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Trump's Asia Trip; Saudi Arabia Intercepts Missile Attack; Latest Weinstein Allegations Could Lead to Arrest. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired November 5, 2017 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president Donald Trump hits the ground swinging on his Asia tour, golfing with the Japanese prime minister. A live report from Tokyo ahead this hour.
Plus the Saudi crown prince consolidates power as several senior figures in the kingdom are sacked or detained in an anti-corruption crackdown.
Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
HOWELL: 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. The U.S. President is in Japan. The first leg of his marathon trip throughout Asia. Mr. Trump met with that nation's prime minister, Shinzo Abe. The two went to a country club near Tokyo to have lunch. They then played a round of golf.
Before that, the American president spoke to American troops at the Yokota air base and there laid out what he believes he wants to accomplish regarding trade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the next 10 days, we travel to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. We will seek new opportunities for cooperation and commerce. And we will partner with friends and allies to pursue a free and open Indo- Pacific region.
We will seek free, fair and reciprocal trade. But this future is only within our grasp because of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The nuclear threat from North Korea is the other big issue on Mr. Trump's agenda. He didn't mention that country by name nor its leader but the target of his message was quite clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: No one -- no dictator, no regime and no nation -- should underestimate ever American resolve.
Every once in a while in the past, when they underestimated us, it was not pleasant for them, was it?
It was not pleasant. We will never yield, never waver and never falter in defense of our people, our freedom and our great American flag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Kicking off the trip with tough talk there. Let's bring in CNN's Alexandra Field following this story live in Tokyo this hour.
Alexandra, good to have you. What more can you tell us about the president's message?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly we've heard more fiery rhetoric from President Trump when it comes to North Korea. And George, as you point out, he didn't have to say the words "North Korea" in order to send a message to that regime; again, talking about the fact, no regime, no dictator should underestimate the United States when it comes to their resolve.
Really what he focused on in his first public message of this trip was to talk about the strengths of the alliance between the United States and Japan. The first address was to a mixed audience of troops from both the United States and Japan.
And this first stop on this five-stop tour brings him face-to-face with perhaps his closest ally in the region, as he is working to confront perhaps the most critical issue his administration will take on, the issue of North Korea.
He started his trip here with the prime minister Shinzo Abe and two playing golf together and enjoying lunch together and then will move on to a formal dinner this evening, a steak dinner in Tokyo with both of their wives in attendance.
On tomorrow's agenda, more formal bilateral talks. But the issue that is the largest is North Korea and President Trump finds a close ally in prime minister Abe. The two appear to have been in lockstep as they have both reiterated repeatedly, where we have seen the North Korean threat continue to mount, not just in the region but also globally as they continue to work to target the United States.
Both Abe and Trump have talked about the importance of expanding Japan's military ability to protect and defend this country as they feel that threat from North Korea inching ever closer.
Don't forget, we have seen two missiles fly over that northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in just the last few months. These are two leaders who have continued to stay in close contact, as we have seen a series of provocations from North Korea. And they have spoken on the phone some 16 times since President Trump has taken office.
The prime minister has visited President Trump twice so it seemed fitting perhaps that President Trump started his visit here, where he will have very a warm reception from Japan's leader.
From here he'll move on to South Korea --
FIELD: -- and to China, where again he'll taking on the issue of North Korea. We know that the president sees China as being key to countering the threat from North Korea. He has been disparaging at times of the leadership, of China's failure to exert more of its economic leverage in reining in the regime.
But the administration has also said that they have seen increased efforts from China to enact and uphold some of the sanctions that have recently been leveled against North Korea. This is a critical trip. All eyes President Trump's meetings with a series of leaders throughout the region, of course, all it starting here in Tokyo.
HOWELL: Alexandria Field, following the story in Tokyo, thank you so much for that reporting.
The U.S. president and the Japanese prime minister, shared a moment that they showcased, their bromance. Take a look here.
When Mr. Trump landed, Mr. Abe surprised him with customized baseball hats. The white caps have gold lettering that say "Donald and Shinzo make alliance even greater."
This an obvious not to Mr. Trump's well-known campaign slogan, "Make America great again." The two leaders signed a few hats before hitting the greens for golf.
With the U.S. President now in Japan, let's take a look at the other stops that will be part of what is the longest U.S. presidential trip to Asia since 1992. Mr. Trump heads next to South Korea and he is scheduled to have bilateral and expanded meetings before going to China.
