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Iran Exceeds Uranium Limit; USA Women Face England in Semifinals; Upset for the ages at Wimbledon; Democrats Investigate Claims about Pompeo; Syria's Humanitarian Nightmare. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired July 2, 2019 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:32:50] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They know what they're doing. They know what they're playing with. And I think they're playing with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so that was President Trump with a warning for Iran after Tehran acknowledged it had exceeded its critical limit on nuclear fuel that was set in the 2015 nuclear deal.
So joining us now with more information is David Sanger, national security correspondent for "The New York Times" and CNN political and national security analyst.
David, great to have you and all of your reporting has been so helpful to us in the past two days.
So they've exceeded now the 660 pounds, I guess, of this lower enriched uranium. And does that mean that they are going back to stockpiling it?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it certainly means that they've exceeded the limit in the 2015 agreement that President Obama and John Kerry had negotiated with the Iranians, but it doesn't mean, Alisyn, that they've got enough at this point to produce even a single nuclear weapon. It would probably take about three times as much low enriched uranium if you to even make a single weapon.
You'll remember that under the agreement, they shipped about 97 percent of their fuel out of the country, mostly to Russia, and -- so that means that they have very little fuel right now. But it does put you on this slippery slope where the Iranians are saying, look, if you keep doing the sanctions, if the Europeans don't fulfill their promise to make up the economic losses that Iran is suffering from not being able to ship much of its oil out, then they'll just ignore the agreement and keep moving forward. And the problem that the United States has is that since President Trump abandoned the agreement more than a year ago, the U.S. position right now is Iran's got to comply even if the United States is no longer a member of the agreement.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Which is a tough push and a tough sell there.
And, again, on the issue of whether or not it puts them closer to a nuclear weapon, so far they haven't produced any more of the more highly enriched uranium, which is something that would speed it up.
Let me read a statement from the White House here. This is P201 (ph). It was a mistake under the Iran nuclear deal to allow Iran to enrich uranium at any level. There is little doubt that even before the deal's existence, Iran was violating its terms. Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders alter their course of action. That's a statement from the White House.
[06:35:05] But the fact is, David, that during that brief time that this agreement was being implemented, Iran was abiding by it, correct?
SANGER: That's right. It wasn't that brief. It was -- it was actually more than three years. It went into effect in early 2016. So they stuck with it even after -- for a year after the president abandoned it. That statement, John, was particularly remarkable because the White House said that Iran was in violation of the agreement before the agreement was negotiated.
SANGER: Well, and at that time, Iran was in compliance with its commitments to international inspections and so forth. It was heading toward what everybody feared would be a weapons capability.
But I think the big fear here going forward is two-fold. First, the Iranians have made it pretty clear that by next weekend or early next week, they plan to raise the enrichment level. Right now the fuel that they're producing you can only use in a nuclear reactor to make -- to make electric power basically. But if you raise the enrichment level, you're moving closer and closer to what it takes to making a bomb. And then you're sort of on the road to the agreement being completely fractured. And the fear, of course, is that if they can't come to a negotiated solution, this would be a reason for the United States or Israel to take military action.
CAMEROTA: So, David, explain this President Trump paradox. Very punitive towards Iran. It was in compliance with the nuclear deal, yet very conciliatory and friendly towards North Korea that has been doing all sort of provocative actions.
SANGER: It is one of the bizarre, historic moments of the Trump foreign policy that we'll be sort of sorting out for many years. You could imagine a situation in which Iran is sort of a natural ally of the United States if it ceased what's been pretty terrible behavior in supporting terrorism and in their threatening missile launches. But you could see where the natural affinity between the United States and Iran is, and you could see how the U.S. could encourage a younger generation in Iran that's politically rising to begin to alter the regime or alter the behavior of the regime. With North Korea, they've already got nuclear weapons, and so the lesson that the Iranians may welcome come out of from this interesting weekend at the DMZ is that if you really want to get the president's attention, if you really want to get him to warm up to your leaders, you should obtain those nuclear weapons and have that leverage.
BERMAN: And, of course, I point everyone to David Sanger's terrific reporting, which says that there are people within the administration now suggesting a nuclear freeze, not the removal of all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula, which would be a huge shift from where the administration was a year ago on that point.
David Sanger, great reporting, great to have you with us.
