginia. Another America. In the mind of many of my fellow New Yorkers, the heart of God, guns and Trump country.

I hope the show makes people like me from New York City and the coasts look at West Virginia with a little more understanding and a little more empathy.

I was a student of history. I had an impish desire to use the G word finally on TV. Because most official United States policy and much of the world's policy is to refer to the Armenian genocide as, I don't know what the -- as a series of unfortunate events.

I just wish that more Americans had passports. The sentiment you can see how other people live seems useful at worst and incredibly pleasurable and interesting at best.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It confirms the basic truth that people everywhere are pretty much the same.

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.


MARQUARDT: When Bourdain died, he was 61 years old. It wasn't until his 40s that he really became a household name. He once commented on his success to an interviewer saying, I feel like I've stolen a car, a really nice car, and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights.

Pamela, Bourdain was divorced once. He was separated from his current wife and has a preteen daughter. He joked to "People" magazine, "Please baby, don't become interested in any chefs. Please stay out of the restaurant business."

Our thoughts are with his daughter and all of his loved ones this morning -- Pamela.

BROWN: Absolutely. A loss not just for the CNN family, but for fans worldwide.

Alex Marquardt, thank you so much.

And I want to bring in senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.

And Brian, he, of course, was a tremendous storyteller but Anthony Bourdain was so much more as well.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. When you think about his career, first as a chef, then as a bestselling author. And his book "Kitchen Confidential" came out 18 years ago. But people still love reading it today. That book catapulted him to television. First the Food Network, then the Travel Channel. Then CNN. He's been with us here for five years.

And his program, "PARTS UNKNOWN," it both changed his identity, his celebrity status, it also changed CNN's identity. It brought us all around the world and it became one of the most popular shows on cable television.

[09:05:08] You know, Bourdain was fearless. His show was magical. And he was one of a kind. CNN president Jeff Zucker has sent an e- mail to employees this morning. We can put part of it on the screen. Zucker says, "Tony was an exceptional talent. A storyteller, a gifted writer, a world traveler, an adventurer. He brought something to CNN that no one else had ever brought before. Tony will be greatly missed, not only for his work, but also for the passion with which he did it."

And we are seeing so many reactions from around the world as you were mentioning. I'll share a couple with you. Some celebrities like Chrissy Teigen who were viewers, who were viewers just like the rest of us. Chrissy Teigen saying, "Anthony was one of my idols. He was unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet." She says, "Thank you for making food so exciting. Always standing up for everything right."

Tony was among other things an advocate, an advocate for chefs and for workers in restaurants. And also for the victims of Harvey Weinstein and other prominent men accused of harassment. He had been outspoken on that issue in recent months.

Here's another comment from another one of his friends and fans, Michael Symon, a chef on the Food Network, simply saying, "I'm in complete shock. This is a loss for words." We've also heard from President Trump in the past few minutes. Here's what he said about Bourdain.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's very sad. In fact, I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences. That was very shocking when I woke up this morning. Anthony Bourdain is dead. And I enjoyed his show. He was quite a character. I will say. But -- so I just want to extend my condolences.


STELTER: Bourdain is absolutely one of a kind and irreplaceable. The 11th season of "PARTS UNKNOWN" had been airing in the past month. New episodes have been airing recently. And that's what he was in France working on this week. He was shooting an upcoming episode of one of his upcoming seasons of "PARTS UNKNOWN" when his close friend Eric Ripert walked into the room, found him unresponsive in his hotel room this morning -- Pamela.

BROWN: And of course in 2013, he won a Peabody Award. And I'm just reading what the judges have said about him. They said, "People open up to him and in doing so often reveal more about their hometowns and homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document."

Such a loss with the passing of Anthony Bourdain.

Brian Stelter, thank you so much for that.

And the news of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide comes as a new CDC report finds that suicide rates are on the rise in almost every state. From 1999 to 2016, 25 states had increases of more than 30 percent. Researchers also found that more than half of the people who died did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition.

Joining me now to discuss psychiatrist and author of "The Power of Different," Dr. Gail Saltz.

