tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 27, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> today we meet at a point in time when it has become very clear that the strength of the american president, where he really saw to it that the sanctions against north korea abided by, has opened new perspectiv perspectives, new ways. >> i think i have a responsibility. i think other presidents should have done it. i think i have a responsibility to see if i can do it. and if i can't do it, it will be a very tough time for a lot of countries and a lot of people. it's certainly something that i hope i can do for the world. this is beyond the united states. this is a world problem. and it's something that i hope i'm able to do for the world.
>> kaitlin collins joins us now live from the white house. merkel gave trump credit for his role in those north korean talks. >> the president there recognizing the gravity of the situation with north korea and once acknowledged how things have radically changed between him and the north korean dictator kim jong un. not long ago they were in a name calling situation, and the president acknowledged that things have changed drastically since then, the president repeating there are potentially two locations they've narrowed it down to for that possession summit with kim jong un. so very different language from the president but also saying he does not believe this is simply a united states problem. he criticized his predecessors for saying they never dealt with
the situation and he said now that it is in his hand, it is more than the united states, it is a world issue. he also spoke about iran. it's interesting, erika, because we just saw the french president here a few days ago. now we're seeing merkel here today. largely the substance of these press conferences were the same, the iran deal, tariffs, north korea. but they're very different in their style. the french president emmanuel macron was very chummy, buddy buddy, and this one was very much more down to business. the president said he would not make any military moves in iran and she said she could not say whether the president would grant them a permanent exemption on tariffs, saying she was going to leave that up to president trump. >> thank you. >> the house intel committee releasing its findings on the
investigation into russia and the 2016 election. while the republican-led report found no evidence of collusion of the trump campaign, republican lawmakers did point out poor judgment was used, especially at that meeting in trump tower in 2016. the president today saying he was honored by the findings. >> we were honored. it was a great report. no collusion, which i knew anyway, no coordination, no nothing. it's a witch hunt is all it is. what we really should do is get on with our lives. >> the report heavily redacted, the democratic dissent. what sticks out, manu? >> it says there are highly questionable actions taken during the campaign season. it does go after the clinton campaign for ties to the steele dossier. for the trump campaign, it says
it used poor judgment in reaching out and having contacts with wikileaks on two occasions can donald trump jr. and separate meetings that occurred between russian officials and trump associates during the campaign season, in addition to that june 2016 meeting, it does lay out a number of meetings that did occur with michael flynn, the former national security adviser, who had traveled to mass could you duri -- moscow for a conference by r. it. >> -- r.t., the russian ambassador. and it said he met with sergei kislyak. it also discusses michael cohen, trump's personal attorney in his efforts to try to get a proposed trump tower moscow built,
certainly that was later abandoned. it showed e-mail exchanges about discussions about trump appearing on stage with putin and it never materialized in the campaign. democrats have their own view and say that was not the point, it was not investigated fully to come to that conclusion that they believe showed signs, at least attempted, between the trump campaign and russia. >> and the russian lawyer at the center of that meeting in trump tower is now a, quote, informant, we're learning. this is the exact meeting. it was poor judgment on the part of the campaign. how are lawmakers reacting to this revelation, manu?
>> along party lines as you would expect. jared kushner, paul manafort met with a russian informant in trump tower during the heat of the campaign. republicans say it not as big of an issue as would seem because the meeting didn't amount to much. when i asked the republican who ran the russia investigation whether he was aware of her role as a russian informant, he says he was not. >> not that i recall. that's new information. >> reporter: does it trouble you she was an informant meeting with trump campaign officials? >> no, there's no evidence she acted on that. >> reporter: does it trouble you about this meeting in 2016? >> the fact is nothing happened in the meeting. that's an important thing. >> reporter: does that require further investigation because of
what happened here? >> not as far as the meeting because nothing happened at the meeting. >> reporter: the question is whether any of these redactions will be lifted. we don't get a sense of that. that's something republicans and democrats will fight with the intelligence community about over the coming weeks here, erika. >> we'll look to see if any of them are lifted. thank you. joini so we look at all of this. not surprisingly the reaction to this is really split along party lines. there's also another reaction that seems to be missing in some ways, which is is this really all that much of a surprise? david, i'll throw this to you that we do learn that natalia veselnitskaya was an informant? >> it's not a huge surprise, at least to me. we should point out in the interviews that manu did with the congressman say it wasn't relevant. they did say they used bad
judgment in even taking that meeting at trump tower. i think the real key to this is did donald trump jr. know she was connected to the russian government? did jared kushner know? that's the real connection to whether there was any collusion. going into this meeting, did they know her ties to the russian government. >> would there be any legal implications there if someone had known that in fact they were meeting with a russian informant? >> not necessarily anything different that what we've been talking about, the drafting of the white house plain letter. they were told they were meeting to someone connected to what they call mistakenly the crown prosecutor. whatever they thought going in, they had every reason to believe there was actually a russian government person in the room with them and that does put a different spin on it to me. >> legally what is the definition of an informant?
