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U.S.: Missile Was "Probable" ICBM; Putin, Trump To Hold "Full- Pledged" Bilateral Meeting; Coalition: Key Milestone In Battle To Liberate Raqqa; Qatari Foreign Minister: Neighbors' Actions Are Illegal; Juncker Calls E.U. Parliament "Ridiculous"; U.S. States Push Back Against Trump's Voter Fraud Probe; Pope's Pedia Hospital Offers to Admit Sick Baby; Singer Leaves Twitter over "Mean" Tweets; Fourth of July Contest Sets World Record. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 4, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET





HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Tuesday. This is THE WORLD


It's a we've heard many times before, an angry North Korea launches a missile test complete with boast of its massive power and range. But here

is why this test on this day could be different.

Pyongyang claims that the missile reached a height of nearly 3000 kilometers and landed nearly a thousand kilometers away. If that's

true, it means parts of the U.S. mainland could be within reach.

Now in the last hour, U.S. military analysts say it probably was an ICBM missile, intercontinental continental ballistic missile. As Paula

Hancocks explains the test has worried friends and enemies alike.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Celebrated as an historic event in North Korea raising alarm bells among its neighbors

and foes. Pyongyang says this was a successful ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile.

An excited news anchor spoke of the shining success in a special broadcast on North Korean television. A clearly delighted Kim Jong-un surveyed the

scene. A test launched the North Korean leader had promise since the start of this year.

But concerned (inaudible) a national security meeting and a warning from Pres. Moon Jae-in calling on the North not to cross the bridge of no

return, warning of a redline without specifying what redline was.

Trying to call for restraint from all sides urging North Korea to refrain from violating U.N. Security Council resolutions.

JASPER KIM, EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY: As always with North Korea's strategic (inaudible). I mean, here you get missile test and you get a wide audience

focused on -- supposed to be on the G20 Summit, about trade and cooperation, now all these party leaders up from around the world are going

to be talking about North Korea, North Korea, North Korea.

HANCOCKS: South Korea's military says it's now working with the U.S. to analyze the data and decide whether it was in fact an ICBM. They admit the

range was longer than the May 14th launch.

That test described by experts as the most significant advancement in its nuclear weapons program to date. Unofficial assessments of this launch are

worrying for the U.S.

DAVID WRIGHT, UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS: According to my calculations, they can reach all Alaska, but they cannot reach the lower 48 states or the

large Hawaiian Islands. But they have the ability to reach Alaska.

HANCOCKS: A July 4th celebration for North Korea that the United States does not want.


GORANI: Well, Paula Hancocks joins us now live from the region. She is in Seoul, South Korea. So what does this tell us the fact that it is an ICBM,

an intercontinental ballistic missile, that's what it's believed that North Korea fired. What does it tell us about the country's missile capability?

HANCOCKS: Well, Hala, it means that North Korea is making strides in developing its long-range capability. Now this is something that the North

Korea has been very clear about it. It shouldn't come as any surprise to us that they have -- they are trying to carry out his ICBM test.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un said it in his New Year's address saying he was close to test launching it. North Korea has consistently

said they want to be able to hit mainland United States with a nuclear- tipped ballistic missile.

This is all part of the -- of what North Korea said is it self-defense. It wants to be able to protect itself from what it sees as a hostile United

States and hostile policy against it.

But what it does show is that there has been significant progress just consider that Kim Jong-un has been in a massive rush to try and perfect

this capability.

He's tested far more missile than his father and his grandfather put together and since the beginning of 2016, there has been more intense

testing than ever before in North Korea's history -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, certainly the worry is that they will go farther and farther. Right now, we about a thousand kilometer range, it's believed.

Thanks very much, Paula Hancocks. She is Seoul, South Korea.

[15:05:03]Now the U.S. response to North Korea's claim to missile test was scathing predictably. President Trump took to Twitter once again to

announce his reaction. He criticized the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Let's go to the White House and speak to CNN's Kaitlan Collins. So Kaitlan, I'll quickly read through the two-part tweet that Donald Trump

posted on Twitter, "Hard to believe," in part it reads, "that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer perhaps China will put a heavy

move on North Korea." What should we read into this?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, that's the only response we had from the White House right now. As you recall, Press Secretary Sean

Spicer said recently that the president's tweets are considered official statements from the White House.

And today we've learned from there that there will be no other forthcoming statements on what happened in North Korea until we find out more. CNN has

learned that top national security, military, and diplomatic officials, are having unscheduled meeting today to weigh what options the U.S. could

pursue in light of what happened in North Korea last night.

Now the president has long suggested that China should put pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear missile program. He spoke with the

president of China on the phone on Sunday where he raised the threat of the growing nuclear program in North Korea.

This is before the missile had launch last night and I think that in that tweet that he thinks that should do more to end this nonsense. He has a

meeting with the Chinese president at the G20 Summit in Germany at the end of this week as well. So it's likely they will bring up and discuss it


GORANI: But is that the strategy basically asking China?

COLLINS: Well, that's been Donald Trump's strategy for a long time. He's often said that he thinks that should put pressure on them, but two weeks

ago, he tweeted that he appreciated their efforts and that they did their best and they tried.

But that those efforts hadn't worked so it look like he is turning away from counting on China to put more pressure North Korea to solve this


GORANI: All right, thanks very much, Kaitlan Collins at the White House.

Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and we've learned this today are getting ready to come face-to-face, and we are learning -- we knew that

they would need, but it's more than sort of sideline handshake.

This is going to be their first ever meeting. It is an official sit down. It could be therefore a bigger deal than initially thought. The Kremlin

said it won't be just a casual chat, but a full-fledged seated affair.

Fred Pleitgen joins me now with more. So will he -- the big question is Russia having been such a topic of conversation during the campaign and now

on the first few months of the administration of Donald Trump. Will he bring in Russian interference into the U.S. campaign?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's going to be the main thing that people are going to be looking at. And I think

because this is a full-fledged meeting, it also raises the stakes I think for both Vladimir Putin and of course, especially for President Trump

because he is under so much scrutiny at home as well.

People are going to be looking at the actual language, but they are also going to be looking at the body language between the two. And I think of

it seems as though President Trump, you know, is too friendly, if you will, with Vladimir Putin that it could hurt him among some of his critics.

And the big thing they are going to be looking out for is whether he raises that interference by the Russians in the U.S. election and it really is

unclear. I mean, so far it seems as though those were close to the president like for instance, H.R. McMaster, is saying there really isn't a

set agenda for this meeting just yet.

So it's not clear whether or not it's going to be raised and certainly hasn't been made clear by the administration, but it definitely will be

raised to think of something that would be quite important to hear from --

GORANI: We are hearing from sources who told CNN that it is not expected to be high on the agenda, if it makes into the conversation at all, though

-- even though people are genuinely interested in what's happening in Syria, genuinely interested in how the U.S. will talk to Russia about

Ukraine. This would be really the main question that people want answered.

PLEITGEN: Well, certainly, for U.S. audience --

GORANI: For U.S. audience.

PLEITGEN: -- certainly will be the main question, what you're right. I mean, there are other big issues aware the U.S. and Russia are just very

much at odds and there was one senior Russian official who said that right now the relations between these two countries are at a zero level.

So certainly the Kremlin has been fairly disappointed so far from their vantage point by the Trump administration at the same time there are those

big issues on the topic of Syria, on the topic of Ukraine, on the topic of security in Europe as well.

So there are some real issues that need to be that need to be tackled by these two leaders or at least spoken about by these two leaders that I

think, you know, many people are going to be looking for that.

But at the same time whether or not President Trump brings it up is certainly something that's going to be the utmost scrutinized.

GORANI: Well, we get a glimpse into his character and personality on Twitter. We know a thing or two also about Vladimir Putin. He's been in a

position of leadership in Russia for many, many years now. And one has to wonder what would a meeting between the two men on a personal level look


PLEITGEN: Yes, I think that is going to be very interesting especially since both of them seemed to have this machismo about. You know, both of

them understand what it's like to make an impression in public, and I think for both it is very important what they are perceived.

[15:10:11]They are perceived as being very strong in public so that's going to be an interesting thing to see. Of course, you're absolutely right.

Vladimir Putin, you know, he has dealt with a lot of U.S. presidents in the past.

He's dealt with a lot of other leaders in the past, how was Donald Trump going to match up to that, I think that something that is going to be very,

very interesting to look at.

And also it seems as though both of them, you know, they've spoken about their mutual admiration for one another, is that really going to translate

into good relations between the two? Because it is the first that they are actually meeting face to face.

GORANI: And they've spoken on the phone, we know that, and several times. This will be the first face to face, and I do wonder the setup, it's going

to be an official sit down, does that involve questions after or we do not know yet?

PLEITGEN: That I think will be up to them whether or not they would take questions afterwards. But yes, it's going to be an official sit down, not

just a handshake on the side, not just the quick photo opportunity also.

So, you know, possibly there will be questions, although, it would probably be up to the two of them and their entourages on whether or not they

actually would want to go through with that.

GORANI: We know journalists have been wanting to ask more questions (inaudible). We'll see. Fred Pleitgen, thanks very much joining us live

here in the studio.

It's already been a busy week of diplomacy for Vladimir Putin. Today, he met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow. Mr. Xi called the

talks fruitful. You hear that a lot in (inaudible), fruitful, candid, saying they pledged to strengthen cooperation on a number of issues

including North Korea's nuclear program.

The leaders called for a simultaneous freeze on Pyongyang's missile tests and joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea.

Still to come this evening, taking the fight against ISIS to the very heart of its last remaining stronghold. We'll see how the militants are now

cornered in the old cities, Raqqa and Mosul.

And this --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mississippi secretary of state told the commission to, quote, "Go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state

to launch from."


GORANI: Even a Republican dominated U.S. state say President Trump is overstepping his bounds when it comes to the touch subject of voter fraud.

We'll explain how and why they're pushing back against the president.


GORANI: Coalition leaders are calling it a key milestone in the fight to liberate Raqqa in Syria from ISIS. The U.S.-backed rebels, Syrian rebels,

have breached a strategic wall surrounding the old city and they are now getting ready to move in. The old city is the last holdout of ISIS in

Raqqa, the militants' self-declared capital.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is following developments from the Iraqi city of Erbil.

[15:15:01]NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The breaching of the Rafiqah (ph) Wall in the outskirts of Raqqa's old city is

about 6 miles in full distance, but it encompasses the old city of Raqqa and faster the coalition said they are able to push through it, blow two

holes in that wall.

