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Tougher Sanctions to be Imposed on Iran; Another Leadership Change at the Pentagon This Week; Plane Crash in Oahu Kills Nine; Sexual Assault Allegation Made Against Trump; Mayor Pete Faces Protestors; Biden's Remarks Cause Alarm; I.C.E. Agents to Begin Rounding Up Illegal Immigrants in Several Cities; Albert Pujols Returns to Busch Stadium. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired June 22, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obliteration. President Trump saying war with Iran would end with obliteration.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking for war. And if there was, it would be obliteration like you've never seen before, but I'm not looking to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump issuing a strong denial against accusations he forced himself on author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll at a department store more than 20 years ago.

E. JEAN CARROLL, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: I had a run-in with the president. I thought it was shocking, it was against my will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A senior immigration official has confirmed that I.C.E., Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, is set to launch raids in 10 U.S. cities beginning this Sunday targeting about 2,000 people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New disturbing details emerging on the deteriorating conditions at the border; babies now taking care of babies.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good Saturday morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Hi everyone, I'm Jessica Dean in for Christi Paul this morning.

BLACKWELL: Well a day after the president called off a planned strike against Iran, President Trump says he's going a different route now to retaliate, it's new sanctions.

DEAN: But after the president tweeted new sanctions were imposed on Iran Thursday night, two administration officials tell CNN that's not true but they are planned for sometime over the next week. Meanwhile, we're learning more about the president's thinking behind standing down on that planned strike. On Friday, Trump confirmed he called it off to save Iranian lives after he asked a general how many people could be killed if he went through with the strike.


TRUMP: He came back and said, "Sir, approximately 150," and I thought about it for a second, and I said, "You know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half hour after I said go ahead."


TRUMP: And I didn't like it. I didn't think it was proportionate.


DEAN: All right, joining us now with more, CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood. Good morning, Sarah.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jessica and Victor. President Trump clearly pleased with the coverage that he has gained over the past 24 hours with his decision to call off that strike on Iranian targets. That's what sources tell CNN. President Trump deliberated throughout the day on Thursday whether he was going to do some sort of retaliatory strike against Iran. He does have some voices within the administration, such as his hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, who have consistently been pushing him toward more aggressive actions on Iran, and then he does have a contingent also of outside advisers and lawmakers who were in his ear pressuring him throughout Thursday not to take that kind of action against Iran.

Ultimately the president stood down on that Iranian strike, in his words, 10 minutes before that military operation was to be executed. Now, the administration is pushing the line that they are more focused on retaliating economically with sanctions that have yet to be imposed despite the president's tweet, and not militarily, although the president told "NBC News" in that interview taped yesterday, that if it did come to war with Iran, Iran would face obliteration. Take a listen.


TRUMP: I'm not looking for war and if there is it will be obliteration like you've never seen before but I'm not looking to do that, but you can't have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk good, otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No pre-conditions?

TRUMP: Not as far as I'm concerned, no pre-conditions.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WESTWOOD: Now despite the fact the administration has been saying they

would like to engage diplomatically with Iran to try to find a solution to this peacefully, there is no indication that Iran has been receptive to those overtures. The president is facing a drumbeat of pressure from democrats to deescalate the situation with Iran now Jessica and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sarah Westwood for us at the White House. Sarah, thank you.

DEAN: The Treasury Department has yet to announce any new sanctions against Iran, so when could that happen and what's the White House strategy behind it? Joining us now to help answer that question, Kylie Atwood, CNN National security reporter. Kylie, what's the latest on all this?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well the pendulum has surely swung from one end - military action - to the other -- potential new sanctions on Iran in the last 24 hours. What we know is that President Trump has said he's thinking about additional sanctions. He even said that new sanctions had been put on Iran. Now, that is not true. There is no new sanctions that were put on Iran by the U.S. in the last 48 hours.

However, that is where this administration, we are told, is moving. Two sources have told me that within the next week, we are likely to see new sanctions put on Iran. We saw a statement out by Secretary Pompeo speaking about some potential new sanctions just last night.


