tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN March 2, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST
hello, everyone. it is 11:00 on the east coast. i am fredricka whitfield. welcome to the "newsroom." right now we're waiting for two major political events on two very different sides of the political aisle. president trump will be speaking to his base for the first time since walking out on north korea's leader kim jong-un at the second summit overseas. will the president address the backlash surrounding his comments on american student otto warmbier. and will he say anything about his former personal attorney and fixer's explosive public testimony on the hill where michael cohen called the
president a racist and a con man. we're standing by for that. and soon, senator bernie sanders will hold his first major campaign rally since launching his 2020 bid. he is returning to his roots and returning to his native brooklyn for today's speech. we'll take you there live. this as more democratic 2020 hopefuls are across the map with another busy weekend of campaigning. let's begin with sarah westwood, live for us outside the white house. so president trump is expected to speak soon, not far from the white house. what can we expect from him? >> reporter: well, fred, it has been a rough week for president trump, both on the foreign policy front and here at home. we expect the president to use this speech to try to change the conversation, perhaps try to reframe some of the setbacks that hit his white house this week. when he takes the stage, it will be the first time we're seeing him since he left the north korean talks in vietnam empty handed without any progress
towards the denuclearization deal, and he has been taking criticism on what he said about otto warmbier, the young american student that died days after release from north korean custody. the president facing widespread backlash, including from otto warmbier's parents after he said he believed kim jong-un when the dictator said he didn't know how harshly otto was being treated. take a listen. >> i don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen. just wasn't to his advantage to allow that to happen. he felt badly. he knew the case very well, but he knew it later. he tells me he didn't know about it. and i will take him at his word. >> reporter: that was from speaking in hanoi. since then, the president has argued that his words have been twisted. he took to twitter yesterday writing i never liked being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes to otto warmbier and his fwrat family. remember, i got otto out and three others. the previous administration did nothing. he went on to say he holds them
responsible for his mistreatment and death and lafished praise on the family. we expect him to continue this when he appears at cpac, his third appearance at the gathering since he became president, and a friendly audience, fred. if he tries to characterize his failure to secure a deal at north korea as a positive development. >> is the president disputing what he said, which was on videotape, if you didn't get a chance to see it live, hear it live, you saw him and you heard his words on tape. >> right, the president seems to be trying to parse what he said in vietnam carefully by sort of straddling the line, saying he does hold north korea responsible, he does hold the regime responsible, maybe not necessarily kim jong-un personally. he has a history of believing the words of strong men, even though all of the available evidence suggests that they're lying, so that is a repetition of what we saw in vietnam.
>> sarah westwood at the white house. the president is at the national harbor, 30 minutes or so away from the white house. we'll take his comments as it happens. meantime, any moment now bernie sanders will deliver the first major speech of his 2020 campaign. he is expected to get deeply personal in native brooklyn as the 77-year-old reintroduces himself to voters. cnn's ryan nobles is live in brooklyn. ryan, what can be expected there? >> reporter: well, fred, we're expecting a very different tone from bernie sanders than we saw four years ago. sanders mainly stuck to the themes of his policy positions four years ago, pushing progressive issues that have really become central ten et cetera of the democratic partied. in brooklyn today, he is going to strike a more personal tone, talk about his upbringing in brooklyn, the rent controlled apartment that he and his
immigrant parents live in on a middle class income, to get to the point he could move on and become the political superstar he is today. this is a calculated move by the sanders team. they acknowledge he was successful four years ago, he didn't win the election. that's the difference between 2016 and 2020. this isn't just about bernie sanders changing the political conversation, he himself said he would only run in he thought he could win. that means they're doing things much differently. not only talking about his personal life but the makeup of his campaign, his senior leaders of the campaign represent more of the minority community, there's much more presence from women and females as well. today, bernie sanders launching that new tone of his campaign with this big rally in brooklyn as he hopes to win the democratic nomination. fred? >> all right. and when you scan the audience
there, is there any common thread, can you tell me about the people there, mostly from brooklyn area, did people come from all over or what? >> reporter: that's right, fred. we spoke to quite a few people as they were streaming in here. this is indicative of a bernie sanders crowd. there are a lot of young people here, obviously has a lot of support with young people. we are seeing some diversity, african-american supporters and women. brooklyn is a hot bed for bernie sanders support. there's a lot of people that come from the progressive wing of the democratic party, they're passionate about support for bernie sanders. what's interesting is i custody quite a few of them, there are a lot of other candidates in the race that are espousing many of the same beliefs bernie sanders is. they're talking about free college tuition, talking about medicare for all. what makes bernie different. the answer is he was the first, their leader, he got the democratic party to this place. that's why he believe he deserves to be the nominee for the party. >> ryan nobles in brooklyn.
