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CNN NEWSROOM

President Donald Trump Making A Public Offer To Democrats Today To End The Partial Government Shutdown; Group Of Teenage Students Attacked A Veteran In A Protest; Joe Biden, Getting Closer To The Deciding Whether To Make A 2020 Run; DNC: Russians Tried To Hack Computers After Midterms; Dem Sen. Gillibrand Announces Exploration CMTE For Possible Run; Trump: Next Kim Meeting Place Has Been Chosen; Trouble On The Frontline In Syria; Americans Killed In Syria Back On U.S. Soil. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 19, 2019 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:00:00] DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Great to be with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank You, my friend.

AXELROD: Thank you.

To hear more of the conversation, download the podcast at axefilespodcast.com.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being with us.

We begin with breaking news. President Trump making a public offer to Democrats today to end the partial government shutdown now dragging into its 29th day. From the diplomatic reception room of the White House, the President painted a dark picture of the situation on the border calling it a humanitarian crisis, talking about coyotes and drug cartels while using misleading statistics. And then he unveil his proposal. And he made what sounded like concession on his wall. The big beautiful concrete wall over and over again while running for President. Listen.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The plan includes $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers or a wall. This is not a 2,000-mile concrete structure from sea to sea. These are steel barriers in high priority locations.

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CABRERA: Unfortunately, we are no closer to a deal though because even before the President went before the cameras, Democrats had rejected his proposal calling it a nonstarter. So this latest back and forth dashes the hopes of some 800,000 federal workers desperate for a breakthrough that will end all of this as they struggle to make ends meet.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is live outside the White House for us.

Sarah, what exactly are Democrats rejecting? Walk us through Trump's proposal.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Ana, President Trump rolling out tonight what he describes as an attempt to break the log jam that has allowed this government shutdown to stretch nearly a month now. His proposed deal would get him $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall as well as funding for other border security priorities like more border patrol agents, more immigration judges, more detention space down at the border. And in exchange, Trump says that he would agree to a one-time, three-year renewal of those DACA protections for the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. He said he would agree to a three-year extension of temporary protected status for those 300,000 immigrants who are covered under that status now but who are facing the status expiring.

Now, of course, the White House tonight is defending this proposal against criticism from both sides of the aisle. Tonight, responding to charges from the right that this build would amount to amnesty.

Vice president Mike Pence said that right now a pathway to citizenship is not on the table. That this would just be a one-time renewal of these protections from deportations from this population. It would not be amnesty and acknowledging that the President has in the past said he would not support this kind of DACA for wall trade. Pence said that he came around after hearing from rank and file members on both sides of the aisle.

Now the White House is hoping to move quickly on this proposal with his vote in the Senate as soon as next week. But Ana, it is not yet clear that this bill could clear the GOP-controlled Senate, let alone the Democratic controlled House.

CABRERA: All right. It goes on. Sarah Westwood at the White House for us, thank you.

Now let's bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles. He has been following reaction from Democrats. And they are pretty much flat out rejecting this proposal. Right, Ryan?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. It seems pretty clear at this point that Democrats are not interested in this proposal from President Trump for a number of reasons. But the primary reason being that they weren't involved in these negotiations.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer didn't have any idea what the President was going to propose until it came out in press reports on Saturday morning. And this is what Nancy Pelosi had to say about it. She said quote "unfortunately, initial reports make it clear that his

proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good- faith effort to restore certainty to people's lives. It is unlikely that any of those provisions alone would pass the House and taken together, they are a non-starter."

For one thing, this proposal does not include a permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs sand support. And that is the second end of their beef with the President's proposal.

Yes, at one point, Democrats did put on the table $25 billion in exchange for a pathway to citizenship. A permanent solution to the Dreamers. That's not what this proposal entails. The President is talking about the bridge act which was proposed by Dick Durbin of Illinois and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It was a bipartisan solution a couple of years ago when Democrats still were in the minority in the House. That is only temporary fix for those Dreamers. And it would still give them some level of uncertainty. It would only protect their status here in the United States for three years. Even though the President is only asking for about $6 billion this time around, Democrats unveil (ph) just not interested in trading a temporary solution for Dreamers in exchange for a permanent wall on the southern border. So at this point, Democrats just not interested in this conversation.

