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President Trump Receives Ceremonial Welcome At Buckingham Palace; Trade Wars Rattle Wall Street; CNN Reality Check: New Documents Further Undercut White House Census Story. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 3, 2019 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- deferentially, politely, and even reverentially. We know that he takes these institutions and pomp and circumstance quite seriously.

So I wouldn't anticipate at this stage any major obstacles or stumbling points during that lunch though, of course, it is still early to say. And, as we know with the president, anything can happen, Alisyn.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And you're looking right there, again, at Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. There is the U.S. ambassador right there in the sunglasses, Woody Johnson -- the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin. And then next to Steve Mnuchin is White House adviser Stephen Miller. And I saw John Bolton, Abby, in the background before.

And they're enjoying this, as they should. These are the fun trips for White House staffers and U.S. officials compared to some of the more difficult foreign trips. Getting a moment like this at the palace, I know will be a highlight for all the U.S. officials there.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, and you can see that the president's family decided to come along for this trip, not just Ivanka and Jared. That almost all of his adult children are going to be here as well because it's kind of one of those once in a lifetime moments.

When the president met the Pope, it was a similar kind of group of senior aides all sort of reveling in this moment that they may not have again, perhaps ever or at least perhaps for a long time.

And, I think also we shouldn't discount how much this puts the president in a good mood and that can make a huge difference between a president who is constantly lashing out on a trip like this and one who is in a more jovial mood. He just came off of another similar sort of state visit in Japan where he -- the red carpet was rolled out for him.

It can be easier for his staff when he is being treated with this kind of respect and adulation because it puts him in a better frame of mind. Now, that being said, he's already started the trip by picking a few fights.

But I think that now that we are really fully in the ceremonial part of this, I think a lot of his aides will be hoping that that's what he begins to be focused on and not all of these other side disputes he's been having with the London mayor or arguing about what's on his television. They're hoping that he will just focus on this part of the trip, which is just about kind of experiencing a historical moment that very few of them will ever have again in their lives.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Max, we're watching these double-doors closely. That's where the president and first lady, and the Queen, I suppose, are about to come through. In fact, we see one of the guards reaching for the handle there.

So tell us what we're going to see of this ceremonial moment when this happens.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR, LONDON EDITION, "CNN NEWSROOM," CNN HOST, "CNN TALK WITH MAX FOSTER": They'll come out and these are the Grenadier Guards, a very well-regarded battalion --

CAMEROTA: The doors are opening.

FOSTER: -- here in the U.K., currently -- actually --

Yes, so you'll see them come out. There will be the national anthems played and then President Trump will be invited to inspect the guard there, so this is a very formal moment.

It's celebrating the ties between the two countries. And it's particularly about military ties, this visit, showing that joint security and joint military is a way ahead -- something we can all agree on away from all of the horrible politics and perhaps those comments about Meghan Markle as well.

This is about two countries coming together shoulder-to-shoulder -- two heads of state.

(U.S. national anthem being played).

[07:35:00] (President Donald Trump and Prince Charles Reviewing Guard of Honour).

BERMAN: You've been watching President Trump and the Prince of Wales reviewing the Grenadier Guards outside Buckingham Palace.

You've been listening to U.S. military songs. As Max Foster has pointed out, this is really about the military bonds between the two nations.

[07:40:00] And, Max, just a couple of things here that are notable.

Number one, people will remember that one year in July of 2018 when they reviewed the troops, it was President Trump with Queen Elizabeth. This time, he's doing it with the Prince of Wales. Is there a significance in that? FOSTER: Well, I suspect the Queen might have gotten a little involved here on behalf of President Trump because by allowing Prince Charles to take the president forward there's a very clear seniority line there.

So, the President of the United States would obviously be seen near to the Prince of Wales, so he would go first. There wouldn't be the confusion that we had last time where he didn't know whether he should go before the Queen. So, I suspect the Queen would have been involved in that decision to let the Prince of Wales host him.

