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Trump Slams Allies, Says Germany is Controlled by Russia; Thai Navy Seals Release Video of Cave Rescue; Trump Demands NATO Members Up Their Contributions; French Fans Ecstatic as Team Heads to the Final; 176 People Killed in Japan Floods; Trump Berates Allies on Defense and Trade. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Well, NATO's attorney general kept trying to turn the conversation back to the importance of NATO unity,

saying the alliance is stronger together than apart. But Mr. Trump wasn't having any of that, as Kaitlyn Collins now reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that these companies have to step it up. Not over a 10-year period. They have to step it up

immediately.

KAITLYN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump blasting America's top allies over defense spending at a breakfast

kicking off this week's crucial NATO summit.

TRUMP: No other president brought it up like I bring it up. So, something has to be done.

COLLINS: The President directing the brunt of his criticism at Germany, complaining that the U.S. is expected to defend Europe from Russia, despite

Germany paying Russia billions for energy.

TRUMP: Germany is totally controlled by Russia. They will be getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. And you tell

me if that's appropriate. Because I think it's not. But Germany as far as I'm concerned is captive to Russia.

COLLINS: Germany's defense minister addressing criticism of their defense spending to CNN last night.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN, GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER: This is a pipeline. This economic project started I think back in 2002 or '3, so way before Russia

changed its behavior.

COLLINS: The head of NATO acknowledging that allies are starting to contribute more.

JEN STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: Last year was biggest increase in the defense spending most European in that generation.

TRUMP: Why was that last year?

STOLTENBERG: It's also because of your leadership. Because of a carried message.

COLLINS: But stressing to President Trump the importance of the alliance.

STOLTENBERG: The strength that brings us despite these difference, we have always been able unite around our core fronts, to protect and defend each

other. Because when we stand up we are stronger together.

COLLINS: The heated start to the Summit coming after one senior European official told CNN that NATO members are preparing for the worst-case

scenario. Many leaders expressing fear that President Trump will follow through on the threat to pull U.S. military protection for countries who

don't reach the 2 percent defense spending target. A goal they're supposed to hit by 2024.

DONALD TUSK, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: America, appreciate your allies after all you don't have that many.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: That was Kaitlyn Collins reporting there. So, let's get the very latest from Brussels now. We are joined by Atika Shubert live from the

venue where the NATOs will meet later on for dinner. Atika, good to see you. So, we're also hearing reaction from Mrs. Merkel about these comments

Mr. Trump made.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, she responded as she often does, in a very firm but measured way. Essentially, she reminded

President Trump that she grew up in Soviet occupied East Germany and that the country had worked very hard to get, you know, get past the communist

regime with the help of NATO. Here's what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): Because of current events, I wanted to add that I myself, lived through a part of Germany

being controlled by the Soviet Union. And I am very happy that today we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany. And that we can

say that we manage our independent policies and manage our independent decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHUBERT: Now, you heard in that report from Kaitlyn that President Trump claimed that Germany would be getting 60-to-70 percent of its energy from

Russia. That is not true. Currently Germany gets less than 20 percent of its energy from Russia in the form of natural gas. It is, however,

investing in a very controversial pipeline project that will bring more Russian gas to Germany and Western Europe. So that may be what President

Trump was referring to.

But to claim that Germany is a captive of Russia is a very clear exaggeration. And President Trump seems to be using that exaggeration to

needle not just Germany but specifically, Chancellor Angela Merkel. Who of all people is one of the European leaders that stood up to Russian

President Vladimir Putin, especially with that conflict in the Ukraine when Russia annexed Crimea from the Ukraine. It was Angela Merkel who rallied

the EU to impose sanctions on Russia. So, it'll be interesting to see what they say at dinner tonight when they will be meeting here. Whether they

can improve upon their relationship that clearly got off to a bad start this morning -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, and when we talk about that bad start, in many ways some might argue that Mr. Trump has a point within it comes to defense spending in

Europe. In fact, the head of NATO kind of agreed with him. That's a good thing, isn't it?

SHUBERT: Well, yes. In this is not a new issue. This is not something that has just been brought up by President Trump. President Obama had said

that, you know, NATO states need to step up their commitment to defense. And one of the things that we've seen is that since 2014 under the Obama

administration, Germany and others have been ramping up their defense spending. They say that they will try and meet those targets. But it's

not going to happen overnight.