Republicans on the other hand seem pretty bullish about this. They view it as the President getting back on offense. And now putting the ball in Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer's court. In fact, Mitch McConnell, his aides saying that this bill could come up on the Senate floor as soon as next week. And they are going to force Democrats to take a vote on it as opposed to just trying to fight it from the side lines -- Ana.

[20:05:55] CABRERA: Right. Ryan Nobles, thank you.

I spoke with Democratic congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, shortly after the President's speech. And she agreed that some of what the President is asking for are measures Democrats have previously supported. But she says she will only negotiate after the President reopens the government. I also asked about several measures the House is expected to vote on next week and here is what she says they include. And again, listen closely because this is similar to what Trump is asking for in part.

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REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D), CALIFORNIA: One of the proposals is something we have been urging for a long time. And frankly, President Obama also didn't do what we wished which is to increase the number of immigration judges dramatically. We need to have a dramatic infrastructure upgrades at the ports of entry. Almost all the drugs that are coming over the land borders come through the ports of entry. They come on great big trucks and we don't have the latest technology to detect those drugs or for that matter other material that could do us harm.

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CABRERA: I'm going on bring in two of CNN's political analyst, senior editor for "the Atlantic" Ron Brownstein and chief political correspondent for "Esquire" Ryan Lizza.

Ron, what do you think of the Democrats' reaction rejecting this offer before they even heard it, really? It includes much of what they also say they want and it doesn't really include the wall. Instead, he is saying barriers that Trump has long promised, at least not by definition.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think for reasons I will explain in a minute that this particular offer is a serious path toward resolving this. But I do think it can set in motion a series of conversation that's could force Democrats to answer, what if anything they will accept in return for a wall?

This is not serious because this is hostage taking squared. It was the President who ended the DACA protection. It was the President who ended the temporary status protection. And it is the President who shut down the government. And now he is saying if I stop doing the things that I did. If I let go of the hostages that I have taken, if you give me the money for something that 60 percent of the country, you know, consistently opposes, I think that is kind of - for obvious, these are the reasons why that is a nonstarter should be obvious.

But I am struck that there have been a number of voices on the left, center left of the immigration debate in response to this who have said, look, if we are talking about a permanent status for the Dreamers, a permanent status for the other immigrants from Central America under temporary protection, that may be something we can talk about.

And as you mentioned, last year all but three Democratic senators were willing to trade the wall for a broad path way to citizenship for a large population, a much bigger than what the President is talking about. And it was the President who killed it because he also in contrast to what he has started his speech today, he wanted the largest reduction in legal immigration since the 1920s.

So the -- this I don't think necessarily, you know, is something that Democrats could feel much pressure to accept. But it does I think force them to answer. Are they still willing to make the deal that most Democratic senators were willing to make a year ago?

CABRERA: I also wonder if this is a proposal the President's own base will accept. Because Ann Coulter as you know was one of the people in Trump's ear telling him to reject the original bipartisan plan to keep the government running and this is how we got in to the shutdown.

Here's what she thinks of Trump's new proposal. And I quote "Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb." She goes on, "100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a billion foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall."

Ryan, do you think the President is now second-guessing himself right now?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he does pay attention to voices like that so it is not insignificant to bring it up. She has her facts wrong. There is not amnesty in here. That's probably the biggest problem from the Democratic perspective, is that there is no path to citizenship. A lot of opponents of that policy call amnesty. So it is not quite right.

But I mean, Look. You know, not to agree too much with Ron. But the starting point here is whether legislate negotiating as complicated an issue as immigration policy, which has vexed three Presidents in a row, trying to put together security for Republicans and some pathway to citizenship basket for Democrats, if shutting down the government and having hundreds of thousands of government workers not being paid, and many of them being forced to work. If that under any circumstances is ever a way to have a big legislative debate, and of course, it is not. I think the starting point for all the democrats is we don't negotiate legislation under these conditions. Right? That's what Pelosi and Schumer is saying.

So I don't think it really matters what Trump proposed today. They are not, you know, they view this as hostage taking. And as Ron point out, they view -- some new hostages were thrown in today. These, you know, DACA recipients whose lives were upended due to Trump, and now Trump is saying, you know, I will take that back. Well, it is just a nonstarter for the Democrats for those reasons.

CABRERA: But Ron, is this the President blinking in essence? Given that he does have Ann Coulter criticizing his plan and other conservative media outlets. I mean, he is not giving them with they initially wanted.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first, just to add to what Ryan just said, don't forget the Supreme Court just announced it is not, in all likely, it is not taking up the lower court ruling which has prevented the President from ending DACA. So they are protected. They have protection for an extended period, probably another year anyway, regardless of what he is offering.

Look. I think, you know, the question here, I think as I said, the most immediate question to me this poses is what -- is there anything the Democrats can accept in return for a wall? Or is a wall become such a toxic symbol of validation of President Trump's immigration policy in specific, and more broadly, his attitude to a demographic changes in America. There is nothing attached to it Democrats can accept.

If there is something, however, the Democrats can accept, it will be at the least, some guarantee of a pathway to citizenship for a fairly substantial population. And then that puts the ball back in the other court which is as you are saying, if the President is getting attacked over a three-year extension of DAD, is Ann Coulter suggesting the President ought to be rounding up and deporting DACA recipients? It would be a good way to get under 35 percent which is where he is skating to now in his approval rating.

But if in fact - if this is unacceptable for them, the idea of a citizenship solution, which is the only I think way that he can even begin a conversation about the wall with Democrats is going to be more unacceptable. So you are kind of back to this stalemate.

And to the point Ryan makes, how can you hold 800,000 workers and all these critical services hostage to a stalemate that really has been going on since 2006?

CABRERA: And Ryan, that is one thing we did not hear in Trump's speech today. Any empathy for the 800,000 federal workers not being paid right now. Some having to go to food banks just to eat.

LIZZA: Absolutely. You know, this is - it sets a really, really bad precedent to use the not funding the government to try and get concessions from your political opponents. And you know, if this works, you know, what is to stop the next President? Maybe it will be a Democrat from doing the same exact thing, from trying to get Medicare for all say by shutting the government down, right. I mean, that's why I think I'm really slightly surprised by how many Republicans are going along with Trump leading them down this path.

The last shutdown fight, I will never forget, Devin Nunes, one of the closest people to Trump these days, Devin Nunes called Republican who used the shutdown to try on extract concessions from Obama. He called them lemmings with suicide vests on. Well, now the lemming with the suicide vest in Devin Nunes' words is the President of the United States and his entire party is following him off that cliff.

You know, we can get into the weeds of what an immigration compromise might look like in the current make-up of, you know, Democrats controlling the House, Trump in the White House. But I think the bottom line is letting a President use the threat of a shutdown to get what he wants is a very, very dangerous precedent. And I think, you know, frankly, my opinion is that the Democrats are right to resist that. It is just that - it is bad to normalize that kind of legislator hostage taking.

CABRERA: It does seem to be that is the principal reason why the Democrats aren't willing to budge from their position right now, according to the Democrats that I have been talking to. Even Zoe Lofgren who we played clip earlier, that's exactly what she said.

Ryan Lizza, Ron Brownstein, good to have both of you with us this evening. Thank you.

[20:15:01] LIZZA: Thank, Ana.

CABRERA: Shocking new video showing students in make America great again hats, harassing a native-American elder who serves in the Vietnam War. We will hear from him next.

Also, another face to face. The President announcing a second summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. What we are learning about plans for round two. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:19:28] CABRERA: Brand new this hour, we are hearing from a Native-American elder speaking to CNN after a disturbing viral video shows a group teens harassing and mocking him in the nation's capital.

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CABRERA: Here is the video sparking outrage on social media right now. Nathan Phillips was beating his drum and singing an American Indian protest song. And this was on Friday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when he saw a clash erupting between a group of teenage students and four African-American young men preaching about the bible and oppression. Well, Philips says he immediately sensed danger.

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[20:20:03] NATHAN PHILLIPS, NATIVE AMERICAN ELDER/VIETNAM WAR VETERAN: When I was there, and I was standing there, and I seen that group of people in front of me and the angry faces, and all of that, I realized I had put myself in a really dangerous situation. You know? It is like here is a group of people who were angry at somebody else and I put myself in front of that and all of the sudden, I'm the one who - all that anger and all that wanting to have the freedom to just rip me apart, you know. That was scary. And I'm a Vietnam Times veteran. And I know that mentality of there's enough of us. We can do this.

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CABRERA: Then Phillips describes the tense moments now being replayed over and over again online when a young man got right in his face. Watch.

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PHILLIPS: When I started going forward and the massive group of people started separating and separating and moving aside to allow me to move out of the way or to proceed, this young fellow put himself in front of me and he wouldn't move. And so, if I took another step, I would be putting my person as presence into his space and I would have touched him. And that would have been the thing that the group of people would have needed to spring on me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN's Sarah Sidner asked Phillips what bothered them the most about Friday's confrontation, here are his thoughts.

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PHILLIPS: Fear, not for myself but fear for the next generations. Fear where this country is going. Fear for those youths, fear for their future, fear for their souls, their spirit, their -- what they are going to do to this country. What they were doing was not making America great. It was just tearing down the fabric that was that the whole idea, the spirit of America, that wasn't it, you know?

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CABRERA: Newly elected congresswoman Deb Healand is among the first Native Americans elected to Congress and she reacted on twitter writing, this veteran put his life on the line for our country. The students displayed a blatant hate, disrespect and intolerance is a single of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heart breaking.

CNN reached out to the school the teens attend. And the school has not returned any phone calls, voicemails or emails but they did their Facebook and block their twitter page. The Roman Catholic diocese of Covington had condemned the actions.

Democrats say Russian hackers targeted the DNC again in the days following the midterm elections. We will tell you how they try to do it next.

Plus, as Democrats are setting their sights on the 2020 Presidential race, I will talk to the guy behind Barack Obama's successful campaign to give his take on what party needs to do to win.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[20:22:56] CABRERA: Sources tell CNN, the face of the old guard, Joe Biden, is getting closer to the deciding whether to make a 2020 run. Conversations with more than two dozen aides' donors and supporters point to a consensus that Biden is likely to launch a bid. One ally says Biden's thinking is really centered around one thought, that there needs to be a new President.

Jim Messina joins us now. He was President Obama's campaign manager in 2012 and previously served as his White House deputy chief of staff for operations. He also a CEO of the Messina group.

Jim, good to have you with us. Do you think Biden is the only one who can beat Trump?

JIM MESSINA, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, I don't. I think we have the largest field we have seen in modern presidential history. I have met with over 30 candidates who are at least considering a bid. And I think you will see more than 15 actually file and run. I think that broad of field is really, really healthy and will allow to us come out with a nominee who is battle tested.

CABRERA: Do you have the top three you think are the strongest?

MESSINA: Well, look. I think today, you know, as you know, Ana, I hate public polling. I think you kind of throw that away here. Well, I think, you know, Democrats win presidential elections when we have a compelling economic vision for where we want to take this country. In 2016 Donald Trump won a very close election because swing voters viewed him as better on the economy. And so we have to seize the reins on the economic argument.

The problem, of course, is Donald Trump himself, right? The easiest thing to do in a Democratic primary is wail away on Donald Trump's behavior and who he is. And now score (ph) political points but it doesn't answer the question of where you want to take country. And I think a big primary like this is going to allow some new voices to be seen out there and to have that kind of compelling vision and I think the party will be much stronger.

People forget that in 2008 that Barack Obama had to campaign in all 50 states before he finally beat Hillary Clinton. And we came out of primary absolutely ready to beat John McCain.

CABRERA: As you point out, the door right now does appear to be wide open for Democrats interested in running for the White House. But I mean, this can pose some complications, right.

[20:30:00] CABRERA: For instance, you have the old guard versus the new faces in the party like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is early splintering in the party dangerous here?

JIM MESSINA, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't think so. I think the bigger risk is if you look at Chuck Schumer's very tough job in the Senate, he's got between five and 10 members of his caucus who are considering and probably will run for president and that's pretty hard.

I think there is a really robust discussion going on in the Democratic Party right now about who we are and where we should be in the future. And I personally think that's a very healthy discussion. I think we shouldn't shy away from it and I think that we'll be stronger ought if we have it.

