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President Trump Slaps Harsher Sanctions on Iran; U.S. to Present a $50 Billion Plan for Palestinian Prosperity; Europe to Brace Extreme Heat Wave; Boris Johnson Dodge Questions Concerning Personal Issues; Trump May Visit DMZ Next Week; U.S. To Unveil Palestinian Prosperity Plan; Rouhani, Iran Exercising Strategic Patience, Not Fear; Trump Announce New Hard Hitting Sanctions On Iran; U.S./North Korea Relations; Migrant Crisis; Chernobyl, The Tourist Attraction; Mueller Report Gets Graphic; 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 25, 2019 - 03:00   ET



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump slams Iran with a new round of crippling sanctions. We will have reaction from Tehran.

Plus, the deal of the century becomes a sideshow, Palestinians boycott the White House's Middle East peach workshop. And this --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But here the ground is contaminated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're beeping radiation alarms, part of the creepy experience.


STOUT: CNN heads to the Chernobyl exclusion zone to find out why people are flocking to a town starred by the world's most catastrophic nuclear disaster.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Now the U.S. president wants a new nuclear agreement with Iran and he's using economic pressures to try to force a return to the negotiating table. Now U.S. president announced what he discusses as hard-hitting sanctions on Monday, they target the supreme leader of Iran, military officials, and the foreign minister.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The assets of Ayatollah Khamenei and his office will not be spared from the sanctions. These measures represents a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative reactions, make a lot of restraint has been shown by us, a lot of restraint and that doesn't mean we're going to show it in the future but I felt that we want to give this a chance, give it a good chance because I think Iran potentially has a phenomenal future.


STOUT: The new sanctions deny the supreme leader access to financial resources. Previously, nearly 1,000 Iranians, banks and other entities were targeted. In May, the U.S. prohibited the purchase of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum, and copper.

Now some analysts have suggested that earlier U.S. sanctions triggered Iran's recent more aggressive tactics, but the U.S. treasury secretary insists that the sanctions have had the desired effect.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: There is no question that these sanctions have been very effective on cutting off funds and going to the IRGC and other people. And I can only presume. I'm not going to presume why they're doing things but these are highly, highly effective unlocking up the Iranian economy. And as the president said we look forward to a time in releasing sanctions if they're willing to negotiate.


STOUT: Now the impact on Iran's economy is clear, the International Monetary Fund now predicts the country's economy will shrink 6 percent this year and that inflation could reach as high as 40 percent.

Now for more on Iran's reaction let's go straight to Fred Pleitgen in Tehran. And Fred, I understand that the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani has been speaking. Has he been offering any new reactions to the sanctions?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He certainly has. And in fact, I think he's still speaking right now. It's been carried on press TV, one of the state broadcasting services here. And basically, Hassan Rouhani has said that the new sanctions against Iran against the supreme leader and of course, also the ones coming against Javad Zarif. That of course that Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary said would come later this week, that those will have absolutely no effect at all.

He basically laughed them off. He said that the leadership of this country, basically stay to this country and doesn't have billions in assets, and so therefore it wouldn't affect the way that they operate and the way that they're able to work at all.

At the same time, the Iranian line has essentially been that these new sanctions will destroy the chances of diplomacy for good. It was quite interesting to see, Kristie, because the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry he came out earlier today and also blasted the United States and said that these sanctions would cut off a path to diplomacy forever, as he put it. And that's something that sort of being echoed by Hassan Rouhani right now as well in his talk that he's given to, I think a cabinet meeting right now where he is essentially saying look, Iran negotiating with the United States, they were very meetings between the Iranian politicians but a negotiation between the Iranian foreign minister and then secretary of state.

There also negotiation he said between the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he was still in office and Javad Zarif. And the Iranians are saying that they trusted that process and they feel that they are the ones who have been betrayed by the United States for leaving the nuclear agreement.

And essentially saying that the U.S., the Trump administration at least have said -- have shown that they are not trustworthy in this way.

As far as the impact of the sanction is concerned, Kristie, the Iranians being very clear that they are saying this is having or will have absolutely no impact on the way that they conduct themselves both here at home and internationally.

[03:04:58] And if you look, we've been scanning the Iranian press earlier today, and these items about the new sanctions are really very pretty deep down in the newspapers and at the end of news cast.

So Iranians purposely not trying to make a big thing of this, not trying to show or trying to show that this having absolutely no effect, while at the same time they're saying this is something that does not make it more likely for the Iranians to sit down at the table and start talking to the Trump administration, this is something that makes it a lot less likely if it ever been likely before, Kristie.

STOUT: You know, Iranian officials and the official press there in Iran may brush off the impact of these sanctions, but when you have the IMF saying that the economy of Iran is going to shrink some 6 percent as a result of them, I mean, what is going to be the real material impact of these ongoing sanctions on the streets of Iran, among the people of Iran?

PLEITGEN: Yes. Well that's a thing. Yes, and I think that's a very important point. They are definitely, there is absolutely no doubt about it, the sanctions are having a major effect on Iran's economy, and certainly having a major effect on regular people.

Now that's something that's been going on since the Trump administration pulled out the nuclear agreement and started that massive sanctions campaign against Iran, the maximum pressure campaign as they put it.

These new sanctions that target the supreme leader and his inner circle and then also senior leaders or senior figures and the Revolutionary Guard probably won't add anything additional to that. But you are absolutely right, the situation for ordinary Iranians has definitely deteriorated. You walk around the markets here, you walk around pretty much anywhere

in Tehran, there is always been a bump into people who have lost their jobs, who say that their employers if they were international employers pulled out of Iran, who say that they worked for Iranian companies they can't get certain goods, they can't make payments internationally. The currency has spiraled.

But the big question then is, also has that in any way really impacted Iran's maneuverability and Iran's ability to project its power in the greater Middle East. And that's where, I think you're seeing mixed messages coming out of the Trump administration, where you had Steve Mnuchin yesterday saying he believes that the sanctions have had as he called it, the desired effect and have curtailed around Iran's ability to project its power in the Middle East.

But then you had John Bolton, I think just a couple of minutes ago and yesterday as well, still saying that he believes that Iran is the biggest menace that the Middle East has at all, so it's hard to see how those two-analysis mess with one another.

And at the same time, Kristie, the Trump administration has also said that their bottom line is, they have these sanctions in place because they want to force Iran back to the negotiating table where the Iranians are saying it's precisely these sanctions that are preventing it from going back to the negotiating table, Kristie.

STOUT: Yes. And we'll be talking about that mixed messaging and mixed foreign policy response in the Trump administration with a Chatham house analyst later in the hour. But Fred, we are very thankful for your reporting there in Iran. Fred Pleitgen reporting live from Tehran. Take care.

The tensions with Iran are looming over this key week of American diplomacy. The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo just left Abu Dhabi. He and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed discussed countering the Iranian threat and securing the region, specifically on the waters.

And at this hour, the national security adviser John Bolton is meeting with his Israeli and Russian counterparts in Jerusalem, they are expected to discuss plans for meetings at this weeks' G20 summit in Japan, as well as the threat posed from Iran.


JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: President Trump yesterday imposed significant new sanctions on Iran's supreme leader, and other top leadership individuals and entities. At the same time, the president has held the door open to real negotiations, to completely and verifiable eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons program, its pursuit of ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism and its other maligned behavior worldwide.

All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door.

(END VIDEO CLIP) STOUT: In the coming hours, President Trump's senior adviser and son-

in-law Jared Kushner will present the U.S. plan for Palestinian prosperity. He'll be joined by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Now they are in Bahrain to lay out $50 billion proposal to investors, business leaders, and government officials.

But the U.S. delegation faces a tough test. Palestinians are boycotting the workshop, saying the economic plan is pointless without a political plan first.

Oren Liebermann joins us now from Jerusalem with details on both of these stories. And Oren, first, we know that Bolton has been very busy there in Israel defending U.S. action on Iran while meeting with his Russian and his Israeli counterparts. What is happening at this trilateral summit?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard before this summit from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and national security adviser John Bolton and both of their statements were essentially the same hardline, they've always taken against Iran.

What was interesting was that Netanyahu said that the removal of foreign forces from Syria, that is Iran and Iranian proxies, he says is a common goal and good for Israel, Russia, the U.S. and Syria.

[03:10:03] So that is the angle that Netanyahu is taking and trying to see if the U.S., Russia, and Israel can find some common ground to make that happen. That's one of Israel's key goals there and that's what Netanyahu made clear he wants to get out of this trilateral summit.

Bolton on the other hand came out simply and attacked Iran, calling it a radical regime and its terrorist surrogates but as we just heard saying the doors still open for negotiations if they basically want to change major elements of their foreign policy and how they act in the Middle East.

So Bolton the hawk on Iran is taking his position clearly. We are working on translating the statement from the Russian secretary for the security council, essentially their national security adviser Nikolai Patrushev because he is not on the same page or Russia at least is not on the same page as the U.S. and Israel when it comes to Iran.

First, Russia is an ally, at least a partner of Iran, backs Iranian forces in Syria and sees them as a legitimate presence and has said the sanctions against Iran are at the very least illegitimate, pushing back against those as well.

So, what common ground can they find? Well, that's what Netanyahu will try to work with his and the other security advisers. We'll see what comes out of this meeting because it could have depending on that common ground, it could have significant consequences for not only Syria but the wider Middle East especially as a critical moment like what we are looking at now. STOUT: And Oren, another story that you are closely monitoring, the

first part of the President Trump's long-awaited Middle East peace plan is being unveiled in Bahrain, with, as we have long reported here in CNN a number of no shows there, what impact is this going to have on the peace process?

LIEBERMANN: Well, I think it's already had the impact it's going to have. The Palestinians have boycotted not only the economic workshop as it's being dubbed in Bahrain, but also whatever plan the administration puts on the table because they see the economic part as a buy off.

Meanwhile, for something that's meant to address the Israeli- Palestinian conflict there are no Israeli or Palestinian officials there to begin with.

The White House has long promised deal of this century is about to get its first major test. After two years of work the economic portion of the plan, dubbed peace to prosperity will be put forward in Bahrain. The plan calls for $50 billion of investment in the Middle East, more than half of that for the Palestinian territories.

It promises to cut poverty in half, lower unemployment from about 30 percent to single digits and build projects that will benefit all Palestinians even if the source of the funding is unclear.


JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: People are tired of the way that this has been stuck in the mud for so long. And what we are hoping we can do is to get people to look at this a little bit differently, come together, share ideas and then hopefully we can create a framework on which to move forward economically.


LIEBERMANN: But the Palestinians don't see it that way, they see the economic plan as an attempt to buy off their national aspirations. They've boycotted the Bahrain conference and the administrations peace efforts.


MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT (through translator): We need the economy and we need the money, before everything there is a political solution, when there is a political solution when we see the vision of the State of Palestine along the 1967 borderline then we can say dear world, come to assist, we are ready to receive assistance.


LIEBERMANN: Touring the West Bank over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised little more while attacking Palestinians for rejecting the plan outright.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We'll hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness and I cannot understand how the Palestinians before they even heard the plan rejected outright. That's not the way to perceive it.


LIEBERMANN: The trump administration peace team has said the political plan will come later, then it will address all the final status issues in the conflict, such as the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman has suggested that the full plan may not be released if it hurts more than it helps. Those chances may be slim since the economic plan was supposed to be the easy part.

In Bahrain, Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law who heads the peace team will be looking for Arab states to commit some of the $50 billion to these projects, instead so far what they have gotten is the Arab states to commit to a two-state solution. Kristie?

STOUT: Oren Liebermann reporting live from Jerusalem, thank you.

The prime minister of the Palestinian authorities among those boycotting the economic workshop in Bahrain and he spoke exclusively to Christiane Amanpour.


MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PRIME MINISTER, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: The issue was not really about this issue, this is like a desktop work. This is somebody who is totally diverse from reality. What will be presented has nothing to do with reality and has nothing to do a settlement, has nothing to do with occupation, has nothing to do with the Palestinians not having any access to their land, to their water. Palestinians have no control of their resources.

[03:15:02] So when we speak about investment and improving living conditions without really tackling the roots and the causes of the problem, I think the whole workshop is totally misleading and it is simply an intellectual exercise. As I said earlier, the best part of it will be only the coffee break.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: But here's the thing. The administration in the United States is saying that this is a workshop, it is not a donor's conference and clearly, they say, and they've been saying it today that this is something that could work within the framework of a peace.

In other words, they fully understand they say that there needs to be a peace process, a peace agreement, a peace settlement that this is the kind of investment opportunities that would go hand in hand after there is a peace settlement. So, they were also saying this won't work in a vacuum, so I guess my question to you is why don't you go and see what's on offer? SHTAYYEH: Why don't they present -- why don't they fill the vacuum,

why don't they come up with something that is in harmony with international law? We know what the problem in Palestine is. We have been in this peace process since October 1991 since Madrid peace talks, we have tried everything, this sort of bilateralism, the American mediation, all the problems have been tested.

Everybody knows what the problem in Palestine is, the issue is whether there is a serious determination about solving the problem. This workshop is about is for me, a laundry, a political laundry for settlement and legitimization of the occupation.

The Palestinians are not looking for that. The Palestinians they consider settlements are illegal, the Palestinians they want to get rid of occupation and we are ready to engage with any political proposal that has to do with international law, that has to do with ending the occupation, that has to do with allowing the Palestinians for once to live in peace and harmony in an independent sovereign Palestinian state.

AMANPOUR: My question to you, you say that you don't have an economic problem, and yet, you yourself have told the New York Times and others that, quote, "Palestinian authorities is collapsing financially, you could be bankrupt by July or August." Those are your words, Mr. Prime Minister. You do have an economic problem. How serious will that be? What will it mean if you collapse financially?

SHTAYYEH: This financial siege that we are in has been imposed by both, Israel and the United States, so those who are gathering at al- Bahrain workshop, claiming that they want to help the Palestinians, I don't know how it is possible for anybody to believe that those who are gathering there at al-Bahrain are there to help us, at the same time they are the ones who are imposing financial siege on us.

We are in a difficult situation. It is true. It's simply because our money is blocked somewhere there in Israel. The issue for us as I said, solving the Palestinian problem or the problem in Bahrain.

We do have an economic problem, we do have a financial problem, but these are not a result of wrong economic policy by the Palestinians, these are product of the Israeli policies that has to do with lack of access to areas sea, with lack of access to international markets, with lack of access of investors to our territory, and so on and so forth.

Imagine a situation in which somebody speaks about economic development and their occupation where you have no access to land, you have no access to markets, you have no access to water, and you have no access and investors have no access here.

So, we do recognize the fact that we have a problem, the question is how do you solve the problem? The problem can easily be solved by ending occupation.


STOUT: And that was the Palestinian authority prime minister speaking with our Christiane Amanpour.

Now White House officials insist that the outlines of their plan have been well received in the Middle East.

Now the favorite to become Britain's next prime minister has hit a bump in the road to 10 Downing Street.

And just ahead the controversy that's got Boris Johnson refusing to answer questions.

And a weeklong heatwave is expected to hit Europe, we will have the latest forecast ahead on CNN Newsroom.


STOUT: A new reality is dawning in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tweeted his congratulations to the next mayor of Istanbul. Ekrem Imamoglu won a landslide victory over the ruling party candidate backed by Mr. Erdogan. And they say it could be a sign of rising anti- Erdogan sentiment in Turkey's biggest city and financial center. Now the ruling party still has a few hours to contest the outcome.

The prime minister of Ethiopia is calling for unity after an attempted coup in the northern region of Amhara over the weekend. The government now says the allege mastermind of that coup has been shot and killed while on the run. The country's army chief of staff and retired major general were also gunned down.

The prime minister's office says that they were killed by the chief's bodyguard while planning a military response to the coup attempt.

Boris Johnson is refusing to answer questions about his personal life and that could complicate his quest to become the next British prime minister. His latest show of resistance came with an interview with BBC News.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER CANDIDATE: I made it a rule over many years, I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones and there is a very good reason for that, and that is if you do, you drag them into things that really is not -- in a way, it is not fair.


STOUT: And we have more now on the controversy from CNN's Bianca Nobilo in London.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: The conservative party leadership contest in the U.K. has been dominated over the weekend by reports over exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday morning between Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds at her flat.

A neighbor called the police when they heard the commotion, concerned for the welfare of their female neighbor. When the police arrived, they said there is no cause for concern for further investigation.

But members of Boris Johnson's own conservative parties have concerns of their own as does the second largest donor to that party who said that he now has worries about the morality of Boris Johnson and feels that people deserve an explanation.

Boris Johnson has declined to give an official statement on what is happened and dodged questions about it at hustings over the weekend.


IAIN DALE, PRESENTER, LBC: Just to be clear you're not going to make any comments at all on what happened last night?

JOHNSON: I think that's pretty -- that's pretty obvious from the foregoing.



NOBILO: However, on Monday, the front page of the Evening Standard newspaper was splashed with a photograph of Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds, quote, "gazing into each other's eyes in the countryside."

Johnson's rival in the leadership contest Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has accused Johnson of cowardice for avoiding media scrutiny and declining to participate in a televised debate against him.

[03:24:58] It remains to be seen though exactly how damaging this avoidance of media and the events over the last few days will be for Johnson's reputation in the eyes of the conservative party membership, for they are the people who ultimately get to decide who becomes the next prime minister.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.

STOUT: And we have learned that Italy will host the 2020 Winter Olympics. The announcement was made on Monday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The host is Milano-Cortina.



STOUT: And this marks the return of the Winter Games to Europe after an eight-year absence. Stockholm was the runner-up in the process that has been criticized for the lack of competition, just two cities appeared on the ballot.

Now Europe may only be a few days into summer but temperatures already are climbing. The content is bracing for a potentially dangerous heat wave this week. This strong storm over the Atlantic and a high- pressure system are pulling very high air from Africa north into Europe. It could cause temperatures to soar to as high as 38 degrees in some parts.

Now let's get more on this with meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. And Pedram, which areas in Europe are going to be the worst affected here?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Kristie, you know, it's across Western Europe and central Europe that's the area of concern right now. And we are talking about a long duration event. Of course, we've all seen this over many, many years where you have major heat develop across portions of Europe, and it can often turn deadly across the areas.

A lot of this area does not have access to air conditioning. And of course, you factor in the elderly or folks that are more susceptible to extreme heat and you put this in place for a period of say, five, six, or seven days and it becomes life-threatening very quickly across this region.

So, this is what we are watching here with high pressure pumping in, not only heat from across from Africa towards the north but also some moisture to be had from the western med as well. So, humidity will be very high across this region through at least Friday into Saturday.

Look at this on your forecast for Tuesday afternoon, Paris climbs up to 33 degrees. Berlin also sitting at 33 degrees. And this is just the start of this heat wave where we think it will be considerably warmer going in towards say, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

And again, the fact that becomes a multi-day long duration event is what makes this very dangerous and also studies have shown time and again that extensive heat waves early in the season, as Kristie alluded to there, becomes that much more dangerous because we've seen folks not be able to acclimate to such heat as compared to similar temperatures in say, July and August.

So, studies again, have shown that it is more deadly to see these temperatures in the early season versus in a late season just because of people not being acclimatized to such tempts.

But Paris climbs up to the middle 30s. Notice Madrid from 36 to 38 even to 41. Important to note, the average temperatures for this time of year is about 29. And this would be challenging some all-time record temperatures for the month of June, so a dangerous set up for the next several days, Kristie, across parts of Europe.

STOUT: Yes. Brutal, and potentially dangerous conditions, as you said, the elderly need to take care as well as athletes taking part in the World Cup underway.

Pedram Javaheri, thank you so much for your reporting. Take care.

Now Donald Trump talks about a possible military strike against Iran. How he thinks U.S. Congress should be involved in that decision, just ahead. Plus, the U.S. president and the art of the deal. How Donald Trump's business background could be influencing his foreign policy.

You are watching CNN Newsroom.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world, I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong with the headlines this hour, the White House is refusing to comment on a report, from a South Korea official. This is Donald Trump may visit the DMZ between North and South Korea next week, as of now the president has no plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his visit.

The U.S. will unveil its Palestinian prosperity plan in Bahrain on Tuesday, Donald Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will pitch the proposal for 50 billion dollars of investment in the Palestinian economy as a way toward peace in the region. The Palestinians have boycotted it, saying without a political peace plan first an economic deal is a nonstarter.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says his country is exercising strategic patience, but not fear in dealing with the U.S., now that is in response to President Trump's announcement of new sanctions on Monday, the measure targets Iran supreme leader, military officials and the foreign minister.

If Mr. Trump decides to take military action against Iran in the future, he says he does not think he needs approval from Congress.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress which were I think helpful to me, but I do like keeping them abreast, but I don't have to do it legally.


LU STOUT: OK. Now President Trump's approach Iran follows a mercurial pattern of deal making during his two years in the White House. He has admitted many times that he listens to advisers, but makes up his own mind, often with unpredictable results, someone comment seem doing the opposite of his predecessor Barack Obama.


TRUMP: I would like to see a deal be made, I think a deal will be made. Bibi and I have known each other a long time, a smart man, a great negotiator and I think we are going to make a deal. I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States. Look you have to want to do it with deals, that's what I do, deals and with deals, you have to have two parties who want to do it. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made for the United States, Mexico, and Canada, USMCA deal. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LU STOUT: The president has also taken a different approach to China, his tariffs on Chinese imports have been costly to American companies and farmers and he refuses to share any details on other deals, case in point his Helsinki summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. And when it comes to Kim Jong-un, President Trump has repeatedly talked up the economic potential of North Korea and many speculate that he wants in on that, but there failed summit in Vietnam has derailed talks for now, both leaders are now communicating by letter. Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bromance is back on a between President Trump and his pen pal Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator was photographed reading a new letter from President Trump over the weekend, a letter Kim's news agency says was of quote, excellent content, noting that Kim appreciates the political judging faculty, an extraordinary courage of President Trump. On Monday the president appeared to confirm that letter as well as one he says he received from Kim just a few days earlier.

TRUMP: He actually sent me a birthday wishes, but it was just a very friendly letter both ways.

Very good relationship.

TODD: Experts now say that the apparent thought in the relationship is critical, because the two men have not exchanged letters or any other known communication since their summit collapsed in February.

ABRAHAM DENMARK, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It would create the right atmosphere for another summit, having another meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump will require a lot of diplomacy, not just exchanging letters between the diplomats on the two sides, but on both sides want to be able to move past the failure at Hanoi.

