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Recordings Of Trump's Interview With The Sun; London Mayor Hits Back At Trump; Large Protests Against Trump In London; Trump Slams May In The Sun Newspaper Interview; Delayed U.S.-N.K. Talks On Troop Remains Set For Sunday; Parents Now Allowed To Visit Boys In Hospital Room; Thai Cave Rescue; May and Trump To Give News Conference. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired July 13, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. I'm Hala Gorani coming to you live from London. You are watching CNN's special coverage of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. Protests, talks, and tea with the queen are the order of the day for Donald Trump. He and the British Prime Minister Theresa May are also set to hold a news conferee this hour, 45 minutes from now. That is what the schedule calls for. We will be monitoring that.
It is set to be tense and here is why. President Trump basically trashed the Prime Minister's Brexit plan, and praised her political nemesis, and hard Brexit supporter Boris Johnson in a tabloid newspaper.
The two leaders held bilateral talks earlier today at the Prime Minister's official country residence of Chequers, not inside Central London, where there are demonstrations against the U.S. President taking over the streets of the city, and taking over the skies in the form of a Trump baby balloon flown near the Houses of Parliament this morning.
Talks about Theresa May have, of course, been overshadowed by Mr. Trump's comments to the British press, first came to front pages, now, the recordings of President Trump's bombshell interview with Britain's Sun newspaper are out. Listen to him in his own words telling the newspaper how he tried to tell U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May how to do Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn't agree with -- she didn't listen to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did she say?
TRUMP: She didn't listen. No. I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say, but I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's bring in Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, was this planned for the U.S. President? Was this some sort of plan beforehand to talk to a Murdoch-owned tabloid newspaper to basically trash the Prime Minister who invited the U.S. President to this working visit to the U.K.?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, his comments were a surprise to his aides. They also thought that this interview wasn't going to be published until today. Instead, it dropped late last night after the President finished his dinner with the Prime Minister Theresa May, and I can't tell you just how much this interview is shocking all of London.
The President completely undercutting Theresa May while he is a guest here in her country saying probably the worst thing you could say about her right now, the most politically damaging thing, which is that she is not handling Brexit well.
That is what exactly a lot of her critics are saying, and the fact the U.S. President, another world leader is here saying the same thing in her own country is certainly going to be quite damaging for her -- this stunning interview from the president where he made a number of bombshell remarks, like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think what's happened to Europe is a shame. I think the immigration -- allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe, and unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was, and I don't mean that in a positive way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: So the President there, talking about immigration in Europe. He also dashed the hopes of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal. That is something Theresa May was counting on as part of her Brexit plan. That is why she's really stomached a lot of the things that the President has said in recent days.
And now she is left with this in the aftermath of this interview that has really shocked all of London. Now, they're having this working lunch right now. They're going to hold a press conference where they are going to get questions about this from reporters, direct questions that they have to answer.
Earlier when they first sat down, and they met at Chequers, the President was asked if he regretted the comments he made during this stunning interview when he praised Theresa May's political rival -- her biggest political rival, the President grew quite annoyed with the reporter who asked.
He rolled his eyes, and shook his head, but didn't answer the question. He will have that option at this upcoming press conference here, Hala. GORANI: All right. And by the way, this is the front page of The Sun
newspaper. I'm going to show our viewers. This is how The Sun newspaper qualified the headline they chose to describe the content of the interview. May has wrecked the Brexit. U.S. deal is off.
[08:05:00] That's not exactly what he said, but he questioned, basically, whether or not the U.S. and the U.K. could have a beneficial trade deal if a soft Brexit was what the U.K. government strategy was. I do wonder, though.
I mean, this is going to be extremely awkward, Kaitlan, this news conference, because -- we have lost, I believe, the connection with Kaitlan Collins. And we'll get back to her as soon as we can re- establish that connection.
Because, as I was saying, there's a news conference scheduled for 45 minutes from now, and all the questions are going to have to be about the content of this Sun tabloid newspaper interview. He didn't just lob sort of criticisms at Theresa May.
He also criticized the London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He is hitting back at President Trump for that interview he gave blasting the British Prime Minister. Here's what Khan cold Christiane Amanpour a short time ago. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Let me say the irony of people lecturing me about the -- our diplomacy. Particularly, President Trump and his supporters about it is so diplomatic, tough protests when the President comes to London. I argue with respect so diplomatic, when you're about to enter a country to do an interview which criticizes the Prime Minister and the strategy that she said embarking on whether you agree, or disagree with that strategy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Khan, who is London's first Muslim mayor also addressed Mr. Trump's claim that he'd done a very bad job on terrorism and immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHAN: In London and across the country the U.K. government, Theresa May, is responsible for immigration in the U.K., and across Europe is, of course, the E.U. individual countries that aren't in the European Union. And so I'm unclear why he singled me out around in relation to her concerns around immigration.