we'll go back there live when bernie sanders does appear. thanks so much. let's talk more about this. joining me, congressional reporter for "the washington post," karen demergian, and david swerdlick. how does this not look like another 2016 race for bernie sanders, what does he have to do differently? >> i think there have been some negative headlines about 2016 that have driven him to cast a wider tent this time. interesting that ryan said a lot of women were there and african americans, those are two groups reporting since 2016 felt marginalized from his campaign. if he is able to draw a broader swathe, that's advantageous for him. it is going to be interesting to see how bernie casts himself against a wider field. before it was bernie versus hillary, now it is versus kamala
harris and others. it will be interesting if they challenge him for the mantle of the progressive wing of the party. seems like that will happen. he doesn't have complete claim to the more progressive wing of the party this time, he is going to have to make a different sale, different pitch that appeals to more people that may gravitate toward a number of other candidates, given options that are before everybody looking at the democratic party, everybody that's looking to potentially challenge trump in two more years. >> david, he will be divulging more, spending time on his personal upbringing, his life. what does he feel he needs to say to reintroduce himself to people or maybe for the first time he is introducing himself to some potential voters. >> good morning, fred. yeah, sanders is playing a home game, from brooklyn, went to james madison high school in brooklyn where my dad went to high school. it is not a surprise he is
drawing a big crowd, that he has a diverse crowd there. as he goes into the wider country and wider lek toelector iowa, california, he will be going against a broader field with candidates that have an appeal in those particular states. senator harris is from california, has home field advantage there, and in south carolina, a lot of the democratic basis african-american and as an african-american candidate, a lot of observers think she has an advantage there. the challenge for sanders in 2016, he was way to the left, you had a lot of centrist democrats. clinton, you had jim webb, lincoln chafy from rhode island. the party has moved closer to him. the question is can sanders distinguish his personal narrative and big vision from the country from other candidates versus on policy
where everybody is kind of bunched tightly. >> and then is there bad blood between he and hillary clinton or is too much made of this moment. listen. >> we're hearing about a lot of democratic candidates meeting with hillary clinton for advice, people like amy klobuchar. do you think you'll do the same? >> i suspect not. >> you're not interested in advice from her? >> i think not. look, we have -- >> you think not. >> so what do you make of that and do you think, however, there is potential the two will converse because aren't they both going to end up in the same space? >> sure. if bernie gets the nomination, i'm sure he will be willing to talk to anybody and everybody. seems like there are lingering wunl wounds there. that's the case for bernie. if not clinton herself, many of her top surrogates and aides,
her people have been reaching out to all of the other candidates putting their names out there to talk about various policy issues, try to unite the party. they realize the party has shifted further to the progressive wing as well, and they're trying to get a strategy to reach out to as many democrats. there's going to be a free for all between now and the primaries and getting to the convention. it will be interesting to see how bernie crafts himself, if he is one person not taking phone calls, not scheduling meetings with clinton people to at least get their expertise, resources, whatever is out there, whether they choose to use it as guidance for what the policy platform will be. >> a quinnipiac poll is out looking specifically at the 2020 in texas. bernie sanders along with joe biden and beto o'rourke, the latter two who are not officially in the race are polling neck and neck in theoretical matchups with president trump. david, what does this say about
anything at this juncture? >> i think some of this is a little expected. o'rourke is from texas, even though he is out of office, expect him to do well, did well in a losing senate race against ted cruz in the last cycle. senator sanders is the only one that ran last time. and biden is the former recent past vice president. all of them have a head start in a big state like that. as the process goes on, as we get into debates and other candidates become known, i think these things shift a bit. but also suggests that look, someone like biden, someone like sanders because the american people already feel like they know these guys, they're going to have a leg up on some candidates that are trying to introduce themselves, people like senator warren and senator booker are known, but the whole country doesn't have the same feel for them because they've never run in a national race.
