Return to Transcripts main page
FBI Has Publicly Released A Highly Sensitive FISA Requests For The First Time Ever; Trump-Putin Debacle Causing Some Trump Supporters To Have Doubts. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired July 22, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:15] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again. And thanks so much for joining me on this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
The FBI has publicly released a highly sensitive FISA requests for the first time ever. The more than 400-Page surveillance warrant application is on Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page listing him as an agent of foreign power. It is heavily redacted, but lays out why the FBI was allowed to conduct surveillance on Page starting in 2016.
Carter Page, himself, reacting to the release for the first time on CNN this morning.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, STATE N THE UNION: You did advise the Kremlin in 2013 or 2012, somewhere in there?
CARTER PAGE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR: Jake, it is really spun. I mean, I sat in on some meeting meetings, but you know, to call me an adviser I think is way over the top.
TAPPER: Except in the 2013 letter, you wrote that, it says quote "over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser for the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for the presidency G-20 summit next month where energy issues will be prominent on the agenda." That is obvious 2013 that yourself calling yourself an informer adviser to the Kremlin.
PAGE: No. Informal having some conversations with people. I mean, this is really nothing, and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document. You know, Page eight, it says it talks about the disguised propaganda including the planting of false or misleading a articles which is exactly what this is. So that is kind pot calling the kettle black.
TAPPER: So, and it says quote "that the FBI believes Carter Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government." And then it is redact and then says, undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in violation of the U.S. criminal law. It says that the Russians were trying to recruit you. We know you
have said that you went to Russia in the summer of 2016 to deliver a commencement address. Is it not a possibility that the Russians were trying the recruit you even if you did not take the bait. Is that possible? It seems to me like that is their job and you were working for Trump and you had worked in the Kremlin in the past that would a reasonable thing for them to try to do?
PAGE: It is totally unreasonable, Jake. And it actually speaks to another misleading testimony related to the indictments that Eric Holder and Preet Bharara submitted on January 2015 talking about prior case. And you know, a lot that is incorrect spin.
That individual, (INAUDIBLE), a young diplomat in New York, I talked with him about my class. We sat and had coffee one time. I met him at a conference at the society. We met once for coffee. And I gave him some of my class notes, you know, that my students at New York University were looking at. And it was in one ear and out the other. He never asked me to do anything. I mean, it is just so preposterous.
TAPPER: Did anyone at any time, any Russian government official at any time in 2016 talk to you about either lifting the sanctions or compromising material that they claimed to have on Hillary Clinton.
PAGE: On compromising material, not one word. I was hearing about thing when you were hearing about things in the mainstream media. You know look. I mean, when I was there in July of 2016, you know, people -- a few people may have brought it up in passing. But, you know, again, it is a major economic issue. And so, you know, there may have been a loose conversation. I'm very careful in terms, you know, making sure that there is a clear record. There is nothing in terms of any nefarious behavior.
WHITFIELD: All right. So what other details are we learning from this 400-Page newly released FISA warrant?
CNN's crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz joining me now from Washington today.
We are very careful about what is being released in this application.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, they certainly were, and really all that is being released is what is publicly known. There are a couple of things certainly that while may have been publicly known in general, but the characterization in this affidavit by the FBI regarding Carter Page and what he was doing, and what they believed he was doing, and his interactions with the Russians is certainly remarkable. And it does not paint a good picture for Carter Page despite his repeated denials.
And just to go over what some of what the FBI here in this affidavit was saying. You know, they were calling him an agent of a foreign power. They went on the describe how they believed, that is the FBI believed that Page is the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government. And then of course, as they were investigating the Russians for trying to interfere in the election.
And then really one of the most remarkable thing in the affidavit is how they describe Carter Page and how they believe, that is that the FBI believes that the Russian government efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with candidate number one's campaign, and that is the President Donald Trump campaign of course.
And other references in the document to Carter Page, such thing as the fact that they believe that Carter Page was collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.
There is a lot that we don't know, Fred. And is because so much of the information in this document, and in these documents is redacted just clearly blocked out so we can't see what the FBI is referring to.
And of course, you know, when you get past all of the political rhetoric, you know, from the President, from members of Congress, we just don't have a full picture in these papers, in these court documents exactly what intelligence the FBI has. They seem to be referencing other people, perhaps people here in the United States that Carter Page was communicating with, but those names are blacked out there.