>> it just someone giving information basically. it's just someone for their own purposes giving information back. she didn't have to have a technical title or a paycheck but she's working at the behest of the government and is presumably available to act as a condu conduit. there's someone in the room, continuing the discussions, trying to set up the channel and action and that's what they had denied so steadfastly. >> most troubling thing is she lied to congress about it and there is no outrage in those reactions. >> no outrage that she lied. >> from what i know, they asked her those questions. >> she said specifically, "i operate independently of any government body." >> it's a little nuanced answer.
it's not a no. and has to congressmen don't have any outreach about it. it's become so partisan. we have the two other investigations, the senate and mueller, but these republican house members aren't mad about being lied to? i would be mad if i was lied to. >> the other part is there any recourse for them. realistically. so she lied. well -- >> it depends. as i understand it, she submitted a letter. obviously you can be charged with lying to congress if you are under oath. so i don't know if the letter is considered to be under oath. she probably voluntarily submitted, which means there's no criminal liability so far as we know now. you have to believe that this revelation will cause some digging by the mueller team and perhaps by the senate committee and maybe they'll uncover other things that she did that caused criminal problems. >> and they want this to go away. to charge her with perjury would
only open the can of worms back and upset the republican and the senate house committee wants to push this under the rug and move on from it. >> still ahead, exclusive details about the man who withdrew his nomination for v.a. chiefplus, a mysterious dismissal on capitol hill. speaker paul ryan fires the house chaplain with no real explanation. i'll speak to a fellow law maker demanding answers. helped put a roof over the heads
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all of these things he's given up and we would have asked him but i gave it up before asked. these are all false accusations. they're trying to destroy a man. by the way, i did say welcome to washington, welcome to the swamp, welcome to the world of politics. >> how much of your legal work was handed by michael cohen? >> a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. and you look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. and our justice department, which i try and stay away from but at some point i won't. there is no collusion with me and russia and everyone knows it. >> we talked to you all day but it looks like you have a million things to do. >> some of the highlights there, let's bring in michael smerconish to talk more about this. we have been hearing from cnn sources for weeks that the president has been despondent over this michael cohen raid. that interview was explosive.
we learned the president said yes, michael cohen represented me on that, quote, crazy stormy daniels deal. there was a lot in that interview. is that proof as to why the president's council does not want him sitting down with robert mueller? >> probably. because the president untethered is likely, erika, to go in any direction. i have to say the lawyer inme was surprised by that acknowledgement. as i've said on several occasions, he's got to thread a needle. he wants the agreement with stormy daniels to be upheld butch he's careful to say he wasn't a party or consulted in that agreement. the acknowledgement that michael cohen was acting as a lawyer is potentially legally significant. >> so that is one thing we should definitely be watching. what else stood out to you? this was obviously a lot that we
heard from the president. and it went on for nearly a half an hour. >>le listen, i think we've comeo expect this sort of -- i'll use the word volatility -- from the white house. to be fair to the president, it begs the question of whether he's deserving of credit for kim jong un finally coming to the table. and you have to ask did those tweets, rocket man, little rocket man, cause kim to take a look at trump and say this guy seems unsteady, i'm better off dealing with the south koreans than i am waiting for whatever the retribution might be from the united states. i am of the opinion that donald trump is due some credit for bringing kim to the table. >> we heard angela merkel say the president deserves some credit and noting they had moved
beyond the name calling earlier today, which is a good thing. we'll continue to watch that unfold. there is no ignoring the fact it is a major development as you point out, michael. a lot of attention this week. kanye west and the president, there's been a whole lot of action on the ol' twitter including kanye coming to his defense saying black people don't have to be democrats. then we saw a bit of a reversal. he then posted apologizes for defending kanye west's support of the president. i'd never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination. i understand why people are disappointed with my words but i was raised to believe actions speak louder than words. so let me apology be seen in my future works and make up for my poorly timed comments.
