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Report: Trump Insults Allies at NATO Summit; Trump Says Germany Is A Captive of Russia; Trump Tells NATO Allies to Raise Spending to 4 Percent of GDP; NATO Allies Wonder If Alliance Can Survive Trump; Dramatic Video Shows Rescue of Trapped Thai Boys. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired July 11, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello this Wednesday. I'm Ana Cabrera. I am in for Brooke Baldwin. President Trump kicking off his NATO summit scolding one of America's closest allies, demanding all members pay up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to bring it up. I think it is very unfair to our country, very unfair to our taxpayers. I think these countries have to step it up, not over ten- year period, have to step it up immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: European leaders expected tough rhetoric from the president especially on defense spending, but they may not have been prepared for this. At a welcome breakfast, cameras rolling, President Trump slammed Germany, our ally. Take a listen to what he said and the awkward moment hours later sitting alongside Angela Merkel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Germany is a captive of Russia because they -- they got rid of their coal plants, got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much oil and gas from Russia.
We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany. They made tremendous success, I congratulate you. Tremendous success. I believe our trade will increase and lots of other things will increase.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Trump labeling Germany a captive of Russia. The president doubling down on his gripes with a tweet: "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe's protection and then loses billions on trade. Must pay 2 percent of GDP immediately, not by 2025."
Joining us live from Brussels, Barbara Starr. What is President Trump getting at when he calls Germany a captive of Russia? Any truth in it?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, his contention is that this oil and gas deal Germany has with Russians for energy supplies is making them beholden to the Russian government at a time when the U.S. has tens of thousands of troops in Europe and Germany as well, and the U.S. is paying a considerable amount for European defense issues. But the Germans will tell you this is a deal that's been in the works for some time, that it is a business deal, that it has nothing to do with security issues.
So, you have this dilemma, this contradiction, you have a very verbally upset president of the United States at NATO. He wants countries right now to fulfill this decades long promise they made that by 2024 they will spend 2 percent of the economy on defense spending. Many NATO members are not up to that level yet. The U.S. is above it. He wants to see it done immediately. Whether he can do that through his own sheer force of will I think remains to be seen. Ana?
CABRERA: Barbara, President Trump made it clear military spending is one of the top issues in the summit, but there are discrepancies in how much the U.S. is actually paying, right?
STARR: Right. I mean, NATO has come up with a number that's just above 3 percent of the American GDP, American domestic economy essentially. Mr. Trump gave a number higher, about 4 percent. Whichever way you want to cut it, the real issue at hand is President Trump is trying to convince European countries to spend more on their own defense. Now, everybody actually thinks that's a good idea, but whether these countries can do that remains to be seen.
So, things got really heated. Certainly, after you showed that video of the breakfast which the secretary general was attending, I sat down with him for an interview at NATO headquarters in front of a large audience and I asked him how he is dealing with some of the tensions and trying to keep the alliance together. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO Secretary-General: Secretary General, I am most concerned about differences on defense spending but that's very much about messaging and language because when it comes to substance, we all agree we have to do more and therefore I try to distinguish between different language, different messaging and disagreement. When it comes to the core issue, all allies and Canada agree that we have to invest more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:05:00] STARR: Language and messaging, the Secretary General points that out. Make no mistake, he is not so subtly referring to messaging from the United States. It's become a very contentious issue this week in Brussels at the summit.
CABRERA: Flashbacks to the summit not too long ago with the G7. Thank you. Barbara Starr reporting in Belgium for us. So how much should countries be paying for defense? President Trump changed his tune a couple times. Latest tweet was 2 percent, recently double that. Hammering member nations like Germany immediate to pay 4 percent of GDP for defense. Let's get to our emerging markets editor in London. NATO allies were supposed to have six years until 2024 to raise defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. That's now half what President Trump apparently wants. What is the reality now?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, the reality is, important to remind viewers, that President Trump doesn't like any policies he's had to inherit. This is one from Barack Obama, signed at the NATO summit back in 2014. And the agreement was between 2014 and 2024 that NATO members should spend at least 2 percent of GDP on military defense. Let's bring up a bar chart, see what I'm talking about. Those in blue are above the line, those in red below the line. There's a common theme on those in blue. Number one, the U.S. always served as global policeman.
That's part of Donald Trump's modus operandi, saying the U.S. doesn't want to spend this money all around the world, it resonates with his base. Common theme with the Greeks, they see a clear and present danger in their neighborhood. Grease with turkey. They spend a disproportionate amount of money on defense. Estonia neighboring Russia doing the same. Then the red liners, below the line. Let's not forget, they have until 2024. President Trump saying they need to do it immediately according to his tweet, but they don't see a threat now. I should add the European Union is growing slowly for the last decade. They're ramping up spending, just not the pace Donald Trump is looking for.
CABRERA: Let's bring in Susan Glasser, columnist for "Politico." Great to have you with us. How would you rate the NATO alliance now?