There is one other person's name mentioned and we know that person. And that is George Papadopoulos. He is mentioned in these documents very briefly. But a lot of the information after that is blacked out as well.
[16:06:35] WHITFIELD: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, a thank you so much.
All right. Now, let's check in with CNN's Ryan Nobles who is near Trump's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the President is spending the weekend.
So tell us more about why the President is happy with what has been released.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. You know, we should point out that we have not seen President Trump at all this weekend. He has been at the golf course in nearby Bedminster, New Jersey, and has not appeared in public at all. But his twitter feed has been pretty active. And he has tweeted on this particular topic a number of times this morning, four times in fact.
And he is basically making the case that this is the release of this document vindicates his overall belief that the investigation into his campaign ties to Russia are nothing more than a witch hunt. Let me point out one particular tweet.
The President saying quote "congratulations to the judicial watch and Tom Fenton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the department of justice and the FBI misled the courts." Then he goes on call it a witch hunt. He says it is rigged and it a scam.
And Fred, this falls directly in line with the argument that many Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives have been making about this investigation. And in particular, the effort by the department of justice to obtain this surveillance warrant on Carter Page. They believe it is part of an overall conspiracy that was done to specifically undermine the Trump campaign. And one of the reasons they believe that happened is because of how the government relied on this dossier that was compiled by a number of different sources that collected information on Mr. Trump. Much of the information was never completely confirm.
And while the dossier did play a role in the execution of this warrant, it is important to point out though that their interest in Carter Page begins a long before this dossier comes into the picture. They were skeptical and suspicious to his connections to the Russian government and his to President Trump long before the dossier came out.
An you know, there are Republicans who don't agree with this assessment. Among them Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. He was on "STATE OF THE UNION" as well this morning. And he told Jake Tapper that from his review of these documents that the federal government lawyers went through the proper process. They dotted all of the Is and crossed the Ts as they responsibly supposed to. And when they are looking for a warrant like this, and it was correctly obtained.
So, Fred, a lot of disconnects here in the process. But overall, this is still an effort by President Trump to undermine Robert Mueller and the investigation.
WHITFIELD: Ryan Nobles, Thank you so much.
All right. Let's talk more about this. Joining me right now is CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd, Michael Zeldin, CNN legal analyst and a former federal prosecutor, also with me Jay Newton- Small, a contributor for "Time" magazine. Good to see you all.
All right. So Michael, you first. You reaction of these documents redacted or otherwise, and Carter Page's, you know, contention that it is really not show merit for why he was being surveilled.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So we have to understand, Fred, what the standard is for getting a surveillance of an American. And the standard is not probable cause that the person was committing a crime, but rather that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power, and that there was -- he was engaged in clandestine intelligence gathering which may violate U.S. criminal law.
I think that the affidavit really sets forth the basis for meeting that three-part standard of the agent to a foreign government, clandestine gathering of the information and may implicate federal law standards. And that this date back way before the Steele dossier gave added ammunition for the FISA renewal. So I think that the allegations that are in the President's tweet and which form the bays is for Congressman Nunes to release his memo really are undermined substantially by the release of the documents.
[16:10:46] WHITFIELD: And then, Samantha, do you have concerns that we are at this juncture that these documents were released, 400 Pages redacted or otherwise and how it may potentially make it difficult for the FBI, DOJ, intelligence agencies to move forward on other suspicions down the line?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: From a national security perspective, I am deeply concerned that sensitive law enforcement and intelligence investigations and tools which is what the FISA warrant is are playing out the court of public opinion. We are going to spend the next few days, Democrats, Republicans, people in between litigating what this 412 Pages do or do not say.
But we have existing oversight mechanisms to look into whether the FISA warrants were appropriately obtained by the FBI. We have an FBI inspector general. We have a DOJ inspector general. But now because of the congressman Nunes' conspiracy theories which the President support, everybody has an opinion of what is or isn't in these documents. And what this tells the international community is, we don't have faith in our institutions. We don't have faith in the inspector general. And instead we are going to circumvent the process. And by doing so, send a message to potential intelligence source around the world, hey, if a congressman has an itch to scratch, your name could be declassified in a document that get sent around the world. I do not think that is going to help our recruitment going forward.
