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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  May 31, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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there are so, so many others we wanted to profile. these are exceptional students giving us all a refresher course on what perseverance can achieve. i'm brooke baldwin. have wonderful weekends. let's go to washington. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. now gauc is really going to be extra. "the lead" starts right now. casualties of the trade war. the dow tanking and everything from your next car to your next beer could feel the costs of president trump's newest trade move against mexico to protest that government's inaction on stopping migrants coming from central america. a kim killing spree? a new report says that kim jong-un is executing and imprisoning top diplomatic officials after the hanoi summit went bust. but if kim shoots someone in the middle of pyongyang, will anyone from president trump's base care? plus, keep away. joe biden steering clear of a
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weekend showdown of the democratic candidates in the biggest super tuesday state. is biden using his thinking cap or kid gloves? welcome to t"the lead." i'm jake tapper. we start today with our money lead. and president trump who could be sabotaging two of his top priorities. the thriving u.s. economy and a replacement for nafta. he's doing this to try to force mexico to help with one of his other top priorities, stopping illegal immigration. the president now threatening to punish mexico with higher and higher tariffs on every single product that comes across the border until, quote, such time as illegal migrants coming through mexico and into our country stop. the tariff will gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied, unquote. investors nervous and the dow taking a hit today over the president's tariff threats, closing down more than 350 points just moments ago. and the president's plan quickly
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drawing backlash from even some of the president's closest allies in congress, whose votes the president will need to pass his new trade deal with mexico and canada. but this exposes a rift with the trade representative warning against this move. though other more hardline advisers like stephen miller and peter navarro are completely onboard. >> this is actually a brilliant move by the president to get mexico's attention, to get them to help us. so far, they've just been standing by and they really have the power to -- the two institutions that have the power to help us are the mexican government and the congress. congress has done nothing. the mexican government can really help us here. that's what we're asking them to do. >> cnn white house correspondent kaitlan collins now joins me. and kaitlan, why now? why impose these tariffs now? illegal immigration has been a problem for quite some time. >> that's the question that allies of this administration are having, because they say that this is going to potentially derail that new
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trade deal. but the president had been frustrated over the border crossing numbers and they've been at an all-time high lately and the white house argues that there is this crisis happening on the border. but we know this rollout was hastily arranged. they made the final decision to go through with this after going over it for several days. but on a call yesterday at the white house, i'm told, they made the decision to roll it out last night, because they didn't want the details of this to leak to reporters. so instead of having this well-prepared rollout that some people think they should have waited for, they went ahead and published it. now, there are questions, of course, because they're getting an ear full from republican lawmakers about this, saying, this isn't the right move to make going forward, but the question is whether the president is going to back down in light of those concern from lawmakers and right now it doesn't look like he is. >> and right now somewhat discordantly, this is all going to hurt negotiations with congress over this new trade deal with mexico and canada. the replacement for nafta. how -- the uscmca.
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how much danger is his deal on capitol hill? >> it was already facing hurdles and now it's even in more danger. robert ligand nancy pelosi will the one in charge of bringing this trade deal to the floor for a vote. and she did not get a heads up from the white house about this deal. that's the question going forward. not only was there internal divide in the white house over whether to move forward with this, but now the question is, what does this do with the relationship with mexico? and we do know that jared kushner has spoken with the mexican foreign minister, but the latest we've heard from the white house is that president trump and can the president of mexico have not discussed this since the president announced it last night. >> let's broaden the conversation with the rest of the folks at the table. toluse, let me start with you. the president's advisers are clearly split on the plan. and one of his top allies in congress, senator chuck grassley said, trade policy and border security are separate issues. this is a misuse of presidential
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tariff authority and counter to congressional intent. i support nearly every one of president trump's immigration policies, but this is not one of them. but is there any real risk that republicans on capitol hill will do anything other than issue statements like this? >> there's not much risk that you'll see much action from republicans in congress. and in fact, grassley was sort of the exception to the rule. most republicans largely stayed silent. you didn't see have many coming out to support this, but didn't hear a lot of opposition from republican lawmakers, even though behind the scenes they are speaking out against this, talking amongst themselves, deciding whether or not there's something they could do about this. but look at what the president has done over the past year, everything from family separations, from shutting down the government, from threatening to shut down the border, the declaration of a national emergency, republicans have largely stuck with the president. he's lost a few here and there. but for the most part, they have supported him. and -- or they've bitten their tongues and not said anything. and i think that will be the case here, as well. >> are you surprised? because there are a lot of
