tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN June 6, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
to fly this, you don't need a pilot's license. if you take your hands off the control, it just hovers in place. but in order for it to be truly transformational, people have to be willing to fly them. when most people think about flying cars, they're pretty scared and also very intrigued. >> the number one most important thing other than safety is public acceptance. >> the public acceptance is just one hurdle. flyer's battery only lasts about 20 minutes. >> you can't eradicate traffic with a recreational vehicle. >> we're on a story arc from recreation to exploration to transportation and we will have to evolve along the way. >> that was awesome! >> continuing on, you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
thank you for being with me. here's our top story this hour. after several political pardons, dr donald trump has declared an act of clemency that even his critics will applaud. he's commuting the sentence of alice marie johnson who get life in prison for her first drug offense. the president learned of johnson's case from a white house visit by kim kardashian west last week. the reality star learned of johnson's plight after the news sight mike featured her story. moments ago she tweeted this, "the phone call i ever had with alice will forever be one of my best memories, telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment i will never forget." with me now is one of the mike co-founders who helped motivate
kim kardashian-west and also with us is chief political analyst gloria borger. great to have both of you here. let's just cut right through it. the fact is had it not been for mike and you all featuring alice johnson's story, alice johnson may be serving the rest of her life behind bars. >> it's been incredible. we told this story in october of last year, it's a heartbreaking story of aoman in prison for 21 and a half years for a first time, non-violent drug offense. we didn't expect what happened next. it just caught fire and kim kardashian-west shared the story on social media. she got very moved to act and very involved behind the scenes since november and it been months now to get this woman released and it's been incredible. >> let me play this quick clip from kim after she learned about alice.
>>i lost my job, i struggled financially, i couldn't find a job to take care of my family. failure. i went into a complete panic and out of desperation, i made one of the worst decisions of my life to make quick money. i became involved in a drug conspiracy. >> i just really strongly believe that she is someone that has completely rehabilitated herself and will continue to do so outside of prison. you know, she's done her time. i mean, she's done almost 22 years. you know, i think in life everyone makes mistakes and she really deserves a second chance. >> tell me about what she shared with you. because we saw the pictures from the oval office ofim kardashian-west and the president and he really listened obviously. >> yeah. i think what she shared is that she felt like a human being, that this was wrong. and you know, when you watch that video what you really get is a sense of alice's life.
and alice got caught up in the wrong thing. it was a real crime. she was in her 40s and she had been working at fedex and she lost her job and she was turning to something for money and she got involved in this drug conspiracy ring, but 21 1/2 years for a first time non-violent drug offense, i think kim like many americans felt like that was just too long. >> so this is one kind of commutation. we're talking potentially about the disgraced illinois governor rod blagojevich as a completely different kind of commutation. we were talkingbout a dinesh d'souza and his pardon. now the president is considering pardoning or commuting dozens of others. we don't know who those dozens of others are. >> but brought to his attention by kim kardashian -- >> a celebrity. >> a celebrity.