WHITFIELD: So, Jay, but the President has tweeted out that this is vindication that Congressman Nunes had, you know stood by his memo that says that unnecessarily, you know, Carter Page, you know, was under surveillance. That he would be named a foreign agent, you know. Does this release undermine all of those arguments?
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, Fred, I think that the release actually is very comprehensive and makes it pretty clear that there was other information that led to this FISA warrant that led to the surveillance of Carter Page. It was not just the Steele dossier. It wasn't just politically motivated. And they made their case, not once but three times successively before four different judges, three more times, in front of four different Republican-appointed judges to make this case and say, hey, that there is serious concern here. Serious concern enough that we want to surveil this person. We want to understand what is going on here.
And they did made clear once the Steele dossier was actually incorporate into the FISA documents that a lot of this collection was politically motivated which is another accusations that Nunes have settle. Well, you know, they never informed the judge that this was politically motivated. It actually does make it very clear that this was politically motivated.
And I think so to Sam's point, that his is actually just the beginning. Because what was happened is the reason why this FISA document has been released now versus, you know, never before have we ever seen the release of any FISA documents is because Donald Trump reduced the standard for releasing top secret documents like these in order to be able to release Devin Nunes' memo. So now all of these documents fall under the same sort of standards. And so, moving forward, we are going to see potentially a lot more of these kinds of FISA documents coming out.
WHITFIELD: And then, Michael, that Carter Page has spoken, even though he does not seem to elaborate on much, won't even admit to a lot that is already in, you know, that FISA application, that he is listed as an agent of a foreign power.
Him talking today, did he make matters worse or did he clarify anything in your view?
ZELDIN: Well, I think that there are truths and unknowns, and I think that in this case, the truth is that Carter Page, whenever he opens up his mouth on television does not help himself legally.
And just in the short interview with Jake Tapper, he refused to the acknowledge what he wrote on paper himself that he was an informal adviser to the Kremlin which is the basis in part of a FISA warrant that you are acting as an agent of a foreign power. So he has made an admission, if will against legal interest that interview.
But the one thing I want to say, Fred, as well is that one can't miss the irony of the fact that the FISA warrant process 702 was renewed in January. And Ron Wyden, Senator Wyden in a bipartisan group had I think what was called the USA rights act which is an effort to sort of liberalize in some sense the FISA review process and what could be collected. And of course, that lost by vote of majority of the Republicans who are now complaining about the very process of the lack of transparency in the FISA application process.
So there is so much politics here that it really to Sam's point, really undermines the notion of the functional criminal justice system aided by a functional national security apparatus.
[16:15:47] WHITFIELD: We will leave it there for now.
Michael Zeldin, Jay Newton-Small and Samantha Vinograd, thanks so much.
NEWTON-SMALL: Thanks, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, remember how the director of national intelligence was blindsided by news that the Trump administration had invited Vladimir Putin to the White House? Well, now, it is Dan Coats who is apologizing.
Plus, the President touts his summit with North Korea as one of his biggest successes on the world stage. But a new report alleged that in private the President is frustrated over the lack of progress. So where do things stand with that deal?
[16:20:32] WHITFIELD: President Trump's controversial summit with Vladimir Putin sparked a backlash on Capitol Hill and it is being net with mixed reviews by many voters. A new "Washington Post" poll found that overall, 33 percent of Americans approved of Trump's handling of his meeting with Putin while 50 disapproved. How is this going over with his core voters?
Well, CNN national correspondent Gary Tuchman visited a retirement community in Florida to get their thoughts.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Villages Florida is a possible place for Republicans to retire, making it easy to find people who voted for Donald Trump for President. But for some Trump voters things went south this week especially following President Trump's presentation as he stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
SALLY INVERWISH, THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA RESIDENT: He is an embarrassment to me. And as a Republican, I still feel that, you know, I just wish he would just learn to say things properly and maybe he wouldn't get himself into so much trouble.
TUCHMAN: And this day, hundreds of Republicans in the villages showed up at a forum attended by Florida's candidates for governor which is a good place to ask Trump voters about what happened in Finland.
When Donald Trump said there's blame on the United States as well as Russia, you can blame on this country, does that trouble you?
