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Trump Spars with Macron as He Arrives in France for Armistice 100th Anniversary; California Wildfires; Tranquil French Forest Still Carries Scars of War. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired November 10, 2018 - 05:00   ET

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


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CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching live pictures from the Elysee Palace in Central Paris.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): and U.S. president Trump will be arriving here at any moment and we'll bring that to you.

VANIER (voice-over): He'll be met by French president Emmanuel Macron.

We want to welcome our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM from Atlanta.

Once President Trump arrives, he'll head inside for talks with French President Macron but their meeting may get off to a rough start after what happened recently.

VANIER: Just hours ago President Trump sent out a tweet blasting the French leader. He said Mr. Macron made a very insulting suggestion that Europe's military should be built up to counter the actions of the U.S., China and Russia.

President Trump was referencing remarks that President Macron made earlier this week. President Macron is expected to respond to the criticism during their face-to-face meeting.

Let's bring in CNN correspondents. Kaitlan Collins is with us; Melissa Bell is with us as well.

Kaitlan is at our Paris bureau in Central Paris. Melissa is at the presidency.

Kaitlan, let's begin with you.

Are you learning anything about Donald Trump's mindset as he comes in here to meet his host?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he clearly is setting the stage for a clash because he tweeted that remark about that comment from the French president being insulting, he said, minutes after he touched down on French soil, despite the fact that President Macron made that remark over a week ago during a French radio interview.

So the president waited until he was here to make that remark, to saying he believed that was insulting and essentially he seemed to be setting the stage for what could be a contentious meeting between the two leaders here today, as you see President Trump appears to be arriving here. There he is pulling up now.

We could hear the two of them make remarks as they climb the steps before they go inside. They're going to meet one on one at the beginning of this for about 25 minutes or so. That's what's on the schedule right now.

Then they'll bring their staffs in for a much longer extended bilateral meeting. At the meeting, they expect to talk about the United States' decision to withdraw from the INF treaty. It's the reason for the sparking of those comments from the French president. Saying in light of that, he said he was putting a renewed focus on European security.

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VANIER: Let me interrupt you for a second. We're now seeing the live footage of the French leader, Emmanuel Macron.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking French).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking French).

ALLEN: Let's bring in Melissa Bell, who's also covering the story for us. She's right there in the palace.

You can talk more about what you've witnessed when these two gentlemen came face-to-face after the dustup leading to this meeting -- Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have watched so closely this relationship as it's evolved, Natalie, from what had been an attempt at friendship or at least a dialogue or at least the beginning of a conversation from the French president and which has soured so much in the course of the last months.

Once again they meet in Paris. Of course, it's the second time President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed the American president to the French capital. But just consider how much has changed since July of last year.

There was the handshake there. Emmanuel Macron guided President Trump to the top of the steps as is customary and sort of insisted on waiting for a moment in front of the assembled press.

We hadn't expected either of them to address the cameras at that point. But we're hoping to hear at least from the French president in the course of the next few minutes. There should be cameras in there for a few minutes and we've been told to expect him to answer to, to speak to that tweet that was sent two minutes after the arrival of Air Force One last night directly.

We'll be looking the see what tone the French president takes. He's been fairly clear when he was seeking to establish that warm relationship to begin with. He's always been very plain speaking and free and painting himself as a man who's diametrically opposed to Donald Trump in terms of his vision of the world and almost all of the issues that are --

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BELL: -- likely to come up today -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Right. As you were speaking, we saw Mr. Macron seemingly to want to reach out to Mr. Trump, to shake his hand. But he patted his arm instead. They both gave a two thumbs-up. A little bit of a different look on the greeting.

Have we heard from the government or any officials there on what they think sparked Mr. Trump's tweet and perhaps how he may have taken it out of context?

BELL: Well, Natalie, for now, the Elysee have refused to make any comment on it. We've reached out repeatedly since the tweet was made to get their reaction and that's what we're likely to get from the French president himself.

Clearly there's a sense here in Europe that there's been some sort of misunderstanding on the part of the American president. The quote that Mr. Macron said on Tuesday on French radio was something he said repeatedly. Given the changing world, the aggression on the part of Russia and the fact that former alliances that had for so long ensured NATO countries' security seemed to be tested, in part by the American president, that it's important that Europe should coordinate and build up its own defense forces.