But this is really important to know because it's where the president and his team are focused. We have a team of national security advisors to the president who are Iran hawks and they have been convinced, because the president is the one that makes the decision, to go with him toward additional economic pressure, not towards additional military pressure.

DEAN: All right. Kylie Atwood for us this morning. Thanks so much for that update and this all comes amid a major reshuffle at the Pentagon. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper taking over tomorrow. Acting Secretary - Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is stepping down after details surfaced from his divorce several years ago. But now President Trump says not only will Esper take over as Acting Secretary of Defense, he will be the president's nominee for the full-time job. So that means under federal law, he will have to step down by the end of July to go through that confirmation process, setting up another temporary leadership change at the Pentagon.

BLACKWELL: All right joining me now to talk, CNN Military Analyst and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogan, columnist for the "Washington Post." Gentlemen, welcome back to "New Day."

JOSH ROGAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Great to be here. BLACKWELL: And General, let me start you here. Before we take the

military option off the table, I want your reaction here because the president has people on either side of a potential military strike against Iran who he trusts both inside the White House, outside the White House, on "Fox News" even. Do you glean from the president's comments and what we're learning about the time before and after this call-off of a strike that there will be no military retaliation against Iran?

RETIRED LIEUTENANT MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I don't glean that, Victor. I think that's part of a multi-part of a multi- pronged approach using diplomacy, economics and the military. I think the president probably got a fair taste of advice from his military advisers, specifically the Chairman of Joint Chiefs, about the dangers of a strike in Iran. It will cause repercussions unlike those he's experienced before in places like Syria. This is not just a place where you can fire a couple cruise missiles and figure nothing is going to happen as a reaction, because things will happen. Not only in the country in terms of Iranian support for their leaders, but also throughout the region where there are many Iranian militias in various countries in the Middle East.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Josh, let's talk about that, because CNN's reporting is that National Security Advisor John Bolton and other officials told the president that the potential for a U.S. strike to escalate tensions would be an unlikely outcome of a necessary step. What evidence is there to support that a military attack, even considering the deaths of some Iranians as this plan possibly would have caused, would not have escalated tensions?

ROGAN: Well, let's be clear here. My sources inside the administration said that of course there was some risk of retaliation, especially against U.S. Bases in the region and they understood that to be a risk of retaliating. But at the same time the advice from Bolton, Pence, Pompeo and others was that a retaliation was better than not retaliating militarily, because not retaliating militarily would invite even more aggression and embolden the Iranians to go even further.

That was the argument. But we can't sit here and pretend that we know why President Trump decided to call off the strike. For a few reasons, one is that the president's story about it doesn't wash, OK. If you read the reporting in the "Washington Post," and the "New York Times" this morning, it makes clear that what President Trump said about it isn't true. Not just the sanctions, the casualty numbers are not right, his sequence of events is not right. He didn't hear about it from the generals actually, he heard about it from the lawyers. He's just making this up as he goes along and changing it all the time.

The input that came to President Trump after he met with his entire national security team and decided to strike are unknown, and they definitely came from outside and while the Chinese and the Russians probably heard them on Trump's unsecure cell phone, the Americans didn't, okay? So what we've got is a process mess. And what we've got is a lack of signaling messaging and diplomacy, and that is just a risk of miscalculation and a risk of error that's incalculable because nobody knows what the heck is going on.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk about the mess of the impact now and the question of escalation of tensions. General, do you see that there is a potential for an escalation of tension based on what we saw over the last 48 hours, the order of the strike and then the call-off, even in his attempt to avoid that escalation that indeed will escalate?

HERTLING: Well, I think there is potential of either increased escalations or decreased escalations, Victor and the thing that I'm most concerned about is as Josh just said, the process within the White House, the primaries committees that are part of the National Security Council to deal with the changes and to predict them.


You know, whenever there is some kind of national security threat, there is a technique the military uses that's been adopted by the State Department of reviewing the risk, the rewards and the required restraints. That's called the three R's. They don't use that term, but that's what the military sometimes calls it. What are we going to gain from our actions? What kind of risk are we going to take and how are we putting U.S. civilians or service members at risk, and how do we mitigate that? Finally, what are the restraints involved?

When you're talking about use of different factors of national power, you're going to talk about what you can gain, but what also might happen as a reaction to that. That's the kind of things that professionals talk about, and they do their very best to predict what will occur. That doesn't seem to be occurring in this White House process. What they tend to be doing is just listening to different voices without weighing those rewards and risks and restraints.

BLACKWELL: Josh, do you want to get in there?

ROGAN: Yes, I'm just saying this is clearly politics trumping national security, pun intended, OK? And it's General Dunford is reportedly cautious about a strike. Does anyone think that President Trump has listened to General Dunford more than, say, whoever are the conservative commentators and pollsters and political aides who he talks to on his unsecured cell phone after John Bolton leaves the room? No, of course not. OK? And they didn't consult - Trump didn't consult the military when he withdrew from Syria, why would he consult them now?

Yes, these are serious issues, and you can sit here and agree with Trump's decision not to strike, but what happens when whoever is in his ear advises him something that you don't agree with? OK? This is no way to run a railroad and these issues are too serious to be left to sort of the gut of a guy who doesn't trouble himself with learning the real facts.

BLACKWELL: All right, Josh Rogin -- go ahead, quickly - quickly General.

HERTLING: Yes, if I might add, I think Josh is spot on here. As we've seen the run-up to this operation, we've heard about many of the voices that are influencing the president. Most of those voices don't have a national security background. They're reporters, they're some folks within the Senate and the House and General Dunford's name hasn't been mentioned once. This is a military expert with a pretty good staff underneath him that are experts in the area.

BLACKWELL: Well the president gave us some insight yesterday via twitter. This is typically his hour between 6:00 and 8:00 on Saturday morning where he makes news on twitter. We'll see if he gives more insight as he reads the reporting from the "Post," the "Times," and from CNN. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and Josh Rogin, thank you both.

ROGAN: Thank you.

HERTLING: Thank you.

DEAN: Still to come this morning, a writer is accusing President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the '90s. What President Trump is saying about those allegations? That's next.

BLACKWELL: Plus, undocumented families brace for a showdown as I.C.E. gets ready to raid 10 major cities tomorrow.

DEAN: Also, breaking overnight, a plane full of skydivers crashes, killing all nine people on board. We'll get the latest for you from Hawaii.



DEAN: Breaking news from overnight, nine people have been killed in Hawaii after their skydiving plane crashed. This was at the Dillingham Airfield in Oahu. Witnesses say the plane hit a fence line before bursting into flames on the runway. Officials have not released the names of any victims, but we do know many of them had family at that airfield when the crash happened. The FAA is investigating.

BLACKWELL: "New York Magazine" has published allegations from Advice Columnist E. Jean Carroll in which she claims the President sexually assaulted her in the '90s.

DEAN: She makes those accusations in her forthcoming book, "What Do We Need Men For?" which also accuses other men of inappropriate behavior. CNN's Jason Carroll filed this report late last night.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump issuing a strong denial tonight against accusations he forced himself on author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll at a department store in Manhattan more than 20 years ago. Carroll prays(ph) the allegations in a just- published "New York Magazine" article tied to the publication of her new book, "What Do We Need Men For?" A Modest Proposal." In an interview Friday with "NBC News," Carroll described the incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) E. JEAN CARROLL, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: I had a run-in with the president in a dressing room in Bergdorf's. I fought. It was shocking. It was against my will.


J. CARROLL: In the article she writes, "The moment the dressing room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall hitting my head quite badly and puts his mouth against my lips." She continues, "I am so shocked, I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall with a shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights."

However the president says, "I've never met this person in my life," adding, "shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves or to sell a book or carry out some sort of political agenda." He continues, "no pictures, no surveillance, no video, no reports, no sales attendants around. I would like to thank Burgdorff Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident because it never happened. False accusations diminish the severity of real assault." Trump then asked for help saying, "If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Mrs. Carroll or "New York Magazine," please notify us as soon as possible. The world should know what's really going on. It's a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations."

Despite Trump's statement, Carroll published a picture showing her chatting with Trump during a holiday party in the 1980s. And "New York Magazine" says they reached out to Carroll's two friends who collaborated what she did disclose about that attack at the time.

