tv New Day Saturday CNN April 28, 2018 4:00am-5:00am PDT
>> i think i'm trying to comprehend it all. i don't think it's completely hit. >> joe got to hand deliver that ball to acuna himself. like i said, the odds of this happening, astronomical, going to a game to try to catch a home run ball, and it happened. the guy's first home run ever. >> phenomenal. >> fantastic. thank you. the russian lawyer who met with trump campaign officials in 2016 admits she has closer ties to the kremlin. >> of course she was a russian spy. >> it certainly corroborates what we have seen of veselnitskaya. >> she was working to undermine the u.s. policy. the fact that the leaders of north korea and south korea are talking and that nuclear and missile tests have stopped for now is a cause for optimism. >> i think it's going to work out just fine. let's see what happens.
i think it will be very good. >> why did it take so long, 11 years forks get to this historic moment? >> we're not going to be played. we'll hopefully make a deal. if we don't, that's fine. good morning to you. good to be with you. let's try to copy what christi talked about, merkel, ma macron, a dictator, a rapper, russian lawyer -- >> nice. >> thank you very much. a truly astounding week for president trump. there is still much to come today. >> people wondering is that the opening act to what's happening this weekend. today the president is returning to one of his favorite settings, the campaign trail, with a re-election rally. he's previewing his speech on twitter with attacks on the russia investigation, robert
mueller, the democrats. abby phillip live from washington. we know how much the president loves his campaign rallies. they're friendly territory for him, particular ly in michigan s has been in the past. there are -- there's a lot following him. >> reporter: that's right. the president leaving town during a weekend in which a lot of people in washington will be at the white house correspondents dinner. heading to the campaign trail to be in a place where he's likely to be surrounded by some of his most ardent supporters. the president, this is the second year in a row that he's chosen to do that. the incentive following the president -- like previous president who's attended the dinner -- presidents who attended the dinner and told jokes, that sort of thing. he's deciding to go out and hold counter program, a rally in which he essential question put out whatever message he wants. often those rallies end up with a freewheeling atmosphere, talking about all sorts of things. and we can expect that given what he's been talking about on
social media the last couple of days that russia will play prominently in that. now the president last night sent out a tweet talking about the house intelligence committee's report on russian interference in the russian -- in the election. some saying the report was incomplete but president trump writes, house committee rules there was no collusion between the trump campaign and russia as i've been saying all along. it is a big hoax by democrats based on payments and lies. there should never have been a special counsel appointed. witch hunt. the second day in a pro-that president trump has been on the -- in a row that president trump has been on the subject that he's often talking about. this past week he also gave an extended interview in which he attacked former fbi director james comey. he suggested that the special counsel probe should be ended on
social media. all of this is happening as there are continuing developments on the russia front. in the last 24 hours, we learned that the russian lawyer, natalia veselnitskaya, who was in the meeting with don jr. in june of 2016 at trump tower has said to reporters that she -- she is an informant of the russian government. this information really changes the perception that she has tried to put out that she was there to talk about russian adoptions. and remember, the -- don jr. issued a statement suggesting that he agreed to meet with her because she wanted to talk about the u.s. policy with regard to adoptions. it later became clear that they had promised dirt on hillary clinton, and now this lawyer is saying that her ties to the kremlin are much closer than she previously let on. there's lay lot happening, but
the president will be talking about what he social securiays hunt against him and his associates. >> we've seen the president create new headlines out of the yae rallies. we'll see what happens. important question about the russian lawyer who previously denied any connections to the kremlin, why is she coming forward with this information? fred pleitgen is following the developments from moscow. so what do we know about natalia veselnitskaya and why potentially she is revealing this now? >> reporter: why is she revealing it now and what does it mean when she says she's an informant? we had bill browarder tell erin burnett on our program that he believes she was an agent and nothing more or less, that she was trying to undermine u.s. policies. in the meeting at trump tower, apparently she was trying to undermine what's called the magnitsky act, that sanctions
russians accused of human rights abuse. she clearly was pushing the agendas. she does not call herself an agent but an "informant." listen to an interview that was published yesterday. listen in -- >> reporter: to translate, she says she is a lawyer, and she is an informant. all of this is about her relationship with the russian prosecutor general. she's said that yes, she's had contact with him, but she doesn't have professional relations or doing his bidding. it seems like from emails, and this goes to the question of why she's saying it now, because emails have been hacked and leaked of hers between her and yuri chika that indicate she had a much closer relationship with chika, and the two seemed to be working the in a 2014 case where