Thank you so much for coming on, Doctor. The news of Anthony Bourdain's passing comes of course in the wake of the suicide of Kate Spade. Now we have learned that Anthony Bourdain took his own life. And all of this begs the question, as I just said, the rate of suicide is up. Why is that?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOANALYST: We don't know all of the reasons, obviously, why that is happening. But suicides tend to go up following times of economic difficulty, a lot of strife, increased isolation, which I think, you know, it's fair to say that in many ways social technology has benefitted some people but other people have become more isolated as a result.

I think, you know, post 2008, a lot of people started really struggling economically. We're certainly in a lot of strife in this country in certain ways. And even though you could say that the numbers have gone up in general, a big part of those numbers are actually women. And for women, there have been changing roles in terms of feeling that their personal expectations should be one of great success in the workplace, as well as still being a primary caretaker, the main head of the family in certain ways.

And, you know, that's a lot of pressure and a lot of stress. And you mentioned that half of those people don't have a mental health diagnosis. But the likely reason for many of those numbers is those are people who do not realize that they are having a mental health issue or do not want to go in and seek an evaluation and treatment so they've not been diagnosed with a mental health illness. But they probably are suffering.

BROWN: And you said some of those people just don't know they may have a mental health issue. What are the telltale signs?

SALTZ: So people should really be aware of the signs and symptoms. And of course if we could do something more about stigma in this country, more people that are starting to feel some of those signs and symptoms, such as depression, for example, as hopelessness, helplessness, feeling worthless, having difficulty sleeping, having difficulty with your appetite. Losing the ability to take pleasure in things.

[09:10:12] Those kinds of things in yourself or seeing them in someone else should instigate you to go in and get an evaluation because of course there is treatment. Treatment is often very successful. One out of 10 people in their lifetime will suffer depression. So the numbers are really high. And I think that stigma keeps us from encouraging people to go from taking ourselves. It keeps us from asking people whether they might feel suicidal which is really, really something you should do.

There are red flags for suicide. If someone is feeling isolated, if someone speaks of being a burden to others. If they're dealing with a lot of shame. There are certain things that are particular red flags and instigators of suicide. If you're aware of these, then what you want to do is ask the person if they're thinking of taking their lives. If they say yes, ask them if they have a plan or a means. If they say yes, take the means from them. Stay with them and bring them to help.

BROWN: I think if anything, you know, one of the things we've learned this week with again the passing of Kate Spade, now Anthony Bourdain, is that it does not discriminate. No matter who you are. And it's so important to seek help.

Dr. Gail Saltz, thank you so much.

And if you know anyone, a family member, a friend, a colleague that may need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. That number is 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7. We'll be right back.


BROWN: And more breaking news this morning. The president is on his way to the G7 summit, but he thinks there should be an addition.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.


BROWN: President Trump making the comments as he heads to Canada for what will surely be a contentious meeting with our closest allies.

I want to bring in CNN's Boris Sanchez. He's live in Quebec City. Boris?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Pamela. Yes, President Trump also calling himself Russia's worst nightmare. Hard to believe that Vladimir Putin sees it that way. He's likely thrilled to hear President Trump say this.

Not so much an invitation to re-create the G-8, but rather because it's yet another rift between President Trump and some of America's oldest and staunchest allies.

You have the president sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via Twitter, talking about trade and tariffs. The president has also sort of broken from them when it comes to the Iran Nuclear Deal or the Paris Climate Accord.

So, there are a number of fronts where the United States is pursuing this America First agenda that President Trump has laid out, much to the chagrin of some of America's allies and to the delight of Vladimir Putin.

We should point out, Russia has done little to atone for its aggressive acts around the world. Not only the invasion and annexation of Crimea, which ultimately led to their departure from the G8, but also just this year with the chemical attack on an ex-Russian spy in the UK.

We'll certainly keep our eye out for any discussion of Russia today as the president is said to have bilateral meetings with his Canadian and French counterparts. Plenty to watch for here in Quebec, Pamela.

BROWN: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Boris. I really appreciate that. I now want to bring in senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski live from the State Department.

What does the president saying Russia should be in the G7 say to our allies, Michelle? Let's not forget, they were kicked out for no small reason.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: I had to look twice at this when the notes started coming from this little presser that he was doing on the lawn just to see if that was really what he said.