And allow the fighters there backing Syrian Kurds and Arabs to push passed the wall and all the booby-traps, and defensive positions that ISIS has put

in place to delay them.

Well, that potentially marks substantial progress in the campaign to retake Raqqa. They have moved on Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the

U.S. through the outskirts of Raqqa quite quickly.

It hit the old city I think faster than some thought they would. They are now about three kilometers away from the city center. That's where they'll

find the dense, most difficult urban fighting with building.

But one key advantage for them over those who had to fight for Mosul, the fight for which began eight months ago. They are dealing with an awful lot

less civilians in Raqqa than they were in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Fifty thousand potentially in Raqqa or as many as 150,000 either way, it's a lot less (inaudible) enabled incredibly lengthy campaign in Mosul to try

and go on. That's one plus on their side also too.

The coalition say they are dealing with about 2,500 possibly ISIS fighters inside that city. They are dug in. They put booby-traps in place that

they are facing substantial American fire power and quite a lot of fighters in the outside.

And now they are, in fact, quite substantially encircled as well. So this could get bogged down when it reaches the city center and distance

buildings and streets (inaudible) as it appears to be the case now continue to move quickly.

And when Raqqa does fall, we will see really that last major nation center that they control in Syria or Iraq no longer in their hands (inaudible) the

end of the caliphate as we used to call it of ISIS' self-declared.

So a lot of progress, still a loss of violence potentially ahead, less civilians to be used as humans shields, but still a potential for a loss of

civilian life here, some treacherous times ahead. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Erbil.

HOWELL: U.S. airstrikes have been instrumental in this campaign against ISIS in Raqqa. CNN's Muhammad Lila had exclusive access to the "USS George

H. Bush" when it was on operation in the Gulf in May. He got this insight into the air and sea war over Syria.


MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the unseen faces in the war on ISIS, America's fighter pilots 30,000 feet in

the sky providing critical air support to troops down below.

We were given exclusive access to the "USS George H.W. Bush," home to a strike force of more than 40 F-18 fighter jets and the pilots who fly them.

(on camera): We are walking on the air deck right now. Take a look around. You can see the massive fire power that's all around. This is the

most advance ship in the entire U.S. fleet.

In fact, just from this runaway to my side, they launch anywhere from 12 to 20 airstrikes against ISIS targets every single day.

SCOTT WELLS, U.S. NAVY: It's a pretty unique experience for sure.

LILA (voice-over): Scott Wells spoke to us down below in the ship's hanger bay with the engineers working around the clock. For him the

hardest part of the job isn't actually the job, it's being away from his wife and two young daughters for seven months straight.

(on camera): How do stay in touch?

WELLS: Via e-mail, pictures, occasional phone calls, but while we are underway, there's no Skype, Chat, Facetime, anything like that. So it's

very challenging.

LILA (voice-over): The ship runs like a small town powered by twin nuclear reactors. With a crew of 5,000 on board, there's always activity with

launches during the day and with infrared lighting at night.

By the time their deployment is over, the military says the pilots on board will have dropped more than a million pounds of bombs in Iraq and Syria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end of the day, we need to ensure that they were putting bombs in the correct positions to take out ISIS.

LILA: But that hasn't always happened. The Pentagon has been dogged by accusations that its airstrikes have killed hundreds of innocent civilians

since the campaign began three years ago.

One monitoring group says that number is well over a thousand. The U.S. military maintains that it takes, quote, "extraordinary measures" to

mitigate the loss of civilian life.

Kenneth Whitesell (ph) was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. He spoke to us while F-18's were taken off below.

REAR ADMIRAL KENNETH WHITESELL, U.S. NAVY: War is very -- is not a clean business and some of the times, you know, a motorcycle or a car can come

into an area where the weapons fall.

LILA: Most airstrikes are planned days even weeks in advance, but right up until the last second, the pilot can abort the mission if they see unusual

activity on the ground.

JAMES MCCALL, COMMANDER, AIR GROUP: When something comes up and they see someone who they haven't identified on the ground, they know we are not

going to drop that bomb and that bomb can wait maybe an hour, maybe another day, maybe another week.

[15:20:01]LILA: For the pilots on board, its responsibility weighing heavily on their shoulders knowing their decisions can mean life and death.

Muhammad Lila, CNN on board the "USS George H.W. Bush."


GORANI: Now staying in the Gulf region, Qatar has apparently just hours left to comply with a list of demands from its neighbors, but it is not

backing down against Saudi Arabia and other bigger countries.

In fact, the Qatari foreign minister called actions taken by the boycotting Gulf countries illegal, and under a false pretense we heard from him today.

Jomana Karashed is in the Qatari capital, Doha. What is the foreign minister say because we are less than 24 hours away from this deadline now

-- Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, as you recall that foreign minister yesterday traveled to Kuwait with this handwritten letter that is

the response from this country to that list of 13 demands and he handed it to the emir of Kuwait, who is the mediator in this crisis.

And the foreign minister today would not go into the details of that letter, would not disclose what was it, saying that it was now with the

Kuwaitis and it was up to them to make it public.

But yet again, we heard him say that that list of demand is unrealistic and I did asked him if there was anything on that list that they were willing

to compromise on. Take a listen to what he has to say.


