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G20 Summit; U.S. bombers Fly over Korean Peninsula; All Blacks Versus Lions; Pence on NASA. Aired 2-2:30a ET
Aired July 8, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Theresa May, Donald Trump, the U.S. president about to have a face-to-face with the British prime minister to kick off the last day of the G20 summit.
And rivers of mud in Japan, hundreds of people are still stranded after torrential rains.
Plus rugby: can the Lions pull off the upset?
They will be heavy underdogs as they take on the almighty All Blacks in New Zealand.
Thank you for joining us, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier from the CNN NEWSROOM in Atlanta.
VANIER: So the final day of the G20 summit begins in about an hour. President Trump has a full day of meetings, starting with Prime Minister Theresa May and he'll also have formal talks with the leaders of Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. And his last meeting of the day could be the most important.
Mr. Trump will sit down with Chinese president Xi Jinping for the first time since April. Since then, of course, North Korea has ramped up its weapon tests and the U.S. president has expressed disappointment with Beijing, whom he had hoped would put pressure on North Korea.
Nic Robertson is in Hamburg.
Nic, the first order of business for Donald Trump is this meeting with Theresa May and relations have become a lot more strained between the two since the U.S. president first saw her at the White House a few months ago.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Partly, there was a political backlash against Theresa May for that visit and that was principally out of President Trump's policies on immigration. The travel ban came out right after the visit. So there was a big petition in Britain that 1.8 million people signed.
It said that President Trump shouldn't be able to meet the queen. The queen had extended through Theresa May the opportunity for a state visit.
That state visit doesn't appear to even be on the cards at the moment and Theresa May with her own political turmoil at home looks a very weakened political figure at the moment. And President Trump doesn't seem to have put coming to Britain on his agenda. Perhaps that's by mutual agreement. We don't know.
But the relationship between the two people is perhaps not as strained as we might think it is. Theresa May still believes that the United States is still part of the economic future of Britain, as Britain pulls out of the European Union, because it can do significant trade deals with the United States. So she's going to want to keep that narrative going.
But for President Trump at the moment, there are much bigger issues on his plate. And Theresa May with her less -- lacking the standing she had on the world stage earlier this year, is perhaps not the political and world partner that he might be looking for in Britain to help him on some of the big issues like North Korea, like Ukraine, like Syria.
But those issues will likely come up of course.
VANIER: Nic, what do we know about the protests at the moment?
What's it like in Hamburg?
Of course we saw it got pretty violent Friday night. I know it's early Saturday morning for you now.
But are you able to tell where things are headed for today?
ROBERTSON: Cyril, I thought you might ask me about the protests and I thought I'd be able to stand here and say, you know what?
It's a beautiful, calm morning here in Hamburg and it's still -- and I can hear the birds singing. Well, just as you were asking that question, I heard the first police siren of the day over in the distance here.
Close to 200 police officers injured over the last couple of days, 83 people arrested. And police say 500 people, protesters stormed a small supermarket, smashed it, looted it; 250 people put up barricades in another area of the city.
So the helicopters aren't flying in the sky yet. So that's an indication that there are no real manifestations of protests on the road. But there are more protests expected today and they did go late in the night.
VANIER: Nic Robertson, reporting live from Hamburg, of course, we'll be following all of that throughout the day here on CNN. So stay with us for that.
Nic, thank you very much.
And President Trump wrapped up a much-anticipated sitdown with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday. They talked for more than two hours about Syria, Ukraine and Russia's alleged interference in last year's U.S. presidential election. More from CNN's Jim Acosta.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Putin and I have been discussing various things and I think it's going very well.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just after the cameras were kicked out of the room, President Trump reportedly did what many of his critics saw as unthinkable.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I'm delighted to be able to meet you personally.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president confronted Vladimir Putin on U.S. concerns that Russia meddled in last year's election during a meeting that ran much longer than expected, two hours and 15 minutes. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the president raised the issue repeatedly.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The president pressed President Putin on more than --
TILLERSON: -- one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Briefing reporters off camera, Tillerson said the two leaders never came to an agreement on the issue of interference.
TILLERSON: What the two presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward, how do we move forward from here?
Because it's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed- upon resolution of that question between the two nations.
So the question is, what do we do now?