But again, we need to stay focused on how do we make people's lives better? I followed about thousand voters in the Midwestern states online every week who voted for Barack Obama and Donald Trump. And what they say every single week is, show me who is going to fight for me and my family and got to make the economy better.

And that's what Democrats have just got to stay laser focused on. You just talked about Joe Biden. That's always been his strength. And if he runs, I think he'll run on that kind of platform. And I think you're seeing a lot of other people, new voices to your point who aren't nationally known figures who, I think, have real shots at winning this nomination.

CABRERA: You talk about, sort of, where is the identity of the Democratic Party. Where is it headed? Where is the poll? Some are calling the race to get into the race, the Colbert primary. Because people are announcing on his show. I want you to just listen to the latest.

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STEPHEN COLBERT, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Do you have anything you would like to announce? SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: Yes.

COLBERT: And what would that be, madam?

GILLIBRAND: I'm filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight.

I'm going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: The path to the White House has involved late night comedy pit stops for decades, Jim. But does this reveal anything about where candidates feel the base is?

MESSINA: Look. I think what it reveals is you need to work harder to get your message out than did you in the old days. And you're seeing a bunch of kind of different ways. Beto O'Rourke is doing this interesting medium post as he kind of goes around the country trying to find out what he wants to do. I thought Gellibrand's announcement on Colbert was really, really smart.

The former secretary of housing, Castro, announced online in a Facebook post that was kind of different. I don't think it doesn't really matters what the -- what the medium is here. I think what really matters is what the message.

And in all of those clips you showed and the kind of clips I've seen recently, I haven't really seen people talking about the economy in a way that I think they're going to need to in November of 2020 to beat Donald Trump.

CABRERA: You mentioned you thought Gellibrand's announcement was smart, doing on it Colbert. When I think of who is the primary target audience for a show like Colbert, it leads me to wonder if these candidates risk going too far left to make them marketable for a general election.

On one hand, it could help them in the primaries, but if they really want to have a chance of beating Trump, is this the best strategy by pedaling really only to the resistance voters?

MESSINA: Well, that's the voter in the Democratic primary, right? And so as wise man named Barack Obama said to me, you got to win the primary before you win the general. And especially in a primary this big, you have to focus on Democratic voters.

But I do agree with your overall point that you also have to have a message that works with swing voters. There's this, in my opinion, stupid debate going on in my party about whether you excite the base or you reach out the swing voters.

The fact is the three presidents of my lifetime who won. Carter, Clinton and Obama did that and were able to do both of those things.

In 2016, Hillary wasn't able to do the swing voter thing. And so whoever comes out of this primary has to be able to both excite their base, which Donald Trump is going to do for his base and talk to the swing voters who narrowly defeated our candidate in 2016.

CABRERA: Jim Messina, good to have your insight. Thank you so much for being here.

Russian hackers set their sights on the Democratic National Committee again. This time, in the last days after last November's midterm elections. That's according to a Democratic official who says hackers tried to trick people into clicking on an e-mail that would have let them into their computer systems. It's what cyber security types call a spear phishing attack.

And CNN business reporter, Donie O'Sullivan is joining us now. OK. Donie, so explain how this went down. What was the gimmick?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes. About the two weeks after the midterm elections in November, dozens of DNC staffers and people with DNC e-mail addresses received an e-mail address that purportedly posed as a State Department official.

[20:35:08] And that e-mail included a PDF and attachments that if people were to click on that file, basically, it would have given that hacker's access to their computer and to all the internal systems of the DNC that were tied to those computers

CABRERA: Now, obviously, this was after the election. So that's interesting. Do we know what they were trying to learn?

O'SULLIVAN: Not precisely. I was told by a senior Democratic Party source who is familiar with the attempted hack that, you know, of the dozens of DNC e-mail addresses that were targeted, they targeted all sections of the organization.

So very senior officials, medium level to low level officials. So it seemed to be a pretty broad attempt. And we also know that the DNC wasn't the only organization targeted as part of this effort. There was defense contractors. There were some think tanks in D.C. We actually don't know the names of any of the other organizations. Only other than the DNC that were targeted in this effort.

But it seemed to be that it was a sort of broad targeting and I guess really truly a phishing exercise to see what they could get.

