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NYT: U.S. May Settle for a Nuclear Freeze from North Korea; Buttigieg Raises $24.8 Million in Second Quarter; Protestors Try to Break Into Hong Kong Legislature; 10 Killed After Small Plane Crashes During Takeoff; Castro, O'Rourke Visit Overcrowded Texas Border Facility; 9/11 Hero Luis Alvarez Who Fought for Victim Fund Dies. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired July 1, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Donald Trump made history at the DMZ.
[05:59:01] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not looking for speed. We're looking to get it right. There's been a lot of goodwill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He keeps having these summits and meetings that really don't produce anything.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and then deleted a tweet that was questioning Senator Harris's blackness.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was born black and I will die black; and I am proud of being black.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Trump family are trying to find every way they can to divide us, because they really haven't delivered what they promised.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I think we're on the TV.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I think. The fact that we can't see it, we're just going to press ahead.
BERMAN: We're going to take their word for it that we're on the TV this morning.
Welcome in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, July 1, 6 a.m. here in New York. And this morning, we're waking up to new reporting of what could be, what could be a major new U.S. concession to Kim Jong-un in the nuclear negotiation with North Korea. The president returned to the White House overnight after his historic
meeting with Kim Jong-un, where the president became the first sitting U.S. leader to step foot in North Korea. It was a remarkable picture.
But a more lasting impact might be the substance of what's happening behind the scenes. "The New York Times" this morning is reporting that the Trump administration might be headed toward the tacit acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear power. In other words, Kim Jong-un could keep his nuclear weapons, and the United States might be willing to accept a freeze in production of new weapons in return.
This is a position that the administration has previously said it would not stand for.
CAMEROTA: Many of President Trump's Democratic rivals are criticizing the meeting with the North Korean dictator as nothing more than a photo op. They're accusing the president of raising Kim's profile without getting anything in return.
And speaking of 2020, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's campaign just announced a huge fundraising haul, making him a formidable candidate in the crowded Democratic field.
BERMAN: How about "the campaign of Pete Buttigieg"? "Buttigieg's" is just too hard.
CAMEROTA: You're right. That was a mistake.
Let's begin with CNN's Will Ripley. He is live in Seoul, South Korea, with more on this North Korea news -- Will.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
The mood here in Seoul is cautious optimism as the news comes that the United States and North Korea could resume working-level denuclearization talks in the coming weeks.
But now there's this new reporting from "The New York Times" of a possible major concession by the Trump administration, something they said they would never consider before. Allowing North Korea to keep its entire nuclear arsenal as long as they agree not to produce any new weapons.
There are a lot of critics to that proposal, but some are saying here it's the only realistic option.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Stepping into history. President Trump becoming the first sitting U.S. president to walk onto North Korean soil.
TRUMP: 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, in particular, a great friendship.
RIPLEY: That historic one-minute crossing from the Demilitarized Zone dividing the North and South sparked by a tweet invitation the day before. The president writing, "If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say hello."
Kim Jong-un saying the proposition was a surprise, telling President Trump through an interpreter, "I never expected to meet you in this place."
TRUMP: We met, and we liked each other from day one. And that was very important.
RIPLEY: And even extending this invitation to the North Korean leader.
TRUMP: I would invite him right now to come to the White House. Absolutely.
RIPLEY: Despite the warm greeting between both men, a moment of chaos erupted at their third meeting.
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Stop. No. Let go. I need help here.
RIPLEY: New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham caught in a scuffle, described as an all-out brawl, with U.S. and North Korean officials scrambling as American media tried to capture the leaders entering the Freedom House. Behind closed doors, the president spoke with Kim for nearly an hour.
TRUMP: I think the relationship that we developed has -- has meant so much to so many people. But it was an honor that you asked me to step over that line, and I was proud to step over the line.
RIPLEY: Announcing a goal of resuming denuclearization talks by mid- July.
