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Trump Announces Beef Trade Deal with European Union; Dow Drops as Investors Fear Trump Gambling with Economy; Saoirse Kennedy Hill Shared Struggles in Deeply Personal Op-Ed; Majority of House Dems Support Starting Impeachment Inquiry; Trump: "No Problem" with North Korea's Missile Tests. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 2, 2019 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Moments ago President Trump announced a new trade deal aimed at helping U.S. farmers. That move will allow farmers to export more U.S. beef to the European Union. And all of this is coming as Trump has rattled Wall Street investors with his fresh threat to slap more tariffs on China. Minutes before the closing bell the Dow down 127 points.

Also out today a new jobs report. The U.S. economy adding 164,000 jobs for July. That is a healthy number, in line with expectations. The unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7 percent.

Linette Lopez is back with us today. She's a senior finance correspondent with the Business Insider. So great to see you.


BALDWIN: All right, so we thought President Trump had had this truce with President Xi of China and he's just totally up ended this.

LOPEZ: what arrested are you Yes, OK, so --

BALDWIN: This is sucker punching investors, CEOs.

LOPEZ: Trump is betting that the Chinese are going to eventually cow tow to his demands. I think this is an unwise bet. Donald Trump is taking this economy to the casino and unfortunately, he has bankrupted several. He is not the guy we want gambling on this. The Chinese media has ginned up a lot of nationalist sentiment since the spring. It's boxed Xi Jinping into a corner where he can't relent to a lot of the demands that Donald Trump is making without looking weak. And that is not a position Donald Trump wants Xi Jinping in.

[15:35:00] And in fact, right after this trade meeting between the U.S. and China, both countries put out read-outs that were fairly positive. And it wasn't until the next day that Trump blew all that positivity up and said, no, we're going to put on tariffs. That positivity was giving both governments time to, you know, maybe backtrack, do some soul searching, send some e-mails, come to some negotiation. Trump blew that space up and destroyed it. What's really unfortunate about it is that, you know, a year ago we

had more time and we're living in very different worlds. Chinese nationalism was not stirred up the way that it is about this trade war.

BALDWIN: So we're in a very different place right now.

LOPEZ: We're in a very different place.

BALDWIN: I wanted to also ask you just about the timing of all of this. Because this was floated to me that the fed chair Jerome Powell, he announced this rate cut. He announced the rate cut -- this is the day before this went down -- of 25 basis points on Wednesday, Trump wanted to see a 50-basis point cut. Powell had suggested that trade tensions influenced the decision on rate. So how much of this is Trump trying to force the fed chair's hand?

LOPEZ: I don't know if Trump is smart enough or guileful enough to do that. I have no idea. What I do know is that this could very well force rates down. This could very well force the Chinese to push rates down. It could force them to allow their currency to go down and then we're in a real race to the bottom here in the global economy. Because once people start pushing their currencies down to compete with each other, that's when things really start to get ugly.

BALDWIN: He's obviously touting this positive economy. We're running into an election year. Why take this gamble?

LOPEZ: Morgan Stanley estimates that if we put on these tariffs and then some, we could be in a recession in three quarters. This is very powerful stuff. So I don't know why the President is gambling like this. It's a bad gamble like I said.

And I will say one more thing about the jobs number. You know, we have a very healthy unemployment number here in the United States, but it doesn't capture the full picture. Costs have gone up exponentially in this country. Health care is up by 50 percent since 1999. Paying for a college education is up by 209 percent or something like that. Wages have not gone up. And so, even though everyone in America has a job, the economy might not feel good because that job, the wages that you're getting, are not taking you as far as they used to take you 20 years ago, 30 years ago.

BALDWIN: So frustrating.


BALDWIN: So frustrating. Linette Lopez, thank you so much. Good to see you.

LOPEZ: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, the world is a little less beautiful today. That is what Ethel Kennedy said as news broke that her granddaughter had died at the family compound in Massachusetts. You'll hear Saoirse Kennedy Hill's own words about her struggle with depression. [15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The death of any child is a tragedy but the death of a Kennedy child becomes a very public one. 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill died at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Authorities have not announced a cause of death but this is what we do know. Saoirse struggled with depression. In fact, in February 2016 she wrote all about it in her high school newspaper. And I just want to take a moment with everyone listening to just read part of this for you, quoting her.

My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life. Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. Those bouts would come and go but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield -- this is her school.

I began isolating myself in a room pulling away from my relationships and giving up on schoolwork. During the last few weeks of my spring term, my sadness surrounded me constantly. But that summer after my sophomore year, my friend depression rarely came around anymore and I was thankful for her absence.

Two weeks before my junior year, however, my friend came back and planned to stay. My sense of wellbeing was totally compromised and I totally lost it after someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me. I did the worst thing a victim can do and I pretended it hadn't happened. This all became too much and I attempted to take my own life.

I returned to school for the fall of my junior year but I realized that I could not handle the stresses Deerfield presented. I went to treatment for my depression and returned to the valley for my senior year.

Then she went on to say this.

Many people are suffering but because many people feel uncomfortable talking about it, nobody is aware of the sufferers. This leaves people feeling even more alone. We are all either struggling or know someone who is battling an illness. Let's come together to make or community more inclusive and comfortable.


