Return to Transcripts main page
Manhunt for a Killer in Tennessee is Underway; President Macron Visits D.C.; Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un to Meet in DMZ; Chaos in Armenia as Leader Wants to Hold on to His Power; Macron State Visit; Trump White House; Marketplace Middle East; Duchess of Cambridge In Early Stages Of Labor. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 23, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from the CNN center here in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN Newsroom.
VANIER: A massive man hunt is under way in the U.S. State of Tennessee, after a gunman opened fire in a gunman killing four people. This happened early Sunday morning in a waffle house just outside of Nashville in the community of Antioch.
The gunman, who was barely clothed at the time, was armed with an assault-type rifle and his motive for the moment is still unknown.
ALLEN: Take a look at the suspect. This is the man people are looking for. He's 29 years old, his name is Travis Reinking. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added him to its 10 most wanted list and they believe he may still be armed and dangerous.
The bureau has also released a newer photo of Reinking. Police say when he fled the scene he went to his apartment and put on pants and then may have escaped into the woods.
VANIER: More than 80 officers are now searching for him. Authorities in Morton, Illinois where he recently live are still on high alert. Morton is about six and a half drive from Nashville. And the sheriff office there says that they're ready if he returns.
ALLEN: Meantime, police are praising the heroics of one of the customers there at the waffle house, James Shaw, Jr., that's him, wrestled the assault rifle away from the gunman. He was braised by a bullet on his elbow and he burned his right hand when he grabbed the barrel of the gun. Shaw describes how everything went down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES SHAW, JR., DISARMED GUNMAN: I was just really waiting for a moment like just a moment that he was going to give me, and he gave me that moment. He gave me that moment when he put the barrel. He aimed the barrel of the gun was aimed down and then I just -- I just had to kind of go for it and I went for it, and I ran through the door. It worked out for me. So it worked out for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Probably saved more lives, too. CNN's Diane Gallagher is in Antioch, just outside of Nashville, she has the latest on the gunman and his past.
DIANE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The question that so many people here in Antioch, Tennessee just outside of Nashville have today is why? Police say that 29-year-old Travis Reinking came to this waffle house behind me just after 3 a.m. Central Time on Sunday morning and walked out of his truck completely nude, wearing a green jacket, armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing two people in the parking lot and then went into the restaurant killing two others.
He injured four additional people and police say had it not been for one man that they're calling a hero it could have been much worse. They say that James Shaw, Jr. ran to the bathroom when he heard the shots and then he says he just decided it's kind of fight or flight, I've got to do something. He tackled the shooter was able to get the gun away, threw it over the counter and pushed him out of the restaurant.
After that, that is when the shooter, police say, kind of walked off into the woods. Now he hasn't been in Nashville very long, police here had no interactions with him whatsoever. He moved here in autumn of 2017.
But the summer before, in July of 2017, he had a run in Washington D.C., U.S. Secret Service arrested him trying to get into the White House. He said he was a sovereign citizen and that he had a meeting with Donald Trump.
Now they took him off, they put him in a kind of a program to just sort of get him through that and then let him go. But the FBI and Illinois authorities in his home state visited him, interviewed him, and later, Illinois revoked his authorization to own guns. They confiscated four weapons. They gave them to his father and police now say that his father has acknowledged that he decided to give those four guns back to his son.
One of those weapons, the AR-15 was, police say, used in this particular shooting on Sunday morning. It wasn't the first time, though, that authorities in Illinois had any sort of run ins with Reinking, they say that he, back in 2016, he threatened to kill himself, to shoot himself and he had delusions about the pop star, Taylor Swift, that she was stalking him, that she was trying to tap into his Netflix account, into his phone, she was with the FBI and his parents ganging up against him.
This is something that they said they were concerned about obviously, they're still investigating and trying to figure out what may have led this to event here at the waffle house. But again, we have four people dead and four others injured in the shooting. Diane Gallagher, Antioch, Tennessee, CNN.
ALLEN: Earlier, I spoke about the shooting with Steve Moore, a CNN law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent for the FBI.
[03:04:58] ALLEN: First of all, issue number one, this gunman who just killed four people, injured others, who's definitely has mental issues, is now on the run. What are the police up against?
