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President Trump In Canada at G7 Summit Of World Leaders; Special Counsel Robert Mueller Filing A New Indictment Against Donald Trump's Former Chairman Paul Manafort; U.S. Service Member Has Been Killed In Somalia, Four Others Wounded; Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired June 8, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We will be looking more for that. Kate, always appreciate it. Thank you.
Thanks for staying with us here on CNN. I'm Erica Hill in today for Brooke Baldwin.
Happening now, President Trump in Canada at G7 summit of world leaders. He is at a session especially on economic growth and the future of work. Just moments ago he took part in what is known of course as the family photo. You see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next to him who, of course, is hosting. The President standing with these world leaders for a picture. But when it comes to policy, President Trump is standing alone, defying North American, European nations when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal. Also, of course, the Paris climate accord and on the U.S. imposing trade tariffs on key allies.
And now there is a new reason observers say the better name for this year's G7 could be G6 versus one. President Trump today saying Russia should be included in the summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia should be in the meeting. It should be a part of it. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. And in the g G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Well, as a reminder, Russia was forced out of the summit after it seized the land of another country in 2014. The conflict of at least 2500 of civilian deaths and Crimea, of course, is now no longer part of Ukraine.
Joining me now, CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez who is in Quebec City.
So Boris, the leaders are polite, smiling as they took that pictures together. One of the quickest family photos I certainly have ever seen. How though overall is President Trump being received?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was certainly a blink and you miss it moment. We expected the possibility that there may be some fireworks here at the G7. As you noted, the President publicly feuding with some of the G7 leaders, including French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau naming them on Twitter calling them out for what he perceives as unfair trade practices.
You had Macron, though, twitting out of video of he and President Trump sharing what appear to be a private, cordial discussion shortly before the G7 began. Macron is tweeting out that he would always keep the dialogue open. That he was attempting to find some common ground with President Trump, not only on the issue of trade as you mentioned, but also on a slew of other things that the President is divided from some of the United States closest and longest standing allies, whether the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord or this new issue that the President brought up of Russia potentially joining -- rejoining the G7, remaking the G8 so to speak, something that likely is music to the ears of Vladimir Putin, not just the invitation but also the fact that there is another rift between the President and again some of the United States' closest allies, Erica.
HILL: And just to confirm, Boris, as we wait to see the fallout from those comments, the President we had learned planned to leave the summit early to make his way to Singapore. Is that still his plan?
SANCHEZ: That appears to be the case. Yes, the White House announcing late last night that President Trump would be leaving a few hours early on Saturday. Sources indicating that he did not want the G7 to be a distraction from his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Of course, sources have also told us that the President was less than enthusiastic about coming to the G7, though publicly at least, administration officials have said the President is eager to be here, Erica.
HILL: Boris Sanchez with the latest for us. Boris, thank you.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN's Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS."
Fareed, always good to have you with us on this. As we look at the President's comment today, specifically and let's start with Russia here. Things were already somewhat contentious. I think it's fair to say moving in to this G7. Is this just really adding fuel to that fire?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS: It is. And it seems as with so often the things that Donald Trump does, impulsive, un- strategic, un-thought through. Russia was never part of the G7, by the way. They created a separate body called the G8 in which Russia was included as a favor to Russia and the sense as a gesture to include Russia as a sign that was being integrated in the work.
Russia does not deserve to be even in the G8. It is not the eighth largest economy in the world. The G7 has traditionally been the seven largest economy in the world that had similar values as such. There is an issue of whether or not other countries should be included. The country that should be included would of course be China, India and Brazil. Russia by my count is the 11th largest economy in the world.
So it not true on the merits that Russia is to put in. Russian behavior suggests that it is not eager to be integrated into the western or rules-based order. It is trying to destroy the western rules-based order by invading Ukraine, by engaging, you know, in various kinds of cyber warfare and interference in western democracies.
So in the light of that to return to this idea of, as I say, doing a huge favor to Russia is puzzling and, you know, it does return us to that central question that we have always had about Donald Trump which is you seem him squabbling been, the only one he ever has a nice thing to say about it Russia.
[15:05:41] HILL: It is true. Despite the fact that he was saying earlier today -- I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially saying again, no one has been tougher on Russia. It does raise the question of, even though it may be an impulsive comment, as you point out, Fareed, where does that idea come from and what does it say about the broader relationship?
As we look at this as well, just that picture alone, it was remarkable as we were watching earlier with Christiane, as they took this picture, just how quickly everybody dispersed? What is your sense about what that says in terms of what will actually come out of this?