we should say kanye west said he doesn't agree 100% with the president. this comes on the heels of shania twain saying she voted for the president. i know all of these apologies are making your head spin. sfwli thi >> i think it's a sad commentary on our discourse. it was almost a throwaway line at the end where she said hypothetically because she's a canadian that she would have voted for donald trump. there were four successive tweets she felt obliged to do damage control and apologize for it. frankly, i don't think she had anything to apologize for. and then into the mix comes kanye west, who doesn't seem to have stepped back. and there was actually a third incident. a tape came to the surface of
the philadelphia eagles owner jeffrey lorie at an owner's meeting last october making comments that were disparaging of president trump. i put that into the mix because i say i'm an eagles fan. am i to determine whether to root or not root for the team based upon the owner and how he feels about president trump? in other words, where does this end? if an exterminateor comes to my house, if my wife goes to a nail salon, if i rely on an accountant or attorney, if i become aware of their political views, is that supposed to cass me to say i can longer do business with that person? at some point i think that slippery slope goes too far. >> when have we seen this before? is this simply a product of the trump era and the divisiveness that we saw after the 2016 election? >> i think the polarization has been building for the last 20 or 30 years. i think it's reached a koreshcro
in the age of trump, as those who laugh all the way to the bank because they don't care about good governance are probably the root cause of that part of the polarization that we're discussing. >> and how disappointing is that civil discord. michael, thank you. >> up next, president trump says he feels he has a responsibility to solve the north korean nuclear problem. he narrowed down a location for that meeting. he said it been narrowed down to two countries. we'll take a look at what to expect as these historic talks move forward.
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just hours after that historic agreement between north and south korea, the united states starting to see some action. south korea and north korea have agreed to peace and to annd eno the korean war six decades later. both leaders stepping foot on each side of the dmz. now the u.s. has also observed dismantling activity at north korea's nuclear testing site. president trump praising the peace agreement moments ago and denied that the united states is trying to play the united states with talks of denuclearization. >> no, i don't think he's playing. it's never gone this far. i don't think it's ever had this enthusiasm for somebody, for them wanting to make a deal. i agree, the united states has been played beautifully, like a fiddle because you had a
different kind of a leader. we're not going to be played, okay? >> joining me to discuss, isaac stone, fell ston stone,, the president says he feels a responsibility to the world to see this through. there's no denying the historic nature of what we saw earlier today. how much credit does the president deserve here? >> this is certainly an historic moment. i think on the one hand he is doing what he should be doing. i think there's a lot of concern about the preparation for the meeting. we saw in some of the details when the north korean leader met the south korean leader how carefully calibrated that meeting was. and i think we just want and really need that when president trump goes into this meeting with kim jong un for it to be as carefully scripted as possible. >> on the part of what the president will say and bring to the meeting, you mean?