STEVE MOORE, LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, they're up against some really tough terrain right here. Excuse me. There's a huge open preserve right in the area there. I mean, hundreds of acres if not hundreds of square miles where he could potentially hide. That's the hard part.
The part that's on law enforcement's side is he doesn't appear to have entered the forest preserve with much to help him, except a weapon or two possibly. He's not dressed for it, and he's really at the mercy of the elements right now.
ALLEN: And this AR-15, which he used in this shooting, apparently he was given that by his father. His weapons that he had, two or three guns were taken away after he was arrested, he wasn't armed trying to get into the White House. So you have to figure how it came to be that he was able to get the guns back when there were so many issues on the table with this young man.
MOORE: Yes and I've dealt with this before where weapons have been taken away from people who are potentially dangerous and specifically parents give those guns back to the person who's been deemed dangerous by authorities. And the mind boggles as to why they would do that. Occasionally they've been killed by their kids with those same weapons.
And right now you have to realize, and the father has to realize, that he bears legal and moral responsibility for what has happened.
ALLEN: Because aren't there some laws that if someone gets a weapon that you own and someone is killed, that that person could be in trouble with the law?
MOORE: Yes, if you have not protected the weapon adequately. But that's even different than a situation where a person has been adjudicated to be a danger to himself or others, had the guns removed, the guns were as inexplicably given back to the father and the father decides to disregard everything that the authorities have told him, and knowingly gives the guns to a delusional person.
ALLEN: Yes. And this wasn't a kid. It wasn't like he was giving it to his -- this is a 29-year-old man who did this. And sadly, we want to point out, this is the second mass shooting that Antioch has seen in the past few months. In September, a gunman shot up a church killing one person and
wounding seven. Of course, he is from Illinois. Illinois is working to pass a law called the red flag, where if they feel like a family member is in some trouble that they want their guns confiscated for some time, they're also trying to outlaw assault rifles.
But what we have here is someone who is extremely it seems disturbed and on the run. You know, of course, they're on the lookout in Illinois, he recently moved to Nashville. Don't these people that carry these out sometimes end up going back home or going to family?
MOORE: Yes. Yes, they do. One of the things we find is they go back to the one place where they're familiar with if they can get there. And here's the scary part right now. He may have only a pair of pants and a gun with some ammunition. How do you think he's going to get home? How do you think he's going to get money? How do you think he's going to get transportation or food?
Well, the only way that he could reasonably do it is to take it from somebody else, and right now I would consider him one of the more dangerous people in the United States.
ALLEN: Can we just have a moment to talk about this young man, James Shaw, Jr. who wrestled an assault rifle from this young man. That is just unbelievable heroism.
MOORE: Yes, it is. And besides just the gun fire going off, how do you manage to hold on to the barrel of a gun that's almost red hot. I mean, after you fired -- I was on SWAT for years -- after you fired just a few rounds from an AR-15, the barrel is blistering hot. For him to hold the weapon by that barrel and continue to hold it until he takes it away from the shooter is pretty amazing. Just on top of the fact that he could have been killed at any second.
ALLEN: Yes. There he is again, James Shaw, Jr. How about that one. Well, we always appreciate it, Steve Moore, we certainly hope that this young man will be brought in without another incident. Thank you, Steve.
MOORE: Thank you.
But at this hour he is still on the run. We'll keep you posted.
[03:10:00] VANIER: French President Emmanuel Macron is making his first visit to Washington Monday, invited by President Trump for the first state visit of his presidency.
ALLEN: Mr. Macron wasn't able to convince Mr. Trump, as you may recall, to stay in the Paris Climate Accord but he will try to keep him in the Iran nuclear deal. That's more on the table.
Here's more now from Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This will be the first official visit for the Trump presidency. President Trump and First Lady Melania expected to receive their French counterparts in French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte at the White House this week. A number of special events planned all pomp and circumstance. That is according to an official state visit.
You'll recall that President Trump was very excited during his Bastille Day visit to France, where the French ruled out the red carpet for hi, so this will be a chance for a reciprocal meeting of sorts from the Americans.
And there are some important items on the agenda. For one, they are expected to talk about one of the president's favorite subjects in trade and something that is immediate on the table, the Iran nuclear deal which reaches an important deadline in May.