MOHAMMED BIN-ABDULRAHMAN AL-THANI, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: We looked at this list and we introduced whatever items in a way with them go forward in

the context of the international law and the context of respecting the country's sovereignty and an interference in our country's affairs, which

any independent state can accept such a thing.


KARADSHEH: And Hala, he reiterated what they have been saying all along especially since they got that list of demand saying that they are open for

dialogue that the only way they see out of this crisis is negotiation and dialogue.

Saying that now Qatar has done its part and the ball is in the court of the Saudi-led bloc, whose foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Cairo


GORANI: So one of the other items on this list of reported list of demand is the closing of Al Jazeera, the Qatari funded news network now, though,

Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English are two distinctly different and separate news networks.

We did hear from Al Jazeera English journalist, who recorded a video with their own list of demands. First, I want to show our viewers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To those who demand that Al Jazeera be shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that people's right to the truth be suppressed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We too have demands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We demand journalists be able to do their jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Free from intimidation and threats.


GORANI: So -- I mean, what's going to happen with Al Jazeera here. This network has been a thorn in the side of many of these Sunni-Gulf countries.

Qatar obviously its own soft power around the world, this news network, not shutting it down. So what's going to happen?

KARADSHEH: Well, it's such a polarizing force as you mentioned there, Hala, and like everything else on that list, that list of 13 demands, we

don't know what they are specific answer is when it comes to that demand of shutting down Al Jazeera.

But we've heard this from Qatari officials over and over again saying that this is an attack on freedom of expression and it's a precedent everyone is

concerned about.

You've heard the United Nations and others saying that it is an attack on press freedoms. But interestingly, I spoke to a couple of Qatar experts at

the beginning of this crisis and there was this feeling that Al Jazeera Arabic was really at the heart of this crisis.

As you mentioned, it is a thorn in the side of so many of the Arab regimes and they would like to see it gone and interestingly, one of those experts

that he does not believe that we will see the day where the Qatari government will agree to shutting down Al Jazeera describing that as

political suicide.

Rather saying maybe if we get to a point where there are negotiations, there are concessions made that maybe perhaps they would agree toning down

of certain Arabic programming, some of the really contentious programming for the neighboring countries.

So we'll have to wait and see especially that we don't know the response to the list of 13 demands yet.

GORANI: And lastly, they have less than 24 hours. What happens if they don't comply?

KARADSHEH: Well, this has been the big question and I don't think the Qataris actually know what happens next. We've heard from senior officials

in the United Arab Emirates, who have told our colleague, Nic Robertson, for example, they are saying that there's not going to be like a big bang

at the end of the deadline.

[15:25:00]That there will possibly what they are looking at is financial sanctions that will come and we've heard from the Qatari saying that they

know there will be consequences to their stance and their position so far. And they say that they are not ready to deal with whatever comes their way

-- Hala.

GORANI: All right, we'll see hours away. Jomana Karadsheh is in Doha.

This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The European Parliament is ridiculous, very ridiculous. I would like to welcome those have actually taken the trouble to turn up

this morning.


GORANI: One of the E.U.'s main leaders rebukes European lawmakers. More of his comments coming up next. Stay with us.


GORANI: Frustration over the condition of the European Union is spilling over for some of its leaders. Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the

European Commission, slammed the entire European Parliament for its low at a session reviewing the Maltese presidency of the EU now.

Now listen to some of the unusually strong words that Juncker used.


JEAN CLAUDE JUNCKER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT (through translator): Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, the European Parliament is ridiculous,

very ridiculous. I would like to welcome those that have actually taken the trouble to turn up this morning.

But the fact there are about 30 members of parliament in this debate only really illustrates the fact that parliament is not seriously missed. I'm

putting that to you today that if Mr. (inaudible) or Mrs. Merkel or Mr. Macron perhaps have been here, it would have been a full house.

Mr. President, could you please have a more respectful attitude. You may criticize the parliament, yes, but the commission does not control the

parliament. It's the parliament that should be controlling the commission.

There are only few members in the plenary to control the commission, you are ridiculous. I wanted to pay tribute to the Maltese --

ANTONIO TAJANI, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT (through translator): Mr. President, I would ask you please to change your language. We are not

ridiculous, please, please.

JUNCKER: I will never again -- I will never, I will never again attend a meeting of these kinds. The commission is under the control of the

Parliament, but the Parliament has to respect even the persons (inaudible) smaller component is what the parliament is not doing.


[15:30:00] Well, it got very heated there at the European Parliament in Strasbourg between the Commission President and the members of the European

Parliament there. I mean, basically criticizing them for low attendance.

There weren't many people there. That did not prevent, though, the meeting from getting a bit tense. And the comments, in the end, overshadowed all

the discussions about what it was supposed to be about today in the European Parliament, and that is the migrant crisis.

Now, it was tense at the European Parliament. Wonder what it will be like at the G20 Summit when Donald Trump meets his counterparts from around the

world in a few days.

But we can speak about it now with John Kirby, our diplomatic and military analyst. He was also the spokesperson for the Pentagon and the State

Department under President Barack Obama.

So, John, first of all, the fact that we learned that this is not just a sort of sideline handshake between Putin and Trump, that this will be an

official, formal sit-down. You worked at the State Department. How was that decision made and why?

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I don't know how this one was made. Typically, it's usually done at lower-

level staff level between both countries sort of working out what the format's going to be like, what the protocol, the size of the room and how

many backbenchers you have, people at the table. So it's usually done at the lower level. I'm sure it was done bilaterally.