not to say all you were doing wasn't imptant but you didn't get the entree into the oval office that of course kim kardashian did. >> of course. >> so that's something we ought to take note of. and barack obama did these kind of commutations, hundreds of them, i believe over a thousand of them actually himself. the other thing you're talking about, will he pardon rod blagojevich, who tried to sell his senate seat in the state of illinois and is somebody who was convicted by patrick fitzgerald. patrick fitzgerald is a close friend of james comey and is also james comey's attorney right now. so you have this kind of little play playing out. so the question is would that be about mercy or would that be about getting back at enemies? and the answer is, you know, selling a senate seat is selling a senate seat. >> but your point about
president obama or previous presidents, they do this at the ends of their term. >> and they're controversial. when bill clinton pardoned a big contributor, mark rich at the end of his term, it was usually controversial. so it's not that these things are without controversy, it's just that they usually don't happen in this timeframe, and usually you can't draw these direct links to people the president likes or doesn't like. u know? >> and remember, the boxer jack johnson who was part -- >> exactly. >> two weeks ago who sylvester stall o stallone. >> then you look at martha stewart, rod blagojevich, who was on "the apprentice." >> and martha stewart was
prosecuted by comey. these things are supposed to be about mercy. they're supposed to be about taking a look at the pardon system, who should be there and who shouldn't be there and the applications you receive and go through a certain procedure at the justice department. this is kind of skipping the whole procedure part. it's another thing the president can do unilaterally and he's frtrated he can't do a lot of things unilaterally. >> he can do this. >> he can. >> you have been the thrust behind so mauch of this story. do you know if kim kardashian will go to alabama when she walks out of that federal prison? >> i couldn't say. but they spoke today as she tweeted. it it's an amazing thing. alice has an incredible family. she has a great support network
in memphis, in arizona. i' very confident that that family will be very supportive and she's got a great opportunity in front of her and we'll be continuing to follow her story. it will be a great succe story if she indeed does well outside of prison. >> and we hope she does. >> we do, we do. thank you very much. >> moments ago we saw melania trump on her first appearance publicly for 26 days. >> and what bob corker trying to rein in the president's power to slap new taxes. >> and the aide who made the comment about john mccain dying
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i'm brooke baldwin. this tariff face-off between president trump and america's mot most faithful and longstanding allies has taken a testy turn. according to sources, prime minister trudeau pressed scrum scrumtrump on how he could justify the issue? and trump responded "didn't y guysurn down the white house?" president trump got his hisry a bit wrong. that was referring to an act done by the british. what is accurate is this, that the white house assertion that the aluminum and steel tariffs are to improve u.s. security is
a concept trudeau's foreign minister has really criticized. >> so what you are saying to us and to all of your nato allies is that we somehow represent a national security threat to the united states. and i would just say to all of canada's american friends and there are so many, seriously? >> let's talk this over with cnn's national security analyst juliette kayyem and it's one thing russia, zte. but canada? >> i'll quote the former canadian, "seriously?" canada has done more to help support america's national
security efforts than most other countries whether it's on border security, counterterrorism or the wars in iraq and afghanistan. even putting that aside, it's very dangerous for the white house to utilize the national security exception, which is meant to be utilized as sort of carve-out to protect american use ito willy-nilly as a means to justify an economic policy that should be judged in and of itself. basically the united states, the trump administration is utilizing an exception or a justification because they cannot justify the tariffs on economic grounds because everyone knows the canadians and the economic policy are not harming the united states. >> juliette made this point. catherine, i want to give you credit because you've been making this point with me for a while and you said it a second
ago, you don't enforce national security by alienating your military partner. canada's own government web site says the united states is canada's most important ally and defense partner and more than 40,000 canadian forces have served in afghanistan with the u.s. from '01 to 2014. so what's this about? how long lasting would the damage be? >> i think the damage is tremendous to our relationship with canada specifically, to our economic situation in the near term and potentially in the long term. look, it seems like the tortured logic trump is trying to use here is that if for some reason we needed to ramp up steel production and aluminum production that canada wouldn't be friendly enough to actually help us out or that they would cut off those supplies. maybe this is a self-fulfilling prophecy here. if we do enough to damage our relationship with our friends, maybe they won'toorate with us in our hour of need.
this is so ill advised for reasons beyond national security. it's not only that. there are lots of american jobs that count on getting steel and aluminum as inputs to manufacture other kinds of finish products and now those inputs are getting more expensive, putting those jobs at risk. we're now facing retaliation from canada, mexico and the eu and other places. >> mexico has slapped back on the tariffs. they have slapped more than $3 billion worth in american goods in tariffs after the imposed tariffs from the trump administration last week. you keep saying these are t openingalvo of a trade war. it seems like a trade war. who does this hurt the most? >> it hurts the americans. we have put these tariffs basical basically world wide and these
other countries when they retaliate, they can be much more strategic. they can choose products that hurt us the most, harley davidson motor cycles in wisconsin that maybe they have alternative suppliers for. we have done this so unstrategically on so many levels we are hurting american consumers and potentially workers way more than we're hurting other countries. >> juliette, i want to let you get in on this. i want to slip it piece of sound in. republican senator bob corker is filing a bill that would require lawmakers to approve any presidential trade actions done on national security grounds and senator corker is doing that despite the president asking him to drop this whole idea in this apparent heated phone call. listen to this. >> i talked at length with the president about it today. he was obviously not pleased with this effort.