Of course, President Trump has long talked about leaving that deal. Several of his key administration officials are also inclined to do the same including Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo and his national security advisor, John Bolton.
Macron has been inclined to suggest that President Trump should stick with the Iran nuclear deal so we'll see just how that plays out. Also on the agenda, the American presidents in Syria -- you recall there was a minor controversy after that joint strike by the United States, France, and the U.K. on some chemical weapons facilities in that country.
The French president telling the press that he had convinced Donald Trump to remain in Syria, something the administration pushed back on, saying that the policy had not changed and that President Trump was keen on keeping with his promise. That surprised a number of officials within the administration and at the Pentagon that he would be removing American troops from Syria very soon. It will be a key visit.
And we should also note that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be there and will ultimately see the results playing out on the international stage.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, travelling with the president from West Palm Beach, Florida.
ALLEN: And when he discusses the Iran nuclear deal with Mr. Trump, Mr. Macron is expected to take a practical approach.
VANIER: One of his main arguments has been the deal may not be perfect but it's better than nothing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: Is this agreement perfect, and JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran, no. But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option? I don't see it. What is the what if scenario or your plan b? I don't have any plan b for nuclear against Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Joining us from Paris is Sophie Pedder, that's the Paris bureau for the Economist, author also of "Le Deni Francais Emmanuel Macron, the Quest to Reinvent a Nation". Sophie, how did Mr. Macron manage to pitch himself as this Trump whisperer which is kind of becomes his nickname? How did he get to that position?
SOPHIE PEDDER, PARIS BUREAU CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: Well, I think you know, if you look at Europe, the European political situation at the moment, there aren't many leaders available. You've got Angela Merkel in Germany who has months trying to form a government, so that took her out of the picture. You have, because of Brexit, you have the British leader Theresa May a little bit distracted.
And therefore, Macron I think saw there was an empty -- an empty position and he grabbed it. He saw he was a young, new freshly elected leader with a strong mandate, he speaks English and I think he thought, you know, he was a guy who would possibly be able to strike up a relationship, build a relationship with the American president and see where he could take it.
VANIER: Do you think we're overstating his ability to influence Donald Trump?
PEDDER: You know, I think President Macron is somebody who is very pragmatic, I think that he knows he's not naive, he knows perfectly well that sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won't. His general approach to other leaders, however unsavory they are, or whatever his differences might be.
And obviously, when it comes to President Trump, his differences, their world views in some ways could hardly be more different. But I think that, you know, what Macron will be hoping to do is to try and, you know, get something in return. Now what that something is obviously depends of how these meetings go. The May 12th deadline is coming up on the Iran deal.
But there are other issues as well that I think President Macron hasn't given up hope of trying at some point to possibly kind of keep Donald Trump on side, on side of -- on the side of sort of multilateralism or basically within the kind of liberal world order.
[03:14:57] That's what he really wants to do, And it could be on climate, it could be on a range of other - on trade on a range of other issues. So, you know, I think sometimes perhaps, you know, the expectations are a little bit too high in France about how much Macron can get, but at the same time, you know, if he's not going to give it a go then nothing is going to happen.
VANIER: And by the way, you mentioned something earlier which I think is key, which is Emmanuel Macron speaks English. That's something of a revolution for a French president. I mean, I remember the days when then-President Chirac would storm out of official meetings if English was spoken.
PEDDER: Well, I mean, the interesting thing, of course, is that, you know, a lot of Americans -- sorry, French presidents do speak English, but they don't just want to speak English, so that's the difference. Chirac actually did speak English. He spent a summer in Boston once as a student, so his English was fine but he wouldn't on principle.
Whereas, I think Macron is obviously from a very different generation. You know, young people here in France, they don't have the same kind of complexes, they are much more relaxed about giving it a go, they don't mind if they make mistakes and their accents are a bit strong. And that's exactly what Macron does.
So, you know, it's not -- it's not the basis, it's not enough to build a relationship with, but it does help, I think. And you know, when Macron invited Trump last year here on the St. Elysee and to the Bastille Day parade, that was obviously a big gesture for him. So it's -- I think it's built up some goodwill and Macron will be hoping at some point to get something in return for all of that.
VANIER: Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief for The Economist, thank you very much.
