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Powerful Storms Destroy Buildings in Wilkes-Barre, PA; Trump's Legal Team Gearing Up for Potential Showdown with Mueller; Pompeo in Beijing to Brief Chinese Officials on Summit; South Korea Addresses Trump's 'War Games' Announcement; Rosenstein to Brief Trump on Clinton E-mail Report; 2018 Congressional Baseball Team Tonight in D.C. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 14, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: All of us he shouldn't testify unless we want everything we want.
[05:59:38] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump's lawyers plotting their next moves as Michael Cohen splits with his legal team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this looks to me like it's moving in the direction of cooperation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The agreement made very clear that this would be the complete denuclearization.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we understand each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president needs to understand who the threat is and who our friends are.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: What goes on behind commercial breaks.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I can't repeat that to anybody, let alone a public division audience. This is what I came back for?
CAMEROTA: Yes. Welcome back.
BERMAN: It's good to be here. Nothing can keep me away from you.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, June 14, 6 a.m. here in New York. This is our starting line. We do have breaking news overnight.
Powerful storms, including a possible tornado pounding parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In Wilkes-Barre, there are reports of collapsed building, overturned cars, with downed trees and power lines littering the streets. So far as we know, at least six people have been injured. As the sun comes up there, we're getting fresh information, so stand by for that.
In Washington, fresh from the North Korea summit, President Trump now appears to be gearing up for a potential showdown with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN has learned that, as the president was flying back from Singapore, he was working the phones with his lawyers to game out the next steps, including a sit-down with Mueller or the possibility of facing a subpoena.
CAMEROTA: And the highly-anticipated report from the DOJ's inspector general on how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation will be released today. The report could provide President Trump with a fresh line of attack against fired FBI director James Comey and the Justice Department. Or not. We'll know a few hours from now.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continuing his Asia tour, discussing the Singapore summit with allies. He is in Beijing at this hour after meeting with South Korean officials in Seoul where he vowed no sanctions would be lifted on North Korea unless complete denuclearization happens. So a lot to cover.
Let's first start with Polo Sandoval, live in hard-hit Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. What's happening there, Polo?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, two major storm systems sweeping through both Northeast and Central Pennsylvania overnight, as you mentioned a little while ago. Now that the sun is out, a clear picture now of the damage that's left behind, at least here in Wilkes- Barre, Pennsylvania. You can see what is left of a car dealership, also a U-Haul vehicle rental center, that you can see the vehicles from both of those businesses tossed around like toys. Some of these even look like they've been hit by a train.
So not only can you see the damage, you can hear; you can even smell it. Crews right now trying to repair a broken propane line. You can smell some of that gas from our location here.
The question now, what caused all of this? Were they straight-line winds or a possible tornado? That would not be unusual in this particular area. That will be up to the National Weather Service to decide. And when they come out here and look all -- look at all of the damage that's been left behind, there's perhaps some positive news here. At this point, only six minor injuries reported by officials. They expect -- we expect another update in two hours or so.
But again, at this hour, people both in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania waking up to this.
CAMEROTA: Gosh. That destruction behind you is incredible, Polo. Please keep us posted there.
Meanwhile, President Trump preparing for a potential interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN learning the president's legal team is hoping to sit down with the president as soon as this week to get their strategy in motion.
CNN's Abby Phillip is live at the White House with this angle. Abby, what's happening?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn.
President Trump, when he was on his way back from that summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, made a number of phone calls, including about the summit to lawmakers but also to his lawyers to talk about what might be next with the special counsel probe.
Meanwhile, all of this is happening while the president's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, faces some legal battles of his own.
GIULIANI: All of us know he shouldn't testify unless we get everything we want and he wants.
PHILLIP (voice-over): President Trump's legal team gearing up for a potential showdown with special counsel Robert Mueller over whether President Trump will sit down for an interview with investigators.
GIULIANI: We should get it done in the next week or two. Get a decision done. Which means then we go to battling over a subpoena or getting him ready to -- for a small, tailored, limited interview.
PHILLIP: Rudy Giuliani telling CNN that the legal team is eager to get the president's input, now that he's home from Singapore in anticipation of a meeting with the special counsel later this week or next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you changed your mind at all about being willing to sit with Robert Mueller?
TRUMP: I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me.
PHILLIP: This as the president's long-time former lawyer, Michael Cohen, prepares for a potential legal battle of his own. Cohen is at the center of a New York-based criminal investigation into its financial dealings, including a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels on President Trump's behalf just days before the 2016 election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the president still has your back?
PHILLIP: A source tells CNN that Cohen would not be shocked if he was indicted. Cohen has split with his legal team, and a separate source says he spent Wednesday meeting with at least three firms with experience in the Southern District of New York, which is handling the probe.