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republicans who really oppose tariffs, especially with mexico, cornyn and cruz, i haven't seen anything from them. maybe they've issued something, but i haven't seen anything. theoretically, they would oppose this. the senators from arizona, other republicans from that part of the country. are you surprised? >> listen, i've heard the president talk about this, right, in the past. and his level of frustration is at an all-time high, obviously, on this, and i believe that he thinks that he is, in his heart, doing the exact right thing here. unlike china, mexico really can't punch back on this, right? in terms of, china now says, hey, maybe we'll not share earth minerals with you, maybe we'll do this. the balance here is mexico has been sitting on their hands, doing nothing. as you heard peter navarro say in the clip leading into this, there are two folks that can help in this, two different institutions. the congress and the mexican government has done nothing to date. this is the president's attempt to try to squeeze the mexican government. these tariffs only go into
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effect gradually. june 10th and gradually. so there's a lead up to perhaps the mexican government might wake up and say, we're going to negotiate with you and try to do something. >> and there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. let's show the pictures, these images that we got of showing dangerous overcrowding at one of the border patrol centers in el paso, texas. they found the center which can hold up to 125 people holding 900 people earlier this month. so robby, the question would be, the devil's advocate question, why not try something? these, literally, thousands of migrants are crossing mexico and mexico's letting it happen. because they're ultimately -- they're ultimately going to go into the united states. >> well, first of all, the -- you know, the administration had faced this before when obama was president. and what they did is they went to the root of the problem, which is violence in central america and really tried to fix that problem rather than just a bunch of bluster at mexico. the other thing to remember here -- >> how'd that work?
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>> it actually worked. and the numbers went down. and these tariffs are on american importers of goods. this is a tax on the american people. so it doesn't actually make sense, logically. i think sadly, because of the messed up politics of the republican base, this is a very powerful message. so that's why the president's doing this. people think this is a way to create jobs by stopping people at the border, which nobody's ever proven that. i do think, though, you brought up the most important issue, which is this president has really bet a lot on this new trade deal. he has to have democrats to help him with that. why would any democrat want to do anything to help the president's trade policy at this point? because if you wake -- you just don't know what's going to happen. you might wake up tomorrow and he's put new tariffs in after you've given him political equity to pass a trade bill. i think this is really dumb in terms of getting that passed and it's bad policy. >> light hausser felt like he
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was making progress, even though it seemed doomed from the start. he thought he was making progress before this happened. that's why you saw him trying to get the president not to do this. whether or not this even happens is still an open question. because some inside the white house don't know if they have the legal authority for this to happen. they fear it will get tied up in the courts before it happens. or because the white house has not set a specific number, they're thinking the president could say, hey, they're apprehending more people, so we're not going to go through with these tariffs. >> mexico sells $240 billion in goods to the united states and the tariffs will very likely be passed on to you, the consumer. cnn's tom foreman explains how prices could rise for you on everything from cars to groceries to even iphones. >> reporter: more than a third of all vegetables bought in the u.s., wine, beer, and snack foods, too. more than a third of all televisions, nearly half of all air-conditioners, machinery, medical tools, and much more.
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americans buy so much from mexico, economists are warning a new tariff on mexican goods could hit very hard. especially when it comes to cars. every u.s. auto plant uses parts from mexico, which is the largest foreign supplier. almost $60 billion worth of parts were imported from mexico last year alone. and while automakers have supported trump's efforts to rewrite the north american free trade agreement, nafta, an industry group says the imposition of tariffs against mexico will undermine its positive impact and would impose significant cost on the u.s. auto industry. the u.s. chamber of commerce is calling trump's proposed tariff a tax, plain and simple. >> so at 5%, that's $17 billion in additional taxes on american consumers and businesses. >> reporter: the president's defenders say, no, way. his use of tariffs is a powerful tool to force other nations to
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trade more fairly and consumers will not be squeezed. >> the government of china and mexico will pay for it and the producers in mexico and china pay for this. >> reporter: but china already feeling the heat of trump's trade policies is currently threatening to hit back by restricting exports of rare natural minerals mined there. metals critical to high-tech and manufacturing companies in the u.s. such a move could drive up the cost of electric cars, cell phones, and other products paid for once again by american consumers. so what might this actually cost you? well, it could very well be more than just a few cents for a piece of fruit. one analyst says, if it reaches the highest threatened level here, a 25% tariff on mexican goods, that could mean the cost of a new car would rise, on average, 1,300. so, jake, as they say, how do
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you like them apples? >> all right. tom foreman, thanks so much. up next, the bill barr interview that proved with every answer that he is the attorney general that president trump always wanted. and then, the deadly fallout of trump's summit with the north korean dictator including, we're told, firing squads and labor camps. stay with us.
