US, North Korea trade blame for failed negotiations

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 28, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BAIER: Greg Palkot, live in Seoul. Greg -- thank you.

Let's bring in our panel here in Hanoi.

Eric Talmadge is the Pyongyang bureau chief for the Associated Press; and Geoff Earle is the deputy U.S. political editor for "The Daily Mail". Thank you gentlemen for being here.

Eric -- your sense first. First of all there is a rare element that the North Koreans came out and hold a press conference. Clearly they wanted to put their point of view out there. Your sense of where things are after the summit fell apart?

ERIC TALMADGE, PYONGYANG BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think the North Korean side was clearly surprised by the outcome. I think they are disappointed and so they wanted to make sure that they got their position across. They took a little bit of an issue with President Trump's claim that they wanted all sanctions removed although they pretty much admitted that they were looking for pretty much all the sanctions to be removed. All the significant ones removed.

BAIER: When you're talking about the sanctions, you've got these U.N. sanctions, five of the 11. It is essentially the meat of the sanctions would be taken out if they drop those, right?.

TALMADGE: That is right. So the North Koreans came out with a really big ask right from the beginning. And so it's not really surprising that that didn't work out.

But I don't think -- we should keep in mind that they also -- Kim also vowed to maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests. And that's a really big deal. So we don't need to go right back into crisis mode. We can continue talks and I think the door was left open for that. So that's an important outcome.

BAIER: Geoff -- the President will be on Sean Hannity's" tonight. We have a piece of that talking about his reaction to this deal. Take a listen.


TRUMP: They wanted to denuke certain areas and I wanted everything. And the sanctions are there and I didn't want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program.

And they are not ready for that and I understand that fully. I really do. I mean they spent a lot of time building it and that doesn't mean the world has to be happy. But I wanted them to denuke.


BAIER: You know, a lot of times, these things are baked in the case, that the lower level officials go in. They do all the grunt work and then the leaders come in and kind of pull the rabbit out of the hat. This time it is the two leaders really doing the negotiating.

GEOFF EARLE, "THE DAILY MAIL": Absolutely and there is a reason for that. Because that leaves you less likely to be in a situation where you fly a thousand miles and you don't have anything physical to show for it.

Now this is a unique situation and Kim Jong-un is not the leader of every country in the world. But I think President Trump, you know, invested a lot in his personal diplomacy and so far we don't have anything to show for it.

BAIER: But the walk away. Does that give him more street cred in the region or back home?

EARLE: Well, I think -- and the North Koreans watch President Trump very closely and I think people who know him know that this is a classic negotiating tactic for him. So if he is -- if he's unwilling to take their initial ask and walk away and demand more, I think they know that that is a little bit about what is going on. And I think also Trump and Mr. Pompeo also know that the North Koreans are trying to make a bid here.

BAIER: Do think the North Koreans will come back and say, let's talk again?

TALMADGE: Definitely. I don't think this is over. I think this is like - - like you were saying, this is a kind of a gambit on both sides.

And the North Koreans like to come out hard in negotiations like this, so it's not really that surprising. I'm a bit surprised that both sides are more aware of what their positions were. But this is going to continue I think.

BAIER: And I just want to ask you about reporting in Pyongyang. How difficult is that? I mean they are obviously watching you. You are filing Pyongyang, I mean that's got to be challenging?

TALMADGE: It is a very challenging job. I mean we have surprising ability to get around and see things. Access has been very hard. I'm the only American journalist who's regularly in Pyongyang and it is very difficult being an American in Pyongyang, for sure.

BAIER: That is interesting.

I want to talk about the politics very quickly -- Geoff.

Here's former vice president Biden talking today about the fallout from all of this.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: -- dictators. You cannot think of anyone who has thrown their arms around or chosen the word of dictator and thugs over even our own intelligence committee. Standing before the world and taking the word of Vladimir Putin over the entire intelligence committee, our national reputation as being tarnished.


BAIER: We don't know if Joe Biden is going to run for president or not but he was pretty critical of coddling dictators.