In Beijing, Mr. Trump will tour the Forbidden City with President Xi Jinping, with meetings scheduled for the next day.
Then he heads to Vietnam for the APEC Summit events and makes a final stop in Manila for ASEAN meetings and the East Asia Summit.
HOWELL: Let's get some context on these significance of this extended trip with Mike Chinoy.
Mike is a senior fellow with the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California and also the author of "Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis" and we might add that Mike also spent many years as an international correspondent for CNN.
Always a pleasure to have you with us, Mike, live for us Hong Kong.
Let's talk a bit about this. We just heard from Alexandra a moment ago in the reporting, Shinzo Abe, won another term clearly, a close ally of President Trump. So, the question, how is President Trump perceived there in Japan?
MIKE CHINOY, SENIOR FELLOW, U.S.-CHINA INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: I think the Japanese government and Prime Minister Abe made a conscious decision after President Trump took office that they were going to do everything they could to cultivate as warm a relationship with the new president as possible. That being said, the things that have raised questions about President Trump in many parts of the world, I think, still resonate and still generate some concern among the Japanese, his proclivity for fiery rhetoric, the policy flips and all the other controversies.
But Abe has gone out of his way to try to forge a personal relationship because I think this is a very conscious calculation. It's not just warm and fuzzy vibes here, that the Japanese can see their own interests better advanced if Abe has a really warm relationship with the American president, rather than a more standoffish one.
HOWELL: Let's talk a bit more about that relationship between these two leaders. What is it that connects them really, beyond the obvious alliance against North Korea, what is the net positive for Japan with close relationship, connection to President Trump?
CHINOY: Well, there are very important economic ties and also, the U.S. has a formal treaty alliance to support Japan, American military bases in Japan. Abe has been a strong proponent of strengthening the Japanese military. And so, he has been to some degree pleased to see President Trump taking such a harsh line on North Korea because this -- with tensions rising in the region and concern about North Korea growing, it gives him an excuse or more justification to try and push forward the policies to strengthen Japan's own military position.
Also, the Japanese are in this complicated relationship with China because they're both very close economic partners, but to some degree strategic rivals. And in that setting, it's important for Japan to maintain and strengthen the alliance with the U.S. and Abe has clearly calculated that a close personal relationship with President Trump is one way to do that.
HOWELL: From President Trump's --
HOWELL: -- frustration regarding trade issues throughout the region to his desire to obviously garner deeper support on the front of North Korea, there have been a mixed messages to say the least. How are regional leaders looking to get clarity given this trip?
CHINOY: I think there is a tremendous desire in the region for some clarity on the part of the United States. The message is from the Trump administration on North Korea in particular have been very, very mixed. You have the president's very tough rhetoric, the belittling, the personal insults, targeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, calling him rocket man, the threats to destroy North Korea made in his speech at the United Nations.
And you also have the national security adviser McMaster talking about how deterrence doesn't work with North Korea and implying therefore that there's no real room for negotiations.
The same time, you have Secretary of State Tillerson repeatedly indicating an interest in trying to find a diplomatic way out and that's a view that's been echoed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
So, I think in the region, leaders are going to be very eager to try and get from this trip some better sense of what where Trump is trying to go, whether all the threats mean that there really is a serious risk the U.S. may take preemptive military action, whether that's just bluster designed to exert pressure and if so, where if at all is there any room for diplomacy to try and find an exit ramp to the North Korean nuclear issue.
HOWELL: One last question, so Japan certainly friendly territory for President Trump, but moving forward to South Korea, moving on to China, do you expect this president to see a bit more scrutiny with regards to getting clarity on these issues?
CHINOY: Well, there is no question that with Prime Minister Abe, the personal vibes and overall relationship are particularly warm. It won't be the same in South Korea, the U.S. South Korea alliance is absolutely crucial, but the South Korean President Moon Jae-in has long been a proponent of engagement, dialogue, negotiations with North Korea. He's been visibly uncomfortable having been pushed by the circumstances into taking a tougher line, partly in response to North Korean behavior and partly also because he doesn't want to have an open breach with President Trump.