CNN is told that money is also a big part of Cohen's consideration.
MICHAEL COHEN, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: They say I'm Mr. Trump's bit pull, that I am his -- I'm his right-hand man.
[06:05:05] PHILLIP: The legal shakeup sparking concern that Mr. Trump's fixer could flip on his longtime client, with one Trump ally remarking Cohen is facing the end of a barrel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of talk about you flipping. Any possibility for that now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani insisting that Cohen is not cooperating with investigators.
GIULIANI: I checked into this last night. It's not so. He's not cooperating. Nor do we care, because the president did nothing wrong.
PHILLIP: As recently as Friday, President Trump would not rule out a potential pardon for Cohen.
TRUMP: I haven't even thought about it. I haven't even thought. I haven't thought about any of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you're not ruling it out?
TRUMP: It's far too early to be thinking about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you're not going to rule it out?
TRUMP: They haven't been convicted of anything. There's nothing to pardon.
PHILLIP: Now today is President Trump's birthday, and he has nothing public on his schedule today. But he might be receiving a gift in the form of the long-awaited inspector general report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Abby Phillip at the White House. We'll be watching that very closely.
Happening now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in Beijing after reassuring allies in South Korea about what took place during the Singapore summit. The secretary expected to brief Chinese officials and lay out the next steps for North Korea's denuclearization.
Let's go live to Beijing, CNN's Matt Rivers. The secretary is now there. What do we expect, Matt?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, he's meeting with embassy staff. He's going to have a quick press availability in a few hours, which CNN will attend. He's meeting with the foreign minister of China, and he's got a meeting with Xi Jinping, the president of China before heading back to Washington, D.C. A pretty quick trip here.
But this is a sign that the administration understands the influence that China will have on these nuclear negotiations going forward. Not only over North Korea but apparently over the United States, as well.
CNN reporting a source close to the matter saying that it was Xi Jinping himself who talked to President Trump and over several phone calls pushed the the idea that those military exercises that the president has said the United States will not do, or shouldn't do, that was Xi Jinping's idea. Not a surprise there, given that that's been the public position of the Chinese government for a long time now.
What they might not agree on, though, is sanctions. The Chinese government really only begrudgingly signing onto those sanctions against North Korea in the beginning. All Secretary of State Pompeo is saying is, there will be no sanctions relief until complete denuclearization is verified.
So that's where they might disagree. As if all of that isn't enough, Alisyn, we know that the United States might threaten China, might come down with $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports by the end of the week -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Matt, a lot of news out of Beijing. Thank you for being there for us.
So while in South Korea, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told officials that no sanctions on North Korea will be lifted until complete denuclearization happens. But what about President Trump's announcement that he will end joint military exercises with the South.
CNN's Nic Robertson has that story for us live in Seoul. What have you learned, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, good morning, Alisyn.
A strong pushback from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with journalists on the issue that the joint document that was signed by President Trump and Kim Jong-un only had the word "complete" denuclearization, didn't include the words "verification," didn't include the words "irreversible."
Mike Pompeo saying very clearly that it was understood by all sides that "complete" implicitly meant, therefore, reversible and verifiable and said any thought to the contrary was ludicrous and even insulting.
But on that issue of when sanctions should come off, contrary to what the North Korean people are hearing in their media, that sanctions could come off as a result just of the progress of negotiations and talks, they're mentioned on their side of denuclearization. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being very clear, this administration won't repeat the mistakes of the last administration. Sanctions stay on until there are results.
This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: When we refer to the mistakes of the past, they were providing economic and financial relief before the complete denuclearization had taken place. That is not going to happen. President Trump made that clear not only in his press conference but made it clear when he was with Chairman Kim Jong-un himself. That the sequence will be different this time. That's important. It is central to the understanding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Well, President Moon here in South Korea said that he welcomed the opportunity to get to talk through the details of what had happened in Singapore face-to-face with the secretary of state -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Nic, what about those joint military exercises that were supposed to be scheduled for August? What's the reaction there?
ROBERTSON: Sure, we've heard from both the foreign minister now and we've heard from the president. The president just held a national security council meeting that lasted for about an hour and a half. And the upshot of that, the strongest point to come out of that was on precisely this issue providing South Korea's clarification about these joint military exercises.
[06:10:06] And I'll just read you precisely what President Moon Jae-in said. He said, "If North Korea delivers the steps of denuclearization with genuine intention, and the talks between North Korea and the United States on easing hostilities continues according to the agreement of building mutual trust -- mutual trust agreed on the Panmunjom declaration" -- this was the North-South Korea declaration, the DMZ -- "we need flexibility on the military pressure towards North Korea. And therefore, a careful review will be conducted. The U.S. and South Korea will cooperate on the details on this issue."
