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Trump, Merkel Meeting One-on-One In Hamburg; Merkel: Success Based On Open Societies, Shared Values; Trump on N.K.: "Something Will Have To Be Done"; Haley Threatens N. Korea's Trading Partners; All Eyes on Trump at His First G20 Summit. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired July 6, 2017 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:31:38] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. The president of the United States and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel now in a private meeting. We sure just moments ago -- we saw just moments ago, excuse me. The two leaders greeting each other outside of the meeting room. You see small talk there and pleasantry.
These are two leaders with profound disagreements and their disagreements were at the core of big G20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany. You see them outside the meeting there, pleasant handshake there. There were some talk about their body language when Chancellor Angela Merkel was at the White House. They're in the private room now. We expect to get into that room and to see more of that meeting in just a few moments.
As we do, a reminder of these many disagreements between them. Remember, this is the president's second trip to Europe. He was at the NATO summit in May, he lectured the European allies. The European allies didn't like that. But let's be clear.
The Europeans also take some pleasure in poking President Trump, including Chancellor Merkel who in her speech publicly at NATO with the president of the United States standing a few feet away, said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I we all are united in the trust that it is not isolation and the building walls that make us successful but open societies that share the same values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This the fascinating part to me in this -- you know, I don't want to overplay the drama but this is essentially the clash of titans and that he leads his view, the American first view. He had some supporters at this meeting but she has more on her side whether it's the prime minister of Canada, just to the north of the United States or the new president of France. But Angela Merkel, a lot of people say, you know, lot of Trump critics say, well, he shouldn't go there and lecture. He shouldn't publicly air his grievances. Let's be honest that when you agree of the president's approach, his critics are more than happy to take him on to and she's chief among them.
MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: Yes, absolutely. There has been no love lost between the two sides of this and it's very clear what their differing visions are. That Merkel's speech couldn't even really be called a sub-tweet. It was very over, with her criticisms. And so it's clear that they disagree.
This goes back to the campaign, you know, base on the America first vision. I don't think this was a talking point. He necessarily came up with what Trump called Hillary Clinton America's Merkel. Based on this idea that she was a globalist who wanted to open the borders and let everybody in and not protect America, and protect America first.
And so, you know, that is a lingering dispute. That's still the case that they disagree on these visions that we do have one leader who wants protectionism in economics and in defense. The building of walls and the receding from international agreements. And in Europe, as we talked before, this is a conflict between differing factions in almost all of the European countries. It seems for a while that the populists were winning with Brexit and we just saw the pendulum swing the other way with the results in Britain and France. So this is very much a conflict.
MICHAEL BENDER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: It sort of underscores here that the news out of this summit is going to be more about the body language and more about the posturing than more about the results. Oliver mentioned that America first but not America alone. And just seems to me a level of nuance that this administration has not shown it's capable of pulling off and they're heading into the G20, that, you know, 20 countries. And a speech this morning that set the tone about, that was more America first than, you know, not America alone.
[12:35:00] OLIVER KNOX, YAHOO! NEWS: Particularly the G20, when you host the G20, what makes a successful G20? Is it a combined or joint statement on climate or joint statement on transnational crime? A joint statement on refugees? Some sort of show of alliance consensus?
Has that been redefined by these tensions? Does Angela Merkel think that a successful G20 is one in which she and other prominent leaders hold their ground in the face of the American president? I don't know if that's the case.
JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, that was the outcome at the G8 or the G7 where you had six of the counties come out saying we support the Paris climate accord and we're going to let the U.S. have their space to make a decision, hoping that the strategy would push Trump actually toward them, that they weren't putting -- that they were giving him space. So they're allowing him to do this on his own timetable and certainly we saw what happened with that one, he ended up withdrawing.
BALL: And that raises the question of why have these alliances if all but one of them agree on things, and on the thing that the alliance has formed for. I mean, in this case, the G20 is an economic alliance so I think there's going to be a focus on the economics rather than national security peace.
If you have a lone dissenter, why is that person in the alliance.
KING: But the G20 was essentially formed because of globalization. It was an acknowledgment of globalization. When you were from G7 or the G8, Russia wasn't in the G8, now it's not allowed to be in. But you went from the big economies, that was us versus them approach and then, oh, the global economy. So you have the 20 biggest economies and they always invite in other people.
That was an acknowledgment of the globalization that Donald Trump in many ways now says is a bad thing for the economy. (INAUDIBLE) what make this fascinating apart of his personalities. You have a very personality-driven, powerful communication and the American president going up against these incredibly big egos of their own in Europe. And politicians have egos, yes, they do.
Angela Merkel airs their differences. She's hosting an event tonight raising money for this climate effort. Again, a poke at the president of the United States when he is right there in town with her.
