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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Trump and Kim Jong-un Meet in DMZ; New Birther Conspiracy Targets 2020 Contender Kamala Harris. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 30, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell with Christi Paul and we are coming on, early this morning, for this historic moment, for the first time, a sitting United States president has met a North Korean leader at the border with South Korea and then walked across that border.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And then the North Korean leader made history by crossing into South Korea. We want you to see what led up to the historical handshake between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

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KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): It's good to see you again. I never expected to see you at this place.

You will be the first U.S. president to cross this line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey. Wait until they move. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chairman Kim, how do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's good, he's good.

KIM (through translator): President Trump has walked across the demarcation line, making the first U.S. president to visit our country.

I believe, looking at this, is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to say that this is my honor. I didn't really expect it. We were in Japan for the G20. We came over, and I said, hey, I'm over here, I want to call up Chairman Kim. And we got to meet. And stepping across that line was a great honor. A lot of progress has been made. A lot of friendships have been made

and this has been particular a great friendship. So I just want to thank you. That was very quick notice and I want to thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Korean).

PRES. TRUMP: So we're going to go inside. We're going to talk for a little while about different things. And a lot of really positive things are happening. And I'm glad you could be here to see it. But tremendous positivity. Really great things are happening in a lot of places. But we met and we liked each other from day one and that was very important.

[05:05:00]

PRES. TRUMP: I'm going to invite him right now to the White House.

KIM (through translator): It would not have been possible in the past (INAUDIBLE). So I would like to use this strong relation to create more good news, which nobody expects in the past, that also foretells the good relation.

PRES. TRUMP: Well, I want to thank you, Chairman.

You hear the power of that voice. Nobody's heard that voice before. He doesn't do news conferences, in case you haven't heard.

And this was a special moment, this is, I think really, as President Moon said, this is a historic moment, the fact that we're meeting.

And I want to thank Chairman Kim for something else. When I put out the social media notification, if he didn't show up, the press was going to make me look very bad, So you made us both look good and I appreciate it.

But we developed a great relationship. I really think that if you go back two and a half years and you look at what was going on prior to my becoming president, it was a very, very bad situation, a very dangerous situation for South Korea, for North Korea, for the world.

And I think the relationship that we've developed has meant so much to so many people. And it's just an honor to be with you and it was an honor that you asked me to step over that line and I was proud to step over the line. I thought you might do that, I wasn't sure but I was ready to do it and I want to thank you.

It's been great, it's been great, very historic. One of the folks from the media were saying this could be a very historic moment. I guess that's what it was. But I enjoy being with you and thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Whether you support this or you don't, from the political basis, that was an historic extraordinary moment. President Trump has moved from that moment and a 15-minute meeting, with Kim Jong-un, to where he is now in Seoul. You see hundreds and hundreds of U.S. troops, phones in hand, video going, cameras at the ready, to see the president, as he is on Marine One there.

BLACKWELL: You see the podium and the teleprompter. So the president will be delivering remarks here. This is a forum in which he does well and enjoys speaking to service men and women at Osan Air Base there.

Before speaking with Chairman Kim, he spoke with U.S. and South Korean troops, as well. And received a gift from those troops. This has been a historic morning for the president.

Then what?

What will be the fruit of those meetings?

Let's go to our team there in South Korea. CNN international correspondents, Paula Hancocks and Will Ripley.

Let's start with you, Paula. The imagery, first, is historic.

The question is, what will be the fruit of this day?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a really important question, Victor. We started the day thinking that there may or may not be a meeting at the DMZ. We heard the U.S. president say, it may be a handshake.

What we ended up having was almost an hour of the leaders of North Korea and the United States, behind closed doors having bilateral talks. What we have seen, we don't know what they said inside, but what they shared with us, they have agreed to restart talks.

We didn't hear denuclearization. What we did hear from Kim Jong-un, as he was walking out of those meetings was showing what he took away out of the meeting.

"The fact that we will be able to meet each other anytime now, I think this is the signal this meeting will send."

President Trump himself said they would agree to set up separate teams to negotiate again. They had teams in place after Singapore. They had them --

[05:10:00]

HANCOCKS: -- in place after Hanoi, as well. There appears to be a shakeup in North Korea, as to what they're going to be doing and who is in control. What we have seen at the end of the day, from President Trump, is that the two sides have agreed to restart these talks. We have to see where that goes from here.

Does that develop any further?

The fact that denuclearization wasn't mentioned by President Trump may concern some. But the talks were stalled. They weren't going anywhere. At least now the two leaders have met. I don't have the answer to the question, what comes next? What will follow on?

BLACKWELL: That's been the question after Singapore, after Hanoi and after this meeting, as well.

PAUL: Yes, reports after Hanoi that Kim Jong-un was furious. Pyongyang denied that but he was furious that President Trump walked away from the table. They've come back to a table behind closed doors.

We see the president here. He's getting ready to step up to the podium. But it was interesting because when he did meet with Kim Jong-un, they stepped across that line. He said, it was a great honor, a lot of friendships has been made. We met and we liked each other from day one.

Let's listen to the president now.

PRES. TRUMP: Thank you very much, Osan. Thank you very much. This is great.

Oh, that sounds good. But the other actually even sounds better, I have to say. Thank you very much. At ease, at ease, everybody. We'll have some fun.

So we're about 2.5 hours late. I understand instead of losing people, you actually gained people. I don't know how that works but I know it works. You've got a hell of a lot of people here, a lot of great military people.

So it was a little unexpected. Look at that media back there. That's a lot of media. We have a lot of media following us. You're doing a great job.

The reason I met with Kim Jong-un. We want to get this solved. It's been going on for a long time. We had a great meeting. It was unexpected. I put out yesterday, maybe I will meet with Chairman Kim. He saw it. Social media. Pretty powerful thing, social media.

I left and said, this was unexpected. We're going to keep a lot of thousands of great military people waiting. I said, they'll understand. I'm thrilled to be here this afternoon, with the very heroic men and women of the U.S. Air Force Korea. Great place, great country. I have toured it all.

I've been doing this for a long time now. It's been days. I left Japan. I met with every leader, presidents, prime ministers, dictators, I met them all.

Our country probably has never had a better economy than we have right now. Never had. We're doing great. You're fighting. You're a great people. You're fighting and fighting hard. Just your presence.

As president, I have no great honor to serve as commander in chief of the greatest fighting force on the face of the Earth. The United States military. Thank you very much. As I met with President Moon also. He just called me again. He's so

happy and thrilled. We met at the DMZ. I gave a speech to a group of guys. Now I'm giving a speech --

[05:15:00]

PRES. TRUMP: -- to a big group of people. And a good looking group.

But it's really very -- we had a very productive meeting. I outlined the incredible prosperity that awaits North Korea when this whole thing gets settled. They've been talking about this for a long time. But that's a country with tremendous potential. And I have had a good relationship with Chairman Kim.

They were giving us a great briefing at the DMZ. They said it was so different before we had the meeting, the big summit, in Singapore. It was different. It was really hostile. You understand it better than anybody. It was really hostile.

Since our first meeting, we got along. We had a great feeling. Tonight, you'll see it on television. You'll see it wherever you see it. You'll see some nice sights.

I stepped in with Chairman Kim. I stepped into North Korea. And they say that's a very historic moment. I think it is a historic moment and a very good moment.

And he asked me, would you like to do that?

And I said, it would be my honor and we did. We went over to line. We turned around. Everybody was so happy and many people, I noticed from Korea, were literally in tears, crying. It's a big thing.

We're now going to work on something. We have a tremendous team of people that know how to do this. We're going to put them in charge. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo is here.

Is he here?

Where is Mike?

Where is our secretary of state?

Come up here, Mike.

And you know who else I have?

Has anyone heard of Ivanka?

Come up, Ivanka. She's going to steal the show.

What a beautiful couple. Mike, beauty and the beast, Mike. You know, we have our great ambassador, our new ambassador, one of the truly great admirals, Harry. Thank you very much. You're right over here. Look at these two. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It's great to be with you all. It's wonderful to get a chance to see such wonderful fighting men and women. Thank you for what you do to serve America, each and every day. Bless you all.

IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: God bless America. And God bless each and every one of you, for being out here and for everything that you do and your sacrifice and your service. We are very, very grateful to you and your loved ones, who serve our nation out of uniform. So thank you.

BLACKWELL: We expected official remarks from the president of the United States. But that was Ivanka Trump, special adviser to the president. The secretary of state there as well. If the president says something of consequence, coming up, we will bring that to you.

We had with us, I think we have Chung in Moon, special adviser to President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.

Mr. Moon, thank you for joining us this morning.

CHUNG IN MOON, SPECIAL ADVISER TO MOON JAE-IN: Yes, you're welcome.

BLACKWELL: We heard a strong degree of confidence from President Moon, that this moment today of the president meeting with Chairman Kim and crossing into North Korea, would be transformative in the denuclearization talks.

The U.S. intelligence agency director said, that Kim Jong-un is not ready to denuclearize.

Why is President Moon so passionately confident that he is?

[05:20:00]

MOON: If you don't have the conviction that North Korea will denuclearize, what option do you have?

The North Korean leader said, he is willing to give up nuclear weapons and let's take it as it is.

BLACKWELL: Several administrations in the U.S. and around the world have had confidence that North Korea would, first, not march toward a nuclear weapon and now, denuclearize. That has not come to fruition.

Beyond the confidence, what is the evidence?

MOON: We should make evidence. Up to now, North Korea has been talking commitment. North Korean leader has not shown any concrete actions. But it is time for us to work on those concrete actions by North Korea.

That's why President Moon had been saying complete denuclearization of North Korea would take a much longer time. But we should start at some point with some concrete result. And President Trump's visit to the DMZ has all kinds of possibility. PAUL: Did you know, did the administration in South Korea know that Kim Jong-un was going to walk back into South Korea with President Trump?

MOON: I was surprised. I thought President Trump would step into North Korean territory. But Chairman Kim Jong-un, came to the southern part of Korea. And also had dialogue with President Trump, in the Freedom House. That was unusual and surprising on the part of Kim Jong-un.

PAUL: What did that mean to you and to President Moon?

MOON: I think what happened, the outcome of today, it shows that the military demarcation line is really an artificial one. It can be demolished once the leaders of North and South Korea and the United States can build a trust.

President Trump shows how artificial the military demarcation line is.

BLACKWELL: Mr. Moon, finally, what is the difference between the optimism now, the optimism in run-up to the Hanoi talks, the optimism in the run-up to the Singapore talks?

What is the new variable that gives President Moon confidence that Chairman Kim will take any step toward denuclearization.

MOON: Kim Jong-un came up with his own proposal in Hanoi. They were willing to completely dismantle nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in return for (INAUDIBLE) by the United States. If Kim takes actions of dismantling nuclear facilities in verifiable manner, I would say that is a very significant step toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

You cannot get everything once and for all. It is too idealistic. But incremental simultaneous exchange can make big progress toward complete denuclearization of North Korea.

BLACKWELL: The South Korean unification minister said late last year, estimated that North Korea had somewhere between 20 and 60 nuclear warheads, nuclear weapons.

What is the government's estimate today of how many nuclear weapons North Korea has?

MOON: It's like the blind man touching the elephant. American international community estimate that North Korea has about 60 to 65. American nuclear scientists estimate North Korea has 30 to 35 nuclear warhead. Stockholm estimates about 10-15. We don't know. That's why we must talk to North Korea. And we should persuade North Korea to be clear.

BLACKWELL: We have to let you go soon. One last question.

Is it your expectation based on the numbers you're giving me, since we got that number from the South Korean government, that the number of nuclear weapons that North Korea has increased? MOON: We don't know. Since --

[05:25:00]

MOON: President Trump initiated dialogue with North Korea is an indication that the North hasn't tested ballistic missile and nuclear bombs. However, North Korea might not have stopped production of nuclear materials. We should see. But that's why we should talk with North Korea. We should make North Korea more transparent with regards to its nuclear facility, (INAUDIBLE) and nuclear bombs.

PAUL: Chung in Moon, special adviser to President Moon Jae-in, we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today, sir. Thank you so much.

MOON: Thank you.

PAUL: Coming up, the South Korean president called this a big step forward, as did Mr. Moon there.

What will it yield beyond this photo op?

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BLACKWELL: A historic moment this morning. President Trump took 20 steps into North Korea, alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He is the first sitting U.S. president to step foot into that country.

PAUL: We characterized this, Jim Sciutto did, as handshake diplomacy. But that resulted in a 50-minute meeting behind closed doors. President Trump said he and Kim have agreed from that meeting to restart nuclear talks.

CNN international correspondent Will Ripley with us now.

Will, I know you are in Seoul. What is the meaning of this --

[05:30:00]

PAUL: -- to the people there?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's extraordinary. We have a crowd of people around us, who have been watching all afternoon, the news coverage of the historic day. You can feel the energy on the peninsula, like you could last year in April or after the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore.