Also, it's quite unusual perhaps the president would speak to members of the Guard. But you can see the military senior member of the guard there introducing him to members of the guard, and that's because what they're trying to do here is really celebrate those U.S. ties and there are several individuals within this troop who have U.S. ties.

So the tallest on parade there is someone called Joshua Young- Hastings. He's from the U.K. but he actually went to an American university on a football scholarship.

We also have Robert Spilling, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri but actually has a British father. He served in the American military, but also the British military.

So, very cleverly, they're accentuating the ties between the U.K. and the U.S. and avoiding all of the divisiveness you were hearing about politically earlier in the program.

CAMEROTA: That's so interesting, Max. It is so interesting that -- I mean, you have been our fly on the wall to be able to not lip read but certainly, tell us what that exchange of pleasantries -- the context for it.

And I think that -- I mean, correct me if I'm wrong -- it's unusual for the Guard to speak back. The fact that President Trump is going up and asking them questions, they're probably not accustomed to that.

FOSTER: I have to give him 10 out of 10 for that performance -- this is a performance. This is part of ceremonial. These are pictures which will last forever. He did it with enthusiasm, he did it correctly.

And the Prince of Wales is actually very good in these situations to try to help people through. And by separating him from the Queen, he made -- that, she made it very easy.

But do not be mistaken. The Queen is behind all of these decisions and is in utter control of this entire schedule.

CAMEROTA: And, Max, we are --

FOSTER: And now the British national anthem, I understand.

(British national anthem being played).

BERMAN: Is (INAUDIBLE) with us still?

Max, one person we're not seeing today is Prince Phillip, and there's a reason for that, correct?

FOSTER: Yes, he's retired from official duties. He's 97, so he's stepped back completely.

And actually, these are the moments where she probably misses him most. He's an expert in military protocols and in military history, and he would normally have taken the president along. So, he's actually greatly missed in these moments.

But gradually, as time moves on, she's getting more used to this role and Prince Charles actually is stepping in as her primary consult in these situations.

And that's part of what they call in the palace, reign change. They don't necessarily like to talk about it. All these moments, all about getting ready for the next stage in British royalty and bringing Prince Charles in so it won't be as much of a shock when he becomes king.

CAMEROTA: Abby, the optics of this are powerful, watching these two countries stand together shoulder-to-shoulder for all of this ceremony. And as you have pointed out to us, the president really comes alive and enjoys all of this ceremony, as we saw two weeks ago, again, when he met the new emperor of Japan.

PHILLIP: And he also really values the military symbolism of all of this, too. I think President Trump is -- he speaks a lot about his support of the U.S. military, but I think he also likes the ceremony of it, the formality of it. And you can see him really standing tall and being solemn in the moments where he needs to be solemn.

But just to add a little bit of color, I think a lot of times when people experience President Trump in these kinds of environments, they come away surprised by how funny he is and how lighthearted he can be at certain moments. And I think that it should not come as a surprise that even as President Trump can be abrasive in other situations and moments like this, he can be quite jovial.

[07:45:00] Those conversations that you saw him having with those soldiers who were standing there -- having those conversations. They were laughing, they were talking and smiling. That's not uncommon because he really does come alive in moments like this.

And I think he enjoys the military aspect of this. It's as important to him as the part that is about him being celebrated as a U.S. leader as well.

And I think he's just taking it all in. You can see it on his face. He's standing here, he's watching it. This is obviously not something that he's used to and he's taking his cues from the people he needs to take his cues from.

And, first lady Melania Trump also in moments like this really studies the role that she's supposed to play. You know, my colleague, Kate Bennett, has been writing about how Melania has worked really hard to figure out the protocol behind all of the things that she's supposed to do here.

And I think even her outfit -- everything from top to bottom is designed for her to just fit in really nicely in something that is otherwise, I think, quite unfamiliar to both of them.

BERMAN: And I do have a bit of a fashion update for people wondering.


BERMAN: Melania Trump is wearing a custom white crepe dress with navy details by Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabanna.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: The hat -- the hat is from her personal designer -- wardrobe adviser Herve Pierre, who also designed the white hat she wore last year during the state visit of the Macrons to the White House. People might remember that white hat.