The South Koreans are very sensitive comparing their own relationship with the U.S. with the U.S. relationship with Japan and it will not have gone unnoticed in Seoul that President Trump is spending 48 hours in Japan, but only 24 hours in South Korea and that there isn't the same kind of personal warmth. I think the South Korean president is going to try while reaffirming the importance of the alliance to make clear to President Trump that South Korea will want and insist upon a say in any American decision to take military action because the South Koreans know that they will be in the front line if any kind of armed conflict erupts.
HOWELL: Mike Chinoy, live for us in Hong Kong, thank you so much for the perspective this day.
HOWELL: President Trump said to reporters he is likely to meet with the Russian president Vladimir Putin during his trip and probably to take place at the APEC Summit in Vietnam. This comes as the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016
presidential election continues to heat up in Washington. CNN's Jim Acosta has more on the potential impact of this Trump-Putin meeting that could take place.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: When you finally see President Trump and Vladimir Putin come face to face, that image is going to reverberate around the world because obviously these are two men who, you know, you don't hear president Trump talking about Vladimir Putin a great deal. One of the things that -- one of the criticisms of President Trump that's come up time and again is that he just doesn't criticize Vladimir Putin very much and that's always been treated as somewhat of a curiosity ever since Donald Trump was a candidate for president and now that he's been in office.
And because of the Russian investigation that is really ramping up back in Washington, this issue of Russia is going to be hanging over this president throughout this foreign trip and just to see those two leaders together I think is going to make a great deal of news and just be fascinating to watch because of that undercurrent that is really just a part of this administration day in and day out.
HOWELL: Jim Acosta following the president in Tokyo.
A senior White House official says that North Korea will be the main topic of discussion with a Trump-Putin meeting.
Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, it could be another step in reformation of Saudi Arabia. The king of has started a crackdown on corruption starting at the top. We'll have details ahead.
Plus this hour, the relative stability of Lebanon, it is at risk with that nation's prime minister surprisingly resigns. Next, why experts are pointing the finger at Iran and Saudi Arabia, as CNN pushes on.
HOWELL: A couple of big stories we're following out of Saudi Arabia. First, King Salman has started a crackdown on corruption, at the highest levels of his government. Security forces have detained multiple princes, ministers and foreign ministers.
It's all part of a new anti-corruption committee that's headed by the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman. This move is said to consolidate security powers for the prince, who is also Saudi Arabia's defense minister. Now let's bring in John Defterios, our emerging markets editor. John
has covered Saudi Arabia for many years and following the story this hour live from Abu Dhabi.
John, is this mainly about corruption or is this, as we pointed out, more about consolidating power?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: I think it's a mixture of both, George. First and foremost, many are probably asking why do we care about this?
We have to remind ourselves that Saudi Arabia is a very close ally of this White House and, in particular, President Trump who came in May and signed multiple contracts worth over $100 billion in defense and $300 billion over the next 10 years.
Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war with Iran over Yemen right now and it is the world's the number one exporter of oil, even though crude prices are hovering around $60 a barrel internationally.
Yes, this crown prince has said he wants to tackle corruption and he would like to consolidate power. This is quite sweeping. We have 11 princes on the dock here being investigation, four sitting ministers and a number of foreign -- former ministers of the cabinet and a slew of international business people, some known as well as such as Prince Alwaleed bin Talal being mentioned. We are waiting for confirmation of all this.
But I want to go back to May, when the crown prince came into power, he signaled back then that he wants to tackle corruption -- and he did not mince his words. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWN PRINCE MOHAMMAD BIN SALMAN, SAUDI ARABIA (through translator): I assure you no one involved in a corruption case will be spared, no matter if he is a prince or a minister, with enough evidence anyone will be held accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: Once again, the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, had mentioned Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, they're affiliated with the Binladin Group, Bakr Binladin, who's the chairman of the group, they're building the tallest tower in the world, George. A big question mark over that.
The former minister of finance, Safal Assad (ph), was well known in the Washington community, in the IMF and World Bank, being signaled, as well as some other billionaires, part of the Saudi community that's well-known outside the Middle East.
This is raising a number of eyebrows on the weekend; he announced the anti-corruption campaign. He came down like a hammer with well-known names, particularly from the former King Abdullah, who passed in 2015. Hence to your point, George, the consolidation of power. HOWELL: Stay with us, John. We are following new developments on the ongoing conflict of Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi defense forces say they shot down a missile aimed at the airport in Riyadh. We understand no one injured but the debris was found near the airport and the missile fired by the Houthis, who have attacked Saudi Arabia in the past. this is the first time that a heavily populated area was targeted.