But most Democrats came out and said, you know, it is good that the President walked away from this deal.

EARLE: I think that's right. And there is a lot of concern among some Trump critics that he was going to put a lot of sanctions on the table and put a formal end to the war on the table and not get anything really concrete in return particularly given that North Korea has material and nukes all over the place.

So I think there is a lot of relief on the part of critics that he didn't set us on a road that would have given up a lot of leverage and left us in the worst negotiation -- negotiating position a little bit later.

BAIER: We'll see what comes next. Gentlemen -- we appreciate your time this morning.

EARLE: Thank you very much.

Back in the U.S. Capitol another day of testimony from the President's former attorney and fixer. Today's session unlike Wednesday's was held in private. But there has been a very public reaction by Republicans to some of Michael Cohen's statements yesterday.

Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge is live tonight on Capitol Hill. Good evening -- Catherine.


The testimony concluded within the last hour with Cohen making a brief public statement. But he took no questions on the criminal referral.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: As I said I am committed to telling the truth.

HERRIDGE: The criminal referral to Attorney General William Barr from two House Republicans alleges Michael Cohen perjured himself during Wednesday's public testimony.

COHEN: I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs.

HERRIDGE: The referral quotes prosecutors in the Southern District of New York where Cohen pled guilty to bank and tax fraud as well as lying. Quote, "During and after the campaign Cohen privately told friends and colleagues including his seized text messages that he expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration." Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis called the referral quote, "baseless" and driven by quote, "two pro-Trump committee members".

But then there is Cohen's CNN interview four days after the 2016 election.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: There is absolutely a chance he's going to ask you to go.

COHEN: Oh, I certainly hope so.

CUOMO: Would you go.

COHEN: 100 percent.

HERRIDGE: There was other pushback. On Twitter, WikiLeaks said its editor never spoke to political operative Roger Stone about hacked Democratic e- mails as Cohen testified.

COHEN: Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange. There would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.

HERRIDGE: The President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Cohen's testimony that he waived attorney-client privileges quote, "provably false."

Mr. Trump repeated his criticism of his former lawyer and so-called fixer.

TRUMP: He said no collusion with the Russian hoax. And I said I wonder why he didn't just lie about that too like he did about everything else.

HERRIDGE: The hearing also underscored an apparent shift by Democrats away from Russia collusion to alleged fraudulent business practices by Trump.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: Did the President ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?


OCASIO-CORTEZ: And where would the committee find more information on this? Do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them?

COHEN: Yes and you'd find it at the Trump Org.

HERRIDGE: Republicans do acknowledge the Democrats apparent shift in strategy while dismissing suggestions the President faces further legal and political trouble.

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TX: The impeachment cupboard is bare and I think the focus is shifting to financial crime.

HERRIDGE: The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will recall Cohen March 6 for more closed testimony.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: He was fully cooperative and answered all of our questions. And you know, this has obviously been an excruciating time for him.


HERRIDGE: And Schiff announced another public hearing for March 14th with a Russian-born one-time Trump business associate Felix Sater who worked with Cohen to market the 2016 Moscow Trump real estate project. As you know -- Bret, that project never came through.

BAIER: Catherine Herridge, live on Capitol Hill. Catherine -- thanks.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

BAIER: Up next conservatives come together in Washington while Democrats come apart it seems on Capitol Hill. We will explain.

First here's what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight.

Fox 45 in Baltimore as attorneys for the man accused of killing five people at a newspaper office say prosecutors have not provided them with enough details about the charges against their client. Lawyers for Jared Ramos are said to be considering changing his please to not criminally responsible due to insanity.

Fox 2 in San Francisco as floodwaters that turned two Northern California communities into islands have started to recede after inundating about 2,000 buildings. The Russian River north of San Francisco reached about 46 feet Wednesday night, its highest level in 25 years.