This is nothing new. It was something taken out of context by the American president.

ALLEN: Melissa, we're looking at video of them speaking right now. Let's listen.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I'm very delighted to be able to host President Trump once again for an exchange visit after our discussions in Brussels, Paris and particularly on the political reportings of July 2017 and my visit to Washington, New York, at the U.N. General Assembly and also because we're here to celebrate the triumph of our peoples and the extraordinary solidarity between us as the oldest allies of the world.

We also have topics and comments and will talk about Syria, the international agenda in general, Africa as well. And obviously I'm going to share with President Trump my views about the strategic capability of Europe, Europe taking more of a part within the NATO, of course, to defend itself. And I'm extremely glad to be able to host President Trump and his

first lady. And we will be dining together tonight.

MACRON: I wanted to welcome my good friend, President Trump and wanted to thank you for this visit after a very important time in your domestic policy.

I do appreciate the fact that you came here, Donald, after your visit for Bastille Day in 2017 and now our state visit in Washington beginning of this year. I think it's very important to celebrate our soldiers and the great solidarity between our two nations. And we are the best mourned (ph) allies and this is what I told our people.

Obviously, we will discuss about a lot of topics: Iran, Syria, Yemen, Africa, trade, climate and a lot of common global issues. And obviously, we will discuss about our defense cooperation, which is very important.

And I do share President Trump's views that we need a much better burden sharing within NATO and that's why I do believe that my proposals for European defense are totally consistent with that, because it means more Europe within NATO, more capacity, in order to take our part of the burden. And I think it's very fair and it's very important.

So thanks very much, Donald, for being here. This is our pleasure. And our people are very proud to have you here and I want to thank you here today for your solidarity 100 years ago and your constant solidarity for precisely our people.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Emmanuel. Thank you very much.

MACRON: Thank you very much.

TRUMP: Well, I very much appreciate that, Mr. President. And we have become very good friends over the last couple of years. We have much in common in many ways - perhaps more ways than people would understand. But we are - we're very much similar in our views.

And I appreciate what you're saying about burden sharing. You know what my attitude has been and we want a strong Europe. It's very important to us to have a strong Europe. And whichever way we can do it the best and most efficient would be something that we both want.

I just want to thank you very much for the graciousness that was so beautifully received. We were so beautifully received last night. We look forward to spending the next day and a half with you.

And today and tomorrow are going to be very important. And we'll be discussing many things, not only military --

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TRUMP: -- and aid and NATO and others, but we'll also be discussing trade. And we've been discussing that for a little while. I think we've made a lot of progress. We'll see if we can get it over the line, as they say. We'll see what happens. But trade is very important.

And we're also very much focused - the President and I - on terrorism. Terrorism is a very big subject for both of us. And we see what's going on in the world and it's not a good picture. But we've made a lot of progress. We've done things together that were quite bold, recently, six months ago. Very bold. And terrorism will be a big factor and a big part of our discussion today.

So I want to thank everybody for being here. And Mr. President, thank you very much.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, you said you felt insulted by what Mr. Macron say about Europe making its own defense. Could you explain?

TRUMP: We're getting along from the standpoint of fairness and I want it to be fair. We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now, the burden sharing has been largely on the United States, as the President will say and he understands that. And he understands that the United States can only do so much, in fairness to the United States.

So we've - we're rebuilding our military. We just had approved $716 billion. The year before that, we had $700 billion. So we're almost completely rebuilding our military with the latest and the greatest.

And we want - we just want - we want to absolutely be there. We want to help. We want to be a part of it. But different countries have to also help. That's only fair. And I think the President - we've already discussed this - and the President and I very much agree on that.

MACRON: I do agree. I think we worked very closely together in Syria. President Trump reminded you what happened on the 13th of April this year. We worked very closely together to make a super operation against chemical weapons. And we work very closely together in the Middle East, in Africa and some.