Trump says the story is made up and, quote, "should be sold in the fiction section."


He was taped during a 2005 "Access Hollywood" interview saying he liked to grab women by their private parts, adding, "when you're a star, they let you do it." CNN has reached out to Carroll but she has yet to respond. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

DEAN: All right, Jason Carroll there for us. As he mentioned, we have reached out to E. Jean Carroll, but she's yet to get back to us. In the meantime, CNN's Laura Coates spoke to Genevieve Smith, that's the features director who worked on the piece and she said she wanted to take this story seriously.


LAURA COATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you ever any hesitation about publishing this account by E. Jean Carroll?

GENEVIEVE SMITH, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AT "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": I don't know if I would call it hesitation, but it was obviously something that we thought about a lot, we looked at every angle; we did everything we could to corroborate the parts that were possible to corroborate. It certainly wasn't something we took lightly.

COATES: In what way did you corroborate the story or try to vet?

SMITH: So we did talk to the two women that she said she told at the time. They were able to corroborate that they do remember being told that at the time. They also provided details of the conversation that she hadn't written about that they remembered, and then we also reached out to Bergdorf to see if there was any possibility they had preserved tapes or anything from that time. They hadn't, which isn't a huge shock. But then the other thing is it's in light of many other similar accusations, and we did consider it in the timeline of those other accusations and it does come in a period of the mid-'90s where there are several accusations around the same time.

COATES: So why not publish the names of the women who corroborated her story?

SMITH: That's between E. Jean and her friends and it's their private decision and we know who they are. We talked to them and that's up to them.

COATES: Now of course, there are multiple accusation in this piece. Not just President Trump is one of the people who is named, she names a number of high-profile people as well. But would you have published this story had the lightning rod name of Donald Trump not been attached to it?

SMITH: I absolutely - I really think we would. I don't know if it would get the attention that it's getting, but it is a heart-wrenching and beautiful memoir that talks about her life in relation to men throughout her entire life. When she tells the story, it's contextualized among all these encounters that she's had since she was a child. So I certainly think it would be worth - worth publishing her account with or without this particular story.


DEAN: E. Jean Carroll's book will be released on July 2nd.

BLACKWELL: Here with this face-to-face for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as protestors demand answers after the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer. You're going to see his reaction to these protestors in a moment.

DEAN: Plus Joe Biden's comments about working with segregationists weighing on the minds of South Carolina voters. Coming up, what's being said about that as democrats gather in South Carolina for this weekend's Democratic Party convention?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say it to us today in front of all these cameras that black lives matter?

PETE BUTTIGEIG, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you just ask me if black lives matter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we want to hear you say it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do black lives matter.

BUTTIGEIG: Of course black lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then fire your...

BLACKWELL: (voice over) Well last night South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg came face to face with these protesters. They're demanding action after the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer. Now, the protests they're really coming at a critical point for Mayor Buttigieg. He's heading to South Carolina today for the state's Democratic Party convention.


DEAN: Support from African-American voters will be key for any candidate hoping to win the state's primary next year. Buttigieg will join the nearly two dozen other democratic presidential candidates who are already in South Carolina, and that includes the race's frontrunner Joe Biden who is himself facing criticism for remarks made about his ability to work with segregationist Senators.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with black voters in South Carolina to find out how the vice president's comments affect his standing.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At Designs by Liz salon in Charleston, South Carolina, pampering and politics go hand in hand.

What did you think about Biden's comments?

PATRICE GORDON, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: I was a little bit disappointed in what he said, but I think he is one of those people who speaks his mind, and sometimes he can put his foot in his mouth.

KAYE: Not all of these South Carolina voters are so happy with Joe Biden after his comments about working with segregationist Senators.


KAYE: Bertha Middleton was especially offended, calling Biden's comments "racist." Biden has said there's not a racist bone in his body. Do you believe that?

MIDDLETON: Not at all. If there wasn't a racist bone in his body, he wouldn't have made some of the comments that he made.

KAYE: J. Denise Cromwell isn't bothered at all.


KAYE: You don't think his comments are racially insensitive?

CROMWELL: I don't think so.

KAYE: Why not?