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welcome back. in politics now, president trump finally has the attorney general he's always wanted. bill barr today in a new interview going on the offensive, saying he disagreed
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with the special counsel's case for obstruction of justice and suggesting it's the democrats who are shredding political institutions by attacking president trump. as cnn's pamela brown now reports, barr continues to claim that the opening of the russia investigation may have crossed a red line, though barr also continues to refuse to say what that was. >> they are common refrains from president trump. >> our justice department and our fbi have to start doing their job. i guess you could say they're dirty cops. >> reporter: courts seem to be so political. >> reporter: but in a new interview with cbs news, attorney general william barr defended the president's attacks on government institutions. >> i think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it's president trump that's shredding our institutions. i really see no evidence of that. >> reporter: adding, it's the people he believes are trying to take down trump who are to blame.
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>> really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president. that's where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring. >> reporter: and while trump has tweeted his opinion of the justice department many times, barr says if the president has something to say, he would say it to him directly. >> i don't look to tweets for -- i don't look at them as directives or as official communications with the department. >> reporter: the interview coming in the wake of special counsel robert mueller's public statement on his investigation into russian interference of the 2016 election. >> if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. >> reporter: mueller did not clear trump of obstructing justice in his report, saying he could not charge a president due to justice department regulations. today, barr argued mueller could have reached a conclusion. >> both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction. >> as a matter of law. >> as a matter of law. in other words, we didn't agree
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with the legal analysis. a lot of the legal analysis in the report. it did not reflect the views of the department. it was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers. >> reporter: a possible shot at mueller who made clear wednesday -- >> we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. >> reporter: barr also ratcheted up his criticism of the origins of the russia investigation, which he is currently reviewing. >> i just think it has to be carefully looked at. because the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an american political campaign, to me, is unprecedented. and it's a serious red line that's been crossed. >> white house officials say they are pleased with attorney general bill barr's recent interview. they are supportive of him doing as many interviews as he wants to. they say, now, on whether it's appropriate for the attorney general to be criticizing the origins of the russia probe before that investigation is
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complete, a white house official pointed to the appointment of a u.s. attorney to investigate the matter as proof barr likely has concerning information to justify such a move. but jake, it's still unclear what exactly that might be. >> pamela brown, thanks so much. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> and we have breaking news in our politics lead now. we just got our hands on the transcript of a very important voice mail. it is a message from president trump's personal lawyer left for former national security adviser michael flynn's lawyer, and it backs up what michael flynn told special counsel robert mueller, that members of the trump team might have been trying to influence him in his testimony. i want to bring in cnn's shimon prokupecz. and shimon, what does the voice mail from the president's lawyer say? >> that's right, jake. this voice mail transcript of what we have just gotten from the court was just released moments ago. and as you said, you'll recall that this was a voice message that was sent to michael flynn's
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attorney. that attorney and michael flynn turned it over to the special counsel's office, because there was some concern that perhaps people inside the trump administration, perhaps even his own lawyer, the president's own lawyer, john dowd, was somehow trying to influence michael flynn's cooperation. and let me go ahead and just read this. it's a pretty lengthy voice mail. i'm going to go ahead and just read it to you. it starts out with a call from john dowd to ron kellner, who was michael flynn's lawyer at the time. he says, hey, rob, this is john again. maybe i'm sympathetic. i understand your situation, but let me see if i can't state it in starker terms. if you have, and it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with and i'll work with the government. i understand what you can't join the defense. so that's one thing. if, on the other hand, we have there's information that implicates the president, then we've got a national security issue or maybe a national security issue. i don't know.