>> i think it's nearly impossible. his words will carry such weight. >> singapore is a possibility. is there an ideal site? >> i think ideal for the united states would be in the united states. i think that would be a bridge way too far. the north koreans are not comfortable with the security. i think it's very smart for them not to do something in north korea or on the korean peninsula. it also possible we'll see something in china because china wants to remind the world that they are the bridge to north korea. but singapore is a fairly good choice. it's neutral, it's not too far from north korea so that their aging planes can make it there safely. >> and the president also praising china today for their role, for the help, china among other nations. as we look at all of this and we're getting this reporting in that a u.s. official has observed some dismantling at a testing site but points out this can be put back together if it
needs to. what should we read into that timing? >> i think it's nice to see the north korean side to take these, one could say symbolic steps to pull back their nuclear program. i think it's important to remember that they do already have a nuclear arsenal. they have other testing sites. it's a very mountainous, opaque nation. it's very difficult for us to know what is going on in other parts of north korea. it's hard to imagine a scenario, regardless of what happens between trump and kim jong un for north korea to give up its nukes. >> completely or even partially? >> even partially. >> how much do you think of this for north korea for kim jong un is also coming down to money and very real financial needs? >> i think it's a great point. less because of sanctions and more because the north korean side is probably very aware of just how much money they can make by taking steps to give up their nuclear weapons and giving up, say, a few of them and
keeping most of them. the former south korean president lee in his memoirs wrote that in negotiations with the north koreans to have another summit, the north koreans asked for $10 billion in seed money to start a bank. i don't think anyone on the south korean side expected them to start a bank with that money. i think that would have gone to the elite and gone for them to pay money to people they wanted to support the regime. but i think the north koreans know it's worth a lot of money to countries around the world and for them to dial down the tensions. >> really quickly, the president was asked and he said, no, i don't think kim jong un is playing us before, he's played us before like a fiddle, it's not happening here. how can we be sure? >> i don't think there is a way to be sure. i don't think anybody knows. >> thank you. up next, current and former staffers of the white house medical unit said dr. ronny
jackson ran that office like a grab-and-go clinic. what that says about this man who already withdrew his nomination to be head of the v.a. (vo) why do subaru forester owners always seem so happy? because they've chosen the industry leader. subaru forester holds its value better than any other vehicle in its class according to alg. better than cr-v. better than rav4. better than rogue. an adventure that starts with a subaru forester will always leave you smiling. get 0% apr financing on the 2018 subaru forester.
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>> i'm not missing that. >> thank you for having me. disturbing new allegations from past and present staffers at the white house. cnn has uncovered exclusive details that paint a picture of a white house medical unit that functioned as a grab-and-go clinic for prescription drugs. these staffers say there was pressure at the clinic to hand out prescription medication without an exam and that was the practice endorsed by dr. ronny jackson, who just withdrew his name to lead the v.a. still president trump standing by dr. jackson in a news conference just moments ago with german chancellor angela merkel. >> you had president obama giving him an a-plus report. you had president bush giving him an a-plus report. you have president trump giving him an a-plus report and to make
statements of things that most people said never happened, never even happened, calling him names was to me a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. >> cnn national political reporter m.j. lee broke this story. you spoke with white house medical unit staffers, both present and of past administrations. explain what they say was going on in the medical unit. >> we're getting a new and troubling look at the medical clinic. five current and former employees who have worked for jackson at the medical unit tell me and my colleague that there was a grab-and-go culture there when it comes to medication. white house staffers and officials could get prescription drugs without being examined by a doctor first. they could casually pick up
ameam ambien and sometimes prescriptions were written from people other than the medication was for and these practices were all endorsed by jackson himself. because of lacks record keeping, there was sometimes a scramble to account for these missing meds. when jackson withdrew his nomination for v.a. secretary yesterday, he said the allegations made against him were completely false and fabricated and that he always adhered to the highest ethical standards. >> else were staffers able to get from that medical unit without even as much of an exam. >> a story of one well-known obama official leaving the administration and he went to the medical unit to get some pro vigil, this is a prescription
medication that helps you stay awake. this person we're told was given around 20 pills and it was treated as a kind of parting gift for that official. the second example is one obama white house staffers went into the clinic and demanded he needed z-packs for him and his wife. it's a very strong antibiotic. and one of the doctors declined and said you need to get an exam first, there are serious issues that can come from taking that antibiot antibiotic. and he responded that dr. jackson said i could just pick it up and don't have to be seen by a doctor. we're told that person was handed the medical case without an exam. >> is jackson at risk of losing his job? >> trump has been praising jackson and we heard him do it again today, saying he's one of
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his last day is may 24th. ryan telling gop -- lawmakers it was time for change and not politically motivates. democrats are trying to force an internal investigation. i'm joined by jim connelly a democrat, i knowure -- i know you're not happy about this. how much support are you finding on the other side of the aisle. >> we have a lot of verbal support in the other side of the aisle and sharing with the outrage but not fortitude with putting their name on paper calling for a formal explanation if not investigation. >> in terms of calling for that formal explanation, it has a lot of people scratching their heads. we can't ignore that fact. the speaker saying earlier that the issue here -- he heard from members that father conroy, quote, wasn't replying with requests or not giving good counsel. you have heard similar concerns or sentiments. >> we have not.
