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NEW DAY

North Korea Holds Military Parade; Trump Declassifying Documents; Trump to Provide Responses in Zervos Case; Ford Responds to Trump; U.S. Open Wraps Amid Controversy; Hurricane Heads Toward East Coast. Aired 6:30-7:00a ET

Aired September 10, 2018 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[06:32:10] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: North Korea is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a large military parade, but taking the unusual step of not showing its long-range ballistic missiles. President Trump is taking credit for that change.

CNN's Will Ripley, live in Pyongyang in North Korea with much more.

Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's really extraordinary, John, to have stood in Kim Il-Sung Square here in Pyongyang and seeing a military parade with no ICBMs, when just over a year ago I saw them unveil these huge missiles that they were, you know, really intended to directly threaten the mainland of the United States. It does go to show the really about face in and the public messaging of the North Korean government led by Kim Jong-un.

But just because North Korea isn't parading its nuclear weapons doesn't mean that it's given them up anytime soon. In fact, denuclearization talks with the U.S. have stalled. The North Koreans have not given the U.S. a list of the weapons they possess or any of the other things that the U.S. says it needs to move forward with the denuclearization process.

But the simple fact that Kim Jong-un didn't put the missiles on display apparently is enough to keep diplomacy moving, according to President Trump, who within hours of the parade tweeted a glowing message to Kim Jong-un over the weekend, part of it saying, thank you to Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other.

It is extraordinary to think about where we are now compared to where we were at the height of the fire and furry rhetoric. And, in fact, journalist Bob Woodward speaking to CBS over the weekend described one moment where the president could have come very close to sparking a war with North Korea over a single tweet. According to Woodward, Woodward says that the president had drafted a tweet seeing -- saying that he was going to pull out the dependence of the 28,000 U.S. troops who were stationed in South Korea. But they didn't send that tweet because they got urgent information, back channel information, though the Pentagon from North Korea, that that would be interpreted as a direct threat from the president of an imminent attack. So it's frightening to think how close we were. Where we are now though, it seems, at least for the moment, diplomacy moving forward.

Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Will, great to have you on the ground there for us. Thank you very much.

So, the Trump administration plans to announce today that it will close the PLO's Washington office. The Palestinian group calls this move a dangerous escalation amid stalled Middle East peace efforts. CNN has learned that National Security Adviser John Bolton will make the announcement in a speech a few hours from now.

BERMAN: A Dallas police officer charged with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of an unarmed neighbor in his own apartment. Police say Amber Guyger was off duty when she shot Botham Shem Jean, a black man, after mistakenly entering his apartment at the complex where she also lives. The 26-year-old man later died at the hospital. Guyger's a four-year veteran of the force. She was released from jail on Sunday after posting $300,000 bond. At this point officials say it does not appear the pair knew each other. An investigation is underway.

CAMEROTA: OK, what a shocking and puzzling story that is.

BERMAN: It's awful.

CAMEROTA: We will bring you developments as soon as we get them.

[06:35:00] Meanwhile, a new report says President Trump wants to declassify some surveillance documents related to one of his campaign advisers and a Justice Department lawyer. All of that is next.

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CAMEROTA: OK, new this morning, Axios is reporting that President Trump could declassify documents related to former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and senior Justice Department Attorney Bruce Ohr as early as this week. Some House Republicans have been pushing for the declassification of these documents in hopes of somehow affecting or tainting the Russia investigation.

So joining us now is CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor, and Toluse Olorunnipa and John Avlon are back with us.

OK, Laura, let me start with you.

So the attempt to declassify these documents about Carter Page and Bruce Ohr. As we'll remember, Carter Page was the subject of this FISA warrant for surveillance. And just to remind people that what was in the FISA warrant, which we know, this is from 2016, is this, the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government. The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.

[06:40:09] What does it mean, since we know this already, if the president declassifies some of these documents?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, it's the president's prerogative to declassify material. He is the final arbiter of what should be classified, like it or not.

But what it will mean essentially, he's trying to put this into the court of public opinion, rather than wait for the Mueller investigative probe to conclude and have a report issued to Rod Rosenstein as (INAUDIBLE) to do so.

What he's trying to do is essentially to try to bolster his claims that the dossier and the Carter Page FISA memo are all part of a greater witch hunt and are based on salacious claims that have nothing to do with actual fact. And he's trying to (INAUDIBLE) -- with Bruce Ohr and also Carter Page to have that narrative all come together.

Now, it's surprising to actually declassify material that is still part of an active investigation, however. And it really is shocking that he'll do so.

BERMAN: He's like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," in that he's had this power all along, right? The president -- the president has always had the -- see, I'm going somewhere with this though.

CAMEROTA: I -- no, I like this. I'm all ears.

BERMAN: All right, he's always had the power to do this. He complains about these documents not being declassified. He's been doing that for months. So why, Toluse, do it now? I suspect that the timing here tells us something.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": Yes, it's sort of reminiscent of when the president pulled Brennan's security clearance right after the Omarosa book came out. They are dealing with another book now and this is another bright, shiny object to sort of throw into the media sphere to see if it can gain some steam.