ZAKARIA: Well, a certain amount of international relations is personal chemistry. It the ability of leaders who trust one another to see themselves as part of a common project. And it is pretty clear that does not exist really with Donald Trump and (INAUDIBLE) closest allies historically. We now know from various accounts that Angela Merkel said that she felt she had to run for a third term for her fourth term just to preserve the western alliance in the face of the challenge that Donald Trump represents.
We now see it even with Macron who was the president of France who was supposed to be his great body and they are publicly feuding. And the reason is that Donald Trump doesn't seem to recognize that with trade which has become a central bone of contention, you know, everybody makes compromises. He picks on the ones where the United States may have given a certain amount. But he doesn't notice that, you know, this was all part of an overall package. The U.S. got a lot. And that's why these deals are negotiated comprehensively.
You can always in retrospect put out the stuff you don't like, but you don't point out that for example, American services or technology companies have free rein in Europe.
And Europe is quite powerful country. It's the one area where Europe speaks with one voice. There is a single EU trade policy commissioner. And the European market, by the way, is largest than the United States. That is the single largest market in the world right now. So it's a little un-strategic to be picking fights with them.
HILL: Yes. And it's also fascinating to see the way some of these relationships have changed. How we saw leaders interacting with President Trump in the beginning. And especially this week how things have change. But then Macron tweeting out a picture of the two of them from earlier today and writing in part, dialogue over and over again, exchange try to convince incisively to defend the interest of the French. And here is what stood out to me. And also, of all those who believe that the world is built only together with the U.S. President there before the opening of the G7.
That's remarkable, especially when you put it against this new cover of "the Economist," which shows President Trump as Miley Cyrus in the "Wrecking Ball" video with the headline as we see there America's foreign policy. And I mean, this is a very serious question. Is that how President Trump is seen by the rest of the world? Is that how the United States is seen by the rest of the world? Because, obviously, two different things there.
ZAKARIA: There's no question that that is how President Trump is seen by the rest of the world. We see it in the repeated statements, now public statements of closest allies in Europe, really unprecedented. I cannot recall a time when Europe's allies have essentially said America is not committed to the rules based international order that it created after World War II.
We now know from then Rosen's book that President Xi Jinping said to Barack Obama in their last meeting, if the United States is going to be led by a new responsible leader who then, you know, creates problems and tension and disorder in the world, the world will know whom to blame. Meaning that is on you, the United States, not on the Chinas and Russias of the world.
So I think the feeling is fairly widespread. There have been countries that thought they could play Donald Trump, whether it the Chinese initially, whether it's the South Korean President who lavishly praises Trump because he wants to keep him on board. So they are not always going to say publicly.
But what striking to me is given the power of the United States, given the need for these countries to cooperate how many global leaders are publicly dissenting and disputing Donald Trump, you know, almost every week.
[15:10:14] HILL: That is a little bit more of a shift.
In terms of I just want to shift a little built here, too, because we know the President is going to be leaving early, of course, because he wants to makes his was fully prepared as he makes way to Singapore for the summit. We are told now it could end up being more of a meet and greet. But the President is saying earlier that he does plan to bring up human rights violations. Do you see that happening, especially if this turns into a meet and greet?
ZAKARIA: I hope he does. Because this whole thing has been badly planned and badly thought through. Genuinely, Presidential summits or leader summits should be at the end of a process of negotiation where you have some side of achievements that have been negotiated by lower level officials over weeks, sometimes months and this caps it. Because if the presidents meet, if the leaders meet and they aren't able to come up with a breakthrough, it often produces, bot a disappointment bad feelings. So, you know, maybe it is a median grid (ph) but you know, let's remember, South Korea is -- I mean, North Korea is basically the most repressive country in the world. President Trump often has very harsh words for Iran and its leaders. I mean, Iran has, you know, virtually a democracy in comparison to North Korea which is almost a prison state.
So It I do hope he brings up the repression and human rights. I hope he brings up the issue of (INAUDIBLE). I mean, the 70s and 80s were randomly and wanted in abducting innocent Japanese civilians. But most importantly, I hope it brings up the issue of nuclear weapons and the fact that what the United States seeks is the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Donald Trump has been too eager for the summit, too eager for a success and you only have to read "the art of the deal" to see that is one of the signature flaws -- that's a rookie mistake that negotiators make.
HILL: Fareed, always appreciate your insight. Thank you.
Be sure to tune in for a Special Report as Fareed reveals "the two faces of Kim Jong-un." That airs Sunday night at 8:00 eastern right here on CNN.
Up next, we are following more breaking news on this Friday. Special counsel Robert Mueller slapping new charges on Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. What's in this new indictment? What does it mean? We have those breaking tails for you next.