CABRERA: Did they get in?

O'SULLIVAN: We're told by the DNC that there's no evidence that the hackers did get in. That anything was accessed.

We remember back in 2016 that the Russians were all over the Democratic Party systems. They were in John Podesta's inbox too.

We're told by folks at the DNC that they don't believe that they were hacked successfully on this occasion. We're not quite sure whether officials at the DNC had to where it's all not to click on the link or whether they have might have clicked on it, but then maybe there are antivirus or security software kicked in device. We're not sure of the details on that.

CABRERA: All right. More to come. Thank you so much Donie O'Sullivan. You've been on top of all of the Russian hacking and social media influence campaign, all of that from the beginning and we appreciate it.

Another face to face, President Trump announces he will be meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. But what kind of concessions does each side want from the other? And are they any closer to finding a path forward?

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[20:40:16] CABRERA: President Trump says a second summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un is on. And they have picked a location, although nobody is saying where just yet. But will next month's meeting bring about any tangible results? Or will it end up being another high profile photo op?

CNN's Will Ripley breaks it down from Beijing. Will?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, President Trump has been projecting a lot of confidence when he talks about denuclearization and North Korea. He says that there's a lot of progress being made behind the scenes that is not being reported in the media. And that may be true. We don't know what discussions are happening behind closed doors. We don't know the details of that 90- minute meeting in the Oval Office on Friday.

But what we do know is that after the summit on June 12th in Singapore, the first sit-down between the U.S. president and North Korean leader, they signed a vaguely worded statement and both sides walked away perhaps thinking that the other had agreed to something that they didn't.

Kim Jong-un may have thought that the U.S. was ready to start lifting sanctions right away and President Trump may have thought that the North Koreans were ready to start giving up their nukes. I men, he did tweet the day after the June 12th summit that the nuclear threat from North Korea was over.

And yet, U.S. intelligence has indicated that North Korea is expanding its missile bases. The Pentagon put out that missile defense strategy this week calling North Korea an extraordinary threat to the U.S.

So clearly, the threat is not over. But are the two sides getting closer together to finding a path forward here after months of stalled denuclearization talks? The key issue is the sanctions and the timeline for denuclearization.

The North Koreans say they need to build confidence with the U.S. first before they start getting rid of the arsenal that has given them leverage and protection in their view. And they think that the U.S. providing some economic relief in exchange for small steps along the way would go a long way to building that confidence.

Of course, the U.S. has said they're not giving up any economic relief until North Korea gets rid of all its nuclear weapons. And that has really ground talks to a halt.

So, are they closer to a compromise? We know that there are talks happening in Sweden, lower level negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. Could those talks be hammering out the details of some pre-conditions ahead of this summit? Conditions that could lead to an actual substantive agreement with steps that will be taken as oppose to what we saw after Singapore.

Now, in terms of where the summit might happen, there have been several locations thrown around, Hawaii and Bangkok. But my sources are telling me, the most likely place is Vietnam. And there are a few reasons for that. It's an easy trip for Kim Jong-un to make for North Korea. Vietnam has good relations with both the U.S. and North Korea and it's a country that fought a war with the United States, rose from the ashes and transformed its economy. An economic model that Kim Jong-un could perhaps learn from as he takes steps to try to grow his own economy.

So there's a lot of things that need to be sorted out. President Trump is confident. But will that confidence lead to actual tangible results and the eventual denuclearization of North Korea? That is the big question. Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Will Ripley, thank you.

A gas pipeline explodes. It's killed at least 73 people in Central Mexico. This happened about 80 miles north of Mexico City. Officials say at least 76 others were injured. Most of them seriously when that pipe ruptured triggering a massive fire. The fire is now out but people leaving in that immediate vicinity have been told to leave.

And Mexico state oil company, Pemex, initially said the cause of this blast was people illegally tapping into the pipeline.

Just ahead, we go to the frontlines of a war that is not over in Syria.

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CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what is left now of the town of Hajin. You can see it's basically been completely obliterated.

And to many of the people who were living in areas like this, and others, this is what liberation looks like. Miles and miles of rubble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:45:03] CABRERA: Why the end of ISIS dominance may bring the return of a familiar problem, next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: You don't hear any sound there, because this is the silent and somber return of four Americans to United States soil. Two men, two women. Two of them active duty military. They died in Syria on Wednesday in a suicide bomb attack.

