Return to Transcripts main page

QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Europe's Heat-Wave Hits a New Record at 45.1 Degrees Celsius in France; Trump and Putin Meet for the First Time Since Mueller Report; Jimmy Carter Suggests President Trump is an Illegitimate President. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 15:00   ET

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


ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right, stocks have been pretty much in the green all day as a result of the Federal Reserve stress test

giving banks in America a clean bill of health.

As you can see here, the Dow is relatively muted and pretty much flat as investors really wait and see what is going to happen when it comes to the

meeting with Xi Jinping and Donald Trump on the issue of trade.

As I mentioned, stocks are rising as the first half of the trading year comes to an end.

Those are the markets my friends and these are the reasons why. Just hours to go before Donald Trump talks with Xi Jinping, the U.S. President is

betting on a productive meeting.

Apple loses its Chief Design Officer and gains a new production hub in China. We'll talk about that.

And it's not the economy stupid. Kamala Harris calls out Donald Trump on the stock market rally. Live from the world's financial capital here in

New York City, it is Friday, the 20th of June, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening. Welcome everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Tonight, a chance to end the trade war and just hours from now, the leaders on the world's two

largest economies are set for a face to face meeting at the G20 in Osaka.

The stakes, let me tell you could certainly not be higher. The U.S. President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping, their negotiations have

sputtered. Their threats have certainly escalated and their tariffs have mounted.

Now, the two were trying to find a way forward and avoid sending the global economy into massive uncertainty. Mr. Trump says, at a minimum at a

minimum, the meeting will be productive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With President Xi of China tomorrow, as you probably have heard, there seems to be a rumor about

that and we are indeed and we look forward to it. I think it'll be productive. And who knows? But I think it will be productive. At a

minimum, it will be productive. We will see what happens on what comes out of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: Let's see what happens. Let's see what comes out of it. Let's bring in Matt Rivers. He is at the G20 in Osaka. So Matt, how much is

riding on this meeting between these two world leaders tomorrow?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: ... growth for the entire global economy.

ASHER: Okay, it looks as though we are having audio issues with our Matt Rivers there who is at the G20 in Osaka. He was going to talk about just

how crucial and critical this meeting between Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump is. We'll discuss a little bit more of that later on in the

show.

So Vladimir Putin enters this G20 meeting as the elder statesman among his peers. The Russian President, once stuck out at family photos like this

one you're about to see here. He was often the autocrat next to outspoken champions of liberal democracy in his Western counterparts.

Now with him a populists, like for example, Donald Trump and Brazil's right wing leader Jair Bolsonaro and strongman figures like China's Xi Jinping,

and of course the Saudi Crown Prince.

Putin says, "Major global shifts are underway. The liberal idea has become obsolete." He told "The Financial Times." "It has come into conflict with

the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population."

Jamie Rubin is here. He is a former Assistant Secretary of State for the United States. He joins us live now. Jamie, thank you so much for being

with us. So is populism having its moment to shine? Is Vladimir Putin right on that front?

JAMIE RUBIN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: I think objectively, it is certainly true that populist leaders or autocrats in places like Brazil,

like Hungary, to some extent the Polish government as these places are not pursuing the ultimate liberal ideal of the rule of law and democratic

values.

The Philippines is another example of that, and certainly China would like the world to believe that its model of essentially authoritarian capitalism

is the model of the future. And we hear that a lot.

It's certainly popular to say that. I don't believe it's really true in the end, it's having its moment. I think there'll be a backlash against

authoritarian populism, when people realize the damage that it can do.

In China, for example, you know, millions of people are living under an Orwellian nightmare, where you have actual technology used to track

people's movements. Now, it may be growth in China, but these are the downsides.

And I think, in other parts of the world, as we focus on these downsides, there will be a backlash, but for now, he certainly got it right.

ASHER: But there is already a backlash when it comes to, for example, populism in the United States. On the one hand, you have the election of

Donald Trump, but on the other hand, you have the fact that the Democratic Party as we saw yesterday in the debate is moving further and further to

the left.

[15:05:06] ASHER: I mean, people are talking about the word "socialism." And then you have the fact that in 2020, the Democrats have put up more

women and minorities than ever before. On the one hand, you have Brexit happening in the U.K., but on the other hand, the U.K. did actually elect

its first Muslim Mayor of London.

So on the one hand, yes, you have -- it's sort of the pendulum is swinging in both ways. You have populism on the one hand, but at the same time,

backlash, as you mentioned.

RUBIN: And it makes for a very confusing melting pot for all of us. But I certainly agree that there has been a backlash in the United States last

November. We had a real poll, a real actual vote, and the Democrats slaughtered the Republicans in the Congress.

It took a while for people to appreciate it because the voting came in over several weeks, but the Democrats won more seats in Congress, and they've

won since Watergate, too. So it was a big, big backlash.

ASHER: Two Muslim female congresswomen elected.

