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President Trump Attends Bastille Day in Paris; Honoring a Hero; Died With Honor. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 14, 2017 - 03:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, HOST, CNN: Hi, everyone. I want to welcome our viewers around the world. It's 9 a.m. in Paris. I'm Cyril Vanier in the French capital where final preparations are under way for the French national holiday Bastille Day.

NATALIE ALLEN, HOST, CNN: Thank you, Cyril. And I'm Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

Donald Trump is the guest of honor in the city of light. We'll look at the political battles he will face when he gets back to the United States. CNN Newsroom starts right now.

VANIER: So last minute preparations are underway here in Paris for the annual Bastille Day celebration. It begins about an hour from now, and for the first time in almost 30 years the American President is the guest of honor.

Donald Trump and his wife are here, marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I. And U.S. troops will be marching in the military parade down in the Champs-Elysee. In fact, they will be kicking off the military parade.

After the Paris celebration, Mr. Macron however, has a more somber duty. He will be traveling to the French Riviera to mark the anniversary, the one-year anniversary of the terrorist truck attack in Nice. That was a year ago, 86 people were killed, many of them children as they watched Bastille Day fireworks along the city's famous seaside promenade.

The next few hours will give Mr. Trump a short break from his political troubles at home. His oldest son is now embroiled in the controversy over Russian election meddling, a development that followed him to Paris.

We're going to be watching CNN's Sara Murray who has this report. All right. We're going to bring in actually our CNN Paris correspondent Jim Bittermann.

Presidents Macron and Trump appeared more relaxed with one another on Thursday than when they first met at the NATO summit back in May. Back then the leaders exchanged a white knuckle handshake that was -- it was the stuff of headlines with Mr. Macron even calling it a moment of reckoning. But on Thursday they exchanged a brief, low impact handshake after Mr.

Macron's opening statement in Paris. There was also that moment last week when President Macron jostled his way during the G20 group photo moving from the back to front to stand next to President Trump. Perhaps a symbolic contrast from their first meeting in Brussels.

Going into this visit Donald Trump seemed down on France. In recent weeks, and during his campaign he'd been very negative, not just on France but also and specifically on Paris, famously saying Paris is not Paris anymore. Listen to the U.S. President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: France is no longer France. France is no longer France. They won't like me for saying that, but you see what happened in Nice.

Look at Paris. I have friends that used to go to Paris. They don't go anymore. They say, no, Paris isn't Paris.

It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: What do we do after, Jim.

All right. And one of Mr. Trump's go-to lines until recently but mostly during his electoral campaign was about his friend Jim, and how he has this friend Jim no one knows exactly who that is, who used to go to Paris, who used to love Paris and who no longer goes to Paris because as you heard there, Paris is no longer Paris and is faced with dangers coming from foreign extremists.

So look, we have to set the record straight on this. So let's bring in my friend Jim, Jim Bittermann, CNN's Paris correspondent.

JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I'm your friend Jim, but not his friend.

VANIER: You're not the friend Jim, are you him?

BITTERMANN: Not the one.

VANIER: You're not the one. All right. So, we just heard what the president used to say but yesterday the president was extremely positive, not just about the French president but about France and Paris itself, saying it's going to be great it's going to be fantastic.

BITTERMANN: I think we have to wait to see what he says when he gets back, because what we've seen time and time again from President Trump is he said one thing when he's on the world stage and when he has a leader in front of him he wants to flatter or whatever, and then he says another thing when he gets back to the United States and he is playing to his base.

By the way, on the whole handshake thing, you know, I think -- I predict that in the next couple of hours here it's going to be Emmanuel Macron who wins the handshake contest because President Trump is going to have to sit here for two hours and watch French military might go by on the Champs-Elysees and kind of being held captive.

[03:05:01] VANIER: Jim, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man.

PAMELA BROWN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump jumping to his son's defense at a press conference in Paris, insisting Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer was typical campaign fare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. It's called opposition research. That's very standard in politics. Politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard.

BROWN: The comments coming in the wake of another Russia revelation. This time a meeting last June between the president's eldest son and a Russian lawyer who purportedly had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The lawyer was described in an e-mail to Donald Trump Jr. as a Russian government lawyer, part of a Russian government effort to help the Trump campaign according to that e-mail.

Trump, arriving today amid much pomp and circumstance, only to find he couldn't escape the problems that plague him at home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He took a meeting with a lawyer from Russia. It lasted for a very short period and nothing came of the meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: As Russia dominates the headlines in the United States, here in France Trump is focused on forging another strategic partnership, quickly jumping at French President Emmanuel Macron's invitation to visit for Bastille Day festivities and the 100 year anniversary of America's entrance into World War I.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I said, Mr. President, I will be there. That's a big, important date, 100 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: The two leaders didn't shy away from their differences, particularly on climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Next, climate. Well, here we know what our disagreements are. We have expressed them on a number of occasions.