ALLEN: We'll be watching the meeting between Macron and Mr. Trump. We'll also watch something else that's occurring.
We are days away from a historic meeting in the Korean peninsula, next here what's at stake for the citizens of North and South Korea.
VANIER: Protesters clash with police in Armenia. Why many accuse the prime minister of a power grab. Stay with us.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Welcome back.
In just a few days the leaders of North and South Korea will sit face- to-face for a historic summit. It is the first such meeting in more than a decade. And there is much at stake.
Let's bring in our Paula Hancocks who will be covering that meeting for us, she is live for us in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, you've covered so many issues between these two countries. It seems for the past year or two it's been missile launches that have occurred regularly. Now we're talking about talks. And this is a really big deal. Had they laid out what specifically will be on the agenda?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Natalie, we've heard from the South Korean side that the main thing on the agenda obviously is denuclearization. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, saying that he does believe that North Korea has the same concept of denuclearization as he does.
Now, of course, there have been many questions about whether they do, in fact, or whether they are talking about denuclearization in broader terms, not just on a North Korean scale but whether they believe that everybody should be denuclearizing.
So there's a big question as to whether or not everyone is talking the same thing. But there will also be talks of peace. We understand from President Moon he understands that the Armistice
needs updated. There was only an armistice signed up to the Korean War in the 1950s. He said there has to be a declaration of the end of war and then some kind of peace agreement which will obviously include more than just North and South Korea. It's neither of those two were actually signatories back in the 1950s.
And they also want to talk about increasing the interconnectivity between the two countries as well. So the main thing obviously will be denuclearization and the Blue House is saying that it's the perfect opportunity for them to find out if North Korea is, in fact, willing to discuss this. Natalie.
ALLEN: And you were also saying that this meeting will be broadcast live in South Korea, not the entire meeting, right? I mean, is it going to be? Audio included?
HANCOCKS: Well, what they're saying at this point is that it will be broadcast live from the firsthand shake. So, the formalities, this is the first time that a North Korean leader is going to cross the border, cross that MDL, the military demarcation line in the middle of the DMZ and head into South Korea, so it's a very historic moment and the Blue House appreciates that.
So they're going to broadcasting that live and then also the pleasantries. The meeting itself won't be broadcast, that is going to be completely behind closed doors.
But both sides have really made an effort, it appears, to try and make some concessions before they even sit down. Just this Monday morning the South Korean military saying that they're going to stop their propaganda broadcasts across the border.
These were broadcasts that they've doing on and off for decades now, but the last segment was since 2016 when the forth nuclear test happened, they broadcast K-pop music and news and weather reports, the sorts of things that potentially North Koreans wouldn't be able to hear on their own.
They've now stopped that, they said they want to create an atmosphere that is suitable for the summits. And we've seen some concessions from the North Korean side as well. So certainly it appears on both sides that they want the beginning of the summit to be amicable and to go well.
They still have a phone call that will happen this week. We understand a hot line between the two leaders has been set up for the first time ever. And we understand within the next few days before Friday, Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in will be talking on the phone.
ALLEN: And of course, this meeting, hopefully, will lead to one between the United States and North Korea. Paula Hancocks for us there in Seoul. Thanks so much, Paula.
VANIER: Armenia is facing a growing political crisis. Several opposition leaders were detained during mass demonstration on Sunday. Protesters are demanding Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resign, fearing that he's trying to hold on to power indefinitely.
Paula Newton joins me now from London. Paula, there have been days and days and days of protests against the prime minister, just walk us through how he's been responding to this so far.
[03:24:56] PAULA NEWTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, you know, it was interesting. They tried to have some kind of mediation with a meeting with one of the opposition leaders there, Nikol Pashinyan and, in fact, the prime minister got up and walked away after 10 or 15 minutes saying that, look, this is not about compromises, this is not about a dialogue, they're trying to blackmail me.
And the after that, that opposition leader, along with two other MP's were arrested and that really kicked things off, Cyril. I mean, things are quite tense right now in the capital of Yerevan.
I can tell you that on the streets right now there are several thousand university students, smaller than the crowds we have seen in previous days. As you can see from some of the video, many people were detained, at least hundreds, and there was certainly some violence. Everyone appealing for calm.
