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High-Stakes Trump-Kim Meeting in Singapore Just Hours Away; Trump Clashes with G7 Allies on Trade Ahead of Kim Meeting. Aired 9- 9:30a ET
Aired June 11, 2018 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:00:17] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning, everyone. Glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Anderson Cooper, my colleague, is in Singapore where a summit unlike any in history is now just 12 hours away.
As President Trump feuds with our G7 allies over trade he will soon hold an ice-breaking and potentially groundbreaking face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And the president calls it unknown territory in the truest sense. Both sides say their goal is denuclearization. But of course that term likely means very different things to both men. The secretary of State reaffirmed for reporters today that President Trump is fully prepared for an engagement that we now know will begin one-on-one, the president and Kim Jong-un meeting alone except for translator before a larger session with aides.
Our coverage this hour begins with CNN's Kaitlan Collins.
Kaitlan, what's the expectation now?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that's really the question here. We are 12 hours out from that first handshake between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. But when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed reporters not long ago in the building right beside me, he made clear that the North Koreans have not offered any firm commitment about denuclearization.
While he sounded optimistic about what's going to happen tomorrow he did say the United States will not be deceived as they believe past administrations who have dealt with North Korea have.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States has been fooled before. There is no doubt about it. Many presidents previously have signed off on pieces of paper only to find that the North Koreans either didn't promise what we thought they had or actually reneged on their promises.
We are going to ensure that we set up a system sufficiently robust that we're able to verify these outcomes. And it's only once the V happens that we'll proceed a pace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Now he didn't answer questions about what those security assurances could look like, specifically a question about what would happen to those 25,000 U.S. troops on the North Korean peninsula. But back to tomorrow the White House has released a more detailed schedule of what it's going to look like. First President Trump and Kim Jong- un meeting one-on-one with their translator. Then that will go into an expanded bilateral meeting and then they will also have a working lunch, a lunch that the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be in, as well as the National Security adviser John Bolton, and the Chief of Staff John Kelly among several other staffers.
But it's that one-on-one meeting that is raising a lot of eyebrows, Anderson, because of course it's just going to be Kim Jong-un and President Trump. And what is said and what is promised in that meeting the only account we will have are theirs with no one else to corroborate it -- Anderson.
COOPER: It's also fascinating, Kaitlan, just when you consider Kim Jong-un has rarely been outside North Korea and until recently hadn't met many world leaders at all.
COLLINS: That's true. He hasn't. I mean, he has never traveled somewhere like this, like this to Singapore. That's why we've seen such a heightened sense of security. So it's going to be fascinating to see him sit down with President Trump. He has met with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice. So they do have some familiarity with each other. But President Trump is someone he has never met.
This is someone who doesn't like to be touched in North Korea, for example. And we've got a very hands-on president. So just the optics of this are really going to be something, to see the two of them sitting down and meeting just one-on-one with their translators, a meeting that the people have said could go for about two hours. Of course you have to account for the translators there. But it certainly is going to be fascinating just to see what happens and really what comes out of that meeting.
COOPER: Yes. Kaitlan Collins, thanks very much.
HARLOW: All right. And also to that other meeting making major headlines around the world. President Trump's clash with G7 allies. Administration officials accuse Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stabbing President Trump in the back.
Joining us live from Ottawa with the latest is Paula Newton.
It was an extraordinary series of events that took place following the G7 -- Paula.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Even if we rewind a bit, no matter how many hours we go back many still cannot figure out what happened. If we want to start from the beginning, though, Donald Trump was at that summit, G7 summit, in Quebec. He was persuaded by the allies, Canada and the five other countries, to sign on to that joint communique. It wasn't an ambitious communique but they did sign on to some language on trade.
Before Donald Trump even left that meeting he basically took shots at Canada and the allies again saying the United States would no longer be their piggybank. He gets on to Air Force One and then listens from Air Force One about Justin Trudeau say that on steel and aluminum tariffs that, quote, "Canada will not be pushed around."
[09:05:01] Apparently the president became enraged, so enraged that he tweeted out that he was pulling out of that communique and again name calling Justin Trudeau, calling him essentially a liar, saying he was dishonest and meek. But more than that, he sounded off to his advisers who then took his sentiments on air. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, TRUMP'S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: He really kind of stabbed us in the back. He really actually, you know what, he did a great disservice to the whole G7.
PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP'S TRADE ADVISER: There is a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Incredible language there, Poppy. I mean, this is language normally reserved for dictators that left Canadian officials reeling and quite shocked saying look, there's nothing the prime minister said there in public that he hasn't said in private to the president. He has heard this before.
Larry Kudlow shedding some light on this, saying look, this all relates to that summit in Singapore that Donald Trump felt that he looked weak coming out of that G7 meeting.
Poppy, what's so interesting here is that they had made apparently some progress on trade but, you know, at the point where now those advisers are basically acting as if I'm coming to you from behind enemy lines, that is not constructive. We've had Charlie Dent, a former Republican, on CNN just a few minutes ago saying that at this point Congress has to step in and actually stand up for this and say do we believe in free trade with our closest allies?
HARLOW: Paula, let me jump in here because we are looking at this motorcade leaving and my colleague Anderson Cooper is in Singapore.
And, Anderson, there was some talk of whether Kim Jong-un would be leaving the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore. Do you have a sense of what we're looking at?
COOPER: Yes. That is his motorcade leaving the St. Regis. We had gotten some word that they were scouting out some locations possibly for Kim Jong-un to visit this evening. It's obviously much cooler during the evening. It's very hot, very humid during the day. So it's actually quite pleasant to go out now. A lot of people stroll around.
So we understand that some locations were scouted. We don't know exactly where he is going to be going but we believe he -- we assume he is in that motorcade. The security obviously on the St. Regis is very tight. That's the hotel where Kim Jong-un is staying. President Trump is staying in a different hotel not too far away. But it will be interesting to see where they choose to go.
This is obviously his first time here in Singapore. He's rarely travelled outside North Korea. He's recently gone to China on two trips but this will be an interesting departure for him and also to see how much time he spends outside the hotel. He's spent most the day hunkered down in the hotel with his aides, with his security.
President Donald -- President Trump met with the prime minister of Singapore today. Also met with diplomats here. But has also been spending obviously a lot of time in the hotel, making last-minute preparations. So we'll continue to watch what happens there -- Poppy.
I want to talk about all this now. Joining us from the "New York Times" is CNN National Security Analyst, David Sanger. Also joining us is John Park who's head of the Korea working group at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
David, what are your expectations for tomorrow. You wrote a fascinating article just on the way President Trump kind of is approaching these negotiations as a businessman.
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, he's worked from the beginning here, Anderson, on the theory that Kim Jong-un is motivated by the desire for profit, for his country to become wealthy. They can offer him all of this to give his nuclear weapons. Very much the way Donald Trump thinks most other business partners that he's dealt with are motivated.
I'm not sure that's right in the case of Kim Jong-un. Yes, he wants his country to be wealthier. Yes, he wants to rule North Korea for a long time, and that means you need a stable economy and a stable state. But he's got most of the money in North Korea or at least control over it. And he knows that those nuclear weapons are the one thing that makes the world pay attention to him.
Let's face it. If he didn't have those nuclear weapons we wouldn't all be here today.
COOPER: Yes. He has also created legitimacy as all rulers in North Korea have since his grandfather.
SANGER: Well, if you're wondering about legitimacy, you just saw it with that picture of the motorcade. Think about the past month. A leader who had met almost no one has now met the leader of China twice. He's met the president of South Korea twice. He's about to go meet the president of the United States.