I'll say this, though, Immigration has been a source of huge benefits to our city and our country economically, socially, and culturally, and by that Americans who make our city the greatest city in the world. We lost fourteen people last year in terror attacks last year.
And one of the competent things for us was the message of support and love from friends around the world including America. Beginning in Manchester, we lost 22 people in the terror attacks, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Venice, lost many, many people. We're all grappling with the evils of terrorism. And so President Trump sort of explained why he singled me out as the mayor of London, not other mayors, or other leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, he's questioning, why single me out? Some people are also saying, why criticize the female leaders in Europe? Angela Merkel first, and Theresa May here in the U.K., the Prime Minister. President Trump declined to answer questions about his interview with The Sun during comments to the press at his meeting with the Prime Minister.
Kaitlan Collins was mentioning that he said in fact the U.S.-U.K. relationship is very strong. CNN's Nic Robertson joins me now live from Winfield House where the President and First Lady spent Thursday night. So, Theresa May did not get what she bargained for. She wanted to cement that special relationship, and instead, she got that Sun interview?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: She did. Look, she has invested a huge amount in that. Remember, she was the first leader to go, and visit, and congratulate President Trump just days after his inauguration at the White House, but she used that opportunity to invite him to Britain for a state visit.
So that's a very big political investment of her political capital, because she wanted to have that good relationship, wanted to have good business deals with the United States after Britain leaves the European Union, wanted that message for the British people, wanted that message to negotiate the -- new negotiators in Brussels.
So to have it thrown back in her face in such a hard fashion at the end of the week when she's trying to keep her party together, lost key ministers, it really is a very, very tough challenge. However, when he saw her today at Chequers with President Trump, she wasn't attacking him, indeed, praising him for what he had done at NATO.
Saying them you know, he worked -- that everyone worked, he worked effectively with the leaders at NATO. We know at NATO yesterday, things went off schedule, off track. President Trump demanding that the leaders stump up more money for defense spending, stump it up quicker.
They didn't agree to that, but Theresa May was congratulating him for those efforts. So publicly, she's not berating him, but I think it's going to be very tough, as you were trying to ask Kaitlan before, how these two people are going to handle what is -- what is an utterly dysfunctional relationship, it appears, publicly, how they're going to handle that publicly in a press conference?
President Trump will find it very, very hard to dodge that question. He may roll his eyes, but the repercussions of what he told The Sun newspaper, but people are going to want to find out Theresa May's response, and how they're going to try to patch this thing up, if at all they can.
[08:10:04] Personally, probably not. The two countries, however, recognize leaders change the relationship they wanted to continue strategically important to both, most people would argue.
GORANI: All right. Although I'm not sure the prime minister got what she, well, was expecting out of the U.S. President during this visit. British demonstrators are out in force today to protest the U.S. President's visit. Joining me now is Nick Paton Walsh. Nick, what's going on where you are right now?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, in a protest, a women's march is essentially the start...
GORANI: All right, you know what, Nick...
WALSH: At least we put in these numbers at about 4,000, but I have -- lost the shot. At this point, Hala, police are estimating the crowd to be about 4,000 strong, but I have to say, the volume of people on this the central streets of London, Regent Street, running from Oxford Circus, all the way down to eventually Trafalgar Square. There must be (Inaudible), I would say about 10,000 people.
So, with a variety of different slogans on the placards they hold, sexism, racism, all of them essentially part of the message from the women and men gathered here, too, and this is an extraordinary moment, because...
WALSH: They appear to be cheering a police helicopter at this point. This is normally the busy, bustling commercial heart of London, where you would, frankly, expect there to be a lockdown to enable the U.S. President to move through, to go about the business of a normal state, or in this case a working visit very much demoted, frankly, the kind of trip he's having here, but instead, the police are out in force.
Four thousand of them or so, of cost of nearly $15 million or 10 million pounds, they're estimating, to ensure this goes ahead smoothly, and we're just really at the beginning, frankly. This is a working day normally.
People may have taken the day off to be here during the afternoon, but what we don't know is exactly where this ends. We've seen the occasional peppered sign of pro-Trump supporters coming out in some number, but really, it scares, frankly, and I think the hope the police have is this remains as calm as possible as the day progresses, and this protest itself moves down towards Piccadilly Circus, and then Trafalgar Square, and ending at Parliament Square.
And what's important, Hala, to remember this is a place where -- that should normally be the heart of the U.S. sitting President's visit here. Instead, it is a scene of signs saying, without migrants, immigrants, Mr. Trump, you would not have any wives. Saying, a lot of expletives, frankly, in the signs that we're seeing
up here, a lot of anger, and really a sign, frankly, that this is a country whose capital, at least, does not want to welcome the U.S. President at all, and maybe that's sign is some good news for Theresa May, because while he is busy trying to undermine her political future that may in the minds of many here actually make her stronger. Hala.
GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh there with protesters in Central London. Apologies for some of the expletives. We should put Nick on delay, I think, next time he broadcasts from within a group. Erika Miller is on the board of directors of Republicans Overseas U.K. Hello.
ERIKA MILLER, BOARD MEMBER, REPUBLICANS OVERSEAS UK: Hi. Thank you for having me.
GORANI: Well, thank you for coming on. How would you react if a foreign president came to the United States, criticized the sitting president, blamed him for not taking the advice of a foreign country, and then threatened to thwart a trade deal, because they didn't go -- they didn't decide to go down the road, the strategic road that they wanted? How would you react to that?
MILLER: Well, I think everyone will look at it in a pragmatic position in terms of work -- what are all the facts and circumstances. I am pretty sure people criticize the United States all the time. We are always getting criticized by world leaders. And this is about the time...
GORANI: No leader has ever come to Washington, D.C., as guest of the President of the United States, and trashed that person's foreign policy. That's never happened. I think if it did happen, you would be extremely offended, would you not?
MILLER: Look, again, I think I'm going to look at the facts and circumstances over there. I mean, some people are saying that's trashing, but other people are saying, you know, Trump is sending a hard message here. You know, is he really telling something that other people aren't feeling and thinking themselves?
He's talking, you know, what he views is the truth, and when you look at the facts, the U.S. is the single largest ambassador in the U.K. There is over $1 trillion that each other invests in between the U.S. and the U.K. economy, over 150 billion pounds of trade per year. There are some serious facts, and figures, and there is a lot of investment.
GORANI: What does that have to do with what he told The Sun newspaper in the middle of an official visit?
[08:15:01] May has wrecked Brexit?
MILLER: I don't know. Is that the exact words that were used?
GORANI: Well, basically he said that. Threatening -- not to sign a mutually beneficial trade deal if she doesn't hard Brexit?
MILLER: OK. We have to look at again the facts and circumstances here. He's always been saying from the very beginning that he wanted to give the U.K. the top of the list priority of doing a trade deal. He had proposed free trade. Now we're in a situation, in we're not quite sure where Brexit is going to go, where there's a lot of muddy water.
You know, there's a blueprint to say, you know, it could look like one thing, but it might end up being something else. He might be in a position of having to negotiate first with the E.U. before he can negotiate with the U.K., and what everybody wants out of this is a beneficial trade deal that's going to help both the U.S. and the U.K. economies at the end of the day.
GORANI: But all of that is not the point. The point is...
MILLER: Of course it is. Of course it's the point.
GORANI: ... he come out in the middle of an official visit insults the Prime Minister after having insulted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Why is he doing this?
MILLER: He has also given the Prime Minister a lot of praise, especially at NATO, when he was talking, you know, every country should be at two percent invested in NATO, and he praised the U.K., saying congratulations. The U.K. is at two percent, and more counties should be like the U.K.
GORANI: What do you make of him also criticizing the London mayor for being soft on terror and crime?
MILLER: Well, there is a bit of a crime problem in London. Being someone who lives in London, I'm a bit scared to walk around, and there is something that needs to be done about that. And I think the mayor should focus a little bit more on devoting police resources to fighting that crime versus having to...
GORANI: Investing to police resources -- the police resources, funding cuts...
GORANI: ... are not coming from -- are not coming from the mayor's office. They're coming from the central government in this country.
MILLER: Yes. I think his efforts would be very much focused better on trying to solve some of those problems, and working on doing what needs to be done...
GORANI: But why is the U.S. President criticizing the London Mayor, who's a Muslim, and I believe the London Mayor is saying, you must question why he's directing his ire at me. Do you think that has something to do with the fact he's Muslim -- the first Muslim mayor of London? MILLER: I don't think that has to do at all. I think he -- you know,
Donald Trump has been very clear that he wants to protect western values, and making sure that we're standing together, you know, with our strong relationship between sharing -- you know, between our two countries we have the strongest, deepest relationship when it comes to military cooperation, and intelligence sharing, and he wants to do that.
GORANI: But that's not the question. Do you think he's criticizing the London mayor because he's Muslim?
GORANI: And he is first Muslim mayor of London?
MILLER: No, I don't think that's it. I mean...
GORANI: Do you think it's completely unrelated that he's focusing on him?
MILLER: We all know he has a very strong personality.
GORANI: He talked about immigration, and how immigration is changing the fabric and culture of Europe. Does that not sound...
MILLER: Immigration is changing constantly, if look at history, there's always been an immigration period throughout history. So it's nothing new. And as there is immigration, it's always going to change the fabric of the culture, and that is nothing bad.
GORANI: No, but he's saying that it's bad, essentially. That Europe will not go back to what it once was. I.e., what, white?
MILLER: No, that's not the point. The point is again protecting western values, that it's important between European culture and U.S. culture, and making sure that we are standing up to the threats against those western values.
GORANI: Erika Miller, thank you very much for joining us. Appreciate your time on CNN.