The point of good news, I guess, is that right now they continue to say what they want is peaceful protests. And at issue here, Cyril, is what's really been evolving in Armenia for several years now, it started with the referendum at the end of 2015. And they basically changed their entire Constitution.
The suspicion at the time for the opposition was that the person who's now Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan actually wanted to continue to rule even though he had passed his decade -- he had two five-year term as president and that he just wanted to keep governing.
What happened was at the end of the 2015, with a referendum, in fact, they changed their constitutional system. Earlier in April, it changed. And the person now that should be in charge of Armenia would be the prime minister.
Well, it was the former president himself, who now was elected prime minister not by the people, Cyril, but by, in fact, the parliament. And this is what triggered the chain of events that you see now.
The speaker of the house did go to see the three opposition members who have been detained. He is trying to mediate the situation but incredibly tense. And I just have to say, when you look at the overall numbers, I mean, the video was absolutely spectacular, you could have had upwards of 100,000 people that showed up in that square.
And when you think that Armenia is give or take a nation of about three million people, the numbers were significant, something that Europe is even keeping an eye on and saying look, we want people to have a peaceful expression of their attitudes here towards the political process. And everyone is appealing for calm.
VANIER: All right, Paula, you will keep monitoring this for us. Paula Newton, live from London there, thank you very much. ALLEN: There's not much agreement between the U.S. and French
president on key issues matter -- that matter to the world. Even so Emmanuel Macron will try to find common ground with President Trump during his state visit to Washington this week. We'll have more about it in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I keep it in mind myself that it's OK. I know nobody, that someone died because he was stuck on his trip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: It may not be dangerous but being stranded in an airport is not enviable. We'll tell you the story of this Syrian refugee looking for home, any home. Stay with us.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's update you on the top stories this hour.
ALLEN: We're just getting this news. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has now been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in London in the early stages of labor, Kensington Palace said in a tweet on Monday morning that local time there. The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third child. Will it be a brother or a sister of Charlotte and George? Well, she is in labor and we will keep you posted.
VANIER: Authorities in the U.S. State of Tennessee are looking for this man, 29-year-old Travis Reinking. He is the suspect in a national area restaurant shooting that left four people dead. Police say Reinking was only wearing a jacket when he opened fire with an assault-type rifle. A customer wrestled the weapon out Reinking's hands rifle out of his hands but then fled.
ALLEN: He is still on the run at this moment. U.S. President Donald Trump says the U.S. has not given up anything in its dealings so far with North Korea. The Wall Street Journal now reports Mr. Trump will ask North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un to substantially dismantle his nuclear arsenal before the U.S. agree to lifting sanctions. The two are expected to meet in late May or June. This follows the meeting coming up in South Korea.
VANIER: French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to urge President Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal when they meet this week. Mr. Macron said he has no plan B for the agreement. He made the comment on the eve of his three-day state visit to Washington. Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump differ on a number of major issues.
ALLEN: Nevertheless, the French president appears to have a warmer relationship with President Trump than other leaders have. Here now from Paris with more on that is our own Melissa Bell. Talk to us about that. When did this bromance as we have been referred to it occur, Melissa?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been, Natalie, the most fascinating relationship to watch evolve. We learned something more about the approach that Emmanuel Macron had very much taken a very determined fashion yesterday when he spoke to Fox News, explaining for instance that famous handshake that it kicked the relationship off.
You will remember just under a year ago had been the result of watching Donald Trump essentially crushed the hand of other leaders and wanting to hold firm himself. And so this three-day state visit, the very first under Donald Trump's presidency, really is the fruit of this most extraordinary friendship.
BELL (voice over): The strikes may have been carefully coordinated but (INAUDIBLE) the rowe that followed was anything but after the French president claimed to be driving U.S. policy in Syria.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Ten days ago, President Trump said the U.S. as well is to disengage from Syria. We convinced him. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay.
BELL (voice over): It took less than five hours for the White House to respond, denying that its policy had changed. A squaring off between two presidents that began nearly a year ago with the grip that was more arm wrestle than handshake.
Last May, two ideologically different political newcomers sized each other up for the first time. The policy clash came only weeks later over climate change when President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.
BELL (voice over): Emmanuel Macron responded, turning Trump's campaign slogan against him.