But it's unfair to have the European security today being assured just by the United States and we need a much better burden sharing. That's why I do believe that we need more European capacities, more European defense, in order to take this part of the burden. When President Trump has to protect or to defend one of the states of the United States, he doesn't ask France or Germany, or another government of Europe to finance it.

That's why I do believe that we need more investment. It's exactly what we do in France. It's the first increase in terms of budget for defense, for the coming years. We will reach 2 percent. But that's why I do believe that we need more European defense. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.

VANIER: All right. We've been watching President Emmanuel Macron. He's hosting currently his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, at the French presidency, the Elysee Palace. That's in Central Paris. They'll meet one-on-one for 25-30 minutes. Then they'll have another

30- to 40-minute meeting with their teams and their advisers. After that, the first ladies arrive at the Elysee Palace and the two presidential couples will have lunch before they part ways.

Kaitlan Collins, our White House correspondent, is at our Paris bureau. She's been listening to this.

Kaitlan, I'd like your take on this. To me, this is kind of surreal. This trip started with a spat between Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump, over defense spending, how much Europe was going to take part in its own defense.

And when I listen to them, I don't hear that much disagreement between their viewpoints.

COLLINS: You can see that interaction right there. Very different than what we typically have seen between President Trump and President Macron, which has been a very chummy relationship, smiles, slapping each other on the back. That kind of an interaction we would typically see from the two of them.

But that is not what you witnessed right there while they were both speaking. Macron certainly seemed to be working to get the president's ear there by saying words like burden sharing. That is something the president has long complained about, especially when it comes to NATO, saying all the countries need to be using 2 percent of their GDP for their military.

That has long been a complaint of his. You have seen Macron trying to tap into that there. But President Trump was not making eye contact with the French president while he was speaking about European defense.

Those are the comments that irked President Trump and caused him to send that tweet last night just minutes after he arrived here in France. That comes in response to what Macron said during a radio --

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COLLINS: -- interview after the United States said it was going to withdraw from the INF treaty, the nuclear arms control pact that President Reagan signed with Russia in the 1980s and President Trump said he was going to withdraw from it.

Macron said the biggest victim of that is Europe and its security. That's why he made the responses about building up the military defense here, something that clearly bothered President Trump.

Macron continued to make the argument saying he still believes they need to that but he also brought up burden sharing as well. This kind of gives you a flashback back to when President Trump was in London. He was set to meet with the British prime minister Theresa May over the summer.

Hours before they met, he gave this interview where he criticized her, praised some of her biggest political rivals and then set up this awkward meeting between the two of them here. That's what he seems to have done here between the American president and the French president.

And President Trump setting a very different tone than his national security adviser, John Bolton, who arrived in Paris ahead of him and was praising an American-European alliance in the days he was here. Not exactly what we're hearing from President Trump.

The two of them are going to meet one on one. They'll likely go into that further. Then the staffs will come in and they're going to discuss a slew of issues, not only military and defense but also Syria, Yemen, those Iranian sanctions that have been renewed, that have been something that have irked the French president as well. A slew of topics.

You have to question what that tone in the meeting would look like after President Trump has essentially set them up for a clash.

VANIER: Especially, Kaitlan, if you compare it to the body language from their last meeting, back in April back in Washington, there was so much touching, backslapping. There was so much public displays of affection and friendship. It is a very different tone today.

All right. Kaitlan Collins reporting from Paris, thank you.

ALLEN: Let's go back to Melissa Bell. She's right outside the palace where they just met.

You did get a sense that President Macron was trying to reach out to President Trump and smooth things out. But Mr. Trump didn't seem to be having much of it, really. Here they go from here.

BELL: That's right, Natalie. Reaching out for his arm, almost trying to cushion the blow he was expecting. Already this was a relationship that had become much testier after that visit that Cyril just mentioned.

That was still the period when the French president was hoping to reason with his American counterpart on the question of trade tariffs toward Europe. After that, the United States decided to reimpose those tariffs marked a rupture, a break in what had been a warmer than usual relationship.

That is President Macron had begun to construct something that resembled the beginning of a relationship that so many other leaders hadn't failed or bothered to try. This was already a testy relationship. It was already being challenged on key issues on which the French president simply hadn't managed to get any movement, any reciprocity from the American government, from the American administration, any compromise.