And this is a live look at Philadelphia from Fox 29. The big story there tonight, the Phillies and baseball star Bryce Harper agree on a record contract. Harper's free agency has been the major story of his off-season. Reports say Harper will sign a 13-year deal worth $340 million - the highest ever in baseball.

That's tonight's live look outside the beltway “Special Report”. We are 8,300 miles outside the beltway. As we had to break and throughout this show we will bring you to other interesting sites here in Hanoi.


BAIER: This statue of Vladimir Lenin in Lenin Park in downtown Hanoi is really one of the last markers to Vietnam's Communist past. The Communist Party is still the ruling party here, the government has evolved though.

It is different and capitalism has rumbled by. Look across the street. International banks altogether and if you want a refreshment across from Lenin Park, well you just go to Highlands Coffee and grab a latte.

“Special Report” continues after the break.


BAIER: Welcome back to Hanoi. The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of last year to an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. That is the slowest pace since the beginning of 2018.

Economists blame the partial government shutdown among other factors. The Gross Domestic Product, the GDP growth for the entire year came in at 2.9 percent, the best showing in three years.

The Dow was off for a third straight day losing 69. The S&P 500 finished down 8. The Nasdaq dropped 22.

Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander says President Trump does not need to declare a national emergency in order to get funding for his southern border wall. Alexander is asking the President to take a second look before the Senate votes on a resolution critical of that move. Alexandre says Congress has already approved enough money for the construction of 234 miles of barrier. Alexander is the fourth Senate Republican to express resistance to the emergency declaration. President Trump, as we've reported, says he will veto any critical resolution that makes its way to his desk.

Conservatives from all over the country are in suburban Washington tonight for their annual conference known as a CPAC.

Correspondent Doug McKelway is live tonight in National Harbor, Maryland to tell us the big topic is what the Democrats are doing to each other.


DOUG MCKELWAY, CORRESPONDENT: At a time of historically low unemployment and economic expansion, conservative see advantage in the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party. The latest example, the Green New Deal.

SEN. DAVID PERDUE, R-GA: To pay for the green deal all you need to do is just keep borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. This is such a naive thought in the world of debt that I can't even respond to it.

MCKELWAY: The left tilt is a target-rich environment, say conservatives, from the alleged hoaxes of Jussie Smollett, the Covington kids, the embrace of late-term abortions, the scandals in Virginia Democratic politics to the recent discovery of a 1980s Bernie Sanders quote about the goodness of food lines.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In other countries people don't line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie Sanders was talking about it's good to be in line to wait for food? We have got to get to a point where we celebrate capitalism.

MCKELWAY: And that is the other theme of CPAC this year.

LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: 3 percent growth as far as the eye can see. It is the hottest economy in the world and I will let the ankle biters just bite our ankles.

MCKELWAY: Confronting those successes is a sober demographic reality. Polls suggesting millennials are embracing socialism and a far left agenda.

SEN. ED MARKEY, D-MASS.: This is now a voting issue across the country. The green generation has risen up.

MCKELWAY: That while the GOP remains older and largely white. CPAC organizers are intent on changing that -- this breakout session with young minorities. Many facing daunting peer pressure is one example.

JOE PATRICK: You have people come up to you and tell you that you hate yourself and you're an Uncle Tom.

MCKELWAY: But Joe Patrick is preaching conservatism to his quarter million Instagram followers while Hayden Williams invited to CPAC after he was punched out for being a conservative at U.C. Berkeley had kept his camera rolling.

HAYDEN WILLIAMS: I'm sure probably 10 million people have seen it.


MCKELWAY: Republicans have been late in embracing social media, but they are doing it now fully cognizant that it is the way to reach a new generation of voters -- Bret.

BAIER: Doug McKelway, live at CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland. Doug -- thanks.

Now to another example of Democrats not on the same page of the political playbook. This happened earlier this week in Washington and now the Democratic leadership is trying to tighten up.

Correspondent Peter Doocy picks up that story.


PETER DOOCY, CORRESPONDENT: In the House chamber, Democrats have more seats, but in a House Committee hearing about climate change, Democrats left a lot of empty seats so Republicans voted to shut it down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion passes. The hearing is adjourned.