TRUMP: Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We'll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: But both men made clear they were dining tonight at the Eiffel Tower as close allies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: For good friendship and we look forward to dinner tonight at the Eiffel Tower. That will be something special.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: The two world leaders noting their bilateral meeting focused on building stronger ties on trade and fighting terrorism. And while Trump has made the city of light his punching bag in the past, particularly on national security issues...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If you look at what is happening in France, it is no longer France. Friends of mine that used to love to go to Paris, they say, we're not going to Paris anymore, it's no longer Paris.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Today Trump lavished praise on his French counterpart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You have a great leader now, you have a great president. You have a tough president. He's not going to be easy on people that are breaking the laws.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Vowing it won't be this American president's last trip to Paris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And I'm coming back. You better do a good job, please. Otherwise you're going to make me look very bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: I am coming back, Donald Trump says to Emmanuel Macron during their joint press conference yesterday. So, look, it was pretty clear yesterday the French president wanted to seduce the American president, you know, really want to sort of, I guess get their personal relationship off to a much better start than it had been. How do you think he did?

BITTERMANN: Well, think from that aspect I think he did a fine job. I mean the fact is everything seemed to go very smoothly, continues to go smoothly this morning as far as we know, and I think from that -- you know, if it is just a question of personal relations, but you know and I know in personal relations in world affairs don't really count for a lot, it's more, you know, the policies that make the difference.

VANIER: Yes, it's always the question the strategic interests of each country versus the personal relationship of the two leaders.

BITTERMANN: Right. And I think on that one, I think in fact there was a fairly significant development yesterday in the concession that Emmanuel Macron has made on Syria, because basically he says that the -- France is abandoning its position that it had for the last seven years that Bashar al-Assad has to go. That's quite a step back for France.

I mean it has been since so long, it has been an insistence that the president of Syria had to go before anything else could happen. Now they're saying, well, we could still negotiate. Now that's, of course, what Trump want. That sort of gives him some room to work with the Russians on this.

VANIER: It appears to be part of a wider feeling we got yesterday that both men, be it the American president or the French president, seemed totally comfortable, totally fine with I guess what you could call some transactional relationship, where they agree to disagree on some things, but then they really want to make progress on the few key areas where they have common points.

BITTERMANN: Well, this is a big difference in sort of the world vision of France and the United States. Trump now believes you can do deal bilaterally with the world, you don't need these multi-lateral institutions, the United Nations and the rest of it, go it alone, the U.S. cuts its own path, whereas France has always believed and Macron is no different than previous French presidents, putting a great deal of faith in the multi-lateral organizations, the united nations and other organizations, multi-laterally that in fact are necessary for French strength.

[03:10:10] If France wants to punch above its weight, it needs its European allies, it needs allies in the United Nations and other places.

VANIER: My friend Jim Bittermann, CNN Paris correspondent. Thank you so much.

BITTERMANN: I'd rather be your friend.

VANIER: Thanks so much.

BITTERMANN: OK.

VANIER: We're going to be here throughout the morning and taking you through the live military parade as it begins, what, about 50 minutes from now. We'll be getting a lot of live pictures, commenting those, a lot of political significance and symbolism as well. But for now, though, back to Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Cyril, thank you. It looks like a beautiful day for all of that. Thank you so much. And we'll still find out who is the president's friend Jim later in this hour. Thanks, Cyril.

Well, President Trump may be in Paris, but like his past trips his troubles in Washington have a way of following him.

Mr. Trump defended his son during a joint news conference with the French president, and he used a familiar move, casting blame on democrats. Trump Jr. admitted this week that he met with the Russian lawyer to get dirt on the president's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton.

Now Senate investigators say they're asking for further documents and testimony from Trump Jr. They're even threatening to subpoena him if that's necessary. The request for documents also includes Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump who, once again, left a relevant meeting off his security clearance forms. Democrats are questioning whether he should still have clearance at all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK WARNER, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: We feel it is very important that we have all of the appropriate information so we can ask the right questions. It is very troubling to me, and in the case of Mr. Kushner that we now have three meetings with Russians that he at least omitted from his initial filing reports.

NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MINORITY LEADER: The GOP must hold Kushner accountable for the false statements on his national security disclosure form and revoke his security clearance, must be revoked immediately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, will that happen? We will wait and see, but certainly all eyes are on Kushner and Trump Jr.