He is taking off for a night on the town in Singapore. That's not the secluded hermit North Korean image that we've had for some time. [09:10:03] COOPER: Professor John Park, it does seem as though the
U.S. or have you noticed kind of a change in the rhetoric from, coming from the U.S. side about the goals of this meeting or the expectation, kind of lowering of expectations over the last several days and weeks?
JOHN PARK, DIRECTOR, KOREA WORKING GROUP, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Sure, Anderson. What we're seeing really is this idea that there are going to be difficulties and rather than trying to resolve the difficulties, trying to figure out a process or a mechanism, Secretary Pompeo after his second meeting with Kim Jong-un talked about a denuclearization mechanism. And it's almost this idea that you create this process where you can try to narrow those differences. And that's what we're hearing going up right on the 12th hour in terms of this actual meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim.
COOPER: David, though, I mean, so, you know, with the business meeting President Trump has talked about that he'll know within the first minute or so whether, you know, that -- whether Kim Jong-un is here to make a deal or not. What actually has to occur, though, is so intricate and so involved and will take so much time. What really can come out of tomorrow?
SANGER: Well, the best you could hope for would be I think three things. Some indication that they are closing the gap on what denuclearization means. It was interesting that Secretary Pompeo used the phrase today complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. Last phrase means we're doing something as well to assure Kim that we are not keeping our nuclear weapons within close range.
COOPER: Right. The U.S. has often -- this administration has often focused just on what North Korea has to do but it now is implying to something that the U.S. will do on that front.
SANGER: It's beginning to toward the North Korean wording. The second thing is they want to have some kind of a treaty or process to a treaty to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953. And then the third thing that we're all going to be looking for are some short-term goals that would indicate that this is worth something more than what Jimmy Carter got out of Kim's grandfather in 1994, and more than George W. Bush got out of his father in 2005 and then again at the end of his term, and more than Barack Obama got in a very brief agreement that fell apart almost immediately.
And so for all of the hoopla here, and that's a big moment to have the president meet and I think it's a very constructive moment that the president meet the leader of North Korea. For all the hoopla they've got to show that they actually have a way to stop the series of failures that Secretary Pompeo referred to in that clip you ran earlier.
COOPER: John, I mean, both leaders want to come out of this summit being able to say that they have achieved something.
PARK: That is right. And you know, one part about this idea of achievement is that it's going to be very subjective. It's what the respective leaders grade themselves on and in that key area as we heard in Secretary Pompeo's press conference there was discussion about a security guarantee.
For Kim Jong-un this idea that from the United States he gets negative security assurances, this idea that the United States pledges not to attack North Korea but essentially tees up positive security assurances from South Korea and China. So these are all interlinked. From the U.S. perspective President Trump is really going to be working towards the idea of pre-July of 2017. This is before North Korea started conducting these intercontinental ballistic missiles that started to put the American homeland at range.
These are that areas that I think in terms of after the summit where the leaders grade themselves these are key areas that are going to be quite important.
COOPER: But, John, obviously Japan has concerns. I mean, obviously the U.S. is concerned about intercontinental ballistic missiles. Japan has concerns about more medium range missiles that can reach Japan.
PARK: Well, those are very important concerns, Anderson, but what we're kind of hearing already is this simplification of the agenda, the idea of trying to raise different issues in the summit but almost prioritizing and try to start these processes where they can then introduce eve other issues. But the front and center of it will be this idea of a simplified joint statement and then this idea of the launching officially of the denuclearization mechanism. That creates a political space potentially for the other issues.
COOPER: John Park, David Sanger, thanks very much.
HARLOW: All right. Still ahead for us, the president says call it fool trade if U.S. allies don't reciprocate. The fallout from the very tense G7 meeting is ahead.
COOPER: I'm Anderson Cooper in Singapore. We have seen Kim Jong-un's motorcade just leaving the St. Regis Hotel. We believe he has gone for a bit of a tour around the city state.
Let's check in with Manisha Tank who is outside the St. Regis. Do we know where he plans to go, Manisha?