And there's also been sort of this long pattern of the White House and Republicans trying to find the smoking gun of bias or corruption within the FBI. They started with, you know, this whole idea of release the memo. There was a memo that was put out by House Republicans a few months ago. The president said that Obama had tapped his phones. He talked about unmasking. There was this brief flirtation with spygate earlier this year. So there has been this long list of faux scandals that Republicans on the -- in the House and the White House have tried to -- tried to get out there and tried to build steam and we just have not really seen any of those things really pan out. We haven't seen the smoking gun.

They have sort of been able to try to muddy the waters a little bit, but none of those things have really stuck. And all the while Bob Mueller and his team are working very quietly behind the scenes, not allowing any of this to distract them, piling up indictments, piling up guilty pleas. We just saw George Papadopoulos recently sentenced to 14 days in jail and now he's sort of doing his media tour and talking about how he misled prosecutors. So it does seem like the president is using this to try and distract from this ongoing investigation and the fact that Mueller and his team are really doing a lot of work and really taking a lot of his top campaign officials and even some of his White House officials, getting them swept up in this investigation. So the president is looking for ways to distract from that.

CAMEROTA: John, let's move on to another development this morning, and that is Summer Zervos. She is one of the at least 15 women who have accused Donald Trump, before he was president, of sexually assaulting or sexually harassing. Summer Zervos says that in 2007 he forcibly kissed her and groped her.

So none of these -- all of -- many of these cases have passed the statute of limitations, but hers, because she's actually suing him for defamation, for calling her a liar, she says, and now it appears that this can move forward and that the president will have to give written responses to her lawyer's requests.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's exactly right. And, look, I mean this case has not gotten as much attention as many of the others, Stormy Daniels, for example. But the fact it is going forward and now the president's confirmed that he will be offering written responses to questions, that's a big deal for a sitting president under, you know, an accusation of defamation related to the 2016 campaign. So this is going forward and this will be, you know, not on the main menu today, but it will be topic number one when these questions drop.

BERMAN: Laura, as an attorney, written answers. What kind of jeopardy does that put the president in?

COATES: Well, if you have a false statement in your written answer, you can be held liable for perjury or other acts. There is great legal exposure. However, the downside if you're the person receiving the written answers is that these statements are so heavily vetted by attorneys --

AVLON: Yes.

COATES: They are chalked full of caveats. They're going to have statements that will essentially inoculate the president. Things like, to the best of my knowledge, or, based on my understanding of your question, I presume to say the following, et cetera, et cetera. So have all these caveats there that will make it really useless to the person receiving the information unless they're able to have a follow- up question and a follow-up answer and interrogation (INAUDIBLE) with the president of the United States.

Now, this, of course, is what Rudy Giuliani was talking about, having written responses for the Mueller probe as well and the same caveats would exist. If you're Mueller, if you're Zervos' attorney, you want the opportunity to question the person who you want information from, not just have a script that's vetted by attorneys.

[06:45:10] AVLON: That's right.

CAMEROTA: We -- I don't know if -- OK, we'll tease the coming up at some point we'll talk about this closed door meeting. There's audio that "The New York Times" has obtained of Mick Mulvaney and Ronna McDaniels talking to GOP donors about their real concerns before the midterms about the things that could trip up Republicans, namely the president and Ted Cruz.

AVLON: Texas.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Texas. Yes.

BERMAN: You're teasing Ted Cruz.

CAMEROTA: I'm teasing Ted Cruz.

BERMAN: Don't tease Ted Cruz.

AVLON: No, it always backfires.

BERMAN: Don't tease Ted Cruz.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile -- thank you very much panel.

So, meanwhile, Serena Williams fined thousands of dollars and penalized a game point over an outburst with the umpire, or an argument. This was all during the U.S. Open final. I was there. I witnessed it live. It was very intense.

BERMAN: You were like feet away. To be clear, like 30 feet away.

CAMEROTA: And -- I was feet away. I mean I could read her lips and I knew that something incredible and unprecedented was going down there. So the question today is, is there a double standard? Are women being treated differently, female athletes, than men? Our "Bleacher Report" is next.

BERMAN: Was it sexism? Don't answer that yet.

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[06:50:08] CAMEROTA: OK, time for "CNN Money Now."

A top automaker taking on President Trump.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more.

What's this about, Christine?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump offered some business advice to Ford Motor on Sunday because of the administrations high tariffs on car imports from China, Ford can start making its Focus Active in the United States. Ford says, well, no, Mr. President, it's not going to do that. The company said it just doesn't make business sense to make the hatchback wagon here. It would not be profitable since expected annual sales are fewer than 50,000 units.