>> we'll leave it there for now. thank you so much. still ahead, cnn is learning north korea fully expected to make a deal with president trump to denuclearize. what went wrong. and parents of otto warmbier rip into the president when he says he believes the north korean leader didn't know about the american student's mistreatment. what the president is saying now. gentle means everything, so we improved everything. we used 50% fewer ingredients
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summit and denuclearization talks with north korea's leader. we're now learning that north korea came to the summit fully expecting that they would leave with a deal. samantha vinograd who was former senior adviser to obama's national security adviser joins us now from new york. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> this is the second summit. the president said the deal didn't look good, so he walked away. at the same time, kim jong-un is saying that they fully expected to nail down a deal. how do you measure the success or failure of the summit? >> fred, i want to point out one thing. the white house is spreading misinformation about something. we actually have a deal, a very bad deal with north korea. we decided to freeze joint military exercises and scale major joint military exercises back completely because the north koreans have agreed not to conduct missile or nuclear
tests. that's a very bad deal because the threat from north korea hasn't gone away, but we're diminishing the ability of our forces to respond to that threat while we engage in diplomatic negotiations. >> and that would be measured as a victory for north korea because no longer are those exercises -- no reminders of the kind of international force, u.s. force that is available. >> it is definitely a victory for north korea because again, north korea is advancing its nuclear and conventional forces while our forces are less ready to counter the threats because they're not enfwgaging in joint military exercises. with respect to the hanoi sum is, what is unusual is that president trump didn't allow himself this time to be pushed around by kim jong-un, make a second bad deal related to easing sanctions in exchange for some denuclearization, using air quotes here because dismantling the facility which is what was
on the table is not necessarily denuclearization. he did not get pushed over by kim jong-un this time around but the fact that he showed up in hanoi and this was on the table, and there was this gap between the two leaders' negotiating positions really indicates to me, fred, that he didn't do the most basic prep work ahead of the summit, and set himself up for failure and kicked the can further down the road. >> is it your feeling that perhaps this is the president's style, that he wanted to be the one taking the lead in any negotiation face to face with kim jong-un as opposed to his predecessors who might send an advanced team, that's what the diplomatic core is about, to go hash out whatever deal so when the president arrives, everything is signed, sealed, delivered as soon as the president on arrival signs it. is that the real difference here, that perhaps it is this style of this president who
wants to be the one to take credit for either negotiating or walking away? >> that is certainly his style which is why he has preferred to meet with kim jong-un. he rushed a summit in singapore, like he rushed this summit. prep work wasn't done. to your point, i think he is under impression he is the kim whisperer, like a putin whisperer. if he gets in the room with did he say pits that are good at manipulating them, he can convince them to change aggressive behavior or change a major negotiating point like what kind of sanctions would be lifted in exchange for denuclearization. but it is not working, fred. putin hasn't stopped attacking our country and kim jong-un has not actually agreed to denuclearize as far as we know. >> do you see there would be a third or wise to have a third summit and more ground would be covered? >> oh, i think kim jong-un is begging for a third date with donald trump because the more that kim jong-un can extend this
in the future, that's more time that the new normal of a north korea with nuclear weapons, with relationships around the world, and with crumbling sanctions regime that gives it access to revenue can continue to accumulate. it is in kim's interest to keep talking to donald trump so all the other activities can continue in the interim. the longer this goes, the better for kim. >> samantha vinograd, thanks so much. good to see you. >> thank you. while on that trip something else very serious was stirring. the family of otto warmbier issues a sharp rebuke of president trump after his shocking public defense of the north korean dictator, kim jong-un, in the brutal mistreatment and death of their son. brian todd has more on how the family did not hold back. >> reporter: analysts called it a low point in an already dismal news conference. >> he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> reporter: the president saying he supported north korean