>> reporter: what do you mean? did he express his objections to you doing this? >> yes. >> reporter: was he angry? >> he's not happy >> reporter: he called you specifically about this? >> yes. >> reporter: how long did you guys talk for? >> fairly lengthy. >> fairly lengthy. if republicans are saying this is not okay to the president, how significant is what we just heard from the republican senator? >> i think it could be significant. i don't know how much backing corker has. there's actually some debate about that. but significant at the vy least you're seeing some life out of senate republicans. they are really one of the checks on all of this stuff on the president. and i think what you're hearing from corker, someone who is very involved with foreign relations, too, is just how damaging it is for the united states to dilute the term national security. this white house uses the sort of national security defense on everything from what catherine
was talking about about the tariffs to the immigration issue separating women and their children to even whether we have transparency on where cabinet officials are going. they say for national security reasons we can't tell you. the dilution of that term is very scary. when you want to use it for actual threats, no one is going to believe you anymore. and in the canadian case, we're done. i don't believe them anymore. if you're going to use this against canada, how will i believe it for immigration enforcement or how will the american public end our allies we may need when there is a real threat? >> and just to one up that even, trump has said we not only need thee tariffs on steel and aluminum, now he's suggesting we need tariffs on cars for national security. it's like they're just trying to make it more and more ridiculous. >> let's also keep in mind the
president will be in canada on friday for this g-7 and how that goes when he's face to face with trudeau, trudeau. we're of course going to be in canada and reporting on all that. coming up next, the woman who made a crass remark about senator john mccain's cancer is not longer working at the white house. it not because of what kelly sadler said about that. another insider said someone on the team had it out for her. why is dark magic so spell-bindingly good? it's a bold blend of coffee with rich flavors of uganda, sumatra, colombia and other parts of south america. like these mountains, each amazing on their own. but together? magical. all, for a smoother tasting cup of coffee. green mountain coffee roasters.
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communications aide. she's the young woman who mocked senator john mccain. sadler saying it didn't matter that mccain was opposed to president trump's cia choice because he's, quote, dying anyway. still kellyanne conway tells cnn that sadler may still have a future in the trump administration. >> kelly sadler has been told that there are administration jobs that fit with her skill set and her experience and that the rest is really her choice of what she would like to do next. >> the senior white house correspondent over the bloomberg news joins us now. margaret, what do you make of kellyanne conway leaving the possibility open that sadler could find another job at the administration? >> yeah, i mean, it's instructive. i don't think it's an accident. she said it on cnn morning and then i was down the street at a breakfast roundtable of
reporters and she repeated the same comments, declined to give us any insights into any particular job offers but indicated she would be qualified in several places. so i think this is the white house sending a clear message that they're publicly defending miss sadler, even as she has moved on out of the executive office of the president. >> anthony scaramucci is weighing in as well. he's the ex-communications director over at the white house. he defended her on cuomo last night and blamed the problem on internal feuds. here was the mooch. >> let me just say a couple things about kelly sadler, okay? she was a very hard working person. she was extremely loyal to the president. there are factions inside that communication team that have been pea shooting at each other since the day they joined the communications team and it required real leadership to knit that team together and to think about it the way a corporate merger would go down. since that did not happen, a
pu faction on the right and faction on the left were shooting at each other and somebody had it out for kelly sadler. when you're sitting inside the inner sanctum and somebody runs outside the inner sing tanctum, think that's totally inappropriate. >> what's going on inside that comm shop? >> the palace intrigue coverage is driven by the availability of palace intrigue stories and this was obviously an incredible unfortunate episode of really inappropriate comment and one that once it was aired became the story unto itself, whether or not anthony scaramucci's
comments about leaking are true but nevertheless, once that becomes a public story, it's essentially an inexcusable situation for someone who is an american hero, has bipartisan support and has a terminal illness. it's a problem and it runs into the unofficial motto of president trump, which is never apologize. there are some things that require apologies. sometimes they're public apologies and the conflict was in whether or not she made her apology privately how this was dealt with publicly. >> last question on the woman who stands at that podium every day, sarah sanders, she's obviously being pressed on telling the truth. she is under fire for not giving that accurate account of president trump's role in the wake of the trump tower meetings in the summer of '16.