[11:05:00] Germany currently spends a little bit more than 1 percent. But it's aiming in the next 10 years to increase that by 80 percent. So, you

know, what we've seen is that commitment by NATO members. But clearly, President Trump is using that to really needle his allies in NATO about

defense spending. And what's interesting is that he is particularly targeting Germany and Angela Merkel, one of the U.S.'s strongest allies. I

mean, remember, there are more than 100 U.S. military sites in Germany alone. So, to target Germany is quite extraordinary.

CURNOW: Yes, it's certainly not normal. Thanks so much, Atika Shubert there reporting live from Brussels. Thanks, Atika.

So, another European leader whose country experienced Soviet control is Lithuania. Dalia Grybauskaite is the president of Lithuania and joins me

now exclusively. Where are you? Thank you, what are you at the moment? And what are your reactions to these comments from the U.S. President

today?

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT: Today the reaction is positive from most of our leaders confirm that they are committed to two percent.

Some of us, eight countries already spending two percent and others are until '24 committing to do it.

I think that some kind of positive pressure is useful because of the 2014 article on the occupation. All of us who realize how dangerous our

neighborhood is and how much we need to spin for defense. And we and Lithuania, for example, we started to spend every year, 30 percent more on

defense. And we did this in four years in a row. So, from this point of view, such kind of positive pressure or positive aggressive pressure is

useful because the situation around the world and in Europe, around our eastern borders, especially, is very difficult, deteriorating and not safe.

So, from this point of view we are taking this pressure as quite positive.

CURNOW: So, you say there is an acceptance that Mr. Trump's pressure is positive. What do you make of the tone of the U.S. President's language

today, particularly targeting one of the NATO member, Germany?

GRYBAUSKAITE: I can say that around the table the tone was perfect. What happens outside the room, that's up to the leaders. But I want to confirm

that if not Germany, we will not be able have security, especially in Baltic states today. If not Germany, we will have no united Europe on

sanctions against Russia. That's mainly because of medical. We have unity around these questions. So, from this point of view, I think Germany is

responsible in my country is leading nation in deterring and stationing military forces from Germany and Lithuania. So, we have no complaint at

all. And we've seen the commitment of Merkel very much for security and defense of Europe.

CURNOW: Do you think that the U.S. President's criticisms are misguide then?

GRYBAUSKAITE: You know, I think it depends very much on personality. How they are trying to achieve their goals. But as I said around the table was

anything quite correct. And then later, we saw the meetings between two leaders. And I think that meeting was quite successful. And the

understanding between the nations and leaders already in place.

CURNOW: Do you trust the Americans to fulfill Article 5? Do you feel that there is now a sense or a worry that perhaps American's military backup

would be negotiable?

GRYBAUSKAITE: I don't. Because I participated myself in a lot of exercises this year, and including on the boats of the U.S., with an

admiral commander lady. Very efficient. Very well professional and I say how U.S. military are committed towards European defense and we see

European initiative. We are close to 5 billion already adopted. So, we see the increased pressure and presence in Europe with the U.S. military

commitment.

So, from one side, it is a pressure to spend more by Europe itself, but also the commitment of the U.S. we see is not decreasing. So, I do

evaluate that, real things happening in the good directions. Sometimes rhetoric is conflictual, but it is the world in which we live, but what

matters is the results and actions and actions are good.

[11:10:00] CURNOW: The President of Lithuania live from the NATO summit. Thank you so much for joining us.

GRYBAUSKAITE: Thank you.

CURNOW: Now in the past few hours, we have gotten some very dramatic new images of the rescue and recovery of those boys who were trapped in a Thai

cave. The picture everybody has been waiting for of course, is this one. The boys healthy, resting in hospital. Doctors say a few of the teens have

mild cases of pneumonia, but they are otherwise healthy. It is expected most will be discharge in about a week's time.

Now parents are allowed to see the boys but not touch them. Because doctors are worried about possible infections. And also, we want to show

you images. Also, extraordinary images of the rescue itself. The ropes that were used to guide through murky-flood chambers and the jacked rocks

and the cramped quarters that made each dry land treacherous. Wow, well, Matt Rivers is at the hospital where the boys are recovering. All of these

latest images give us a sense of what they have endured.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, let's start with those images from inside the cave I think, Robyn. And it just goes to enforce how

difficult this rescue operation was. What we got from the Thai government was series of videos and also some still images. And in the video,

specifically, it starts with divers gearing up. And they go in this water. And their bodies disappear underneath the surface of the water. And it

gives you an idea of the lack of visibility in that water.