Saudi Arabia then retaliated with an airstrike on Sanaa.
So, John, in this continuing conflict, John, is there a sense that Saudi Arabia could be targeted with a little more sophistication, that these major population centers are at greater risk from the Houthis?
DEFTERIOS: George, yes, it was a bold move targeting the capital of Riyadh. This is a population of better than 5 million people and intercepted by a Patriot missile, no casualties and no real damage but debris spread east of the King Khaled (ph) International Airport, which I flew into last week. So definitely a number of alarms. Sources here in the UAE suggest they have been doing investigations on --
DEFTERIOS: -- the whereabouts of the influence of Iran on the missile technology in Yemen.
They back the Houthis there; the Houthis took credit for the attempted attack and said it wasn't intercepted after all. Also in context of the crown prince and his consolidation of power, when he came in, George, he said he is not going to back down on Yemen.
In fact, they see it as a line in the sand to limit Iran's influence. Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq as well. I think we have to tie in the resignation of the prime minister of Lebanon as well, Saad Hariri who said that he is getting squeezed by Saudi Arabia and Iran right now.
HOWELL: John Defterios, live for us in Abu Dhabi, thank you very much for the reporting there.
Speaking of Lebanon, it is a symbol of relative stability in the Middle East. But now that country is facing a political vacuum which could fuel sectarian tensions. The prime minister of the nation has resigned, saying he fears for his own life.
He is Lebanon's most influential Sunni politician. His resignation reflects the rivalry between Saudi Arabia, which backed Saad Hariri, and Iran, which supports Hezbollah. CNN's Ian Lee is following this story live in Jerusalem this hour.
Ian, what has been the Israeli reaction, the fact that the Lebanese prime minister has resigned?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time releasing a statement about this, saying the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister Hariri and his remarks are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression and that that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.
This aggression endangers not only Israel, but the entire Middle East; the international community needs to unite and confront this aggression.
These are words we have heard from the Israeli prime minister before. He sees Iran as their chief rival in the region and he has expressed concern, as Iran has expanded its influence into Iraq, into Syria.
As you also have Lebanon, where Hezbollah is one of the largest militant groups in the region, one of the most competent and also has very close connections with Iran. And that is a main concern for Israelis.
I've spoken with generals here and they say it's not a matter of if but when there is a next conflict between Israeli and Hezbollah. Hezbollah gaining very valuable experience in the battle in Syria.
But Iran has also said that this is all a farce orchestrated by the United States and Saudi Arabia to bring instability inside Lebanon and that is something that, of course, the Lebanese are very concerned about but as well as generals and officials here in Israel -- George.
HOWELL: Ian Lee, following the story live in Jerusalem, thank you for the reporting today.
Earlier, I spoke with Fawaz Gerges. He is the chair of Contemporary and Middle East Studies at the London School of Economics. I asked about the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister and about the greater complications of the power rivalries between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
HOWELL: The former prime minister pointing to Iran and Hezbollah as its proxy in Lebanon, fueling greater instability, he says, to the point where he could no longer lead. What do you make of this?
FAWAZ GERGES, CHAIR, MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I mean, I think, George, now Lebanon is in the eye of the storm. The resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri is a political earthquake. Keep in mind, that Saad Hariri played a pivotal role in the formation of government at the end of '16, 2016.
Lebanon was not without -- was without a government for two years, before Saad Hariri came to Lebanon and reached basically kind of reconciliation with the other political rivals in Lebanon. He is a moderate political nationalist.
He basically, my take on it is that he has reached the end of his patience. The political costs for Saad Hariri outweighed any benefits from staying in the government and that's why he resigned. The political situation and the social situation in Lebanon now is extremely, extremely serious. HOWELL: With Yemen launching a missile into Saudi Arabia, is there a
concern now that Saudi Arabia could be targeted with greater precision now?
GERGES: You know, what we have -- what we have witnessed, George, in the past few weeks is that the Houthi movement that controls the government in Sana'a in Yemen has been firing more and more missiles on Saudi Arabia. This is the first ballistic missiles that almost reached the capital of Saudi Arabia, almost 600 kilometers.
GERGES: So, yes, there is a major escalation. And this will have tremendous implications on the situation in Yemen itself because Saudi Arabia now feels extremely the urge to retaliate against the Houthi movement that controls the government in Sana'a.