But moving forward will likely be difficult. Despite two previous summits between the two sides, North Korea's nuclear program remains intact, and short-range missile testing restarted in May.
The president's 2020 rivals condemning his embrace of Kim.
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not quite sure why this president is so bent on elevating the profile of a dictator like Kim Jong-un when Kim Jong-un has not lived up to his promise from the first summit.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have a problem with him sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries. I just don't want it to be a photo opportunity.
RIPLEY: The photo opportunity at the Demilitarized Zone was intended to show off the friendship between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, which the two leaders seem to be banking on to get them past the huge differences that exist between what the U.S. wants and what North Korea wants when it comes to denuclearization.
North Korea gave the U.S. a deadline until the end of the year to change its position or all of the diplomacy could be thrown out the window. If this new reporting by "The New York Times" is accurate and the U.S. is willing to make a major shift and consider a nuclear freeze, it may give Kim Jong-un exactly what he has been wanting this whole time -- John, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: So interesting. Will, thank you very much. Stay with us. We'll have more questions for you.
We're also joined by Margaret Talev, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, who went to the TMZ [SIC] with the president. And Gordon Chang, he's a columnist at "The Daily Beast" and the author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World."
Before we get to the significance of all of this, Margaret, because you were there, you witnessed all of this. History in the making. Just give us some color of what that was like.
[06:05:04] MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, good morning, Alisyn and John.
It was an extraordinary day, as you can imagine. And you know, I think for weeks, as we prepared for this trip, we all assumed that the president would go to the DMZ. In those discussions, trying to understand from administration officials beforehand what would happen there, the closest we had heard was that there might be a call from the hotline inside the Freedom House to Chairman Kim.
And then we were told behind the scenes, no, nothing like that's going to happen; it's just going to be a DMZ visit. And so it was -- There was certainly a surprise element.
There was some sort of a chaotic element, as well, because the meeting had come together so quickly. And you saw some of that in that scrum, where the new press secretary really got pushed around, and so did many of my colleagues.
But there was just sort of that gasp moment as the president stepped over into North Korea. And as the two kind of coordinated the step back over that line with one another, and for the president it was -- obviously was -- whatever you want to say about the legitimacy of the foreign policy initiative -- there was certainly a photo op element to it, a staging element to it that the president himself was very keen on choreographing.
In fact, at the very end, I don't know if the cameras captured it, but for those of us who were standing there, at the very end, the president was so excited himself that, as Chairman Kim crossed back over the line into North Korea, we saw the president from behind clap like this. Very excited. He just couldn't contain his own excitement with sort of what he had pulled off.
And so nobody is really sure where it goes. We're not even sure who was in the meeting with Chairman Kim and the U.S. president or for how long; and how much of that meeting was just the two men one-on-one. A lot we're still trying to unpack about what happened yesterday.
BERMAN: It was truly a remarkable image for many reasons: include President Trump applauding a dictator like Kim Jong-un. But the question is, to what end? What does the United States get out of it?
And there is this fresh reporting out of "New York Times" from Michael Crowley and David Sanger. And let me read just a little bit of this.
It says, "The concept would amount to a nuclear freeze, one that especially enshrines the status quo and tacitly accepts the North as a nuclear power, something administration officials have often said they would never stand for. Presumably, Mr. Trump's freeze would have to be a permanent one, or he will have gotten less from Mr. Kim than President Barack Obama got from Iran in a deal that Mr. Trump dismissed as disastrous."
Gordon, the administration from the beginning, from before Singapore, has said what they want is the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Right?
GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY BEAST": Sure.
BERMAN: This is different than that.
CHANG: It certainly is. And you know, this reporting is consistent with a lot of what we know. So, for instance, you know, we were all assuming that the United States wants to disarm North Korea. Well, if you look at what Trump's been doing, you can say, really, what he's been trying to do is to isolate China, to take away Kim Jong-un from the Chinese. And you can sort of say his Russian diplomacy is along the same thing.
