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U.S. President, UK Prime Minister Talk Trade. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 4, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: From pomp to politics to even protests, it is day two of Donald Trump's state visit. We are live from Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street with the very latest for you this hour. And 30 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, how China's government continue to try and erase the stain from history.

We are live for you from Hong Kong. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Isa Soares. It is 10 o'clock. We're coming to you live outside Buckingham Palace, at the Canada Gate in London, and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. On Monday, Donald Trump's - Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. was all about pomp and about ceremony.

Today, he gets down to business. As we speak, the U.S. President and Prime Minister Theresa May are hosting a breakfast meeting with business leaders. We'll show those live imagines in the last few minutes, in fact 50 minutes ago. And they're trying to grapple with a post-Brexit reality.

Mr. Trump spoke a short time ago and said the two nations will soon have, and I'm quoting him here, "a very, very substantial trade deal." Now on Monday, the president seemed to relish his elaborate royal treatment. He chatted (ph) the queen's guards, lined up in his honor, in front of Buckingham Palace, as gun salutes, 41 gun salutes, echoed from nearby Green Park.

He then had lunch with Her Majesty, and later he and Prince Charles sat for a spot of afternoon tea. The day ended with the way it began, with an opulent state banquet where both Mr. Trump and Queen Elizabeth talked about the importance of the U.S.-U.K. relationship. Well, Washington and the U.K. seem to be getting all they can out of this trip before Britain leaves the European Union.

Hadas Gold joins me now for now on the business at hand. And Hadas, we heard, in the last 10 minutes or so, from the president, President Donald Trump, sitting opposite Theresa May who's stepping down on Friday, where he talks about getting this deal done, a very, very substantial trade deal. What really does the U.S. - can the U.S. get out of this? And will it benefit the U.K. ultimately?

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

HADAS GOLD, CNN REPORTER: Well, Isa, we've hearing a lot about a bilateral free trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. after Brexit. President Trump has been speaking about it and tweeting about it for some time, saying that once the U.K. gets rid of the European "shackles" as he called them, then there could be a great trade deal.

But when you look at the numbers, and I want to put up on the screen, the numbers to differentiate between the U.K.'s trade with the United States versus the European Union - keep in mind, the European Union is more than countries - U.K. imports and exports with the United States were 15.7 percent.

But compared to the European Union, the European Union equals 49.1 percent of the U.K. imports and exports. And that just goes to show how important the EU is for the U.K. Now the U.S. is the single largest country trade partner for the U.K, but after Brexit, they're going to have to balance these trade deals between the U.S. and with the EU.

And in March, the Trump administration sent out some documents that outlined what they would want out of a trade deal, and these include some things like lowering - or differing the standards on food, agricultural tariffs and, even as we heard from the U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson, the possibility of U.S. companies being able to bid on national healthcare contracts here in the United Kingdom, which caused quite a bit of uproar from politicians here, because they want to protect their national healthcare system.

But when you also look at the numbers from the U.K. government itself, a U.K.-U.S. trade deal post-Brexit would increase GDP, they said, by only about .2 percent over 15 years. So those gains are small compared to the losses that they will get from the European Union. So while this trade deal is very important, the U.K. will also be looking very heavily towards the EU and what kind of trade deal they can get with them, Isa.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SOARES: Of course, there's not one replacing the other but the numbers you read just showed us it goes against what we heard from President Trump in the "The Sunday Times" interview over the weekend, where he said, "We have tremendous potential to make up for more than the difference," talking about the trade with EU.

Clearly, as we look as those numbers, that is not the case. Hadas Gold, thanks very much there with that live report coming out from London. Well, many in the U.K. are unhappy at the royal treatment President Trump is receiving. Mass demonstrations are due to take place in London in the next hour or so.

And U.K. Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to address the crowds. His shadow foreign secretary and close political ally, Emily Thornberry, joins me now from Westminster. Emily, a very good morning to you. Thanks very much for joining us.

EMILY THORNBERRY, U.K. LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Good morning. Good morning. SOARES: Before we talk about what we can expect - good morning - what we can expect in terms of the protest, I want to get your take really from yesterday, because there was one notable absence at the banquet, and that was your leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party. Why did Mr. Corbyn decide to not show up?

[05:05:00]

THORNBERRY: Well, our position is this, that, you know, we love America, and I love America. I love your values. I love your commitment to democracy and equality. I love your openness. I love the way in which you work with other countries. And I - and I will be going to D-Day commemorations tomorrow and honoring your dead, all the brave boys who came over from the State, in order to be able to stand up for democracy and to make a better world.