ASHERA STANTON THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA RESIDENT: It's Donald Trump, you know. You sort of expect that.
TUCHMAN: So does that trouble you? Do you think the United States should be blamed?
STANTON: No, I don't think the United States should be blame.
TUCHMAN: So should Donald Trump should not have said that about his country.
STANTON: He says a lot of stuff he should not say.
TUCHMAN: But then, there are Trump voters like Dick Hoffman.
DICK HOFFMAN, THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I think he is doing a wonderful job. I love the fact that he just plays the press like a strait of Eragos (ph).
TUCHMAN: Voters say the President has nothing to apologize for.
Are you little uncomfortable with how comfortable he was with Vladimir Putin?
HOFFMAN: Didn't bother me a bit.
TUCHMAN: You don't think it is differential --.
HOFFMAN: Because I don't know what went on in their meeting before that.
TUCHMAN: No one does and that is the problem except for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
HOFFMAN: OK. I have faith in him.
TUCHMAN: What Donald Trump said standing next to Vladimir Putin was regarding meddling, Russian meddling. He goes, I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
So what does that mean to you, strong and powerful? What did he say that was so powerful that convinced Donald Trump?
RON NICHOLS, THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA RESIDENT: He is trying (INAUDIBLE).
TUCHMAN: Did it sound a bit creepy for you for Donald Trump to be talking about the Russian leader, strong and powerful. I mean, --.
NICHOLS: I mean, the way you are questioning me with, you are questioning me in a very strong and powerful way. No, I don't see that as a big deal.
TUCHMAN: Many of the Republicans here have been alive for 13 Presidents. They have seen a lot. And to some, while continuing to support their President and their party are a bit wistful.
You were born when FDR was president, you have seen FDR, you have seen Truman, you have seen Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, up until Donald Trump today. You said you love Donald Trump but would you be more comfortable with Reagan or Dwight Eisenhower are President today?
JOHN DEMARAIS, THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA RESIDENT: If Ronald Reagan was to run again, yes.
TUCHMAN: Viewpoints from Republicans in America's largest retirement community.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, the Villages, Florida.
WHITFIELD: All right. I want to take a closer look at some of the poll numbers now.
Nathan Gonzales is a CNN political analyst and editor and publisher of "Inside Election."
Good to see you. All right. So the rest of the "Washington Post" poll seems to reflect what we heard from those Florida Republicans voters. Sixty-six percent of the Republicans said they approve of his performance and while just eight percent of the Democrats said the same thing.
Does the GOP number surprise you given the breadth of the backlash from even many Republicans on the Hill following that summit?
NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Fred, I think the short answer is no. I don't think the numbers are particularly surprising. And I think a couple of those voters at the end that Gary talked to at the end of the piece where emblematic that to the president's loyal supporter s, they have given him the benefit of the doubt above all, above, you know, known adversaries, above friends they have had previously or politicians they may have liked previously. To them, the President can do no wrong.
And so, to me it is surprising that the disapproval was a little bit higher. But to me, what I what I'm going to be looking for over the next couple of days is what do -- what is that disapproval of the Helsinki summit, what it does to his overall job rating? Because there might be some Republicans who didn't, you know, they may even like the President, but they didn't really like how that turned out. But are they going to punish him overall or are say going to say, well, I still think that he is going -- he is moving the country in the right direction on the economy or making other good moves, you know. What does this overall? Because he has been pretty locked nationally. His job approval from 43, 44 or 45. So it will take a few days to see whether that moves the needle very much.
[16:25:18] WHITFIELD: Yes. One has to wonder whether he can gauge, you know, the results of from say this poll and compare to, you know, say his core support. And if he were to run again in 2020, he has already said that he is actually going to do that, you know, if his support does remain solid.
GONZALES: Right. And even before we get to 2020, we have a huge set of elections in 2018. You know, when watching that -- in watching Gary's piece, what was remarkable and I was wondering and what I was thinking in my mind is what are those going to do in the gubernatorial race? Are they -- maybe they dislike what the President is doing, are they going to punish the Republican nominee for governor? Or does one of the most competitive senate races in the country, Democrat Bill Nelson is running for reelection against the outgoing governor Rick Scott, you know, are they going to punish Rick Scott because they don't like the President?
