Return to Transcripts main page
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Earnings Raise Ethical Questions; Trump Shows Kim Movie Trailer Showing Booming North Korea; Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro Changes Tune on Canada's P.M.; Over 500 Children Separated from Undocumented Parents at Border. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 12, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The couple's financial filings were just released and they revealed lucrative assets and income earned from investments and family-related businesses. Their empire includes real estate and fashion investments. Add to those the couple earned a combined income of at least $82 million. Ethics watch dogs warn this could raise more questions about conflicts of interest.
Let's start there.
Catherine Rampell is with us, CNN political commentator and "Washington Post," columnist, and Linette Lopez, senior finance correspondent at "Business Insider."
Catherine, this $82 million is coming from Trump International Hotel, severance from the Trump Organization, apartment complexes of Kushner's in New Jersey, all the while they're serving the American people, working in government. Is this a conflict of interest?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. They both -- both of them have enormous stakes in companies that have significant financial ties and as much as President Trump likes to claim that our aluminum imports and our steel imports and auto imports are national security threats, I don't say this lightly but the real national security threats could be these conflicts of interests that Jared and Ivanka have in these companies that have foreign ties. We don't know the extent of the full relationship there. Jared Kushner's father tried to get a significant loan from a Qatari official. When that was turned down, the Trump officials turned against Qatar. There are a lot of cases where we just don't know the whole thing. That's why, traditionally, people with that amount of influence in the White House divest, and these guys didn't.
BALDWIN: I was reading Maggie Haberman, of the "New York Times." She tweeted about this, reminding everyone that Jared and Ivanka often say, well, they've made sacrifices to move to Washington and to work in government. Yet, they're banking --
LINETTE LOPEZ, SENIOR FINANCE CORRESPONDENT, BUSINESS INSIDER: I really favor that word "unpaid." Another case we should bring up is ZTE. Ivanka got a bunch of trademarks in China. Right around the same time that Trump decided he was going to forgive this communications company, not once but twice, the people behind it at the company were actually rewarded by the executives at the company. The U.S. government was ready to punish ZTE for not only this sanctions violation but accusations of spying but Trump put the kibosh on that around the same time that Ivanka got a bunch of patents from the government. It smells weird. The real estate itself is a really shady, opaque kind of business. Ivanka has a long history of working on projects with her dad that have ties to people who are circumspect.
BALDWIN: We'll watch to see if there's fallout at all from this.
I want to talk now just about, of course, as President Trump's been at this historic summit, North Korea, in Singapore, he said that the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments about these retaliatory tariffs were, in a word, "obnoxious."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He gave out a little bit of an obnoxious thing. I actually like Justin. I think he's good. I like him. But he shouldn't have done that. That was a mistake. That's going to cost him a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let me add to that. Trump trade adviser, Peter Navarro, is now walking back his comments. He said there was a special place in hell for the Canadian prime minister, aka, the United States' best friend.
You see the president, Catherine, calling this obnoxious. And Peter Navarro is walking back such mean comments. Where are we?
RAMPELL: It's hard to sort this out. I think there's a little bit of a pot and kettle situation here for the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to be calling another leader obnoxious given that the president is calling names. The Canadians have been quite polite. They pushed back on the fact that we have essentially tried to pick a trade war with them. We have a trade war with them. But they've done so politely, including many of the other advisers in the Canadian government. They gone on TV and said, we are your friends, please treat us like your friends. So --
LOPEZ: It takes a lot of cojones to stand up to the Canadian government.
LOPEZ: He's showing his tough side. Forgiving the Chinese and bullying the Canadians. That's really the Trump I think people expected to vote for. No, I think people expected him to be tougher on our adversaries, not on our allies.
RAMPELL: Not on dictators and -- yes.
LOPEZ: Yes. Yes. Now he's making nice with North Korea and Justin Trudeau and the Canadians who -- in fact, we have the G-7. We invited Canada to the G-7 when it was the G-5. That was our doing. We created that entire group. And now Trump is destroying something that we, the United States, specifically created to control the global economy and we will lose control.
[14:35:04] BALDWIN: And he mentioned adding Russia.
LOPEZ: Mentioned adding Russia, which, by the way, has no business being G anything. Their economy is tiny.