and so such cause has been provided to father conroy or our side of the aisle. i think that is an explanation to try to justify this unpress den -- unprecedented act in the middle of the year firing the house chaplain. just unheard of. >> the father telling "the new york times" his departure was voluntary, you have spoken with father conroy. >> i did. when i heard the rumor last week i went -- i sought out the father in the floor of the house as soon as we came back in session this week and he confirmed the details of what happened. he was given no explanation, no cause. and neither was the leader pelosi had wh she was informed by paul ryan. so that is why we're quite suspicious of these after-the-fact explanations. we think frankly it is probably more political and that could even be a little bit of religious bias thrown in. >> speaker ryan is a catholic as well. >> i think that is immaterial
and that doesn't mean he can't be the handmaden of an action of those who don't like having an urban catholic jessuity chaplain and the sort of point of view and experience that brings with many of those people have complained about the jesuit pope in rome so it is not far-fetched to suspect there is something else at work here and speaker ryan handed that to this element in his caucus. >> so you are saying, to make sure i understand you correctly, you believe paul ryan is doing somebody else's bidding here? >> what i said was that is one theory. there are several theories here. if it is all about paul ryan, he objected to a prayer the chaplain offered on the ooef of the tax cut vote because he talked about make sure -- whatever tax bill we pass is fair to all americans. >> i want to play.
>> that let me stop and play that for folks as well. here is that clip. >> as legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all members bee mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. may they're efforts these days guarantee there are not winnerso winner -- winners under new tax laws but benefits shared by all americans. >> is this a similar sentiment that you heard from father conroy in the past? >> i think it is a very common sentiment for a lot of people of faith. it is a sort of a cardinal element of catholic social justice doctrine, but not just catholic. and there is nothing i just heard and you just heard sharing
with your viewers that would be offensive or objectionable because of fairness on the eve of a major vote is jaw-dropping and stunning. >> did you hear anything about the concerns at the time. >> no. no, there was no warning about this at all. everything we're hearing is after the fact. >> are you confident that you'll get an answer and get to the bott bought -- bottom of this. >> i hope so. i think speaker ryan has an offer to skplan -- to explain himself. the whole house hires the chal lynn and deserves an explanation from the speaker. >> representative gerry connelly, we appreciate your time. thank you. >> my pleasure. and breaking news, stunning revelation about the russian lawyer in the 2016 trump tower meeting that included donald
trump jr. and how she is closer to the kremlin than we thought. but this week's cnn hero, an emergency room doctor in brooklyn that decided to do something about the stunning number of homicide victims he saw in his line of work. >> i don't like pronouncing people dead. this is probably the worst thing i've ever had to do. i was to preserve life. when i see patients coming in with violent injuries and looks like you from your neighborhood, a lot of this really hits home u. realize i don't want this to happen any more. what do we do about it? >> so what is he doing about it? to find out how he's working to end violence in the community, log on to cnn heros and nominate someone you think should be a cnn hero. >> cnn heros, everyday people changing the world is brought to you by subaru, love is what makes a subaru a subaru.
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and that is true. but i would say it shouldn't be medicinal medicinally -- an illegal substance. we know it could treat pain. the academic of science said after the research, we know opioid addicts have a hard time coming of because they withdraw and have the withdraw symptoms, headache and worsening pain and nausea vomiting and cannabis could teet that as well as chemo therapy patients and what was really interesting to me and this is the first time i learned is that when you develop a brain disease and you're addicted to opioids, you can't just say no. your brain is fundamentally changed. we know and i've seen this firsthand how cannabis could rewear the brain. it is not just tweeting the pain and withdrawal but helping some one no longer being an addict. it you designed a substance to lead us out of the opioid ademmic it would look like cannabis. >> don't miss the latest
stallment of the ground breaking story weed 4 here on cnn. the leed with jake tapper starts now. >> one probe officially ends as we get a new bombshell in the other russia probe. "the lead" starts right >> putin's informant that would deliver dirt on hillary clinton drops a bombshell. she's closer to the kremlin than she originally said. despite that, house intelligence republicans are say case closed in blaming the poor judgment on the behalf of the trump campaign for that meeting and president said he's honored. and kim jong-un agrees to end a car that started before we were born and is kim jong-un serious this time and should president be getting a tip