I think that that is the key. The Republicans who don't -- who disapprove of the President, are they going to punish Republicans and the people who -- Republicans who do like the President, are they going to turn out with the President isn't on the ballot?
WHITFIELD: Right. And then, of course, Democrats are going to be looking at all of this and trying to figure out where can they make the most gains in the midterms this year? And will much of it be based on the President's behavior.
GONZALES: Right. I mean, the right now, the President is unifying and energizing the Democratic Party better than any Democrat actually could. And I think that to them the Helsinki thing just, it just more ammunition or more fuel to the fire. I am not sure that there are many Democrats who are on the fence of what they thought about the President. And this pushed them over the edge. But they have to turn all of that energy and the enthusiasm and money, they have to turn it into votes. And whether it is in those statewide races in Florida or there is competitive races in House races, in south Florida, they have to turn it into votes or none of this matters.
WHITFIELD: All right. Nathan Gonzalez, thanks so much.
GONZALES: Thank you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. The President likes to tout his success with getting North Korea to denuclearize, but in the reports say that in private, President Trump is increasingly frustrated over the lack of progress. So what does that mean for the whole notion of North Korea's denuclearization?
[16:30:01] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Paul Manafort is due in court this week. The trial for President Trump's former campaign chairman starts Wednesday. Manafort is facing charges of money laundering, tax fraud, and other crimes, these charges stemming from the investigation launched by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which looked into the Manafort's role in the Trump campaign. CNN Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Paul Manafort will soon emerge from his jail cell to face a judge and jury inside a Virginia courtroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is just one, the primary process with a record number of votes.
SCHNEIDER: The man who served for five months as Donald Trump's campaign chairman now faces 25 criminal charges in 2 separate cases in Virginia and Washington, D.C., amounting to a maximum of 305 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Manafort lost his fight to move this week's trial away from Alexandria, Virginia, which is just across the Potomac from Washington to Roanoke, four hours outside the beltway.
Manafort faces 18 counts of bank and tax fraud in Virginia, where prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team have laid out nearly 500 pieces of evidence they plan to present. They will include pictures of Manafort's five homes spanning from Manhattan to Virginia and other photos documenting his once lavish lifestyle, filled with cars, high end clothing, and even a watch and other items from the self-proclaimed most expensive store in the world, Bijan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump will be officially be the nominee of the Republican Party, so we are excited about that.
SCHNEIDER: Just one month after that announcement, and Donald Trump clinching the Republican nomination, Paul Manafort was forced out. He left the campaign in August 2016 amid questions about his past lobbying work for the pro-Russian and Ukrainian government, and the payments he received.
More than a year later in late October 2017, the Special Counsel's team indicted Manafort, charging him with hiding the money he made in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes, and then lying about his debt to secure new loans. Manafort's lawyers have been fighting the charges for months on two fronts. In addition to the Virginia case, Manafort is charged with seven other counts in Washington, D.C., including failing to register as a foreign agent.
That trial is to set to start in September. In June, the D.C. district judge revoked Manafort's $10 million bail, which included house arrest and sent him to a jail two hours south of Washington. The judge scolded Manafort after prosecutors said he contacted witnesses in this case and asked them to lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no foreign clients left. I have one client, Donald Trump.
SCHNEIDER: The man who arguably ushered Donald Trump to the Republican nomination is now more recognizable for his mug shot. The trial will be the first major spotlight for the Special Counsel's team that has already secured five guilty pleas, including Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
[16:35:00] So far, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has brought 191 criminal charges against 32 people and 3 companies as part of his investigation into the Russian meddling and other matters that arise from that investigation. And Mueller's team is trying to compel five unnamed witnesses to testify in Paul Manafort's trial, offering them immunity from prosecution in exchange.
It will be up to the judge if he decides to force those five to testify. A hearing in Manafort's case that scheduled for Monday, that will determine what evidence will be allowed in, and jury selection is expected to begin on Wednesday, setting up a trial start for the end of the week. Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And we will be right back.
[16:40:00] WHITFIELD: President Trump is apparently frustrated with the lack of progress with North Korea. The Washington Post is reporting that the President has been complaining privately about North Korea's recent behavior, especially in light of his declaration that the threat of nuclear war with North Korea had been eliminated.