Joining me now from London, Brian Klass, a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics. Brian, it's always glad to have you with us.

Let's start with Jared Kushner. It seems that the drip, drip, drip has been coming from him quite often with what he has left out of his reports he is supposed to submit about -- to get his security clearances. What do you think about that?

BRIAN KLASS, SENIOR FELLOW, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I think it is disqualifying. I think with urgency they at least need to revoke his security clearance, which they may have already done. We're not sure. I don't think he should be in the White House, frankly.

He's the most exposed man that's because he went from the campaign into an official position, and Americans should be able to know that their government officials when offered the intent to collude with a foreign adversary, they turn down the meeting, they notify the FBI. They don't, you know, excitedly get involved in it and simply try to get dirt on another American.

I mean, the thing about this story that is so astonishing is that we're all on the same team. Democrats and republicans disagree on things, but we're on the same team when it comes to American patriotism.

And this is something where you shouldn't have a high-level adviser in the White House being willing to collude with Russians at the expense of American elected officials, and that's exactly what we saw happen. And that's why I'm really worried about this and why I think that Kushner's tenure in the White House must come to a quick end.

ALLEN: Well, that could be up to President Trump I guess since he's on his team at the same time. But as far as Donald Trump, Jr., I've heard people say on CNN tonight, you know, people that have been in Washington a long time, some people say that, well, it is his inexperience, that his family was brought into this and, you know, kind of made it sound like they didn't know what they were doing.

But if you're on the president's campaign and you invite a Russian lawyer in, that isn't just a meeting that anyone would take as we heard from the president, the U.S. president who said that from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting when really that is not true. Most people with experience would, as we've heard, turn that information over to the FBI.

KLASS: That's right. And, you know, the excuses coming out of the Trump administration I think are frankly pathetic. First off, even if most people would take the meeting, most people don't deserve to be in the White House if they would.

[03:15:02] And that's where we really have a question where Trump continues to say this is standard practice. It has never happened before. We have never had a presidential campaign try to invite or actively accept an invitation from a foreign government for help to dig up dirt on an opponent. That hasn't happened. It is not standard.

And to say that there's an excuse of inexperience, I'm sorry, there's not. We don't grade people on a curve in American politics at the highest echelons of our government. If you're not experienced, that is your fault and that is your problem and that is something that might be disqualifying for you.

Now, Trump was elected so, you know, he's inexperienced himself. That doesn't mean we give him a free pass if he messes things up. The lack of experience of something that was continually argued as the Trump campaign as a non-issue, that they would be fine on the job, if they're not fine on the job you can't go back to inexperience and say, sorry, we don't know what we're doing. That's not the bar we set for our public officials and that's why I

think we need to have a national debate where we agree on certain basic things. You cannot hide behind inexperience when you mess up. It's just part of the deal. If you are at the Oval Office you are expected to be a smooth operator and someone who understands how to behave in power.

ALLEN: Yes, you are considered the most important leader in the world. So that wouldn't be an excuse. And of his son, President Trump said, he's a good boy, he's a good kid. Well, Donald Trump, Jr. turns 40 years old in December and, yes, if anything the Washington Post called this action this meeting abnormal and alarming.

Brian Klass, we appreciate your comments. Thank you for coming on.

KLASS: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: And coming up here, Israeli police say they are responding to a terror attack in Jerusalem. We'll have a live report from our Ian Lee from the city, coming up.

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ALLEN: We're following developing news this hour in Jerusalem. Israeli police say three people were wounded, two of them critically, and police officers then opened fire killing the three assailants.

Our Ian Lee is in Jerusalem and he is following developments. First of all, Ian, how were these three people attacked by these assailants?

IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Natalie, I'm outside Lion's Gate where it took place. And right now there's a heavy security presence here. This attack took place a little after 7 a.m. when these three men entered this gate area. That's when they opened fire at the Israelis, injuring critically two of them, and then they fled towards the Temple Mount, also known as Haram esh-Sharif to the Muslims.

And that's where we've seen in pictures and in videos at least one of them was shot and killed. We're told that all three were killed after this attack, and police are dealing with this as a terrorist attack.

[03:19:58] And they've released pictures of the weapons used. You can see a knife, you can see what is called a Carl Gustav. This is a homemade weapon similar to an old Italian gun, and there also appears to be a pistol there used in this attack, Natalie.

ALLEN: And you were saying earlier, I heard you say that Friday is especially tense day anyway there, and now this area has been, as you say, blocked off.