President Trump attending their return today at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. And these are those four Americans killed. A total of 14 people died in that suicide bombing that analysts believe was carried out by ISIS.

[20:50:09] The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they're going to increase their military operations absent ISIS.

Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward is in Syria and says ISIS is losing ground there but not without giving up a fight.

WARD: Ana, even the journey to get anywhere near the frontlines gives a sort of reality check. If you want to travel past the town of Shaddadi, which is still a good four hours from the frontlines, you need to have a military escort. And there were entire towns that our military escorts did not even want to go through. Take a look.

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WARD: The battle against ISIS is still raging. As the U.S. allied Syrian Democratic Forces known as the SDF push in on the last sliver of territory under the militants' control.

Here, the fighters prepared to move into the village of Shaafa (ph). Flares turned the dark night into day. Coalition aircraft circled overhead, providing crushing airpower.

By daylight, they push further in. This is where ISIS ends, SDF commander, Simko Shikaki tells his men.

Moments later, panic breaks out. ISIS has launched a counterattack. The SDF fire back, and Shaafa is quickly liberated.

We travel down to the frontline as they approach the next village. Our escorts insist on taking an armored vehicle. Even liberated territory is far from secure.

These roads are still dangerous. Especially early in the morning. Because there are ISIS sleeper cells in the area. They come out overnight and they plant roadside bombs.

We stop at a house that the SDF took from ISIS just days earlier. Mortars are fired off at militant positions. Commander Shikaki takes us up onto the roof to show us the frontline.

So the next village over, Sousa, is where the frontline is now, and they're hoping that they'll be able to liberate that by tomorrow.

American forces provide assistance from just a few hundred yards away. The commander warns the battle is not over.

"The pressure we had militarily is ending," he says. "But the fundamental war is eradicating the ideology of ISIS."

That will be a much tougher fight to win. Support for ISIS still lingers here.

On the way back, we pass through another recently liberated area. This is what is left now of the town of Hajin. You can see it's basically been completely obliterated. And to many of the people who were living in areas like this and others, this is what liberation looks like. Miles and miles of rubble.

Many here fear that buried in the destruction the seeds are being sown for another war.

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WARD: That Kurdish commander told us there were U.S. positions spotted all around the house that they took control of. They were providing assistance with observation, with spotting, firing off mortars. Also technical supplies.

And as we were leaving, we actually saw a large U.S. military convoy heading down to the frontlines, giving you the sense that even as U.S. troops withdraw, Ana, they are still a fundamental part of the fight on the frontlines.

BREAM: Clarissa Ward with that exclusive reporting from Syria. Thank you.

Now, if you ever needed a reason to look before you jump in the water, here it is. What may be the largest Great White shark on the planet spotted swimming with divers off the coast of Hawaii.

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[20:55:30] CABRERA: I want you to take a look now at some remarkable images out of Hawaii. Divers there having a close encounter of the ocean kind. Look at this. This is a 20-foot Great White shark believed to be one of the largest in the world, swimming right up to the boat.

And the 50-year-old female shark named blue -- Deep Blue is legendary, was last caught on camera about five years ago. Now, one of the divers, as you can see, got so close she even touched it.

She explained that while some divers look down on this, she believes that sometimes shark seek touch. Officials still advice against engaging with sharks this closely, saying they can be unpredictable. Wow.

It is a new CNN Original series, style is a window to where we've been. It tells a story. Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grunge is an extension of the hippie movement. It was the anti-conformist fashion niche, but it was also about fairly minimal clothes. I mean, we have a t-shirt, we have a pair of jeans. We have a ratty old holy sweater.

People wore something they didn't even have to think about. It looked as though in the case of Kurt Cobain he did his shopping at secondhand stores.

JOHN VARVATOS, DESIGNER: That was the beginning of vintage becoming popular. And then in today's world, vintage becoming expensive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's about coming into stores like this and finding your favorite thing and just putting it all together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys weren't trying to create a fashion trend. They had poured all their heart and soul into their music. They didn't have money to go buy stuff. They're thrifting.

END