I think it's a good thing. I think this works to the President's favor because it means more people in the room. It means a more structured


It means a chance to really try to make this content heavy, rather than just sort of an informal pull-aside where, you know, there's no structure

to it. And it may lend itself to optics that don't convey the seriousness of the first meeting between these two men.

GORANI: But because there is so much of a focus on Russia's role in trying to interfere in the U.S. election, on some of the staffers during the Trump

campaign, what communications they might have had also with Russian officials, this couldn't have been just a low-level decision, right? In

this particular case, would you expect it to have gone all the way up to the President himself to make that decision?

KIRBY: Oh, well, clearly -- look, clearly, ultimately, the two principals have got to agree that it's going to be a bi-lat. What I'm saying is the

logistics of making that decision --

GORANI: Right.

KIRBY: -- are done at the lower level. But, clearly, both men had to have agreed to it. I don't suspect that this was something that there was a lot

of handwringing over at the White House, nor should there have been.

I mean, this is the way -- normally, when two presidents meet, this is the way it's done. And these two particular guys, with as many issues as there

are between us, this makes a lot of sense, from my perspective.

GORANI: So you have two very strong personalities. Obviously, we get a lot of insight into Donald Trump's thinking on his Twitter account, not as

much President Putin. He doesn't tweet. But how important now is this personal relationship? What should we be looking out for?

KIRBY: Well, look, I don't think either side expects there's going to be a lot of specifics that come out of this meeting, a lot of tangible results,

some sort of deal struck. I really don't think anybody is looking at that. It's the first meeting between them, and there's such contentiousness in

the relationship --

GORANI: No, but you're going to look at body language, at the handshake, at, you know, what they end up --

KIRBY: Yes, sure. Look --

GORANI: -- telling reporters after, that type of thing.

KIRBY: Yes. Exactly.


KIRBY: Look, I think the handshake stuff is awful fun for theater. I don't put a lot of stock in that. What you should look is at the backend,

what they each say about the meeting.

If there's no common, you know, bi-lat read out, what do they say and what are the gaps between what each side is saying about what was discussed?

And what agreements are going to go, going forward? Here's what I think. I think they'll say it was constructive.


KIRBY: They'll say it was positive. They'll say, you know, we were able to talk about mutual concerns and the poor state of the bilateral

relationship and how we're going to make it better. And our two teams are going to meet again in the future to try to work out some of these issues.

I think that's pretty much what the read out is going to be. I don't think there's going to be or that there are high expectations for actual tangible


GORANI: Well, I've interviewed diplomats for many, many years, and I know when I hear words like candid, frank, constructive, friendly, we'll meet

again --

KIRBY: Yes. Yes.

GORANI: -- that's usually diplo speak for, well, we talked honestly about certain things, and maybe we're keeping other topics for later.


GORANI: But the one topic everybody wants to hear about, in terms of whether or not the President brings it up with President Putin, is this

Russian interference. And an official is telling CNN that is not likely to top the agenda at all if it makes it into the conversation. Do you find

that surprising?

KIRBY: I don't find it surprising, Hala. I do find it disappointing. I think in a weird sort of ironic way, the issue is going to come up because

we can expect Putin's going to complain about the fact that President Obama kicked his diplomats out of the country and out of those two compounds in

Maryland. That is sort of a backdoor way of talking about the election season and the meddling.

But here's what I do believe. I hope that President Trump and his team are reconsidering this approach. Because, look, even if he doesn't want to

admit to the election meddling issue in 2016 and he doesn't want to look back, he needs to look forward.

Russia will do this again. You are seeing it there in Europe. They are continuing to do this sort of cyber hacking, and it will continue.

[15:35:01] And we've got a midterm election in 2018 in this country, another presidential election two years later. He needs to lay down a

marker for Putin that this is not going to be tolerated and that we take this seriously.

GORANI: Now, you say handshakes are good theater, but President Macron of France said that white-knuckle handshake he had with Donald Trump was no


KIRBY: Oh, yes.

GORANI: That it was more than theater, that he wanted to send an actual diplomatic message.


GORANI: You know, that we won't be sort of pushed around, something like that.


GORANI: There's the video of it, by the way. It was in Brussels in May.


GORANI: So this is going to be important to look at too as well, how they interact with each other, these two men.

KIRBY: Yes. Look, they're both very --

GORANI: The body language.

KIRBY: They're both very proud of their masculinity.


KIRBY: And, yes, I think we're going to see very robust, you know, physicality between them. I just think sometimes we make too much of the

whole handshake thing. That's my personal opinion.

But, yes, look, everybody's going to be looking for that. This is the other good thing about having a formal bi-lat because usually, as you know,

Hala, they'll be proceeded with a camera spray. They'll be media in the room.


KIRBY: There may even be a chance for media to ask a question or two. That's all good for the transparency and the message sending, you know,

part of a meeting like this.

GORANI: Well, we'll see how that all unfolds. John Kirby, as always --

KIRBY: We will be.

GORANI: -- great having you on. Thank you.

KIRBY: Thanks, my pleasure.

GORANI: Now, imagine trying to plan a foreign trip for a U.S. president. Imagine now having to plan that trip for Donald Trump.