dictator kim jong-un's stance that kim didn't know of american college student otto warmbier's deteriorating condition in a north korean prison. >> i don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen. >> reporter: otto warmbier, a student at university of virginia was arrested for allegedly stealing a political sign during a tour of pyongyang in early 2016, during what was seen as a show trial, he wept. warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. a year and a half labor, north korean diplomats asked for a meeting with u.s. counter parts, told them the young american was in a coma. warmbier was quickly evacuated, died a couple days after returning home. trump initially attacked kim and his regime for the death. >> we need only look at the depraved character of the north korean regime. >> reporter: and embraced warmbier's parents, inviting them to the state of the union address. >> you're powerful witnesses to
a menace that threatens our world and your strength truly inspires us all. >> reporter: analysts said that seemed to be a far cry from comments this week. >> he felt badly about it. >> reporter: trump has in fact struck a different tone for months with kim jong-un. >> and then we fell in love, okay? no really. he wrote me beautiful letters. and they're great letters. >> reporter: tonight, facing backlash from the family, the president took to twitter saying he had been misinterpreted thursday. of course i hold north korea responsible for otto's mistreatment and death. most important, otto warmbier will not have died in vain. i love otto and think of him often. >> this president is responsible for having otto warmbier returned to this country and be reunited with his family in his final hours. the president is saying that there's no indication chairman kim knew what happened to otto warmbier when it happened. >> reporter: but that seems
improbable because after his death, doctors that examined otto warmbier said they believed he had been in a vegetative state 14 months before being sent home. >> if he is in a vegetative state for 14 months, does kim jong-un not know about it at all during that time? >> kim would have known as soon as they determined that this was something that wasn't reversible. he would have known immediately. >> reporter: brian todd, cnn, washington. still ahead, the ceo of the san francisco giants under fire after an explosive altercation with his wife out in the open. it was caught on video. the disturbing images next. your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. brushing only reaches 25% of your mouth. listerine® cleans virtually 100%.
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san francisco giants ceo larry baer and his wife are apologizing following a physical and public altercation. a bystander capturing that heated argument in a san francisco park on video. to get to it, kaylee hartung with more details on all of this. this incident happening in the open but now it is an apology from both parties, husband and wife? >> that's right. this happened yesterday morning. the video very quickly went public very widely with the help of tmz, and seems that larry and pam baer are now in lock step, they issued a joint statement saying they resolved the issue. pam baer is defending her husband, saying that she lost her balance. watch the video for yourself. >> oh my god, help. >> oh my god help, pam baer screams as larry baer tries to
grab what appears to be a cell phone out of her hand. caught in a struggle, she falls to the ground in the chair she's sitting in. this video captured by a by tleep stander and released by tmz shows the first seconds of the scuffle. after a cut video, you can see larry there, cell phone in hand, saying stop, pam, stop, and walking away. bystanders are heard yelling for her to stay away from them. the couple says they're embarrassed over the heated argument over a family matter. in a joint statement say they resolved the issue, but the video is now an have you for authorities. the san francisco police department is investigating the incident. and so is major league baseball. they say just like any other situation like this, they will immediately begin to gather the facts. major league baseball strict domestic violence policy applies to executives as well as players. baer is part owner of the giants and seen as a major part of the success enjoyed by the
organization which won the world series three times in the last ten years. larry baer is the public face of the san francisco giants management. he's the guy with a clean image who's known to clean up public relations challenges that the team faces. he's apologized, but fred, that apology now is not enough to stop the san francisco police and major league baseball from investigating what happened. >> appreciate it. still ahead, the president has more to worry about than just the russia investigation. new york prosecutors have their own investigation that could bring new damning evidence to light. details next. first, a quick look at cnn's original series, "the bush years." >> i would like to introduce you to my family. fact is i would be nothing without them. our four sons, our daughter doro, my own barbara bush. >> i think it is hard to imagine