Let's go back to the NATO meeting. The president also very willing, you want to have a slugfest, I'll make my case publicly including on migration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have thousands and thousands of people pouring into our various countries and spreading throughout and in many cases we have no idea who they are. We must be tough. We must be strong, and we must be vigilant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Again, just have to step back for a minute. We've heard the president say this before, but just think of the optics. He is standing right there and he's got the other NATO leaders. He means them.
He means the people standing right there that to your point, he's supposed to go into a room and break bread with. And go in and exchange advice on how do we deal with this military problem. How do we deal with this military issue?
But this has become the new world order during the Trump administration. A very public airing of differences and almost a tug- of-war to prove who's right?
BALL: But I do think that for Trump and his supporters this is a possible thing. He is standing up to the world order. The whole point is, you know, a lot of people on the right believe that President Obama was too willing to (INAUDIBLE) to allies and even allegedly in some cases our enemies, that he did not have the backbone to go to the rest of the world and say no, the United States has its own way and this is how we're going to do it.
I don't think there's a question that Trump is willing to sort of get right in people's faces and tell them that we're not going to go along to get along.
PACE: In some respective actually refreshing. We've all covered these summits before and you see the leaders, they exchanges pleasantries but these background readouts from both sides where you learn about the differences that were aired in the private meetings. Now we're just putting them in public.
So in that sense, I think it actually it's a bit refreshing. But the problem that the Europeans have with this though is they don't know if Trump, if push comes to shove actually will stand with them. And that has always been the expectation there. You can disagree on some of these issues like climate or immigration but at the end of the day, the belief in the alliance exists still.
KING: Important point because even though if he go back, Merkel has been around long enough who criticize. They thought George W. Bush maybe had a bit too much swagger at the cowboy diplomacy argument came up on those days. But then the push came to shove, he believe in globalization. He was with them on these economic issues, that believe that (INAUDIBLE).
Hold the thought (INAUDIBLE) we're just going to get a break. Up next, President Trump in Europe warning something has to be done about North Korea.
[12:43:03] KING: Welcome back. One major White House goal at the G20 summit is to ratchet up international criticism and action against North Korea. President Trump says his options include, quote, pretty severe things. He also suggested earlier today that no unilateral U.S. response is imminent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We'll just take a look at what happens over the coming weeks and months with respect to North Korea. It's a shame that they're behaving this way, but they are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner. And something will have to be done about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Telling, to me, that even though the president has said if China doesn't help us we will deal with this. He's asked for military options from the Pentagon. We know they range from bleak to catastrophic that the president there used weeks and months. He seems to understand that he may be as annoyed as he can be about this, but this is going to be solved quickly.
BALL: It seems like he's learning about the complexity of this problem, as he has about many other problems during his tenure. He does seem to be taking it seriously. I mean, if I can self-promote a little bit of our -- the Atlantic's cover story this story is about the North Korea problem, and the complexity of it and how bad all of the options are.
Nobody knows this better than the North Koreans and that's why they've been able to continue to escalate things because they know that we don't have any good options, we don't have a good way to stop them. And so, you know, you see Trump trying to grapple with the nuances of that. Trying to show some swagger which has been his m.o., but temper it a little with the realization that there's -- that's not a good idea either.
KING: And other countries involved have their own chess play, if you will, the complications. China is willing to help up to its line. Russia is hot and cold on whether wants to deal with this issue. As you mentioned, the president is now learning what previous presidents have learned.
This is not unique to Donald Trump. But listen to Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations yesterday asking for more condemnation at the Security Council against North Korea but singling out China as a bad actor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[12:45:06] NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That's not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's a pretty big trade relationship. She's -- that's the ambassador to the United Nations. Does the president -- is he going to sit down at the G20 with President Xi and say, help me or that's not going to happen?
PACE: Well that's the question, right? I mean, everyone knows that the easiest solution to the North Korea crisis is to have China withdraw some of its economic support. I mean, they are the country that is keeping North Korea afloat. But the United States has always been reluctant to pile on the pressure because of our own important trade relationships with Chine. There are places where we depend on Chinese financial backing.
The problem that Trump is grappling with right now is the fact that North Korea does not respond to pressure the way that other countries have. It's not as though sanctions have not had an impact on North Korea. It's just that they don't change their behavior on the nuclear front. Until you can solve that, you're basically looking at a bunch of bad options.
KING: And Kim Jong-un views his weapons and his missiles, his nuclear weapons program as means of survival. Therefore it's his base and his blood. He's not going to give it up. Let's pivot back in the moment we have left to the Putin meeting tomorrow. We got big meetings (INAUDIBLE) with President Xi. Can the president be persuasive? With President Putin, will he raise election meddling? And, again, as a reminder, what the president said earlier in Poland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered. I've said it -- I said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia but I think it could well have been other countries. And I won't be specific but I think a lot of people interfere.