HOWELL: And what we're seeing again is that proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to heat up essentially.
GERGES: I think you're absolutely correct. We are seeing now the reverberations of geostrategic rivalries throughout the Middle East, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Lebanon.
What Saudi Arabia is trying to do, George, is to counterbalance the spread of Iranian influence in the region. Saudi Arabia has become more muscular. It has become more active. It's leading from the front as opposed from the behind.
Whether you talk about Lebanon or Iraq or Yemen, my take on it is that the next few months are going to be extremely dangerous throughout the region because the geostrategic rivalry is intensifying and what has happened in Lebanon and the past 48 hours tells me that we're going to see more tensions, not only in Syria and Iraq, but even in Lebanon and other places as well.
I mean, I think the end of ISIS, the so-called Islamic State does not really mean the end of geostrategic struggles on the contrary. The dismantling of the physical caliphate will intensify the struggles between the pro-Iranian camp led by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and, of course, Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region including the United States.
HOWELL: A conversation I had with Fawaz Gerges in the past hour.
Still ahead, Tuesday saw the worst terror attack in New York City since September 11th, 2001. We are learning more about the suspect had come under the spell of ISIS -- stay with us.
[05:30:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)
HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell. Here are the headlines we're following for you this hour.
HOWELL: ISIS claims the suspect in the deadly attack in New York City Tuesday was carried out by a soldier of the caliphate and we are learning much more now about the 29-year-old Uzbek national, who authorities say drove a pickup truck on a one-mile killing spree.
CNN's Brian Todd explains how the lone wolf terror suspect may have become radicalized.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before he slaughtered eight people and got out of his rented truck yelling "Allahu Akbar," Sayfullo Saipov was not on any terror watch list, officials say and now the direct subject of any New York police of FBI investigations. But they say Saipov was likely connected to individuals who were the subjects of investigations. And they offer another clue.
CUOMO: He was associated with ISIS and he was radicalized domestically.
TODD: Officials say Saipov lived in Ohio, Florida and Paterson, New Jersey. They aren't yet saying how or when Saipov was radicalized in the U.S.
(on camera): What's your best take on how he was radicalized?
LORENZO VIDINO, PROGRAM ON EXTREMISM, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: In many cases, it's a combination of online and offline. People start hanging out with like minded individuals, people who embrace ISIS ideology and maybe go online to reinforce their nascent jihadist views. Many cases, people radicalize because they have some personal issues, whether it could be family problems or job problems.
TODD (voice-over): Expert Lorenzo Vidino says the process of becoming radicalized means spending a lot of time online.
VIDINO: Now it is apps like Telegram, like others, very easy to download on your phone. They're mostly encrypted and you can get all sorts of information, you can interact with other people, you can reinforce your ideological commitment to ISIS, you can get operational instructions.
TODD: And officials believe Saipov had close familiarity with operational instructions.
JOHN MILLER, DEPUTY NEW YHORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: He appears to have followed almost exactly to a T the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack.
TODD: One of the most popular instruction manuals Saipov might have read online, this one, in the ISIS magazine "Rumiyah" last year. It discusses how to use rental trucks to attack crowds and inflict maximum casualties. Quote: Vehicles are like knives, it says. And it urges attackers to announce their allegiance to the terror group.
Quote: An example of such would be simply writing on dozens of sheets of paper, the Islamic State will remain.
Very similar to a note officials say Saipov left in his vehicle.
MILLER: The gist of the note was, the Islamic state would endure forever.
TODD: For ISIS, experts say lone wolves offer an easier way to strike at soft targets without the extensive planning and skill used in attacks like Paris.
NADA BARKOS, FORMER CIA ANALYST: It doesn't have multiple pieces. You're not dealing with multiple cells or multiple people that you have to coordinate with. You just have to make sure your target is one that is penetrable.
TODD (on camera): A key question now, how can authorities stop people from becoming radicalized? Terrorism experts say that's incredibly difficult. It requires --
TODD: -- police and intelligence services to get into communities, to establish networks of families and neighborhood leaders to watch for signs of young people becoming radicalized and get to them before they are.
But most law enforcement agencies, experts say, simply don't have the resources to move that far into communities -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
HOWELL: Brian, thank you.