MACRON: Make our planet great again.
BELL (voice over): The desizing up and political differences then gave way in July to an unexpected truce.
[03:35:00] In Paris, the two presidents met and it appeared actually liked each other.
TRUMP: I really have a feeling that you're going to have a very, very peaceful and beautiful Paris, and I'm coming back. You better do a good job, please. Otherwise, you're going to make me look very bad.
MACRON: And you're always welcome. TRUMP: Thank you.
BELL (voice over): Progress, they said, had been made on a number of issues, even it seemed on climate change.
TRUMP: We discussed a lot of different topics. We briefly hit on the Paris Accord. We'll see what happens.
BELL (voice over): After the pomp and circumstance of the Bastille Day parade and more exchanges between the two presidents, it was time to say good-bye, which they did with more warmth than anyone had imagined possible. Warmth that has now translated into the first state visit of Donald Trump's presidency.
BELL: Now there is that clear warmth between the two presidents but make no mistake, there are also those fundamental disagreements and issues that divide them, issues on which Emmanuel Macron hope to make some progress while he is in Washington. They include Syria.
The French president is determined to get Donald Trump to stay the course, keeping some 2,000 American soldiers in Syria for as long as it will take to pacify the country. The Iran nuclear deal you mentioned a moment ago, that will be crucial.
Emmanuel Macron is determined to provide reassurances, extra -- sort of extra cord alongside the first one aimed at reassuring Donald Trump that he can stay in because the thing will be held firm, thanks to European allies, and perhaps most importantly, that question of trade.
Emmanuel Macron also spoke to that yesterday when he was speaking on Fox News, telling the American president, look, you can't make enemies out of the whole world and you do need to have some allies. Look at me, I am your ally. This is essentially going to be the message of a visit that will be dominated by a number of issues which the two men don't see eye to eye.
ALLEN: Well, it will be fascinating to cover and thank you for setting it up for us. Melissa Bell there in Paris. Thanks, Melissa.
While the White House prepares to host the French president, Mr. Trump had the Russia investigation on his mind as he often does. Among his many tweets on Sunday, President Trump set one that has only these words, a complete witch hunt.
VANIER: But one aide to the president says as far as he knows, Mr. Trump is not planning to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, at least for now. Meanwhile, the president is defending his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is now under criminal investigation.
Mr. Trump railed against The New York Times after report suggesting Cohen could turn against the president and cooperate with federal investigators. The New York Times for its part is standing by its reporting. ALLEN: Let's talk about Mr. Cohen. Let's talk about Mr. Macron and his visit to the U.S. with James Davis. He is the dean of the School of Economics and Political Science at University of St. Gallen. He joins me from Munich. Thanks so much for talking with us, James. First of all --
JAMES DAVIS, DEAN, SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICSAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN: Good morning.
ALLEN: Good morning to you. Let's talk about Mr. Macron's visit. We just had that excellent setup piece by our reporter there in Paris about the unusual kind of push me, pull you (ph) between Macron and Mr. Trump. Do you expect things to go well? Do you expect Mr. Macron to get what he needs from the U.S. president?
DAVIS: I think there are two things we need to distinguish between here. One is the sort of personal relationship that seems to have developed between the two leaders. They do seem to get along with one another. Trump responds to flattery, we know that. The Saudis proved that and France did as well with the lavish welcome they gave to Trump at the Bastille Day celebrations.
So I think the personal rapport is good. That's a good basis to start with. But let's face it, each of these leaders is representing his own country, the interest of his country as he perceives them. The French have very different opinions on a number of issues. The trade issue comes to mind. The Trump administration wants to slap tariffs on European steel.
Macron is going to try and convince the president that Europe should not be part of any tariff arrangement to protect American steel interest. There is the Iran nuclear deal. Macron has the opinion, you know, don't give up the bird in the hand for two in the bush. Trump wants to renegotiate the deal.
He is concerned with the expiration date on the limits to the Iranian nuclear program, the failure to really get a grip on Iran's ballistic missile technology and also would like to see more inspections. We have the issue of Syria that your reporter alluded to and then there is also the larger issue of climate.
