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Kim Jong-un on the Move in Singapore Ahead of Summit; U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Russia for Cyberattacks; Trump Clashes with G7 Allies on Trade Ahead of Kim Meeting; Supreme Court Upholds Law That Purges Lapsed Voters from Rolls. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired June 11, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: -- when he was lit up a bit, Kim Jong-un smiling, taking in the sites here, an image of him we don't see very often of him out, just and about, and enjoying himself. But I wonder, Anderson, I know that you had noted that his security team had gone out and sort of pre-scouted sites that he may visit in Singapore. Do we know where else they went, where he may be headed?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I -- I don't know. I know that they had -- I'd heard that they had actually gone to this area where he -- where we're showing him, and again this is from moments ago.
COOPER: That they had gone to that area to kind of scout. I did not get any other reports of other locations that they may have gone to. I can't imagine that he would be making too much -- go to too many other places given the, A, the late hour here and the importance of the meeting that is to take place tomorrow.
Manusha Tank, actually while you're with us, as a resident, talk a little bit about where the summit is actually going to be taking place tomorrow because both leaders are in separate hotels in Singapore. But the summit itself is on another location off Singapore, an island location.
MANUSHA TANK, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Anderson. Anecdotally, you know, there was so much chatter here in Singapore about where was this summit going to take place. The first place that people assumed it might be was the Shangri-la Hotel, that of course as we know is where President Trump is staying. But it is a hotel that is easy to lock down security wise. It later emerged that the Capella was chosen on Sentosa.
Now if you look at it, Sentosa Island, and I can describe this for people who don't know Singapore, is actually separated from the main land of Singapore by just a single bridge. There's also a cable car and a sort of monorail train that can take you across. But it's very easy to shut it down or to put up a police cordon and make it easy to monitor who is coming in and who is going out.
The Capella is a very leafy, very beautiful colonial style resort with its manicured lawns. It seems like a very isolated place where they will be able to talk in a secure and safe manner, that is something very much at the heart of the preparations that Singapore wanted to put into preparations for the summit and allow that sort of environment to exist for this summit to happen.
As happens, actually, I wanted to describe where I am. So the St. Regis Hotel is very close to -- there's a bus going by -- a thoroughfare as you can see. It's probably one of the busiest thorough fares here in the middle of Singapore. Leading up to the very famous Orchard Road. And there is a road just ahead of me, beyond the camera, where I'm facing, which leads to the Shangri-la hotel. And if you do the math, you're talking about just a half a mile or so apart, those two hotels.
So both of those leaders, President Trump and Kim Jong-un pretty much in the same area of town. They were both have to venture to Sentosa. Like I said earlier it's about 30 minutes or so from here. And it is -- I've spoken to residents on the island, many people that I know who's talked about the police cordons that pedestrians are not being allowed to cross certain bridges that go over the gateway to Sentosa.
But it seems like really when you look at it very obvious choice, given the security concerns and given the momentous, the historic situation that we have around this event and the fact that this Singaporeans for sure want this all to go very smoothly and that they can control the logistics and make it all very convenient for all those involved.
COOPER: Yes. Manusha Tank, thank you.
We just saw the selfie being taken. I want to show you the selfie that was tweeted out by the Foreign minister of Singapore. We'll show you that as we go to break. We'll be back from Singapore and New York as well.
[10:38:22] HARLOW: All right, welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. And we have breaking news. The U.S. Treasury Department just moments ago announcing new sanctions against Russia, specifically this is new sanctioning of five Russian entities and three Russian individuals.
Let's go to the State Department and Michelle Kosinski is there.
Michelle, this is interesting and made more so by the fact that just days ago, President Trump said at the G7, look, this should be the G8, Russia should be included in these talks. That's the rhetoric about Russia and Putin. And then the actions, though, very severe against Russia.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really just depends on the time. I mean, when you look at these sanctions now, it is a handful of entities, three people, they're considered to be helping Russian security services, but specifically with their -- as they put it in this press release, malicious cyber activities. So this is not the first occasion that this administration has shown that it is willing to go after Russia in the cyber sphere.
It's also willing to target Russian oligarchs that are close to President Putin. So the disconnect when you hear just two days ago President Trump saying that Russia should be welcomed back into the fold, even though it was kicked out of the G8 for taking over part of its neighbor Ukraine, you wonder why both of these things can be true.
However, this administration likes to say that it's been tougher on Russia than any other administration, that is very much open to debate, and many would dispute that. But on several occasions now we have seen rounds of sanctions.
[10:40:01] We have heard President Trump one time criticize President Putin by name, via tweet, but, remember, we heard much harder -- harsher words from this administration against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at this point than we have against Vladimir Putin -- Poppy.
HARLOW: That is a very important point and sort of startling juxtaposition when you put it that way.
Michelle Kosinski, at the State Department for us. Thank you very much. Anderson.
COOPER: Poppy, we've have seen really extraordinary images, Kim Jong- un, some 10 hours or so before a meeting with President Trump and that one-on-one meeting, walking around with the Foreign minister of Singapore.
Paula Hancocks joins me now.
Paula, you're based in South Korea. Have you seen -- I mean, does this surprise you?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This surprises me a lot. I mean, I've never seen anything like this before, Anderson. None of us have. This is a North Korean dictator who just six months ago was threatening to obliterate the United States. And now you see him walking around the streets of Singapore. He has crowds of people, I could see across the road lots of people taking photos of him, waving at him, whether any were Singaporeans, whether they are tourists.
COOPER: These are -- these are also new pictures that are just coming into us, him waving at people as well, smiling.
HANCOCKS: Absolutely. I mean, clearly he is having a very good time. I mean, this is Kim Jong-un gone from a dictator to a world leader who is being shown around by the foreign minister of another country. If this doesn't legitimize him, I mean, what does?
COOPER: It's fascinating. I mean, that is something that his father wanted, it was something that his grandfather wanted as well. I mean, North Korean leaders have for decades now craved legitimacy on the world stage, craved being on equal footing with other world leaders. Whether you agree or whether anything comes out of this summit or not, certainly from the North Korean standpoint, they must be happy seeing these images and knowing that he's going to be sitting down with President Trump one-on-one for some two hours we're told tomorrow.
HANCOCKS: Absolutely. He's achieved what his father wanted to achieve. He has achieved what his grandfather wanted to achieve. He will be sitting across the table from U.S. President Donald Trump. He will be shaking hands with a sitting U.S. president. I mean, in the very short-term he will walk away from this meeting no matter what happens within the meeting as the winner because he can go back to his people and he can say look what happened.
He can show those images of him walking around Singapore and those images are powerful. They not just for the North Korean people, they do change people's opinion of someone. For example, when he met with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in. There was a Gallup Korea poll just before the summit, 10 percent of those polled said, yes, we trust him. Straight after that, 35 percent of those polled said they trust him.
COOPER: For no other reason than the fact that he had --
HANCOCKS: The optics.
COOPER: The optics of it.
COOPER: That's fascinating. Also, I mean, you know, you -- the U.S. is not focusing very much on the human rights record of North Korea, it seems, in this summit. That has certainly in past administrations been front and center in the U.S. concerns about North Korea. It seems to be, you know, as you look at images of this man smiling and walking around, you know, it bears repeating the situation faced by tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of citizens who are jailed in North Korea.
HANCOCKS: Absolutely. And I spoke to a number of NGOs before I came here and they were all asking, why is this not on the agenda. Human rights, what, for example, 200 of the NGOs wrote an open letter to the U.S. president saying there has to be -- that this has to be on the agenda. And they're worried that their voices are being drowned out by the fact that this is so interesting to the world, that they are watching these developments, they're not focusing on the 100,000 potentially 200,000 North Koreans in political prison camps.
COOPER: Yes. Paula Hancocks, thanks very much.
We're going to continue to bring up more images if we see more of Kim Jong-un. No sign obviously of President Trump. He met with the prime minister of Singapore earlier today. More news ahead. We'll be right back.
[10:48:31] HARLOW: All right, welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
Just hours until President Trump's historic summit with North Korea's leader and yet here at home an escalating battle with America's closest allies continues.
Let's bring in our political analyst Ron Brownstein and Reed Wilson, national correspondent for "The Hill."
Nice to have you both here. Let me begin with you --
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.
HARLOW: Good morning. And just get your take on what Larry Kudlow, the president's closest economic adviser said explaining the tie between what made the president so upset about Justin Trudeau's comments that Canada won't be pushed around as he heads to Singapore. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, TRUMP'S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: He can't put Trump in a position of being week going into the North Korean talks with Kim. He can't do that. And by the way --
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
KUDLOW: President Trump is not weak. He will be very strong as he always is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And let's just listen if we have it to what Trudeau said that made this administration so angry.
(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, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.
HARLOW: Reed, does the reaction of the administration match the perceived crime that the Trump team feels was committed here?
REED WILSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE HILL: No, I think this is a pretty disproportionate reaction and what the Prime Minister Trudeau said is basically what any prime minister or president would say about their own country when tariffs are placed on them, that they're going to retaliate. We've seen that from China. We've seen that from South Korea.
[10:50:01] We've seen that from the European Union. And for some reason --
HARLOW: And now Germany.
WILSON: Right. And for some reason it is the prime minister of Canada who is the target of these blistering attacks. And these attacks, by the way, that are made, once President Trump is back on Air Force One, we didn't see this kind of pushback in the one-on-one meetings that the president had with a bunch of the other European leaders. Just waits to go on his platform on Twitter.
HARLOW: Ron, you say, quote, "There are a lot of Republican elected officials who get heartburn at the idea of President Trump isolating us from traditional allies. So where are they? Where are those Republican voices this morning? It's like deafening.
BROWNSTEIN: It is. It is astonishing. And in many ways, I think it is the attitude of congressional Republicans toward this presidency that shapes and it drives the kind of international interactions that we've seen. On the one hand, because congressional Republicans have essentially abdicated the responsibility of providing any oversight or constraint, other than the occasional judge, there is no one in the domestic political system who can stand up to the president the way these foreign leaders can do in these meetings. And it is quite frankly something he has not been exposed to very much in the past 18 months.
And I think the other key point here is that -- I think there is no question that the choice by congressional leaders, particularly Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to in effect sweep up the glass every time the president breaks another window, breaks another norm, I think it's what has empowered him to believe that he can behave this way. And threaten to undermine these, you know, traditional American alliances.
There are big interests in the Republican Party that support an internationalist vision and open particularly on trade, but they have effectively been marginalized and I think it is largely because leadership has not provided an alternative vision within their coalition.
HARLOW: Reed, look, we heard the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the early morning press conference this morning say I'm unconcerned with sort of this drama with the G7 allies heading into the Singapore summit. He said these are irritants that every sort of presidency deals with.
Do you buy at all the argument from some that this is a president showing strength, saying, look, look how I respond when Trudeau dares cross me, even if that sort of very calm manner in which he did so, so Kim Jong-un, watch out.
WILSON: Yes. That very sort of milquetoast way that the prime minister offered even the most basic criticism. No, I think what is important and what gives America stability around the world is its reliability. The fact that if the U.S. government says something that it's going to stand up for a treaty obligation or some kind of international agreement that it actually does.
And what this president has shown is that he's willing to walk away from these long-standing deals, whether it is the Paris climate accord or the Iranian nuclear deal or even the G7, which the United States effectively started back in the 1970s. So whether it's -- what his immediate predecessor has done that he wants to reverse or the long- standing norms of the liberal order and post-world -- you know, post- war Europe, that post-war world, this president seems to want to just walk away and sort of start his own institutions.
He generally thinks that these international institutions have been bad for the United States and helped Europe and China and other trading rivals that he sees, and I think that's the big difference here between President Trump and a lot of his predecessors, is that he sees trading rivals as opposed to trading partners.
HARLOW: Yes. Look, he genuinely does see that.
BROWNSTEIN: And Poppy --
HARLOW: Ron, we have to leave it there because we've got to get some news out of the Supreme Court.
HARLOW: But you'll be back and you'll have the first answer for sure when you are.
Ron Brownstein, Reed Wilson, thank you both very much.
Let's head to our Jessica Schneider on the steps of the Supreme Court. A major decision out of Ohio on voter registration. What can you tell us?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Poppy. This is a decision by the Supreme Court that could actually have broad implications for voters nationwide, just five months now before the midterm elections. So what the Supreme Court decided this morning in a 5-4 decision is that an Ohio law that allows for the purge of voters from their voter rolls after a certain period of time and after they have been given notification to those voters, they have allowed that law to be upheld.
They say that it does not violate any federal voter law here. So this could have big implications because there are numerous states throughout the country that have similar laws, that allow for the purging of their voter rolls. So, of course, the 5-4 decision came down, Justice Kennedy joined the conservative wing, but it was the liberals who actually spoke out forcefully in a stinging dissent saying laws just like this disenfranchise minority voters, low-income voters and could lead to voter suppression.
So, Poppy, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will any other states enact such a law that does allow for voter roll purging just a few months before the midterm elections -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Right. Upholding that decision out of Ohio.
Jessica Schneider, the significance of it all, thank you very much for that.
And before we go, I am so happy to bring you this news.
[10:55:03] We want to welcome the newest member of our CNN team, our colleague Brianna Keilar, who you saw anchoring this show just last week, gave birth to a baby boy. His name, Antonio. She gave birth on Friday. Antonio weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces, healthy baby boy. Apparently he couldn't wait to meet mom and dad and take on the world, so he decided to arrive a month early. Brianna's husband was in Japan when she went into labor, but with some help from some friends and a big old airplane, he made it home 40 minutes before Antonio was born.
Brianna, all our love to you, Antonio. Enjoy the special time.
Thank you, both -- thank you, all, for being with Anderson and me today. Ahead Kim Jong-un is on the move in Singapore. We are just hours away from that historic meeting with President Trump. So stay with us. Full live coverage ahead.