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CNN's Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61; President Trump Suggests Russia Should Be Reinstated to G7; Interview with Rep. Denny Heck (D), Washington; Ex-Senate Aide Arrested, Accused of Lying to FBI in Leak Probe. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired June 8, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:35] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: And we start this Friday morning with breaking news that is incredibly sad and particularly painful for us here at the CNN family.
Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN's "PARTS UNKNOWN" has died. He took his own life at a hotel in France. And that's where he was shooting the latest episode of his award-winning show. Bourdain was an amazingly gifted storyteller, writer, traveler and chef. His death has come as a complete shock to his family, his friends, his fans around the world.
I want to bring in Alex Marquardt for the very latest -- Alex.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Pamela. That's right. This is just stunning news, a terrible shock. He was really a giant, not just for those of us here at CNN, but for really what was a global following. They were drawn in by his storytelling that was really just unlike anyone else out there.
He was distinct in every way. Truly was a unique character with a unique ability to connect and to tell stories that on the surface were about food, but then he very quickly scratched that surface, revealing whole new worlds to his viewers.
Now CNN did put out a statement in the wake of his death this morning, I want to read part of that. It says, "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."
MARQUARDT (voice-over): For Anthony Bourdain, the recipe for understanding people, understanding cultures around the world, and creating a hit TV show couldn't be more straightforward.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, FORMER CNN HOST: We ask very simple questions, what makes you happy, what do you eat, what do you like to cook, and everyone in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers.
MARQUARDT: Bourdain was found dead Friday morning by a friend in a hotel room in France, where he was filming for his award-winning CNN show "PARTS UNKNOWN." The cause of his death was suicide.
BOURDAIN: But I thought I'd start the show by returning to province town, all the way out on the tip of Cape Cod, which is where at age 17 I started washing dishes and started working in the restaurant business, and as a summer job, and began my sort of trajectory in both the restaurant business and into drugs. Somebody who wakes up in the morning and the first order of business is get heroin, I know what that's like.
MARQUARDT: Bourdain started working in kitchens at a young age and would become a celebrity chef, an author, as he made his way into television. The Smithsonian called him the original rock star of the culinary world, Elvis of bad boy chefs. It was his way with words, his irreverence, curiosity, ease and warmth that fueled his massive following.
Bourdain didn't shy away from talking about past demons, heavy drug use that included an addiction to heroin as well as cocaine use. So bad, he said, he should have died in his 20s, but instead lived what he called a charmed life.
BOURDAIN: Massachusetts is quite small town America.
MARQUARDT: He addressed his past head on, while highlighting the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts in an episode of his show.
BOURDAIN: This is what it was supposed to all be about.
MARQUARDT: Bourdain came to CNN in 2013, bringing his show to a global audience. Throughout his TV career, he won award after award. It was the food that lured people in, but viewers knew it was about so much more.
MARQUARDT: Quickly finding themselves immersed in an experience that focused on people, exotic places and faiths from around the world. He insisted he wasn't a journalist, but over the years, forged a unique style of storytelling that was unmatched.
MARQUARDT: And, Pamela, Bourdain was 61 when he died as we've noted. He'd been divorced once, he was currently separated from his current wife and has a preteen daughter who he had said he hoped would never end up with a chef like him. He often reflected on all of the incredible twists and turns that his life took. He said he survived his 20s, he became successful in his 40s and became a father in his 50s. And he once commented on all of that success to an interviewer saying, "I feel like I've stolen a car, a really nice car, I keep looking in the rear view mirror for flashing lights."
Of course, Pamela, our thoughts are with him and his family and everyone out there who loved him -- Pamela.
BROWN: Alex Marquardt, thank you very much. And I want to bring in, a former personal chef to Oprah, to former
Florida Governor Jeb Bush as well, Art Smith.
[10:05:00] I know this is a tough day for you as well. You knew Anthony Bourdain. What do you remember about him the most?