MILLER: Thank you.
GORANI: First Lady Melania Trump and the Prime Minister's husband Philip May are also out in about today, the two spouses visiting the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. It isn't actually a hospital, but a home for retired soldiers known as the Chelsea Pensioners.
And we also know it -- nowhere is the sight of the Chelsea flower show every may. Mrs. Trump spoke about her the best program before both of them took part in some traditional British bowling with Pensioners and children outside. There we have those (Inaudible). We're expecting to join a press conference by the U.S. President and Prime Minister May within the hour. We will bring you much more of our special coverage of Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. after the break. Stay with us.
[08:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: Well, we're awaiting to here the outcome from Donald Trump and Theresa May's meeting, she's hosting the President for bilateral talks at her country's residence Chequers. Earlier, the Mr. Trump said the U.S.-U.K. relationship was very strong.
But it certainly doesn't feel that way considering what he said in that interview with The Sun about the Prime Minister, immigration, and the mayor of London. Dan Stewart is the international editor at Time magazine, and he joins me now live. Kaitlan Collins, our reporter was telling me earlier that the President's own team appeared surprised by this interview.
DAN STEWART, INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, TIME: I think that's right, I think that perhaps we're expecting it to come out later than it was. I know from the interview itself, they only wanted to do only 10 minutes, and they ended up running half an hour.
STEWART: I think, much, much longer. I'm hearing from my reporter in Chequers that it's likely that he's going to come out at the press conference, and walk it back a little bit to emphasize that actually the link...
GORANI: When will he do this? Because it came out yesterday after that gala dinner.
STEWART: It was in Brussels on Wednesday. So, it was before he met Theresa May.
GORANI: I see, OK. It's going to be awkward, isn't it? Meeting with her one-on-one at Chequers?
STEWART: It will. Apparently, they have minutes together before the rest of their teams join. I would love to be a fly on that wall.
STEWART: You know, the thing about Trump is he says these things in public, and then he turns around, and just say, look, you know, this was fake news. I'm totally committed to the relationship with the U.K. I think we're going to see a kind of united front a little bit to come out, and say the special relationship is as strong as ever.
GORANI: Yes, but I mean, he's walking back -- it's difficult to walk back when you have audio recorders at least of an interview where you are saying what The Sun -- I mean, officially -- but this headline is not 100 percent accurate. He didn't say U.S. deal is off. He said unless it's a hard Brexit, it's going to be a hard to have a mutually beneficial deal between the two countries.
STEWART: Right. That's right. And specifically with goods, right?
STEWART: Which is the deal that may is trying to corroborate with the E.U. would have continued line of the E.U. on goods, but on services, they won't be able to go as well, which is of course the...
GORANI: So, what impact will this have on Brexit? Because people in Europe really care about that I think first and foremost?
STEWART: I think Brexit has enough trouble without Donald Trump, honestly.
GORANI: I mean, internally, will this make Theresa May's position even more precarious because she appears weaker?
STEWART: Well, yes. Hard to make her appear more weak right now with the cabinet disunited behind her, trying to convince parliament. I mean, if anything, this might make the E.U. leaders more conciliatory smart towards her, because she's trying to come up with a deal that will -- that they will approve.
Because ultimately, whatever deal the U.K. comes forward with, the other 27 members of the E.U. have to say, yes, we will accept this by March next year. There is a very, very short timeline on this. So perhaps it will get her some sympathy.
GORANI: So, Theresa, perhaps it will. But I wonder internally, I mean, how people who support a harder Brexit will maybe capitalize on some of this?
STEWART: They will be loving this. Boris Johnson, of course, who Trump effectively endorsed for the role of prime minister, I'm sure he's having a good day today, and others in that -- in that faction. Yes, it will certainly strengthen their hands especially as we go towards the parliamentary debate that's going to go in on this, and whether or not it will actually pass parliament.
GORANI: Let's get back to the Trump visit. So after Brussels where he criticized Angela Merkel, he now lobs this at Theresa May, and also, by the way, attacks the mayor of London Sadiq Khan. I mean, I know we can't get inside Donald Trump's head, but is he -- is there a strategy there? What is he doing?
STEWART: The interview with The Sun is a bit of mystery because I think on Wednesday with NATO, he said that he wasn't prepared to talk about Brexit, and it was quite sort of diplomatic about it. And there is something, I suppose, must have changed when he spoke to The Sun, which is why I think you'll probably going to see a shift again today.
[08:25:00] I mean, look, Donald Trump is one of those guys he goes guard because on instincts. You know, he's going to say whatever is in his mind. I think that he associates himself with Brexit quite a lot. Don't forget... GORANI: Well, he's ideologically aligned with...
GORANI: ... those who back Brexit, right? I mean, the Steve Bannon, and Nigel Farage, that group of ideologues, once hard Brexit is -- does not trust international organizations, and international cooperation, much more nationalistic and isolationist, right?