RUBIN: Exactly. So that's encouraging. But I think we have to acknowledge that whether it's Saudi Arabia, China, the Philippines, Poland,

Hungary, Russia, you know, there are authoritarian leaders who are feeling their oats and they are feeling that the President of the United States is

endorsing, somehow their approach when it comes to things like free media and the Free Press. And that's discouraging to us Americans.

The United States really should be the country that speaks up for freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the basic Bill of Rights, the basic

Democratic values that we've helped bring to Europe, to Eastern Europe, which all of these countries now have the ability to vote for populism,

because they have the ability to vote before they were under communism, and they couldn't vote at all.

ASHER: And who fills that void? Now that the United States has sort of vacated its role? It's sort of, I don't want to say world policeman, but

you know --

RUBIN: Certainly, world -- arbiter of democratic values. I agree. Look, the United States has definitely stepped back. This has been going on for

unfortunately, many years, since really the Iraq War. The United States public has been reluctant to see America play the same kind of leadership

role that it played during the time that President Clinton was in office, for example.

And Donald Trump has made clear that he is focused on economics, not solving political conflicts or solving military conflicts. He wants to get

out of Syria. He wants to get out of Iraq. He wants to avoid these problems.

But as we've seen, and he'll see as well, these problems come home to America, whether we like it or not. So in Iran, we have a situation now

where there's a potential conflict between Iran and the United States. In other parts of the Middle East, whether we like it or not, there are

terrorist groups who would like to bring damage to the west.

And so the United States can't stick its head in the sand as much as some might like it to.

ASHER: So just bringing it back to Vladimir Putin. How does Vladimir Putin benefit from the cracks and liberalism we're seeing?

RUBIN: Well, I think he benefits by the minimal criticism he is getting from the major powers in the world.

When the United States is strong and powerful and pushing democratic values in the world with the wind at its back, say in the late 90s when peace and

prosperity reigned, the Russians are feeling on the defensive.

They have to deal with an America that's ascendant that is criticizing breakdowns in human rights, criticizing, you know, if it's interfering in

Venezuela or Syria, but when the President is not doing that, when the United States is happy to let Russia enter the Middle East or interfere in

Venezuela, then they are feeling their oats. And that's the problem.

We need a counteraction from the United States President and we haven't seen that unfortunately.

ASHER: All right, Jamie Rubin, live for us. Thank you so much.

RUBIN: Thank you.

ASHER: Always good to see you. Okay, so let's bring in Matt Rivers, I believe we have his audio back. He is at the G20 in Osaka. So Matt, I was

actually asking you, I'm not sure if you heard me, but I was asking you how much really is riding on this meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump

Saturday when it comes to trade?

RIVERS: I mean, we don't want to, you know, make it seem bigger than it is. But it's huge, Zain, I mean, there's a ton riding on this, given that

you're talking about the two largest economies in the world, the two largest growth engines for the global economy and you know, ultimately,

this trade war, their future economic relationship could ultimately come down to a meeting between two leaders here in Osaka, Japan.

So there is a ton at stake here. And the big question is what comes out of this? You heard the President in that soundbite you played earlier in the

show sounding relatively optimistic, but we know that the two sides remain incredibly far apart. At the moment, they're not even negotiating.

So I think the more realistic option if there is to be progress made during this meeting, the more realistic option will be some sort of maybe

temporary truce. Perhaps the United States agrees not to levy new tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S., which is something President Trump had

threatened and the Chinese agree to come back to the negotiating table in the meantime.

[15:10:11] RIVERS: But then ultimately, where does that leave us? Because if that sounds familiar, well, that's exactly what happened in the last

G20.

You know, I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the last time President Xi and President Trump met, and we said the same sorts of things. There's a lot

riding on this. And there was.

And we were saying, you know, that meeting could be pivotal in the future economic relationship, and it was and what ultimately happened was they

kicked the can down the road, agreed to negotiate. They did several months of negotiating, got to a point where the U.S. said that they were 90

percent done with a deal.

And if you believe the White House, well, then China reneged on a lot of commitments. Ultimately, we don't know how this meeting is going to play

out. But it certainly is a familiar setting, to what we saw happen in December.

The question is, you know, is the outcome of this latest meeting going to be any different.

ASHER: So what do you -- the sort of trade advisers, Lighthizer, Mnuchin and co need to need to achieve today in order to lay the groundwork for

that meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping tomorrow?

RIVERS: Yes, I'm not really sure you know exactly what they need to do. Because what we know is that the President will go into that room and do

what he wants to do.

If there's one wild card in all of these negotiations, it's the fact that President Trump, you know, doesn't always follow the script and he could go

into a one-on-one meeting with another leader and come out with something that perhaps his advisers had been talking about in a different way.

And so we know Lighthizer, the Trade Representative. We know Peter Navarro, one of the biggest China hawks in the administration, we know that

they want the President to continue to take a hard line tack against China, to continue these unprecedented moves that they have taken against the

Chinese economy over the last year or so because they believe that now the United States with its economy, doing well has never had more leverage to

force China into some concessions.