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some issue -- we got to -- we got to deal with not only for the president but for the country. so you know, then, you know we need some kind of heads up. um, just for the sake of protecting all of our interests, if we can, without you having to give up any confidential information. and if it's former, then you know, remember, what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward flynn and that still remains. but -- well, in any event, um, let me know and i appreciate your listening and take the time. thank thanks, pal. john dowd says to michael flynn's attorney. the key part here is where we says, talks about the president's feelings concerning michael flynn. that is where president trump there was some concern on the part of michael flynn's attorneys that maybe the president was trying to influence his cooperation with the special counsel's office. >> the idea that it's a phone
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call in which flynn's cooperation with the government is being discussed and the president having positive feelings about michael flynn being discussed, the idea being that somehow there's a suggestion by mr. dowd, the president's attorney at the time, don't say anything about the president, he wants to pardon you. i'm sorry, john dowd. that's the implication. >> right, there you see john dowd on the screen here. that's exactly the implication here, jake. the mere fact that they're saying, hey, listen, you know what, the president still views michael flynn favorably. maybe in the end, you can see some inferences here. you can see where folks would think, maybe they are trying to influence michael flynn here. if the president is saying, hey, i still think very highly of michael flynn, i'll take care of him. of course, time and time again throughout the investigation, we had heard these kind of contacts between people associated with the president and those who were cooperating with the investigation, where the president wanted folks to know, hey, i still think very highly of you. i'm still going to take care of you. do the right thing in the end.
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and perhaps this was the message that the -- that john dowd, the president's lawyer was trying to send michael flynn. >> all right. shimon prokupecz, thanks so much. let's talk about this. kaitlan collins? >> so here's what mueller wrote about this in this report. we knew there was a voice mail, we knew it was from a lawyer, we weren't sure who, but it's john dowd. and they essentially determined this voice mail could have obstructed the investigation. but what they didn't know is whether or not the president himself had prompted that phone call. had told john dowd to make that phone call. so in his report, and i'll be brief, that mueller reports that the sequence of events could have had the potential to affect flynn's ability to cooperate, but because of privilege issues, we could not determine whether the president was personally involved or knew about the specific message that john dowd delivered to mike flynn's lawyers. so that's the question here. they don't know. and that's something they didn't get, because they didn't talk to the president himself. >> you disagree? >> yeah, i mean, i just read it. john dowd is the president's lawyer. he's saying, hey, listen, if you
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guys are going to cut a deal, you can't be a part of our joint defense pact. we need to know that. if you have stuff that implicates the president, i understand that, it's a national security issue, you've got to move on. i would encourage everybody in america to go read it and it read it for themselves. there is nothing here that says if you do something or don't do something, you're going to be pardoned. >> i think he's asking them what he told the special counsel. >> he said, i understand you might not be able to tell me anything because of confident l confidentiali confidentiality. >> he does say, if there's information that implicates the president, we have a national security issue, so we've got to deal with that. >> just like a heads up. >> we would like a heads up. >> whatever you can say -- >> i'm a lawyer. i used the practice the law. counsel talked to one another during a case, to determine what they can and how they cannot -- how they can proceed. this is two lawyers talking about very, very -- >> robby, you're shaking your head? >> but they sound like mob lawyers. remember how we feel --
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>> john dowd would take great umbrage with you calling him a mob lawyer. >> the quote exactly without the accent is, remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings towards flynn. >> the president likes michael flynn. >> sounds like a mob lawyer to me. >> let's let robby finish. >> look, there is so much smoke at this point, like, we're all choking. and the problem that we're having here is that the guy who's an expert on all of this, bob mueller, is going forward and is speaking in subtleties and being quite vague about what's going on. i heard him say, the president committed crimes, but i didn't say that. if i knew he hadn't, i would have said so. at some point, this has got to break, because the problem we're having is a bunch of people are lying, okay? and the people who know the truth aren't just putting it all out there. and that's why i think mueller has got to get on the hill, he's
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got to testify and got to answer questions beyond what's in the written print. >> i do agree with the idea that this is going to cause democrats to want even more so than before, mueller to testify and to testify publicly. >> yeah, if you look at this within the context of the entire mueller report, there are other instances in which mueller said that president trump or his lawyers dangled pardons or said to michael cohen, for instance, before he started cooperating with the government, the president has fond feelings towards you. and after he started cooperating with the government, the emotions sort of change and it became much more acrimonious towards michael cohen. so i think there's a sense from democrats that they need to find out more about what the president was doing, whether or not he was trying to influence the investigation. you remember, there was this scene where president trump let everyone get out of the oval office and then talked to james comey and said, i hope you can let flynn go. that was another episode where bob mueller said, this could be obstruction of justice. >> but bar disagrees. >> two people were in that room. jim comey and the president of the united states.