I think it's been happening for a long time. It's been happening for many, many years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Julie mentioned earlier that, you know, Republican hawks want much better than that. Much stronger and much more direct. Now I suspect many of them will hold their breath until after the meeting to see what actually happens. But the ranking House Democrat Adam Schiff got in the president's face for that. This is from five top Democrats in the Senate. "We believe it is crucial for you as the president of the United States to raise this matter and to ensure that he hears you loud and clear." Will he?
BENDER: Well, that's a good question. You know, McMaster told reporters just a few days ago, ahead of this trip that there is no specific agenda for this meeting. So really trying to push down expectations for this.
There's a lot of things to talk about. You mentioned Xi who is in Moscow a few days ago. A state-run bank has given Russia money to avoid sanctions of some of the penalties that the U.S. has put on them. There is a big basket of things for Trump to talk about, and to go in there with no specific agenda is a little hard to imagine.
KING: I don't know that they have no specific agenda or the staff is afraid to say this is the agenda because of the unpredictability of their own boss, the president of United States.
Everybody sit tight. Still, with the president on the world stage. Like or not, Trump's going to be Trump, even in Europe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[12:52:14] TRUMP: The people of Poland have been so fantastic, and as you know, Polish-Americans came out in droves. They voted in the last election and I was very happy with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: That was the president of the United States earlier today in Poland. This is his second international trip. Just a little bit of fun here as we close.
It's always interesting, a new president on the world stage -- and we know the president very much likes to focus on lis election win. Not a surprise, anybody had assumed that he brought it up in Poland?
PACE: Not a surprise. I didn't see the Polish section of the exit polls though. I would have to go back and dig into those when we get back in the office.
KING: I bet he thinks when he looks at Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, I bet he's probably right.
KNOX: He probably is right, that that's -- but again, it goes back to his legitimacy. He's performing on the world stage, he's the legitimate president of the United States, which he is, and --
BENDER: Well, I grew up in a Polish suburb in Cleveland, Ohio so I think that may about what he was referring to. We did quite well in primary Ohio.
KING: But it's part of his style. Again, a Trump is a port supporters -- I'm not at least making fun of the president, I just think it's interesting when you see a president on the world stage and you see how they carry themselves, what matters most to them, some of the core. Here's just some moments, the president again, he's about to hit the six-month mark. Here's a few what some people would call this awkward, some people would call them priceless. Here you go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As far as wiretapping, I guess by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps.
The fact is that the United States has trade deficits with many, many countries, and we cannot allow that to continue. And we'll start with South Korea right now.
NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Again, Trump, like any president is in the eye of the beholder. If you're a Trump supporter you think, damn straight. You know, the guy says what he thinks. He says what's on his mind and he doesn't hide things he hears about. If you liked Obama nuance you probably don't like some of that.
BENDER: Well, that's why Trump that sold the change message in the 2016 election, right, and he's not in office and we'll see what results he gets.
KNOX: I love that (INAUDIBLE) in D.C., last time I visited, and they exhibit about wiretapping, they have a little portrait of Angela Merkel.
BALL: Yes, you got it, that's a pretty good joke.
KNOX: That was a good line.
KING: That was, you know -- she didn't like it, but you could see her face, priceless there, and over the past couple months, we had some interesting handshakes. Let's look at those.
Prime Minister Trudeau at the White House there. Will they let go?
This is one of the leaders with him, this is one of the interesting ones with President Trump. You know, watch some other handshakes, (INAUDIBLE) Trudeau, they have differences on the big issues and yet they seem to get along.
[12:55:05] Prime Minister Abe I believe, they have the kind of very close relationship. The early relationships with Xi and with Prime Minister Theresa May of the U.K. have deteriorated somewhat after getting off to a good start. This one has been steady. We'll see how this one plays out at the G20.
You see if they can match that on Bastille Day when the president of United States goes back to Paris. You're going to see a handshake there, but you did just see one in Hamburg just a few minutes ago.
Again, some people will think this is trivial of what we're doing. I just think it's part when you watch a president, you know, take his first steps on the world stage, how he conduct himself. But no question, he's incredibly different from his -- especially most recent predecessor.
PACE: And one of the things that I think it's important to note is that, despite the fact that Trump is going abroad and saying these tough things to leaders' faces and despite the fact that he is skeptical of multilateral institutions. He's someone that wants these leaders to like him.
He wants to go into these meetings and emerge with a personal bond. It's important to him, that's how he feels that he can get deals done. So, you know, for all the tough talk, this is someone who's trying to win these leaders over.
KING: And if you had time with him one on one, whether you like him or not, he can be a very charming guy.
And that's it for us in the INSIDE POLITICS. See you back here tomorrow. John Berman, up after a quick break.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm John Berman in New York, Wolf Blitzer is off today. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks --