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Defense Intelligence Agency Says North Korea Has No Intentions of Full Denuclearization; Calls to Abolish ICE Could Help Trump and Republicans; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 2, 2018 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[10:32:37] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Kim Jong-un has no intention of participating in a full denuclearization program, at least for now. That is the word just this morning from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd joins us now with more.

So there was never an intention here it sounds like of denuclearization. Why agree to the summit in Singapore? Is this all about playing the U.S., playing President Trump in some way?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that this was a show for the cameras. And Kim Jong-un has already gotten a lot out of the summit, even though he hasn't gotten full sanctions relief yet. He's traveled more in the past few weeks than he's traveled probably ever in his life. He's been welcomed on world stages like any other leader. And he's really being recognized for what he's been able to achieve, including on the nuclear front. He's been able to show the word, look what I have been able to do. I have gotten a nuclear capability, despite sanctions and despite international pressure.

HILL: An official telling CNN the Trump administration is soon going to give North Korea this list. Right? And this list of tasks that must be undertaken to begin denuclearization. A, how do you think North Korea will respond? And B, does it even matter? I mean, can anything that they respond with actually be trusted?

VINOGRAD: There is so many glaring double standards here that I think we just need to point them out because they impact this discussion. First, provocative behavior. The reports even over the weekend and today are indicating that North Korea isn't freezing its program. It's actually making improvements to its missiles, to its nuclear production. And remember that we have backed away from what North Korea called our provocative behavior, these joint military exercises. North Korea gets a hall pass and keeps doing bad things.

We also penalized Iran supposedly for lies that they made years ago. I don't know if you remember that Israeli intelligence show where they talked about Iran concealing activities several years ago. President Trump used that as part of the reason why he backed away from the Iran deal. So Iran concealing activities is bad. North Korea concealing activities while we're supposedly negotiating with them is OK. That seems really off balance to me.

HILL: What do you see as the ultimate goal for North Korea? Because it's more than just the photo op and the sort of sense on the world stage that there's some legitimacy for Kim Jong-un. That's appealing, yes. But there's more to this.

VINOGRAD: I think he wants money. I think that we have already heard indications that China is more open to some kind of sanctions relief. He went to China right after the summit and supposedly asked for sanctions relief from China.

[10:35:05] We heard public statements by the administration last that China is mostly keeping up the financial pressure. I think the more time that goes by, the more normalized Kim Jong-un becomes on the world stage, the more likely it is that China and Russia, his other patron, are going to be more amenable to lifting the financial pressure.

HILL: And Russia, thank you for the perfect segue.

VINOGRAD: Yes.

HILL: As we talk about Russia here, learning this morning that President Trump and Vladimir Putin will meet one-on-one. Right? Ahead of the summit in Helsinki, one British official saying the meeting could further strain the U.S. relationship with both the UK and other Western allies. Do you agree?

VINOGRAD: I certainly do. And having staffed some of these presidential engagement in the past, I think that this is a really bad staffing decision by the chief of staff and by John Bolton. It is no secret that the president does not do well one-on-one with Vladimir Putin. There was a phone call that he had right after the election when he was on the phone with Vladimir Putin. No one could really control him on that call.

He congratulated Vladimir Putin on an election victory despite the fact that his staff told him not to. So if he is sitting across the table from Vladimir Putin, who's a highly skilled manipulator and negotiator, the chances are things could go off the rails.

HILL: Really quickly to National Security adviser John Bolton has said that the president will bring up Russian meddling with Vladimir Putin during the summit. He said once before, listen, he told me they didn't meddle and I believe him.

VINOGRAD: Vladimir Putin lies as easily as he breathes. And what I would say and hope is that Donald Trump proves us all wrong, raises this with Vladimir Putin and lays out the consequences if Putin keeps meddling in our elections which we know is happening.

HILL: It'd be interesting to see. Always good to see you. Thank you.

VINOGRAD: Thank you.

HILL: Democrats have a new rally cry. President Trump is welcoming that cry with open arms saying the new call to abolish ICE is working in his favor.

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[10:40:57] HILL: Abolish ICE, that's a new rally cry for two of the Democratic Party's leading female voices. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. Here is the problem, it seems President Trump loves that messaging, perhaps even more than the Democrats.

Joining me now, CNN political commentators Symone Sanders and Alice Stewart.