They slip into the cave. And then you see people actually carrying the boys out on a stretcher. And sometimes even using a pulley system,

spending the boys high in the air, because parts of this cave were too steep for them to actually lower the boys down. And you see people

carrying these boys through on a stretcher. You see medical personnel treating them at one point. And it's just a series of events there that

show you amidst the craggy rock and the sharp surfaces and the water rushing underneath their feet, how difficult this was.

Then the other point I should make is that you don't see the hardest part of the rescue, which would be taking those boys and actually submerging

them underwater. With all of these images despite how difficult that looks, we're seeing the easy part of this rescue, which is just remarkable.

And it just further reinforces the fact that this was an incredible rescue operation that, thankfully went so well.

CURNOW: And where you are, talk us through those hospital photographs and the parents being able to see their kids for the first time.

RIVERS: Well, all that video from inside the cave led to this next round of videos that we can show you. That was taken and also handed out to us

by the Thai government from inside that eighth-floor isolation ward where those boys are. And it's a series of six or seven different videos. The

ones that show the boys, show healthy kids largely. I mean, yes, they are exhausted, they're weak. But you know, in these videos, they're sitting

up, they're giving the peace sign. They're giving the I love you sign in sign language, which is this in Thailand. You do this, and it often

signifies, I'm good, I'm good.

And then you also see the parents on the other side of that glass, Robyn, waving to the kids. You see one woman who is presumably a mother of one of

the boys, wiping away tears of joy. And we talked about it last our, but I can't get over this. At one point one of the mothers, according to one of

our Thai translators here says, I'm going to buy you a new phone. I'd say if you're a teenage kid, you're probably going to use this opportunity to

get a new phone I think at the very least. I think it's all good.

CURNOW: I think is good, yes. I mean, those parents just look at the looks on their faces as they see their sons through that window. Matt

Rivers there outside the hospital, great stuff, thank you.

I do have one final note about the many heroes. And they were a lot, weren't they, involved in this rescue effort. The very last man to emerge

was an Australian doctor named Richard Harris. Harry as he is known to his friends. But he was especially useful because he's both the doctor and a

cave diving expert. Now, when he came out, his excitement over the rescue quickly turned to sadness. Colleagues had to tell Harry that his dad had

died only moments after the rescue ended.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOCTOR ANDREW PEARCE, MEDSTAR RETRIEVAL CONSULTANT: If you can imagine being physically and mentally exhausted through going through a rescue and

then have to deal with that, when you are at your absolute lowest. You've given your all and then you find out the sad news about your father who's

your best mate. That's really, really tough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: So tough. Many Australians have really taken to social media calling for Dr. Harris to be named Australian of the year for his efforts

in that rescue operation.

[11:15:00] And could it finally be happening for England? Is football really coming home? Not if the mighty but small Croatians have anything to

do with it, as the teams get ready to do battle for shot at football glory. We'll soak up the atmosphere with the fans. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: The city of life there bursting into a loud white-hot celebration, partying hard after the brilliance of the blues, smashing them into the

World Cup finals. So, the question everyone is asking who will they face there? Well, we don't have long to get that answer. Right now, we're just

over two hours away from England kicking off against Croatia to fight it out for the chance at football glory. Who are the French hoping it'll be

meeting them? Well, we asked some fans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to see England.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: England or Croatia it could be. Any other team -- I think we can beat any team. Now, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are now England for France.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be great to have England in final. It would be great. And to win, of course, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: England.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be easier. Because you are not used to win something since '66. That's it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Ouch. Well, England fans, that has to sting. To connect everything going on, Amanda Davis is right outside that stadium where the

game will be played. And Don Riddell is right here in the studio with us. We'll talk in just a moment. But Amanda, to you first. What are the fans

saying where you are?

AMANDA DAVIS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Robyn, welcome to the Luzhniki Stadium. As you said, two hours from kickoff. And the atmosphere is brilliant. So

many fans here already, 80,000 expected in this stadium. I'm pleased to say I've got one from either side of the fence with me. Vladimir from

Croatia. Dan an England fan. I don't know who to start with really, who deserves to win this game more?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CROATIAN FAN: Croatia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: England!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ENGLISH FAN: Listen, I think it'll be a great match. Croatia has done really well in the tournament, superb in the group stage.

England have done better than what we expected back home. But the quarterfinal win was exception. The Sweden game managed the game so well.