DOOCY: And because only two Democrats showed up, the party whose platform includes a line that reads, "climate change poses a real and urgent threat", didn't get to have a hearing about that real and urgent threat.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA, D-ARIZ.: It's a gotcha trick but it's a cheap trick. And we'll be prepared for it.

DOOCY: The new Democratic majority's strength was shaken further when Republicans insisted a gun background check bill needed language about undocumented immigrants buying guns. And to Speaker Pelosi's dismay, Republicans succeeded convincing 26 Democrats to join them in amending the bill by voting yes.

PELOSI: Vote no. Just vote no because the fact is a vote yes is to give leverage to the other side.

DOOCY: Now Democrats are reportedly thinking of ways to limit use of the tool Republicans used here called a motion to recommit or MTR.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Changes to the MTR would be a nuclear option.

DOOCY: Republicans have weaponized the MTR to force vulnerable Democrats onto the record on hot button issues. So a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee chimed in, quote, "buckle up and grab your popcorn because Democratic infighting is already reaching a breaking point and it is only month two of Democrats House majority. Just wait until the intra-party primaries begin."

Until then the GOP will need to rely on loopholes to make their mark but the next thing they try could be squashed by the Speaker.

PELOSI: The power of the Speaker is awesome.


DOOCY: But House Democrats are still passing some high-profile agenda items like the resolution disapproving President Trump's emergency declaration and a public lands package.

So Democratic growing pains could be short-lived, but then again very few things they pass there are ever going to get signed by President Trump -- Bret.

BAIER: Peter Doocy up on the Hill. Peter -- thanks.

Up next serious criminal charges against one of the top political figures in the Middle East. We'll bring you there.

First beyond our borders tonight.

Heavy rain turned roads into shallow rivers outside Jerusalem today. One commuter was stranded atop his car in gushing floodwaters. Israeli rescuers soon responded wading through the waist deep water to ferry that trapped man to land. In the past few days the Jerusalem area has seen thunderstorms and rainfall that has swamped the streets.

Authorities say the accident that killed at least 25 people yesterday in Cairo was caused by a fight between two train conductors. A single rail car collided head-on with the barrier at the city's main train station. Egypt's prosecutor general says the locomotive's conductor forgot to put on the brakes before leaving his car to fight with another conductor whose railcar was blocking his.

Cabinet ministers are rallying around Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after his former attorney general testified Trudeau had inappropriately tried to pressure her to avoid prosecution of a major Canadian engineering company in order to save jobs. Trudeau has acknowledged raising the issue with the official but says it was done appropriately.

Just some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight.

As we head to break, Hanoi's economy here is booming. But one area in particular has a very long history of commerce.


BAIER: This is part of Hanoi's old quarter, 36 streets that go back about a thousand years. Each one of these streets named for a different guild or craft that is done on the street. Security is tight here in Hanoi but they had only ten days to get ready for the summit. Think about that. Singapore had two months.

SPECIAL REPORT continues after the break.


BAIER: The John McCain memorial here in downtown Hanoi. There are new problems tonight for Israel's prime minister during an already tough reelection fight. Benjamin Netanyahu is now facing serious criminal charges. Correspondent Trey Yingst has details tonight from Jerusalem.


TREY YINGST, CORRESPONDENT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on a count of bribery as well as two counts of fraud and breach of trust. Israel's attorney general released the chargers today and provided new details into the cases. Netanyahu is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry in exchange for using his influence as prime minister for the business and personal interests of his friends.

The charges released by the attorney general also show that Netanyahu allegedly helped with mergers and deregulation in a severe conflict of interest to assist the owner of a communication company in return for favorable coverage on his Internet news site. Netanyahu responded to the charges this evening, echoing language used by President Trump.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In this witch hunt against me they did not stop at any means. They spilled and are still spilling my wife's blood. They are chasing my son. They put my family through hell for three years.