The question is, will China concede anything? And if they don't and if they hold their line, will the President concede anything? Will he walk

back some of these tariffs?

I think generally you look at people and you look at somebody like President Trump, who says how effective he thinks these tariffs had been,

and you can't really envision this scenario when he just pulls off all of these tariffs and concedes to China.

So you're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Where do you go from here? If the Chinese won't concede? If the Americans won't concede?

What comes out of this meeting?

Ultimately, you know, there could just be more negotiations and we could be having the same conversations Zain, two, three, four or five months from

now.

ASHER: Right, classic sort of kicking the can down the road. Matt Rivers live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.

All right, turning from G20 to 2020. A second group of U.S. Democrats to the stage on Thursday. In the party's first round of primary debates,

economic issues were once again, front and center. Kamala Harris arguing that President Trump's policies are not working for working people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This President walks around talking about and flouting his great economy, right? "My great

economy, my great economy." You ask him well, how are you measuring this greatness of this economy of yours? And he talks about the stock market.

Well, that's fine if you own stocks, so many families in America do not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: Meantime, former Vice President Joe Biden was challenged over comments he made to a group of wealthy donors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Recently in remarks to a group of wealthy donors, as you were speaking about the problem of income

inequality in this country, you said, we shouldn't quote "demonize the rich." You said, "Nobody has to be punished. No one's standard of living

would change, nothing would fundamentally change." What did you mean by that?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I meant by that is, look, Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America. Ordinary middle class

Americans built America.

We have to make sure we understand that to return dignity to the middle class, they have to have insurance that is covered and they can afford it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: Okay, well, CNN's Alison Kosik joins us live now. So Alison, what would you say was the overarching economic message of last night?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I don't think there was one economic message. I think, if you look at all those candidates, all 10 of

them that we saw on stage last night, I don't think there was one unified message that they have.

What I think is that Kamala Harris, she stood out as somebody who is advocating for working people. I mean, you just listen to what she said

just before you introduced me here. You know, she is making the point that President Trump equates you know, the performance of the stock market with

the U.S. economy.

When in reality, most Americans don't even invest in the stock market. It is wealthy individuals who invest the most. Those who make moderate

salaries, they make significantly less investment in the stock market.

And then you look at minorities and people without college degrees. They're watching this stock rally pass them by, so what Kamala Harris said

was, look, you know, we need to focus on getting good paying jobs for Americans where Americans don't have to work two or three jobs just to make

ends meet.

I think she really hit home in being an advocate for working people. You know, she advocates also a $500.00 per month tax credit for families,

making $100,000.00 or less.

[15:15:11] ASHER: So even though there wasn't sort of one unified message, every single candidate or most candidates, I should say on the stage

yesterday, really just hit home about the issue of income inequality in America today.

KOSIK: Yes, I mean, but the difference is between the fresh voices like Buttigieg and Kamala Harris or the old voices like Biden and Bernie

Sanders. Bernie Sanders hammering home, the need for, you know, the things we've heard before, a movement for Wall Street interests, for insurance

companies, movement, you know, against the fossil fuel industry.

You know then we had Biden referencing back to the Obama administration policies, kind of leaning on those, and then of course, leaning on his

Senate record as well.

These are sort of the not so fresh faces and voices versus the fresh faces and voices that we saw on the stage and the ones that really -- their stars

were shining, and those fresh voices were the ones who stood out.

I think Biden still is the Democratic hopeful, but I think he's on shaky ground at this point, especially if you look at his performance last night

on the debate. Although, it's only one debate, one debate does not make an entire campaign season.

ASHER: Actually, Eric Swalwell was talking about time to pass the torch. And he was like, I'm still holding on to that torch.

KOSIK: Exactly.

ASHER: Alison Kosik, thank you so much. I appreciate that. Okay, so for many voters in key state, the debates were the first opportunity to meet

most candidates. Undecided voters in Iowa needed to see where Democrats stood on the issues that mattered most to them. From the economy to

healthcare. Vanessa Yurkevich has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): These are the undecided.

LU ANN PEDRICK, IOWA VOTER: I'm still shopping right now. I'm still interested in what people have to say.

PETER SHERINIAN, IOWA VOTER: They've got to sell it. If they can't sell it to me, then I'm not going to vote for them.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): A roomful of Iowans all looking for a candidate to get behind. The Polk County Democrats in Des Moines wanted a safe space

for voters to explore their options.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN BAGNIEWSKI, CHAIRMAN, POLK COUNTY DEMOCRATS, DES MOINES, IOWA: This is for, actually, uncommitted people. We're not having any campaign staff

here. We have had some campaign staff ask to send folks here and that's not allowed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Voters wanted to hear from the candidates on the issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEDRICK: I'm very interested in healthcare.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is the economy the number one issue for you?

SHERINIAN: Absolutely, absolutely. Then the environment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But about halfway through, Deb Hansen was frustrated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEB HANSEN, IOWA VOTER: It's like being in a class of kindergartners. You know, everybody is trying to talk. Everybody is trying to get their

attention. And I appreciate that they want to do that -- they want their voice heard -- but yes, let people speak and then take your turn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice-over): For some undecideds who were able to hear the candidates, front-runners started to emerge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANITA FLEMING-RIFE, IOWA VOTER: Kamala Harris did a really good job tonight.

And I think Buttigieg -- he, too, I thought, did a really, really good job. He surprised me. I haven't been paying much attention to him but I really

liked his delivery tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Michael Scholer also took notice of Mayor Buttigieg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL SCHOLER, IOWA VOTER: I've seen Mayor Pete. I think he did really well tonight. I'm also a veteran so I admire the fact that he's also a

veteran.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Could you pick someone out of the 20 candidates that you've seen over the last two nights?

SCHOLER: Ooh, that's really rough. That's a tough question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice-over): One thing is clear for voters here in Iowa, it's still anyone's game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAGNIEWSKI: If anybody says they know how this is going to turn out, either they work for a campaign or they're lying to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YURKEVICH (voice over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Okay, so it is the end of an era at Apple. The man who headed the design of the iPhone, iMac and Apple Watch is leaving the company.

And things heat up in the City of Lights, France is taking on the United States in the Women's World Cup. It is the most highly anticipated match

of the tournament on the hottest day ever recorded in Paris, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:21:50] ASHER: It has been the end of an era at Apple. Jonathan Ive, the man behind the look and feel of Apple products is leaving the company

after 30 years.

Apple's Design Chief who is behind some of Apple's most iconic products -- Apple shares fell slightly after the news of Ive's departure. Here's how

they are currently trading, down slightly more than one percent right now.

If you look at how Apple shares have responded, the products he headed the design for, I am talking about the iMac, iPhone, Apple Watch, air pods, you

see how the company has boomed during his time there.

For more on Jony Ive's legacy and what his exit actually means for Apple, let's bring in Dieter Bohn. He is Executive Editor of "The Verge." He

joins us live now from San Francisco. So Dieter, how important is an industrial designer to a company like Apple?

DIETER BOHN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE VERGE: For a company like Apple, I think it's incredibly important. Apple has defined itself as a design

company and so having a really strong design in its hardware products, something that looks beautiful, and also is easy to use is something that's

essential to their core identity.

ASHER: So the fact that he is leaving does not tell you that perhaps Apple now wants to focus on non-hardware products, for example, software and

services. What does it tell you the fact that they are allowing him to leave if you will?

BOHN: Well, Apple has definitely been focusing much, much more on services. They had an entire event about it earlier this year. They're

planning on launching a bunch of new subscription services for TV, for video games. They already have a new service.

But they would tell you that they are not going to take their eye off the ball when it comes to designing hardware products.

But the question is when they start bringing out new products, will those things come out of the mind of a singular person sort of a genius of

design, or is it going to be more of a collaborative effort.

And I think as I wrote to the on "The Verge," it's time for us to think about Apple as a collaborative company when it comes to design, not

something that you know, spouts out of the mind of a single person.

ASHER: So how much impact has an industrial designer like Jony Ive for example, really had on the next generation of industrial designers? There

are so many -- as a result of the iPhone and the iMac, iPod, et cetera, now you're seeing a whole wave of products across various industries, have that

same sort of sleek, minimalist metallic feel. What has been the impact of an industrial designer like Jony Ive on the rest of the world, really?

BOHN: It's been monumental. There's really no other word for it. When he was able to bring the company back to the brink -- back from the brink with

Steve Jobs with the original iMac that changed everything. The iPod was also iconic.

You didn't mention the MacBook, but the MacBook Air more than any other laptop that I can think of changed the entire computer industry and what

people expected out of their laptops and what they wanted out of their laptops.

And then of course, the iPhone. Every iPhone, you know, is glass on the front metal on the back or now glass on the back. They all have been born

out of Jony Ive's original designs.

ASHER: I mean, I know you said that it's a more -- it's going to be more of a collaborative effort from now on, you believe, but how do you replace

somebody like Jonathan I've?

BOHN: I think you don't. I think that if you've got someone there, you know, go for it. But I think it's much more likely that a bunch of Apple's

designs are going to be coming out of -- a little bit more of a team effort.

Now, the thing to note about that is, Apple is actually sort of have been operating without Jony Ive's full attention for a little while now.

He, of course worked on Apple Park, the giant spaceship campus that we've all seen. But there have been lots of rumors flying around for the past

few years now that he's been a little bit less engaged in the entire design process for making Apple's products than he used to be.

ASHER: Okay. But when he starts his own design company called LoveFrom, Apple is still going to be, I think his first and principal client from

what I understand.

