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Harley-Davidson Taking Hit in Trump Trade Fight with E.U.; Attorney Rips Prosecutors After Canceling Stormy Daniels Interview; Trump: Deport Immigrants Without Judges or Court Cases; Trump to GOP: Hold Immigration Votes Until after Midterms; Mueller Job Approval Numbers Down as Trump Tweets about Witch Hunt; Trump Slams News Media Reporting of Kim Meeting as Pentagon Fine-Tunes Wish List for North Korea; Fears Grow after Turkey's Erdogan Gains More Power; Kushner Vows to Unveil "Peace Deal of Century" Soon. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 25, 2018 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Richard, this seems like a pretty swift reaction to retaliatory tariffs.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Yes, because the European Union very cleverly knew exactly where to hit the United States. Going for Harley-Davidson, 20 percent tariffs, which means the average tariff on a single motorbike is over $2,000. Harley has a choice here, Wolf. It can either absorb that $2,000 tariff into its profits and cut its margins, or it passes it on to the consumer, which, of course, would mean lower sales, or it makes the bikes somewhere else. And Harley has capacity in Australia, Thailand or Brazil where those bikes would not be subject, so it's moving production there.
There's no immediate loss of jobs, Wolf, because maybe the U.S. plans to produce enough for the U.S. market. But this was inevitable. The E.U. cleverly chose a product that knew it would hit hard right into the political center.
BLITZER: Harley-Davidson -- I was just reading an article on CNN.com -- they stand to lose as much as $100 million this year as a result of these tariffs, the trade war under way right now. It's not just manufacturers like Harley-Davidson, made in Wisconsin, but a lot of agricultural states. They'll be severely in trouble as well.
QUEST: Oh, wherever you look. Let's take, for example, pork, hog producers. They're delighted perhaps there will be some restrictions in terms of products, but hog prices have fallen on the commodity market because of Mexico not buying as much pork from the United States.
Let's look at car manufacturing. Car manufacturers like Daimler Benz, which builds in the United States, but the cars built in the United States are paying more for steel, which is imported. The same cars will be hit by tariffs when they are sent to China because China is now tariffing U.S. exports. And Daimler's cars sent from Europe to the United States will be tariffed. So companies like Harley, which is paying more for steel, like Daimler, which is tariffed, like pork producers in the American Midwest, or soy bean producers. Once you start down this road, Wolf, of tariffing, and the quid pro quo, the tit for tat gets in the way, the big companies get it every which way and backwards.
BLITZER: It's going to be a hidden tax on American consumers across the board because --
BLITZER: -- so much will cost a lot more as a result of all of these tariffs. A serious issue, indeed.
Once again let's look at the Dow now. It's down 355 points. We'll continue to watch the Dow Jones.
Richard, thank you very, very much.
QUEST: Thank you.
BLITZER: Richard Quest, over at the New York Stock Exchange.
More news. We're getting a new video from the Trump administration showing inside these infamous detention centers housing immigrants. We'll show that to you.
Plus, the federal prosecutors cancel their scheduled interview with Stormy Daniels. What's behind the sudden change? We have new information. We'll be right back.
[13:37:41] BLITZER: This just coming in to CNN. The former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is appealing a judge's decision to send him to jail until the trial begins. That, according to new court filing documents today. Earlier this month, the federal judge revoked Manafort's bail after he was accused of contacting witnesses. Manafort is also appealing the judge's decision to dismiss a civil suit and undercutting Special Counsel Robert Mueller's authority.
Other legal news we're following, Stormy Daniels' attorney is ripping into prosecutors for cancelling a scheduled interview that had been planned for today. The meeting was supposed to focus in on a $130,000 hush money payment that Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid to the porn store in exchange for silence of an alleged affair. Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted that prosecutors canceled the meeting because the news media found out about it and saying, quote, "They can't handle a few cameras outside their offices," closed quote. He also questioned how the attorney's office can handle such a high-profile case writing, quote, "This is unheard of. We remain willing to cooperate but something isn't right."
Let's discuss with CNN political analyst, Karoun Demirjian, and CNN legal analyst, Carrie Cordero.
Carrie, the decision by the federal prosecutors, representatives from the U.S. attorney in New York to cancel this scheduled interview, what's your reaction? CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think there's a real question as to whether Michael Avenatti is really working in his client's best interest by probably leaking to the media the existence of the meeting and therefore irritating the prosecutors. If his client has information and she wants to cooperate and the prosecutors want the information from her, prosecutors generally don't like this type of publicity. I can't see how it's in her interests, if they're trying to help the case, to be so public about it. Is there a rule against him doing so? No, not right now. But it just seems counterproductive to me.
BLITZER: Karoun, what do you think?