But I don't think that this president encapsulates those values. I think in fact that he's dragging your country backwards. And as a close friend, it does seem to me that it is our duty as a friend to say this is wrong. It is wrong in which you're trampling on the Iranian nuclear deal. It is wrong that you are denying the fact that we are in a climate emergency.

It is wrong, what you're doing in the Middle East. It is wrong for you trample on - to continue to sell to arms to Saudi Arabia, when what Saudi Arabia's doing in Yemen. All these things need to be said. It is wrong for you to be as racist as you are. It is wrong for you to be as misogynistic as you are. It is wrong for you to assault women, you know?

Why should we be afraid to say those things? I think that we should, and I don't think that this president, given his behavior, deserves the honor of a state visit. I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk to him. I'm not saying that he shouldn't come over. I'm not saying that we shouldn't do business with him or have discussions.

But a state visit is something that only three American presidents have ever been given the honor of, and I do not see why this particular president deserves it. And I think that it is very difficult for Theresa May to advise the queen that that's what she should do. And because we disagree with the idea of a state visit, which is different to an ordinary visit, it would be hypocritical of us to go to the state banquet.

So that's why we didn't go.

SOARES: OK. But a state visit, Emily, honors the country rather than honoring the president. So you say it's hypocritical for showing up surely (ph) if you do respect -

THORNBERRY: Well, that isn't the way that he sees it, isn't it? I mean -

SOARES: Go ahead.

THORNBERRY: It's not the way that he sees it, is it? I mean he's seeing it - he's teaching it as a sort of personal tour for him and his family to have their photograph taken with the queen, for us to be used as some sort of backdrop for his reelection campaign. I do not see why our country should be a cute backdrop for President Trump's reelection campaign.

If he wants a backdrop to his reelection campaign, then he should have the backdrop of the huge protests that there will be against him, because actually, his values are not our values, and we don't believe that his values are the same as the majority of Americans' values either.

SOARES: Well, I've seen you quote, and I'm correct me if I wrong, Emily, that you quoted calling President Trump "a bully." Is he a bully in your eyes?

THORNBERRY: Of course, he's a bully. And when you look at who it is that he sees as his great friends, they're always the big men around the world who take sucker from the fact that he praises him. He wants to go - I mean the friends that he has - I mean the way that he behaves towards Putin or Bolsonaro or, you know, all of these - I mean - and there is a rise of these type of ring-wing, anti-democratic men.

And he seems to have them as his friends. And when it comes to people, frankly, like our prime minister, who I think has shown great weakness, holding his hand and praising him and letting him walk all over her, frankly, I think that when you bend over for a bully you will just get kicked harder.

And actually, what he respects is strength, and that is not what we have shown. And I do not understand why we - why we do not have more confidence in ourselves and why we can't be - just look him in the eye and say, "Mr. President, you're wrong."

SOARES: But Emily, I'm just going to push you on something, because we - you - I know that Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, basically boycotted the banquet, but he did take part when the Chinese president was here. And of course, there are huge questions over China and its human rights. So isn't it a bit hypocritical for Jeremy -

THORNBERRY: Absolutely (ph).

SOARES: - Corbyn to take part in one banquet and not another?

THORNBERRY: Yes, and that's a good question. And I think that the reason that we have a different attitude is this, it's because of our closeness to America. It's like when you have a friend who's doing the wrong thing. You actually feel it more strongly, and you feel a duty to speak out.

If we're (ph) talking about a country that has been - that has had a terrible tradition of human rights - I mean, look at - you know, we're marking Tiananmen Square. You know, it has been a totalitarian state, and we're trying to draw it into the right direction. And actually, praise where praise is due.

[05:10:00] The leadership that the Chinese have taken up in relation to the issue of climate change, filling a vacuum which has been left by the Americans, is a good thing. I'm not saying that their human rights record is a good one, and I do know that when Jeremy met the Chinese president after the dinner, he raised his concerns about human rights, as he always would. But with this president and with our great friends, America, being pulled in the wrong direction by him, it is right for us to take a strong and firm stand.

SOARES: Emily Thornberry there. Thanks very much for taking the time to speak to us here on CNN. Thank you.