ART SMITH, FORMER CHEF TO OPRAH: What I loved about Anthony is what he brought, the humanity of the world to the viewer and to people. There was not more loving man than Anthony Bourdain. He -- I met him through my work with equality. We were at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival and threw for a big party (INAUDIBLE) social. And Anthony came to show his support. And that's how we met. And I was so incredibly touched that a man of his, you know, strength and power and that would come and be there.
I mean I love the fact that he was -- he walked the walk and talked the talk. He was totally no nonsense. But I love the fact that he would always get the essence of humanity. OK, he was the most fantastic chef. I consider him the Einstein of chefs because he could do anything. He was a fantastic, best-selling writer.
I mean he was just incredible. But what he did to bring the world to the viewer, no one has done so greater than Anthony. And it is so sad. I feel so sad for his family. And Chef Eric Ripert, and it's just truly -- it's a huge loss for the culinary community and for the world because, you know, he brought the world to us.
BROWN: He did. He did. And, you know, his show, "PARTS UNKNOWN," it was the food that may have drawn you in, but the show was about so much more. And this really struck me, he won the Peabody Awards as we know several years ago. And what the judges said, I feel like really sums up what he was able to do. The judges said he's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious, people opened up to him and in doing so often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.
Those words really could not ring more true about Anthony Bourdain, Art.
SMITH: It's true. And, you know, to think that a chef, that a chef, not a trained journalist, but a chef could get -- and you know, from every journalist, it's about getting the nuts of that, the essence of that story and that he was able to get right in there. He may be eating the most interesting things or talking about whatever, but he would just get the essence. And most importantly it was the people that he loved so much. He loved food, but he loved people.
BROWN: And that was so evident, no matter who he was interacting with and he was just so authentic. What an amazing human being, such a loss for everyone around the world, truly.
Art Smith, thank you so much.
SMITH: Thank you.
BROWN: For coming on and sharing your memories of Anthony Bourdain. SMITH: Thank you.
BROWN: And the death of Bourdain 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.
I want to bring in CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
Elizabeth, with this news of Anthony Bourdain taking his life, and, of course, this comes on the heels of Kate Spade, it just shows you that it doesn't discriminate.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't discriminate, Pamela. And you know, I think Alisyn Camerota earlier on our air said something that I think was very touching, and she said, you know, very true, which is that success does not -- it's not a cure for depression or for mental illness. Success is not a vaccine.
And I think, you know, we all need to think about when we look at people and we think they have it all, everything is OK, that's not always the case.
BROWN: And just, you know, it makes you think why, why are suicide rates on the rise as I said from 1999 to 2016, 25 states had increases of more than 30 percent. Why?
COHEN: You know, they're not exactly sure, Pamela. But there is a couple -- there are a couple of things that we know. One, this is -- you said those dates, '99 to 2016. That encompasses the economic downturn of 2008. And so a lot of people, their lives were really affected during that time. And so that may be part of the reason we're seeing the increase.
Also, the opioid epidemic that we're seeing now, that started during that time period. And so those may be two things that are coming into play. There are another factor that we -- that needs to be looked at is the accessibility to firearms. Nearly half of the people in this study who killed themselves, they did so with a firearm. And you know, I've certainly had mental health professionals say to me, you know, many times when people kill themselves, it is this -- this sort of -- this feeling that they have at that moment and there is a gun nearby and they can use it. And if there weren't a gun nearby, perhaps they would still be alive today.
BROWN: And the saddest part, too, Elizabeth, is that that feeling where they feel like this is my only option, it is going to pass. It will pass but so often when you're in that, you don't know it, you don't feel that way.
[10:10:02] And also part of this study coming out from researchers is that half of the people who died did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition. So what are those signs and what should others be looking out for, their family, their friends. COHEN: You know, I think, first of all, I want to -- I'm glad, so
glad that you pointed it out because, you know, online, on our Web site, and all over the Internet is the line for the suicide prevention hotline. And people need to know that they can call that number. And that in that moment, when everything feels so overwhelming, there is someone at the other end of the phone who can help you. And so I think that, you know, as friends, and as family members, we need to know that we need to look out for signs of feeling like there is -- that people sort of talking and feeling like there is no other option. That they have reached the end of the line. A feeling sort of more pessimistic about things than reality would tell us.