she was defensive yesterday when she was pressed. here she was. >> frankly, i think my credibility is probably higher than the media's and in large part that's because you guys spend more of your time focusing on attacking the president instead of reporting the news. i think if you spent a little more time reporting the news instead of trying to tear me down, you might see we're working hard to provide you good information and provide that same information to the american people. >> margaret, you just want the truth. >> right. as a white house reporter and in my role with the correspondents association, i'll say that reporters in the american public ask questions to put answers on the record and they serve as news and also a first draft of history. and any press secretary knows their credibility is paramount and incredibly important. we appreciate sarah sanders' efforts to work with us behind the scenes to press on access on
this upcoming singapore summit, her proximity to the president are incredibly important and her statements from the podium are incredibly important also. we've seen when she realizes the facts were different, we have seen her come back and acknowledge that from the podium. i think that's important in the cases, even when you gave the information that you thought was accurate at the time, that the information is different, it's important to correct the record. >> sarah sanders and senate minority leader chuck schumer will be on chris cuomo tonight on his primetime show. do not miss at 9:00 this evening here on cnn. president trump just praised epa chief scott pruitt despite a number of scandals circling him right now, first class travel, millions on a security detail, and whether he used aides to
first lady melania trump has just made her first appearance before the media for the first time in 26 days since may 10th. shortly before she underwent a kidney procedure. the president acknowledged his wife just a short while ago. >> first we have to start with our great first lady, melania. thank you, melania. she went through a little rough patch but she's doing great. we're very proud of her. she's done a fantastic job as first lady. the people love you. people of our country love you. >> the president and first lady were at fema headquarters for a briefing on the new hurricane season, which started five days ago. there's in quinnipiac poll out that shows melania trump has a higher approval rating than most
administration officials, including her husband. kate bennett was in the room. of course she follows all things melania trump for us. kate, 26 days without being in the public eye. did she say anything, speak up at the event? what were your initial impressions? >> she looked well, brooke. she seemed much herself wearing her coat dress and high heels as she does. she did not say anything. she sat quietly, nodded along as listened as the president spoke to member of h cabinet at that fema briefing. we didn't hear from her personally. i did see her later, though, in a room in fema when the president and first lady and vice president mike pence came down to thank fema workers, she did sort of work the room, shake hands, make eye contact, stuff that she's done before at public events. it's not unusual for her not to necessarily speak. we've seen her at these
hurricane recovery briefings last year after the hurricanes sitting mostly quietly by the president's side as a briefing is received. so not unusual but have i to say she looked well and seemed very much like her old self. there was no resort of outward appearance that she'd been ill or anything like that. >> of course we wish her well. you know, 26 days, why do you think she selected this particular event to be out there? >> reporter: well, i think the hurricane season last year really affected the first lady as it did most of the country. she was with the president in florida, in texas and in puerto rico. she returned to texas on her own to corpus christi with second lady karen pence to unveil a fema trailer and unpack boxes at a food bank and pop by whatab g
whataburger, we rememr that well. she reminded americans to be vigilant and support people who lost things and encouraging people to donate their time and volunteer. it appears to be something that she's very interested in and went along today. >> we've just gotten some news on rudy giuliani. he's one of the president's lawyers now. he's at this conference in tel aviv. he just told this crowd that melania trump does not believe that her husband had an affair with stormy daniels. this is the quote from rudy giuliani. she believes her husband and she doesn't think it's true. thoughts? >> well, i mean, the first lady has never commented publicly in the face of all the stormy daniels headlines and quite honestly, brooke, i feel like the american public has sort of rewarded her for that with these poll numbers which keep going up and up in the face of her silence. i asked her office for comment on mr. giuliani's comments, they
have not gotten back. it's difficult to say whether or not mr. giuliani was basing his statements off of fact or thinking out loud. it's certainly not a topic that the first lady has touched. >> kate bennett at the white house. thank you. speaking of stormy daniels, we have some breaking news involving the adult actress in a new lawsuit she's just filed against the president's former attorney michael cohen and another attorney, keith davidson who initially represented stormy daniels when she agreed to that $130,000 hush agreement that prevented her from discussing an alleged affair with donald trump. m.j. lee is with me live on this. tell me more. >> so here is the lawsuit that was filed by stormy daniels in los angeles earlier today. it is 11 pages long. let just walk you through. there are a lot of lawsuits involving stormy daniels these days. let me walk you through what this one is about.