And it has been noted by careful observers of this --


BERMAN: -- that when you have the first lady and the Duchess of Cornwall right there -- Camilla, wearing white -- Ivanka Trump is also wearing white.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but the Queen is branching out on her own with a mint number.

BERMAN: It's kind of wild when you think about it.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Well, she -- you know, as you know, the Queen has been known lately to wear bold, bright pastels. That's sort of her signature.

And all the leaders, the Queen, and President Trump and the first lady, as well as the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, are going in now for a private lunch which will start in about half an hour.

BERMAN: Max, you give him high grades -- the president high grades for hitting all the marks he needed to hit. And I have to say, whenever I see this type of thing I always wonder how are -- how's an American supposed to know what to do with all this formality?

FOSTER: It's a nightmare -- it's a nightmare for Brits. I mean, it's literally very difficult indeed.

But he followed direction and what he did -- you see all those senior guardsmen and also the Prince of Wales making sure he knew what he was doing all the time, leading him through while allowing him to look very stately at the same time. I thought it was very cleverly done by the Queen and very cleverly done by President Trump as well. In the next half hour, he will be presented with a range of artifacts from the royal collection -- some extraordinary things in there. You'll see some objects, probably, of previous presidents. We'll be able to tell you more about what they're going to see a bit later on. But I know that they've got a copy of the Declaration of Independence, as well, in there.

So that's, again, really showing off these ties between the two countries, showing that these are two key allies.

And they will also exchange gifts. The Queen thinks very carefully about the gifts she presents to foreign heads of state.

And I think Winston Churchill was her first prime minister all those years ago and a very clever gift would probably be something relating to Winston Churchill -- something original from him. Her first prime minister who she looked up to and I know that President Trump looks up to, too.

CAMEROTA: Clarissa, this is the 67th year of the Queen's reign. She has met with 11 U.S. presidents. She has gotten good at this.

But as you have told us, if they had their druthers they would not be doing this right now because of all the turmoil with British politics, but this -- the wheels were set in motion for this visit more than two years ago. So now it is happening, obviously, around D-Day, et cetera.

And so, what do you think the issues -- I mean, do you think, as we've talked about, that Prince Charles, when he has a private moment with President Trump, will bring up the pressing issues of Britain?

WARD: Well, President Trump has said, himself, that he is going to bring up the issue of climate change when he sits down with Prince Charles. And one can assume that they will have a conversation about that topic, obviously coming at it from very different viewpoints.

I don't expect Prince Charles to be overly candid or certainly, at least, he won't be trying to create any sense of conflict because really, the role of the royals here is for this set piece part of the visit to go incredibly smoothly. This needs to be a well-oiled machine.

No one does pomp and pageantry like the Brits and they want to show once again that they can execute this type of state visit on a level that few others can. They want to ingratiate themselves to the U.S. president. This is an important time for the so-called special relationship. It's facing a lot of challenges.

[07:50:03] And the U.K. is in political turmoil. It's facing an uncertain future. It needs to be looking ahead to these relationships in a post-Brexit world.

And an interesting thing Max brought up -- the giving of the gifts which is, of course, a traditional ceremony. When President Obama had his state visit in 2011, he gave the Queen an iPod and it had been thought amongst his staff that this would be kind of cool, young, hip. That it would show that he was a sort of young type of leader. And, actually, apparently, it didn't necessarily go down that well.

It will be very interesting to see what President Trump decides to give the Queen. Whether he goes with something more conventional, more formal. Certainly, from what we have seen as he has comported himself this ceremony is that he is keen to strike a tone of reverence, of respect, and to show that in this type of event he can absolutely come across as presidential.

BERMAN: His mother, of course, was Scottish and a big fan of the royal family.

You mentioned the president has met with -- the Queen has met with 11 of 12 U.S. presidents during her reign. The one he did not meet -- she did not meet with, Lyndon Johnson.

CAMEROTA: I knew that.