STEWART: Absolutely. He called himself Mr. Brexit in August 2016.
STEWART: You know, he looks at that vote, and said, well, that's been driven a populist energy, by anti-establishment. That's exactly the same forces that propelled him to power. So, I think he does feel as sort of kinship with it in a sense. So, perhaps having seen it, and not go the way that he might want it to go is being disruptive.
GORANI: I'm going to ask you one last question.
GORANI: Those who do support a closer, a softer Brexit, closer ties with the E.U., NATO, international organizations, the U.N., the Paris climate accord, all of those things, what is there -- I mean, what weapons do they have in their arsenal, because right now, the political currents are not going in their favor?
STEWART: I mean, I suppose they have time on their sides a little bit, and I mean, I think Donald Trump will soon turn his attention to Vladimir Putin, and the relationship there. The Brexit negotiations will continue, and I think they have unity as well among the 27 countries. Emmanuel Macron already talked about sort of forging a group aside from the U.S.
GORANI: Not unity with all 27 countries because you have hungary, the Czech Republic types that are...
STEWART: On Brexit I meant.
GORANI: Oh, on Brexit, right.
STEWART: They sort of are presenting a united front.
GORANI: Dan Stewart, thank you so much for joining us.
STEWART: Thanks for having me.
GORANI: And we'll speak with you hopefully soon after that news conference. And some other news we're following this hour, envoys from the U.S. and North Korea are now set to meet Sunday for talks on U.S. troops remaining there. That's after a North Korean delegation failed to show up for talks Thursday in the DMZ. CNN's Andrew Stevens is live from Seoul, South Korea with an update on that. Andrew. ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. For reasons
only known to the North Koreans they did not attend a meeting which have been scheduled on Thursday, and did not let the Americans know they wouldn't be there until mid-day on Thursday when they got in touch to say that they wanted to have that meeting on Sunday.
So, as far as we're aware, the meeting is all set up for Sunday, but the optics at the very least, bad on this. Already Mike Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong-chol, who is Kim Jong-un's right-hand man in Pyongyang, a week ago today or started a week ago today, has seen as making no headway at all on the issue of denuclearization.
So, this is just more evidence, if you like, that the North Koreans are, at the very least, playing hardball, or much more likely than that are not following the script at all when it comes to denuclearization. They have something different in mind. We've heard from Donald Trump.
He tweeted out a message saying that they're making great progress on the talks, and he also tweeted a letter from Kim Jong-un to Donald Trump, dated July on the 6th, that was the day when Mike Pompeo landed in Pyongyang, and Kim Jong-un saying that he looked forward to strengthening his relationship, and working towards some sort of knew denuclearization.
But, Hala, again, absolutely no specifics whatsoever on this. And on top of that, the U.S. is now pushing that the U.N. Security Council to stop China and Russia delivering anymore oil supplies to North Korea.
The U.S. has said that the North Koreans are sanctions busting on that that they've actually reached and surpassed their allotted amount for the year, and it's time to basically turn off the taps on North Korea. So there is a lot of anger. There is a lot of issues still very much at the fore before we even get down to talking about denuclearization.
GORANI: Andrew Stevens, thanks very much. The Thai boys and their football coach rescued from a cave are getting healthier by the day. That is good news. Their relatives are now allowed to visit them next to their hospital beds, and the Thai Navy SEALs who helped get the team out were returned to their base to a heroes' welcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Hooyah! Hooyah! Hooyah!
GORANI: The chant of hooyah for those Navy SEALs, they were part of an international rescue team that saved the trapped boys. British volunteers who were in that contingent of 13 foreign divers landed back in the U.K., Thursday.
RICK STANTON, BRITISH DIVER: As we are coming the slope, we were counting them to 13. Unbelievable. We gave them a little bit of, some extra light. They still had light. They looked in good health. But, of course, when we departed, all we could think about was how we were going to get them out, and so there was relief tempered with uncertainty. (END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Rick Stanton also said the foreign divers were not heroes, but were just using their very unique skill set to get the team out.
Well, we're awaiting that joint news conference from the U.S. president and Prime Minister May any moment now. Meanwhile, protests in London continue. We'll bring you much more of our special coverage of Donald Trump's visit to the U.K.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN "Breaking News."
GORANI: Welcome back to our special coverage of Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. I'm Hala Gorani coming to you live from London. The American president and the British prime minister, Theresa May, are set to hold a news conference at any moment. It's scheduled for 8:45. It is currently 8:45 Eastern, I should say 1:45 p.m. local. It's now 1:32.
The two have been holding bilateral talks today at Ms. May's official country residence, Chequers. You can imagine perhaps that the atmosphere was likely to be slightly tense after Mr. Trump tore into the prime minister's Brexit plan in the British newspaper, The Sun. Take a listen to a recording of part of that interview.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me.
I think the deal that she is striking is not what the people voted on. It's a much different deal than the people voted on. It was not the deal that was in the Referendum.
If they do that, I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.
I was very surprised and saddened that he was getting out of government. And you lost some other very good people.
Well, I'm not pitting one against the other. I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister.
GORANI: So the president there telling The Sun newspaper he believes Boris Johnson would be a great prime minister. Boris Johnson, of course, resigned in protest over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy. To see how British lawmakers are reacting to President Trump's visit, I'm joined via Skype by British MP Gavin Shuker of the Labour and Co- operative Party. Your reaction first of all to this interview, The Sun newspaper interview with the president praising Boris Johnson and criticizing Theresa May's Brexit strategy. What did you make of it?
GAVIN SHUKER, BRITISH MP, LABOUR AND CO-OPERATIVE PARTY: Well, on the surface of it, of course, it's an incendiary set of remarks, but in a sense we've expected this for a long time.
[08:35:03] You know, when people show you who they are, you should believe them. And Donald Trump clearly doesn't have that gift of diplomacy that we seem to respect so well in the U.K.
His visit comes at a time of huge deceive (ph) and unease in the British parliament about his visit and really serious questions now need to be asked of Theresa May in terms of her closeness and her strategy with Trump and (INAUDIBLE) own policy.
GORANI: I'm having a bit of trouble hearing you there. I don't know if it's the same for our viewers. But do you think this will weaken Prime Minister Theresa May further? This criticism from the U.S. president in The Sun?
SHUKER: Yes. I think it will, actually. You might expect me to say that. I'm, of course, an opposition politician here in the U.K., but as viewers of your channel are well informed or know, this is already a prime minister in a very, very difficult situation over Brexit.
Her Brexit plan needed a home run from this president and stamp of approval and to get her own back benches in line. And I'm afraid that Donald Trump's remarks make it even less likely now she'll be able to hold together a coalition of supporters on her own side.
That's really scary, not just for those who believe in a special relationship with the U.S., but also ongoing good relationship with the E.U.
GORANI: But your party, the Labour Party, doesn't really have a clear-cut strategy either? Right? If you were in power, what would your position be on Brexit? You know, depending on which labor politician you speak to, you sometimes get different answers.
SHUKER: Yes. I'll accept that. There's been huge changes in politics right across the west, and actually in the British Labour Party, we're not immune from that either. I'll tell you what I think we should be trying to do, though, which is to be honest with people that there are huge trade-offs with leaving the European Union.
If we were talking about this two years ago before the election of Donald Trump, many people would say to me, don't worry, we'll get a great trade deal with the U.S. by leaving. We're seeing protectionism coming in, the potential of a trade war, which is why man in the British Labour Party believe this needs to go back to the people, and to get their consent on a deal. Events have changed around us and we don't want to find ourselves isolated in the mid-Atlantic. GORANI: But why -- my question is, why did the Labour Party not campaign a little bit harder? I mean, your leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was lukewarm at best during the referendum campaign. Why is the Labour Party not more passionately pro-E.U.? It's a party that has many opportunities now with the weakening of the prime minister and the disarray in her party to make some headway yet somehow you're not managing to do that.
SHUKER: Look, I don't disagree with a word of that. I was someone that passionately campaigned to try and remain in the European Union and my own feeling is that under a different leader of the Labour Party, it would probably would have got it over the line. But we have to deal with the reality of the situation we're in now.
Some sympathy for people that say, you can't just overturn a democratically conducted vote, but when the British people said they wanted us to leave the E.U., they didn't leave us clear instructions as to what to do next. Theresa May has lost her majority. Now it comes down to parliament to decide the shape of that deal.
And we have been working within the Labour Party to try to make sure that we have the softest of Brexit that gives us the best of both worlds. We want a trade deal with the U.S. My own preference is do it through the E.U., because we'll always get much better terms.
GORANI: Gavin Shuker of the Labour and Co-operative Party, thanks for joining us on CNN. We appreciate your time on the program.
The dominant seat in London over the past few hours have been that giant orange Trump baby blimp flying in protest of Mr. Trump's visit. Some say it's simply an exercise in free speech. Others say it shows disrespect to a head of state.
Erin McLaughlin is with the women's march protesters in Central London and joins us now. Talk to us about what is happening around you, Erin. Take it away.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. Well this is the women's march, as you say, behind me, part of what organizers are calling the "Carnival of Resistance." Let me just move out of the way to show you what's happening here. We have stopped right outside of Downing Street. We're right on White Hall right now. You can see Downing Street just over that way. Plenty of security there.
[08:40:01] And then down the street, down White Hall, this protest, last police estimate (ph) some 4,000 demonstrators here marching through the streets of London as part of this wave. This is a precursor march to the "Stop Trump March" which will happen later today.