[15:14:41] HILL: Following breaking news here. Of course, out of Quebec, out of Canada, where we are seeing pictures here from one of the working sessions at the G7. You see President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau there in their discussions. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. There has been so much focus on this meeting at the G7. There would be normally but obviously tensions have escalated a bit, certainly as we have learned more about some of the communications between President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, as well President Macron of France over the last few days, what that could mean going into this meeting.
The President will also be leaving early, of course, tomorrow morning. He says he will be leaving a couple of hours early, about 10:30 to make his way to Singapore. Of course, because he is preparing for that meeting on Tuesday, June 12th for North Korea.
And as we take a look at this and you see all these world leaders assembled there, round table, no head of the table there of course. And yet there we see the host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There are number of important topics where they will be covering, obviously, and they are split up among different days in terms of what they will be talking about.
We saw the official welcome photo earlier, the family photo. And now as we move in to this afternoon session, I want to bring in White House correspondent Boris Sanchez who is joining us from Quebec City with a closer look at what is happening this afternoon.
And this is, of course, also working up to, Boris, what we anticipate to be a meeting between the President and the Prime Minister Trudeau in just a couple of hours.
[15:16:14] SANCHEZ: That's right. A very important bilateral meeting between those two leaders, especially considering the backdraft in the recent attacks or rather jabs that they have launched at each other on twitter. Really, to be on a fly -- to be a fly on the wall for this meeting would be fascinating considering some of the tense language that we have heard not only between Trump and Trudeau but also Trump and Macron.
The President calling them both out by name for what he perceives as unfair trade practices. Of course, President Trump, we have seen in the past as a tendency to be bombastic and often aggressive when it comes to calling out his -- perceived political froze. And then you seize them in person, there is often a shift, how long have we seen President Trump attacked Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, only to see that famous embrace that they had in the oval office. Just one example here, we will likely see what sources indicate as an aggressive push by President Trump to defend his America's first policies and then some of what we saw from Macron which we mentioned earlier this hour on twitter, his attempt to try to sway President Trump, to try convince him to keep the G7 as supposed to G6 plus One. And Macron yesterday tweeted out that if the President wanted to isolate himself, the other nations will be willing to move forward on their own.
Of course, President Trump has long touted his ability to strike a deal. And so, before he left for Quebec, he spoke with reporters saying that this will be just fine. We will all fall in love once more.
The question is ultimately, what does that look like for the United States? Is there really a trade war looming? Larry Kudlow, the national economic council director said this is something akin to a family quarrel. We do know from sources the President was less than enthusiastic about coming to this meeting. He didn't want it to distract from his upcoming historic summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He also arrived here about an hour late. And as we heard from officials last night, he is planning to leave early so perhaps the President letting his actions speak louder than some of his words, Erica.
HILL: Boris Sanchez with the latest for us there. Boris, thank you.
Also want to bring you up to speed on some other breaking news. We are following today special counsel Robert Mueller filing a new indictment against Donald Trump's former chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort now facing two new charges, a count of obstruction of justice and a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
With a close at these charges and who else is now involved here, CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez joins us with the very latest -- Evan.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erica.
In addition to the tune, new charges against Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. We also have a new person, the 20th person now charged in the Robert Mueller investigation. His name is Konstantin Kilimnik.
According to the FBI and according to documents that we have seen him cited in documents but not by name. This is the first time we have seen him named in any of these court documents. And today, they charge him with these exact charges.
He is a former associate of Paul Manafort. He worked with Paul Manafort's company in Ukraine. And according to the FBI, they considered him to be somebody who was closed to -- closely associated with Russian intelligence.
And so, here these charges have been filed today in federal court in Washington. We still have not yet heard Paul Manafort's -- his attorney's response to these allegations that were made by the special counsel earlier this week. If you remember earlier this week, the special counsel said that Paul Manafort was actually trying to tamper with witnesses, was actually trying to coach people on what to say and perjure themselves in their testimony to the special counsel.
And one of the people that he was working with to do that was with Konstantin Kilimnik. Again, Konstantin Kilimnik is a Russian citizen and he is believed to be living either in Russia or Ukraine. And according to the government, he is somebody who is closely associated with Russian intelligence. He is the 20th person now charged in this investigation, Erica.
[15:20:22] HILL: Evan Perez with the very latest there, thank you.
Joining me now to discuss, former justice department prosecutor Joseph Moreno and our CNN legal analyst Paul Callan.
As we take a look at all of this, Joe, what's your take on these two new charges?