she is suing her former lawyer, keith davidson, as well as president trump's personal attorney michael cohen for what she says is an act of collusion and the two men acting in concert to manipulate her and to benefit trump. now, as the lawsuit lays out, it claims that the two men worked together as recently as january of 2018, texting each other when they realized that there would be a story coming out in "in touch" magazine detailing stormy daniels' alleged affair with donald trump dating back to 2006. now, the text messages show that this is a direct quote, mr. cohen immediately colluded with mr. davidson in an attempt to manipulate miss clifford in a manner to benefit mr. cohen and mr. trump. one detail from the text message is that it appears the two men tried to get her a spot on sean
hannity's program on fox news so she could go on and deny the details of the affair. it appears that didn't happen. you see between the back and forth of the text messages cohen at some points getting very frustrated at davidson for not being able to make this happen. the bigger picture and the significance of this is that michael avenatti, the current lawyer for stormy daniels, his strategy has been very clear. he has wanted to argue with the public that trump and the people close to trump, namely michael cohen, about that he have not been honest with the public and they want to show that there was something nefarious going on, that if a lawyer -- when you hire a lawyer, they are supposed to represent your interests and your interests only. why would keith davidson who is supposed to be representing stormy daniels be secretly speaking with michael cohen to try to prevent this story from coming out? >> stay with me, m.j. you have this 11-page lawsuit in your hands.
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we are back with our breaking news here involving stormy daniels and this new lawsuit she has just filed both against the president's former attorney michael cohen and one of her former attorneys, keith davidson, who had represented her years ago when she had agreed to that hush payment, that $130,000 that had prevented her from discussing her alleged affair with the now president of the united states. so i have with me norm eisen, attorney, former white house ethics czar and m.j. lee back
with me. norm eisen, m.j. just laid it out but what does this sort of lawsuit accomplish? >> brooke, thanks for having me back. you know, the relentless nature of stormy daniels' legal attack and that of her attorney michael avenatti continues. this lawsuit opens a new front. mr. avenatti was blocked from appearing in the new york matter related to the cohen file. so what he's done is he's gone to court in california, he's sued cohen and stormy's former lawyer, davidson, in state court there, and he's revealed a lot of communications between davidson and cohen that seem to suggest that instead of helping stormy, her lawyer was working with cohen. that's the allegation. so he's opened a new front in the legal battle. and we're far, far from the end
of this war. >> right. so two things. one, let me just read this statement. this is from stormy daniels' current attorney michael avenatti. he said the text messages show the prior denies by mr. trump and mr. cohen relating to what mr. trump knew and about the honesty of my client were absolute lies. there was a significant coverup here as part of an attempt to deceive the american people and mrs. trump and we intend on getting to the bottom of it. before we continue on, just big picture and m.j., you were reminding me, keith davidson, the original attorney of stormy daniels represented karen mcdougal and another former play mate and he had worked with michael cohen in both of those cas cases. >> right. i think when you have at least three cases that we are now aware of where the two men for whatever reason were involved in all of them, i think michael avenatti wants to use them toi
statement you just read from michael avenatti, i said how did you get the text messages and he said we obtained them after months of pressuring mr. davidson to turn them over and he continues to withhold information from us, including more text messages. so trying to suggest here that there could be more communication, that could be potentially damning and that woe don't have our hands on yet and he's -- he's going to continue -- this is a certainty, hammering michael cohen at a moment of vulnerability in addition to all of this, keep in mind he is under a criminal investigation right now. there is that big raid earlier this year where investigators took thousands of pages of documents from his hotel room and his office and his home. so he knows that he is under fire right now and of course all of this as i have to mention, we are talking a lot about first lady melania trump as well, gowing there the text messages that are included in the lawsuit, the first lady actually