SUSAN GLASSER, COLUMNIST FOR "POLITICO": Well, if you were looking at a mood-o-meter, the true feelings of the world leaders that gathered to meet President Trump today, my guess is this would not be their best day. You saw Angela Merkel putting on her game face. Donald Trump has clearly come to the summit loaded for bear. He is I think not speaking off the cuff when criticizing Germany this morning as being captive of Russia when he is pushing by tweet and in public statements NATO allies in a very uncomfortable way, it is by design. Of course, I think it is very much what he wants to do for whatever reason to set up his summit with president Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday. It seems a direct contradiction to the policy of unity and solidarity that president Trump's own advisers put forward as goal of the NATO summit.
CABRERA: Pointed out President Trump is not the first American president to demand NATO allies invest more in defense spending, may put relationships into position of being a little uncomfortable. What makes his approach so concerning?
GLASSER: Well, first of all there's never been an American president who has spoken to our allies in public in the way that president Trump does and in the polite world of European summitry, this is at a minimum breaking China. Even President Trump supporters and those very much behind this as tactic to pressure his allies would agree that the method by which he's doing this is not only unconventional, but may be counter productive. One thing we haven't talked about today, the politics in Europe. The more President Trump verbally assaults his allies, seems to be praising dictators like Vladimir Putin at the expense of Democratic leaders and partners like Angela Merkel, President Trump's already low poll ratings in Europe go even further down.
[14:10:00] You have something like 90 percent of the public in these countries. That's going to impact their ability to deliver frankly on any demands that President Trump makes. The question I have is whether this is actually what he wants as a policy outcome or a more convenient political whipping boy issue for him now.
CABRERA: It's interesting, today he now demands 4 percent GDP, all countries should pay 4 percent into defense standing. As it stands, only five of the 29 NATO countries are meeting that 2 percent defense spending. What do you make of the new demand?
GLASSER: First of all, I would say it is not a serious policy demand. That is not the way that the U.S. government works on policy. The president had his two top advisers for this summit and the upcoming Putin summit give an on the record briefing. Couple days ago, U.S. ambassador to NATO wasn't talking about any new policy initiatives from the United States to increase defense spending to 4 percent. This appears to be the president of the United States free-lancing, and in that sense, you wonder whether it is meant to be taken seriously or it is meant to show his disdain for the alliance that the United States has played the leading role in ever since it founded NATO more than seven decades ago. I don't think it is serious. I don't think anyone thinks this is going to be the next outcome of the NATO summit.
CABRERA: Tough love maybe ahead of the Putin summit. His shadow Putin's, that is, looming large at the summit. If you're Putin, you're back here watching the dynamics play out on the global stage, what are you thinking?
GLASSER: First of all, Vladimir Putin believes that NATO is the principal threat to Russia, so in that sense he has to be pretty happy today in that anything that undermines and weakens NATO, that contributes to internal discord is something that Vladimir Putin would welcome. Remember, candidate Donald Trump said NATO was obsolete. Just one year ago, president Trump came and in his debut personally refused and took out a line in his speech reaffirming the United States' traditional commitment to collective defenses at the heart of the NATO treaty. Vladimir Putin already had good reason to believe Donald Trump wasn't exactly committed to NATO. I think his blustering performance today will underscore that at a minimum. And the question is, is this a repeat, you raised it, of the scene with the G7 summit in Canada where you go from meeting with allies in a very contentious, hostile way, including personally demeaning comments to the Canadian prime minister at that session, and then go meet with a dictator, and speak of him in unfavorable terms. A lot of people are bracing for that scenario. CABRERA: Hope to have you back as we follow what happens with that
summit with Vladimir Putin in days. Thank you for joining us.
GLASSER: Thank you for having me.
CABRERA: Coming up, inside mission impossible. Stunning video of how divers rescued the 12 young boys and their soccer coach from the cave in Thailand.
And upping the ante with the trade war with China. President Trump threatening a new round of tariffs and prompting criticism from his own party.
A shocking report about founder of Papa John's, what he allegedly said during a conference call.
[14:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Thailand's navy SEALs are calling their amazing cave rescue the operation the world will never forget. And we are seeing for the first time some new dramatic video of how they made it happen.
I want you to follow as we walk through some images, the Thai navy released this video of divers getting ready to go inside. You can see how deep the water is, even before they go in. Watch as they're getting ready to go under. Can you see the wire the diver is holding there? They use that to guide everybody through narrow passages. Then they check the watch, to keep track of time.
What we don't witness are underwater travels. You can see how dark, treacherous it was inside the cave. Divers had to depend on very little light. They had to watch out for slippery steps while carrying heavy oxygen tanks up and down the narrow passages, you see the water moving through there. Take a look at this. Extremely high cliffs they had to navigate. These steps very steep.