Great to have both of you with us.

Symone, the president is saying, you know what, bring it on. I love this. It plays right into his claims, right, of Democrats wanting open borders, of them not caring and inviting more in, and wanting a more lawless nation. Is this really the best way for Democrats to go?

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, Erica, I think it's a good question. First and foremost I'd like to note that the president repeatedly lies about the Democratic Party's and Democrats' stance on immigration.

No one is calling for open borders. America doesn't even have open borders right now. But in calls to abolish ICE, which is a 15-year organization, 15-year entity, are not just rooted in flashy rhetoric. There have been documented cases from the DHS inspector general that is noted widespread abuses in ICE. ICE has repeatedly bucked administration policy, have ignored directives from Secretary Mattis on down the line.

And so what Democrats are saying, some of us, is that there are some very systemic, deep-seeded issues with ICE. And I think we can get rid of it and start over with a different organization. But this doesn't -- this doesn't play into the hands of Donald Trump. I think the president would like us to think that he is winning this argument. But you know I beg to differ.

HILL: Alice, on the side of Republicans, there are serious concerns still about these 2,047 children who have not been reunited with their parents. Abolish ICE can be a lovely distraction for the president, for Republicans. But the bottom line is, there's no clear plan. And they're not addressing that issue. How much could that hurt them moving into November?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Erica, you hit the nail on the head with regard to -- from a Republican standpoint, we would certainly much rather be talking about abolishing ICE, which is ludicrous, then the tragedy of family separations. That is a losing issue for Republicans. But with regard -- it's something that needs to be addressed first and foremost. That needs to be top priority. But with regard to the Democrat cries to abolish ICE, that's absurd.

It was created after 9/11. It has a very important function. Just looking at the year 2017, they apprehended 125,000 criminal illegal aliens. That is a significant number. And that is significant reduction in crime that they are working at doing.

And if we do abolish that agency, which is set there to execute the president's zero tolerance policy, it would lead to open borders. It would lead to mass migration. And that is a losing proposition. Thankfully the president has said there is zero chance that ICE will be abolished because they are doing an effective job at executing zero tolerance policy.

As for Americans, a recent Harvard Harris poll that just came out says that 70 percent of Americans do want stricter border enforcement. So there is a call for making sure our borders are strictly enforced. But we do -- we can all agree, we need to address the family separation issue first and foremost.

SANDERS: Erica?

HILL: When we talk -- go ahead.

SANDERS: I just would like to note, I think it is very important that our borders are secure. I think Democrats on down the line would say that. But to note -- to say that ICE is doing its job flawlessly I think is erroneous. Look, there's -- being stationed in Tennessee, ICE -- just last month, ICE rounded up, did a raid at a meat packing plant, and they rounded up 100 individuals who were not -- who were not undocumented. Some of these folks, their only crime was being a brown person in America. And so when people are calling to abolish ICE, I think these are some of the instances that folks are talking about.

As to the family separation, we have to keep the pressure up on the Trump administration and DHS. They do not know where these -- where some of these children are. There is no process currently in place to reunite these kids. And this is squarely at the hands and on the feet of the Republican Party and their Republican president Donald Trump.

HILL: We know one of the big motivators heading into November is going to be President Trump's Supreme Court pick.

[10:45:01] The chances of that person being confirmed prior to the election, pretty strong. So we're going to have somebody in place.

Alice, this is a major motivator for Republicans. But as we're looking at the choices that the president has out there, is there a chance that he is going too far to the right? Is there something wrong with a pick who is perhaps a little bit more in the mold of a Justice Kennedy or even someone who is a little bit more neutral?

STEWART: I expect him to do exactly what he campaigned on. Erica, this is the one and only --

(CROSSTALK) HILL: But should he, Alice? Is more the question.

STEWART: Right. No --

HILL: He's already put one in. So would he be better served to perhaps try to attract even more Americans by trying to go a little bit more moderate?

STEWART: If that was his goal was to broaden his base and attract more Americans, absolutely, you are 100 percent right. But we have seen based on the last year and a half, his goal is to reinforce the base that he currently has. And I expect him -- this is the number one issue for me was Supreme Court justices. And he has made it quite clear that he will stick with one of the nominees suggested on the list that he has. And these people have been approved by pro-life groups, by the federalist society.