Then, of course, we've seen in the context what was slightly more tense, we expected a far more belligerent tone from the American president ever since the midterm results toward the press with regard to what's happening in Florida as he landed here with regard to Europe.

And, of course, Emmanuel Macron was couching precisely what he's been saying about the European defense in a language that Donald Trump can understand. It is about burden sharing. There's nothing at all for the United States to be worried about; quite the contrary.

We hope to get a sense perhaps later of what the two men have managed to talk about on the substance. In particular you Donald Trump there before their bilateral meeting began, saying trade would be high on the agenda. It was a very important subject.

Will Macron get any of that compromise he's looking for?

That's a big question. From what we've seen in the last few months, we're considering that unlikely.

ALLEN: Melissa Bell, thank you so much. We appreciate your analysis. And we'll continue to cover this story at the events marking the end of World War I, 100 years ago. Thank you.

And we'll be right back.

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ALLEN: A live picture outside the Elysee Palace in Paris. Inside, French president Emmanuel Macron and U.S. president Donald Trump. As Mr. Trump visits France, he's escaping the fallout from several controversies back home.

VANIER: Absolutely. And among those details about reported hush money paid to women, criticism from Michelle Obama and accusations of voter fraud.

ALLEN: Let's ask our next guest, Natasha Lindstaedt, to weigh in on Mr. Trump's visit to Paris and the issues he's left behind. She's a professor of government at the University of Essex.

Thanks so much for talking with us, Natasha. First, we saw President Macron and President Trump greeting one another. They discussed the issue regarding the tweet Mr. Trump sent out when he landed in Paris. Let's see if we can bring that up now, saying that Mr. Macron made a very insulting suggestion.

"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting."

But we just hear Mr. Macron give some pushback on that, saying that he is wanting to accommodate the U.S. president's wishes for Europe to a little more of the burden with its military.

How did you take the exchange?

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: I think both Macron and Trump wanted to give the public the appearance that they're getting long OK and that we shouldn't really overexaggerate what happened with the tweet.

But, you know, there are some real tensions that are still there that you can see, not just with the body language but the fact that Macron knows Europe can no longer rely on the U.S. and NATO to provide security for Europe.

So they're going to need to improve the European defense project. But there are other issues that happened months before. I think Trump and Macron initially had a really good relationship and Macron felt that he could use this relationship to try to convince Trump to change his mind on certain things, such as trade and tariffs and climate change but especially with the Iran nuclear deal.

And there is a lot of tension not just between Trump and France and Macron and France but also between Trump and other European allies as well.

ALLEN: We'll continue to watch that and see how that plays out.

Let's talk about back in the U.S., what Mr. Trump left behind, continued questions raised about the man who will temporarily serve as attorney general, Matt Whitaker. He's on the record as a sharp critic of the Russia investigation that he will now oversee.

And the president's responses about whether the two will talk about, let's listen to what Trump said to FOX News months ago back to back with what he's recently said about Whitaker. Here it is.

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TRUMP: I never talk about that but I can tell you, Matt Whitaker is a great guy. I know Matt Whitaker.

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TRUMP: I don't know Matt Whitaker. I didn't --

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TRUMP: -- speak to Matt Whitaker about it. In all fairness to Matt Whitaker, who, again, I didn't know --

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ALLEN: What do we make of that?

Here's the most recent tweet from President Trump, saying he doesn't know Matt Whitaker, distancing himself. This is the same approach Mr. Trump took about whether he knew the Russian president before Mr. Trump took the White House, at one point saying he knows him, later saying he's never met him.

What do you make of it?

LINDSTAEDT: He's trying to distance himself from Matt Whitaker at the moment because he knows there are concerns and question whether or not this appointment was even constitutional. Matt Whitaker was not confirmed by the Senate. There are also concerns about Whitaker himself, the fact that he may be some sort of political operative.

He's worked for organizations that have systematically gone after Democratic candidates.

He's also stated he doesn't really even believe in judicial review or judicial independence and the more specifically he's already stated the way he feels about the Mueller probe, he disagrees with it.

So Trump has engineered a way to appoint someone who's not supposed to uphold the rule of law for the country but has been personally appointed to protect Trump from the law.

ALLEN: Right. And of the Mueller probe, of course, it became very quiet before, waiting for the elections to be over. So it will be interesting to see what happens next in this.

Also Mr. Trump still talking about the midterm elections from this week, tweeting allegations of voter fraud in various states with no proof. But in Florida specifically, the race there still tight. The Senate race could result in a recount.

What do you make of the president continuing with his narrative of fraud, with no proof?

We've heard that before, even in the presidential election.

LINDSTAEDT: President Trump wanted to spin the midterm elections as a tremendous success for the Republicans. They did do fairly well in the Senate. But in the House, as we've had more days to see some of the results come in, it really has looked more like a bigger blue wave than was originally projected for the Democrats.

He's, of course, incredibly worried about the implications this will have for his administration. So one of the things he tends to do is go on the attack and particularly what's going on in Florida, with all the uncertainty and the vote count going on there.

He is trying to undermine the legitimacy of the whole process and saying, this is all fraudulent, there are cases of voter fraud here and we can't really take the results to be true.

And this is all part of the fact that I think he's incredibly worried about what is going to happen, given the fact that the balance of power has changed and tipped a little in favor of the Democrats.

ALLEN: All right. We appreciate your insights as always. Thank you for joining us, Natasha Lindstaedt. Thank you.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you.

VANIER: More than 70 heads of state are gathering in France this weekend to mark the 100 years since World War I ended. We'll be live in Paris with a preview of what's on tap.

ALLEN: Also, the scars left behind from that war have yet to heal in one part of France. We'll have the war's toxic legacy also ahead here, as CNN NEWSROOM continues.

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ALLEN: Live from Atlanta, this is c CNN NEWSROOM, thanks for staying with us. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines.

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VANIER: President Emmanuel Macron is welcoming world leaders in France this weekend, for events marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I. Jim Bittermann is at our Paris bureau.

Jim, we were waiting to see what the initial handshake and words would be like between Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump, given that this visit by the American president didn't get off to the best start. No sooner had he get off Air Force One, he tweeted he felt insulted by the French president.

What did you make of their first few minutes together?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: It looked cordial, as far as we could see. Just to put this whole dustup in a little bit of a historical context, Cyril, you know Mr. Macron considers himself a great fan and follower of Charles de Gaulle. He considers himself a Gaullist.

In fact, just last month he visited the Charles de Gaulle's hometown, de Gaulle who was president of France right after the war and onwards and always believed in a very independent France.

If you remember, Charles de Gaulle inspired and created Force de France, which was France's own independent nuclear force, apart from anything the United States had or any of the other NATO allies. And he also expelled NATO in his bid to maintain France's independence.

So in that regard, what Macron had said last week and what happened in this little dustup this morning is quite in line with what France's position has been almost since World War II.

VANIER: Jim, tell us about the ceremonies tomorrow. This is a huge deal for Mr. Macron. His staff has spent more than a year preparing this, the 100th anniversary of the end of the fighting in World War I.

What's that going to be like?

BITTERMANN: I think it's going to be solemn but it's also going to be a celebration of peace and it is also going be the start of this Paris peace forum, which is something --

[05:35:00]

BITTERMANN: -- again, an idea of Mr. Macron's to bring the world together. He is going to have more than 70 heads of state and government who are gathering for this and the peace forum itself begins right after the ceremonies.

There's lunch and the peace forum opens. It is going to go on for three days. They're going to talk about how to improve the world's infrastructure, things like the United Nations, for example, how to make it work better and ways for people to cooperate better to maintain a peaceful world.

I think he'd like to see this become some kind of an annual meeting or some kind of a peace process that's sustainable. The government has very much been galvanized to accommodate all of these leaders that are coming into town. Huge security operations to protect them all.

It's a great party being given by the French but it has very serious motives in that they would like this to be an ongoing thing that can be connected with France and will go on for years to come -- Cyril.

VANIER: Jim Bittermann. It's just at 11:30 am local time. Jim, speaking from our Paris bureau, Jim, thank you very much.