ACOSTA (voice-over): But that's not exactly how the Russians described it. Speaking to reporters on camera, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the president accepted Putin's denials.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): President Trump said he heard Putin's very clear statements that this is not true and that the Russian government did not interfere in the elections and that he accepts these statements. That's it.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Lavrov said Putin complained he is still waiting on proof of Russian meddling.
LAVROV (through translator): Not a single fact has been presented and this is something that has been acknowledged by the people of Congress.
ACOSTA (voice-over): A senior administration official told CNN President Trump did not accept Putin's denials. Still, the president's decision to press Putin on interference is a significant shift.
Just a day ago in Poland, the president continued to express doubts about Russian meddling, contradicting his own intelligence community.
TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries. Could have been a lot of people interfered.
ACOSTA (voice-over): And hours before his meeting with Putin, Mr. Trump continued to blame others, slamming former Clinton campaign chair, John Podesta, tweeting, "Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful."
Podesta, who had no ability to turn over the DNC computer server to investigators as he was heading Clinton's campaign, responded, "Get a grip, man. The Russians committed a crime when they stole my emails to help get you elected president."
As for the president's meeting with Putin, there was some harmony.
TILLERSON: There was a very clear, positive chemistry between the two.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Both leaders agreed to work to deescalate hostilities in Syria and pledged to continue discussions on Russian aggression in Ukraine. That may not be enough for European leaders, like German chancellor Angela Merkel, who appeared to flash an eye roll during her own exchange with Putin.
Mr. Trump had other meetings at the G20 that made waves, such as a sit-down with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. The president spared any diplomatic niceties when he was asked if he still expects Mexico to pay for a wall on the border.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Mexico to pay for the wall?
ACOSTA (voice-over): "Absolutely," he said.
ACOSTA: Despite those disagreements over Russia meddling in the last election, these two leaders were speaking for so long that officials thought it was a good idea to send in the first lady, Melania Trump, to check in on the two men, to hurry things along -- Jim Acosta, CNN, Hamburg, Germany.
VANIER: Let's get the Russian perspective on that Trump-Putin meeting now. Ivan Watson is in Moscow.
Ivan, there's been so much speculation, for months, really since the beginning of the year if not before, about how the meeting might unfold between Mr. Trump, Mr. Putin, this diplomatic clash of titans.
How is it going down now in Russia?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The initial reaction here, it sounds like Russians are delighted. You've got a number of top lawmakers, one of whom, Aleksey Pushkov, calling it a breakthrough.
Another top lawmaker saying it's better to have cooperation rather than confrontation and then the host of one of the state TV programs here, saying that, quote, "Judging by the reaction of the press, this G20 takes place on the margins of Putin's meeting with Trump and not vice versa."
So it does sound like this has gone down quite well here in Moscow, certainly in official circles -- Cyril.
VANIER: An interesting aspect of this, listening to the U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who listened in on the meeting, is how keen the American administration seems to be to put the election meddling, the Russian election meddling behind them.
WATSON: Yes. He said, listen, we've basically agreed that we disagree on this and we need to kind of move forward on this issue. And he did say that there are going to be creation of working groups involving the State Department, the national security advisor's office, to deal with the questions of hacking and the question of noninterference in things like the U.S. democratic process and others, he indicated. But very interesting to see quite a different take coming out from Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, who came out of that same meeting and had had this to say. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The atmosphere during talks between Trump and Putin --
LAVROV (through translator): -- was constructive. It was also determined by the understanding that each side could do this more effectively if we interact. If we seek a balance of our interest and achieve a stabilization of the situation in different regions around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: OK. That's not the right sound that we wanted to play for you. But basically Sergey Lavrov saying that President Trump accepted the Russian president's denial about interference in the election -- Cyril.
VANIER: Ivan Watson reporting live from Moscow. Thank you very much. Of course we'll continue to get reaction from you and from the Russian capital throughout the day.
And earlier Nic Robertson was telling us things are pretty quiet in the streets of Hamburg, in Germany. No protests yet. It's early in the morning. But last night, things did turn violent there. Anti- capitalist protesters set fires in the streets and looted shops. That's when police intervened with tear gas and water cannons.
Our Fred Pleitgen was right in the middle of it.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Clashes continued well into the night on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Of course the protestors here say they want to disrupt the summit and some of them even saying they want to get inside the secure perimeter.
As you can see right now what's going on is that the police are firing water cannon trucks at people who have set barricades on fire. That's something that we've been seeing throughout the evening and certainly which is something that can continue well into the night.