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and you know, jim comey -- i'll push back on this, all right? because jim comey, time and time again, jim comey is the defender of democracy and freedom here. jim comey under oath before dianne feinstein, when she said, why didn't you come to us and tell us this, that you thought the president was obstructing justice, and he said, i guess i just lacked the fortitude to do so. jim comey could have gone that very first time. instead, he went back eight times. he would have gone to the hill. he had dianne feinstein and many other members of congress would have backed him up. >> let's talk about the fact that there is this different interpretation of these instances, because bill barr in his remarks to jan crawford at cbs makes it clear that while mueller laid out a case of ten or so potential acts of obstruction of justice, he didn't label them as such and say he would indict, but it seems very much that he thinks they might be. barr disagrees. this is what he said to cbs. >> many of the instances would not amount to obstruction. we didn't agree with the legal
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analysis. a lot of the legal analysis in the report. it did not reflect the views of the department. it was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers. >> now, mueller would disagree with that last report, because mueller made it clear that the report is. even though he had a team under his, that he signed his name to it, it's his testimony. so he wouldn't say, oh, it's just lawyer or lawyers. and that's a little bit of barr saying that as one of the reasons why trump likes him so much. >> and it's mueller's team and he defended that report pretty strongly when he came out to the podium for the first time in two years that we've seen him. but you see barr taking umbrage with the special counsel's team, especially when there was the letter about how barr was handling the release of the or the and what had been put out there. you're continuing to see that, but you're seeing him say, he disagreed with the legal analysis that was in the special counsel's report. that's not what we first heard from bill barr when he first came out, after the special counsel's investigation was ended. so you're seeing him fill out his thoughts a little bit more. >> and i'll tell you this, bob
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barr -- >> bill barr. >> bob mueller. -- too many actors. but mueller goes up before subpoenaed or not subpoenaed, he's going to say, read the report. >> read the report. >> but this is the problem here. this is my problem. you have an activist attorney general who's going out and actively spinning the american people. and i would argue, told lies in his first press conference. and you have the person who knows the truth. the taxpayer-funded expert on what has gone on and he won't talk. and this is what -- we wonder why we can't seem to get resolution. because the people with the facts are leaving a void -- >> he wrote a 400-page report. he did talk. >> everyone, stick around. president trump walked away from that summit with kim jong-un in hanoi. now there's a report that some of the top north korean negotiators have been either executed or jailed by the kim regime. the secretary of state's response, next.