Obviously, this isn't just buying a plane ticket on Expedia and booking an Uber at the airport. We are talking dozens and dozens of vehicles and

hundreds of staff, all flown in on transport and passenger planes.

On top of which, the Secret Service has been working for weeks on securing the President's travels. Now, President Trump starts his trip in Poland

and Croatia. Then it's on to Hamburg for the G20 and his meeting with President Putin.

Now, my next guest planned such travels for former U.S. President Barack Obama. Johanna Maska joins me now from Los Angeles.

So, Johanna, thanks for being with us. First, if you were planning a Donald Trump trip, what would be top of your list of concerns, of things

you need to address?

JOHANNA MASKA, FORMER DIRECTOR OF PRESS ADVANCE FOR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, you started with a little bit of a bio. I worked for President

Obama. I travelled with him for eight years to 40 countries, and I will say I was very lucky because I had a predictable principal.

I think I'd be most worried at any of the last minute changes because, obviously, you know, a concern for you when you're on your own territory is

you're not always in control. When you're on foreign soil, you're definitely not in control.

GORANI: So how do you, you know, maximize control when you're abroad?

MASKA: You know, what we would do is we would go six weeks in advance, and we would lay out, you know, what we wanted out of the trip. We were pretty

transparent with folks.

We would actually bring the press to most of our meetings because, you know, when you're moving the center of the White House to a different

location, you're actually moving, you know, the ability for him to communicate. You're moving military operations. You're moving the

security forces that you already talked about.

You're basically moving the Oval Office to wherever he is. So you need to make sure that everyone has the ability, should anything go wrong, domestic

or international, that you can respond to it in that moment. So what they have to look at is, you know, wherever he's going, making sure that he has

that Oval Office operation with him at all times.

GORANI: So it's interesting what you're saying that you go six weeks ahead of time. Obviously, I don't find it surprising. I would expect that.

But then there are these reports regarding Donald Trump that between the G20, the end of G20 in July 14th, which is Bastille Day, when he is the

guest of honor at the Bastille Day Parade of Emmanuel Macron, that he might pop over to the U.K. These are reports floating around. Therefore, would

that require more preparation, or is that doable on short notice?

MASKA: So Air Force One doesn't just pop.


MASKA: I mean, that's -- the thing is, you know, you have to plan this because it's diplomatic, you know, protocol that you have to do. When you

arrive in any country, they normally want to greet you. There's political implications if he just pops over to a country. There's also, you know,

all of the diplomatic implications.

Because if he's going to another country, the embassy, the State Department, the military, all of these different components should be

ready. And on that, we did do off the record trips, but our off the record trips were to Afghanistan or to Iraq or, you know, somewhere where there

was a significant reason that we were going there. Most of our trips, if there was a couple days shuffle, the press would at least have an idea of

what we were thinking about doing.

GORANI: Right. So if by now, there hasn't been a formal announcement for the U.K., chances are this isn't something that's happening. You couldn't

just wing it, obviously.

MASKA: I can't imagine it. The only thing I ever remember us like kind of winging was Stonehenge at the last moment. We ended up adding that on a

trip where we were already in country. So winging it and going to another country, that's very unlikely.

[15:40:10] GORANI: It's a big ask. What's the most unusual thing that a government has offered to do for President Obama on a foreign trip?

MASKA: Well, I was doing an interview with R.A. Shapiro and I remembered that the Italians had started building us a basketball court, which we did

not ask for and subsequently said, no, I don't think -- but, you know, if every --

GORANI: How far along were they in the building of the basketball court, if anything?


MASKA: They had one -- one hoop was already done.

GORANI: Oh, wow. OK.

MASKA: So that was not going anywhere. But, you know, every country wants to be a great host. And so, you know, I can never imagine a country not

trying to host, to cater to whoever the president is. I'm trying to remember some more other circumstances, but, you know, multileader summits,

they can't do that much for one leader and not for another.


MASKA: It will be interesting.

GORANI: It will be interesting to watch the G20 unfold, and we'll see. Maybe we'll have that unannounced trip to the U.K. during that downtime.

We'll see.

MASKA: Right.

GORANI: Johanna Maska, thanks so much for joining us from L.A.

President Trump is also facing resistance back home from dozens of U.S. states. This time, it's not just the so-called blue states leading the

charge. And this is why this is an interesting story as well because Republican-dominated states are pushing back as well against the new Trump

commission looking at the supposed problem of voter fraud, which most studies say doesn't exist in the first place. Now, Dianne Gallagher breaks

down this complicated story for us.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, growing backlash from states feeling the federal government overreach into

voter information. Now, at least 40 states pushing back at requests from President Trump's commission to handover election data, expressing

reservations, citing legal barriers, or outright refusing to turn over some or all of the information.

ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D), KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE: This is simple a government overreach. It's making government bigger, something Donald

Trump told us he would not do by creating a, hashtag, fake commission.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Bipartisan opposition with red states refusing too. In a statement issued before even receiving the request, Mississippi

Secretary of State told the commission to, quote, go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from.

KRIS KOBACH (R), KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a commission that is just gathering data, and we'll follow the facts where they lead them.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Kris Kobach, the vice chair of Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is asking for

information, if publicly available under state laws, including a voter's full name, address, date of birth, political affiliation, voting, military,

criminal records, along with at least part of their Social Security Number.