[13:39:48] KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is the push and pull for this particular character in this whole play, right? It's been as much about how this appeals to public and the public face of Stormy Daniels and the public reaction to that as it has been this court proceeding. It's not a traditional sort of witness. It's not a traditional sort of process, right? But it kind of has to be when push comes to shove and you get into the nitty-gritty of the actual court proceedings, otherwise, there will be pushback from the chambers that are actually running this thing. That has not been the way Daniels and her attorney have been handling this entire affair since the beginning. There's been a large media strategy. And it requires a lot of recalibration on their part if they're now going to leave that door to get into the deeper stages of these court proceedings.
BLITZER: Let's talk about another legal issue, Carrie. The president's tweet over the weekend, he wants to do away with allowing judges or any court proceedings, to prevent the U.S. from immediately deporting refugees or immigrants trying to come into the United States.
CORDERO: Yes, so this is a real problem. Look, the Constitution provides for due process. That includes somebody who comes into the United States. As soon as a migrant and their child come into the United States, if they're coming together, they have constitutional rights. The president may not like that, but that's the system we have.
So I take the president's word at what he tweets out, and so if he's saying that he wants to do away with due process, he's really putting an attack on our constitutional system. It's beyond inappropriate. And it really calls into question whether or not he is adhering to his oath of office if he's saying there shouldn't be due process. He doesn't like the immigration laws. He wants them to change. He can't do it by order alone. He needs Congress to act if they're going to implement more strict immigration rules.
But what's happened at the border is that the policy of family separation is not only immoral, but it has no legal basis to separate children from their parents. And so his call to do away with due process, it's not going to happen. And it's just very unfortunate that he continues to attack these democratic systems.
BLITZER: How was this playing out for him politically? Over the weekend, he tweeted, he thinks this will be good news for Republicans, this whole immigration debate, going into midterms in October.
DEMIRJIAN: You would have to ask other Republicans if they agree because many of them really don't. There's a wing of the party that is as equally indisposed as the president to let anybody in the country. But there are a number of Republicans, members in the GOP that think this is a terrible idea. They think it's a terrible policy. It's going to reflect extremely poorly on them. And they don't agree fundamentally that these are American values, what we should be projecting to the rest of the world about how we treat people who come to the border and try to legally get in. So there's a real split there in the GOP. Certainly, the president thinks this will play well to his base, but the whole GOP is not going to follow in lock step. And this is the problem they have right now on Capitol Hill this week, which is they're going to be tackling another immigration bill, but if that comprehensive bill doesn't get through, which it's unlikely that it will, what does that mean? Will the GOP and Democrats come together to fix this policy or make their opinion known, which would not be where the president is.
BLITZER: Good point.
Carrie, in the last month alone, the president has called Robert Mueller's Russia investigation a witch hunt 25 times in the last month alone. It seems to be having an impact because Robert Mueller's job approval numbers are going down.
CORDERO: I can't imagine that that's based on anybody who understands the history of former Director Mueller, his service to country, and the fact he's conducting this investigation appropriately, timely. He is filling a mandate to investigate the Russian influence on the election and the whole scope of what that entails. The president, a similar type of issue where he wants the investigation to go away, so he continually is using his public forum, his Twitter to communicate that. But the investigation needs to go forward and take its course. We'll see how it turns out when the future indictments, which I would expect on the hacking still needs to come out, there are a lot of different angles of this investigation that still need to be revealed.
[13:44:23] BLITZER: Carrie, Karoun, thank you both very much.
A dramatic search and rescue under way for a teenage soccer teen believed to be trapped in a cave. You'll hear what the crews are up against.
Also, more on the rising breakdown of civility, including the president's new attacks on Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He calls her "Low I.Q." after she tells supporters to confront Trump officials.
BLITZER: The United States saying it will soon ask North Korea for a specific timeline on its commitment to completely denuclearize. A senior U.S. official says the U.S. will soon be able to see if North Korea will operate in good faith on the agreement reached at the historic summit.
President Trump is criticizing, meanwhile, the news coverage in the United States of that meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS HOST & FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: If he doesn't make good on his commitment, what is the U.S. prepared to do?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, we came to a wonderful agreement. It's a shame that the fake news covers it the way they do. It's honestly, it's really -- it's almost treasonous, if you want to know the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:49:57] BLITZER: We have a lot to discuss with Aaron David Miller. He's a CNN global affairs analyst. He's also vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow International Center in Washington.
Almost treasonous the way the news media is covering this. Your reaction?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Bad comment. Harry Truman once quipped, "Richard Nixon may have read the Constitution, but he didn't understand it." I think if Mr. Trump read the Constitution, he would see that Article III, Section III talks about treason as leveeing armies against the United States and aiding and abetting the enemy. He may think it's funny. It's not funny. It suggests that any opponent, any opposition to the president is somehow treasonous, which puts you on a pretty dark path and a very slippery slope.
BLITZER: Which leads me to the re-election of President Erdogan in Turkey right now. Turkey is a NATO ally right now, at least for the time being. This is a big win for him.