But I also think it's important to say that sometimes suicides happen when there is no warning sign. I think Kate Spade's husband talked about this, that they had no idea that that's how she was feeling at that moment. Sometimes even people who are closest to us just don't know.
BROWN: You just don't know the demons that they're dealing with in their heads.
Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much, really important insight reporting there.
And it bears reporting -- repeating, I should say, 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.
[10:15:48] BROWN: Well, right now President Trump is en route to Canada for what will surely be a contentious meeting with our closest allies. But there is someone else he wishes was going to be there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I want to bring in CNN's Boris Sanchez. He's live in Quebec City.
Boris, Russia was kicked out of the once G8, now the G7, for a reason.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Back in 2014, Pamela, Russia was booted from the then G8 for their invasion and annexation of Crimea. Now you have President Trump suggesting that they should be invited back. He also said that he was Russia's worst nightmare, which is a bit tough to believe considering that historically this White House has, for example, lagged when enacting sanctions against Russia that were overwhelmingly passed in Congress and the president has taken let's say a humble tone when it comes to confronting Vladimir Putin on the issue of Russian election meddling.
It will be interesting to see how some of the other G7 members react to this. It has to be music to the ears of Vladimir Putin. Not necessarily the invitation to re-create the G8, but that additional rift between President Trump and the leaders of some of the United States' closest and longest standing allies. Not only has the president been sparring with his Canadian and French counterparts on the issues of trade and tariffs, the Iran nuclear deal, but also the Paris climate accord, and now this overture to Vladimir Putin.
And we should also point out that Russia since 2014 has done very little to atone for their aggressive acts around the world. Notably the poisoning, that chemical attack of an ex-Russian spy in the UK earlier this year. So something to watch for as the president enters these bilateral meetings with Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, and when they take that traditional group photo, it's going to happen about 2:00 Eastern Time, and we will be watching the body language closely because obviously not only 2are there very public rifts between these leaders but in private you can bet that the issue of Russia will come up in discussion, Pamela.
BROWN: Absolutely. If it doesn't happen on Twitter before then.
Boris Sanchez, thank you very much.
Joining me now to discuss, Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, he sits on the House Intel Committee.
Congressman, thank you for coming on.
REP. DENNY HECK (D), WASHINGTON: You're welcome.
BROWN: First question, your reaction to what the president said about bringing Russia back to the negotiating table and turning G7 back to G8?
HECK: Well, a couple of things, Pam. The first of which is he demonstrates yet again seemingly infinite capacity to shock and amaze people. Secondly, you know, if you look back over the last 18 months of his administration, the president has clearly been a whole lot tougher on our traditional friends and allies, whether it is Justin Trudeau and Canada or Theresa May in England or Angela Merkel in Germany or Emmanuel Macron in France than he is on Vladimir Putin.
The truth of the matter is that he has systematically alienated the very foundation of coalition countries that has enabled us to grow global peace and prosperity by and large over the last 70 years. And the problem I have with it is what's the strategy here? It's not clear to me what he sees as the endgame here.
BROWN: Do you see, though, looking at his side, what the benefit could be in having Russia back in the negotiating table for what is viewed as an important summit happening right now in Canada?
HECK: Well, I guess I would quote one of my favorite leaders in all of history, Sir Winston Churchill, who said it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war, and so talking is better than not talking. That said, anybody who has raised children, anybody who has raised children knows you don't reward bad behavior. So until and unless Russia gets to the point where they're willing to cease their bad behavior, whether it's the annexation, which is frankly a clinically sterilized word, means invasion.
[10:20:03] Their invasion of Crimea or their interference in Western democracies, then I see no objective or constructive purpose to be served by rewarding their bad behavior.
BROWN: What do you think is the overall signal being sent here? What's the big picture? The president has been sparring with our U.S. allies over Twitter ahead of the G7 summit. And yet at the same time, he made it very clear he is looking forward to going to Singapore for the North Korea summit. He'll be cutting out of the G7 early to go to Singapore and now he's making this overture to Russia on this. What is the larger signal here, you think?
HECK: There is no larger signal. That was my earlier point, Pam, I was trying to make. There is no strategic framework here. We are basically --
BROWN: But hold on, what do you think our allies think? I'm not talking about strategy, I'm talking about the signal to our allies. What do you think they think?
HECK: Our allies have made pretty clear what they think. Whether it is Prime Minister Abe in Japan who has signaled his concerns about the impending summit in Singapore, or the other G7 nations. They made it pretty clear what they think of this. And it is not much, by the way.
BROWN: All right, and let me just ask you this, because there has been this Twitter back and forth between the president and Macron and Trudeau after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. What do you think of this strategy that the president is employing here? He says he's employing, to level the playing field when it comes to trade?
HECK: So you can't conduct diplomacy by tweet feed and you can't conduct trade policy by tweet feed. I don't believe the president really does have a strategy other than what is it that I can do to dominate the news cycle for the next 24 hours. What is the most outrageous thing I can say. And, of course, he's gone to incredible lengths here including this suggestion this morning that we ought to readmit Russia into the G8, notwithstanding Russia's continuing extremely bad behavior. So I don't believe there is a strategy other than how do I keep myself at the top of the news cycle hour in and hour out.
BROWN: Anything else you want to add, Democratic Congressman Denny Heck, on what we heard from the president this morning ahead of the G7?
HECK: No, I think that if the president were to pick up the phone and call me, however, Pam, what I would say to him is that throughout the nearly 250 years of American history, we have been allowed to grow and to prosper and to create the American dream for a lot of reasons, including the fact that both our northern and our southern border were occupied by countries that we considered not just allies, but friends who largely shared the same values and to alienate those countries is to do so at America's peril. I hope he'll reflect upon that and change his course of action.
BROWN: Congressman Heck, thank you for coming on, sharing your perspective.
HECK: Thank you, Pam.
BROWN: Well, former Senate Intel Committee staffer who had access to top secret information is now accused of leaking that data and then lying about it. We'll be back.
[10:27:28] BROWN: Well, this afternoon, a former Senate Intel Committee staffer accused of repeatedly lying to the FBI is due in federal court in Baltimore. The FBI says James Wolfe lied to agents who were investigating leaks of classified information to reporters. Before he left for Canada this morning, President Trump weighed in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I believe strongly in freedom of the press. I'm a big, big believer in freedom of the press. But I'm also a believer in classified information. Has to remain classified. And that includes Comey and his band of thieves who leaked classified information all over the place. So I'm a very big believer in freedom of the press, but I'm also a believer that you cannot leak classified information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I want to bring in CNN Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider live for us in Baltimore.
So tell us about this case, Jessica. How did Wolfe pop up on the FBI's radar?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, we know that FBI agents, they first contacted James Wolfe in October 2017 and they said to him that they were investigating the leak of classified information.
Now we know that this has been a top priority for the Justice Department, you heard the president talk about it there. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that they will get tough on leakers, so this is how this investigation began.
James Wolfe was the director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, meaning he maintained and safeguarded nonpublic classified sensitive information for the committee and for lawmakers. So the FBI agents first approached him in October, and then it was in December when James Wolfe sat down for a voluntary interview with the FBI. He was presented with a questionnaire, also asked interview questions and at that time, FBI agents asked James Wolfe did you have contact with a number of reporters, and did you disseminate any classified or sensitive information?
James Wolfe filled out the questionnaire saying that he hadn't had any communication with these reporters, saying that he hadn't disseminated this classified information. Well, of course, we know that last night James Wolfe was arrested here in Maryland and he was charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters, and charged with lying about disseminating that nonpublic sensitive information.
So right now we're at federal court in Baltimore, where we expect James Wolfe will appear for his initial appearance at 2:00 p.m. today to face up to those charges. But really, Pamela, this is very significant because this shows that the administration, they will in fact prosecute people associated with leaks. In this case, James Wolfe charged with lying to federal investigators.