I think they're coming in with great confidence, settled team. I think it's ours for the taking to be honest with you, Vladimir.

DAVIS: Do you agree?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CROATIAN FAN: I don't know. We came here to win this World Cup as our center mid-fielder said, we are here now. We won't be

satisfied with third-place or fourth place. We are here to win it. So, I'm sorry,

Dan, but --

[11:20:00] DAVIS: We've been hearing a lot about the atmosphere back in England and how the country is getting behind the team. What's the

atmosphere back in Croatia? Because I know you were here for the Denmark game. You then went home, and you've come back for this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CROATIAN FAN: Back home it is full of emotions. When we won against Russia, everything stopped in the city. The traffic,

everything, all the people went out on the streets and celebrate and now they're expecting even more. So, I hope that our team tonight will win and

again this night in Croatia will be complete for us.

DAVIS: And I love the fact that you have booked your ticket here and your hotel room through until Tuesday. You are pretty confident. Dan, how long

are you staying for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ENGLISH FAN: Just for tonight at the moment.

DAVIS: How very English.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ENGLISH FAN: Everything's changeable. I mean, Vladimir can give me his room surely. You know, if need be and we could swap

flights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CROATIAN FAN: No. I took a non-trackable flight. I cannot change it.

DAVIS: OK, very quickly. What's your prediction for the score?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CROATIAN FAN: I think 2-0 for Croatia.

DAVIS: And Dan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ENGLISH FAN: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2-1 England. (INAUDIBLE).

DAVIS: Well, it is England with the better record in the head to heads, but as we know, at this point in a World Cup at a semifinal, anything can

happen. And particularly in this World Cup. It promises to be a fantastic evening of action here at the Luzhniki -- Robyn. Back to you.

CURNOW: It certainly does. And has been quite a roller coaster few week. So, France are in the finals. Do you think the stars are aligning for

them? Amanda?

DAVIS: It's a very interesting question, Robyn, yes, it's a very interesting question. It was actually quite frightening watching France

against Belgium. The feeling really that they haven't cranked through the gears that they've got. They have such an incredible amount of talent on

that pitch. Don't they? The likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, N'Golo Kant, and they've had a lot of criticism. There's a lot of pressure on

them. Particularly on their coach Didier Deschamps, that he's playing the style that suits him, a more conservative, safe style of football. And for

everything that Belgium through at his side, they really dealt with it very, very comfortably. There were some brilliant individual moments from

their players.

But they didn't seem to get out of second gear. And that is what is frightening for us, those England and Croatia fans. And they know what's

coming up in the final awaiting them. But Didier Deschamps rightly has said, you get no prizes for second place. Semifinal means nothing and

particularly to this French squad. So, you know all about reaching finals and not quite getting over the hurdle. They reached the final at Euro 2016

on home soil two years ago. They were beaten by Portugal. They were beaten finalists in 2006 as well. So, they have a whole lot of pressure on

them, but you have very, very exciting, I suppose, people thinking about what could come from them if the team decided to open the flood gates and

turn on the style as we know so many of those players can.

CURNOW: OK, you're so right. Good luck. And send our love to both of those fans on either side of you. They're going to have quite a few hours.

Aren't they?

So, you're a Brit, Don's a Brit. And of course, all of you have been totally impartial to all of this. I don't know about that. Take a look at

this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: The last shootout kick right now from England. And that's it. Congratulations.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Oh, my goodness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: You know, I can't watch that enough. Because that was just when England beat Colombia. So, football has just taken on a whole other level

in England, a country that I must say is sometimes used to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when it comes to these sorts of games.

RIDDELL: You've lived there. Obviously, I grew up there. Yes, and England fans have stopped being excited and the England teams, because

they're so used to being disappointed. But things have changed.

CURNOW: And there's a reason. And there's something here going on.

RIDDELL: I do recognize that I work for an international broadcaster. And I'm supposed to be impartial. But at this point on a day like this it is

just impossible. I can't come to work wearing an England shirt. But I can wear a waistcoat. And here's why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIDDELL (voice-over): Welcome to waistcoat Wednesday, where wearing a waistcoat for the World Cup is warranted, that is, if you are an England

fan.

[11:25:00] Dedicated supporters are gearing up for the semifinal match against Croatia by sporting their waistcoat in honor of coach Gareth

Southgate. He's been sporting it on the side lines complete with trousers and dress shirt and tie, even if he is a little modest about all of the

attention.