RAMPELL: And also this G group is supposed to be for countries that share our values, our democracies.
LOPEZ: Yes. Yes.
BALDWIN: There you go.
Linette and Catherine, thank you for that.
How about condos on the beach? How about condos on the beach in North Korea? This is all part of President Trump's pitch to Kim Jong-Un in this surreal video that he showed. We have it. We'll play a clip for you.
Also, a public defender in one Texas border town said more than 500 children have been separated from their undocumented parents. Those new details ahead here on CNN.
[14:39:56] BALDWIN: In making this unconventional pitch for peace to North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, instead of political diplomacy, President Trump turned to his background in what else, TV, in media, playing this four-minute, Hollywood-like movie. He played it for Kim on his iPad and then showed it to the media. It features the two leaders as heroes of the movie. The clip features sweeping music and dramatic narration. And to help close the deal, President Trump used his skills as a real-estate developer, making the case that North Korea's beaches would make a great real-estate investment.
First, here's the president, and then a clip of this movie he showed Kim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They're great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean. Right? I said, wow, look at that. Wouldn't that make a great condo? I explained. I said, instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective.
NARRATOR: History is always evolving and there comes a time when only a few are called upon to make a difference. But the question is, what difference will the few make? The past doesn't have to be the future. Out of the darkness can come the light. Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity. Two men, two leaders, one destiny. Can history be changed? Will this leader choose to advance his
country and be part of a new world, be the hero of his people? Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he has never seen? A great life or more isolation?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: With me now, Jean Lee, director of the Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center, and former bureau chief of the Associated Press in North Korea. She's been to these beaches to which the president speaks, which sound lovely. They probably are lovely.
But you were like, there's no way, at least yet.
JEAN LEE, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR KOREAN HITORY AND PUBLIC POLICY, WOODROW WILSON CENTER & FORMER BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS, NORTH KOREA: These are beautiful beaches. We don't have any beaches like that in South Korea. It happens North Korea has the most beautiful white sand, beautiful views, nice rolling waves coming in, but it is absolutely irresponsible to be pitching the idea of developing these beaches at this point. I mean, he mentions the artillery. I mean, these beaches are covered with barbed wire. They're military check points all over the place. I should remind you that just thinking 10 years ago, exactly 10 years ago, we had a South Korean tourist who had visited a similar project at a resort just across the border, he was shot point blank by a North Korean guard for taking a walk. It's a dangerous place. This is a place where you can't go for a walk without permission. So forget about a midnight stroll on the beach, you would be shot dead.
BALDWIN: And the film, what did you think of that?
LEE: I do wish the president would have spent more time preparing for the summit than they spent working on that. But I think it's an interesting way to promote economic prosperity.
BALDWIN: Kim loves all things Hollywood, right? It's this glossy, narrated, edited. He's trying to speak strategically, trying to speak Kim's language, right, look what you can have.
LEE: North Korea does want to build its tourism industry. The Japanese actually looked into developing that east coast as a resort area years ago. But then they -- the nuclear provocations from North Korea compelled them to impose sanctions and put an end to any of those plans. So it not a new idea. Frankly, I would say that the trip that the journalists made to the nuclear site not too long ago when they blew up the test site was partly to show the media what this place was like and how beautiful it was. It also served as a form of advertising. It certainly worked on President Trump.
BALDWIN: Sure, sure. But I think we all saw through it.
But if you played this forward, if they were to try to build hotels and condos, as the president was talking about in North Korea and really build their infrastructure and make money, wouldn't there have to be some sort of cash infusion? Would the U.S. have to help North Korea, ala, the Iran deal? You know how that went. I mean, where is the money supposed to come from?
LEE: Logically speaking, right now, it would be impossible. Remember, we have imposed sanctions on North Korea that make it impossible for us even transfer money into North Korea. If you're a business -- I ran an operation. I had to shut down my bank account in North Korea because it's sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department, which meant we were carrying bags of cash into North Korea. It not a feasible option.
[14:45:14] BALDWIN: But down the road, if we dot all the "I"s and cross all the incredibly important "T"s, and we get there, where would the money come from?