SANGER: Great to be with you.
BERMAN: So the biggest challenge yet for Team USA in the World Cup, we beat England in the revolution --
CAMEROTA: Which you're still fighting.
BERMAN: Much to the chagrin of Alisyn Camerota. Can we do it again? The "Bleacher Report" is next.
[06:42:45] BERMAN: So, later today, revolution part two, the U.S. soccer team meets with its toughest challenge yet, taking on England in the World Cup semifinals. We beat them once 200 and some years ago. We can do it again.
Amanda Davies has a preview, live from the Lyon in France.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Oh, John, it is a big day, and one I have to admit, I'm struggling just a little bit to maintain by professional neutrality. You guys definitely more used to World Cup semifinals than me in England. It is the biggest game for both of these sides in the tournament up to this point.
The USA definitely the favorites as the defending champions up against an England side hoping to get to the final for the first time. So far it's been Megan Rapinoe who starred for the USA in terms of the last two games particularly.
But you wonder if this might just be Alex Morgan's moment. Back here in Lyon, where she's used to winning when she played here in 2016, she helped them to a treble of trophies. And we actually saw her having a one around on the pitch, bare foot, on her own on Sunday, really soaking it all in.
And she's got the added incentive today. It's her 30th birthday. And she's going head to head with Rapinoe for the tournament's top scorer award.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALEX MORGAN, USA FORWARD: Megan Rapinoe has put the team on her back from Spain to France, and it's going to take, you know, players like that, and, you know, a couple individuals each game to -- to step up and really help carry this team. And Pinoe has done that in great fashion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: She certainly has. It's been really, really hot here for the last couple of days. We've been in the midst of a heat wave with temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, although it is a little bit cooler today. There's a bit of a breeze.
And speaking of hot, the U.S. women's jerseys have been flying off the shelves. Nike announced this week the team's home shirts have outsold any other men's or women's this season. You can only think that that will help the team's argument when it comes to the ongoing equal pay dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation. And a win this evening, a place in another World Cup final won't do any harm either, Alisyn.
[06:45:00] CAMEROTA: Such a great point, Amanda. Thank you very much. May the best players win.
BERMAN: The Americans. You don't have to be neutral on this. You can root for America.
CAMEROTA: Well, I'm talking about skill.
BERMAN: You don't have to root for the royal family here.
CAMEROTA: I understand, but Meghan Markle is so attractive.
BERMAN: I -- this is --
CAMEROTA: An upset for the ages in the opening round of Wimbledon. Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report."
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you.
A 15-year-old kid pulling off a major upset at a major tournament, incredible, Cori "Coco" Gauff. Can't even drive yet. She's ranked 313th in the world. But she just beat a tennis icon in Venus Williams.
It was kisses for Coco from dad just before the kid from just outside Atlanta stepped on the court at Wimbledon. Venus is 39 years old. She won four majors before Gauff was even born. The youngest woman to qualify for Wimbledon in the open era takes down her idol in the first round. Gauff says this was the first time she ever cried after winning a match.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COCO GAUFF, YOUNGEST WOMAN TO WIN A MATCH AT WIMBLEDON SINCE 1991: I never thought this would happen. I'm literally living my dream right now. And not many people get to say that. So I'm just happy that Wimbledon gave me the opportunity just to play. And I, obviously, never thought that it would -- I would be this far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Alisyn, Coco had to take a science test before the tournament. And when she made the draw, two of her teachers found out that she actually plays tennis. They saw her name in an article. That's how humble she is. She doesn't even talk about it.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.
BERMAN: That's a great story.
CAMEROTA: It's amazing. That's really downplaying it. She should mention it to some people. Coy, that's amazing.
I had the same experience where I watched the girl who felt that Serena Williams was her idol, beat her, Osaka.
BERMAN: You had the same experience.
CAMEROTA: Well, I didn't have the exact same experience that -- of playing it.
BERMAN: OK. OK. Sorry.
CAMEROTA: Of watching it.
BERMAN: You have never won Wimbledon, correct?
CAMEROTA: I have never won a tennis game.
BERMAN: All right.
We're going to have Cori Gauff's mother live from Wimbledon in our 8:00 hour to find out how this phenom is doing this morning, the morning after that victory, which is much like Alisyn Camerota has revealed.
CAMEROTA: Watching it from the stands.