MANISHA TANK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not entirely clear, Anderson, but I think we need to be mindful that in about 12 hours, he's got a major summit to attend. So, I think a number of people are looking at this and trying to work it out to some extent. I can tell you that the prelude to the North Korean leader going out of the St. Regis started about three hours ago. We chose this position. We have stayed here. And it was three hours or so ago when we saw the motor bike outriders lineup at the back of the St. Regis Hotel.
And I think that illustrates to you the kind of effort, logistics and fine detail that it takes to make sure that an operation like this goes smoothly. We know that Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong had made it very clear that they spent about $15 million on making all of this happen.
And he wasn't particularly clear about how much of that was security because security is always pretty tight here in Singapore, but we've seen very intensified levels of it over the last few days with all of these barricades going up since the North Korean leader landed here and, of course, since President Donald Trump arrived. So, it's been a huge operation here.
[09:20:04] I have been staking out the St. Regis pretty much the entire day, Anderson. We saw no movement whatsoever. Just a couple of delegations. So, very interesting he should choose now to go out.
COOPER: Well, we'll try to see if we can get some images of him if he walks around in Singapore. Manisha Tank, thanks. We'll go back to Poppy.
HARLOW: I think we will. Cameras seem to be everywhere there, Anderson. Thank you very much.
Right. So, as he prepares for this summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, the president is continuing to tear into US allies, the G7 on Twitter.
In one of his tweets about Canada, the president writes, "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!)."
Joining me now, Stephen Moore, CNN senior economic analyst and former Trump economic advisor, and Max Boot, CNN global affairs analyst, also someone who has served as adviser to the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio.
Nice to have you here. Stephen Moore, fact-check time, OK? Good morning to you.
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Good morning.
HARLOW: Let's check the facts here on what the president says. Yesterday, I just took a look at this webpage. Let's pull it up.
This is the office of the United States Trade Representative, OK? Right under the executive office. And here is what it reads. "The US goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $8.4 billion in 2017." The key word in that line is surplus.
Now, it has to do with goods and services, but the president seems to be deliberately disregarding the fact that, net-net, his own office says the US has a trade surplus with Canada. Why?
MOORE: Well, look, I mean, I think the big story this week at the G7 was that these world leaders have now come to understand that there's a new sheriff in town when it comes to the trade arrangements. And we - right now, it is absolutely true. And by the way, I'm a free
trade person. So, I don't always agree with Donald Trump on this.
But it is a factual reality that all these other nations that were self-righteously talking about how important free trade is, which it is, have higher tariffs on US products than we impose on them.
And the really interesting development, Poppy, this weekend was what Donald Trump said in the final hours of that summit, which gave cardiac arrest to a lot of the European and Canadian leaders is, why don't we just get rid of all the tariffs.
HARLOW: You mean no tariffs?
MOORE: Why don't we move to real free trade and get to zero. I love that idea. And, actually, I think you'd love that idea. I don't know if the Europeans and the Japanese and the Canadians are willing to go along with that. But that would really change the picture in a positive way.
HARLOW: Just to be clear, as you said, other countries have higher tariffs than US. The average American tariff for imported goods is 2.4 percent. Max, as you know, the average Canadian tariff for imported is 3.1 percent.
The president takes things like dairy and specific things that have these high tariffs. But when you look overall, is it not fact that there is a trade surplus between the US and Canada, Max?
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Of course, there is a trade surplus and, of course, the president is lying.
And beyond that, just this incredible animus against Canada, one of our closest allies and our neighbor, it is just baffling. I mean, the president's aides, Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro, are accusing the prime minister of Canada of a stab in the back, saying there is a place in hell for him, while Donald Trump is inviting Vladimir Putin, who is an actual enemy of the United States, trying to get him back into G7?
I mean, this is destroying the foundations of the international order that the United States created in the 1940s.