LEE: That's right. This area is closed for the remainder of the day. It's closed for Friday prayer. Usually, typically on a day like today on a Friday you would have hundreds of people coming through here, going through that gate, turning left to go to the Haram esh-Sharif, but the police say that with this investigation ongoing that they've closed the area.

And you're right, this is a usually tense day around the old city. You have had attacks in the past against police officers. Last month there was an attack against a police officer that ended up killing her, and so police usually are on heightened alert on Friday during this day of prayer.

ALLEN: Ian Lee for us there in Jerusalem. Thanks so much, Ian.

We are splitting our show between Atlanta and Paris, France for Bastille Day, and Cyril now joins us with more about what's coming up. Hi, Cyril.

VANIER: Yes, Natalie. Good to be back with you. We're going to show you pictures of the Bastille Day preparations. U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife are here as guests of honor of French President Emmanuel Macron.

And as we have noted earlier in the show, this year is the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I along the allies, alongside in particularly the French army, you know. And that gave the allies a decisive boost, helping them to defeat the Germans in World War I.

With me here now to discuss all of this is Dominic Thomas, who is a friend of CNN, a friend of the show from Los Angeles. But you are here now to follow this. We're watching live pictures of the preparations along the Champs-Elysee. I think one of the things we really need to explain to our audience is that this story of the French/American alliance and what happened in whether World War I or World War II is really personal as we were talking a moment ago, for French people.

DOMINIC THOMAS, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES UCLA: Right. It's something handed down from generation to generation, through teachings in school, but more importantly through family narratives. Nobody living in France is untouched by this experience. It is about people's grandparents, it's memorialized through the medals that are handed down from grandfather to son to grandson, and so on.

So it is a very personal thing, and this is not just tourists that are coming to watch this event. People have come in from outside of Paris, in many cases from other, you know, distant places of France or the French territories overseas and they want to be here to celebrate this day.

VANIER: And that's why -- by the way, we're hearing the music at this stage, the various military units across the board of the French military are rehearsing. The parade itself really beginning in an hour's time so everything still being set up and that's the music we're hearing now.

But importantly this year marking this 100th anniversary, the American troops are kicking this off. That's what the symbol is all about.

THOMAS: Right. The symbolism is there and it is very unusual obviously for President Trump to be the guest of honor. The last time an American president was here was George Herbert Walker Bush in 1989, right, and that was for the by centennial.

It was unrelated to a celebration of the role that American troops played in the First World War, and then obviously subsequently in the Second World War. You know, tens of thousands of American soldiers came to Europe and participated in this momentous moment in French and European history.

VANIER: And France actually uses this invitation to attend the 14th of July, to attend Bastille Day celebrations as kind of a tool of soft diplomacy.

THOMAS: It really is. Important dignitaries have been invited over the year, leaders of the European Union on the 60th anniversary of D Day and so on, too. So, it's a very, it's a key moment that I think allows the dignitaries to sort of relax a little bit.

We saw that in the press conference with Emmanuel Macron. This was about inviting the president, but also the representative of the United States, and he specifically said at the press conference, you know, we're going to keep this friendly and light -- not light hearted, but, you know, calm. That's been the spirit of this visit.

VANIER: Well, officially now Emmanuel and Donald Trump are friends. I mean, the French president was asked this at the press conference yesterday.

THOMAS: Right.

VANIER: You're going to dinner, and he said we're going to dinner as friends.

THOMAS: We're going to dinners as friends. We've had a chance to have bilateral talks, we've met several times over the past few months at the G7 and the G20.

[03:24:59] And now it's a time to celebrate and to move out of politics for a little bit and enjoy this festive occasions.

VANIER: By the way to our viewers, currently, just a second ago you were watching pictures, live pictures of the Place de la Concorde, the bottom of the Champs-Elysee and that's where Emmanuel Macron will be coming in about an hour.

Donald Trump and his wife will be there as well. And that's where the various units of the French military are going to be marching in front of them and they will get a chance to review the French military. It is something that not every country does. It's pretty rare in this day and age to have a full-fledged military parade.

THOMAS: Absolutely, and in western democracies it basically doesn't happen. This is something that you see in Moscow.

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: But France is held on to this tradition.

THOMAS: It held on to this tradition. It's very proud. I think it's not only about demonstrating historically the size and importance of its military, but I think it's also an opportunity -- you know, it harkens back to the time when France was obviously, you know, very involved overseas in various military expeditions, but also in a more problematic colonial past, but also France is not restricted to main land France, of course.

You have overseas territories that stretch from the Indian Ocean, across the Atlantic into the Caribbean, and it is an opportunity to bring these people back to the heart and to talk about France's position, you know, in the world today and the importance of these military activities.