BOHN: Yes, of course. And so I think he's got stuff that he has been working on with Apple that are going to continue to be in the works. So

you shouldn't expect that things are going to radically change with Apple's product design in the next few years.

The big question is, when the time comes for Apple to attack a new hardware product category, like say, AR glasses or something, will Jony Ive be the

person driving that design or will it come out of you know, some other mind or some other you know, process for that company.

ASHER: All right. Dieter, Bohn, thank you so much. Appreciate you being with us.

BOHN: Thank you, it's been fun.

ASHER: Yes, it has. Okay, one of the most anticipated matches in Women's World Cup is underway. The American defending champions have just gone up,

one nil against Le Bleu in the quarterfinal clash.

Both France and the U.S. have been powerhouses during this tournament. Only one -- only has -- is going to be advancing to take on England.

"World Sport's" Patrick Snell is joining us live now from Atlanta.

So Patrick, just talk to us about why these two teams have attracted so much of the world's attention right now.

PATRICK SNELL, WORLD SPORT: Just a massive game, Zain, on the women's football stage. When you look how eagerly anticipated this FIFA Women's

World Cup was, it really was the final basically that somewhat of hoped to see these two nations competing in the final.

It would have been a final that everyone would have been really excited about. That said, one of these teams will be eliminated from the

competition on this day, Friday.

As of right now, though, it is looking good for the defending champions, the United States who took a very early lead in the fifth minute. Megan

Rapinoe with a free kick that goes directly and it was really poor defending, I have to say, by the French. It seemed to go through about

three or four pairs of legs before it finally crossed the line.

But the Americans won't care because they have the one nil advantage. This is a huge global game with the eyes of the world on it every step of the

way. And as you just said in your intro to get to me, Zain, it is England, the Lionesses coached by Phil Neville who have never won the Women's World

Cup who lie in wait in the semi-finals.

ASHER: Say you anticipate -- I'm going to ask you -- do you anticipate it's going to be the USA versus England?

SNELL: We're not quite there yet, because I can tell you this game is still in the first half of play and after a cautious somewhat cagey, many

would argue, nervous start. France is starting to come out of their shell, play with a little bit more freedom and given the USA, something to think

about.

Now, we did see the Americans push quite hard, I feel by the Spanish in the previous round. The only one that won, courtesy of two Rapinoe penalties

in fact, so there was a lot at stake here.

The French, now, if they can get at their opponents, they have nothing to lose here, Zain. All the pressure is on the United States of America.

They are the most successful team in competition history.

They are the ones looking to win it for a record extending fourth time. France might as well have a go. They have nothing at all to lose here.

ASHER: All right, Patrick Snell. We shall see what happens. Appreciate you being with us. Okay.

So investors tossing bouquets at Wall Street in the romantic month of June as investors hope for progress at those big trade talks in Osaka.

Plus, secondhand fashion is first choice of investors as shares of The RealReal add to the good news on the streets. The CEO talks to CNN.

That's all next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:00] ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up on the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, it is

almost half-time, the traders in 2019, we'll bring you the first half highlights, some memorable six months for investors.

And it's a really good day for the RealReal. You'll hear from the CEO of the fashion website as it debuts on the Nasdaq. Though before that

though, this is CNN and on this network, the facts always come first.

France saw its highest-ever recorded temperature as an intense heat-wave engulfs much of Europe. The temperature climbed to 45.1 degrees Celsius by

mid-afternoon in the south of the country. It is a full degree higher than the previous record set in 2003. The president of the U.S. and Russia have

met in Japan for the first time since the release of the Mueller report.

There was no sign of tension between the two. At one point, Donald Trump appeared to make a joke quite heartedly, telling Vladimir Putin not to

meddle in next year's election. And former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says that a full investigation into the 2016 election which showed that Mr.

Trump didn't win the presidency.

He told an audience that the Russians interfered on Mr. Trump's behalf in order to put him in office, suggesting he's an illegitimate president. And

police in the Dominican Republic say that the alleged mastermind in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz has been arrested.

Authorities say the suspect paid for a hit on a man sitting with Ortiz on the night of June 9th. But Ortiz was actually not the target. The gunman

shot him once in the lower back, Ortiz is recovering in Boston. Genoa's Morandi Bridge has been blown up in a controlled explosion. It was one of

the busiest bridges in Italy until it partially collapsed in heavy rain nearly a year ago, killing 43 people. A new structure will be built to

connect northwestern Italy to France.

All right, it is almost half-time for trading in 2019. The Dow is pretty much flat, it's only up about 30 points or so as investors are really in a

sort of wait-and-see mode when it comes to what's going to happen with trade in those talks between Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump

that's happening on Saturday.

And this, by the way, has actually been shaping up to be the best June for the S&P 500 in more than 60 years. Take a look here, the Dow is actually

up almost 14 percent so far this year, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have done even better. Tech stocks are up some 20 percent already, as we move into

the second half of the year.