ALLEN: Next here, a disastrous story out of California. Paradise lost. Nearly the entire town of Paradise, California -- yes, that's its name -- or was its name -- wiped out by a massive out of control fire. We'll hear from a woman who drove through it to escape the flames just barely.

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BRYNN PARROTT CHATFIELD, WILDFIRE SURVIVOR: Heavenly Father, please help us. Please help us to be safe.

I'm thankful -- [05:40:00]

CHATFIELD: -- for Jeremy and his willingness to be brave.

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ALLEN: You hear her voice trembling, not knowing whether they would be able to make it through that. That's Brynn Chatfield. She'll be sharing their story in just a few moments. She took that video as her husband drove through California's largest burning wildfire known as the Camp Fire. In just a day and a half, it became the most destructive in the state's history, destroying 6,700 structures so far.

VANIER: It's also one of the deadliest. Officials say at least nine people have died. That's just one wildfire wreaking havoc on California. Further south, there's the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire. They also exploded on Friday, forcing residents of at least 75,000 homes to evacuate.

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ALLEN: Joining me now on the phone is Brynn Chatfield. She just evacuated with her family from Paradise, California, and that was her talking in the car as their family escaped.

Brynn, thank you so much for talking with us. We know you have been through a harrowing journey to try to escape and you did escape.

Can you describe more what it was like driving through the fire and escaping with your family?

And who was in the car with you?

CHATFIELD: Oh, it was devastating. Thankfully, it was my husband, myself and a hitchhiker we had picked up. My kids had already been evacuated with our grandmother. I'm so thankful my kids didn't have to experience that because I know a lot of children had to experience that kind of evacuation. It was very scary.

ALLEN: Was there a time you thought you might not make it?

Every time you come through a clearing, you go through more fire.

CHATFIELD: I wasn't sure we were going to make it the whole time. Obviously my prayers were very heartfelt.

And I kept thinking, am I really ready to die?

But I know there's power in prayer and that was what really comforted us and I was thankful for my husband, him being so brave and just still going and just plowing through it.

ALLEN: Yes, he was. You can tell from the video. That's just amazing. And I am told, Brynn, you're safe, your family is safe. You have three children, aged 12, 8 and 3. I believe one had a birthday on Friday.

CHATFIELD: Today.

ALLEN: That's really wonderful. And you stayed so positive. I'm also told that you lost your home. In fact, other members of your family lost their homes.

CHATFIELD: Yes. My parents and my three brothers and myself, we all lost our homes and they lost their businesses. We're so grateful that my in-laws, their home is still standing and that is a huge blessing.

That's a rare thing. There are very few people that their homes are standing. Most everybody has lost their home.

ALLEN: Yes. This is, I think, the most deadly -- not deadly but the biggest fire ever in California history. And it's ironic that you lived in a place called Paradise.

CHATFIELD: And it really was Paradise.

ALLEN: Tell me about that.

CHATFIELD: It's just a beautiful community. It's a beautiful mountain town. It has incredible people. I was born and raised there and I moved away for a long time and I chose to come back and raise my family there because it's a really incredible place with lovely people.

ALLEN: But is it a place you can go back to, do you think?

CHATFIELD: We haven't made our decision. It's a hard place to leave because it's so special to us.

ALLEN: And you said you lost your businesses, too.

Do you know what you're going to do in the short term?

CHATFIELD: Thankfully, we have insurance and that's a huge blessing in our life.

ALLEN: And how are your children doing?

CHATFIELD: My children are doing great. We're with family right now and we're enjoying each other and we definitely have moments of shock. But it really centers you and makes you know what's really important.

ALLEN: Do you know -- I can imagine that.

Do you know if all of your neighbors and friends got out OK?

CHATFIELD: As far as I know, my neighbors and friends have gotten out OK. But I do know a lot of people are missing loved ones. I know that yesterday several loved ones were missing for a long time and they finally showed up. But I know there are a lot of missing people and a lot of people are very heartbroken.

ALLEN: I can imagine. We're seeing video of yet more homes burning right now.

Well, Brynn, we're so glad you're OK. We so appreciate you talking with us and sharing your story. We wish you all the best, Brynn Chatfield for us. Thank you.