With me now is CNN's Global Affairs Correspondent, Elise Labott. So, Elise, in the past few weeks, we have seen several canceled meetings, including one between the Secretary of State and Kim Jong-Un. Is that just kind of the tip of the iceberg of the frustration?
ELISE LABOTT, GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Fred, look. First of all, President Trump is very upset, and we have seen from his tweets about the perception of the lack of progress and the negative progress -- the negative press reports that you have seen about his summit with Kim Jong-Un, and the agreement that followed.
But Fred, it is pretty clear that he has right to be frustrated with the lack of progress. Because you know, six weeks after the summit, the North Koreans really have not taken any steps towards denuclearization agreement that the two leaders agreed to keep talking. The North Koreans have dragged out talks with U.S. as you said.
The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo there earlier this month was expecting to meet with Kim Jong-Un. He did not. The North Koreans stood the U.S. up at this meeting about the return of U.S. service remains. And so this is really typical of the North Korean playbook, Fred. Just keep drawing out the process and try and give as little as possible.
Take a listen to General Vincent Brooks, who is the Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea, who is also the nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to South Korea talking about the fact that diplomacy takes time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our expectations have to be tempered properly. Diplomacy is a process that takes time. It takes engagement. And it is founded on dialogue and then trust. So the great news is dialogue has opened. There is much posturing. There is much sensing. And there has to be sufficient room for our diplomats, especially our Secretary of State, Secretary Pompeo to be able to gain the traction and find the opportunity and be able to maneuver toward the outcomes we all seek.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: Now yes, there is a process going on, Fred. But again, the North Koreans -- this is typical of them to draw this out, give us as little as possible, and try and get as much from the U.S. and the international community. And the President obviously voicing frustration, we understand he has been griping to aides that things have stalled. He wants to see more progress, Fred.
WHITFIELD: And then what do aides or even those in the diplomatic circles you know say except that wasn't this kind of expected leading into it that North Korea not necessarily can always be trusted?
LABOTT: That is right. And you know things people would say it is hung up on what does denuclearization mean. What do the North Koreans want to do in terms of abandoning their nuclear weapons? But I think the real question, Fred, is whether the Koreans have made that what they diplomatic circles a strategic choice.
Have they really decided that their future lies as the U.S. thinks that President Trump says in giving up their nuclear weapons? We really have not seen any evidence of that, nothing to see that North Korean Koreans are serious about abandoning their nuclear program. And I understand that Secretary Pompeo wants to give this another few months to see if there is some more steps taken by the North Koreans.
But he was very clear at the United Nations on Friday, saying that the U.S. pressure campaign and international sanctions will remain until North Koreans starts to make good on some of the pledges that Kim Jong-Un made to the President in Singapore.
WHITFIELD: All right, Elise Labott thanks so much. All right, straight ahead, a new disturbing report revealing that one ride share driver streamed a live video of his passenger's online sometimes revealing personal information. We have details straight ahead.
[16:45:00] WHITFIELD: All right. Tonight, the CNN original series History of Comedy is back with an all new episode. This week, we take a look at how comedy powerhouses from Carol Burnett to Dave Chappelle to Saturday Night Live use improv and sketch comedy to make audiences laugh and to make a point. Here is a sneak peek.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I once took an improv class and I remember a woman in the class coming up to me after and saying hey, you are really good at that. You know. I went, oh, my. I am good at improv. I also hate memorizing lines. And so that combination of not wanting to memorize lines also do improv interested me and that was sort of the beginning of Curb Your Enthusiasm."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The enigma.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus Christ, are you crazy? Out of nowhere, right in my face, pushing me, what is that? That is a violation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what they will usually go away though if just you wave them away. Did you wave her away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sort of, yeah. I often find myself getting a little bit annoyed when people refer to Curb Your Enthusiasm as being partially improvised, but in fact, it's almost all improvised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no script. They stick a label that Larry would say what has to happen in the scene, which was I'm going to show you this wire that has to be dropped down. You're going to say somehow, I can do that if you can get me to meet Julie Louis-Dreyfus.