[15:35:00] So, Paul la Monica joins me live now. So, Paul, when you think about the horror show of what was happening last year, towards the end of

last year, would you have anticipated this was where we would be June 2019?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: No, it's not just the horror show of last year, the horror show of last month when we had all the --

ASHER: Yes, right --

LA MONICA: Concerns about the U.S. trade war intensifying and bringing in Mexico as well just goes to show that when you have friendly central banks,

particularly the Federal Reserve here in the U.S. signaling that a rate cut is probably going to be coming.

That's got investor sentiment back near pretty high levels even though corporate earnings which we're going to start to get in, you know, a couple

of weeks, they're probably not going to be great for the second quarter, they could fall again from a year ago, that would be the second time in a

row that happens.

ASHER: And just -- in terms of the overall theme of the first half of 2019, for past few months, it's really been all about trade --

LA MONICA: Yes --

ASHER: And the markets reacted to varying degrees depending on what's been happening in this tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. But

really, right now, you can actually see -- think about the Dow right now. Dow is pretty much flat as investors are in their sort of, OK, let's see

what's going to happen between this meeting with Xi Jinping and Trump tomorrow.

And they can't actually trade on the news until Monday. So, they have to - -

LA MONICA: Right --

ASHER: Sort of sit on their hands for a while.

LA MONICA: Yes, I think that investors really are of the mindset that it doesn't make any sense to try and make any big bets today because who knows

what's going to happen. I think few expect that there will be a long-term deal announced, but I think the whole bid is that --

ASHER: At least the truce.

LA MONICA: At least the truce, if Trump and Xi can look as if they are --

ASHER: Wants to put their swords down --

LA MONICA: In good faith negotiating with each other and the rhetoric isn't that heated, I think that would be a positive sign for the markets

come Monday. But again, you can't under estimate the Fed and other global central banks, the --

ASHER: Right --

LA MONICA: The rate cut at the end of July will probably do wonders for the stock market. And the question now is it a quarter point cut or I

can't even believe I'm saying this, possibly a half-point cut which some people think --

ASHER: Yes, so --

LA MONICA: It would be necessary --

ASHER: What is the verdict on that? Is the market sort of hoping and anticipating that it's going to be much more than a quarter point?

LA MONICA: I mean, you're starting to see the Fed fund's futures indicate closer to 50 percent chance that it could be a half point cut. I mean, the

only thing that we know that's pretty much a lock is that the Fed will cut rates and I think even if there is some miracle this weekend in Osaka, and

Trump and Xi come to an agreement on trade, the Fed is probably still going to cut rates.

Because there's this mindset that if Jerome Powell could get in a time machine and go back to December, he probably would have not maybe raised

rates --

ASHER: Right --

LA MONICA: That one last time because President Trump isn't the only one who has been critical for that rate hike, a lot of people in the financial

markets think it was unnecessary so they can do a rate cut at the end of July as kind of the -- we heard you, we kind of screwed up, we'll take it

back and then we'll see how things go from here.

ASHER: All right, Paul La Monica live for us, thank you so much, appreciate that. OK, so, a stylish IPO debut on the Nasdaq for the

RealReal. The luxury consignment retailer has taken Wall Street by storm on its first trading day. Shares are soaring, they're trading 46 percent

higher. A report by fellow reseller ThredUP says second-hand retail market will outgrow fast fashion by 2028.

Early on, the e-commerce CEO explained the potential to grow is huge. Here's what she told our Eleni Giokos.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIE WAINWRIGHT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, REALREAL: The opportunity in the U.S. alone is about $198 billion trapped in people's homes of personal

luxury goods for the last five years. The worldwide opportunities three times that, we're only at $711 million last year. So, I think what

investors saw is we have a unique solution for consigners with service to unlock that supply and give them value.

And then for the buyers, our authentication process adds trust. So, we are uniquely positioned to capture -- to move along that time curve. From the

grand scheme of things, we're still pretty small.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, OK, so I'm curious. You've obviously got a source quality second-hand product and you're an e-

commerce business, but at the same you're a retailer but you're also buying up goods from a second-hand market base. How do you manage all of those

three facets?

WAINWRIGHT: Well, we're actually more of a marketplace. So, we don't buy anything. We actually work with consumers to unmark their goods and then

we authenticate it, write the copy, do all the work for them and then sell them to other consumers. So, we actually sit between two consumer markets.

[15:40:00] It just makes sense that we should have a retail store for branding, have those people really re-envision the RealReal brand. And it

also is another vehicle for us unlocking supply. So, we're really a two- sided marketplace, and our goal is always being there to unlock supply from consigners, so they start realizing the value that's trapped in their

homes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: European stocks swept to higher ground and marked their best first half performance in decades. It's all about optimism over those upcoming

U.S.-China trade talks. All right, staying in Europe, the owners of Lego are adding more bricks to their empire with a deal for Merlin

Entertainments.