Ford was responding to a weekend tweet from the president claiming tariffs on Chinese imports meant the Focus Active production could move to the U.S. The president wrote, this is just the beginning. The car can now be built in the USA and Ford will pay no tariffs. But Ford says, no. it has no plans to build the wagon in the U.S. Last month Ford did cancel a plan to make that Focus Active in China and export them to the U.S. It said pending tariffs would make it just too expensive to do that. Production will remain, though, now in Europe and the wagon will be sold overseas.

John, real quick. Ford was real quick to respond to the president's tweet this weekend saying, no, no, we're not going to take that business advice.

BERMAN: They'll do what makes them money, as companies tend to do.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, thanks so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: An unforgettable U.S. Open, really unforgettable, wrapping up last night. Huge controversy. Camerota was there. Andy Scholes was there. All --

CAMEROTA: That wasn't the controversial part, though the unusual part, yes.

BERMAN: Whatever she goes, controversy follows.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERMAN: The "Bleacher Report" now. Do it.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, guys.

You know, unforgettable, but, unfortunately, what everyone's going to be remembering from this U.S. Open is what happened between Serena and the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, Saturday night. Serena was fined $17,000 for three code violations during the loss to Naomi Osaka in the finals. Serena was given a warning for coaching, then a point penalty for smashing her racket. And finally she was penalized a game for calling Ramos a thief for taking that point away.

Now, Serena argued with tournament officials that the men do far worse than call someone a thief and are not penalized. Well, the Women's Tennis Association agreeing with Serena. They released a statement yesterday saying in part, the WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done Saturday and hope that what we all witnessed Saturday never happens again.

Now, the men, meanwhile, taking the court last night. Novak Djokovic beating Juan Martin del Potro to claim his 14th grand slam title. That ties him with Pete Sampras for third on the all-time list. He trails only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal now. And after the match Djokovic is asked if he thought Serena was treated unfairly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in the grand slam final. He did change the course of the match and, in my opinion, maybe unnecessarily. We all go through our emotions, especially when you're fighting for a grand slam trophy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: And, guys, former men tennis greats like John McEnroe, James Blake have come out and said they said far worse to umpires in their day and never received a code violation.

CAMEROTA: Well, there you have it. I mean there you have it. Then it is unequal. She was right, you know? I mean when we watched it in the stands -- I have some cell phone video that we shot because we could see something very dramatic was unfolding and but -- I was trying to read her lips and we could hear her saying -- and I could see her saying, fighting for women. Something about fighting for women. But I didn't know the entire context of why she felt so aggrieved until afterwards. So if -- if the men are not treated equally, if the men are not penalized, then it's obvious what happened (ph).

SCHOLES: Yes. And the whole argument here is that Ramos should have used some discretion. You know, many people have compared it to the NBA finals. They're not giving LeBron a technical foul in the fourth quarter at the end of an NBA finals game, right, because NBA officials know you don't do that to a star in that situation. And that's what should have happened here. Ramos, instead of escalating the situation, should have just let it go.

BERMAN: He had two different chances where he could have taken a different path, used his discretion. It didn't need to go as far as it did. He made himself the story in this and you never --

SCHOLES: Absolutely. The last thing you want to be doing after -- the day after a final is talking about the chair ump.

CAMEROTA: Right. So she's been fined $17,000. What happens to him?

SCHOLES: Well, by the -- according to the rule book, Alisyn, he did nothing wrong. He followed all the rules. It's just that the chair umpire, they don't do that in that situation. Even the commentators at ESPN were like, we've never seen this happen in a grand slam final, and that's where everyone thinks Ramos went wrong. He should have just shown some digression and let it go.

CAMEROTA: It was all so unfortunate, including for the winner.

BERMAN: Naomi Osaka. She was as wronged or more than anyone there.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

SCHOLES: Absolutely. BERMAN: Because she was winning and she won fair and square. And to have her win diminished is really unfortunate.

SCHOLES: Yes.

OK, Andy, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: So, millions of people along the East Coast are on high alert this morning as Hurricane Florence gains strength and takes aim at the Carolinas. We have that latest forecast for you, next.

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[06:59:05] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: All right, good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

We do begin with breaking news for you because Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying at this hour and it is taking aim at the East Coast. Florence is now a strong category two hurricane. It is forecast to make landfall in the U.S. as a category four storm days from now. This could be the most powerful hurricane to strike the Carolinas in almost three decades.

BERMAN: States of emergency have now been declared in North and South Carolina. Virginia as well. The hurricane poses a major threat of flooding inland. Forecasters believe the storm will stall after it makes landfall, dumping just tons of rain.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest forecast.

Chad, this is coming. This almost looks like a certain, direct hit as a very powerful storm.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I would say so. Even if it's down to a cat three when it makes landfall, remember, it's been in the water, a 150-mile-per-hour storm for a few days, the surge under that 150-mile- per-hour storm is going to translate and move right onshore with it. So it's going to surge like a Katrina surge in some spots.

[07:00:13] Now, it's still too early to tell impact