And these people will be strong on the issue of life and on the conservative issues that his base elected him to do. It would be nice if he were to select one of the women on there. Amy Barrett is a good nominee. But I expect him to go more along the lines of Hardiman who is not only pro-life but also strong on Second Amendment. I expect him to double down on these Supreme Court nominees being more conservative than moderate.

HILL: I want to let Symone jump in here real quickly before we're out of time.

Listen, I mean, we knew obviously who the president was going to go with. We have that list well in advance. Senator Collins over the weekend, though, Symone, saying, she wants someone who will respect the law that's already out there, the decisions that have been made. President Trump said that's the way he feels when it comes to same-sex marriage.

Do you think that that will get her far, Senator Collins? Do you think that there will be a justice would fits that mold for her?

SANDERS: Not currently on this list, Erica. The list that we currently have is a list of conservative ideologues. Not mainstream jurist. And every person on this list has been vetted by the Federalist Society, yes, to say that they would be willing to overturn "Roe v. Wade." So this is a war on women. And I think that's why it's so important that women all throughout Maine, women all throughout and constituents all throughout Alaska call Senator Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski and note that they do not want them to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would in any way, shape or form overturn "Roe v. Wade." And if that justice comes from the list that the president currently has, that's exactly what they'll do.

Every single woman, regardless of their political affiliation, should be concerned about what this president is trying to do in terms of our health care and our bodies.

HILL: Symone Sanders, Alice Stewart, always appreciate you both weighing in. Thank you. STEWART: Thanks, Erica.

HILL: Still to come, there's a new king in Tinseltown. Much more on LeBron's monumental move to the West Coast.

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[10:52:24] HILL: King James taking his talents to Hollywood. Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report." This is quite the production, although not like the last time. But it certainly has a big price tag.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erica, you know, all signs pointed to LeBron going to the Lakers this off season. But like you said, you know, decision 3.0. It was much different than the previous two we saw in the past. You know, LeBron's agency Klutch Sports just sending out a one-paragraph release last night saying that LeBron would be signing with the Lakers.

It's going to be a four-year deal, which is actually much longer than anyone expected it to be. But there's no fancy press conference scheduled. No big fan rally this time around. LeBron even reportedly going to be leaving the country soon to go on vacation. He did post this picture to Instagram thanking northeast Ohio saying, this will always be home.

Now remember when LeBron left in 2010, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing letter criticizing LeBron. But again this time it was much different. Gilbert said, in part, "LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal, nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spend in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous number 23 Cavs jersey one day down the line."

And all in all, fans in Cleveland seem to be handling this much better this time around.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have any qualms about it. I mean, the man did deliver on, you know, saying, hey, I'm going to deliver something here in Cleveland, give you guys a championship. And it was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not just about Cleveland. Right? It's about him. And what he wants to accomplish as a man and as a basketball player. So I'm OK with it. A little disappointed that he didn't bring us one more. But I'm OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: And this is the cover of the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" news and sports section this morning. One saying gone again. The other, promise kept, referring to LeBron delivering the championship he said he would when he came back home.

And Erica, you know, that seems to be the thought of the fans there in Cleveland. Of course, you know, disappointed but instead of burning jerseys this time around, they're kind of appreciating what LeBron did do for them, when he (INAUDIBLE) there winning that championship.

HILL: Yes, much more measured reaction. There we go. Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

HILL: Coming up, one couple's honeymoon trip turned terrifying after a close encounter with a shark. More on this next.

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[10:59:10] HILL: Officials in the Bahamas are trying to determine what caused a boat to explode killing an American tourist. The victim and 11 others were aboard the tour boat Saturday morning when the engine exploded engulfing that boat in flames. Four people were flown to a Florida hospital, the rest were treated in the Bahamas.

In Australia, one woman's vacation almost coming to an unfortunate end after she was bitten while hand feeding -- look at that. She was hand feeing a school of sharks, dragged as you saw there from the boat into the water. This us all caught on tape as you can tell. It happened in northern Australia.

The woman was feeding nurse sharks. Now they're normally pretty peaceful. But they're sharks. They have strong jaws, they have sharp teeth. We're told she fractured a bone and tore a ligament in her finger. The attack happened in waters that are known for sharks and salt water crocodiles.

That's going to do it for us at this hour joining me -- thanks for joining me today. I'm Erica Hill. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.