The Danish family behind the toy-building bricks has teamed up with Blackstone to buy Merlin; the owner of Madame Tussauds. Hadas Gold has

more.

HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Zain, those colorful plastic building blocks loved by children and adults around the world are also -- we're

seeing big business. The Danish family behind Lego partnered with Blackstone for the $6 billion deal to take Merlin Entertainments private.

Now, Merlin which owns a bunch of attractions around the world like Madame Tussauds and the London Eye and Lego actually already have a longstanding

relationship because Merlin also runs the Legoland Parks and the Lego family already owns a stake of Merlin Entertainments.

This dealer is one of the largest European buy-outs in recent history, and the prices of 30 percent premium of the company's average share price over

the past six months. The buy-out comes a month after U.S. activist investor ValueAct Capital went public with their recommendation that Merlin

go private following years of continued share price under-performance.

This was because Merlin has had a number of setbacks in recent years after an accident at one of its U.K. theme parks in 2015 was led to more than $6

million fine. And actually Merlin has said that the terrorist incidents in London in 2017 hurt attendance, other attractions like the London Eye.

Now, why would Lego want to buy the second biggest attraction company after Disney? Well, it's all about expansion especially in Asia. Lego is looking

to double the number of stores in China and is hoping to build three more Legoland Parks by 2030. This buy-out is part of a boom of similar private

equity buy-outs we're seeing in Europe.

Because a lot of these firms are actually just flush with cash. We should expect more of these sorts of deals. Zain?

ASHER: Hadas Gold, thank you. When we come back, Apple makes a major decision on some of its production as the U.S.-China trade war escalates.

That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:00] ASHER: Big news coming ahead of talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping. Apple is shifting the

assembly of its new Mac Pro models from here into the U.S. to China. That's according to the "Wall Street Journal". For more on what this means

for the trade war and the trade talks tomorrow at the G-20. I'm joined by Michael Hirson; he leads Eurasia groups coverage of China.

President Trump is not going to be happy about this, is he?

MICHAEL HIRSON, PRACTICE HEAD, CHINA & NORTHEAST ASIA, EURASIA GROUP: He may not be, he may even tweet about it. But it shows you how important to

China is to Apple. And really Tim Cook and Apple, they have been caught literally in the middle of this trade war, and Tim Cook has been quite

astute politically about balancing between both sides.

And so, this is perhaps not to the Chinese side although I'm sure there's a business case as well.

ASHER: Does this come as a surprise to you?

HIRSON: It's a bit of a surprise coming in the midst of the trade war and some tariff risk here. But you know, this is not the big mass market

product like iPhone which of course are already made in China, but with a mass market product, I think it would be even more exceptional to move it

to China with the risk that the U.S. could be slapping tariffs on these products.

ASHER: So, when it comes to the trade talks between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump in Osaka on Saturday, the main lynch pin or one of the main lynch

pins I should say is really Huawei and what's going to happen with that. If neither side is willing to budge, can there even be a trade truce?

HIRSON: It's hard to see -- it's hard to see the Chinese side really moving if there's no solution for Huawei. And there's a direct impact of

this in the sense that if one of China's leading tech companies is going down, it's hard politically even for the Chinese to sit down at the

negotiating table.

But there's also a really important indirect effect which is if Huawei goes down, it's going to make China that much more reluctant to make concessions

on some of the technology policies that are at the heart of this trade dispute.

So, even if negotiations were to continue, I don't think they would get anywhere. So, you're absolutely right. Huawei is one of the essential

questions coming out of this conversation between Trump and Xi.

ASHER: So, in the Democrat debate last night, Mayor Pete Buttigieg actually made a -- I think a very sort of fair and sound point, and that is

no matter how many tariffs you slap on Chinese goods, it will never fundamentally change the structure of the Chinese economy. Do you agree

with that?

HIRSON: I do, and I think everyone even within the Trump administration would argue that there needs to be a stronger effort to work with allies to

create additional pressure on China, I say everyone in the Trump administration except the president, and it's because he's so determined to

pick trade fights with some of those same allies, Japan, the EU, and I think that is really the most important weakness of the current U.S.

strategy against China.

It's that failure to engage more allies in this fight because pressure alone is not going to do it.

ASHER: Actually, at the G-20 so far, President Xi Jinping urged leaders for a fair market environment. Some might say this is a little bit

hypocritical, but I want our audience to listen to this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): Countries should not close their door when seeking development and neither should they

artificially interfere in the market.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: Xi Jinping there. What do you make of those comments given what China has been accused of?

HIRSON: Oh, it's absolutely directed towards President Trump. He has given Xi Jinping a bit of an opening to make that claim. But I think

you're right, I think the audience that that's intended for, I think they see through that. And the truth is that although many countries don't

agree with the tactics that the Trump administration is using, they share many of the same concerns with China's current level of openness in their

economy.