The clashes here are very, very heavy. They sort of pinpoint actions of protestors against the police. But then during the evening, what happened is that things escalated.
Many people were arrested and the police are also saying that dozens of their own officers were injured in the clashes that took place, not just on Friday, of course, on Thursday as well -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Hamburg.
VANIER: Police say nearly 200 officers have been injured since Thursday and at least 83 people were arrested.
At least 15 people have been killed in Southwestern Japan after torrential rains caused flooding and mudslides. Dozens of people are unaccounted for. And disaster management officials say tens of thousands of others still can't return to their homes. For more on this, meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us now.
Derek, what do we know?
What's the situation at the moment?
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: As they sent firefighters and rescue personnel to search for the missing people from these devastating floods, they were also confronted with additional rainfall and more landslides leading to treacherous rescue operations and for the residents that continue to deal with the situation.
This is the Asakura region, Fukuoka prefecture. Heavy rain continued to batter this region on Friday morning. Local residents continue to search for survivors, their family, their friends while trying to also clean up debris and regather their livelihoods.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a warning for ground loosening heavy rainfall in southwestern Japan and this is an extremely serious situation because the ground is saturated. And any additional rainfall will lead to scenes like this or could lead to scenes like this. This is mountainous so when we get this amount of rainfall in a short period of time, it takes a lot of debris down with it and you can see that we have debris fields here that inundated whole houses and communities.
Here are the latest figures from some of the emergency personnel in Southwestern Japan; nearly 150,000 people under evacuation orders as we speak and they've sent 8,000 rescue workers to the region to search for survivors.
Unfortunately, there's still dozens missing and 15 fatalities at least at this very moment. You can see some of the images coming out of this area. Absolutely shocking to see how the debris piled up across this area. You can actually see a vehicle among all the trees that this heavy, heavy water and flooding that brought down the side of the river and the mountain sides across the region.
How much rain did they experience?
Earlier this week the Sakura region where we saw the most devastating flooding, they experienced over 1.5 times their monthly average rainfall in a period of 24 hours, their normal rainfall should be 354.
VANIER: -- We're tracking developments there in that region of Asakura in Japan. Thank you very much for joining us. We're going to take a short break. We're right back after this.
VANIER: Welcome back.
The U.S. Air Force sends a message to North Korea. The flight of two U.S. bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Friday comes days after Pyongyang's latest missile test. A U.S. Air Force official says the 10-hour overflight was meant to warn North Korea its actions threaten American allies.
And the U.S. is ready to, quote, "unleash the full lethal capacity of allied airpower."
The heightened tensions come as the Chinese and U.S. presidents meet at the G20 summit in just a few hours. North Korea of course will be a big -- the big topic of conversation.
Let's talk to CNN global affairs analyst, Aaron David Miller. He's in Washington.
Great to have you with us. Now the biggest issue between the American and Chinese presidents is North Korea at the moment. And they've talked about this before. We've been down this road since the beginning of the year. The U.S. wants China to use its leverage against North Korea. And so far, the U.S. has been disappointed.
So is there anything Mr. Trump can say to Mr. Xi when they meet again that he hasn't already said?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes, it's an interesting question. At the Citrus Summit in Mar-a-lago, their first substantive meeting, I think both sides used the Chinese expression, it was like a chicken talking to a duck. They were talking to one another but they were talking past one another.
Mr. Trump invested relentlessly but I think wrongly in the notion that somehow President Xi would have the capacity and willingness to somehow fix the North Korean problem and that the U.S. would simply contract it out to him.
Other than Mr. Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin, this is probably the most important bilateral that the president will have and North Korea will be the focus. And I'm concerned that North Korea's going to color and taint the way the Americans perceive it and the way the Chinese perceive it.
They're really quite far apart. I don't think there's anything at this single meeting that President Trump could do to somehow push President Xi to somehow adopt a more aggressive stance and I don't think the Chinese, focused as they are on other issues and worried about instability on the Korean Peninsula, and the collapse of the regime or South Korean unification, is going to oblige them.
So the real question is, can Trump and Xi manage this problem?
And I think the answer is -- in the spirit of Mr. Trump's engagement with Mr. Putin, I suspect the answer will be yes.
VANIER: Washington and Beijing have very different preferred solutions.