Especially since the US, at the time, had tried to lead the charge to impose some kind of costs on Russia. I mean, virtually, from all sides now, looking back, the consensus is that Russia has not paid enough.

In fact, it was the president's own national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, as he was leaving, he said that the world has not imposed enough costs on Russia. He said we have failed to impose sufficient costs. Russia has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies. For too long, some nations have looked the other way.

This was someone that was chosen by the president, saying we have not done enough. So, to hear the president as he's about to meet with our allies with whom he has an incredibly contentious relationship right now, to say that Russia should be allowed back in is shocking.

And one US ally diplomat e-mailed me at the time President Trump was saying this. And he asked me, are you seeing these remarks? Called them whacko, Pam.

BROWN: Whacko. All right, Michelle Kosinski. Thank you so much for that. And joining me now to discuss CNN senior economic analyst and former Trump economic advisor Stephen Moore; director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Christopher Sands; and former US ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne.

Gentlemen, great to see you. Where to begin? There's a lot of material to work through. And I just want to start with you, Christopher, on the heels of Michelle's reporting, the president's comments that he is open to this idea of bringing Russia back to the table to turn G-7 back into G-8 as it was several years ago before Russia was kicked for the annexation of Crimea.

[09:20:13] How do you think the US allies, particularly Canada where he's heading, are reacting to this news?

CHRISTOPHER SANDS, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR CANADIAN STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, remember that Canada has one of the largest Ukrainian populations anywhere outside Ukraine.

And Steven Harper, the previous prime minister to Justin Trudeau, was very hardline on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and on the annexation of Crimea.

Now, Justin Trudeau has kept that going. Even though it's a different party, Trudeau has been also very firm on the Russian annexation. Won't recognize it.

So, I think it will be awkward for Canada. A lot of Canadians will be quite shocked by this. They thought the US was onside in opposing Russian aggression. And this is not at all expected.

BROWN: And, of course, this comes on the heels of this Twitter feud, ambassador, with President Trump - between him and some of the leaders, our key allies.

Of course, you have Trudeau, Macron. Really remarkable to see this playing out ahead of the G7 Summit. Of course, there's going to be differences, but to see it in public view like this is really significant.

What could the potential fallout be with the president going in seemingly ready for a fight?

EARL ANTHONY WAYNE, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO: Well, I mean, of course, we'll have to see what happens when they get there. But I don't recall a G7 or G8 Summit where the tensions have been so high ahead of time.

As you said, it's normal that there are differences. And the whole idea of the G7 - the G6 originally - was to get people together to find solutions, so they could talk in an informal way and that could lead to ways forward, which it has in the past.

And then, bringing Russia in was trying to recognize the new role of Russia in the world after the fall of the Iron Curtain and to make that a broader discussion.

It was the Russian aggression that led the others to say, sorry, you're not invited anymore. But the forum still exists, so leaders can hash out these differences.

But I haven't seen one before where the tensions are so high ahead of time. And a number of our friends and allies are feeling that they're really being mistreated and with questionable rationale on the part of the United States.

BROWN: So, tensions are high. And then, you have President Trump saying this morning that we may terminate NAFTA. Here's what he said.


TRUMP: If we're unable to make a deal, we'll terminate NAFTA. We will have a better deal. If we're unable to make a deal, we will be better off. Right now, we are not going to live with the deals the way they are. European Union treats us very unfairly. Canada, very unfairly. Mexico, very unfairly. With that being said, I think we'll probably very easily make a deal.


BROWN: Needless to say, Stephen Moore, that is not going to help lower tensions ahead of the president going to the G7.

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: This is a big meeting. I mean, this is going to be, I think, consequential.

Look, Trump has said from the very start, from the first moment he started running for president, he doesn't like these trade deals. He wants them renegotiated. He wants better deals.

When I talked to the president about this, he keeps saying - and he says this publicly as well - I'm for free trade. It has to be fair. He actually wants these other countries to lower their tariffs to give access to American goods. And by the way, I think the American people are generally behind him on that.

The other thing, I think, big story that's going on with the G7 countries, look, Trump's - one of his themes is America First. A lot of the G7 countries don't like that. But one of the things he can really boast about in this meeting, and I'm sure he will, is guess what country in the world has by far the strongest economy today? The United States.