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trump's former attorney michael cohen alluded to during this week's explosive testimony on capitol hill. why could this be more of a problem for the president? >> reporter: for several reasons. mainly because it prosecutes all kinds of cases and aggressively. talking financial crimes, campaign crimes. compare that to the special counsel's case which started for the sole objective to investigate russian influence on the 2016 election. you can see why the president may have more reason for concern. when president trump's former personal attorney michael cohen testified before congress this week, he suggested more investigations into the president are in the works. >> i am in constant contact with the southern district of new york. unfortunately this topic is actually something that's being investigated right now by the southern district of new york. >> the southern district of new york, a u.s. attorney's office with a rich history of
tenaciously taking on high profile cases like wall street execs and mobsters. it operates independently from the oval office. >> koenmichael cohen said a lot things, but one thing he wouldn't talk about are ways in which he is cooperating with southern district of new york, my former office, with respect to all sorts of investigations we may not know anything about. that's an ominous sign. >> he pleaded to tax fraud, bank fraud, federal campaign finance violations. allen weisselberg made a deal with sdny attorneys for limited immunity in exchange for information in the case. federal prosecutors in new york are already investigating the president's inaugural committee, subpoenaing a wide range of documents. and earlier this month, cnn reported the sdny is seeking to interview trump administration executives. though the focus of the interview is not clear. >> the motto of any good
district attorney's office, if you see a serious federal crime being committed, you investigate it, if there's enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, you charge it. >> the southern district doesn't have the same restriction as the special counsel investigation which department of justice set up to strictly look into one thing, russian influence in the 2016 election. the investigation led by robert mueller spans nearly two years. attorneys interviewed a wide range of people currently or formerly in trump's orbit. the president refers to the probe. >> a disgraceful situation, a witch hunt. >> the entire thing a witch. >> 37 people and entities have been indicted or pled guilty, including trump advisers and russian nationals. recently added to the list, roger stone. a long time trump associate cohen said told trump he had knowledge of the wikileaks posting of democratic e-mails in the 2016 campaign. >> mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just gotten off the phone with julian assange and that
mr. assange told mr. stone that within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. >> a claim the president and wikileaks deny. the special counsel's investigation has uncovered and referred cases to the southern district. that's how a probe into cohen started. it remains to be seen what else mueller's team may have forwarded to u.s. attorneys, and that could be what ultimately deals a blow to the president. >> bob mueller is not what should concern the president or white house, it is the southern district of new york. >> let's not forget in this hearing, cohen dropped many names as people being aware of alleged wrongdoing by the president. congressional committees may bring in more people to testify. the latest we hear that felix saider, long time associate in his plan to build the tower in moscow project. >> all right.
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43-year-old used a gun to control and terrorize the givicm and gave him limited food and water. striking teachers in california reached a tentative deal to end the walkout. the new contract provides teacher with an 11% raise and bonus. the agreement makes class sizes smaller and boosts support staff, including adding counselors and psychologists. at least three immigration rights organizations are pushing for release of at least nine children under the age of one and their mothers that are being held at a texas i.c.e. facility. one of them has been there for nearly three weeks. the groups say they're worried about lack of medical care available at the detention center. nick valencia is tracking the story for us. >> the letter was sent on behalf of three advocacy groups. what they're calling for is immediate release of nine children under the age of one, currently held in an i.c.e.