THORNBERRY: Well, for more, let's turn to our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, in the - outside the prime minister's residence, on 10 Downing Street. And Nic, I understand that Mr. Trump has been commenting, in the last - I mean in fact (ph), we saw, in the last few minutes, commenting on Ms. May (inaudible) trying to make a joke, in fact, with Ms. May, saying, "I don't know about your timings, but perhaps you can stay for this trade deal."

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATC EDITOR: Yes, he said that she should sort of stick around. In fact, you know, contrary to the sort of the impression he'd given before he arrived here, which was saying that Theresa May had done a bad job in trying to exit the European Union and that Boris Johnson will make a fine prime minister, he said that actually she's done a fantastic job, that it's been an honor working with her, that he wished he could sort of stick around to see through this trade deal, basically (ph), you know, as a sort of long, end of the road outcome of this business meeting that they're having this morning, with these different CEOs represented from these five leading British and five leading American companies.

So was sort of, you know, reminiscent of President Trump when he came here last year. He arrived criticizing Theresa May, but the following day was full of praise for her. And that's what he's been - that's what he's been showing today, doing a fantastic job on the trade deal. He said the trade deal would be "fair" and it would be "substantive."

Again, we've heard him use those words before, but it does seem to reflect President Trump reflecting on successful state visit so far and wanting to say the right things when he's standing right next to Theresa May, as opposed to speaking to reporters a couple of days before he actually sits down in the room with her.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SOARES: Yes, we heard him say a very, very substantial trade deal. Nic Robertson, outside 10 Downing Street. Thanks very much, Nic. Well, joining me now is Republicans Overseas representative, Greg Swenson, a very well known face here on the show. He normally joins us for "CNN TALK," but decided to join us a little bit earlier today.

Greg, I want to take your views. I mean I don't know if you heard what Emily Thornberry of the Labour Party had to say, calling President Trump a bully, saying they weren't going to show up here, because it's hypocritical of anyone to rollout the red carpet. What do you think of the president's visit so far?

GREG SWENSON, REPUBLICANS OVERSEAS UK: So far, so good. I mean I thought yesterday was very well-scripted. He stuck to the program, which is always good for this president, you know? And he has the State of the Union addresses, and he stays to the teleprompter. That always works out well.

SOARES: He's on his best behavior (ph).

SWENSON: It's when he strays too much. Yes, exactly. And so, you know, when he - he's not very disciplined often in his messaging, as we know. And so, I thought yesterday was really well done. Yes, he did relish in it. This is a big moment for him. But it's a very big moment for the U.S. and the U.K.

SOARES: What we can expect today from this business meeting, because yesterday was all about the pomp, today's about the politics. We heard President Trump, in the last half hour, sitting face-to-face with Theresa May, with both leaders from the U.S. and the U.K. -

SWENSON: Yes.

SOARES: - where he's talking about this very, very substantial trade deal. What kind of trade deal do you think the U.S. wants?

SWENSON: Well -

SOARES: What does it benefit? What does it get out of this?

SWENSON: I mean the key word is opportunity for both -

SOARES: Yes.

SWENSON: - right? I mean the U.S. and the U.K. already have a great trading relationship, you know? The U.K.'s the largest investor in foreign direct investment in the U.S., and the U.S. is also the largest foreign direct investment in the U.K. It's $750 billion from the U.S. to the U.K., $540 billion from the U.K. to the U.S. We - you know, the U.S. buys $110 billion of goods and services from the U.K., so that's just the base -

SOARES: Yes, in fact -

SWENSON: So there's great opportunity -

SOARES: I'm going to push back on that (ph). In fact, the European Union is much bigger -

SWENSON: Of course.

SOARES: - as a trader partner than the U.S. So it's not like a trade deal with the U.S. will completely -

SWENSON: No, it - SOARES: (Inaudible).

SWENSON: No, it can't make up - it can't make up for that.

SOARES: Yes, it can't make up for that.

SWENSON: I mean you would assume there'll be a trade - there'll be continued trade deals between the U.S. and the EU. There'll be a direct deal with the U.K. I mean right now, 25 percent of the foreign direct investment of the U.S. into the EU is the U.K. So I mean there's already a really good starting point. If there's a free trade deal, hopefully with no tariffs, this'll be fantastic for both countries.

SOARES: But you know, President Trump said on Sunday, he called it (ph), "We have tremendous potential to make up more than the difference."

SWENSON: Yes, that -

SOARES: That won't happen if the U.K. still -

SWENSON: Sure.