VANIER: Mr. Trump wants to put more pressure on Pyongyang through a variety of means. Beijing on the other hand would like to strike a deal between the U.S. and Pyongyang. Here's the U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Putin has expressed a view not unlike that of China, that they would support a freeze for freeze. If we study the history of the last 25 years of engagement with various regimes in North Korea, this has been done before.
And every time it was done, North Korea went ahead and proceeded with its program.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So this is the deal that's on the table supported by both China and Russia as we heard, this freeze for freeze. North Korea freezes its nuclear and missile programs; one of the U.S. freezes its military drills in the region and stops being so hostile to North Korea in the terms of that deal.
But it sounds like that's just unacceptable for this U.S. administration.
MILLER: I think it is, at least for now. The secretary today, I believe, talked about CC'ing and/or rolling back North Korea's nuclear program. But I'm afraid that strategy is probably OK for a galaxy far, far away.
But back on planet Earth, there's a certain reality. I think that has to be confronted. It's almost inconceivable to me within a reasonable period of time -- let's say the first four years of the Trump administration -- that you could see denuclearization as a realistic option.
That would require a fundamental transformation between North Korea and the United States. And I don't believe in transformations. We're talking here, Cyril, transactions.
And the real question is how much time is going to be required to bring the United States, the Chinese, the Russians and the North Koreans to the kind of transaction that could buy time and defuse this problem?
VANIER: Yes. Aaron, thank you very much for coming on the show. Aaron David Miller, CNN global affairs analyst, thank you very much.
MILLER: Thank you.
VANIER: And rugby's top two sides. The All Blacks and the Lions are set to go at it in about an hour. Why this could be one for the sports history books -- after we come back.
VANIER: As the saying goes, Saturday's a rugby day. And this is a big one. The decisive third test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions kicks off in just about an hour. Our Alex Thomas has the preview.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a momentum and an optimism around the British and Irish Lions that was simply absent earlier in the tour when the team was losing and critics were questioning Coach Warren Gatlin's (ph) tactics and selections. Now what seemed impossible is anything but.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have a lot to improve on. I think we probably haven't put a full performance together. That's what's really exciting about this weekend. I think our defense was very, very good last weekend to limit them to no tries.
But probably our discipline wasn't very -- wasn't good enough, so we'll have to look at that this weekend.
THOMAS (voice-over): Recovering from a heavy defeat in the first test to win the second one against rugby's B-to-B world champions, New Zealand, has not only reinvigorated this series --
THOMAS (voice-over): -- but also the Lions' brand. All Blacks forward Jerome Kaino is comparing this deciding third test to a World Cup final. What a boost for the Lions, who never play at home.
They tour every four years, with the best players from Britain and Ireland, a tradition dating back to 1888 and in almost 130 years have only won in New Zealand once in 1971. And if they want to make this the second series success, they have to inflict on New Zealand a first defeat at Auckland's Eden Park Stadium since 1994.
That's before rugby turned professional. It's been six years since the All Blacks lost successive test matches and 19 years since it happened on home soil.
Yet the Lions have been confident enough to name an unchanged starting 15 for the first time since 1993, while the Kiwis have two players starting in international for the first time, although they have plenty of experience in the shape of Captain Kieran Read, earning his 100th cap.
KIERAN READ, CAPTAIN, BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS: Yes, it's a pretty cool place to be, mate. I never expected to be in this position I guess. And, yes, the biggest thing for me is to go out there and do my bit and help the team and get the win. That's what we want.
THOMAS (voice-over): There are so many ways this deciding third test could be won or lost but one of the biggest factors will be the discipline of the Lions, avoid conceding penalties in this series and the place in rugby follower is theirs for the taking -- Alex Thomas, CNN
VANIER: To infinity and beyond -- or at least tomorrow. On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, reaffirming the Trump administration's commitment to space exploration. He vowed that the U.S. will return to the moon, even with hopes to put American boots on Mars.
Mr. Pence left his mark on the NASA facility and the Internet took notice. He laid a hand on a part of the Orion spacecraft, right under that sign reading, "Critical space flight hardware. Do not touch."
Mr. Pence apologized and jokingly blamed everything on Florida senator Marco Rubio saying, "Sorry, NASA, Marco Rubio dared me to do it."
Well, Rubio played along. He tweeted, "In fairness, I warned, you break it, you own it."
NASA says no harm done, adding that they were going to clean that anyway.
OK. That does it from us. I'm Cyril Vanier. I will be back with the headlines in just a moment. Stay with us.