Now, some states are more critical than others, with at least 10, including California Secretary of State, questioning the ethics of the panel.

ALEX PADILLA (D), CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: We know nothing about how they intend to operate in a way that's transparent and accountable to the

public. But it's a commission that was based -- that was formed on the President's fixation of massive voter fraud which, study after study, shows

is simply not true.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Kobach told CNN's Anderson Cooper that's not the point of the commission.

KOBACH: First of all, the commission's purpose is not to prove or disprove what the President speculated about back in January. The purpose of the

commission is to find facts and put them on the table.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): President Trump attacked the opposing states on Twitter, asking, what are they trying to hide? Since the start --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They woke up from the dead and they went and voted.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): -- Trump has claimed fraud in U.S. elections.

TRUMP: Believe me, there's a lot going on. Do you ever hear these people, they say there's nothing going on. People that have died 10 years ago and

still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Citing zero evidence, he tweeted in November, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted

illegally, but the administration has yet to provide any proof. And every credible study CNN has found has determined large-scale voter fraud is

extremely rare to nonexistent.


GORANI: Dianne Gallagher reporting. Well, Dianne mentioned that at least 40 states are pushing back against this commission. Well, CNN can now

report that 44 out of the 50 states are refusing at least some part of this. So the number has increased to 44 out of all 50 U.S. states.

Still ahead, we'll go back to the U.S. but for celebration this time, not controversy. It's Independence Day, July 4th. We'll take you to iconic

Coney Island for a fun July 4th traditional, quote, sport, unquote.


[15:46:50] GORANI: The Pope's pediatric hospital in Rome says it will take in the terminally ill baby, Charlie Gard, so his parents can decide how he

will die. The little boy remains on life support at a London hospital, but a court has ruled doctors can take him off his ventilator. And this is

against the wishes of his parents because they want to take the 11-month old to the U.S. for experimental treatment.

Diana Magnay is here with the latest. So where do things stand now for the parents of this little boy?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the end of the road. They have fought the decision of the doctors all the way through

the British court system. They've taken it to the European Court of Human Rights. And all of those courts have ruled with the doctors that doing an

experimental treatment on this little boy, who has brain damage, who has this incredibly rare genetic disorder, will be futile.

It won't reverse his brain damage. And it might benefit medical science, but it won't benefit little Charlie. And so they have said he needs to

have treatment withdrawn because that's in his best interest and the parents feel that they just want give it one last chance. They just want

to try out this treatment.

GORANI: So can they, in fact, as the Pope is saying, you know, send their son in the pediatric hospital here in Rome. Can they do that or not?

MAGNAY: Well, what the Vatican hospital there is offering is not to try this treatment out. They've also said it's probably not going to work but

just probably to keep him on life support for that much longer.

GORANI: Right.

MAGNAY: But it's not really as though Great Ormond Street, where he is, is going to snap off the life support system without having the parents

onboard as much as they can. And in fact, they were meant to turn it off on Friday but that hasn't happen.

And presumably -- you know, the hospital won't actually say because it's patient confidentiality, but presumably, what is happening is that they are

drawing up end of life plans that the parents can go along with but where the baby is -- and the baby's interests are first and foremost because

their priority is that he dies with dignity.

GORANI: So this is the end of the road for them?

MAGNAY: There is no further legal recourse, no. It doesn't matter what the Pope says. It doesn't matter President Trump tweeted and said, look,

we want to do what we can. It is illegal for him to leave this country now.

GORANI: And he can't leave unless he is on life support and medically assisted and the whole thing, so.

MAGNAY: Well, I mean, it's possible that he is so fragile that he can't be taken to a hospital in Italy anyway.


MAGNAY: I mean, the parents' last wish was that they wanted him to die at home, and they say that the hospital is not allowing that to happen. Now,

we don't know why. It may be that his condition is so fragile that he can't move. But presumably, that is in all discussion now, how best to

withdraw treatment, how it can suite him and his parents.

GORANI: It's so sad for the parents. Thanks very much. Diana Magnay with the latest update on this story that has gotten reaction, as you saw and

heard, from the Pope and from Donald Trump and many others.

And don't forget, check out our Facebook page, We'll be right back.


[15:51:27] GORANI: Twitter. Let's talk about Twitter. You may use it. I use it. It's kind of part of the job if you are journalist nowadays, and

it's used the world over by stars to talk to their millions of followers. But what happens when some fans reply with words they don't like?

In Ed Sheeran's case, well, you quit. You quit Twitter altogether. The musician told a newspaper in the U.K. that he's left the social media site

because his day can be ruined by people saying mean things.

CNN's Tech Correspondent Samuel Burke is with me. How many followers does he have?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNNMONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Nineteen million, and he is not in love with the shape of Twitter anymore. And this

may sound like a very superficial story in a way, a celebrity who can't handle some of these tweets, but it's actually a more fascinating story

here about Twitter and why it's been suffering as a business.

But first, we wanted to show you some of these tweets that Ed Sheeran is getting. A lot of them were actually against red heads. That's the most

hate I could find.

Now, maybe Twitter had deleted some of them, but this one saying: there is currently a ginger busker -- a musician plays on the street -- on BBC. We

found lots like this. Next one is: well, it's like paying 280 pounds for a festival only to find out they've let a ginger busker headline.