But, you know, we've got to remember that this is an administration, especially on North Korea, where there's only one person who makes a decision. And that is the president, of course. So you know, I think it's premature to say that there's been this shift.
And by the way, you go back to Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Everyone said the same thing about them, that they were accepting North Korea's program. That turned out not to be true.
I will say this though. If the president's priority is the picture, if the president's priority is continuing discussions with Kim Jong- un, then it matters what he is giving up in return. If what he is giving up is the tacit acceptance -- it may be more than tacit -- that North Korea is a nuclear power, that would be significant.
CHANG: Yes. But we've also got to remember that we're not the only actor here. The North Koreans will press the -- even if this is true, the North Koreans will press the advantage. And when they press the advantage, they're going to do something horrible, and that means even if we had accepted a freeze, we'll go back on that. Because if the North Koreans use violence to upset status quos they don't like, and they will do something.
CAMEROTA: And one more thing, Gordon. What the North Koreans want is relief from the most -- well, from sanctions, all sanctions.
CAMEROTA: But if President Trump were to relieve the most punishing sanctions, just for the status quo, then could that be seen as a capitulation to the North Koreans?
CHANG: It certainly would be a capitulation to the North Koreans.
You know, Alisyn, one of the things that the administration talks about is that they're using maximum pressure on the North Koreans. That was true up through the middle of May of last year. Since that time, we've allowed open sanctions busting, not only by the North Koreans, but by the Chinese, the Russians, and even the South Koreans. We've sort of stood by and not done very much about it.
BERMAN: Will Ripley, I want to go back to you. Because again, that picture, there's no question President Trump wanted that picture, stepping into North Korea across the DMZ.
But that's a picture that Kim Jong-un desperately wanted and is already using, Will Ripley. And one other thing that Kim desperately wants is to be a nuclear power. And if he gets both of those things from the United States, it's extraordinary.
[06:10:13] WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. And, you know, in my repeated trips to North Korea, one thing that officials told me time and time again is that Kim Jong-un never wanted to use the horrific weapons he created. Remember, North Korea's last nuclear tests at the end of 2017 triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. It moved a mountain at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
This reporting in "The New York Times" would essentially allow North Korea to continue to have that kind of a weapon in its arsenal but just promise not to produce new ones.
But what the North Koreans have always said is that those weapons were deterrents. Those weapons were to get them to the negotiating table from a position of strength. And those weapons were to earn Kim Jong- un respect on a global stage.
And arguably, he's already gotten that in spades. Meetings with President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin. And of course, numerous summits with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, who is dying to give North Korea assistance in the form of food aid and millions of dollars and revive economic cooperation projects, desperate to keep diplomacy with the United States alive.
So there would arguably be a lot of people here in South Korea very supportive of the United States accepting North Korea, potentially, as a nuclear state. And that's certainly something the North Koreans have wanted, as well.
BERMAN: All right, friends. Stand by. We're going to keep following this story all morning long and track the new developments. In the meantime, we have breaking news in the 2020 campaign. South
Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg just announced a huge fundraising haul in the second quarter.
CNN's Jessica Dean live in Washington with the details. This is an eye-popping number, Jessica.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a big one, John. The second quarter fundraising coming to a close at midnight, and Pete Buttigieg emerging with a big number.
Let's take a look at that now: $24.8 million for the second quarter fundraising in this 2020 race. Let's compare that to last quarter for Pete Buttigieg, when he raised $7.1 million. You see the big difference there.
And then to give you a little context: what does $24.8 million mean? Take a look at the wider field. Again, this is from last quarter. But you see that Bernie Sanders there, leading with $18.2.
To compare that to $24.8 million, just a huge number for Pete Buttigieg.
And if you go back and look at the trajectory of his campaign, it makes it even more remarkable. If you remember, he launched his exploratory committee in January, was really an unknown. Then had that breakout moment at a CNN town hall in March. And then it was kind of off to the races for him.