Then the actual rescues. Once divers reached the boys, bringing them out one by one was perhaps the hardest part. They had to securely strap them on gurneys, cover them with thermal blankets, carried them through the tunnels, up and down, over incredibly sharp rocks. The rescue was physically demanding. At times, divers had to use makeshift pulleys to lift boys to higher ground. Adding to the wonder of the mission, the water pumps failed just as the last person, the coach, was pulled out.
[14:20:00] And the lone doctor on the diving team, Australian doctor, Richard Harris was the last rescuer to exit the cave. During a phone call with his country's prime minister, he explained what it was like during the harrowing moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD HARRIS, AUSTRALIAN DOCTOR HELPING WITH THE RESCUE EFFORT: Oh, it's a couple of different areas in the cave but I think the last couple of hundred meters out underwater is very difficult to find your way through. You are basically the entire dive from 2.5 km or so at the back of the cave there is a zero visibility on the way out from the mud. So, you're following the line with your hand and basically might as well have your eyes closed for the whole trip. The children and for Thai Navy SEALs who were looking after them they are the toughest blokes and kids I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Get this. Dr. Harris learned of his father's passing shortly after that rescue ended. Our condolences to the Harris family. I want to bring in an expert as we're seeing the first hospital video of the boys, there were tears of joy as parents waved to loved ones through glass windows. The boys remained isolated for medical reasons. Doctors say everybody is healthy and they appear in good spirits.
They're walking around, using cell phones. Some taking time to wave to the camera. Smiling. One boy bowed his head, expressing thanks. With us now, family physician., Dr. Jennifer Caudle. Thank you for being with us. When you think about this more than two weeks in a cave, more than two weeks really. Oxygen levels dropping, little food, risk of airborne bacterial or fungal infection. How surprised are you to learn the boys are all healthy?
DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: I have to say this is remarkable. And I know all of us watching this over the last couple of weeks. As a physician, I have to say it is remarkable that they have come out, seemingly they're all healthy.
CABRERA: What would you have expected?
CAUDLE: Well, there's a lot of things that simply could go wrong. We know the boys and coach were probably dealing with lower oxygen levels in the cave, that can cause problems in itself, but the malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss. They may have lost four or five pounds. Then mental health issues we have been talking about, concerns about post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, et cetera. And probably one of the big e things is infection. They're -- biggest things is infection. Worrying about fungal, bacterial infections. The number of things that could go wrong are numerous.
CABRERA: Medical staff said earlier some have a higher rate of white blood cell count. Why would that be?
CAUDLE: White blood cell count, they're part of our complete blood count. It is one that tends to mobilize when our body needs to do something. There's a number of reasons why that count might be elevated. Certainly, main reasons would be infection or inflammation. Honestly, we can have a higher white blood cell count from physical or emotional stress. Other things are less likely in this case, allergic reactions or medications can increase it, but inflammation, infection, and sort of a stress response from emotional and physical stress are the main reasons you would see that.
CABRERA: After watching this video, seeing the boys, young teenagers, some as young as 11 are sitting there, physically strong it appears. They're starting with a restrictive diet. Soft foods. Family members have to wear a mask. What else do you expect about the recovery process, how long might it take?
CAUDLE: Right. Based on press releases, seems like the hospital will take each case by case, which to me sounds like a good idea. Every child and the coach are different from one another, may have different underlying conditions. All of that might determine and change how fast one recovers from the other. I do understand, agree with advancing the diet, starting slow. Remember, they haven't had proper nutrition or hydration. You want to start slow, make sure they're eating properly, their stomach can tolerate it, then advancing the diet.
[14:25:00] I would think mental health evaluations, whether counseling or other evaluations, and continuing to look for signs of infection that may appear down the line or other abnormalities that may come up now that they're out of the cave, which in and of itself was a traumatic, stressful incident. Sometimes we see things popping up a little later. I'm delighted they seem to be doing so well, we're all certainly saying prayers. That's what I imagine would come down the line.
CABRERA: We are rooting for them. Dr., thank you for your expertise and sharing with us.
CAUDLE: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, hand shakes, nervous sips of water. A look at the body language that spoke volumes at the NATO summit.
And stunning new video of the crash that sent Hollywood superstar George Clooney to the hospital.
[14:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: President Trump has already launched criticisms about other countries' financial contributions at the NATO summit. His counter parts may not share his tendencies, it is what is not said that may effect the relationships. I am joined by David Chalian. There's been a number of moments that stand out. What strikes you?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is amazing to watch the pictures coming in because President Trump is up ending the world order, post World War II order in many ways. Hard not to look for signals. I am not a body language expert. But I couldn't help but watch. Here he is with all of the allies around him after slamming, being aggressive about how much they're spending on defense. Here he is grouped with them. We're watching to see how is the group dealing with each other? How about this special relationship here? Let's look more closely at that. Theresa May, Donald Trump, they seem to be engaging, they are hitting their marks which is --