Organizers tells me that it's fitting that today's wave of marches begins with the women. I've been speaking to some of the protesters here from all around the U.K. Organizers tell me that their objectives in this march really are twofold. First, to send a message to President Trump that his policies are not welcome here. Many see those policies as being divisive. They also want to send a message to Prime Minister May, that she needs to uphold British values when she sits down at the table with the president today. That those values of tolerance, inclusiveness all need to be represented in those meetings.
Now, as you can see, we've just started marching once again. And where we're going is we're going to Parliament Square. There, this
march will stop and hold a rally, again, sending those messages to President Trump as well as Prime Minister May.
GORANI: Erin McLaughlin there with the women's march protesters. We are continuing to wait for that joint news conference between the U.S. president and Prime Minister May. It's scheduled for 1:45 p.m. We'll bring you much more of our special coverage of Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. in just a moment. These are live images coming to us from Chequers in Buckinghamshire, England.
GORANI: The U.S. president is wrapping up his meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. They are expected to speak just a few minutes from now in a joint news conference. Ms. May is hosting the president for bilateral talks at her country's residence, Chequers.
Earlier, Mr. Trump said the U.S.-U.K. relationship is very strong but he rolled his eyes at a reporter's question about his interview with Rupert Murdoch on tabloid, The Sun.
I want to bring back Dan Stewart, international editor at Time Magazine. He rolled his eyes when a reporter asked him about it, but The Sun essentially -- he gave -- we were discussing this earlier -- this interview when he was in Brussels and he talked a lot about Brexit, about how he gave Theresa May advice on Brexit, she didn't follow it.
And because she didn't follow it, it might be difficult to kind of come up with a mutually -- to agree to a mutually beneficial trade deal. This is a grenade, basically, he lobbed once again.
DAN STEWART, INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Right, I think so. And he does seem to have a sort of obsession with Brexit. I think The Huffington Post reported this morning that every time he calls Theresa May on the phone, he starts to go with, you Brexited yet?
As if it is something that she can just unilaterally do rather than through negotiations with her party and her government and the European Union leaders.
GORANI: Why does the U.S. president believe it is in his or his country's best interests for a hard Brexit to happen and for the E.U. to be weakened?
STEWART: That is a very loaded question. I mean, I think, you know, Trump sees himself as a disrupter, right, of the world order. That's certainly what he did with the Paris Climate Accord and with the Iran agreement. And I think he sees that, you know, if he can be the author of this kind of disruption then perhaps that makes the U.S. look stronger?
[08:45:00] GORANI: But for disruption's sake?
STEWART: That certainly seems to be -- if there's a strategy behind it, it's hard to determine. I think as we were saying before, you know, he initially said that he didn't want to comment on Brexit, then came out and gave this interview to The Sun.
We'll see now in this news conference whether or not he's going to walk back his comments or whether he is going to say, look, this is not a big deal. Our relationship is as strong as ever. It's going to be very interesting to see exactly the the tone they strike.
GORANI: This is coming also against the backdrop of increased tariffs on European steel. The legitimate (ph) agreement is that the U.S. can have with China, for instance, over dumping (ph). But, really, just slapping your closest allies with 25 percent tariffs, that also is an unusual move for a U.S. president.
STEWART: Right. I think this is a U.S. president who sees things as a zero-sum game, you know. If there is a discrepancy in trade, it's because the U.S. is losing out --
STEWART: -- rather than just that's just the body of trade.
GORANI: He says that a lot.
STEWART: Exactly, yeah. And I think that is how he sees that certainly explains his view on NATO as well. He believes the U.S. is getting a rough ride. He said several times now that U.S. is funding 90 percent of NATO military spending or closer to I think 66 percent. And in terms of direct spending, it is something like 20 percent.
GORANI: Right. There is also a much larger economy.
STEWART: Right, but it seems wrong to view defense through this sort of transactional thing. You know, if a NATO member needs help, you know, is the U.S. going to come out and say, well, you know, we'll help defend you if you stump up four percent of your GDP towards defense immediately?
GORANI: Because the implication there is if you don't pony up the money, maybe we won't defend you?
STEWART: Right. And that's the sort of threats hanging over NATO at the moment, I think.
GORANI: Is it the belief within NATO member countries that there is that risk?
STEWART: No, I don't think so. We actually had the reports in Estonia, which is rather on the front line with Russia.
GORANI: And they pay more than two percent. STEWART: Yeah, I think that's right. And they take NATO very, verify seriously. The message from Estonia is all quiet on the eastern front. They don't see this as a threat. They see that the threat from Russia is much different than how it was in the 1980s.
You know, this is not a -- this doesn't have Napoleonic ambition anymore. It is very much a massive (ph) state that is going to push its influence in a very different way insidiously through --
GORANI: The annexation of Crimea was a complete game-changer in that part of the world.
STEWART: That's certainly true, yeah, but I don't think you would see the same in Estonia. It will be a far, far bigger deal for that to happen.