And what this number does, yes, it's kind of horse -- it's like a horse race to talk about numbers. But why they mean something is because what it does is cement him as a top-tier candidate. And Alisyn, as we head into the summer, that's going to be really important, as you try to stay on this debate stage and stay front of mind.
It's just a really big number from him. And over 70 fundraisers he did in order to get there.
CAMEROTA: Well, it seems to be working.
CAMEROTA: Jessica, thank you very much.
We have more breaking news for you. Hundreds of protesters are clashing with police, some trying to break into Hong Kong's legislature. The demonstrations come on the twenty-second anniversary of the former British colony's return to China.
And CNN's Nic Robertson, he is live outside of Hong Kong's Legislative Council. He is right in the thick of it with all the breaking details.
What's the situation, Nic? NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Alisyn, I'm just
going to turn the camera around and point to the protesters moving up the barricade here.
The umbrellas are being used so that we don't identify any of the protesters. We're outside the government buildings here in what's known as the Legislative Council building.
Just over my shoulder here, you can probably hear what sounds like a battering ram. It is a battering ram of sorts. It is one of those barricades you just saw being used to try to batter into this government building.
This is the main government building in Hong Kong. It has been the focus of anger for thousands of violent protesters today, who are focusing their anger on the government because of the government's decision for -- to extradite some criminals to China for trial.
Now, this is a bill that the government has had to suspend. These protesters want that -- want that bill completely repealed.
They're also protesting against the police who are inside this building, barricaded inside the building. They're protesting against them for violence that the police showed to protesters three or four -- three weeks ago, when millions of people came onto the street.
But today is a day of traditional protest in Hong Kong. It's the 22nd anniversary of when the British handed over sovereignty of Hong Kong on 150 years of law. Twenty-two years ago, they handed it over.
But the protests today are unlike anything that has been witnessed here in recent years. I can probably say ever. There are hundreds of thousands of people in peaceful protest. But this protest here is violent. It's determined. It's angry, and it is something quite extraordinary. Think of the government buildings in any capital being swarmed in this way.
[06:15:19] BERMAN: Nic Robertson on the ground in Hong Kong. I have to say, that is a remarkable picture behind you. And thank you so much for your calm reporting.
If I can ask you a question, we've obviously seen the damage to the buildings, and we can see the chaos behind you. Have there been any injuries or harm to people themselves?
ROBERTSON: (AUDIO GAP)
BERMAN: All right. We just lost Nic Robertson. We'll get back to him again. Some just remarkable reporting from Nic as those protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong continue. We'll bring you the latest when we can.
In the meantime, new questions after a mysterious plane crash in Texas leaves ten people dead. Investigators are on the scene this morning. We're getting fresh reporting on what they have learned. That's next.
[06:20:35] BERMAN: All right. We have breaking news. Federal investigators are looking into what caused a small plane to crash during takeoff, killing all ten people on board. This happened north of Dallas in the community of Addison. That is where CNN's Scott McLean joins us this morning with the very latest.
Scott, what are you learning?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, John.
This plane was supposed to fly from this municipal airport to St. Petersburg, Florida, but it barely got off the ground before it crashed. This happened, obviously, just after takeoff, when it veered into this hangar here, killing all ten people on board.
You can still see this morning some of the -- what looks to be smoke or fire damage and a couple of missing windows on that hangar there.
Now, luckily, there was nobody inside of that hangar at the time. There was just a plane and a helicopter in there. It is also lucky that the fire department was just about 220 yards away, just barely further then from where I'm standing right now. And so the response was fairly immediate.
Now, the victims have not yet been identified, because as of late yesterday, their families were still being notified. But we know that there were two crew members and eight passengers on board.
The plane itself is a Beachcraft Super King Air 350. And when you think of a private jet, you probably think of a plane just like this one.