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welcome back. dead or alive. a diplomatic source telling cnn it's clear the top north korean officials involved in the failed february summit with president trump in hanoi have disappered, but it is not yet known whether they were executed or imprisoned by kim jong-un as reported in a south korean newspaper. as cnn's michelle kosinski now reports, one of the north koreans who has gone missing met with president trump in d.c. last year. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo traveling in europe today had very little to say on
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the explosive reporting out of south korea that five of north korea's negotiators with the united states have now been executed following the failed hanoi summit with president trump back in february. >> we're going our best to check it out. i don't have anything else to add to that today. >> reporter: according to a newspaper citing an unnamed north korean source, the north korean envoy to u.s. negotiations was executed in an airfield, along with four other working level diplomats. the newspaper says they were charged with being recruited by american imperialists and betraying the supreme leader. pompeo's counterpart, the former spy chief, tough negotiator, kim yong-chol, seen here in the united states office with president trump and kim hyok
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chol was reportedly sent to a labor camp. reports of executions have been inaccurate. but pompeo was asked about it on abc. >> it does appear that the next time we have serious conversations that my counterpart will be someone else. >> reporter: one senior diplomatic source familiar with u.s./north korea negotiations says the two top officials, at least, have certainly disappeared. but there's not any independent intelligence or information at this point on what exactly has happened to them. the white house saying only this. >> i am not going to comment on intelligence one way or another. i can tell you, whooe're monitog the situation and continuing to stay focused on our ultimae goal, this is denuclearization. >> reporter: but executions are part of leader kim jong-un's style. human rights advocates have reported witnesses say he's had people killed by flame thrower, wild dogs, and shredded with powerful anti-aircraft guns. the u.s. believes kim murdered his own uncle and his half
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brother. one senior diplomatic source tells us that kim jong-un did seem to be flustered and furious with his own team after hanoi fell apart. even though there was no guarantee there was going to be any deal there. remember, going into this summit, there was not even any agreed upon definition of denuclearization. jake? >> high stakes. michelle kosinski at the state department, thanks so much. more than a dozen 2020 candidates are going west to senator kamala harris' own backyard, but there is one key name missing from the list. who is it? stay with us. ttery sound. do you want a charge? yeah battery charging. ♪ ♪ thank you so much. battery charging. ♪
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in our 2020 lead today, the motto for 2020 democratic
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candidates this weekend might be west coast/best coast ever since california moved up its primary date, the state holds much more potential influence. cnn's kyung lah explains it's why 15 potential democratic candidates are hitting the campaign trail hard this weekend. >> reporter: democrats, go west. the largest group of presidential hopefuls this cycle, 15 of them, descending on california all at once. >> it looks like pasadena is ready for a political revolution. >> reporter: senator bernie sanders already in the state rallied in pasadena. he and the other candidates will be at the california state democratic convention this weekend. california's move up the primary calendar to super tuesday could give the state new heft in determining the nominee. why you hear california senator kamala harris. >> oh, it's good to be home!
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>> reporter: play up the home turf advantage. harris rolled out 33 state legislative endorsements, more than half the democratic assembly caucus. one of them is assembly woman buffy wix, who helped organize the winning campaigns of obama and clinton in the state. >> it's not just an atm anymore. it does serve a broader purpose. it is a delegate-rich state that will have a big impact on the outcome of who becomes the nominee. >> reporter: but wix and the harris camp say they're not taking home field advantage for granted. pete buttigieg, elizabeth warren, beto o'rourke, joe biden have all been campaigning in the state. but the field's front-runner isn't heading to crowded california this weekend. biden will be in ohio instead, staking his own lane. >> now please welcome, senator michael bennet. >> biden's more pragmatic path is one that bennett aimed to bite into at the cnn town hall,
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swiping a bernie sanders medicare for all plan. >> now bernie is proposing that if you like your insurance, we're going to take it away from you, from 180 million people who get it from their employer, 80% of whom say they like it. >> reporter: now, as these democrats start to descend on san francisco, one democrat already getting her message out. this is a billboard that elizabeth warren has put up in san francisco. and it says, break up big tech. a reminder, i'm in san francisco, a lot of the offices of big tech are just down the street. it also is strategically poised to be right across from the bus terminal that a lot of tech companies used to commute down to silicon valley. so, jake, the convention starts in heft tomorrow. >> all right, kyung lah in san francisco. thanks so much. i want to start with some reporting from cnn's k-file team. president trump has been in recent days quite critical of former vice president biden for steering the 1994 crime bill to make it become law. however, in trump's book from the year 2000, t"the america we