she was representing a russian businessman accused by the department of justice together with russian officials trying to thwart the case of the justice department. she was confronted and admitted that, yes, she is an informant. does that mean she has an official role with the russian government? that's not clear. they didn't elaborate on what that means. however, we also have to keep in minds that in the meeting in 2016 in trump tower, she was introduced as a russian government lawyer. this is from an e-mail that said, "emin asked that i schedule a meeting with you and the russian government attorney flying over from moscow for this thursday." clearly a lot closer relations with the kremlin. didn't elaborate on what it means that she is an informant. this doesn't seem to mesh with things she sold u.s. authorities and the u.s. public, guys. >> all right. fred pleitgen, thank you very much. cnn has learned the national rifle association could be
getting ready for a possible investigation over its ties to a kremlin-linked banker. >> cnn political correspondent sara murray with the details here. >> reporter: the national rifle association is setting aside years of documents related to interactions with kremlin-linked banker alexander torshin and his protege maria batina as it braces for a possible investigation, sources say. the gun rights group facing scrutiny over finances and ties to torshin. a lifetime member of the nra and one of the prominent russian government officials the u.s. recently slapped with sanctions. the nra is also battling allegations that torshin may have illegally funneled money through the nra to bolster the trump campaign. >> there have been allegations that the russians were going to funnel money through the nra. and we sought to investigate that. there were witnesses with direct knowledge of the association, but they've refused.
>> reporter: the nra has denied contact with the fbi or to accepting illegal donations. sources say they are anxiously preparing, collecting documents is due diligence and dealing with congressional scrutiny. the renewed attention highlights the uneasy alliance between top nra officials and torshin. a relationship that eventually ensnared members of trump's campaign team. inviting congressional scrutiny into advisers including donald trump jr., jared kushner, and jeff sessions. the nra went all in for trump in 2016. >> i've been a member for a long time, and my boys are members. to get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor. >> reporter: it spent $30 million backing trump's candidacy, more than it shelled out for 2008 and 2012 races combined. behind the scene, torshin was trying to use nra ties to arrange a meeting with trump in louisville. in an e-mail to the trump campaign, a torshin associate says he is cultivating a back
channel to president putin's kremlin, adding, "putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with mr. trump." >> here you have in black and white evidence that there was an effort by the russians to use the nra as their channel, one of their channels to the trump campaign. >> reporter: torshin didn't meet trump at the nra meeting but had an impromptu meeting with donald trump jr. some nra wondered if it was set a setup by the russians. trump jr. says he doesn't recall discussing the upcoming election with torshin. torshin's relationship with the nra against years ago through david keene, now an nra board member. in 2015, keene took nra backers to moscow hosted by maria batina. she had attracted attention for starting a gun rights group in russia. the nra group went sightseeing and toured a gun manufacturer. by 2016 sources say torshin and batina had become fixtures at
the nra's high-dollar events. the nra said torshin hasn't made any donations aside from membership dues and said it hasn't found any foreign donations related to the u.s. election. russian experts say torshin's close ties to putin and division around guns in america mean his coziness with the nra looks like a classic russian influence operation. >> vladimir putin is using these issues to divide us, to split and make weaker the united states. that's something that i believe all of americans ought to be concerned about. >> reporter: the white house, the donald trump campaign, and the nra did not comment for the story. when i spoke with david keene he said he did not want to talk about his 2015 trip to moscow, but he did say he was not aware of any donations from alexander torshin. sara murray, cnn, washington. >> we'll talk more about that exclusive throughout the morning. now to politics reporter rebecca burgh. good morning to you. >> thanks. >> i want to start with the conversation from natalia veselnitskaya that she is an informant for the russian
government. what substantively considering many people assume that when we got the reporting in july of last year about the meeting having happened in 2016, what does that substantively change? >> right, it doesn't change anything because so many people assumed that she was working with or for the russian government. it's significant in the admission itself. you have to wonder why did these decide to disclose this now. is russia going to create further controversy, refocus attention on the controversy or the potential russian interference in our election. and then of course this brings us back to the question of this meeting at trump tower between veselnitskaya and some of the top trump campaign officials including paul manafort and his son, donald trump jr. this raises, again, questions about why they took this meeting, what other contacts they had with veselnitskaya and