is mentioned. in march of 2018, michael cohen appears to say to keith davidson, i'm with flotus and give me a minute. and he asked are you calling? not quite yet. because i'm with the first lady of the united states. so when we talk about this, the lawsuit and the legal implications are complicated but keep in mind this is a family matter as well. >> it is a family matter. and of course as we were just talking to kate bennett and we heard the comments from rudy giuliani and that is something the first lady's office have not commented on. but mr. ambassador back over to you. because, listen, we know that michael cohen is the fixer. this is a guy who said he would take a bullet for the president of the united states and if he's been in the president's orbit for a number of years. and this is the if and yet to be proven but if the allegation is that there was nefarious behavior that did not benefit
stormy daniels in that particular case and there are multiple cases involving michael cohen, especially even just being investigated for criminality at the moment, what does this speak to in a broader sense? >> well, the -- the golden egg is the treasure is in those files that are being now reviewed in new york. there is sure to be the possibility of additional corroboration for this case. and the other two cases that we know about that davidson and coen worked on and who knows what else. so it may be what is in this complaint is the tip of the iceberg for cohen. and this complaint is a relatively small worry. cohen's willingness to take a bullet for trump is going to be tested because i think having done this for almost 30 years,
every time when doj has seized an attorney file that i've seen and it is very rare, met that internal threshold within the department of justice, the attorney gets indicted. it is harder to get permission within doj and then from a judge to do those subpoenas than it is to get some convictions. so cohen is going to be tested and the big picture here is another pressure point for him, is he going to flip on president trump and when he does, boy, these texts with mr. davidson, bad as they are, and they do look bad and president trump likes to say, no collusion, this does look like say substantial allegation, let's say, we don't want to pre-judge, a substantial allegation that davidson and cohen were colluding to harm miss daniels, that is what is alleged in the complaint but that will seem small when it comes time for cohen to decide, is he going to cooperate against the president and what does he
have. so this is really focused on those files and where the answers to all of this may lie. this case gives michael avenatti and daniels another way to attack those files and lay a claim to what is in there. >> again, from avenatti significant cover-up he said to deceive the american people and we're going to get to the bottom of it. to be continued. ambassador norm izen and m.j. lee, thank you so much. one week after kim kardashian visited the white house, president trump commutes the sentence she was advocating more and dozens more pardons may be on the way. for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. so allstate is giving us money back on our bill. well, that seems fair. we didn't use it. wish we got money back on gym memberships.
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a white house contractor arrives to work and put under arrest on an attempted murder charge. secret service arrested martis edwards tuesday outside of the white house complex. a source said the 30-year-old was working for the national security council and no access to the daily security screening. and the most insane video of the day. a national guard stoler driving a stolen military vehicle leading police on a two-hour chase. you don't see this every day. police say the first lieutenant stole the armored vehicle from ft. picket in virginia and not high speed, the vehicle can only go about 40 miles per hour and investigators say the vehicle which belongs to the virginia national guard was not equipped with weapons, the soldier stopped in downtown richmond and then surrendered. police arrested him for driving under the influence of drugs. he was also charged with
alluding police and unauthorized use of a vehicle. so there is that for you in virginia. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me here today. we'll see you tomorrow. and in the meantime, to washington we go. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. stormy daniels just filed a new lawsuit. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. stormy daniels, the adult film star who has been a thorn in the president's side, suing her old lawyer, accuse him of being president trump's puppet and colluding with the president's fixer michael cohen. president trump said to have a new favorite thing, pardoning people and today the wife of a mueller witness and former trump campaign official comes to "the lead" to make a special request to the president. plus, we love chick-fil-a. the bizarre answer scott pruitt gave to his latest ethics scandal, his