[16:50:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what I am more than happy to call her up. I can't guarantee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- absolutely guaranteed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't know if it is guaranteed or.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As strange as it sounds, sometimes they do write themselves. And so if you have good, juicy ideas, you don't really need a script. You can just wing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have moved past the tightly scripted comedy. The improv of Curb gives it a rawness and the spontaneity that our audiences are really seeking I think in the comedy they are watching these days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining us now is Kliph Nesteroff. He is a consulting producer on the History of Comedy and the author of the book the Comedians, drunks, thieves, scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, good to see you. I just love in that Curb Your Enthusiasm, you wonder how it is the person on the opposite end does not lose it knowing that everything really comes as a surprise. So, talk to us, Kliph about -- you know the real art to sketch comedy.
You know no real comedy but being able to you know improvise and really extrapolate from you know pop culture and to what is current.
KLIPH NESTEROFF, CONSULTING PRODUCER, HISTORY OF COMEDY: Well, improv and sketch are two different things. But they are completely connected in most ways. For instance, the Second City, which is maybe the most famous sort of outfit for creating improv and sketch comedy throughout history, they improvise on stage first.
And if it works and gets big laughs, then they go back and work on it. Write it down, and maybe turn it into a scripted piece. So that's sort of how things work. You improvise first. You script it second. That's sort of the connection between improv and sketch. But sketch comedy goes back I think a lot further in American history than people realize.
It goes back further than the phrase sketch comedy. The phrase sketch comedy is fairly modern. It came with the television age, but prior to TV, sketch comedy existed on Broadway in New York. And when we think of Broadway, we think of elaborate musicals or we think of you know a serious play, but the sketch comedy in those days was referred to as a revue, and r-e-v-u-e.
Sometimes you see that spelling. That basically meant sketch comedy, monologues, song parodies, and all the big sketch comedians who came to television in the 1950s on the Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle, Colgate Comedy Hour, Martin Lewis. A lot of these bit players that you saw in these sketch shows (Inaudible).
They all started first on Broadway in these Broadway sketch comedy revues. But like I say, the phrase sketch comedy did not yet exist. The phrase improv comedy did not yet exist, although the art forms did exist if that makes sense. WHITFIELD: Well, so how is it all expanded now? I mean have you seen
like a real evolution of both sketch and improv?
NESTEROFF: Well, you know everybody is influenced by what came before. So once it was established, one generation feeds into the next. So if you were to go back and do some etymology or archaeology of comedy, you would find that Monty Python was one of the most influential sketch scripts of all time. When Lauren Michaels created Saturday Night Live, his plan was to create the antithesis of the Red Skelton Show or the antithesis of the Carol Burnett Show.
Those were great sketch comedy shows. But you could watch them with your mom and dad, with your family. They were innocuous. They were apolitical. SNL was the opposite. It was like you had to secretly watch it if you were a teenager, without parents finding out.
NESTEROFF: Political references. Yeah, exactly, exactly late at night, you have this ethos of cool rebellion, whether that's true or not. And Lauren Michaels really based his concept on the Monty Python. He said these guys in the U.K. are doing it correctly. This is what we want to do. We want that do some version. We want to do a new style of comedy.
That being said, there would have been no SNL. There probably would have been no Monty Python, if not for the sketch comedy that was more conservative that came before, like the Carol Burnett Show, like the Red Skelton Show, like the (Inaudible) Show in the U.K.
WHITFIELD: All the best hits, we love them all. Kliph Nesteroff, thank you so much. Appreciate it. And of course, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of History of Comedy airing 10:00 p.m. only on CNN, we will be back.
[16:55:00] WHITFIELD: This week's CNN Hero saw a problem. More than 40 million Americans don't have enough to eat. Yet, as much as 40 percent of food is wasted every year. Check out what Maria Rose Belding decided to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a food pantry in my church that I grew up working in. And you would have way too much of one thing and be in desperate need of a different thing. And inevitably some of it would expire. And I would end up throwing a lot of it away. When I was 14, I realized that doesn't make sense.
The internet was right in front of us. That is such an obvious thing to fix. This is not unclaimed. This has turned green. You would really think that the novelty of it would wear off. It doesn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: To see her simple fix, go to CNNheroes.com. All right, thanks so much for joining me this Sunday. I am Fredricka Whitfield and the news continues right now with Ana Cabrera.