So there are a number of major issues on which these leaders disagree. Just because they seem to have developed a personal rapport doesn't mean that they're going to make dramatic progress on these areas where they have fundamental disagreements.
[03:40:04] ALLEN: Exactly. But it is true that Mr. Trump may not have that many close friends. Other leaders in Europe and certainly Macron has kind of been there for him and he's been there for Mr. Macron. So it will be interesting to see where they can come together.
DAVIS: That's right. I think Mr. Macron is going to want to come back with something. Trump is going to understand that. There is probably some room for a deal on the Iran nuclear controversy, precisely because we have the North Korean talks looming. And it's kind of hard to convince the North Koreans to sign on the dotted line with the United States if the United States can't uphold an agreement that it is already signed on to. So there may be some room for compromise here.
Also on the Syria situation, the two are going to come out with a strong statement against Assad and his use of chemical weapons and perhaps even a statement about what they would be willing to do if Assad were to use chemical weapons again in the future.
So I think Macron can come back to Paris with something in his hand. And his trip is going to be followed up by one from Chancellor Merkel on Friday, and she's going to hammer home the same message.
Those two have already coordinated their approach. So I think the Europeans are coming to Europe with a strong coherent message and hoping to make some progress and probably will make some progress.
ALLEN: Hopefully so. If we can get this close to having a summit with North Korea, now is the time for progress doesn't it on many world issues. Thank you so much for talking with us as always, James Davis. Thank you for the time.
DAVIS: Thank you, Natalie.
ALLEN: And still to come here, we take you live to the Middle East for the largest travel expo they have, including news about a brand new city being developed. That's coming up.
VANIER: The Middle East's largest tourism and travel event has kicked off in Dubai.
[03:45:00] This involves big bucks. More than $2 billion in deals are expected to be signed over the next few days.
ALLEN: John Defterios is there for us. Last hour, we learned how Egypt is looking to bring in more -- I almost said terrorism -- tourism.
ALLEN: That's not (INAUDIBLE). John, what do you got this hour?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Thanks very much, Natalie. Two years ago, I was at the Arab travel market where oil prices were around $30 a barrel. The mood was very dowry, if you will. Now we're near $75 a barrel and we're talking about growth again.
The number one exporter in the world is Saudi Arabia when it comes to oil, but it's the sleeping giant when it comes to tourism and they're out to change that. What people don't know, they have 27 airports internally, UNESCO heritage sites, the Red Sea resorts that they're planning to build, even new cities. It is by all measures a transformation. Let's take a closer look.
DEFTERIOS (voice over): This is Mada'in Saleh, the Saudi version of Petra in Jordan. For thousands of years it was on an important trade route. More than 130 tombs are located here, some of which are dramatically carved in rock faces. Now it's set to be transformed into an immense outdoor museum with the assistance of French archaeologists.
LAILA NEHME, CO-DIRECTOR, MADA'IN SALEH ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT: Here, it's difficult to believe but it's an oasis where they grew a lot of cereals and palm trees and olive trees and even cotton, which is a plant which requires a lot of water. So there are 142 wells which we have found and recorded. And these wells provided to farms enough water to grow all these crops.
DEFTERIOS (voice over): It's all part of Saudi Arabia's transformation plan known as "Saudi Vision 2030." Over the next decade, the Middle East's biggest economy wants to double the number of tourists to 30 million. They have big ambitious multi-billion dollar projects to help them do that.
Take this brand new King Abdullah economic city, 100 kilometers north of Jeddah. It's already a top destination for domestic tourists. With an international golf course which will host the European tour next year and with breathtaking views along the Red Sea, its backers have global ambitions.
AHMED LINJAWY, DEPUTY CEO, KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY: The momentum of making this a tourism destination is clearly happening. And now we're taking it really to the next level. We go back again to the golf course and we are now in discussion of hosting international events.
We have other also sports facilities that are under development as well that we're also in discussion of international events. So this is moving very fastly and very rapidly in the direction of becoming a -- you know, a tourism destination on a global basis.
DEFTERIOS (voice over): Other grand projects include the futuristic city of Neom and the development of luxury resorts on 50 islands on the Red Sea, one of which will be built by Richard Branson. High speed rail networks crisscrossing the country. And the development of airports are under construction. All with the aim of turning a notoriously difficult place to visit into potentially the next tourist hot spot in this region.
