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President Trump Steps In North Korea, Faces Long Odds Of Deal; Harris Campaign Fends Off Racial Attacks; Protest Reignite In Hong Kong; Grisham Bruised In All Out Brawl With North Koreans; Talks Resume In U.S./China Trade War; America's Choice 2020; World Pride 2019; Ten Killed In Private Plane Crash In Texas; Ancient Palace Discovered In Northern Iraq; At Least Sven Dead In Sudan Protests; 9/11 Hero Luis Alvarez Dies. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired July 1, 2019 - 04:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Stepping across that line was a great honor. A lot of progress has been made.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: The president makes history crossing into North Korea restarting nuclear talks, but a deal to curb Pyongyang's nuclear program still faces a long odds.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN HOST: The Kamala Harris campaign fighting back against on-line attacks about her race, one of them from the president's son.

BRIGGS: Breaking news. Look at that video. Protesters in Hong Kong tried to storm the legislative building. Thousands in the streets to mark 22 years since Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China.

KOSINSKI: And Kevin Durant packing his bags for Brooklyn, and he is bringing two all-stars with him. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and now around the world. International, which is great.

BRIGGS: That is correct. Welcome.

KOSINSKI: This is Early Start, I'm Michelle Kosinski in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is Monday, July 1st, 4:00 a.m. in New York, 5:00 p.m. in North Korea. While most of you are enjoying a summer weekend, there was history at the DMZ. The president meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un becoming the first sitting U.S. President to cross into North Korean territory. The two leaders met for nearly an hour agreeing to restart nuclear talks all part of a weekend full of activity that could reshape U.S. relationships in Asia.


TRUMP: 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 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 a particular great friendship so I just want to thank you.


BRIGGS: A great friendship form the murderous dictator. No doubt, President Trump loves the historic optics here. Overnight North Korean state media describing the Trump/Kim DMZ summit as a, quote, amazing event. But will it amount to anything beyond a photo-op.

Let's bring in Paula Hancocks live near the DMZ. Hi there, Paula. If "The New York Times" reporting is correct, it appears the U.S. is going to significantly lower the bar for what they want to accomplish here.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is right, Dave. I mean, "The New York Times" is saying that officials are telling them that they are considering going for the step-by-step approach when it comes to denuclearization. It's something that North Korea wants. It's something quite frankly that most experts will say is far more realistic than what they are trying for now, which is complete denuclearization. Then they will consider lifting some of these sanctions.

Now, we have seen that administrations in the past try this and we've seen them failed, but the fact is there is a consensus definitely here in the region that North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons just like that. In fact, some say they won't give up their nuclear weapons at all.

"The New York Times" suggesting that this would be a little bit more of an acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear state. But certainly there does have to be some progress for this to be seen as more than just a handshake diplomacy. Just listen to what the president had to say at the DMZ.


TRUMP: We want to get it right. We don't want to -- we're not looking for speed, we're looking to get it right. And in the meantime, there's been no nuclear tests, there's been no ballistic missiles. There's been a lot of goodwill and there continues to be. Maybe if anything, better. And it probably after today, better than it was even before.


HANCOCKS: Now the president saying that there's no rush. I mean, clearly, the president does have a time limit on his term. Kim Jong- un does not have that concern, so certainly Kim Jong-un is not feeling that there is much pressure. But this is interesting to see this historic moment, something that South Korea and North Korea have been heralding as a great step in the right direction.

Bit of course, it depends what comes next. Potentially working level talks. We heard from President Trump saying that they're going to put these teams in place, and within two or three weeks they could be negotiating. This though is where they've fallen down after Hanoi and after Singapore.

There had been even after Hanoi, no agreement, but there had been goodwill between the two leaders. But it's when they get to the nitty-gritty that it becomes very difficult. So, we'll have to see what this working level talks can bring.

[04:05:00] BRIGGS: For the time being a major propaganda win for the North Koreans. Paula Hancocks live for us. Thank you.

KOSINSKI: Newly minted White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham an apparent victim in the chaos that's around the impromptu Trump/Kim meeting. Grisham got into a scuffle with North Korean officials outside a meeting room where the two leaders were talking privately. A source at the scene described it as an all-out brawl and said Grisham was a bit bruised. Several U.S. journalists gave her credit though for assuring their press freedoms.

BRIGGS: All right. Some check on CNN Business now, a temporary truce in the U.S./China trade war. During the G20, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to table new tariffs and continue negotiations. The president told Fox News Tucker Carlson he is optimistic about a deal with China.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: You just recently, hours ago, met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

TRUMP: I did.