CROMWELL: Because we all have to look at that and stop being so sensitive about race, I mean I'm black.

KAYE: This voter wasn't offended either, but says Biden could have chosen his words more carefully. So Biden has said it was just to prove the point that he could work with others. Do you think he could have found maybe a better example than these two Senators to prove that point?


KAYE: Still, for Bertha Middleton, even eight years alongside Barack Obama isn't enough to ignore these comments.

MIDDLETON: I think he really feels that a lot of African-Americans are still going to be on his side because he was vice president for Obama so we have to get away from that.

KAYE: For some in this group, Biden's use of the word, "boy" in describing his conversation with a segregationist Senator was especially hurtful.


LOCKE: It has been one of those words that was -- I consider derogatory. It was always something that was demeaning. It didn't promote African-American men.

KAYE: Within this group, the older voters surprisingly forgiving of Biden's remarks. Were you offended by that?

KIDD: Not really. Because I know that having lived in the south for so many years, that's a common thing with a lot of people of the other race. With my age, I just kind of overlook it because the younger people today don't really seem to have a problem with that because they didn't go through what we went through during the Civil Rights Movement and whatnot.

KAYE: Does this change your opinion of Joe Biden? Would this make you not want to vote for him?

GORDON: No, it doesn't.

KAYE: Do you like him as a candidate?


KAYE: Most in this group are still undecided. But if Joe Biden does become the nominee, they will support him. KIDD: He would certainly be an asset. He would be better than what

we have now, that's for sure.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.


BLACKWELL: Several prominent democrats have come to the vice president's defense. Tulsi Gabbard, and you know she's also running for the nomination for the democrats. She wrote that Biden's critics have unfairly misrepresented his important message to score cheap political points. In order for Congress and the President to get things done for the American people, there needs to be civility in Washington and in the country. In order for Congress to work for the American people, we need to find common ground with each other. When asked about the comments, Congressman and Civil Right icon John Lewis forcefully defended Joe Biden.


REP. JOHN LEWIS, (D-GA): I don't think the remarks are offensive. During the height of the Civil Rights movement, we worked with people and got to know people. There was members of the Klan, people who opposed us, even people who beat us, arrested us and jailed us. We never gave up on our fellow human beings and I would not give up on any human being.


BLACKWELL: Well, stay with us, because as the 2020 hopefuls make their case in South Carolina to voters there, we're going to break down the headlines and catch up with the major contenders throughout the day.

DEAN: Also coming up, in less than 24 hours, I.C.E. will begin arresting and deporting hundreds of undocumented immigrants in 10 major cities.



DEAN: Tomorrow immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will begin rounding up undocumented families facing deportation orders. Ten cities and thousands of people are being targeted. This announcement has met with loud opposition from leaders of these cities. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city will not help with the arrests, and an internal LAPD memo reminded officers they don't participate in I.C.E. round-ups.

And 2020 hopeful New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said the Trump Administration's overbroad enforcement serves only to tear immigrant families apart, create an environment of fear and divide us as a nation. That's not how we operate in New York City. We want to bring back in CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin. Josh, thanks again for being with us. What do you make about the timing of these raids this weekend?

ROGAN: Well it's clear that on so many issues from immigration to Iran to trade, politics is now taking over other considerations inside the Trump Administration. While this has been an issue that, of course, has been political for some time as the president heads towards his reelection, it's clear that he's trying to put points on the board and he's trying to show progress and he's trying to create facts on the ground that he can then take to his rallies to tell his base that he's done something in spite of what he calls Congressional intransigence.

DEAN: Now but this could result in families being separated, children included of course in these families. Could that cause any sort of backlash toward I.C.E., toward the president? If we're talking politics here, if this has become a political issue, does that - does that cause them any harm in that way, never mind the humanitarian aspect of it?

ROGAN: Well, yes, not - never mind the humanitarian aspect and the humanitarian aspect is very serious and concerning and tragic, actually. As we see parallel stories come out about the treatment of migrants near the border in detention centers, stories of terrible cruelty visited upon these innocent people on behalf of -- by the U.S. government and its agents, you have to look at that and say that there is going to be a political backlash. The cynical calculation of those pushing these policies is that the benefits politically outweigh the negatives, and, of course, both sides will try to use this to their political advantage. But these people, these vulnerable people, are caught in the middle and they are suffering greatly as a result.