BERMAN: All right, we have a really interesting story this morning. Picking up Chinese food, getting the dog from the groomer, why members of the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's security detail say they're being treated more like couriers. We have a CNN exclusive, next.
[06:51:17] BERMAN: This morning we have a CNN exclusive. House Democrats are investigating claims by a State Department whistleblower alleging that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo misused his diplomatic security detail. Special agents say they felt like Uber Eats employees with guns.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski, she broke the story, joins us now with more.
What's going on here?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this whistleblower goes to Democrats. They're congressional investigators with a key House committee. And he goes there with these concerns about how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's diplomatic security is being used at times. And what we don't know that these trips were specifically initiated by the secretary of state himself. Could have been by members of his staff. But there were things like picking up Chinese food, causing agents within diplomatic security to feel like they were being used as, quote, Uber Eats with guns, or picking up the family dog from a groomer. Another time when they had to pick up his son, his adult son, from the train station and bring him to the family home.
So long standing protocol dictates that if they're going to do a trip like this, this -- first of all, the secretary is supposed to be in the car at the time. But, if not, there should be a specific threat that would necessitate a trip like this.
So the State Department came up with these very carefully worded statements for us. It took them four days to come up with them. And in one of them, this is quoting a special agent in charge saying, at no point during my service did the secretary or any member of his family ask me or any member of my team to act in any way that would be inconsistent with our professional obligation to protect the secretary.
However, the bigger issue here, according to this whistleblower, is that multiple people within diplomatic security service are wondering why Pompeo's wife has a dedicated security detail. This is very unusual. In the past, if it was done, it would only be for a specific threat, for a short period of time. They don't buy that there's a threat that would merit this, and they don't believe that protocol was followed, that a threat assessment was done within the office, how it's usually done. The State Department says an initial threat assessment was done and that is why she has a permanent security detail. But there's -- there's a lot of pushback coming from people within DSS on this.
CAMEROTA: As we've seen with other cabinet members, when malfeasance was exposed, they then had to make changes or got fired. So it is a very good thing that you and reporters are covering this for us.
KOSINSKI: Well, thank you.
BERMAN: Thanks, Michelle.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
All right, up next, CNN is live in Syria as a new round of violence pushes thousands of people from their homes.
[06:57:18] CAMEROTA: The leaders of 11 humanitarian organizations issuing an urgent warning. They say that northern Syria is, quote, on the brink of a humanitarian nightmare unlike anything we have seen in this century.
CNN's Arwa Damon is live in Syria at a makeshift camp for displaced people near the Turkish border.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
This is just one of the many makeshift refugee camps that has sort of cropped up within these olive groves. Most of the people living here in these conditions -- and it is already swelteringly hot -- have fled their homes in the last week or two. But it's not the first time that they're fleeing. We were just talking to the extended family that is underneath this tent, and they had actually, on numerous occasions, fled, set up these tents and then they would go back thinking that it was safe.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
But the last time that they went back home to this area that's about an hour and a half south of here, more bombs came in and more people in this family were lost, including two twin boys.
Now, their mother isn't here. She's in another tent. She's diabetic. She can barely move. She was just sitting there crying, crying, crying, wishing that anything would happen to her, just to be able to see her children once more.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
And then each time when we're talking to people here, they keep telling you about how many people they've lost in their family. You know, this young girl said that her uncle had been killed. Another young girl came over and talked about how her father had been killed. And these families, that's it. They're not going back. This is everything that they brought with them, bits and pieces from their homes that they were able to salvage, a few of the children's toys that they were able to bring out.
Back to this area that they're from, we were down there, and the fighter jets are constantly overhead. It is absolutely terrifying. It's chilling. It's hair-raising. There are only a few hospitals, medical facilities left because they've all been bombed. Even when they try to go underground, into underground locations, they're being bombed. And there are -- there is an entire population down there that's getting ready for an even more intense bombardment. They know it's coming and they don't understand how it is that these images are constantly broadcast, and yet the world remains silent and refuses to help them. BERMAN: Again, and how long have they been living like this in those
conditions and in fear in what is to come.
Arwa Damon, thank you so much for showing us what's going on, on the ground there. Appreciate it.
[07:00:01] So it's a whole new race on the Democratic side. A brand new CNN poll on 2020 shows a big.