CARLSON: Are you closer, do you think, after that meeting to a trade deal?

TRUMP: I think so. We had a very good meeting, he wants to make a deal, I want to make a deal, very big deal. Probably, I guess you'd say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade. We got along very well. We understand each other.


BRIGGS: White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow meanwhile said there's no guarantee that a deal will happen.


LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: As the president said, continuing the talks which had been interrupted for a while, is a very big deal. No promises. There's no deal made. There's no timetable, I want to emphasize that.


BRIGGS: Investors like the news of a temporary truce. Wall Street futures are positive ahead of the opening bell. Something to remember here, existing tariffs on Chinese goods are still in place and will continue to hit businesses here.

Futures are also higher after Trump said he would lift some restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei ending a ban on American companies from using Huawei telecom gear. Trump said Huawei was still part of an ongoing trade talk between Washington and Beijing.

KOSINSKI: Kamala Harris's campaign punching back in the face of online attacks about her race including one from Donald Trump Jr. Those reactions to a strong debate performance poured in, some on Twitter suggested, Harris was unfairly portraying herself as African- American since she is the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. One of them from an alt-right commentator re-tweeted by Trump Jr. since deleted by a spokesperson.

He tells "The New York Times" he was just asking if it was true. The Harris campaign official dismissing the attack saying, quote, this is the same type of racist attack his father used to attack Barack Obama. It didn't work then and it won't work now. Following the pride march in San Francisco Sunday, Harris was asked if she was surprised by some of the online backlash from the black community?


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are a nation that has a lot to be proud of and there are aspects of our history not to be proud of. They have to be dedicated to making sure that there's a history of the race and segregation and that is real. (Inaudible).


BRIGGS: Not sure you got that. Harris's 2020 Democratic rivals coming to her defense. Cory Booker is one. You can read this tweet yourself. You got that? Others are weighing in on Twitter and on TV.


JULIAN CASTRO (D-TX), 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The tweet of Donald Trump Jr. was the act of a coward. You see what they do. Put something out there and then he deletes it so that he can say it was just a mistake.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a president who is a racist and apparently based on a statement yesterday, his son is following in his footsteps.


BRIGGS: Meantime, the Harris campaign confirms two more endorsements from members of the congressional black caucus. Congressman Bobby Rush and Congressman Frederico Wilson. Kamala Harris leads Joe Biden by one and CBC endorsements, she has six, he has five.

KOSINSKI: From coast to coast and around the world, pride was on display Sunday. Marches in Istanbul, Ecuador and Nepal and the biggest celebration of all, here in New York City. Massive crowds sporting rainbow colors filled this streets. They gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the stonewall uprising that propelled the gay rights movement. Marking the occasion a bill banning use of the so-called gay and trans panic legal defense, was signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The strategy allows someone to argue a violent act was caused by a reaction to someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.

BRIGGS: Quite a day here in the New York area.

A team of FAA investigators headed to the scene of a deadly private plane crash in Texas. Ten people were killed, two members of the flight crew and eight passengers on board.

[04:10:03] Authorities are still in the process of notifying the victim's next of kin. The NTSB said the beach craft Super King Air 350 aircraft crashed into a hanger, Sunday morning shortly after taking off from the airport in Addison, Texas, that is near Dallas. Officials are currently reviewing videos of the incident as they try to determine what may have contributed to the crash.

KOSINSKI: These are some (inaudible) pictures. Overnight protests reignite in two countries, where citizens are demanding a greater say. Reports on the situations in Hong Kong and Sudan next.


KOSINSKI: Breaking overnight from Hong Kong. Protesters flooding the streets and clashing with police. The protesters trying to storm the legislative building. CNN's Nic Robertson is at that building live in Hong Kong. Nic, protests have been going on for weeks there. This is something we have seen regularly, but today, does it seem to be reaching some kind of breaking point?

[04:15:05] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michelle, I'm literally at what's become the front line of these protests, the doors of the legislative -- the government buildings here. So, look at this glass window here. It is shattered all the way down here. Broken through, and if we can just bring the camera around. You can see the riot police inside here. The rioters have been spending the last two hours just smashed through here. This is the main government building. And you might not be able to see it. But dripping off the bottom of the glass, they are dripping of the bottom of the glass is the pepper spray that the police have been using when the protesters break through.