facility in texas, the largest immigration facility in the united states. the letter sent on behalf of the american immigration council catholic legal immigration network and american immigration lawyers association claims the children are held along with their mothers without receiving the proper medical care or attention. they say that some of the mothers report their children have lost weight drastically, others are having trouble sleeping, some have even gotten sick, which is why the advocacy groups are calling for immediate release of what they call a uniquely vulnerable population. i.c.e. responded to claims and here's what they sent. a statement that read in part i.c.e. takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care. i.c.e. is committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency's custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care. now, i.c.e. is required to meet basic medical standards for any noncitizen, minor in their custody. what the advocacy groups haej is
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is being asked to apologize again following new comments regarding america's relationship with israel. during an event yesterday, the minute democrat said, i'm quoting, i want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country, that is according to the "new york times." now the house foreign affairs chairman is demanding an apology. engel released a statement which reads in part, her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful and i ask that she retract them, poapologize and commit to makin her case on policy issues without resulting to attacks that have no place in the house of representatives. and earlier this month omar eventually apologized for tweets suggesting that aipac was essentially buying off politicians. those tweets have since been deleted. when it comes to guns and the second amendment, there are strong convictions on both sides
of the issue. there is talk, big talk and plenty of proposals on the books in congress to change gun laws, but there are no actual plans for congress to pass them. cnn's phil mattingly spoke with two lawmakers who fall on different sides of the debate, both directly affected by gun violence. >> reporter: two lawmakers with personal experiences with gun violence on complete opposite sides of the gun debate. >> i urge my colleagues to vote yes on hr-8, the bipartisan background checks act of 2019. it is time. >> this is a bad gun control bill we ought to reject it. >> reporter: lucy mcbath's son was murdered in 2012. that and the fight for more restrictive gun laws is the reason she is in congress today. >> the fact that i am lehere ani ran on platform of gun violence
prevention when people said don't do it, i wasn't the only one that ran on this platform, but this was my number one platform because it is the right thing to do. >> reporter: mcbrath,ath, a dem, after six years of gunned a advocacy and a campaign that didn't shy away from the issue. >> and in the end i will always just be a mother on a mission. >> reporter: steve scalise moments from death in 2017 after he and republican colleagues were targeted by a gunman at a congressional baseball practice now both at the center of the debate as the democratic controlled house took the most substantive legislative steps on the issue in more than two years. capitol hill reality, one driven lessen by outside money and political influence and more by personal belief systems. when it comes to guns and the second amendment, there is no clear bipartisan path forward to significant changes.
>> what happened to me with the shooting in 2017, it didn't change the way i view issues especially on the second amendment and gun rights, but it really strengthened my beliefs because people were expecting for some reason that i might change my views. >> reporter: for mcbath, it was the exact opposite. her experience is why she is a key player in the legislative debate now. >> no one ever wants to be in my shoes. so to be able to i guess bear that burden, carry that mantle and bring that mantle here to washington and really be able to effect change is extremely important. people are depending on me. >> reporter: something that turned her into a national leader on the issue for democrats. >> turning her grief and her tragedy into action and courage, to run for congress, to stand on this floor and share her personal story with us, that takes real courage. >> reporter: and scalise a key
voice for republicans opposed to those efforts. >> for those who want to limit the rights of law abiding citizens to own and possess a gun, i think it is important to show the other side of how guns are used to help save lives. in my case it was people with guns who confronted the shooter and are the reason i'm here today. >> reporter: both are keenly aware inthat those roles will oy glow in t grow. mcbath promising more restrictions, scalise countering that the current laws on the books are enough. >> one thing that we ought to put real focus on is holding people accountable that fail all of us. if an area of government doesn't do its job, there are a lot of laws on the books that don't get enforced properly that aren't used and crimes are committed because somebody didn't codo thr job right. but yet government says let's pass another law that won't work that will actually make it harder for law abiding sits z
citizenses. >> reporter: as the search continues for some way to bridge such a significant guiddivide. >> i don't think there anyone wants to somewhere tos to to ha access to the gun and hurt or maim themselves. i don't think any of us want that. we want to make sure that our children are cared for and protected. so that is an issue that we can find common ground on. >> that was phil mattingly reporting. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. hello again, everyone. thanks for being with me. i'm fredricka whitfield. at any moment now president trump will speak at a very large conservative gathering following a busy week in politics. trump left empty-handed from the second summit with north korea's leader kim jung-un. his former