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deserve," the now president took positions snoo s that supportedr measures. he wrote, quote, a government study of crime in america warns that when the population of adolescent males rises next century, we'll have wolf packs roaming the streets and not only downtown if these kids are anything like those who terrorized urban america in recent years, we're in for a very bad time. toluse, let me start with you. can president trump really attack biden on this issue with any credibility? >> he's going to try to. i think it's a big part of the president's strategy going into 2020, is to find issues where democrats have some dissension, where there's some differences between the candidates and really dig in and try to sort of throw bombs from outside the primary and see whether or not he can shake up some of these candidates and specifically joe biden has been the one that he's been focusing mostly on. and i think he realized in 2016, he had some success, sort of hitting hillary clinton from the left on issues like criminals,
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taking her on over the so-called super predator comment, and they're going to try to use that strategy again and try to make sure that any progressive that may be thinking about voting for joe biden, who see him as the most electable candidate, may have second thoughts based on the president's own commentary, and also on the president's record. he's going to be touting his first step back and his proposal for a criminal justice reform and trying to use that to put some distance between, specifically, progressive voters, african-american voters, and joe biden, who president trump and his campaign see as the front-runner right now. >> let me ask you, robby, do you think it's about winning votes or suppressing black turnout, as happened in 2016? >> you're hitting the nail on the head. he's not trying to win anybody over. he's claiming that. he's claiming that, but he's not. because 2016 is a great example. he would cast aspersions on hillary clinton, who, by the way, never voted for that crime bill. you know, her husband was the president, but she never passed a vote for it. but at the same time, at his rallies, he would say, there's crime in the streets, we've got
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to get control of crime. he made racist comments all the time. this is not a man who wants to win african-american votes. >> let him finish. >> he made racist statements constantly during the campaign. this is not about winning those votes. it's about getting people to stay home and feel disenchanted. >> first of all, we did roundtables in the city of philadelphia with african-american community leaders, ministers. we weren't doing that to suppress the vote. we were doing it to hear what they had to say, what folks had to say in the inner cities, to get votes, not suppress votes. >> number two, the first act is a seriously great step lauded by everybody. the far right, the far left. the president took on a lot of water. this president took on a lot of water from his base and from others. had to twist arms on capitol hill, mcconnell and others, . >> i want to turn to another candidate, elizabeth warren, who stopped by the breakfast club and talked to charlemagne and
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they had a very long conversation and in it, he said a lot of very nice things about her and all the plans she had, proposals, but there was one very buzzy moment that isn't one i'm sure that she clip. >> you're kind of like the original rachel dozal a little bit. a white woman pretending to be back. >> this is what i learned from my family. >> rachel dozal was a woman who identified as black, but was born white, later called herself transracial. this is an issue that a lot of voters don't seem to care about, but it is one that comes up in the media and also by president trump. >> and republicans have seized on it to use it as a sticking point to criticize elizabeth warren and they have had success branding her about that, making that one thing about her, even though she tried to get ahead of it by releasing that test. it's something the president himself uses. >> she lacks authenticity. >> everyone, stick around. we have some good news if
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in our national lead, a judge in missouri has ruled to keep the last legal abortion clinic in the state open, for now. the license was set to expire today. cnn's alexandra field joins me now from st. louis. what does that ruling mean for that planned parenthood clinic in st. louis long-term? >> reporter: it's really just a territory victory, jake. it means they can continue to perform abortions, but potentially just for a few more days. at least until the case goes
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before a judge next week. right now planned parenthood is saying the state didn't renew their licenses as a part of a war on abortion. they say the state is trying to regulate abortion out of existence and the licensing process has become politicized. the state says they didn't renew the license because of health violations and an ongoing investigation. but the stakes are big here, because this is the only abortion clinic in the entire state of missouri. and this is a state that is now staring down the barrel of being the only state in the country not to provide access to abortion to women for the first time in more than 40 years. missouri is just one of six states that has just one abortion clinic. so you have to believe that people in those other five states will be watching closely to see if missouri loses access to abortion not by changing a law, but by through regulation. >> the governor also just signed a law that would essentially ban almost all abortions. alexandra field, thank you so much. coming up, a member of the house judiciary committee weighs in on the breaking news. stick around.
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it's at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern sunday morning. you can follow me on facebook and twitter @jaketapper. you can tweet the sho show @theleadcnn. we actually read your tweets. our coverage on cnn continues right now. have a great weekend! i'll see you sunday morning. happening now, breaking news. annoyed and frustrated. rather than relishing the ultimate battle with democrats, president trump is said to be worried about the impeachment threat. a source says he's annoyed and frustrated by the ongoing russia investigations and does not see impeachment as good thing. transcript released. the justice department releases the full transcript of a call from president trump's then-attorney to a lawyer for michael flynn, pushing hard for information about flynn's discussions with robert mueller. is it an example of obstruction? barr attacks. attorney general william barr echos president trump's attacks