So, I think there's a limited extent to which Xi gets mileage from that kind of criticism.

ASHER: So, overall, what has been the impact of the tariffs so far on the Chinese economy?

HIRSON: It's been important but manageable. I would say the Chinese are concerned but not panicked, and they have more stimulus measures that are -

- that are coming online, that I think give them a reasonable degree of security that if trade talks don't go well, they can ride this out at least

in the short-term.

The big issue which they don't have an answer for is supply chains migrating from China to Vietnam to Thailand to Mexico. And that is hard to

quantify. It's something that China's leaders are worried about, and that's something where they are quite passive.

They don't have many tools to fight against that. So that's, I think, a really important watch point for the medium-term and that's -- again, we

don't know what the impact will be, but it's significant.

ASHER: Michael Hirson live for us, have a great weekend, thank you. Actually, we'll be watching the G-20 Summit tomorrow, so we --

HIRSON: No doubt --

[15:50:00] ASHER: So, we all will, all right, thank you, Michael. U.S. - - USA rather take the lead against host France in a scorching Women's World Cup. It is hot in Paris, let me tell you, the half-time whistle has just

blown, well, look where this tournament is a game-changer for women's sport, and that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: All right, it is half-time now in the France-USA match at the Women's World Cup. The USA is leading 1-0. To get to this match, we're

actually going for hundreds of dollars online, ratings at the Women's World Cup have actually broken records. Is the tournament watershed moment for

women's sports?

CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan joins us live now. So, Christine, if you're going to watch any match when it comes to Women's World Cup, it's

this one?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Yes, absolutely, Zain. Yes, so, I've been watching it obviously, as you mentioned, half-time, the U.S. is

ahead 1-0, all of the controversy about Megan Rapinoe, Donald Trump, that back and forth which is fascinating and in many ways ridiculous for the

U.S. president to be going after an American athlete representing the red, white and blue on a foreign soil.

Nonetheless, that's what's happened and then who scores the goal in the fifth minute, Megan Rapinoe. Clearly, the pressure is not getting to her.

But yes, a great game -- benefitting I think this tournament, Zain, and the sport where women's sports are globally, certainly led by the United States

and title nine all these years.

But France is every bit the equal of the U.S., and of course, there's England, there's Germany, this is really something the level of play in

women's sports around the world. It's really extraordinary.

ASHER: So, when you think about the -- we just saw images of Megan Rapinoe there, but if you think about the controversy surrounding Megan Rapinoe

when it comes to politics and U.S. President Donald Trump and then all the issues with gender pay gap and that sort of thing, how much is all of the

controversy in a weird way actually help cement this game in public consciousness?

BRENNAN: Oh, I think it's -- people are talking about this, right? They're talking about it all over. Certainly, the United States where I am now,

but around the world that people care. Look at the crowd, look at the passion for this from France. I remember 20 years ago, going to England

after the U.S. won that World Cup, Rose Bowl, Brandi Chastain, a huge event, a seminal moment in women's sports and in American culture 20 years

ago.

And so a British cab driver who was talking to me about the woman who took off her shirt, Brandi Chastain, and I said, where are you, guys? Where is

England with women's soccer?

[15:55:00] Oh, women don't play soccer. Well, that has changed. And I do think this conversation is so important, it's not just about soccer or

football around the rest of the world, it is about the place of women and the opportunities for women and girls in our culture.

More and more people around the world want women to get ahead, whether it's equal pay, equal rights, all of those things that are so important and I

think that's what this team is. It's never been just the soccer for the U.S. team, and I think the U.S. team helps lead the conversation worldwide

for the rest of the game.

And I think that's a wonderful thing. And the irony is sometimes if the U.S. loses, it shows the game has progressed. I'm sure the U.S. does not

want to show that this time around.

ASHER: All right, Christine Brennan live for us there, thank you so much, appreciate that.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

ASHER: OK, so, we are -- let's see, four and a half minutes, we're counting down the final minutes of trading the first half of 2019. The Dow

is clinging to its gains, we'll bring you the numbers next. The Dow is up 63 points, see you after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: All right, we are in the final few minutes of trading on Wall Street. The Dow has been doing its absolute level best to stay positive.

Actually, we are up about 100 points as investors really await what's going to happen with that meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump on

Saturday.

It is the last trading day for the first half of 2019, and what a six months it has been, traders are mostly sitting on their hands, Monday of

course could bring an entirely new landscape depending on what happens as a result OF that meeting with Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the G-20.

Let's take a look now at the Dow 30 because banks at the top as a result have fared well in the Federal Reserve's stress test. Goldman Sachs,

JPMorgan and each have more than 2 percent, Apple down 1 percent after design guru Jony Ive said he's leaving.

The company overall, they've certainly been the best June on the Dow in decades. All right, that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS everyone, I am Zain Asher

coming to you live from New York. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street and "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper is next. You are, of course,

watching CNN.

(BELL RINGING)

END

END