others prior to the election and afterwa afterward, and what did they know about her intentions? did they know that potentially she was trying to infiltrate the campaign and gain access and information for the kremlin. >> you mentioned communications after the election. ranking democrat on house intelligence, congressman adam schiff, tells cnn that veselnitskaya reached out to the trump family after the election. i want you to watch here. this is don jr. in july of 2017 in this interview on fox news in which he talks about followup with veselnitskaya. it's quick. we'll have to watch and listen closely. >> do you ever have any contact with this woman again? >> no. >> no contact again. it's not clear if that attempt to reach the family actually got through. don jr. says he effectively shut down the line of communication with veselnitskaya after the meeting turned out not to be what he expected it would be. there would seemingly be no
reason to follow up in late november after the election. >> right. you would think so. there's so many holes in this story m story. it could look like a piece of swiss cheese. so many questions, inconsistencies with what donald trump jr. has said, others relating to the trump campaign have said, and what the russians are saying about this, as well. and information that we have gleaned from documents relating to this meeting. and so this is part of what robert mueller is looking at in his investigation, trying to get answers about what happened and who knew what when. potentially we will have answers at some point. but you're absolutely right to point out the inconsistencies here. there have been so many from donald trump jr., from others in the trump orbit. the president himself. and we are, you know, looking for answers to that right now. >> let's turn to iran. a major topic of this week. macron came from france to try to, among other things, convince
the president to certify the iran deal. and it runs compliance when it comes up on may 12th. and then angela merkel of germany was here just yesterday. i want you to listen to the new secretary of state, mike pompeo. >> no decision made. so the team is working, and i'm sure we'll have lots of conversations to deliver what the president has made clear. absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal. he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this may. >> rebecca, republicans unanimously opposed the deal in 2015 when it was proposed. at this point, are they likely to impose snapback sanctions if iran doesn't comply? where are we, is there a
significant pert -- percentage of republicans on the hill in agreement with the president? >> politically this has remained pretty consistent with republicans. some will feel the president should remain in the deal or at least be working toward some other solution as macron suggested during his trip to washington this past week. by and large politically, this is a good issue for republicans and the president to say that they want to pull out of this deal because it was a deal that president obama crafted. it's become this sort of political liability or very unpopular among republicans who feel that he entered into the deal, giving iran too much and not getting enough in return. and we heard during the presidential campaign what a popular rallying cry it was for president trump and his supporters. and most republicans, polling shots, still support -- polling shows, still support the president, most republican voters. you'll see congressional republicans by and large supporting the president's
decision. >> the president will be some of those supporters tonight in michigan. we'll see if that is one of the topics. >> could be. >> that he talks about. reberga, good to have you. >> thanks. epa administrator scott pruitt could now be facing new ethics reviews in addition to the ones already underway. in a letter to democratic members of congress, the epa inspector general detailed a list of possible reviews. they include a look at pruitt's travel expenses, security team, and raises for staff members now. >> after years of legal fights, a victory for texas on its voter i.d. law. next, what this means for the upcoming elections. also, the stormy daniels lawsuit was trying to force the president to sit down for a deposition as it went after the president's attorney, michael cohen. now a california judge has put the suit on hold, not permanently, though. we'll talk about that next. ♪ ah, my poor mouth breather. allergies? stuffy nose?
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what the president could not. he sta he halted the stormy daniels lawsuit temporarily. the porn actress is suing the president's lawyer, michael cohen. the answer put the case on hold for 90 days while the criminal case against cohen continues in new york. cohen told the court that because of the ongoing investigation there, he would plead the fifth in the lawsuit to avoid incriminating himself. all right. let's talk about this with page pate, cnn analyst and criminal defense attorney. we have a couple of other things to discuss besides michael cohen. first and foremost, this day is just -- essentially hitting the pause button. with that said, how vulnerable is the president still to a deposition in this case which is what michael avenatti wants to do? >> right. i think eventually the president is likely to be deposed in this case. what the judge has done is said, look, i'm going to stop the significant cause because you may -- the civil case because you may be facing criminal charges. i don't think it's a delay tactic, i think you have serious exposure.