GORANI: Right. I mean, you can understand that they're slightly more fearful.
STEWART: Of course.
GORANI: Yeah, for that reason. So, what we're seeing here, let our viewers know, the schedule called for a joint news conference at 1:45 p.m. It's now 1:47 p.m. it's not unusual for this thing to slide a few minutes. But there you see two podiums. We're expecting the president, Donald Trump of the United States, Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May to make an appearance.
Let's talk a little bit more about the contents of The Sun interview. May has wrecked Brexit. U.S. deal -- but he also criticized Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, for being soft on terror and crime. He really, really almost does not miss an opportunity to attack Sadiq Khan.
STEWART: Right. Somewhat misguidedly. You know, the London mayor doesn't have responsibility for counter-terrorism policy or
particularly for crime. He obviously oversees the metropolitan police, but crime policy more broadly is something the government would deal with.
This is the latest in a long line of feuds that he's had with Sadiq Khan going back to Mayor Khan's first week as mayor. He actually gave an interview to Time, his first international interview to Time, where he spoke about how he would feared he wouldn't be able to come to the U.S. as a practicing Muslim.
STEWART: And that's really where this all started. He was very outspoken about then candidate Trump and then slowly it sort of snowballed. I think it does no harm to Sadiq Khan. He was of course on a different party to Theresa May, and to be seen as anti-Trump --
GORANI: And he is the mayor of London. London is not a by and large a Trump-loving city?
STEWART: No It's a very metropolitan -- GORANI: They're going to rally behind their mayor when he is attacked by Donald Trump.
STEWART: Exactly. You know, the balloon going up in Parliament Square and the protests, I think, yeah --
GORANI: Because permission to fly it over Trump golf courses in Scotland was denied --
GORANI: -- and it was granted here.
STEWART: Yes, exactly. I know. I think, you know, Sadiq is a smart politician. He sees this probably -- ultimately it will play to his benefit, I think.
GORANI: So, and then we are seeing here some of the aides or members of the delegation or people in charge, maybe even of the technical setup. I'm not too sure, but making sure everything is just so for the two leaders. So, you were saying you expect potentially the U.S. president to try to dial back some of what he said in this Sun interview?
STEWART: That's what we've heard a little bit from the ground at Chequers, that he is going to come out and try to clarify some of his comments, maybe make it slightly friendlier.
[08:50:03] Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of British people are hoping that it will be a kind of "Love Actually" situation where the British prime minister ticks off the American president in public, but I don't think we're going to see that. I think they're going to try and present a united front. May certainly not a prime minister in the Hugh Grant mode at least.
GORANI: So in that "Love Actually" scene, that's when Hugh Grant plays the prime minister and kind of tears into, at the time George W. Bush was the president and the Iraq war and invasion was going on and so it was kind of a little crowd -- in this case, no. Why? Because Theresa May needs to have Donald Trump on her side.
GORANI: Cannot afford to antagonize him.
STEWART: It's very important, but never more important than now with the U.K. leaving the E.U., sort of attempting to go it alone. It needs its strongest historical relationship as much as it can. Forget trade. This is really just having a friend you can count on.
GORANI: I find interesting that those who want a hard Brexit keep saying, our strongest relationship is with America. After Brexit, this country's strongest relationship will be with the E.U.
GORANI: I mean, by far. So it's kind of an interesting optics-wise, it's interesting to frame it that way, don't you think?
STEWART: Yeah. I think it's -- by comparing themselves to a super power like the U.S., you know, it reflects in the glory of having that great friendship, I think, and probably wouldn't see the same thing as coming from the E.U. But of course, on a trade level, they are always going to have a close relationship with Europe.
GORANI: In The Sun interview, the president again attacked the E.U. on trade, saying we're cracking down right now on the European Union, because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading.
If they -- if they do that, I would say that they would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States, talking about a soft Brexit. In other words, if you stay close to the E.U., I'm not guaranteeing any favorable treatment.
STEWART: Right. I guess currently all the U.K. trades with the U.S. goes through the E.U. as part of the same thing.
GORANI: And they can't even negotiate independently of the E.U. yet.
STEWART: Right, exactly. That's -- the whole idea of the E.U. is that you have the negotiating power of 28 countries versus a single one. So --
GORANI: So, the two leaders are walking out now. They've had their meeting at Chequers, outside of Central London. Theresa May, of course, organized that black tie gala dinner yesterday.
GORANI: And -- it is a slow walk to those podiums. They're still talking.
GORANI: Which is positive.
STEWART: I think they're deciding what angle to take.
GORANI: It's going to be interesting to see. I imagine, of course, the first -- I would be shocked if the first question -- there's another holding hands moment.
GORANI: I would be shocked if the first question wasn't about the content of that interview.
STEWART: Exactly, yeah.
GORANI: OK, let's listen to the two leaders at Chequers.
[08:55:00] [LIVE TRUMP/MAY PRESSER]