Despite Tuesday's terror attack, thousands of runners will race in the famous New York City Marathon. That happens this day, of course, as planned. The city, though, is taking significant steps to boost its security.
Police are sending out helicopter patrols, snipers and bomb sniffing dogs. They will also line the streets with blocking trucks to protect against vehicle attacks.
In the next few hours, more than 50,000 runners will take to the streets in New York but will it be damp?
(WEATHER REPORT) HOWELL: Staying in that part of the world, the big story we're following, the U.S. president's trip to Asia. In South Korea, Mr. Trump is not going to the DMZ, the demilitarized zone, during this trip. U.S. troops, though, are visiting North Korea.
Actually, it happens almost every day. It's even possible for civilians to enter that country on a tour of the DMZ or what is called the joint security area. And it does require an escort by U.S. troops.
So the question now -- what is it like to be face-to-face and eye-to- eye with North Korean soldiers?
My colleague, Brooke Baldwin, has this report.
JOSH ROBERTSON, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY (voice-over): I visit North Korea almost every day except --
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is that crazy?
ROBERTSON: It's a little crazy.
BALDWIN: Say that again. You visit North Korea?
ROBERTSON: Almost every day.
BALDWIN: Almost every day. A little out of my range ROBERTSON: Yes, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we are heading over to check point 3. The same rules apply.
BALDWIN: How do you explain to Americans back in the states what you do day-to-day?
ROBERTSON: I provide security for people that would like to come toward the DMZ.
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is private first-class Robertson. I'll be your security escort today. Before we get started I'm going to ask you guys a couple questions, is anybody currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol at this time? No. And anyone feel like defecting towards North Korea today? No. OK. Cool.
BALDWIN: Where do you live?
BALDWIN: Where are we?
ROBERTSON: The JSA is a joint security area. So right now, I'm only about two kilometers away from North Korea. I can hear propaganda music they play every night.
All right, can everyone hear me. Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to conference road. This is the official meeting place between North Korea and South Korea, or the UNC and the KPA. All the blue buildings you see belong to the United Nations Command or UNC. Prior
While the silver or gray buildings belong to KPA or North Korea. If you will follow me, please.
BALDWIN: This is when you get to walk over the line into North Korea.
ROBERTSON: The three microphones you see on the table they are recorded and monitored 24 hours a day. And they serve as an official military demarcation line inside of this building. So those of you standing on my left are now standing in communist North Korea while those on the right are relatively safe with me in the Republic of North Korea.
BALDWIN: What does it feel like to be standing in North Korea you guys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Feels the same.
BALDWIN: Why did you want to join the Army in the first place?
ROBERTSON: On Veterans day we do a parade in my hometown and first time I went to the parade. Just seeing those guys walked the roads in my town I had a lot of respect for the sacrifices they gave up.
BALDWIN: You are 19.
ROBERTSON: Yes, ma'am.
BALDWIN: Prior to coming to South Korea, had you ever left the country?
ROBERTSON: No, ma'am. I've only been to maybe 13 states inside the U.S. but never been outside of the country.
BALDWIN: Do you sometimes get home sick?
ROBERTSON: I think everyone here would get a little home sick. But everyone here we are all so close to each other. So, everyone here is willing to help out in a hard time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready.
ROBERTSON: Set. Go.
BALDWIN: So, it's Friday night.
BALDWIN: And you hit the gym. I mean, do you ever think about what your friends back home would be doing on a Friday night versus where we are sitting right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm pretty confident that my friends would still be going to the gym. Hang out with guys that lift all the time.
BALDWIN: What were you thinking when you are almost nose to nose with the soldier in North Korea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had them played up in my head. In my head they were these warriors.
BALDWIN: And then when you saw them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, all right, not what I had in mind, but OK these are like 5-2, 100 pounds top. I'm like, OK, well, since you guys are the ones, OK, cool, nice to meet you. I am three times your size.
BALDWIN: Do you feel like the tensions have increased between the sides?
ROBERTSON: We always maintain a readiness here, so it doesn't feel any different when tensions do rise or fall. We are always ready in case something were to happen.
BALDWIN: What's your message to Americans back home who are worried about Americans like you so close to North Korea?
ROBERTSON: I would say pray for us, pray for the best that no altercation will happen and hopefully that something good will come out of this.