i want you to be able to raise questions raised in the civil case, but you can't do that while you may be under criminal investigation in new york. let's stop everything for 90 days, see what happens in the new york situation, then we'll revisit the issue. >> you're saying president trump most likely will have to sit down -- >> i think so. listen to the statements that he's made, that cohen made about whether or not he was aware of the deal. whether cohen was representing him in connection with the deal. there's a lot of factual information that can only come from the president about whether or not he was involved in this agreement with ms. daniels, and whether or not cohen was representing his interests when they agreed to the payment. yes, he's a fact witness and an important avenatti, stormy daniels' attorney, had this to say yesterday -- >> if this was only about 90 days, i don't think we'd be taking it up on appeal. we might, but we're concerned about it being delayed beyond that. my client continues to fall under this nda, according to the defendants, they continue to
threaten her with an additional million of dollars in damages. he wants the case against michael cohen to be adjudicated. >> he said they are continuing to threaten substantials about millions in damages. should avenatti be more forthcoming about what the threats are and does it affect the 90-day stay? >> yes, there -- that's their position in the lawsuit, cohen and trump saying you violated this agreement, you're going to owe us a bunch of money. obviously, that hasn't stopped her. she's giving interviews. her lawyer's talking about this, any opportunity he can get. i think that may have ticked off this judge. the judge sees this case being used for political purposes, publicity purposes, that may be another reason why he said, look, let's just stop it for a minute. >> okay. i want to get to the texas voter i.d. laws. the fifth circuit court of appeals voted to upholded texas voter i.d. law, s.b. 5.
critics say it suppresses votes. from a sheriff in text, running for governor, she says, disappointing setback to see texas' discriminatory voice recorder i.d. law upheld. we should be making it easier to vote, not harder. is there a chance that this could turn around in texas? they're viewing to fight. >> right. it's possible. this case has gone up to court of appeals, the fifth circuit court of appeals. a conservative court especially with the recent trump appointees. the panel, a tlhree-judge panel decided this is okay. the first was bad, but we're going to let this stay. the plaintiffs can appeal that decision. that's a panel of three-jud jud. given the conservative judges, i think this particular law will stay on the books. >> a lot of people i think surprised by what happened with bill cosby this week. were you? >> absolutely. >> found guilty on three counts of sexual assault. this is a man who's 80 years
old. the judge released him, didn't remand him into custody immediately saying, look, he's 80, and he's complied. he's shown up for every court hearing. >> right. >> based on what we know about this, is that protocol when you have somebody who is convicted for the crimes that he's been convicted of? >> no, not at all. he's been convicted of serious sexual assault charges. once that happens, you'd normally go to jail. then sentencing can go later, we don't know the length of the sentence. very unusual because the conditions for bond -- talking about showing up to court, you're not a flight risk, that's the analysis before you're guilty. >> right. >> once you're guilty, the presumption is you go into custody. so what the judge may be seaing is, yes -- be saying is, yes, he's old, he may not be well. there's an appeal. i may let him sit out -- >> it could take years. >> it could take years. what i think the judge is saying is i listened to the evidence, maybe i'm not 100% sure he did it. >> the judge may not not agree
with the jury is what you're saying. interesting to see what happens in sentencing. >> right. >> all right. very good. appreciate your insight. thank you. >> thank you. >> victor? the korean summit is being met with hope and skepticism as many are questioning if the summit will lead to more than just this great photo op. we'll ask an expert who lived in north korea undercover during kim jong-un's last days. experience lexus safety system plus standard in the 2018 lexus es and es hybrid. lease the 2018 es 350 for $399/month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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7:31. hope that doesn't mean a darn thing to you and you get to sit there today and have a relaxing morning. i'm christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. good saturday to you. >> this morning, north korea state media is calling the korean summit a "new milestone." >> yes, this was a day of smiles and hugs and great photos as north korea's kim jong-un and south korea's moon jae-in agreed to denuclearization of the korean peninsula. they haven't discussed the specifics yet. >> president trump called the meeting historic. u.s. officials saying they're looking ahead to the president's meeting now with kim jong-un. >> 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. >> i don't have a crystal ball. i can tell you we are optimistic now that there's opportunity
here that we have never enjoyed since 1950. we're going to have to see what they produce. >> joining us now, suki kim author of "without you there is no us." she spent six months undercover in pyongyang during the last days of kim jong-il working as a teacher and missionary while writing her book. let's talk about the optimism versus skepticism of the summit. we've seen this before, 2000, 2007, between the two koreas, much like these photographs we've seen, they were holding hands, looking forwards. where are you on the scale of optimism versus skeptmitchell based on your personal -- ske skeptimism in your personal experience? >> i do not share the optimism.