So very clearly saying that, if there are steps that President Trump wants to announce that involve South Korea and its military and joint maneuvers with the United States, that's something that he'd like to see come through the South Korean side first -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Nic, what about all of those flattering comments that President Trump used for Kim Jong-un. He's funny. He's smart. He loves his people. How's that playing?
ROBERTSON: You know, in North Korea, you can only imagine it must have gone well. Because in the last hour or so, North Korean state television has been running their video. Remember, Kim Jong-un always travels with his own camera team. And they're always much closer than our camera crews are able to get.
And they chose that moment where President Trump is showing Kim Jong- un The Beast, the presidential limousine. And the North Korean state broadcaster announcer describes it as "a moment of affection and respect from President Trump towards Kim Jong-un."
I think here, South of the border there's a collective gulp, because everyone here knows all too well about those human rights abuses north of the border. But the bottom line in South Korea is they really want these talks to get going.
So they're willing to suspend their concerns about that sort of statement by President Trump to try to move this process forward. But it's something that is a worry here -- Alisyn. CAMEROTA: Really interesting. Nic Robertson, thank you very much for
BERMAN: All right. Huge news. In just a few hours, the Justice Department inspector general set to release a report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. What will it reveal and how will the president react?
[06:16:07] BERMAN: News that will dominate the day or maybe days as soon as it breaks. The Justice Department's inspector general set to release the highly-anticipated report of the FBI's handling on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. Because it goes public, Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein will brief President Trump and members of Congress.
Our Shimon Prokupecz live in Washington, D.C., with the very latest. This will be a big deal over the next several hours, Shimon.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly will. You know, John, when you think about this, for more than a year the inspector general has been probing the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail server investigation.
And in just hours, we will finally get to see the 500-page report. Now CNN is told that the report will show that the FBI's former leadership and the leadership of the Department of Justice, quite frankly, mishandled parts of the investigation.
We're told that the report will be highly critical of the then-FBI director James Comey for holding that press conference, announcing the results of the Clinton e-mail investigation.
Other key parts of the report looked at Comey's decision to tell lawmakers just days before the November election that the FBI had reopened the Clinton investigation. And you will remember that that happened after the FBI found e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop.
Now, the report is also expected to be critical of former attorney general Loretta Lynch. She, as you will recall, had that infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the campaign as the FBI was investigating his wife.
Now, we're told the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, will brief the president sometime this morning and members of Congress will be briefed sometime this afternoon. And then the report will finally be made public.
And John, certainly we should expect allies of Hillary Clinton to seize on some of these findings and ultimately everyone will be watching for how the president, who has been hyper critical of the FBI, the Department of Justice, reacts to this report.
BERMAN: Interesting. This could be something that both President Trump and Hillary Clinton both like. We're running out of things that we could say that about. Have we heard anything from the Justice Department about the report, Shimon?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, so last night the current director of the Department of Justice, the attorney general Jeff Sessions, who himself has taken a lot of jabs from the president, spoke about the anticipated release. He spoke about his support. But critical to all of this, he wanted to address some of the speculation that has surrounded the release of this report. And here's that sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report. It will be released soon. And I think it will help us better fix any problem that we have and reassure the American people that some of the concerns that have been raised are not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: And those concerns currently will be talked about in this report. And recommendations, John, will be made by the inspector general for how to avoid any of the problems that the former FBI director and the Department of Justice are now going to be scrutinized for in this report.
BERMAN: All right. Shimon, thanks very much.
Everyone, brace yourselves. When this breaks this afternoon, it will dominate for some time. Thanks, Shimon.
CAMEROTA: So John, tonight in Washington, Congressman Steve Scalise will return to the diamond for the annual congressional baseball game. It was exactly one year ago today that shots rang out during a practice game. How are lawmakers feeling today?
[06:23:48] CAMEROTA: One year to the day after being shot at a GOP baseball practice, Congressman Steve Scalise will be back on the field tonight for the 2018 congressional baseball game. Republicans and Democrats square off at Nationals Park in Washington. The first pitch is at 7 p.m.
And CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us live from Nationals Park. What an emotional night this will be, Phil.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, no question about it. Look, it was 7:06 a.m. 365 days ago from today when those first shots rang out. It rattled Congress; it rattled the members that were there.
When you talk to them, just the visceral memories of that day, the fear, how they were paralyzed, it's pervasive almost, even one year later. The most interesting element, by far, has been with Steve Scalise.