You know, British people, they do have a bias against red heads more than Americans do. And this --

GORANI: These people are just jealous, you know. I've analyzed this.


GORANI: Oh, yes. What --

BURKE: But you are not a red head.

GORANI: No, no, no. I mean people who insult you online.


GORANI: What do they do? What is their job? What is their accomplishment? A lot of times, it's jealousy. They can't be that so they

attack you.

BURKE: And so you and I know about this a lot because you're on television and people attack you a lot.

GORANI: And also we cover news.


GORANI: So a lot of times, you'll get reaction. But for entertainers, it's different though.

BURKE: Well, let me just put up a pilot here, as we call it on T.V. The Twitter stock price -- because this is actually reflective of bigger issue

that Twitter has. This is a company that once had a stock that was worth $70.


BURKE: Today, they're down at $17.64. Why? Because they haven't been able to find a suitor. They were for sale, at one point, and Bloomberg

reported that Disney took a look at it, thought they were going to buy it.

Yes, it has a lot of users, a lot of hype in a way, especially because people like Trump are using it. But they decided that it might ruin their

image because so many people associated with mean, bullying, negative tweets.

GORANI: But this is a big issue with Twitter, right? Because, I mean, obviously, it's an open platform. It's free. The whole idea is that kind

of, you know, ordinary people can communicate with celebrities, like Ed Sheeran, actors, actresses, the rest of it.

But then how do you filter? You can't filter out one set of tweet and then not another. You can't really do that. It's either fully for you or it's


BURKE: And this is the big problem they have. And unlike Facebook, which is always trying to make sure that it's people's real identity, Twitter

doesn't really care about that so much because they have such pressure on the stock price that they're just trying to get as many people on their as


That's why so many people send hateful tweets because they're not using their real name, their real photo. At Facebook --

GORANI: A lot them are bots, by the way. I have to say, sometimes when you get a mean tweet, it gets retweeted tons of times.

BURKE: By the bot.

GORANI: Clearly, these are eggs. These are people who aren't real. The picture of a bird or a kitten or a flag or whatever, those are usually


BURKE: But what is the worst one you've ever gotten?

GORANI: I'm not going to say it, actually, because I don't want to encourage it.


GORANI: I find it loathsome, honestly. I mean, the people who actually sit in front of a computer or type on their smart phones hateful things

like that, they just have nothing better to do.


GORANI: And it's almost -- frankly, you almost have to feel sorry for them.

BURKE: I've had some pretty homophobic --

GORANI: And when was the last time you ever tweeted something mean at any one?

BURKE: No, never!

GORANI: Never, right?

BURKE: My mama taught me better than that. No, but I've some -- the homophobic ones were the hardest ones to deal with at first, when I first

came on CNN. But this is the real problem for Twitter. They have this platform that is so talked about, so used. And at the end of the day, if

this is the user experience, you know, someone like you uses it a lot, it has to --

[15:55:08] GORANI: I use it for work.

BURKE: Exactly.

GORANI: I don't use it for personal communications.

BURKE: And you have to put up with it because this is part of our job. But a lot of people don't, and that's why that stock price is where it is.

GORANI: All right. You know whose stock is up though? That guy who can wolf down 70 plus hotdogs in 10 minutes.

Fourth of July, what does that, Samuel? One tradition. It's something some people might find just a little bit gross or epic, depending on how

you feel. It's the Coney Island hotdog-eating contest.


GORANI: Contestants from all the world come to New York City to compete. Our Karin Caifa was there, watching it all go down.

KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, there is a lot of good old- fashioned summer fun to be had out here on Brooklyn's Coney Island boardwalk. But on Independence Day, it's all about a distinctly American

competition. Thousands of people of came out today to the corner of Stillwell & Surf for the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the

reigning champs showed us why they're tops.


CAIFA (voice-over): On the men's side, Joey Chestnut came in aiming to top last year's winning total of a monster 70 hotdogs in 10 minutes and already

with nine master belts under his belt. Yes, the master belt is the grand price here.

Chestnut holds more than 40 competitive eating titles, ranging from apple pie to burritos. Here at Nathan's this year, his 10th championship with a

whopping 72 hotdogs. That is a new record for this competition.

On ladies' side, Miki Sudo took home her fourth consecutive Nathan's title along with the pink belt. That's the women's price.

Forty-one hotdogs and buns, that is a personal best for her. Last year, she went here with 38-1/2. She bested Michelle Lesco and Sonya Thomas.

Thomas, of course, known on the competitive eating circuit as the Black Widow.

Now, the Nathan's contest takes place under the purview of Major League Eating. Yes, that is really a thing. And we are looking at some

staggering statistics out of this competition.

A Nathan's hotdog and bun has about 280 calories. So think about Joey Chestnut's total today of 72 hotdogs and buns. We're talking more than

20,000 calories consumed in 10 minutes. That is more than the USCA's recommended intake for a typical American over 10 days.

At Brooklyn's Coney Island, I'm Karin Caifa. Hala, back to you.


GORANI: Twenty thousand calories. That's like a Sunday roast in our house.

BURKE: Sometimes, I feel like, us Americans, we don't do a great job at marketing ourselves to the rest of the world.

GORANI: Hey, he's an all-time champion, 10 wins. Well done to Joey Chestnut.

Thanks, Samuel. We'll see you later on CNN.

This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'll see you tomorrow, same time, same place. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.