SOARES: - the U.K. still needs the EU in some regards -

SWENSON: Yes.

SOARES: - (ph) when it comes to trade. So would President Trump being - hoping for a no deal Brexit -

SWENSON: Yes.

SOARES: - or a hard Brexit, will that benefit him more from peeling away?

SWENSON: Right. It surely isn't a zero sum game. You've got to have trade with both.

SOARES: Yes.

SWENSON: And for the president to say that, you know, the U.S. could overcome trade loss with the EU, that's not accurate, you know? The president tends to exaggerate sometimes.

[05:15:00]

Or he doesn't pay attention to the finer detail. What's important here is there is a great opportunity, and I think he's reaching out. So regardless of which kind of Brexit we end up with, or any Brexit, you know, the U.S. should be the first phone call. And I think this president has very well - has telegraphed very well, or he's just stated it, that he wants to do a deal and he wants to make - you know, he wants to do more business with the U.K.

SOARES: Now you being in here for some time, you know what the NHS, the National Health Service, means -

SWENSON: Sure. Yes.

SOARES: - to people here in the country. We heard, over the weekend, from the U.S. ambassador here, basically saying the NHS, the health service could be on the table. It could be part of a trade deal. That has got -

SWENSON: Yes.

SOARES: - many people here, spitting feathers at the thought.

SWENSON: Sure, because you're absolutely right. The NHS is baked into the culture here.

SOARES: Yes.

SWENSON: It's not something that you can just flip the switch on. I think that might have been another exaggeration or that - or what the ambassador is saying is everything's one the table. Let's just have a conversation. I think the key word is could, you know? So I don't think here's drawing a line in the sand by any means. The ambassador's very diplomatic that way.

SOARES: I want to show some live images of him (ph). I'm not sure if we've got it, of the baby blimp (ph), if you see those live pictures. We saw it about an hour ago. It was getting inflated. I think you know the -

SWENSON: Of course.

SOARES: - RH nappy clad (ph) -

SWENSON: I remember it from last year.

SOARES: - and he's alive, coming out from Trafalgar Square with - holding a mobile phone. Do you think - I mean yesterday, President Trump talked about tremendous crowds. There weren't tremendous crowds, at least where I was, right here. There weren't that many.

SWENSON: Yes.

SOARES: We expect protests to be large today.

SWENSON: Right.

SOARES: Do you think he will see any of this? Do you think this affects him at all?

SWENSON: I think he'll see it, you know? Maybe he'll see it on television.

SOARES: Yes.

SWENSON: I don't think he's going to be in the mix. He's going to be in a helicopter, quite often, or inside. You know, look, this happened last year, and I think the crowds were very large last year. I can't remember the numbers. It was hard to miss, especially if you're in - you know, in their motorcade.

You know, I remember they were outside the BBC (ph), you know? It was a massive movement. I don't know what to expect today, but I just assume that the president is thin-skinned. It probably bothers him a little bit, but this is a - you know, the progressive left that just tends to do the protesting isn't really a group that the president's ever going to win over, you know? You know, look, this is a -

SOARES: Very good point.

SWENSON: You know, I mean you win elections with 50 percent, or 52, sometimes less -

SOARES: Yes.

SWENSON: - as we've found out. So you know, I don't think that's a group that he's ever going to really appeal to. The fact that they're protesting is a great expression of their right to free speech and their right to protest. It's fantastic.

SOARES: Greg Swenson, always great to have you on the show. Good to see you again.

SWENSON: Great to see you, Isa. Nice to be here.

SOARES: Thank you. And coming up on CNN TALK, we want to know you think. Is there still a special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom? Log onto facebook.com/cnninternational to have your say. CNN TALK, it's coming to you live from London, in fact, from outside Buckingham Palace, midday. You're watching us in London, 7:00 pm if you're watching us from Hong Kong.

And coming up next, erasing a massacre from history, 30 years since Beijing orders its military to open fire on pro-democracy demonstrators. An entire generation knows almost nothing about the Tiananmen Square crackdown. We'll have the details for you after a very short break. Do stay right here with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:21:00]

SOARES: It is the second day of the three-day state visit to Britain and Mr. Trump is spending Tuesday getting down to business. He's holding a breakfast with the outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and corporate leaders right now. At the beginning of that meeting, he praised the outgoing prime minister, joking she should stick around, he said, to complete a trade deal with the United States. The pair would then hold separate talks before a joint conference later on today.