The third-ranked Republican in the House, his recovery, we obviously all saw him come back to Capitol Hill just a couple of months after that very near-death experience. Now, just 12 hours from now, he's going to return to the baseball field, as well.
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: Oh, there we go, Rodney.
MATTINGLY: Three hundred and sixty-five days later, Steve Scalise is back on a baseball field in a time of heated partisan rhetoric and seemingly intractable political differences, the annual congressional baseball game appears almost trivial. A respite from the divides, yes, but hardly a noteworthy moment beyond the three hours of game night.
[06:25:12] That all changed in one moment one year ago today. A crack in a bat is replaced by the crack of bullets. The bullets that, by all accounts, should have cost Scalise his life.
REP. BRAD WENSTRUP (R), OHIO: I went and pulled down the pant leg to see the wound. I didn't find an exit wound. I knew he was in big trouble, because that meant it went up.
MATTINGLY: In all, five people were wounded by a lone gunman. It's a moment Scalise couldn't fully recall until a few weeks ago, when he returned for the first time to the field where the shooting occurred.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good hit.
MATTINGLY: With the man who helped save his life, Capitol Police Officer David Bailey.
SCALISE: The shooter is just firing away at us, unobstructed right behind the third-base dugout. He runs out to first base. I'm laying on the ground over there. He runs out to first base, starts shooting at the guy. And I mean, he's totally exposed. It was an intense shoot-out. And he was heavily outgunned. Got hit. Crystal got hit. And both of them kept going at it.
MATTINGLY: For the third-ranked member of the House, it was a moment of closure, even if the physical scars are still apparent.
SCALISE: I still need two crutches to really move around. I'm starting to be able to walk without crutches but don't quite have the balance to be able to move at a good pace.
MATTINGLY: But it's a rehab process that of late --
SCALISE: Nice work.
MATTINGLY: -- had one specific goal, getting back to baseball. Something he walked me through while practicing something that was virtually impossible just a few months ago, a game of catch. SCALISE: I can get any ball hit anywhere around me a year ago. And
today the mobility is limited, especially laterally, just moving side to side. I mean, that I couldn't do two months ago.
MATTINGLY: For Scalise's teammates, a recovery of their own.
REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: I really can't speak to how other people are coping with seeing their friends and colleagues shot on a baseball field. It's a unique situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was going to be the pinch-runner.
MATTINGLY: Bringing the team even closer together.
WENSTRUP: Baseball is the only sport where you actually have a play called a sacrifice. And we saw a lot of sacrifice that day by a bunch of individuals and people stepping up to make sure that they were taking care of others.
MATTINGLY: Their goal may be to beat Democrats, but it's now a game with so much more meaning.
SCALISE: We bonded in a way that nobody else has, hopefully nobody else will. Let's make tomorrow about a comeback story.
Let's get in here. On three.
One, two, three, win!
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, Phil, what a day. What an important day here. But there were five people, including Scalise, who were wounded in that shooting. So how is everyone doing? And I mean also, you know, their emotional scars. I've been reading about how long they've carried this PTSD since that day.
MATTINGLY: In talking to members over the course of the last year, how many of them really still live with this on a daily basis. Some staying they still look over their shoulder. They actually had to change the practice field this year to a different field, because a lot of members didn't want to be there.
But you talk about the actual health of the five people, including Scalise, that were shot. One of the best parts of yesterday sitting at practice with the Republican team, just a couple dozen feet away from Steve Scalise, well, David Bailey, his Capitol Police officer, still in his protective team.
Also there at practice, Zack Barth, who was shot in the leg, a staffer. He's now healthy. Throwing batting practice, Matt Mika, lobbyist who a lot of people thought near death when he was shot in the chest last year. Crystal Griner has also recovered. So everybody physically is back on track. Everybody physically is back on the baseball field. And I think you mentioned probably the most important part, Alisyn.
There's still a lot that people need to get over on the emotional side of things. But as Congressman Scalise told me, tonight will be a big part in closing that circle on what has been, I think by some accounts, an awful year, and certainly by a lot of accounts, a year that has brought people a lot closer together.
CAMEROTA: Wow. OK, Phil, we'll be watching, obviously, everything that happens tonight. Thanks so much for previewing it with us.
So ahead on NEW DAY, we will speak with Congressman Mo Brooks, who was there during the baseball practice shooting. We spoke with him a year ago in the moments after it happened. Everyone was so impressed by his demeanor, how collected he was. And so we want to ask him how he's doing a year later.
BERMAN: Remarkable to see Steve Scalise up at bat there.
In the meantime, the Duchess of Sussex, a former proud American, Meghan Markle ditching Prince Harry today.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.
BERMAN: Instead she'll be spending quality time with the queen. Charming. The royal agenda next.