BALDWIN: Breaking news on Capitol Hill where in the House a majority of Democrats now say they support starting an impeachment inquiry. You could see all of them on your screen. This is the latest CNN tally and now we are learning that Speaker Pelosi is not yet ready to change her position, standing firm in her opposition to impeachment. Moments ago Speaker Pelosi released a statement. I'll read part of it. She said this.

[15:50:00] The Mueller report and his testimony last week confirmed that the President's campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election and laid out ten instances of the President's obstruction of justice. The President's more recent attempts to prevent us from finding the facts is further evidence of obstruction of justice. In America no one is above the law. The President will be held accountable.

Now to this. North Korea has launched yet another missile. Firing what the U.S. believes is the third short range missile launch just in the past eight days. Today President Trump downplaying all of this, the sudden escalation in the missile tests.

The President firing off a series of tweets dismissing these launches. Writing, these missile tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement. Adding that Chairman Kim, he says, will do, quote, the right thing, because he is too smart not to. And he does not want to disappoint his friend President Trump, exclamation mark. The tweets coming as talks with North Korea stalled and the President shrugs off the new round of weapons testing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Kim testing you?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's very much under control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you say that.

TRUMP: Very much under control. Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We'll see what happens. But these are short-range missile. They're very standard.


BALDWIN: Will Ripley has spent how many times --


BALDWIN: 19 times in North Korea.

RIPLEY: Just short of --

BALDWIN: You'll get there. I have no doubt. It is so good to see you in person.

RIPLEY: Good to see you.

BALDWIN: Thanks for coming on. The President totally downplaying this.

RIPLEY: And it's a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. These are missiles that could potentially carry nuclear warheads, analysts say. Threatening tens of millions of people in South Korea and Japan. And by the way, tens of thousands of U.S. troops as well.

BALDWIN: Guys, throw the tweets back up. Because there was one line to your t point about it violating the U.N. Security Council. Oh, there was a line --

RIPLEY: Yes, he says it doesn't violate signed --

BALDWIN: He says, there may be a United Nations violation but Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision of the country -- dot, dot, dot. It's as though he's totally brushing that off but he saying, but whatever we agreed to -- which none of us really know what was discussed in Singapore -- but he didn't violate what he had.

He's emboldening Kim Jong-un. He said, oh, never mind about the U.N. As long as you didn't break your promise to me, launch whatever you want. No matter if it makes South Korea very nervous. Every time North Korea does this, they rattle nerves in the region. And this is a time of heightened tension already. In between South Korea and Japan but now North Korea testing these weapons that could reach as far as Japan or could go right over South Korea.

And this is all strategic on the part of Kim Jong-un. He's pushing the envelope. He knows that President Trump isn't going to get upset about a shorter-range missile launch and he's trying to gain some leverage ahead of these potential working-level talks with the U.S.

BALDWIN: Pompeo was in region -- right.

RIPLEY: Yes, he was in Bangkok.

BALDWIN: He was in Bangkok while this was happening.

RIPLEY: He didn't even mention the missile launches.

BALDWIN: That's interesting. So what is North Korea -- you said emboldening Kim. When Kim reads these tweets -- and my friend President Trump, referred to in the tweets. What is he thinking?

RIPLEY: Well certainly, it's President Trump hinting to Kim Jong-un, OK, you could do this, but do not launch an ICBM or conduct a nuclear test. I mean, it's a veiled warning in a sense. You don't want to upset your friend, President Trump.

But at the same time, Kim is not getting what he wants out of this. He's not getting sanction relief and he wants to send a message, kind of a preview of what would happen if the sessions don't go his way. He was really humiliated when President Trump walked out of the Hanoi Summit and lost a lot of face internally. Members of his team were severely punished and he gained some of that face back when he had that photo op at the demilitarized zone with President Trump last month.

But now the question moving forward is, is he going to get results. And I think these launches are an attempt to remind everybody that he still has an arsenal. And it also messaging not just for the outside world but it's messaging for hardliners inside of North Korea. Because a missile launch is a missile launch. It looks the same whether it's an ICBM or short range. And Kim still needs to protect that power internally to people who think he should go harder on the U.S. BALDWIN: Such an important point. You're around for a couple of weeks. We're going to do this dance again. Will Ripley, thank you very much.

Back to our breaking news. President Trump's pick to be the director of national intelligence, the Texas Congressman, John Ratcliffe, has now officially withdrawn himself from consideration. Details on what is behind this sudden change.


BALDWIN: This year protests in Haiti against the rising cost of fuel and poor economic conditions and alleged government corruption have ravaged what is already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. And neighborhoods around the capital of Port-au-Prince, many children are struggling to survive and are often unable to attend school. But this week's CNN hero has made it his life's mission to give the children of Haiti a safe haven.


DANIEL TILLIAS, FOUNDER, THE COMMUNITY CENTER FOR PEACEFUL ALTERNATIVES: Inside of this garden, it's joy and happiness and peace. We collect tires that burn in streets Port-au-Prince and we use them as planters. People eat from what they actually grow. We opened a community library to all of the schools. We help kids manage their anger.

We can't let the children of Haiti lose the only thing that they have left which is their hope.


BALDWIN: So inspirational. Please go to our website to check out his full story of how Daniel helps 200 children each and every year. Go to

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you very much for being with me today here in New York. Let's go to Washington. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.