VANIER: And speaking of military deployments, yesterday Emmanuel Macron wanted to be pretty clear when he was speaking alongside the U.S. president that on a certain number of issues France is standing right by the U.S.'s side, and especially when it comes to Syria.

THOMAS: Right. I think that Emmanuel Macron was not so much upset, they would like to be in on the conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 meeting when they negotiated this ceasefire.

The French position has been very tough on Syria and, in fact, President Hollande really had kind of withdrawn from that debate because they had attached the future of that circumstance to the removal of Assad.

President Macron has dramatically changed that position and wants in, and he also wants greater involvement from the United States in different parts of Africa as the help in Libya. So it's a very important geostrategic meeting beyond the Paris accord and beyond some other concerns.

VANIER: Yes, there's a hell of key significance to the French because they are the primary military power in countries like Mali and in that stretch of desert in Northern Africa.

THOMAS: Yes.

VANIER: All right. Dominic Thomas, thank you so much for joining us. A pleasure to see you again.

And we're going to take a short break, but when we come back we'll bring you back right here to Paris as the city gets ready to mark Bastille Day with a military parade we've been telling you about. The guest of honor this year, American troops. One hundred years ago they went to war alongside the French and allies to defeat Germany.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Welcome back to CNN newsroom, everyone. The Bastille Day military parade is set to begin in Paris in about 30 minutes. And we are very fortunate to have one of the best vantage points of the Champs-Elysees where we can see all the preparations that are going on for this military parade.

We'll be bringing you those pictures live over the next two hours or so.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife are here as guests of French president Emmanuel Macron marking the 100 years since the U.S. went to war alongside France to defeat Germany in World War I.

The two leaders have been speaking very highly of each other and of their relationship. Mr. Trump even hinted yesterday of reconsidering one of his most controversial moves as president. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I mean something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord. We'll see what happens. But we will talk about that over the coming period of time, and if it happens that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't that will be OK too. But we'll see what happens, but we did discuss many things today including the ceasefire in Syria. We discussed the Ukraine. We discussed a lot of different topics. We briefly hit on the Paris Accord and we'll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: So the U.S. president potentially willing to reconsider his decision on the Paris climate accords. Well, with all of the heat on the White House over the Russia investigation, Mr. Macron seemed to back up his American counterpart. He says that working relations with Russia are a key part of the war on terror.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACRON: In the current environment, especially in Middle East, it is a necessity to work together, to exchange information, to share disagreements and to try to build solutions. So that's my relationship with Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: And he followed that up with more specifics on the Syrian peace process. Mr. Macron says removing President Bashar al-Assad is not necessary for French involvement. That lines up now with the Trump administration's take on that as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACRON (through translator): We have indeed changed the French doctrine on Syria so as to get results and work really closely with our partners, in particular the United States. I'm not making the departure and the dismissal of Bashar al-Assad a precondition for France's involvement because I'm going off of a simple observation.

It's been seven years since we closed our embassy in Damascus and had made this a condition without getting any results.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: Let's bring in CNN Paris correspondent, Melissa Bell. She is not very far from where we are standing, she's at the bottom of the Champs-Elysee. That means about 30 to 40 minutes from now she will start seeing that military parade go right past her.

Melissa, before we get to that however, we see things are really now aligning between the U.S. and France on the Syria issue. It seems that both leaders are comfortable having what I would call a transactional relationship where they recognize the areas where they can have agreement, and Syria is one of those areas.

MELISSA BELL, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right. We've been talking a great deal these last couple of days, Cyril, about what divides these two men in terms of world view, in terms of ideology but also what unites them, that in which they are similar.

And there was a sense who they were talking a great deal about it yesterday, Cyril, together, that they are political outsiders who have come in to shake up their respective political systems and who believe they were -- and this is the body language we have been talking about so much these last few weeks -- face-to-face with someone that at least deserved their respect.

And that really came through in yesterday's press conference with this possibility that perhaps when -- it was in the context of a bilateral meeting and I think this was part of Emmanuel Macron's calculation in extending this invitation a couple of weeks ago, he had opposite him an American president who functioned better in bilateral negotiations than perhaps in G20 or G7 environments.

And that appears to have paid off certainly on the Syria question it is a substantial shift in terms of France's position for the last seven years, as Emmanuel Macron has explained himself, France was steadfast in its determination that Bashar al-Assad had to go. That was a pre-condition to any possible negotiations.

It's really what's been blocking the Geneva negotiations have been going now, on now for several years without any substantial prospects of getting really anywhere close to a peace deal for Syria.