Now I want to switch gears. A painful anniversary is being commemorated around the world except where the tragedy took place. In 1989, democracy was spreading like a wave across central Europe, as well as the Soviet Union. But the wave stopped in China, specifically Tiananmen Square. On June the 4th, 1989, thousands of protesters (inaudible) there to demand freedom as well as democracy.

Instead, their government turned on them, sending in troops to massacre an unknown number of demonstrators. Well their resistance was immortalized in this photo of-called tank man, who stepped out in front of the military tanks as they left the square the day after the murders. Let's get more from CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now from Hong Kong. And Ivan, give us a sense of how this day is being commemorated, is being seen in Hong Kong and right around the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is -- this former British colony is the only place in modern day china, Isa, where people can honor the untold hundreds or if not, thousands of people who were massacred by tanks and troops in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago today. So we're anticipating in Victoria Park, this place will fill up with people, some of them denouncing one-party rule in mainland china. Others calling to remember those people who died on the dark and bloody day. I spoke with a Hong Konger who helps runs a small museum here that commemorates Tiananmen Square. Take a listen to what he had to say.

MAK HOI-WAH, CHAIRMAN OF THE JUNE 4TH MUSEUM: We were worried about the existence of the museum or even our calling for the end of one- party dictatorship, will not allowed to talk about it in the future. With the tightening control by the Chinese government here in Hong Kong. We are trying our best to be suffrage (ph), to uphold our freedom of speech and our June 4 museum.

WATSON: Now I can't stress how much this is censored in mainland china. I mean, if you try to post on Chinese social media even numbers or expressions suggesting the protest movement and massacre of 30 years ago, it is summarily censored. But here in Hong Kong for now, people can still gather and we're anticipating these crowds to grow on the rainy evening. But there are concerns here in Hong Kong the freedoms they enjoy, that this situation is perilous for them. That the central government in Beijing has been chipping away at the democratic freedoms that Hong Kong has.

One of the original organizers of the Tiananmen Square protests was pushed away, was denied entry at the airport over the course of the weekend, Isa. There had been other things such as a proposed law to allow the central government to extradite criminals which could theoretically, some people fear, include people gathering here to honor those killed in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago today. Isa.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SOARES: Ivan Watson there in Victoria Park in Hong Kong. Thanks very much, Ivan.

Now, from the red carpet to an orange balloon. Thousands of protestors are expected to gather on the second day the Donald Trump's state visit to the U.K. We'll show you live images of the inflatable baby blimp -- Donald Trump baby blimp that is now seen right in Trafalgar Square where we'll go live to Trafalgar after a very short break. Do stay with us here with CNN.

[05:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOARES: First came the pageantry, now potentially the protests.

Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on central London to wave banners and protest against the president's on his second day in the U.K.. Similar demonstrations around the country are planned throughout Donald Trump's visit. Many are also mocking him as this blimp depicting Mr. Trump as an orange baby wearing a nappy hovers over protests. These are coming to you from Parliament Square the blimp was inflated in the last half an hour.

So we'll keep on top of the developments on the protests as more happens, but that's it for this hour for us. Thank you very much for joining us. I'm Isa Soares outside, but we've got -- actually we've got Erin McLaughlin, I'm not going anywhere -- do stay right here. Erin McLaughlin, I think you're with us. Erin, are you anywhere near the baby blimp?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am. Let me step out of the shot to show you the scene behind me. There it is, the so-called Trump baby blimp taken to the skies here in Parliament Square, surrounded by the volunteers in red jump suits, the so-called Trump baby sitters. The depiction of Donald Trump as a baby snarling holding a cell phone. This is the second time it's taken to the skies of London.

It first lifted off a year ago for the so-called Carnival of Resistance. Since then, it traveled to Buenos Aires and Mexican-U.S. border, it's traveled Paris, Edinburgh, it's travelled around the world. But it's returned here to its so-called home base, the opening salvo of today's day of protests. This time, the protesters are much closer to President Donald Trump than his last visit around a year ago. The president currently enjoying tea at St. James's palace, he's going to be at Downing Street later in the day. Protesters though will not be allowed to go past Downing Street. Isa.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Erin McLaughlin. Erin will be covering the protests there which start in about half an hour or so. And that does it for me. I'm Isa Soares outside Buckingham palace. I'll be back with a quick check of your headline in just a moment. Don't go anywhere.

[05:30:00]