Just a report came out a couple of days ago that the European Union is growing at 0.5 percentage point. We're growing at 4.5 percent. So, I think he's going to be pretty boastful and say, look, we're doing it right in the United States. You should get behind us.

By the way, I think the NAFTA thing, boy, given how important NAFTA is, not just economically, but to the geo kind of political situation in North America, I sure hope we don't drop out of NAFTA.

It needs to be modernized, but we should not drop out of it.

BROWN: President Macron of France tweeting, saying, look, OK, President Trump, you can be an isolationists. The six of us will reach a deal. Can the US afford to be the odd man out with our allies?

MOORE: Look, the fact of the matter is, the United States is the alpha male in the world economy today. Every nation needs access to -

BROWN: That's the case may be the case today in your view.

MOORE: I think so. But, I mean, look, we have every country - and by the way, Canada is our closest ally by far. I mean, it makes no sense to me to be picking any kind of fight with Canada.

But with these European countries, I think he's going to say, look, look at what we're doing in the United States. We're cutting taxes. We're cutting our regulations. We're growing our economy.

[09:25:02] He said this to the European leaders before. I'm for America First. You should be for your nation first. And by the way, that doesn't mean isolationist. It just means put your own people's interest - your citizens' interest first.

BROWN: And you said he shouldn't be picking a fight with Canada. That's exactly what he seems to be doing this morning on Twitter, calling out Canada for what he says are unfair trade practices.

And then, he said this, Christopher. Looking forward to straightening out our unfair trade deals with the G7 countries. If it doesn't happen, we come out even better. How would the US come out even better?

SANDS: See, I think that's the problem. What Stephen was saying about the great growth in the US just makes NAFTA more tantalizing. Canada sends most of its exports, in excess of 75 percent, to the United States. And it accounts for a little bit more than half of their GDP, trade does.

So, they're very trade dependent. He knows that. Trump knows that. He's pushing very hard. I don't think we're better off with no trade agreement with Canada. I think what we need is a better trade agreement. So, we're going to have to go through the NAFTA negotiation process and have a successful outcome.

And I feel like his threats are going to do no good. And this is one of the things that people easily forget in the US. Canada has domestic politics too.

And Justin Trudeau has an election next year in October of 2019. And he can't afford to look wimpy with Donald Trump yelling at him all the time because then he won't get reelected. He won't be seen as standing up for Canada.

So, one of the reasons he's been tweeting back and standing up this week is he needs to protect his own flank and convince the Canadian people that he's not rolling over to Trump bullying. MOORE: One quick thing, just to add to that. Most Americans think that our number one trading partner is China. But it isn't. Canada and Mexico are by far our biggest.

And this idea of having a North America Free Trade Agreement, which goes back to Ronald Reagan for goodness sakes, has worked well for the continent as we compete against Europe and Asia.

We want the North American continent to be integrated.

BROWN: I want to give the final word to the ambassador quickly. Just the message this is sending with the president leaving the G7 summit early to go meet with a rogue dictator. How do you think our allies will view that and what are the optics there?

WAYNE: Well, I think they're going to say let's try and get our priorities right. First, we've been friends and allies for a long time. We have differences, but let's work this out. And I would include Mexico in that for the same reasons that we just mentioned.

Canada and Mexico are our two largest export markets in the world. They depend on us, but we depend on them.

US farmers depend tremendously on sales to Mexico as well as to Canada. And Mexico has its own presidential elections on July 1st. The Mexican government cannot be seen to take a bad deal.

And the new president, whoever that may be elected, can't be seen to come into a situation where he's yielding not in a win-win-win situation, but in a win-lose situation to the US.

So, from all these perspectives, we have a lot at stake in these discussions.

BROWN: Absolutely.

MOORE: One other quick thing is -

BROWN: Go ahead.

MOORE: China is the country that Trump is really concerned with. And if he wants to pick a fight with China, which I think he has a legitimate beef with China, he has got to have the allies' support.

BROWN: Exactly.

Stephen Moore, Christopher Sands, Ambassador Wayne, thank you all. I do appreciate it.

Well, President Trump says more pardons are coming. And Muhammad Ali just might be next. We'll be right back.