So it is a substantial shift on the part of the French president, and also I think one of the things that is interesting about Emmanuel Macron, Cyril, is the amount of power that he has in his hands at the moment, not only as French president which is an incredibly powerful position, but given his parliamentary majority and the extent he has shaken political code here in France.

[03:34:59] So this is the man who has the power to announce that sort of thing at a press conference alongside Donald Trump, and you can almost understand the new found respect that the two men may have found for each other.

VANIER: Yes. And Melissa, I'm glad you brought that up. You say the amount of power that Emmanuel Macron has. One of the questions we'll be asking you throughout the morning again is occasionally France's bite has been louder than its bark. So I want to know next time we come back to you, you know, whether

that might be the case again as Emmanuel Macron tries to carve out a role for France, meeting the U.S. President Donald Trump. We'll get back to that throughout our coverage this morning of the Bastille Day celebrations, but for now, though, let me toss it back to Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Cyril, thank you.

Other news we're following. London police say they have arrested a teenage male suspected in a series of acid attacks. Five men had acid thrown in their faces in separate attacks, all within about 90 minutes late Thursday.

One of the victim's injuries are described as life changing. Police say the two suspects approached a man on a moped at an east London intersection, doused him with acid and stole his scooter. Three other men on foot were also attacked and a fifth victim was riding yet another moped when he was attacked.

Well, Chinese president -- excuse me, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo died Thursday at the age of 61. He died of liver cancer. Some of his supporters accuse China of neglecting his failing health by refusing to treat his cancer early. The Chinese say they made all out efforts the treat him.

The White House calls the Nobel Peace Prize winner one of China's most prominent political prisoners.

Matt Rivers is following the story for us from Beijing. Matt, what more are we hearing about his death and his disease and if China did, indeed, do everything they could for him?

MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It really depends on who you ask. The Chinese government remaining steadfast in their view that they're just following the law of this country and that he was a criminal that was given the punishment he deserved, but that they treated him humanely in the hospital.

But on the other side, you have activists and, frankly, international governments around the world saying that Liu Xiaobo should never have been in prison in the first place, and had he received treatment earlier perhaps he would not have had what the Nobel Prize committee called a premature death.

But the fact remains that what is not in dispute is that this is an activist who was incredibly well-known around the world for his struggle for human rights going back to Tiananmen Square and he fought for those rights up until his death.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: He was one of China's most famous political dissidents and among the few Nobel Peace Prize laureates jailed for their work. But the name Liu Xiaobo was taboo in his homeland. The prolific writer and human rights activists saw his books and even his name ban by the communist government, imprisoned several times after the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre, his last conviction came in 2009. His crime inciting subversion of state power by co-writing a manifesto calling for political reform. And the punishment, 11 years behind bars, a reality he seemed to be prepared for.

LIU XIAOBO, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (through translator): If you want to have dignity, to be honest, fight for human rights, fight for free speech. Going to prison is part of what you do.

RIVERS: In 2010, while in prison he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for, quote, "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." An infuriated Chinese government tried to sensor the news and boycott the award, putting Liu's wife under house arrest and freezing diplomatic relations with Norway where the recipient was chosen.

Despite Beijing's threats, in December 2010 the Nobel organizers placed Liu's citation in the medal on an empty chair in a poignant ceremony in Oslo. Liu was diagnosed with late stage liver cancer in prison in June 2017 and granted medical parole. Many blame the Chinese authorities for his condition, alleging negligence.

Liu's wife may have summed up his legacy the best before his last trial.

LIU XIA, LIU XIAOBAO'S WIFE (through translator): His continued effort throughout these 20 years cannot change the society, but he has influenced lots of people. He has more and more friends around him, more people have the same goal with him, more people are fearless. I believe his effort and sacrifice is worthwhile.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: And speaking more to the controversy surrounding the treatment of Liu here in China, Chinese authorities actually allowed oncologists from both the United States and Germany to come see Liu. This would be last Sunday.

[03:39:57] And both doctors agreed that Liu was well enough to be treated for this late-stage liver cancer abroad, but that he would have to be moved quickly. The Chinese authorities either wouldn't agree to that or wouldn't that -- clearly wouldn't let that happen, and so his condition deteriorated quite quickly which led to his death, Natalie.

ALLEN: Matt Rivers for us there in Beijing. Thank you, Matt. Very sad ending to quite a human being.