There is, perhaps, a sense of optimism., hope this could lead to a breakthrough. People know they've been down this road before, seen diplomacy fall apart. They hope that won't be the case this time.

BLACKWELL: It was a characterization from the president that made me think of Seoul immediately. When the president was asked about short- range missiles fired by North Korea, the president said, I don't consider those missiles.

The people of Seoul would consider those missiles.

What has been the reaction to the tests we've seen?

They're not ICBMs but still significant to people close to North Korea.

RIPLEY: It's unsettling for people to know that North Korea continues to perfect technology that could aim missiles right here at Seoul, home to 30 million. But tens of millions have been in the firing line of North Korea for years.

They know North Korea have weapons pointed at the South. Over the decades, they haven't used those weapons. People live knowing there's a threat. But at the same time, they don't think it's a direct threat to them.

PAUL: We heard President Trump talking about the spontaneity of this visit. But North Korea is known to be an inflexible country. Kim Jong-un is a bit paranoid. He doesn't do anything that isn't unstructured.

How do you think this meeting came about?

And why is that important?

RIPLEY: If Kim and Trump are telling the truth and this really is something that came about after President Trump sent a tweet, it shows an extraordinary evolution for the North Korean leader. The fact he sat in front of foreign press and answered questions, that is a massively different from the situation a year ago.

It shows he's becoming more comfortable in the international arena. He has yet to sit down for an interview with a Western news organization. That's something that CNN and other network is pushing hard for.

But to see him in this environment is extraordinary. It shows a renewed confidence for Kim, especially he lost so much face in Hanoi. He walked into Hanoi as if he was triumphant before the summit took place and he left, dejected on the train, empty-handed.

Today perhaps was a chance for a reset.

BLACKWELL: Will Ripley, reporting from North Korea many, many times, thank you.

Let's bring in Gordon Chang, columnist for "The Daily Beast" and authority of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World."

Gordon, you've covered the region for quite some time. I want to start with your reaction to what we saw and heard at the DMZ. GORDON CHANG, "THE DAILY BEAST": Everyone is saying this is historic and extraordinary. That's true. There's the optimism because of the announcement of the working groups.

But you have to remember, you know, disappointment is a very powerful emotion. If the two leaders can't carry this momentum forward, there could be some very adverse developments out of this, as there have been in the past.

This is a great opportunity. A time of great risk. We have to be concerned that this momentum is actually carrying forward.

BLACKWELL: This is the question that I had, from the moment the president sent the tweet, and the confirmation that Chairman Kim would meet the president at the DMZ, what is the variable in this moment of optimism, that was not present at the time of Hanoi, at Singapore, that makes any player believe that this will be more fruitful than it has been?

CHANG: I would think that the atmospherics were probably better than before. But there is a certain amount of deja vu to all this. President Trump has been quite generous. He has not vigorously enforced sanctions; he's tried to create this favorable atmosphere for Kim.

Eventually Trump is going to lose his patience. And Kim Jong-un has to understand that.

[05:35:00]

CHANG: But he has only a limited period of time in which to make good on promises. President Trump's diplomacy is based on the fact that Kim Jong-un has made a strategic decision to give up his weapons. If he hasn't made that decision and it doesn't look like he has, there is going to be a reckoning.

BLACKWELL: You wrote after the Hanoi summit, that Kim is in a system that does not allow him to reciprocate goodwill.

CHANG: Well, President Trump talks a lot about his great relationship with Kim Jong-un as he does with President Xi or Vladimir Putin. But these guys, it doesn't matter whether they actually like him or hate him because they have a pragmatic system.

And they actually view these statements of friendship to be signs of weakness. They then try to take advantage of that. We Americans have this notion that you have to have good relations with your counterparties. Well, no. Kim, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, a lot of people have a different view of the way diplomacy works. It's much more hard-edged than ours.

BLACKWELL: The president prioritizes the personal relationship with Xi, with Putin and Kim and other world leaders and thinks that will translate in fruit for foreign policy. Gordon Chang, always good to have you.

CHANG: Thank you so much.

PAUL: As President Trump and Kim Jong-un have prepared to hold their bilateral meeting, new White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham got into a scuffle with North Korean officials.

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STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Stop. No. Let go. I need help here.