DEAN: Right, right. And you mentioned this, but we have seen in reporting on the condition of these centers at the border that are holding children, just children in these cases. These kids reportedly have dirty clothes. They don't have soap to wash their hands. They don't have enough beds to sleep on. Babies are taking -- children taking care of other babies. These incredible conditions down there and now they want to add more people to this system? Doesn't this put more pressure on the system that doesn't seem to be able to handle it, anyway?

ROGAN: Yes. Some of this is due to the fact that the migration numbers are increasing, which is cyclical but also due to rising instability in the countries from which these people are coming. And there's an argument to say that Congress should appropriate billions of dollars to help that, but of course the Congress has a legitimate concern here because the way the money is being spent is arguably adding to the cruelty and suffering of these poor, innocent people. So you're caught in this conundrum where all of these lives are held in limbo and these families are tortured and treated cruelly as both sides play politics with this issue, and there's no real resolution coming and the problem is only getting worse.

You know, if there was ever a time for our political leaders to come together and make a compromise, it would seem that the gross human rights violations that we're seeing on the border would present that opportunity, but we're not seeing that and that's a tragedy for these people but also for our country.

DEAN: Yes, Josh Rogin, thanks so much for being with us.

ROGAN: Any time.

BLACKWELL: Well the leaders of North Korea and China were all smiles at their latest summit. What message does it send to President Trump? We'll have more on that ahead.



BLACKWELL: The leaders of China and North Korea are calling their summit a success.

DEAN: Experts say China could use the summit to its advantage when it meets with President Trump. Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The propaganda was predictable but still spectacular. A massive, choreographed ceremony in a packed stadium. Fireworks, dancers reenacted Korean war battles when Chinese and North Korean soldiers fought side by side against Americans. Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping and their wives expressed their pleasure as children presented them with flowers. On the streets, women jumped up and down in anticipation then the crowd reveled when the two leaders moved past, waving from the top of a limousine. Analysts are calling this summit in Pyongyang a big win for the 35-year-old North Korean dictator.

JUNG PAK, FORMER CIA ANALYST: It was a successful meeting for Kim in that he was able to have a Chinese leader come to a nuclear armed North Korea with the streets lined with cheering North Koreans that shows the world and to President Trump that Kim is still a player.

TODD: A message to Trump which Kim seems desperate to send. Until Kim sent President Trump a birthday letter last week, there had been months of stone cold silence between the two leaders since their summit in Hanoi failed to advance denuclearization talks. Now with Trump about to meet Xi next week at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, experts say the savvy Chinese leader could be on the verge of playing a powerful card using Trump's desire to advance a nuclear deal with North Korea and Xi's own leverage over a very young North Korean leader who is still very dependent on him.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": Xi Jinping will tell Trump that he can control North Korea, that he will push it in better directions if Trump gives him concessions on what he wants, which right now is trade, so Xi Jinping is going to dangle this North Korean card in front of Trump.

TODD: But there is now concern that Trump's hand with Kim Jong-un might have gotten weaker because of Trump's pullback on a military strike against Iran. CHANG: President Trump's reluctance to cause casualties to the

Iranians is something that Kim Jong-un is going to take on board. This is going to be a dangerous situation where North Koreans could challenge us, and we know what North Koreans can do. They can kill Americans.

TODD: Another concern that while Xi might be able to help push Trump and Kim back together, President Trump should also be wary that stronger ties between Kim and Xi could work against America.

JUNG PAK, SENIOR FELLOW, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: My biggest worry about North Korea - China ties is that China decides to not implement sanctions or to be not as vigorous about sanctions implementation. So far sanctions is our biggest leverage against North Korea, and to try to sharpen Kim's choices to denuclearize.