Still to come on CNN Newsroom, more of our continuing coverage from France where U.S. Donald Trump and his wife Melania are the guests of honor at the annual Bastille Day celebration.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: All right. Welcome back. Let's take you back to those live pictures here in central Paris on the Champs-Elysee. The French Republican Guard is getting set for the traditional Bastille Day military parade. Honorary detachments are lining up at Place de (Inaudible) and Place de Concorde that's right at the bottom of the Champs-Elysee where, what, about 30 minutes from now the French President Emmanuel Macron will be arriving.

And once he has reviewed the troops, he will be sitting next to his guest of honor, the American President Donald Trump. So this is what it looks like at the moment, and about 30, 40 minutes from now the military parade proper will start where you will see various detachments of the French military.

But what is new this year, of course, is that U.S. troops are kicking this off in an historical reminder, France and the U.S. are jointly on this day marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering the war, going to war alongside French troops, helping the French and the allies to defeat Germany.

So for the last four years France has been commemorating the 100 years of the First World War, and this year they absolutely wanted to get a guest of honor from the United States, and the French president has said he was delighted that it was personal that it was Donald Trump himself who came to represent his country.

So we continue to follow those live pictures. For the moment though, back to Natalie in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Thank you, Cyril.

Other news we're following from here, a woman from New Zealand was killed by the jet blast of an airliner taking off on the Caribbean Island of St. Martin. This video does not show that incident, but it gives you an idea of just how strong the impact is.

The airport is a popular tourist spot. It is very close when planes come in and people can feel the blast when planes take off. Signs like this are there to warn people around the runway, but this takeoff ended in tragedy when the woman was knocked down and into a concrete wall and she died later from her injuries.

In the U.S., Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor nearly seven years ago. But just days ago, Giunta took off and gave it to his entire brigade.

[03:45:01] CNN's Barbara Starr has more on this hero's story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALVATORE GIUNTA, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: The whole time frame maybe last anywhere between like two minutes, three minutes, and five or six life times. I don't know.

BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: In 2007, Salvatore Giunta went on a night patrol in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan and stepped into history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The soldier, as

humble as he is heroic, Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: In 2010 receiving the nation's highest award for valor, the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: He will tell you he didn't do anything special, that he was just doing his job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Salvatore a Giunta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Now a decade after that patrol Giunta has taken another extraordinary step, giving this Medal of Honor to his unit, the 173rd Airborne brigade where he thought it belonged.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIUNTA: I am not here because I am a great soldier. I am here because I served with great soldiers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: The brigade's current sergeant major, Frank Velez, says Giunta's action left his speechless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANKLIN VELEZ, 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE: The first thing that came to mind is are you sure you want to do that? He said, yes, I think it belongs to the 173rd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: The brigade posted video capturing a moment of humble strength amid years of grief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIUNTA: I want this to stay here in Italy with the 173rd, to the men and women that earn this every single day through their selflessness and sacrifice.

VELEZ: There were a few gasps in the crowd and there was folks just going wild. That is incredible this just really happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: CNN first talk to Giunta in 2010 about the battle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GIUNTA: I think about it and it hurts, but to say it out loud makes

it that much more real.

OBAMA: Sal and his platoon were several days into a mission in the Korangal Valley the most dangerous valley in northeast Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Suddenly ambushed, there was gun fire from all directions. His friend, Sergeant Joshua Brennan, in peril. Giunta, 22 years old, charged into a wall of bullets.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: He crested the hill alone. There he saw a chilling fight, the silhouettes of two insurgents carrying the other wounded American away who happened to be one of Sal's best friends.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Brennan, rescued by Giunta, died of his wounds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIUNTA: This is where it gets rough for me. You know, every time I -- every time -- I can try, I can try to explain it and I can try to put it into terms so people can understand it, and the more I do that, talking about it doesn't help me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Now a decade on, the medal will be on display with the troops, exactly where Salvatore Giunta wants it to be.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

ALLEN: How amazing. And a humble hero.

Well, Taiwan has a real legislative battle on its hands. Fighting has broken out in parliament for a second straight day. This footage from that TV shows what happened. The brawl reportedly starting when one party refused to let the premiere deliver a report. Teacups and chairs were used as weapons, and the premiere had to be escorted out by security.

Ahead here, President Trump has said his go-to Paris guy is his friend Jim. But now that he's there, the president, where's Jim? Our Jeanne Moos looks for him when we come back.

Plus, the nominations are out for American televisions biggest awards. Ahead here, the shows that hope to score big at the Emmys.

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: We continue to keep an eye for you on the live pictures of the annual Bastille Day military parade. It hasn't started yet. It's going to start in about 30, 40 minutes. It will start when the French president gets here, Emmanuel Macron. He will review the troops. You will hear the French national anthem as well as military anthems, that's about 35 minutes away.