GARETH SOUTHGATE, MANAGER, ENGLAND NATIONAL TEAM: I think I've said before, I was not a renowned fashion icon throughout my playing career, so

it's rather strange to feel that way now. But we are really proud of the support that we are receiving. We've had a chance to make a difference.

RIDDELL: But the fashion trend has caught on. And now fans are hoping it means good luck for the team.

LEE WALKUP, ENGLAND FAN: To be honest with you, I've got a funny feeling. I think this sort of meant to be so good. And you know, especially now

broader turn up with a special Gareth waistcoat. And it can only help, can't it?

RIDDELL: And the idea has taken off on the social media. People have posted photos of their very own waistcoats on Twitter with the

#waistcoatscominghome and waistcoat Wednesday. Supporters taking part in a waistcoat Wednesday will also be helping to raise funds for blood cancer

charity. Sales of them in both the U.K. and Moscow have skyrocketed department store Marks and Spencer reported more than a 35 percent increase

in sales, and say, they're nearly sold out. Leaving fans scrambling for the must-have fashion accessory. Only time will tell if the waistcoat will

boost England's bid to win the World Cup for the first since 1966.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIDDELL: There you go the stage is set 2-and-a-half hours to kick it off.

CURNOW: OK, I we going to watch in the newsroom together?

RIDDELL: I think we have to watch it.

CURNOW: Good luck. Thanks so much.

RIDDELL: Thank you.

CURNOW: Ok. So, there is lots more news here at CNN. There certainly been confrontational start to the NATO summit with Donald Trump taking aim

at America's closest allies. We'll talk to Portugal's defense minister about what's happening. That's next.

[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Welcome. You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining us.

I want to return now to Brussels where of the U.S. President is attacking NATO countries and sending a very clear message, it's time to pay up. The

United States' closest military allies are feeling uneasy at this year's NATO summit, and for good reason. The confrontational Donald Trump came

out swinging in his first public comments. Ordering members of the alliance to increase their defense spending immediately. But the President

saved his harshest words for Germany saying the company is being held captive by Russia. Well, Kaitlin Collins is traveling with the President

and joins us now from Brussels. It's been quite a day, hasn't it?

COLLINS: It certainly has. The President wasn't holding back any punches this morning. Right out of the gate, as soon as they started that

breakfast, before he'd even arrived here at the NATO headquarters where I'm standing now, President went off on defense spending. Which he believes a

lot of countries are not living up to that pledge to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. That is certainly something that other past U.S.

presidents have echoed before.

But the President is now taking that criticism one step further than they have before. He singled out Germany specifically, going after them not for

defense spending but saying that he believes they are held totally captive by Russia because of a gas pipeline. Saying he doesn't understand why the

United States is spending so much on defense to defend Germany should it come to that from people like Russia. When then in turn, Germany is

turning around and paying Russia millions of dollars.

We heard some very harsh criticism from the President on that. And then we saw him walking around with Merkel during this opening ceremony, where they

largely kept their distance from each other. But then when the two sat down face-to-face in a meeting and the cameras came into the room, the

President said he did discussed that gas pipeline with the German Chancellor. But he said he did not elaborate on what exactly happened

during that conversation. And they largely tried to make nice during that session with the cameras in the room.

But certainly, stunning criticism from the President. This is exactly what these European leaders feared. That the President is going to come here,

lecture them about defense spending and turn this into a very hostile summit.

CURNOW: I just want to let you know the NATO secretary general I think is speaking, we might dip into that any moment. So, coming into this, you're

following Mr. Trump, you're there with him, does he expect things to change? What does he want from this meeting?

COLLINS: You saw yesterday on Twitter, he was tweeting on his way over here on Air Force One, saying that those countries -- that other NATO

countries -- which United States is a NATO country -- needed to spend more and the United States needed to spend less. I believe it's the first time

we've seen the President suggest that they spend last on defense. That is not normally in keeping with the President has said before. And then this

morning you saw the President say during those criticisms of Germany saying, that the United States was in actual number spending 4.2 percent of

its GDP on defense. Now, that doesn't match with the what the NATO numbers that were just released yesterday show. They actually estimate that the

United States will spend 3.5 percent of its GDP on defense in the year 2018, slightly down from what it spent in 2017.

So, whether or not that changes anything is a question. But what the fear here is from these European leaders is that the President is going to have

a very contentious Summit here with them. Confronting them, being very combative. And then he's going to go to Helsinki at the end of the week

after a stop in the U.K.