YINGST: The indictment announcements come less than 40 days before Israeli elections on April 9th. Retired Israeli General Benny Gantz, the leader of Israel's largest opposition coalition against Netanyahu, responded to the indictments, calling on the prime minister fight his legal battles out of office.

BENNY GANTZ, ISRAEL RESILIENCE COALITION LEADER: Benjamin Netanyahu, I call on you to show responsibility and resign. If and when you prove your innocence, you will be able to return to the public arena with your head held high.


YINGST: Today is a turning point in the political career and personal life of Prime Minister Netanyahu who places years in prison if convicted. Bret?

BAIER: Trey Yingst in Jerusalem. Trey, thanks.

Pakistan's prime minister says his country will release a captured Indian fighter pilot tomorrow. The move comes as the two nuclear armed country try to diffuse the most serious confrontation in two decades over the disputed region of Kashmir. An Indian government official says even if the pilot is returned home, India would not hesitate to strike its neighbor first if it feared another terror attack like the February 14th suicide bombing that killed more than 40 Indian military troops in Kashmir. We'll follow that story.

Venezuela's opposition leader who is recognized as interim president by the U.S. and dozens of other countries says he will return to his country this weekend despite what he calls threats. Juan Guaido made the comment today in Brazil. President Trump is keeping the pressure up on disputed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Correspondent Steve Harrigan has the specifics tonight from Caracas.


STEVEN HARRIGAN, CORRESPONDENT: They hold their children and whatever else their arms can carry. With borders shut down by their own government, Venezuelans desperate to flee cross the Tachira River into Columbia. The U.S. and other nations have sent thousands of tons of emergency aid to Venezuela only to see it burned or blocked by container trucks put into place on the border by the embattled President Nicolas Maduro. The Maduro government says the humanitarian aid is just a pretense for a regime change and that the U.S. has already seized $30 billion in Venezuelan assets. President Trump addressed the crisis from Hanoi.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: People are starving to death, and you would really think that the man in charge currently would let those supplies get through. We are getting them into some of the cities and some of the areas that need them the most.

HARRIGAN: Maduro, a former bus driver, reelected in a disputed vote last year has been able to avoid any large-scale military defections and keep control over the police and court. The opposition leader backed by the U.S. and 50 other countries, Juan Guaido is in Brazil. It is not clear how he plans to reenter Venezuela, or if he will be arrested upon his return.

JUAN GUAIDO, VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER: As you know, I received threats to my person and my family, threats of being imprisoned as well by the Maduro regime. Even so, that will not prevent my return to Venezuela this weekend, at the very latest, Monday.

HARRIGAN: The U.S. also pushed diplomatic efforts at the U.N. Security Council, pushing a resolution that would call for new free and fair presidential elections in Venezuela, a resolution that was vetoed by Russia and China. Bret?

BAIER: Steve Harrigan in Caracas, Steve, thanks.

When we come back, the last thing Democrats in Virginia needed, we'll explain. Meantime North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is still here in Hanoi, Vietnam. This summit began with a big hassle for the White House press corps.

These photographers are posted here on the corner to try to catch a glimpse of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. This is his hotel behind us, the Melia Hotel. It used to be the hotel for the White House press corps too, but when the North Korean leader arrived, he said no, this is not going to work. And the White House press corps was kicked out. They packed up, they left, they went to another hotel. A lot of changes for this summit.

“Special Report” continues after the break.


BAIER: Sword Lake in Hanoi. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft back in the U.S. is pleading not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. Kraft's attorney filed the written plea in Palm Beach, County, court documents released today. The 77-year-old Kraft is requesting a nonjury trial. He was amongst hundreds of men charged in a crackdown on massage parlor prostitution and an investigation into human trafficking at the Florida day spas.