PAUL: You can hear her saying, let go. We need help here. The source says she was bruised in that scuffle. This happened as North Korean officials were hustling White House press pool members trying to get into the room with Kim and Trump for their meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: President Trump is talking to troops in South Korea. Here's where he took the first step, the first sitting president of the U.S. to walk into to North Korea. We'll talk to our military experts about the president's moment. Stay with us.

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PAUL: Those are live pictures of President Trump at an air base in Seoul, South Korea. He is talking with American troops after his meeting with Kim Jong-un. That was a surprise.

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BLACKWELL: Yes, that tweet that came late Friday. The president said, I'll be at the DMZ. I would like to be there to shake your hand. And it happened. The only sitting U.S. president to take 20 steps into North Korea.

PAUL: Here's General Mark Hertling. I want to get your reaction to today.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: A historic event, Christi. It was interesting how this came about. As always, we have to judge any movement by two members different societies, regarding war and peace, with regard to risk and rewards.

If good things come of this that's a spectacular thing. But we have to ask ourselves what caused this to occur?

Did Trump get some information from President Xi at the G20 summit suggesting he see President Kim.

Or was this his idea?

Did it cause him to say we can move the needle forward? Either one could possibly provide rewards in a situation that's been tenuous for decades. But the risks are great, in terms of giving Kim Jong-un increased presence on the world stage. Potentially risking the defensive posture of South Korea.

PAUL: Kim Jong-un said that we will be able to meet each other anytime now, I think this is the signal that this meeting will send.

How confident are you that North Korea is going to come to the table with President Trump and have some sort of substantive change?

HERTLING: I remain skeptical. He will certainly come to the table, have his surrogates come to the table. But as we've seen in the past, from a military perspective, we judge things by what has occurred throughout history and what are the potentials for things happening in the future.

Historically, North Korea have brought the United States to the table, only to have it quashed, in terms of what could result. We've seen that, in the last two years, as President Trump's reached out. That's not any different from any past presidents.

There's always been hope, that North Korea will come to the table and join the league of nations, as it were. There hasn't been the results coming from those meetings. You have to look at the strategic rewards both sides want.

North Korea wants sanctions released desperately. The United States wants the elimination of nuclear weapons desperately. It depends on what comes of those meetings, that will give hope or squash hope.

PAUL: Not only that but how it will come about. This is what I'm talking about. The president said this is going to be a team led by Stephen Biegun. And he said, good luck, Steve. We don't know who Representative Biegun will be conversing with because, after Hanoi, there were reports that North Korea had, quote, that part of Kim Jong- un's regime, "certainly disappeared."

Had Kim Jong-un had them executed?

Can the U.S. have a successful conversation and negotiation with North Korean regarding its nuclear armaments and ignore the human rights abuses in that country?

HERTLING: They certain could. But we have to keep on the table those human right abuses and the violation of what would be considered global values, not only United States values but values held by all free and democratic nations in terms of treatment of people, the press, et cetera.

We have to remember that North Korea said they didn't want to deal with Secretary Pompeo or Mr. Bolton. That indicates they just want the optics of dealing with the leader of the United States.

If that's what Kim Jong-un wants and we can give that to him without any giving up on his part, we're just playing his game. What are we gaining from these engagements?

[05:45:00]

HERTLING: Is it just photo ops and more sanctions relief?

Are there true indicators that that he's going to reduce stockpiles?

That's the key question. So far I remain skeptical because all of the things, in fact, most of the things that Kim has promised have not come true. He's given indicators he's willing to negotiate but in each case, like the return of remains, the reduction of testing, have not occurred.

PAUL: Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thank you for taking the time to be with us this morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's turn to 2020 now and is the second verse same as the first? Kamala Harris facing criticisms similar to that of President Obama. How the 2020 Democrats are responding.

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PAUL: You heard about this new birther conspiracy similar to the one against former President Barack Obama. It is across the Internet; this time senator and presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris is the target.

[05:50:00]

BLACKWELL: During Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted Harris, a critic of Harris, questioned her identity. And Trump Jr. later deleted it but not before it was seen by million of followers. Harris' campaign has compared the comment to President Trump's birther conspiracy that targeted President Obama.

PAUL: Former vice president Joe Biden, who had a tense exchange with Harris during this week's debate, is among the 2020 candidates who are defending her, writing this, "The same forces of hatred rooted in birtherism that questioned Barack Obama's American citizenship and even his racial identity are now being used against Senator Kamala Harris.