we've seen this before. kim jong-il in 2000 even won the nobel peace prize as a result of it. i'm not sure what is so different this time. that makes people think that this is finally it. so i mean, judging from what we've got in the past and also what north korea is, it's as if we all forgot what north korea is like. they conducted their nuclear tests in september. that's when at this point seven months -- seven months before. the system built on war and likewise what north korea has been for 60-some decades. it's as if there's collective amnesia that we forgot all of that. >> you have an opportunity that many of us have not. you were there for six months and saw things we did not see. help us understand what you saw, what life is like there, what
makes you skeptical? >> i've visited multiple times, covered the place for over a decade. i think that more and more i dug into north korea as, you know, conceptually what is this place about, the whole thing was an entire -- built on lies. the -- there's literally no right for any individual. the system built around really this idea of cult ideology as well as a military dictatorship. when i lived there, not as a reporter taking notes which you only get the government-sanctioned, you know, sort of p.r. messages, but if you were immersed, embedded in there, living with what i did with future leadership at age 20, it was clear more and more and more there was actually
nothing but this concept of the great leader. normally society vs. things like history -- societies have things like history or literature or philosophy. and that plays in an extreme fundamental cult. there was nothing else. all of that was built on this idea of the hatred of imperialist america. suddenly we have this moment where as if that is not at the foundation of the great leader system is -- you know, that in itself is some sort of a big north korean p.r. that we, i think the world is right now a part of. >> so that begs the question, who is hurting in highway to get to this -- hurting in north korea to get to this point? north korea, many have starved for years in many parts of the country. so the people of the country have not been an impetus to get to this point. who has to be hurting around kim for him to say if that's what he's doing, we will give up our
nukes, disable this test site? >> well, i mean, disabling the test sites and we'll give up the nuclear weapons, i mean, that exact line we've heard. you know, we've heard repeated in the past. north korea has never kept to their promises. whatever they claim is -- i guess people are moved. which i understand, it's been 65, 70 years of division between the two korea that's involves a lot of heartbreak, that you almost want to believe in whatever they're claiming. the sanctions have hurt them, and also, you know, remember before this there was a banter about nuclear war taking place which of course served as a bargaining chip. everything north korea has wanted, a one-on-one meeting with the united states and remover of the u.s. army from the korean peninsula. both of these things are now on the table. and that's what they've been asking for all this time.
it's actually win-win for north korea. right now in north korea, their only newspaper because they don't have freedom of press, which serves as press release for the great leader, ran articles and articles about this meeting, some aired because it works as propaganda for the great leader because it shows a great leader is so great. he's making this historical moment happen. >> yeah. we'll see when this summit, if it still happens between kim and president trump, where, we're still getting answers about where that will happen, and if the president gets out of it what he's hoping for, denuclearization. and what does that mean to every party at the table? >> does it mean the same to kim jong-un as it does -- >> we'll talk about that more. good to have you. >> thank you. so we've heard the president talk, as well, well the migrant caravan. we've heard that dozens of times here. how easy or how hard is it really to find refuge in the u.s.? we did some digging on that. stay close.