JOSEPH MORENO, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Erica, this is like being in a hole and then continuing to dig rather than stop digging. I mean, some of the worst thing you can do when you are out on bail, awaiting trial has been to take action that could perceived and now charged officially as tampering with witnesses. I mean, it is one thing to try to explain your story. Mr. Manafort can say what happened was years ago, but I mean, this is stuff that happened in the last few months allegedly. So it's going to be difficult now to stand before a judge and explain why he should be allowed to remain out on bail when you he now been officially charged with witness tampering (INAUDIBLE).
HILL: And what is fascinating about that too is the sort of the timeline of when this allegedly happened Paul is the fact that, you know, as pointed out, he is under house arrest. He has not one but two ankle bracelets. All of these things are stack up against him. And then to allegedly continue to reach out to people, it also boggles the mind that someone would not say, hey Paul, put away their devices. Don't talk to anybody. Trust me on this one. It could only get worse.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I have no doubt that his attorneys can vade that information to him because o have represented enough people myself that is something you always tell a defendant, don't be reaching out to the witnesses. We will talk to the witnesses.
CALLAN: Now, it's not a crime to reach out and talk to potential witness in a case. But usually, your attorneys do it, not the accused defendant. And he -- and of course, the defendants is going to say, well, what he did was really illegal. He was just telling them what his defense was. And the communications supposedly we are saying please convey the word that we didn't lobby in the United States.
Now, of course, the government is saying you are trying to convince them to testify that way. So you know, it is -- yes, he has dug a bigger hole. I would say he is, you know, it's like one avalanche hits you, now a second one hits you. He has got an enormous number of charges. He is facing, you know, jail time that would have him die in prison if he is convicted. So he's in -- facing very, very serious trouble.
HILL: Is that enough, though, to get somebody to do what the government wants essentially?
CALLAN: I think it depends on what he thinks is going to ultimately happen. Now, he is obviously fought hard all along saying he is innocent of these charges and he will prove it in court. But he also has a President sitting in office who is fond of using pardons. And you know, after his trial is over, the President couldn't decide to pardon him. So we don't know what Paul Manafort has in mind but I'm sure he has been thinking about that.
HILL: And obviously, this, in fact, further complicates things. There was a point that Paul just brought up that we look at things in a very different light now. The President was actually asked earlier today whether he would pardon Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. It's a little early to talk about a pardon, but that's exactly what we are going these days because this is the world that we live in.
HILL: That doesn't change anything, though, when it comes to the investigation. It doesn't change the way that this is happening in about and in terms of the way they are going about their jobs. MORENO: It shouldn't, right? I mean, these are two different tracks.
And the President has the right to convey pardons. He has obviously exercised that right recently and he has us talking about whether or not this is something he is doing potentially to kind of hang out there so people who know are people under the radar saying, you know, well, there is pardon is potentially out there for me. But it should not change the investigation and special counsel Mueller will absolutely continue doing what he is doing and shows no sign of backing off or tolerating any kind of mischief by defendants in this case. He is going full steam.
HILL: So multiple charges now for Paul Manafort. As we pointed out, as Evan pointed out, there are now 20 people, 20 individuals involved here, three companies.
Paul, any time there's a new indictment, anytime there is a development. The question is always raised, what is this tells us about where the special counsel is headed? Is there really anyway to know?
CALLAN: Well. I think we see one thing that was new here. That Kilimnik has been a central figure all along. He was supposedly has connections to Russians intelligence. He was running a lot being operations for Manafort in Ukraine. But he was never indicted before. He was thought to be person A. Now, why wasn't he indicted earlier? Was Manafort trying to maybe work with him to testify? Was Mueller working with him to try to testify against Manafort and he didn't cooperate? Hard to say. All of a sudden very late in the game. Kilimnik gets added as a defendant.
I would like to know what the story is there. I think there will be an interesting story there. But you know, Mueller has been very careful, very quiet, a very few leaks out of his office. So we can only speculate.
[15:25:01] HILL: All right, Paul Callan, Joseph Moreno, I appreciate it. As always, thank you.
CALLAN: Thank you.
HILL: Stay with us. Much more to come. We will take a short break.
[15:29:34] HILL: The breaking news just coming into us here at CNN.
We are learning a U.S. service member has been killed in Somalia, four others wounded. Barbara Starr joining us now from the Pentagon with more.
Barbara, what do we know at this point?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Erica, very early word from the pentagon. Apparently, a U.S. service member was killed in combat in Somalia, in Africa. Four other service members wounded when their unit came under attack from unknown insurgents in Southern Somalia. The four wounded have been (INAUDIBLE) out. We are told their conditions is unknown. They were working with local African forces in this region of Southern Somalia.
It is going to bring up questions again about U.S. troops operating in remote area.