BERMAN: She was pregnant during the funeral of John F. Kennedy or she would have met him -- and was unable to attend at that point.

All right, we're going to take a quick break. Much more of our live coverage of the president's state visit to Buckingham Palace right after this.


[07:55:42] CAMEROTA: OK, time for "CNN Business Now." Wall Street bracing for another volatile day amid global trade fears.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now with more. How's it looking?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Well, you know, the realization is sinking in here that the White House is waging trade wars, Alisyn, on multiple fronts and it's looking kind of grim here.

Now, Dow futures down a little bit more here but it had been a month of the Dow down six percent on the month. That's a big decline here.

By virtually every serious analysis, tariffs on China will be paid for by American companies and consumers and hurt the U.S. economy.

And the president's tariff threat on Mexico would also be borne by consumers. But before leaving for the U.K. Sunday, President Trump said he's OK with tariffs on Mexico. The White House position is economic rules don't apply in Trump's economy.

The president's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: We put tariffs on China, we're putting tariffs on Mexico, and inflation is still under control.

American consumers have gone to products that are made in the United States, for example, that don't carry those tariffs. We think the same thing will happen here and the American consumers will not pay for the burden of these -- of these tariffs.


ROMANS: Meantime, the damage mounts. China retaliated on $60 billion worth of U.S. exports. Those tariffs started Friday on American cotton, machinery, grains, and aircraft parts.

Also Friday, Trump revoked India's special trade status, which exempted Indian goods from import tariffs last year -- a huge market for U.S. manufacturers, too.

And this morning, "The New York Times" is reporting the administration is considering tariffs on aluminum from Australia.

As trade tensions rise, the president's chief economist, by the way, is stepping down. Kevin Hassett is the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers. It's a position seen as the White House's chief economist.

Hassett tells CNN that no one asked to leave and that's it normal for the chairman to step down after a couple of years. Not clear when he will officially leave the role or who will replace him, guys.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans. Thank you very much. Tariff- happy at the White House.

All right.

There's a really interesting news story about the Trump administration's motivations for putting a citizenship question in the census. That story just out. The thing is that these new details were discovered weeks after the Supreme Court heard a case on this.

John Avlon with a reality check -- sir.


So, it's the first Monday in June and you know what that means. No, not the first day of summer vacation. It's the first day that Supreme Court opinions could come down.

And on the docket this year are cases that could have major implications for the direction of our democracy from whether the population will be accurately counted in the upcoming census to whether the rigged system of redistricting will finally be reined in. So, yes, it's all kind of a big deal.

And late last week, revealing new documents surfaced more than a month after justices heard a census case. Let me explain.

So, we've told you about Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross's cringeworthy congressional testimony where he tried to explain just why the Trump administration wanted to add a question about citizenship. The problem is that he appeared to have been caught in a lie.

Now, Ross said the new census question was a request from the Justice Department but documents show that he was really responding to immigration hardliners. Experts at the Census Department were against the idea from the jump, estimating it would lead to millions of people being undercounted.

And at stake is not only the core purpose of the census itself -- to count everyone in our country, citizen or not -- but congressional representation and over $800 billion in funding allocations. The Trump administration argued, though, that it's motivated solely by concern for the proper enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

Now, if it seems a bit off-brand, just wait until you see the new information that dropped last week by the daughter of a recently- deceased conservative strategist named Thomas Hofeller. Now, he'd specialized in advising Republicans on how to draw district maps to maximum partisan advantage, including a North Carolina map that was declared unconstitutional because it was blatant racial gerrymandering.

Well, it turns out that Hofeller had done a study showing counting only adult citizens for redistricting purposes would be, quote, "advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites."

But the idea was unworkable unless a citizenship question was added to the census. And a Trump transition official testified that that's exactly what Hofeller advised them to do.

So, the Supreme Court likely made its decision without this crucial evidence that could show the White House argument was essentially a lie. Now, keep in mind they'll be overturning the opinion of lower- court judges, one of whom said, quote, "It threatens the very foundations of our democratic system."