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the department of health and human services says that it has lost nearly 1,500 migrant children. an official with dhs told congress this week it lost track of the children that it places with sponsors across the country. now, of course, one concern is if the children possibly ended up in the hands of traffickers. >> you know what, that's a common fear for families trying to come to the u.s. unrest in places such as
honduras, is part of what's driving the so-called migrant caravan across mexico and the united states. cnn correspondent laila santiago spoke to a family about their journey. >> reporter: the pushing, the walking, the riding, the waiting, the exhaustion. gabriela hernandez says she has no choice. this is what she must do to reach this point. often the distance behind a tall fence -- off in the distance behind a tall fence for the first time she's getting a glimpse of the united states of america. she says it doesn't seem real that she's that close given all that they have struggled through to get here. we met hernandez in puebla mexico. i'm asking where she's from. on live tv early in her journey with a large group of central american migrants making their way north.
she had just gotten off the bus, and knowing she was part of a group that had become the latest target of president trump. he called them dangerous. ask figure they're dangerous -- >> no. >> reporter: says a child of this age dcannot be dangerous. we tracked her journey as the pregnant mother two of boards more than half a dozen buses for road trips totaling more than 50 hours. we watched her wipe away her tears realizing her children would sit on mountains of scrap metal on a freight train with little to no money or food. she's tried to protect them in search of a better life. a month ago, she joined more than 1,000 migrants on mix's southern bored -- on mexico's southern border for an annual march north. a caravan calling attention to the plight of a migrant including a number of people planning to seek asylum, a legal way to enter the u.s. under federal law. trump has ordered homeland security not to let what he
calls large caravans into the country. attorney general jeff sessions says he will make sure enough attorneys and judges are in place at the border to rule on the cases of this caravan [ speaking native language ] >> reporter: about 130 of the migrants turned themselves in. volunteer attorneys are helping the migrants who get the chance to plead their case. hernandez says this is about survival. she says the gangs that control her neighborhood in honduras threatened to kill her 6-year-old son. having no faith in government protection in her own country she fled. mexico granted many in the caravan temporary permission to be in the country. some have opted to seek asylum in mexico over any possibility of ever dealing with trump.
hernandez knows in the u.s. detention is likely, deportation a possibility. her concern now, her family. she worries she could be separated from her children while in custody of immigration officials. the u.s. insists children are only separated to protect the child or if there's any doubt the adult is the child's legal guardsan -- guardian. what will happen under the watchful eye of the trump administration as the caravan approaches the u.s. border remains unknown. she says she doesn't know what she will do if we can't get in because she can't go back to her country. yet, that uncertainty hasn't stopped them yet. laila santiago, cnn, tijuana, mexico. all right. the migrants en route from mexico to the united states border are soon going to find out if the journey was worth the trek. what happens when they actually get to the border is the question. the u.s. can't just turn them
away. if they're seeking asylum, migrants have legal rights to plead their case. so to qualify, they have to show that they're unable or unwilling to return home because of persecution or credible fear of persecution because of race, political opinion, and it generally has to be more serious than harassment or discrimination. so when migrants ask for asylum, an officer will then interview them to prove their credible fear. this is supposed to take place within 48 hours. sometimes it takes a lot longer. for that time, migrants that are -- they're placed in detention facilities. at the border they have to interview for the process before they can even apply for asylum. >> translator: i don't know if i'll have to stay there until i fall asleep or cry until i know what to do, but i'm not going back. maybe this border patrol agent will be a father who knows the pain of losing a child and knows what it means to take care of a
child so he knows what the kids have been through just to get here and how it makes us feel. >> if they pass the interview, then they can apply and eventually present their case to an immigration judge for final decision. here's the thing -- that process can take years. listen to this -- in 2016, the u.s. immigration court and asylum systems were backlogged with more than 620,000 pending cases. wait times, up to six years. now that's an extreme. but just one possibility for migrants who are waiting for an answer. this is time that they're separated from family, time that they may not be able to work, and possibly time that they're held in detention. all of this carries the risk that if you're turned away, it could be years before you can return. as you see, the process for receiving asylum in the u.s., it is long, it is difficult. when people do arrive at the border, they think that their journey's been long thus far, it may at the end of the day be beginning. we'll be right back.
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2016 now admits she has closer ties to the kremlin. >> of course she was a russian spy. certainly cr certainly cr certainly core rob rates what we have seen. >> the fact they're talking and mew clear and missile tests have stopped for now is a cause for optimism. >> i think it's going to work out just fine. see what happens. but i think it will be very good. >> why it did take so long? 11 years, to get to this historic moment. >> we're not going to be played. okay? we're going to hopefully make a deal. if it we don't, that's fine. >> announcer: this is "new day" weekend with victor blackwell. >> good saturday to you. it has been quite a consequential week for president trump. today