And then Emmanuel Macron will sit next to his guest of honor, none other than the U.S. President Donald Trump who was invited for this very reason, for this military parade, and to represent the United States on the year that France marks 100 years since the U.S. went to war alongside France, alongside the allies, and gave it that decisive boost during the world -- the First World War to defeat the Germans.

And that is one of the central messages that the French president in particular wanted to put out during this state visit by Donald Trump, which is that the news works in very short time cycles but history works in longer cycles.

And the French/U.S. relationship and friendship, which is the longest alliance that the U.S. has had, has really by definition outlasted so many presidents. That it's so much vaster than any two men who are sitting in the White House and at the Elysee Palace. That's one of the main messages they were putting forward.

And I was reminded yesterday of a quote by a former President, Jacques Chirac who said "relations between the two countries have always been in conflict but they've always been excellent." So that's something to keep in mind as we continue to bring you the live pictures of the military parade getting under way in about 30 minutes.

For now back to Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Beautiful picture there with the flag and (Inaudible). Thank you, Cyril.

Well, back here in the U.S., politics is a recurring theme of this year's Emmy nominees for the top shows on American television. It shows up as political satire, feminist dystopia and even a reality show about drag queens.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWON, ACTOR: Hello. Thank you for coming. I would like to start by answering the question that's on everyone's mind. Yes, this is real life, this is really happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And we know about this one, too, don't we? Many of us have seen Alec Baldwin there with his cutting impersonation of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, the NBC sketch comedy. It's one of two shows leading the way with 22 nominations. SNL is now the most nominated series in Emmy history with a total of 231 nods over its four decades.

The HBO sci-fi drama "West World" also got 22 nods, and "The Handmaid's Tale" has also been recognized in some bid categories. The show imagines a not so distant future where the government has been over thrown by Christian fundamentalists who oppress women. And expect style, sequins and shade on award's night. RuPaul's drag

race is up for eight nominations. It's a landmark achievement for the show which celebrates the LGBT experience through the art form of drag. The winners will be announced at the show in September, and in the words of RuPaul herself, gentlemen, start your engines and may the best woman win.

You know, Donald Trump as we mentioned earlier says he has a friend named Jim who lives in Paris, and with the U.S. president in the city of light people are asking, well, where is Jim. Here is our Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump got the royal treatment, but whether he was ringing the hand of the first lady of France or complimenting her physique. Or getting chummy with her husband, the president, somebody was missing. Jim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: A friend of mine, he's a very, very substantial guy. He loves the city of light. He's told me for years, Paris, Paris. Jim, let me ask you a question, how is Paris doing? Paris? I don't go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris. France is no longer France.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: He talked about Jim so often, trying to make the point that France had succumbed to terrorism, that the New Yorker started hunting for Jim in vain. He inspired memes and tweets like "just hanging out with hash tag Jim."

[03:54:55] But when the White House refused to say whether Jim actually exists, thus was born Jim, the president's imaginary friend. With his own Twitter account, insisting, "I exist," the View dedicated a photo album to Jim.

A French reporter brought him up at the joint press conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've mentioned a friend, Jim who told you that Paris is no longer Paris.

TRUMP: That's a beauty. You know what? It is going to be just fine because you have a great president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: If Jim were imaginary, it wouldn't be the first time that an invisible character has entered the political fray, would it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: What do you mean shut up?

MOOS: Clint Eastwood wowed the republican convention, riffing with an imaginary Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EASTWOOD: What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that, can't do that to himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: Judging from their body language, Donald Trump's imaginary friend didn't get between the two presidents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm coming back.

MACRON: And you're always welcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: But what about Jim? They're making him jealous. Jeanne Moos, CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: France is no longer France.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: New York.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They won't like me for saying that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, thank you for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Natalie Allen at CNN center. And now Cyril will be looking out for Jim. Cyril.

VANIER: Absolutely. Cyril Vanier, we will get more of Jim in the next hour, the Bastille Day parade gets underway soon. We'll be back with much more of our special coverage. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: And it is going to be the open top -- now the French President Emmanuel Macron gets set for Bastille Day celebrations with his guest of honor, U.S. President, Donald Trump.

We're going to be bringing you live pictures. I'm Cyril Vanier, live from Paris.

MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: Hello. Welcome to CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. We are following two main stories for you. One out of Paris, of course, Donald Trump due there any moment. [03:59:53] But also out of Jerusalem. Within the past two hours, two

Israelis have been critically injured in what authorities are calling a terror attack. We'll get the latest in a live report from the scene.

This is CNN Newsroom.