TODD: At that summit in late February the president walked out after Kim try to get Trump to drop all sanctions against North Korea, in exchange for Kim dismantling only part of his nuclear weapons program.

We asked veteran diplomats how much pressure both leaders are under not only to arrange a third summit and get nuclear talks going again, but to not have another failure like Hanoi.

[03:35:07] JOSEPH YUN, FORMER U.S. ENVOY FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY: Tremendous pressure, I mean, in Hanoi as you know, Kim Jong-un went back, very, very angry, he changed his team and so there was an abject failure for Kim Jong-un and by the way, you know, North Korean leaders don't do failures.

TODD: But the pressure is even more intense because of how much each leader has staked on its personal relationship with the other, there has been at least nine personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un since early last year. It is unclear exactly what was said in the letters, but they spurred momentum for historic diplomatic breakthroughs, two summits and a personal dynamic that Trump has often bragged about.

TRUMP: And then we fell in love, OK, no really. He wrote me beautiful letters and they are great letters, we fell in love.

TODD: But now analysts worry that disarming Kim's nuclear arsenal is now too dependent on the personal dynamics between Trump and Kim and the pressures on both leaders to strike a deal are growing, President Trump will be eager to tout progress on a nuclear deal during his reelection campaign and Kim analysts say is facing his own internal pressures.

DENMARK: Kim Jong-un is in leadership in part because of the acquiescent support of North Korean political league and militarily leads and as the North Korean economy continues to struggle it seems that he is under some pressure to deliver results.

TODD: Analysts praise President Trump for getting the two sides this far with his one-on-one diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, but they're worried about what can happen if that one on one dynamic does not work, if it breaks down, they say the one on one relationship, the personal diplomacy could lead to personal animosity between the two. That could lead to the fire and fury rhetoric of two years ago and possibly put the two sides again on the brink of military hostility. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: Joining me now from London is Leslie Vinjamuri, she is the head of the head of the U.S. -- the America's Program at Chatham House. And Leslie, thank you for joining us.


LU STOUT: Now with the Trump presidency there appears to be a pattern of reversals and U-turns, Trump for example wavering between tariffs and talks with China and more recently President Trump calling off that strike on Iran. In fact here's what he said about that at the weekend.


TRUMP: Everybody was saying I'm a warmonger and now they say I am dove. And I think I'm nicer, you want to know the truth. I'm a man with common sense and that is what we need in this country, common sense.


LU STOUT: Leslie, is there common sense, you know, when you look at Trump's foreign-policy decisions, your ending a nuclear deal with Iran, we'll try to get a new one with North Korea, is there an underlying rationale. VINJAMURI: I think, you know the starting point is that this is a

president who believes that he could make very fundamental change in America's relations with North Korea with Iran, that he could really alter the equation when it comes to their this country's nuclear strategies, he's been willing to try things, but of course he hasn't done this systematically and he's done it in a way that's arguably made the situation worse certainly worse in the case of Iran and certainly not better in the case of North Korea.

So pulling back from that, you know, that military attack that we thought was imminent on Iran was in my view very much the right decision but getting to the point where he had to make that decision is deeply problematic.

LU STOUT: Yes. We have not seen systematic policy making, you know, it is arguably erratic, is that due to the art of the deal his personal background or the fact that Donald Trump is surrounded himself with doves and hawks, you know, does that make him more erratic imbalance?

VINJAMURI: Well, I think, it's both, I mean, clearly the fact that it in the current period, this president has a national security advisor, John Bolton, he has a Secretary of State who are more willing to think very hard about using force, especially John Bolton wanting to see fundamental change in Iran and having one of that for a very long time putting pressure on the president.

But remember this is a president and this is where we see the back and forth, who came into office wanting to scale down, dial down America's commitments in the Middle East and so it's ironic that is ended up in this position.

The erratic behavior again I think comes from not thinking systematically, not going through that interagency process, not carefully and evaluating the likely intended and also the unintended consequences of his actions with experts who have, you know, deep knowledge of these areas. He is simply isn't taking those measures.

And so we need backtracks it's because it has ended up in a situation where he suddenly sees the potential very negative effects of his own actions.

LU STOUT: Could there be an upside to the back and forth in the constant uncertainty and the habitual brinksmanship, you know, because the other party whether it's North Korea or Iran, or China, will always be left guessing.

[03:40:10] VINJAMURI: Well, I think this has been the great hope, you know, we had been puzzling over this for that last over two years now. If you go back to the Rocketman speech about President Trump made to the U.N., to the United Nations General Assembly, the maximum pressure campaign people were very optimistic that this might actually lead to an altered strategy with North Korea, the talks would lead to denuclearization. We haven't seen any of that come to fruition, and so yes, it certainly puts international leaders on high alert, but it creates considerable instability and the risk of escalation, the risk that various, minor actions might be misinterpreted, because there aren't careful talks and careful diplomacy. So I think on the balance there we haven't seen that hope materialized.