"It's disgusting and we have to call it out when we see it. Racism has no place in America."

Washington governor and 2020 candidate Jay Inslee had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, unfortunately, it appears that the rotten apple doesn't fall too far from the rotten tree. And what comes to mind is the question to the whole Trump family, at last, you have no decency, sirs.

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BLACKWELL: Harris was born in Oakland, California, to a mother from India and a father from Jamaica. In March, the senator addressed the issue of critics who questioned her heritage. Watch this.

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SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are. I was born black, I will die black. And I am proud of being black. And I am not going to make any excuses for anybody because they don't understand.

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BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Siraj Hashmi, commentator, writer and editor of the "Washington Examiner."

Siraj, good morning to you.

SIRAJ HASHMI, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Good morning, Victor.

BLACKWELL: This tweet going around, this line of criticism misunderstands the diaspora and the experience of blackness in America. But to put that to the side for a moment, specifically the effort here from the president's family. We're seeing a repeat potentially, of what they did to Barack Obama.

HASHMI: Yes. There's certain things that this line of attack brings up. First of all, it's probably a signal to Trump's base and to many people in Republican circles that Kamala Harris is an actual threat to Donald Trump's presidency.

By undercutting her identity and basically trying to whitewash her blackness is an effort to do that. Of course, she was born in Oakland. She's a woman of color. The fact that she has roots to Jamaica and India doesn't diminish the fact that she probably experienced the black experience more than most people.

BLACKWELL: Who is the audience for this type of smear?

Is this the white voter who may be uncomfortable with electing a -- or any voter, I shouldn't say white voter -- a voter who is uncomfortable with a black president?

Or potential black supporters who they want to convince that she is not like you?

HASHMI: It can possibly speak to the many racists that we have in this country. I'm not 100 percent sure. There seems to be an effort by people on the far right that believe that going after identity is specifically a viable reason to attack a candidate.

When Obama was running for president, I think many people sort of dismissed the fact that he had a white parent, a white mother. It was focused he was the first black president. Nobody focused on the fact that he was also biracial. Kamala Harris, also, biracial.

It might speak to a low of sexism in this country.

BLACKWELL: It's remarkable the pushback we're seeing from other 2020 competitors. After this tweet, I don't know if we saw that after the many times that President Trump referred to Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas over her heritage. Explain the contrast, if it's clear.

HASHMI: For one, I think some people on the far right are going after Kamala Harris because she had a strong debate performance. Maybe in the general election, debates don't really matter. In primaries, they're huge, as she was arguably the winner of this first Democratic debate.

But to your question, going after Elizabeth Warren because of her DNA tests, her Native American heritage had come into question, she tried to get ahead of that by getting that DNA test. And it seems to not impact her as much in Democratic circles because she's pivoted to policy positions and her poll numbers have risen as a result.

So I think when it comes to the general election --

[05:55:00]

HASHMI: -- it will actually have less of an impact with Donald Trump because it's all about their vision for America as opposed to where they came from.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the birtherism movement was led by Donald Trump. This was a deleted retweet from Donald Trump Jr. We'll see if this moves to the center of the Trump 2020 campaign. Siraj Hashmi, always good to have you.

HASHMI: Great to see you, Victor.

PAUL: Beto O'Rourke is making his first international trip as a presidential candidate. He doesn't have to travel too far. Why the former Texas congressman is heading into Mexico today.

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BLACKWELL: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke will visit Mexico today, meeting with migrants who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

PAUL: The former Texas congressman is also holding a rally outside a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas. Democratic candidate Julian Castro attempted to visit the Clint migrant detention facility in Texas. He was denied. The facility has been accused of housing migrant children in terrible conditions.

BLACKWELL: Secretary Castro later addressed reporters, accusing the Trump administration of criminalizing desperation.

And Julian Castro will be a guest later this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Senator Amy Klobuchar is also a guest on the show. That's "STATE OF THE UNION" today at 9:00 am Eastern, only on CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Good to be with you here on a Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. For the first time in the history of the two countries, a U.S. sitting president met with a North Korean leader at the border with South Korea and then crossed that border into North Korea.

PAUL: And then the North Korean history made history by crossing into South Korea. Want to watch what led up this historical handshake and more, a 50-minute meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

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