TODD: Analysts say with China's role in this nuclear standoff it's important to understand China's and Xi Jinping's biggest fear - Chinese leaders have often said publically they want North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons but experts say what they really want is to keep North Korea from collapsing, to keep tens of millions of potential North Korean refugees away from their border. And if keeping North Korea stable means that Kim Jong-un gets to keep his nuclear weapons, well Chinese leaders don't have a big problem with that. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


DEAN: It was a moment nearly eight years in the making. St. Louis fans welcoming a hero home. Andy Sholes is here with more. Hey Andy.

ANDY SHOLES, CNN SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Yes, Jessica. Albert Pujols is one of the most beloved athletes to ever play in St. Louis and for the first time since leaving the city, he stepped on the field at Bush Stadium. Coming up, we'll show you his emotional return.



BLACKWELL: All right, so this is going to make your morning. A girl, she's not quite two years old, her life has been changed dramatically. She's now able to hear her family for the first time. Watch this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to talk to the baby now, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi! I love you, hello! I love you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then Granny - Granny love you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi Granny love you.


DEAN: Well the Florida toddler had been deaf since birth until she received here cochlear implants at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and one of the scientists says that moment that you saw when her eyes kind of lit up, it never gets old...

BLACKWELL: She heard her.

DEAN: ... which I can't imagine that it would. But you have to think that's just like incredible if you've gone for two years and heard nothing.

BLACKWELL: Yes and now she's hearing the words, "I love you," from her mother and her grandmother and her eyes just light up there. Great story. All right.

DEAN: Well it was an emotional night in St. Louis as the city welcomed back one of its most beloved athletes of all time.

BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report."

SHOLES: Yes good morning guys. Albert Pujols is one of the greatest players of all time, definitely one of the greatest Cardinals of all time and he won three MVPs, two World Series during his time in St. Louis but he's now with the Angels. He had not been back at Busch Stadium since winning game seven of the 2011 World Series; 2,793 days passed since the last time Pujols stepped on the field in St. Louis, and the Cardinal's fans giving him a huge standing ovation when he came to the plate for his first at bat.





SCHOLES: He had a really cool moment. Pujols then shared a hug with his good friend Cardinal's catcher Yadier Molina. He's one of the two Cardinals still left from that 2011 World Series team. After the game Pujols said that warm reception had him close to tears.


ALBERT PUJOLS, FORMER ST. LOUIS CARDINALS PLAYER: I'm sure they are the best fans in baseball and its just pretty amazing. I'm just glad to be able to play here for 11 years and have the great memories and like I say, this is - I was pretty close from dropping a couple of tears there. I think especially when I hugged Yadier and we had that little moment.


SHOLES: All right, 60 young men realize their dream on Thursday of being drafted in the NBA but for some, it was disappointing not hearing their name called. Tennessee guard Jordon Bone was waiting all night to hear his name as family and friends gathered at a watch party. With only a few picks left, Bone's brother took the mic to thank everyone for coming even though Jordan didn't get picked and then this happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Outside, I know you all be, you know, (inaudible)...


SCHOLES: (voice over) So during the concession speech, Bone was picked by the Pistons with just four picks left in the draft. Someone should have told Bone and his brother the saying, "it ain't over till it's over," but hey, it gave us that awesome moment and congrats to him for getting drafted in the NBA.


All right finally the U.S. women's national team on to the knockout round of the World Cup, just 16 teams left now. No room for error. Former President Barak Obama cheering on the team. He tweeted, now we're talking. Congrats to Team USA for moving on and thanks for continuing to make us all proud, "hashtag" USA and up next the team will match up with Spain on Monday at noon Eastern and guys, this is when it gets serious.

DEAN: Yes.

SCHOLES: No room for error; can't lose now. So there will be some nail-biters going forward, I bet.

BLACKWELL: And Bone thought he was out. Head down...

SCHOLES: Head down...

BLACKWELL: ... thinking...

SCHOLES: ... defeated.

BLACKWEELL: Work on Monday.

SCHOLES: I love the guy listening and he's like, "Oh he just got picked."

BLACKWELL: All right, Andy thank you so much. All right, ahead, President Trump's alternative to military strikes against Iran with new sanctions. Our coverage continues at the top of the hour.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obliteration. President Trump saying war with Iran would end with obliteration.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking for war. And if there was, it would be obliteration like you've never seen before, but I'm not looking to do that.