LU STOUT: Yes, and what does this mean for the United States and its relationship with the world. You know, how will foreign-policy under the Trump administration affect ongoing relationships between the US and its allies, The U.S. and its adversaries not just under this presidency, but future presidencies as well?

VINJAMURI: Well, that's a very good question. Remember the first thing to note, I'm sitting here in London, this president has been very difficult for Europe for the U.K. any number of dimensions that are -- fundamental disagreements on policy whether it's climate, whether it's that Iran deal, and the Europe remains so committed to or whether it's that the trade and tariff wars and the failure, the inability of the president to see how valuable it is to work even in the face of disagreement or especially in the face of disagreement with America's European partners.

And of course, I think the concern now is that -- as this diplomacy or this lack of diplomacy goes for that at some point European leaders and leaders around the world have to begin to think about alternatives, alternative ways of working, but remember it's very difficult because America's military power, its economic power is undeniable. So, Europe has been in very difficult position but nonetheless they will be looking -- European leaders are looking for ways to work around this president.

LU STOUT: Yes, they are looking for ways to work around this president when it's almost impossible to predict his next move or to predict American foreign-policy. Earlier, Iran, in our discussion you said that that is leading to greater global instability. We're looking at a series of global flashpoints right now, Iran, North Korea, China, when you look at the geopolitical map where is -- where is the area that worries you the most right now?

VINJAMURI: Well, I mean in the short term of course it is the U.S. and Iran although I think that neither party wants to see a dramatic escalation, it has gotten much more difficult to imagine that there will be any kind of productive talks in the face of these recent round of sanctions which are humiliating for Iran and giving no incentive really to engage in diplomacy given that they have been complying with the Iran deal.

But I think that, you know, the broader strategic concern over the next years and decades of course will be the relationship between the United States and China which is forcing any number of smaller and middle powers to possibly have to take sides and I think that is one of the great concerns that people have because, of course, it is very difficult to do, two large powers with tremendously important economies are offered very valuable opportunities, very difficult to have to choose.

LU STOUT: Leslie Vinjamuri, thank you so much for joining us.

VINJAMURI: Thank you. LU STOUT: Now U.S. Health and Human Services, they will move some 249

migrant children from an overcrowded border facility in Texas by Tuesday, this comes after (inaudible) reported a horrible conditions there that include health risk such as flu and exposure to lice. They also reported the lack of soap, toothbrushes and other basic necessities. A spokesperson acknowledges tat migrant children have been held too long in places not designed to care for them.

Meanwhile Mexico says, it is sending almost 15,000 troops to the U.S. Mexico border, approximately 2000 National Guard members have already been deployed to Mexico's Southern Border with the lease in Guatemala, many migrants begin their journey in Central America and even further south, passing through Mexico on their way to the U.S. The deployment comes after renewed pressure from the Trump administration on Mexico to help slow migration flows northward.

Tourism is booming and what used to be one of the world's deadliest places.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not worried about the radiation? I mean, you still --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well the way I understand is the risk of being here one day is like same as smoking three cigarettes.


[03:45:00] LU STOUT: Believe it or not tourists are flocking to Chernobyl, we will explain why after the break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, zero, ignition.


LU STOUT: And that was the launch of Space X Falcon heavy rocket early on Tuesday morning. CEO Elon Musk called it the Russian companies most difficult mission today it is carrying a batch of experimental satellites and getting them into their own orbits, that is going to be complicated, the device were selected by the U.S. Defense Department that come from a range of organizations, including NASA, military research labs and universities.

Now you would not think that the side of the worst nuclear disaster in history would be a big jaw for tourists and yet they are flocking to see Chernobyl. Matthew Chance explains why.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He used to be a nursery school for the children of Chernobyl, now it is one of the more bitter traction's, the tourist hordes, exploring this nuclear exclusion zone.

The beeping radiation alarms, part of the creepy experience.

This entire area complete with a Ferris wheel that was never used was evacuated back in 1986 after the then Soviet Union acknowledge the catastrophic release of radiation from Chernobyl reactor number four, you can still see it looming on the horizon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will need to move quickly and you will need to move carefully.

CHANCE: It is also the dramatic backdrop for the recent HBO drama, which paints a terrifying picture of the soviet regime in denial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm told it is the equivalent of a text x-ray.