LEE: It would have to come from outside investment. What the president has proposed is that South Korea and Japan pay for this economic development. He's not offered American money so far. And I do think it's so important to recognize that getting to that point where we can encourage and allow investment is a long way off.
BALDWIN: Long, a long road.
LEE: Not only because, in order to lift the sanctions, the government is going to need to see some commitment on the part of North Koreans on denuclearization, but a change in behavior. Until they get that, they're not going to lift the sanctions. Until they lift the sanctions, there's no possibility of investment in North Korea.
BALDWIN: Please come back, Jean Lee. Thank you very much.
LEE: Thank you so much.
BALDWIN: A new outcry about what's happening at the border here in the states. We're now learning more than 500 children in one city in one month were separated from their parents. Critics are putting direct blame on the president.
But first this. A nonprofit in New York City is taking a stand against assaults aimed at transgender people. "Impact Your World" shows how the Anti-violence Project is providing help and hope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been physically attacked. It is a cost for you to be your unapologetic self in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (voice-over): Zakaria Frye, Lisa Mitchell, Carla Patricia Flores, these are just a few of the trans people murdered in 2018. More than one in four trans people have been assaulted because of their identity.
The New York Anti-violence Project is working to help. BEVERLY TILLERY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK ANTI-VIOLENCE PROJECT: AVP coordinates the National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs, which is a network of about 50 organizations to end all forms of violence that impact the LGBTQ community. We support survivors through a 24-hour hotline. Staff and volunteers are available 24 hours who can walk people through immediate safety planning. We have legal services here and individual counseling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a hotline out there.
TILLERY: We do outreach and hold safety night, giving people information about how to prevent incidents of violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started off as a client and I was so empowered by the services they gave me, I wanted to take it around the whole city.
TILLERY: Until people are willing to stand up in some way, then the violent acts will continue.
[14:52:31] BALDWIN: Just in the last couple of weeks, more than 500 immigrant children have been separated from their parents in one U.S. border town with Mexico. This increase is part of the Trump administration's effort to crack down on illegal border crossing by forcing a zero-tolerance prosecution policy. Now every person caught crossing that border illegally faces criminal charges and separation from their children.
Ed Lavandera has been reporting on this. He's live in McAllen, Texas.
Ed, I know we're seeing reports of courtrooms now being flooded with mothers and fathers distraught. Is that accurate?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've seen it here just a few miles away from the border. This is the federal courthouse behind me. What has changed in the last month is, in early May, the Trump administration decided to institute this zero-tolerance policy, that anyone caught crossing the border into the United States would face the federal illegal entry misdemeanor charge. That didn't always happen over the course of the last 20 years for a variety of reasons. Now every single person caught entering the country illegally comes here to this courtroom. Because of that, the fallout from this zero- tolerance policy is that many of these cases families are being separated here at the border. And in some cases, in very dramatic and very inhumane ways as critics have been pointing out to us here over the last few days.
To give you a sense of what has happened, we spoke with a federal public defender, questioned who described before the last month a normal day would be from 20 to 30 different cases that would be seen here in the McAllen courtroom. Those numbers are now closer to 100. There were over 70 brought into this courtroom here for essentially what was a morning session. You see all of these people inside of this courtroom. They all pleaded guilty to the charge because they think that is the quickest way for them to get released. The judge, most of them, by and large sentenced to time served.
So dramatic changes we've seen here over the course of the last months and the repercussions of it just now starting to be felt -- Brooke?
[14:54:42] BALDWIN: Reality changing. Please keep shedding light on these stories.
Ed Lavandera, thank you so much, there in Texas.
Bill Clinton once again in trouble, this time, for new comments about the "Me Too" movement. Why he said norms have changed for what you can do to somebody against his or her will. Let talk about that.
Also, we're going to talk about the hypocrisy of conservatives who are praising President Trump for meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, even though they criticized Obama for even suggesting that he would.
[14:59:44] BALDWIN: Top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
Right now, President Trump is on his way back to the United States after that historic meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un. So the question, what was said behind those closed doors? For now, we take the president's word for it, since there were no official records documented. We know there was an agreement signed by both leaders. But let's be clear, this was simply an agreement to keep working towards what President Trump described as complete denuclearization.