HARLOW: Let's take a moment and listen to that sound because you bring up Peter Navarro, one of the chief economic advisors of the president, and pretty stunning the word choice that he used yesterday on Fox News. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISOR: There is a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.
President Trump did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit. He did him a favor and he was even willing to sign that socialist communique.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I think a lot of people would take issue with calling it a socialist communique. But, gentlemen, before you respond, this is what Trudeau said, this is what Peter Navarro and the president took such offense to on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do because Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Did that, Stephen Moore, warrant the reaction from the president and Peter Navarro that it got?
MOORE: Look, I don't like the name calling. I think it's not productive to be name calling. But it is true.
Look, let's go back to Canada. And by the way, Canada is our closest ally in the world. No question about that. We want to continue a very strong and close relationship with Canada.
But it's not just tariffs. I mean, they impose, as you know, Max, price controls on our drugs and vaccines and that costs American consumers a lot of money because we have to pay for all the development costs. So, if you wonder why prescription drugs cost a lot in the United States, look at the Europeans and Canadians that aren't paying their fair share.
But, look, the important point here is that Donald Trump went to this meeting. They all knew he is flying off to Singapore for an incredibly important summit with North Korea to try to lead to a reduction in nuclear arms.
And in a way, that statement that they put out did stab him a little bit in the back.
BOOT: Steve, do not apologize.
HARLOW: To that point, Max, do you believe that Larry Kudlow who said what Steve argued, look, you made the president look weak at a point where he can't look weak. Is that a fair argument, Max?
BOOT: No, it is not. Nobody is making the president look weak. The president is looking deranged because of his attacks on a close US ally and he is calling his reliability as a negotiating partner into question going into these talks with Kim Jong-un.
And moreover, he is giving the advantage to Kim Jong-un because this is one failed summit this week and he can't afford another failed summit on North Korea. But this notion of trying to blame Prime Minister Trudeau for sticking up for Canada after Donald Trump called Canada a national security threat and imposed the sky high tariffs on Canada and our other allies, that is just perverse, that is wrong. That is this ridiculous dispute that Donald Trump -
HARLOW: Hold on. Hold on, Steve Moore. Before you go, we are getting sort of a retrospective look at how the president really feels about the EU as a whole, another huge ally bloc for this country because of what we've learned from a meeting that the president had with French President Macron back in April where he said that the EU is worse than China when it comes to trade.
You worked on the president's econ team. Is there any merit to that?
MOORE: Well, Europe does impose a lot higher tariffs than we do.
But, look, I think the central point here -
HARLOW: Worse than China? Worse than China? Just trying to get to the -
MOORE: No, not worse than China. China is the big - I think we all agree, China is the big, big problem on the world stage.
But, look, the central disagreement that I think Max and I have, which is a disagreement that's going on frankly between liberals and conservatives, is Max talked about the international order. And Trump ran against the international order. That's why he won the election, Max, is because he said we can't live with the old international order, we can't live with trade deals that don't put America first.
BOOT: What we can't live with, Steve, is a return to the protectionism of the 1930s. That's what we really can't afford.
MOORE: But, Max, Trump put zero tariffs on the table. Zero tariffs. That's total free trade.
BOOT: You can't for a minute believe that rhetoric, Steve. Trump has also claimed he's in favor of gun control and protecting the DREAMers. He just says stuff. He doesn't mean it.
HARLOW: We have to leave it there.
MOOR: No, I talked to Larry Kudlow about this. He's deadly serious about it. Zero tariffs. That's a great knock.
HARLOW: Stephen Moore, Max Boot, appreciate it. We've got a packed show. We've got Anderson in Singapore. We've got to get a break. And thank you, both gentlemen, for being here. You'll be back.
Ahead for us, after years and years of anti-US propaganda, what message is North Korea's state-run media sending today. We'll have that.
And we are moments away from the opening bell on Wall Street. The Dow looks like it's set for a higher open. Investors shrug off trade tension with key allies and turned their attention to the summit in Singapore. Stay with us.