He's going to have a very friendly sit down with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. We heard the President yesterday saying he believes that

could be the easiest meeting out of all the three that he is having while he is on this trip. And that is certainly stoking those fears that the

President could end up making concession like scaling back U.S. troops that are in Europe or canceling military exercises as he did after that Summit

in Singapore with the North Korean leader. Those are the things to be watching for to see if anything changes there, not just the President's

combative rhetoric.

CURNOW: Yes, let's see what comes out of this in concrete terms. Thanks so much, Kaitlin. And just so you all know, these are live pictures

speaking there at the NATO summit.

So, I want to break down the numbers for you. NATO's official guidelines say member states should spends at let least 2 percent of their GDP on

defense. Five of the 29 countries and allies are meeting that target with the U.S. contributing the most. But the other countries lag behind.

[11:35:00] Francis spending 1.8 percent, while Germany, Denmark and Italy are among many of those that are spending less than 1.5 percent of their

GDP on defense. Belgium and Spain are less than 1 percent. And looking at NATO's total defense spending, the lion share comes from the U.S., 70

percent. A commitment all that was in the U.S.'s national interest when the alliance was formed in 1949.

Joining me now, Portugal's Defense Minister, Jose Alberto de Azeredo Lopes. Good to speak to you, sir. I just want to ask you, those were NATO numbers

that I was just reading out. Is there any other pressure? Has there been any other pressure in the last few hours for NATO countries to spend more

from the U.S. President? I see a number of over 4 percent.

JOSE ALBERTO DE AZEREDO LOPES, PORTUGUESE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENSE: You know, I strongly believe that the international relations is always

made by pressures. And the pressure is a part of our day-by-day basis in international relations. What I strongly believe much more than only

speaking on burden sharing, is that we are united. We have unities and that is something I would stress from what I have seen during this Summit.

And you can speak about those who reaching 2 percent. Those that are on the 2 percent, but I think that NATO is and should be much more than this.

The idea of a group of states, friends and allies that are working together for almost 70 years, I don't think that the idea of the GDP and the average

of what every average member state spends is the only idea that should be taken from this Summit. The idea of being united, the idea of working

together. The idea of being more efficient on guaranteeing our common security defense. The message is more for --

CURNOW: For the U.S. President, though the focus, despite all of you saying unity is key. The focus for him is that country's like Portugal are

not paying enough. Portugal, I think only spends 1.32 percent of its GDP on NATO defense? Is he asking you to spend even more than 2 percent?

LOPES: You know, we are committed since 2014 to reach the 2 percent target. That's why, we always said, that nevertheless the fact that we

were and are serious financial difficulties, it's good to remember that Portugal was under foreign financial intervention for three years. The

most important message that my Prime Minister transmitted is to give to the secretary general our commitment, our detailed commitment to reach 2

percent target in 2024.

So, I think that -- and I repeat this idea, we all agree that European states are now obliged to be more consistent with their engagement in

financial terms. But I strongly believe that if we only reduce NATO and our commitments to security and defense and common security and defense, to

cash, cash and cash, I think that we will forgive the most important thing, and this is what we have said. We are committed to work together in Europe

and everywhere to have a more stronger security and defense. And I think that Portugal has shown always a very strong solidarity as a member and as

an ally in NATO. We have more than 1,000 military abroad. We are in central Africa Republic, we are in the Baltics. The idea --

CURNOW: Portugal is certainly playing a huge part in this collective security. And as you rightly say, Europeans feel the need and have a very

clear reasoning on why they belong to NATO. Do you in anyway fear that perhaps the U.S. is looking at withdrawing its commitments? Do you trust

the U.S. to implement Article 5? Is there any nervousness about that, where you are now?

LOPES: I think that Portugal feels very conflicted. With the idea of being challenged, to be more committed in financial terms, to the general

effort of NATO. We also recognize, of course, the fundamental contribution of the United States for several decades. And so, we are not forgetting

the past. We are not forgetting history. But we are, nevertheless, insisting that money is not the only thing that unites us. As I have

already said that if every states, if a member state of NATO spends 2 percent, is this going to automatically guarantee our security and defense?

I am convinced that we need much more than this.

[11:40:00] If Portugal, for instance, decides today to spends tomorrow 2 percent of its GDP, I have serious doubts that it can be instantly more

efficient. And so, when you speak about military mobility, when you understand that we must be much more efficient, even with our capacities,

the capacities that we have today, I think that there is a much border approach. And if I can accept and I don't know that the position of the

United States is acceptable. Because it's true that we have for maybe too long stopped increasing our defense expenses. I must insist that since

2014 we are getting more and more committed to spend more.