CHANCE: Leaving its own citizens in harm's way. Chernobyl, the miniseries is been viewed so widely, it is credited with raising global awareness of the dangers of our nuclear age.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I like about how real it was and how intense it was, so it kept on suspense and then you realized it actually -- it all happened in real life, so, and then after the show, I was watching a lot of documentaries. I wanted to find out more about this and I found out that there was tourist there and you could come over.

CHANCE: You're not worried about the radiation? I mean you saw --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the way I understand is the risk of being here one day is like same as smoking three cigarettes and I'm a nonsmoker.

[03:50:07] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, that facility is the art school.

CHANCE: To our operators say visitor's numbers are expected to double this year, this caution towards Chernobyl turns to curiosity.

Walking through this nuclear ghost town you get a strong sense of the catastrophic dangers of nuclear power, I mean, how can you avoid it? But there is something much broader too, an idea that Chernobyl is a warning from the past about what can happen when government try to hide the truth and how even innocent people can be sacrificed to protect those in power.

For some Chernobyl visitors liked Ed from Texas it is a message still relevant today.

ED CHARLESWORTH, TOURIST: I think, it symbolizes a very strong need for not for barricading about information --

CHANCE: Not lying.

CHARLESWORTH: -- not lying about information, but being fourth right and a lot could happen differently had the lying not taken place. Although, I mean its --

CHANCE: And of course, Chernobyl is the ultimate consequence on what happens when governments fails to acknowledge the reality, the truth.

CHARLESWORTH: Exactly, exactly.

CHANCE: But there are concerns, the horrors betrayed so graphically in the HBO series especially of the so called liquidators, sacrifice to clean up the radioactive mess, for being trivialized, by Chernobyl's tourism movie. One Instagramer recently posted these racy images of herself apparently near the reactor. She later apologized and said she wasn't really at Chernobyl at all, but perhaps a few tasteless selfies are a low price to pay for relearning the terrible lessons of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Matthew Chance, CNN, inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone.


LU STOUT: Disaster tourism, remarkable, you're watching CNN Newsroom and up next, if reading 400 pages of the Mueller report is too big to ask, there is something in that letter coming out, we will have all the graphic details coming up.


LU STOUT: Now, you won't be surprised to hear that reading all 400 or so pages of the Mueller report isn't going to be (inaudible). So, why not have celebrities read it, not this actors who include John Lithgow and Matt Benning, they got together in New York to take part in the investigation, a search for truth in 10 acts. Now, organizers of the events say that the facts and Robert Mueller's own words tell the story of a president who may have obstructed justice and welcomed help from Russia.

Now, those celebrities obviously read the Mueller report, but did the protagonists of the play actually read it, it seems Donald Trump has changed his answer in the last few days, the way he might find it more digestible in a comic form, Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did President Trump read the entire Mueller report, pick an answer, was what he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC?

[03:55:02] TRUMP: The report said, no collusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you read the reports?

TRUMP: Yes, I did and you should read it too.

MOOS: Or was what he told Chuck Todd on NBC.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Did you not read the Mueller report?

TRUMP: Let me tell you I read much of it, I read the conclusion.

MOOS: Well that is pretty conclusive, after all of those times he badgered George. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- evidence to say it was a conspiracy?

TRUMP: Read the conclusion of the report, just read it.

MOOS: He himself had read just the conclusion, but if the Mueller report in over 400 pages is a bit too much, there is an alternative coming that is half the size and this one is illustrated by Shannon Wheeler, a cartoonist who draws for the New Yorker and published a book called, (BEEP) my president says. The illustrated tweets of Donald J. Trump. The graphic novel version of the Mueller report is being written by a journalist, due out next year, it is sort of like cliff notes or an idiot's guide but with drawings. Wheeler says, it reminds him of Dick Tracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look at the characters, I mean, look at Manafort, and there is mumbles, and there's flat top, it is straight out of a Dick Tracy gallery and Mueller is Dick Tracy.

MOOS: The goal of the graphic novel approaches is to get more people to read the Mueller report and we know a certain someone who prefers his briefings illustrated so maybe he will finally get around to reading it.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you read the report?

TRUMP: Yes, I did and you should read it too.

I read the conclusion.

MOOS: New York.


LU STOUT: And finally after breezing through the early stages of the Women's World Cup, the U.S. team received a bit of a reality check on Monday, they beat Spain, but it was very close and they are only in to the quarterfinals because of a couple of penalties. The U.S. advance with a two one win and they played the tournament host France next.

Meanwhile in another tight match Sweden moved on to the final lead with a one (inaudible) win against Canada, Sweden will went off to Germany in the quarterfinals.

And thank you for joining us on CNN Newsroom. I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, the news continues next with Max Foster in London, keep watching CNN.