CNN safety analyst David Soucie says it has a good safety record. It's reliable. He even called it the Cadillac of turbo props. It's commonly used for shuttling corporate executives from place to place.
Now, in this case, the plane was recently owned by a charter company out of Chicago but had recently changed hands. And so the NTSB investigators who arrived here yesterday are not entirely certain what the tail number was or what the tail number was supposed to be. That NTSB preliminary report, the preliminary report, at least, is due in the next two weeks. The FAA is also looking into this, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Everyone wants to know what happened, Scott. Thank you very much.
So two of the Texas Democrats running for president are taking on the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro both visiting that overcrowded facility in Clint, Texas, where children were reportedly living in deplorable conditions.
CNN's Natasha Chen is live there with more.
What's the latest, Natasha?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn.
A flurry of politicians really coming to this spot in Clint, Texas. And including the more than dozen members of the House today.
This comes about a week after those initial reports of really inhumane conditions of children being held in custody. Now, CNN did get to tour this facility inside last week but with no cameras, just pen and paper only. And at that time, we did see a sanitized space with resources for kids to wash up and get food.
However, this did spark a lot of outrage in this community and across the country. And you saw that in the people coming to see; these two presidential candidates this weekend, Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke. Both held events right in this spot over the weekend, speaking about their immigration reform plans.
Specifically, O'Rourke talked about wanting to see people being able to apply for asylum in their home countries. I asked him whether that would put them at greater risk, staying in those countries to apply for asylum, rather than doing that as they come to the United States. He said the journey here to the U.S. is just as dangerous. And he used the example of a woman who risked her life in coming here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If she could apply for asylum back home in Guatemala, and if we would handle that asylum claim expeditiously, with respect to her, and then allow her to come to this country if she meets the conditions for asylum, that spares her and her children that very dangerous journey.
But let me be very clear. If she nonetheless decides to make that journey, I don't think that should, in any way, undermine her claim of asylum.
CASTRO: It used to be in this country that, if you came to the port of entry and made an asylum claim, you were allowed to do that. And then this administration started playing games with people, stopping them from being able to do that. And then people get desperate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: More than a dozen members of the House, mostly Democrats, are visiting several sites today, ending up here in Clint; and they include more progressive members of the party, as well, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
John, back to you.
BERMAN: All right. Natasha Chen for us in Clint, Texas. Natasha, thank you for that reporting.
We've got some really sad news to report this morning. Retired NYPD bomb squad detective and 9/11 hero, Luis Alvarez, has died. Alvarez, you might remember, made this heartbreaking plea before Congress in really his last days for more benefits for 9/11 first responders. [06:25:12] He died Saturday from complications with cancer linked to
his time at the rubble of Ground Zero. Just look at the before and after pictures there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS ALVAREZ, RETIRED NYPD BOMB SQUAD DETECTIVE: I've been lucky enough to have had 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 the way mine have time with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Just last week John Feal, our friend, a 9/11 first responder and advocate, said he gave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the badge, Luis Alvarez's badge, as a symbol of importance for extending the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The current proposal to permanently extend the fund would authorize it through 2089. Has a lot of support in the House.
And Leader McConnell indicated the Senate will take up the fund, but when, that is still unclear.
Just on Luis Alvarez, again that was June 11. The day before his scheduled 69th chemo. He never did receive it. After he testified his body just gave way. This is a man who really, in a way, gave his life twice when you think about it.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes. When you look at that photo, you realize he gave his life twice, because of how stunning it is when he was a healthy, robust man. And then on his last legs, I mean, literally in the waning days, hours of his life, he made that trip to Congress.
BERMAN: And after 9/11 he was down in the rubble and on rooftops, looking for all of his friends and colleagues there. Again, we're going to have John Feal on later in the show to talk about the legacy of Luis Alvarez.
CAMEROTA: All right. Back to politics. There's a big story. Mayor Pete Buttigieg posting huge fundraising numbers.
CAMEROTA: Huge. What that means for all the candidates, next.