There is yet another political controversy tonight in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The state's top three Democrats are already dealing with assorted issues ranging from embarrassing to potentially criminal. Now the first lady of Virginia is trying to recover from her own self-inflicted political wound. Senior Political Correspondent Mike Emanuel tells us about it tonight. Good evening, Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening. It has been a bumpy road for Virginia's governor, at a time when he is supposed to be on a reconciliation tour. The latest is an allegation that first lady Pam Northam handed raw cotton to only black students during a student tour of the governor's mansion and asked them to imagine being and having to pick it. A spokesman for Governor Ralph Northam says Mrs. Northam hosted about 100 House and Senate pages, and she invited all of them to touch agricultural products such as dried tobacco, produce, and cotton. The first lady says she has provided the same educational tour to executive mansion visitors over the past few months, and she has used agricultural crops to illustrate a painful period in Virginia history.

In a statement provided to Fox News, Pam Northam says, quote, "I regret that I have upset anyone." Governor Northam has been under intense pressure since the revelation of a racist picture on his medical school yearbook page and after admitting he once wore a blackface. It was his wife who appeared to stop Northam from moonwalking during his apology news conference.


GOV. RALPH NORTHAM, D-VA: My wife says in appropriate circumstances.


EMANUEL: Last week the governor had to cancel his first stop on his so called reconciliation tour at a historically black college after students there protested.

The pressure could be even greater on Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax accused by two women of sexual assault. Those women have accepted an invitation to testify before the state house of delegates, but a date for the hearing has yet to be scheduled. Bret?

BAIER: Mike Emanuel in D.C.. Mike, thanks.

Next up, our panel back in Washington on the summit here, Michael Cohen, and Democrats trying tighten up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chairman Kim, are you discussing human rights with President Trump?

TRUMP: We are discussing everything.

He knew the case very well, but he knew it later. And he's got a lot of people, a big country, a lot of people. And in those prisons and those camps you have a lot of people, and some really bad things happened to Otto. Some really, really bad things. And he tells, he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word.


BAIER: President Trump walked away from the summit here, saying it wasn't ideal he could agree to. But that statement raised a lot of eyebrows, especially back in Washington. The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley tweeting out "Americans know the cruelty that was placed on Otto Warmbier by the North Korean regime. Our hearts are with the Warmbier family for their strength and courage. We will never forget Otto." Of course, he died after being held in captivity. GOP senators weighed in quickly on that particular element of the summit.


SEN. CORY GARDNER, R-COLO.: The blood of Otto Warmbier is on the hands of Kim Jong-un. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew about it, he allowed it to happen, and the responsibility lies directly with Kim Jong-un.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The treatment of Otto Warmbier was something that is unforgivable.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY, R-UT: I have never heard of someone who did something wrong jump up and say, yes, I did it, I did it. Internationally they typically try and blame someone else.

MICKEY BERGMAN, FORMER ISRAELI PARATROOPER: I don't believe they had any interest in Otto getting to the condition that he did. And evidence to that that I have for this is that it's the only American prisoner to which it happened to. That was abnormal.


BAIER: That last person, an Israeli paratrooper, negotiated Otto Warmbier's release from North Korea.

Now back to our second panel, Jonathan Swan, national politics reporter for "Axios," Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at "The Federalist," and Tom Rogan, commentary writer for the "Washington Examiner." On this particular issue, Mollie, your thoughts?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE FEDERALIST": Donald Trump certainly doesn't need to make North Korea's human rights abuses the centerpiece of his messaging, but neither does he need to speak on behalf or defend the regime leader in this horrible case of Otto Warmbier's death. At the same time, neither do critics need to make this the sole talking point of the post summit analysis. There is a lot of good that came from this summit. As Winston Churchill liked to say, meeting jaw to job is better than war. This was an important thing. There's a lot to focus on in terms of the positive compared to where we were a couple of years ago.

BAIER: Yes, the walkaway, Jonathan, the administration, I get the sense, felt pretty good, saying this just was not the deal that we were going to take.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": There are certainly people like John Bolton, the vice president, Mike Pence, and some hawkish senators like Marco Rubio, are much, much happier than with this outcome than the would have been with a deal that may have not been worth the paper it was written on.