HOWELL: Checking back on the U.S. president's first stop in Asia, Mr. Trump and the Japanese prime minister joined their wives for dinner and the president spoke with reporters. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Thank you very much for being here. We are in the midst of having discussions on many subjects, including North Korea and trade and other things. And we are doing very well. We are doing very well. The relationship is really extraordinary. We like each other. And our countries like each other. And I don't think we have ever been closer to Japan than we are right now. So it's a great honor. Believe me. It's a great honor.
We are going to have dinner tonight where I think we will insult everybody by continuing to talk about trade. But the time is a little bit limited. And then tomorrow is a very busy day. So thank you all for being here. We appreciate it. OK?
Thank you. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The longest U.S. presidential trip to Asia since 1992. Mr. Trump heading next to South Korea but presently in Tokyo, in Japan, meeting with the Japanese prime minister.
Still ahead, more trouble for Harvey Weinstein. Why a source says a new accusation could lead to the first --
HOWELL: -- criminal charges against this movie mogul.
HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.
Another actress has come forward, accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. A source familiar to the investigation told CNN that Paz de la Huerta's allegations could result in the first criminal charges against this disgraced movie producer. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the very latest for us.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are open investigations against Harvey Weinstein in New York, L.A. and London but now the NYPD says it has a case that could actually put the movie mogul behind bars.
GINGRAS (voice-over): A New York police department source says this is the strongest chance of bringing criminal charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
ROBERT BOYCE, CHIEF DETECTIVE, NYPD: We have an actual case here.
GINGRAS: 33-year-old actress Paz de la Huerta best known for her role in Boardwalk Empire says Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in late 2010. Detective say she is credible because ...
BOYCE: The ability to articulate each and every movement of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did.
GINGRAS: De la Huerta tells CNN she first met Weinstein when she was 14, acting in "The Cider House Rules," a movie he produced. So 12 years later when Weinstein offered to give her a ride home from a club, she says she didn't feel uncomfortable until they were in her New York City apartment. She told CNN her story on the phone.
PAZ DE LA HUERTA, ACTRESS: He pulled my slip dress up and he unzipped his pants and he yes. He raped me.
GINGRAS: De la Huerta says it happened again nearly two months later.
DE LA HUERTA: The first time I was in just complete shock. And it just happened so quickly. The second time, it was terrified of him. In a million ways I knew how to say no, said no.
GINGRAS: Weinstein's representative did not responds to CNN's request for comment regarding de la Huerta's allegations. But through a spokeswoman, he has repeatedly denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.
More than 60 have accused the movie mogul of sexual harassment or assault. An NYPD source said the department's hot line has fielded dozens of calls about Weinstein. But de la Huerta's case stands out because it fits within the statute of limitations.
BOYCE: This person was still in New York and it was recent. We would go right away and make the arrest. The no doubt. But we are talking about a 7-year-old case and we have to move forward gathering evidence.
GINGRAS: De la Huerta says she has been working with police and the Manhattan district attorney's office on gathering evidence including account from her friend and therapist who she confided in after the alleged attacks. The DA's office would only say a senior sex crimes prosecutor is assigned to this investigation.
DE LA HUERTA: I would like to see him go to jail. I think he is a rapist. He's gotten away with it for too many years. It would nice to imagine justice exists.
GINGRAS: Earlier this week, I reported the source said they have one other open case against Weinstein here in New York.
HOWELL: Brynn Gingras reporting there.
We will be right back after the break.
HOWELL: The White House is hitting back hard against harsh criticism from two former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Their assessment of the current commander in chief is included in a new book, called, "The Last Republicans." In that book, George H.W. Bush calls him Mr. Trump a, quote,
"blowhard" and says he doesn't like him. And is son said President Trump "doesn't know what it means to be president."
A White House official had this quote in response.
"If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had. And that begins with the Iraq War, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history."
Again, that statement is from the White House.
U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Asia means the U.S. first lady can renew some friendships as well, I should say. While their husbands played golf, Melania Trump and Japan's first lady, Akie Abe, had tea together and they visited a luxury jewelry store together in Tokyo.
Ms. Abe was the first spouse of a foreign leader to visit the United States after Mr. Trump became president. Ms. Trump tweeted earlier in the day that she was looking forward to seeing Ms. Abe again and Madame Peng again, the first lady of China.
That wraps this hour of CNN. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. The news continues here on CNN right after the break.