CHATFIELD: Thank you.

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ALLEN: She was saying how beautiful Paradise was. I was just calling up pictures online and it's stunningly beautiful. And now you see what has happened to it.

And yes, with an estimated only 10-20 percent of homes and structures still standing. That tells you the level of destruction --

ALLEN: And 5 percent contained.

VANIER: And there's people still unaccounted for. Hope for the best.

Now other fires burning in Southern California are just as dangerous. Our Kyung Lah has more on the Woolsey Fire in Malibu.

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KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: We're at the Woolsey Fire and wind has been a major problem for this fire as it travels down the hill. You can see over here that the wind is pushing that fire. And it has crossed Pacific Coast Highway.

There are people here, trying to water down their homes with hoses to try to stop the fire if it happens to jump the roadway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's already jumped.

LAH: It's already jumped?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

Have you seen it attack the hillside over near the motel?

LAH: You're going to stay here?

I mean, it's right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fire is very close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen this hillside on fire before but the last time we saw this hillside on fire, there were no houses up there. That's the downside of it all because it used to be just brush, you know. It used to happen every so often. But, you know, we've seen a lot of really nice houses go.

LAH (voice-over): Firefighters have been hitting this from the air as well as the ground but it's been a battle against Mother Nature.

LAH: This is the Pacific Coast Highway within -- watch out. Here comes the fire trucks. They've been using this to go up and down. We've had to move several different times just because the fire has been pushing us further and further down. We don't know how many homes have been lost. But we know that there have been many -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Malibu.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ALLEN: The U.S. president, Trump, is in Paris, meeting with the French president.

VANIER: Their meeting comes one day before the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. When we return, we'll look at some of the destruction --

[05:50:00]

VANIER: -- the scars left behind from the Great War -- don't miss it.

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ALLEN: One hundred years after the guns of World War I fell silent, another battle from that conflict still plays out in the forests of Northern France.

VANIER: It's really nature versus millions of unexploded shells and poison gas. Nick Paton Walsh gives us a look at the toxic scars of war left on the environment.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One hundred years ago this tranquil forest was one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Today this unique memorial to past horrors still harbors one of the most toxic sites in France.

GUILLAUME MOIZAN, LOCAL HISTORIAN AND GUIDE: And you saw this 100- year-old erosion. We can truly feel the scars on the landscape here.

WALSH (voice-over): This is Verdun, the site of the longest battle of World War I. Over 300,000 French and German soldiers died here; 60 million shells were fired, at least one in eight didn't explode.

Each year, demining teams clear dozens of tons of unexploded bombs and small grenades, remove shells weighing tens of hundreds of pounds.

MOIZAN: Every year we still find unexploded ordnance in the forest here and of course -- [05:55:00]

MOIZAN: -- in the farming land around.

WALSH (voice-over): After the war, the battlefields were described as completely devastated with 100 percent damage to properties and agriculture. Human life was considered impossible.

But the war left a far more toxic legacy at one site.

MOIZAN: It's a please where almost nothing is growing. Around it, we have the forest and we have an empty space. This is a place we call Place a Gaz.

WALSH (voice-over): At this site, 25 kilometers from the city of Verdun, French authorities burned gas shells to dispose of unwanted chemicals after the war. In 2007, an environmental survey found levels of arsenic up to 35,000 times higher than typical soil levels.

MOIZAN: I think it truly helps to understand what happened here, to be able to walk on the preserved ground. To me, the best museum we have in Verdun is the battlefield itself.

WALSH (voice-over): But even poison gas and years of war couldn't stop the march of nature.

MOIZAN (from captions): When you walk in the forests of Verdun, you see among the trees, it gives the appearance of a cathedral, the trees above the ground. And you can see all the holes, the shell holes, the trenches. So it has a very important memorial aspect.

It doesn't need a lot to grow back, even in places with concrete or masonry. Life has come back. Nature has done her work. It's a victory over man's destruction.

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ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM. We thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. For our U.S. viewers, CNN "NEW DAY" is up next. For everyone else stay with us. More news coming up on CNN NEWSROOM.