What they are protesting for is to have that extradition bill repealed by the chief executive here. They're protesting against what they call brutality by the police when millions of them came out on streets about two weeks ago, but today this place has become the epicenter and the focus of the last couple of hours of that protest. The police inside have been waiting patiently. They haven't rushed

out and charged the protesters here, but every time the protesters look like coming through, they move forward, they pepper spray them, pull back. And now this glass, this window is breached. This is an incredible situation. A medieval style siege being forth out in front of hundreds, probably dozens at least of live cameras, hundreds of other cameras, there are cameras behind the police.

This is again, you can't emphasize this too much. This is a government building. This would be the equivalent of the Washington, of course of the White House. This protest here though only part of a much bigger protest, a peaceful protest that is going through the streets of Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands of people commemorating the day 22 years ago where the British government hand the sovereignty back to Hong Kong. So this is a day where there's protests every year, but there has never been a day like this when the protests have been so violent and protester have come so close to getting inside of the government buildings.

KOSINSKI: Incredibly dramatic pictures there. Thanks, Nic.

BRIGGS: All right. A drought in northern Iraq has revealed a major discovery. The ruins of an ancient palace nearly 3500 years old. And a reservoir on the banks of the Tigris River. Archaeologists say it's from the Mittani Empire which they call, one of the least research empires of the ancient near east. The team also found wall paintings that were probably common at the time, but few have survived, the Milenia (ph) intact.

Ahead, he made this emotional plea just weeks ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The families would love to have time with them and made mine have time with me.


BRIGGS: The 9/11 first responder who tried to secure health care funding for heroes has succumb to cancer.


BRIGGS: At least seven dead and huge protests in Sudan demanding civilian rule. Sunday's demonstrations were the largest since the deadly crackdown on a pro-democracy sit in last month. CNN's Farai Sevenzo live in Nairobi with the latest. Faria, what are you hearing?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the moment the situation in Sudan, as you say, Dave, is incredibly tense. Remember, this has been going on since December the 19th. And as we head into July, the people of Sudan show no signs that they're going to retreat from their demands for a full and orderly transition to civilian rule. At the moment the transitional military consul is all at sea at the moment we are hearing conflicting reports, some people say now there are snipers shooting at people. And so as I said at least seven dead. We understand that three bodies were found in another area of Khartoum this morning and of course, the protest have not abated.

And again, this is such a situation that has been going on for several months now as I said and it's attracting the attention of people like Mr. Hunt, was running the Foreign state and the British government who is saying let's stand for the people, who are wanting to change the situation in Sudan, as well as Jim McGovern, a representative from Massachusetts, whose also saying, this needs to be watch and anything that happens to civilians and journalist who fall squarely on the shoulders of the transitional military council.

Remember, you know, this has been a government that has been in charge since the days of Al Bashir. Despite the fact that Al Bashir left on April the 11th, is still the same people, the same men in military fatigues who are in charge and the people of Sudan have had enough and would like to see a change, Dave.

BRIGGS: Same on rest remains. All right, 11:24 there in Nairobi. Farai Sevenzo live for us, thank you.

KOSINSKI: Retired NYPD bomb squad to Texas Luis Alvarez who pleaded a few weeks ago for the extension to the September 11th victim compensation fund died Saturday. He was 53. Alvarez succumb to complications from cancer link to the time he spent in the rubble at ground zero.


RET. LUIS ALVAREZ, NYPD DEPARTMENT, 9/11 HERO: I have been lucky enough to have 68 rounds of chemo. Yes, you heard me right, 68 rounds. Many others haven't had the opportunity to have five and some have had none. Their families would love to have time with them. I made mine have time with me.


[04:24:19] KOSINSKI: Powerful words. And in a statement his family said we told him in the end that he had won this battle by the many lives he had touched by sharing his three year battle. He was at peace with that.

BRIGGS: Alvarez entered End of Life Hospice Care shortly after his testimony. He was helped that day by comedian Jon Stewart, a long- time advocate for the 9/11 first responders health benefits.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility, 18 years later do yours!


BRIGGS: John feel, a 9/11 first responder and advocate said he gave Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Alvarez's badge as a symbol of the importance of the victim compensation fund. The current proposal to permanently extend the fund would authorize it through 2089. It has plenty of support in the House. McConnell indicated the Senate will take up the fund, but when that happens is unclear. Just to reiterate what Jon Stewart said, do your job. Pass this bill. It's an easy one.

KOSINSKI: Thank you.

BRIGGS: Hey, it ain't hard.

KOSINSKI: President Trump is the first sitting commander in chief to cross into North Korea. The optics, yes, are historic, but can the moment be met with fruitful nuclear talks? Coming up.