But I insist, if we use what is our common past, our common present, and what in the future to guarantee global security and defense, if we only

speak about GDP and the 2 percent and 3 percent and 4 percent, I think that we are lacking something that is much more important than this, we share

common values. We share the same transatlantic bond. We share more or less the same view on society and even if we don't agree with everything, I

am stressed that the most important thing that I think we should say publicly is that we may disagree in certain aspects. But the most

important thing is that we are much more and much more in many things than what separates us.

CURNOW: Thank you so much for joining us. Joining us live there, Portugal's minister of defense. We appreciate you joining us there live

from NATO.

LOPES: Thank you very much.

CURNOW: OK. So, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. The trade dispute between the U.S. and China is

escalating even further. The U.S. is set to hit back against Chinese retaliation in yet another round of tariffs worth $200 billion. They

effect products such as vegetable, handbags and even baseball gloves. Beijing calls the new tariffs unacceptable and says it will respond. U.S.

markets are reacting to this news. Take a look at these numbers. As you can see investors are concerned. The Dow tumbled into the red today over

this uncertainty about the escalating U.S.-China trade dispute.

And the death toll is rising after days of flooding and landslides in southern Japan. Authorities now say 176 people have been killed since

torrential rains moved in last week. Two million people have fled their homes, our Paula Newton now reports that hope of finding survivors is

fading despite a large rescue mission.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The search goes on in flood ravaged parts of southwest Japan. Several people are still unaccounted

for, and every day rescuers declare more lives lost. The rescue operation is now 75,000 found, involving the police and the defense force the rain

that wreaked havoc and brought so much heart break has now stopped. But there are still risks, damaged infrastructure complicates the rescue

efforts. And there's the possibility of more deadly landslides.

Here in one of Japan's hardest hit prefectures, Hiroshima, a river clogged with debris overflows Tuesday morning, forcing yet another round of

evacuations. 23,000 more people told to immediately leave their homes.

Canceling an overseas trip, Mr. Shinzo Abe, visited the devastated areas. He met with people who'd been forced to take shelter at an evacuation

center.

The rising waters forced to million people from their homes. Thousands of houses are damaged, thousands more still without power. Here, in Okayama

Prefecture, life as it once was at a standstill. Operations at a Mitsubishi and Panasonic factory were temporarily halted. That said,

smaller businesses can only begin to pick up the pieces. Paula Newton, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks to Paula for that report. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from CNN Center.

And Donald Trump launches a blistering attack on Germany. But what's behind his confrontational comments? That's next.

[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: OK. So, let's get back to our top story this hour, the ongoing NATO summit. Now, President Trump's combative stance along with his

upcoming meetings with Russian's President make for a tense run-up to this world leaders meeting as Fred Pleitgen now reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FEDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump has ripped into America's NATO partners saying they don't

spend enough on defense while the U.S. shoulders the bulk of the alliance's costs. European politicians calling on Trump not to forget who his friends

are.

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: America, appreciate your allies. After all you don't have that many.

Dear Mr. President, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit

Reporter: Vladimir Putin's spokesman saying the Russians have nothing to do with the turmoil between America and its allies, clearly not unhappy

about the weekend alliance.

PLEITGEN: NATO's loss might be the Kremlin's gain. Vladimir Putin spokesman saying the Russians have nothing to do with the turmoil between

America and its allies. But clearly, not unhappy about the weakened alliance.

DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (through translator): This is an alliance that was constructed to serve the purpose of confrontation, and our

attitude is based on this belief. What the alliance is doing long-term -- I mean them getting closer to our border and expanding military

infrastructure towards our borders -- just proves the essence of the alliance.

PLEITGEN: Russian pundits and politicians feel President Trump might be moving America away from its European allies and closer to Russia. State

TV even joking, that the Brits may have staged the recent poisoning of two people with Novichok. The same military grade nerve agent used to poison a

former Russian spy in England earlier this year to derail the upcoming Trump/Putin summit.

EVGENY POPOV, HOST, "60 MINUTES" (through translator): There is a vast field for conspiracy theories given that Trump is coming to the U.K. And

with the NATO summit coming up there gearing up to place blame on us and prepare Trump ahead of his meeting with Putin.