MILLER: And likely to remain so. Mr. Erdogan now joins the autocrats club. Mr. Putin, MBS, Mohammad bin Salman, Sisi of Egypt, these are men who do run legal democracies, not even liberal democracies, but electoral dictatorships. And at least the potential is very --
BLITZER: What is the impact on U.S./Turkish relations?
MILLER: Even before this, Wolf, there was a problem. The Turks are reaching out to the Russians, buying Russian military equipment. As a member of NATO, it's become much more complicated. They'll continue to cooperate with un on counterterrorism. I think the path forward for the U.S. and Turkey is going to be an increasingly fraught one.
BLITZER: Jared Kushner, the president's senior advisor and son-in- law, just back from a visit to the Middle East. Met with the Saudis, the Israelis. He went to a whole bunch of countries. Didn't meet with the Palestinians but he did give an interview to the Palestinian newspaper. And he had some specific words. He condemned the refusal by President Mahmoud Abbas with the Palestinian Authority to meet with him. But he was trying to go over Mahmoud Abbas's head. MILLER: Right. I think that approach may be effective, if the Trump
peace initiative is one that meets basic or tries to meet basic Palestinian needs and requirements. I don't think that's going to be the case.
MILLER: As dysfunctional as Abbas is, I think it's going to be very, very difficult to get --
BLITZER: What he's trying to do, Kushner, is bring in moderate Sunni Arab states with U.S., with the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Jordanians, the Egyptians, to work with the Israelis and try to convince the Palestinians to go forward on a two-state solution.
MILLER: I think he's trying, and when this thing is put out, and I think it will be put out -- Jared Kushner told me his father-in-law wants a peace plan, and he's going to put a peace plan on the table. The Arabs will say maybe. The Israelis will say yes. But the Palestinians almost certainly are going to say no. Mr. Trump will say I tried. Palestinians will probably take the hit. And the whole process will be parked through the midterms. I think failing a negotiation, that's the best outcome for this administration from a political point of view.
BLITZER: You're not very hopeful at all --
BLITZER: -- that this peace plan is -- supposedly a 30-page document, will generate some progress?
MILLER: I mean, you know, I'd be the first to break open the champagne. We didn't have much success over the course of the last 20 years. I hope they succeed, but I just don't -- I think Mr. Kushner has got a mission impossible.
BLITZER: The next hour, the president will be receiving Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House. They will have a meeting. I assume they're going to have a little photo op at the top. Jordan is under enormous pressure right now, all the refugees coming in from Syria. What do you anticipate emerges from this meeting between President Trump and King Abdullah?
MILLER: On June 19th, Mr. Kushner saw the king. And on June 21st, the White House denounced that the king was coming to Washington.
MILLER: -- announced. The king is clearly worried, worried about the domestic situation in Jordan, worried about the economy, worried about an influx of refugees from southwest Syria, and worried, I think, by what he believes is in the Trump peace initiative. Remember, this guy has a special role in Jerusalem. And I think he really feels somehow that this initiative is going to undermine, not only his custodianship of the holy places, but if it doesn't make clear that the end goal is a Palestinian state -- a lot of people are going to be looking at Jordan to fill that solution, and that's something that the king clearly wants to avoid.
BLITZER: It seems all these moderate Sunni Arab states, they want Israel alongside a new state of Palestine. Basically, with the pre- '67 lines, some adjustments along those lines, with east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state. That's what King Abdullah clearly wants.
MILLER: Right. If, in fact, Mr. Kushner put that in the plan, he would lose the Israelis. The Israeli government would probably collapse. And he'd gain the Arabs and the Palestinians. Look, this guy has got mission impossible. I mentioned --
BLITZER: Which guy?
MILLER: Kushner. When I met him for the first time, I said, I wish my father-in-law had as much confidence in me as your father-in-law appears to haves in you because he's giving you mission impossible. It's not the guy in the middle, Wolf. That's not the problem here. It's the two guys on either side. Unless the Israelis and Palestinians are willing to make the core decisions, it seems to me, you and I will be having this conversation next year, too.
[13:55:09] BLITZER: Aaron Miller used to serve as Middle East negotiator for many years over various administrations in the State Department.
MILLER: Thanks, Wolf. Thanks.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for joining us.
MILLER: I used to be a lot taller then, too.
BLITZER: Aaron Miller, thanks very much.
Just in, we're getting new video from the Trump administration showing the inside of those infamous detention centers housing immigrants.
Plus, Roseanne speaking out in a new interview. What she now says about that racist tweet, her firing, and why she got so emotional.
[13:59:50] BLITZER: In Thailand, rescue crews are searching for a missing youth soccer team and their coach. They're believed to be trapped in a cave popular with tourists in the northern part of the country. Investigators think the team climbed into the cave through a narrow channel and then rising waters blocked the path, trapped them inside. The 12 teenagers and their coach have been missing since Saturday afternoon when a park officer noticed abandoned bikes near the cave entrance. That's it for me.