The real tell for me was, I think it was Friday when Steve Biegun, who is the envoy to North Korea working with Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, he admitted on the record that he didn't believe that the North Koreans had made the basic decision to denuclearize. And you don't get from there on Friday to a triumphant ribbon cutting ceremony on the Thursday the following week where we don't even have an inventory of what weapons they have in the country. We don't know where everything is. We don't have inspectors on the ground.

So no one who has followed a seriously, and we wrote this a week ago, no one who has followed this issue seriously thought that North Korea was going to get to where the Trump administration has wanted them. So if you're worrying about North Korea and you are hawkish on this issue, you're much happier with an outcome like this than with the alternative, which would have been a victory declaration and something pretty light.

BAIER: Tom, you wrote a column, why we shouldn't read the North Koreans statements about their side of the summit as a negative, and that there may be some optimism here for future things to come.

TOM ROGAN, COMMENTARY WRITER, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Yes, and I think there is. I think it is quite notable that President Trump, that the White House is pushing this line. It is what happens, so it's fair that President Trump walked away because it shows for the first time that ability to push back against the North Koreans even in the different state of being that Trump has with Kim Jong-un in terms of going to Hanoi and meeting with him.

And I think the rationale behind that was to say, listen, I am amenable to a deal. I'm going to carry water for you in terms of things like Otto Warmbier. I'm going to do these unconventional things, but you must make the decision to make the necessary concessions to us. And I think when they saw the kind of demands, basically a really significant chunk of sanctions release that they were demanding in return for just the closure of Yongbyon, that frankly, Kim Jong-un is not there yet. He needs to go back and have that jockeying. Again, the key guy to look for here is Yong- chol who si the guy you always see with Kim Jong-un who is the hardliner behind the scenes. And I think Trump is saying, figure out your own internal stuff and then let's go for it again.

BAIER: The president will be on the Sean Hannity's show tonight. Here's a soundbite about Michael Cohen. He was asked about that.


TRUMP: He's convicted, he's a liar. He's defrauded at a higher level. He has got a lot of problems. And it was very interesting because he lied so much, I watched some of it. I actually was able to watch some of it. He lied to so much, and yet he said when it came to collusion, the whole hoax with the Russia collusion, it's just a witch hunt hoax, and, by the way, very, very bad for a country because it really stops you from doing what --

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: He said no collusion.

TRUMP: He said no collusion.


BAIER: Mollie?

HEMINGWAY: Yes, he didn't just say no collusion, he also said that he had never been to Prague. And remember that dossier where it had so many innuendos and rumors. But the only thing that was really able to be fact- checked was the claim that Michael Cohen had gone to Prague to work out a deal with Russians to steal the election. And he said he had never been to Prague and he said that to Congress. So apparently there were people who actually thought even at this late date that Michael Cohen was going to be this key to the whole Russia conspiracy. So the testimony that he gave yesterday gave them nothing, no collusion, no trip to Prague, no blackmail. And so that had to be a huge disappointment for people who remain Russian conspiracy theorists even at this late date.

BAIER: Jonathan, I owe you a commentary next time you're on the panel. I have got to run. Thank you.

When we come back, a final goodbye from Vietnam.


BAIER: Finally, good morning, Vietnam. I had to say that once before I left. It's almost 7:00 a.m. Friday morning here in Hanoi. Now a look back at the lighter moments of this Vietnam summit. This week we've had had running bodyguards, a sprinting translator, a North Korean smoke break, and some of President Trump's signature humor.


TRUMP: I feel like having a nice, private dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chairman, are you ready to denuclearize?

KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER, (through translator): If I'm not willing to do that I won't be here right now.

TRUMP: That might be the best answer you've ever heard.


BAIER: Best answer he's ever heard. President Trump left the summit, of course, early with no deal on the table. In fact, there was nothing on the table for the scheduled lunch between the two leaders, which was abruptly canceled. They had planned a lovely white fish and foie gras, but that was it.

Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for this “Special Report,” fair, balanced, and still unafraid.

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