DEFTERIOS: And with the recovery of oil prices to around $75 a barrel, they have to make sure they don't become complacent and get overly reliant on oil again. Just to give you a scale of what Saudi Arabia is trying to show here.
This is the Saudi Arabian Airline standing along with the Saudi Tourism Authority and the two discount carriers. They wanted to make a statement it's not about oil only in Saudi Arabia anymore. They want to push to diversify and tourism is a key component of that.
From Dubai, back to you guys there in the studio, Natalie and Cyril.
ALLEN: All right, they have to diversify these days. Thanks so much, John Defterios, for it.
VANIER: All right, we're going to take a short break. We are going to be right back. And we have been on royal baby watch. We got some news for you.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Breaking news. There's about to be another royal baby. We have just learned a few moments ago the Duchess of Cambridge is now in the early stages of labor. This of course will be the third child for Kate and Prince William.
VANIER: We are watching live pictures right now from London's St. Mary's Hospital. Let's go to our CNN royal correspondent, Max Foster. Max, alarm bells are ringing in the Atlanta newsroom. We've been on royal baby watch for a few days now. It's happening. I understand you're on your way to the hospital.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, I'm nearly there. I'm about to pull off and we'll see the media positions. (INAUDIBLE) activity outside the hospital at this point because (INAUDIBLE) we don't go down there until the duchess has been admitted. She's just been admitted this morning, we understand, early stages of labor.
Last time with Charlotte, it was all over and done with in a day. So we will see what happens. It's a glorious day here, bright and sunny, people are rather excited. Sort of a build up to the royal wedding as well for many people, I think, because there was a bit of royal fever around at the moment.
ALLEN: Yes. Now, first, royal baby and then a royal wedding. And right after the queen's birthday. She almost had baby number three on the queen's birthday, that would have been something.
With Charlotte, there was speculation about what the baby's name would be and would it be a boy or girl. Here we are again back at this. Is this about the time we expected for Kate to go into labor? Is she due this week?
FOSTER (via telephone): Yes. They never give away the exact due date, but this is the one we were working towards. (INAUDIBLE) away from it. So I think it does all seem to be going as planned. She obviously had difficult pregnancies in the past. I'm sorry one -- sorry, excuse me, just (INAUDIBLE) at the hospital.
I'm slightly concerned that the taxi driver is going get towed away by the police, so we need to (INAUDIBLE) that way. Yes, we were expecting her to have the baby this time. She had in her early pregnancy, she gets very, very ill. But this does indicate that it is going as planned -- apart from us getting to the hospital easily.
[03:55:03] VANIER: Max, we appreciate -- you're rushing to the hospital and you're setting up, just even as you're speaking to us. Let's jut refresh our memory, where will this new royal stand in the line of succession?
FOSTER (via telephone): This new baby will be number five in the royal line of succession, bumping Harry down to number six. Officially speaking, the top six in line to succession are the most senior members of the royal family, so he's still in top six.
But the baby will take over. He comes after Charlotte, which is the interesting thing that happened last time which is there's still a sexist system effectively in place where Charlotte would have been overlooked if this next baby was a boy, but they managed to change (INAUDIBLE) they managed to do that in time for Charlotte.
So, Charlotte will keep her line in succession. She'll be number four and this new baby will be number five, whatever the sex. We still don't know the sex. The couple doesn't know the sex rather.
ALLEN: Oh, they don't either. This will all be very exciting. We have a little less than a minute. Tell us how it usually plays out. How soon we'll know when the baby has arrived?
FOSTER (via telephone): Well, I think the parents are very pleased with how the whole system operated last time with Charlotte so they're going along very much the same system, not wanting to give a running commentary, but the next thing we'll hear is the baby is being delivered.
And then there will be a notice that leaves the hospital and that will be driven to Buckingham Palace for the formal announcement. There's an easel (INAUDIBLE) Buckingham Palace and then there will official announcement (INAUDIBLE) here at the hospital hopefully sometime today.
ALLEN: All right. We wish you well in covering it. We hope you get out of the taxi and the taxi won't get towed.
ALLEN: Thank you, Max. We will talk with you again. And thank you all for watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. More news coming up on CNN. Stay with us.