PLEITGEN: The U.S.'s allies will be closely watching both the NATO summit and the Trump/Putin meeting, looking to see whether America's President

really will have an easier time with the Russian leader than with long standing partners. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks for that, Fred.

Now I want to drill down on the U.S. President's criticism of Germany that we told you about a little bit earlier. He said Germany is quote, captive

of Russia, pointing to German reliance on Russian natural gas.

Well, emerging marketing editor, John Defterios, is in London to explain what's behind Mr. Trump's comments? John, good to see you. So, why these

comments from Mr. Trump now. And also, I mean crucially, is there truth to his statement about over dependency?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think it's premature to talk about over dependency on Russian gas. But Russia is the

largest player in Europe and we can put this into context. But this is pipeline politics at its finest. And there's also U.S. interests that we

could talk about as well.

The President singled out the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because it is a controversy will one. Let's take a look at it in the graphic. It goes

from southwest Russia and through the Baltic Sea to northern Germany. And then is dispersed from there. It is the second pipeline. Nord Stream 1

and 2 and it importantly bypasses Ukraine. So, it reduces the transit fees and it cuts out Ukraine entirely for political reasons. I obviously, of

what we have seen in the last four or five years.

[11:50:00] Now, let's drill down a little bit on Germany, itself. Germany does import 94 percent of all its natural gas, including from countries

within the European Union. Of that 94 percent, about a third comes from Russia right now. So, it's not an over dependency. The other reality is

here is that the European Union demand -- according to the International Energy Agency in Paris -- is going to grow by 20 percent over the next 20

years. It's a natural fact. They are reducing their nuclear exposure in Europe. They're cutting out the coal demand going forward, so natural gas

burns cleaner and the demand will rise. And in fact, Germany took issue with this idea that it's building an over reliance on Russia right now.

Here's the defense minister and what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

URSULA VAN DE LEYEN, GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER: This economic project started I think back in 2002 or '3, so way before Russia changed its

behavior in 2014.

But on the other hand, we have a very diverse mix of energy supply, so the President hasn't to be worried that there is any kind of dependency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: I'm not so sure about that. The diversity of supply is not there yet. They are bringing a pipe lane from Azerbaijan. That's the

truth. Each will become a player in natural gas. Will Russia fight to get that pipeline built so it comes into Europe. Algeria is a player as well.

I think the President, Robyn, got this 70 percent figure on the overall imports into Europe of natural gas. But half of that, less than half of

it, a third, in fact, at this stage comes from Russia. So, it's overstating the fact that over dependency.

CURNOW: OK, it's good to do some fact checking there. Thanks, John. So, when we're talking about all this, what about the U.S. players, how they

compete with Russia on this?

DEFTERIOS: I think this is the number one overlooked issue for Donald Trump. He is lobbying, of course, against Russia. But the U.S. has a

strong interest in this right now. First and foremost, they've opened up two export LNG terminals, liquified natural gas, over the last three years

ago. One coming out of Louisiana, one coming out of the East Coast. By 2020, Robyn, they'll have four more export terminals. How big of a player

will they be? We know Qatar is a major player and they'll remain number one. Australia's come on the scene over the last three years. They're

number two. The U.S. is going to be number three by 2020.

So, President Trump is talking about this over dependency on Russia, what he's really trying to say is, you have alternatives. There's American LNG.

It can come to Europe at a competitive price. As competitive as the pipelines coming from Russia? No. But he wants to balance out those

supplies going into the European Union. But after all, he is saying that is why we have NATO allies. Even though he leans on those allies in a very

different way these days with sanctions particularly into the European Union.

CURNOW: OK, as you said, pipeline politics. John Defterios, always good to speak to you. Thank you.

So, still he had here at CNN, Harry and Meghan make their first official visit as a married couple. Details, including where they went. That's

next.

[11:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Dublin's Trinity College got a visit from Britain's Royal newlyweds today. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Ireland on their

first official foreign trip as a married couple and many people there were very, very excited.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harry loved our shirts. He said, did you seriously by those. We were like, yes, they were from us. Yes, they're from us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the best thing of our lives. My legs were shaking so much. I can barely stand up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Cute, aren't they? Now the pair met with the Irish President as well the Duke of Sussex was, of course, asked about the World Cup, telling

journalists that he thinks England would, quote, most definitely be bringing the game home.

These parting shots, preceding what might be England's winning shot at the World Cup later today.

OK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining us. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with CNN, more news continues.

END