Return to Transcripts main page


Donald Trump Downplaying Talks of a Recession; Migrants Attempt to Swim to an Italian Island; Majority of U.S. Troops are Leaving Afghanistan; Protests in Hong Kong; Iran Claiming Diplomatic Victory; Giant Fire in Chalantika Slum in Dhaka; Iranian Tanker Leaves Gibraltar After Detention; White House Dismisses Impact of Tariffs on U.S. Economy; China's Global Times Editor Hu Xijin Speaks to CNN; Italian Politicians Argue Over Whether Ship Can Dock; President Trump Confirms Interest In Buying Greenland. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 19, 2019 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president is downplaying talk of a recession after his economic advisers appear on Sunday talk shows to call growing fears unfounded.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And take a look at the scene in Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands of protesters come out in peaceful marches after weeks of violence.

CHURCH: And after more than two weeks stranded at sea, some migrants attempt to swim to an Italian island after the vessel is refused entry. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I am George Howell from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Newsroom starts right now.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. So financial forecasters in the United States warn there is an economic storm brewing, but U.S. President Donald Trump insists the weather is fine. Analysts are raising red flags on a possible recession, but Donald Trump and his top advisers are downplaying their warnings.

HOWELL: Deny, deny, deny. That is despite a volatile week in global markets and growing concerns about a trade war with China. Our Kristen Holmes starts the reporting for us.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump certainly had a lot to say as he was leaving New Jersey heading back to the White House. He stopped and talked to reporters for about 30 minutes on a wide variety of topics. But it was clear that the economy was really top of mind for him. He came out there saying that he didn't believe these economists who were saying there might be a recession.

That he believed the U.S. was one of the strongest economies in the world. He actually talked about how other economies were not as strong as the U.S., particularly China. Take a listen to what he had to say.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think we're having a recession. We're doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they're loaded up with money. They're buying. I saw the Walmart numbers. They were through the roof just two days ago. That's better than any poll. It's better than any economist. And most economists actually say, Phil that we're not going to have a recession.

Most of them are saying we're not going to have a recession. But the rest of the world is not doing well like we're doing.

HOLMES: He also talked about those negotiations with China. He said they were going very well. He wouldn't say whether or not he had spoken to President Xi. But it was very interesting to see him out there, because he was using the exact same talking points that we had seen earlier in the day from his top economic advisers. And it's clear the White House is using a strategy of deny, deny, deny. Deny that farmers are facing struggles because of these tariffs.

Despite the fact that we've talked to farmers in the U.S. who say it has been incredibly hard and that government aid is not enough. And to deny that Americans are feeling the burden or will be burdened with this trade war, despite a report that says that 95 percent of those price changes are going to fall on the shoulders of U.S. importers. So it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

A theory, a tactic like this can only work for so long, particularly when people start to feel it on their wallet. Traveling with the president in New Jersey, I am Kristen Holmes, CNN.


CHURCH: For more on this, Ryan Patel joins us now from Los Angeles. He's a global business executive and a senior fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, always great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So President Trump and his advisers insist the U.S. is in great shape and not heading for a recession, despite alarms being triggered by the inverted yield curve last week, which generally signals a recession is on the way. What's going on here? Is this all spin, and if it is, how long can they keep denying, denying, denying.

PATEL: You know, no matter what happened today, on Sunday, it actually worried me, regardless of what all the signs. You have the Trump administration come out full force saying everything is fine. No matter who you are, if someone tells you everything is fine, you automatically think, well, it's not fine. And I think what's happening right now is the economy, the U.S. economy.

Let's take it step by step. Is the U.S. economy in downturn? Sure. Is it really that poorly? No, it's fine. It's going to be 2 percent to 3 percent growth. But what really the recession fear has become is these external factors. Imagine that we didn't have any trade wars. Imagine that we didn't have any, you know, other countries, global economies intertwined going down.

We could just focus on the U.S. economy and then say everything is fine. We're recession-proof. But we don't live in that world anymore. We're globally tied to multiple countries, from the U.K., E.U., Germany, Asia, China, everywhere. And I think this is what's scary about to investors. You still see the wild ride on Wall Street, is that when you have this rhetoric, it provides all this uncertainty.

[02:05:04] And then when people -- and businesses are taking the hit. So let's not pretend that that's not the case. Yes, some businesses are winning, but there are businesses like farmers you mentioned that are getting hit hard. And that does has an effect to consumer spending and how jobs are being placed.

CHURCH: Right. And not only does White House Trade Adviser, Peter Navarro, deny a yield curve inversion even happened last week. He also told CNN that the trade war with China is not having an impact on the U.S. economy, fact or fiction?

PATEL: Well, I mean, what he had said, and I saw that interview, you know, he just took to his talking points saying, well, that 10 percent of $300 billion is nothing. Sure, yeah, it's nothing in the GDP percentage. But what he failed to state in that interview was what about all the other tariffs that have been in place, right? I mean you mentioned the spin job. I mean it upsets me because it's the business community that sees this really clearly, and sees the fact when you talk about the small businesses and the executive leaders.

What's happening is the average public is not seeing the actual detrimental effect to consumer spending when they see the prices coming behind. So I am very surprised that they had this -- I mean picked Sunday to be the -- that everybody came on the interviews talking to tell everyone that they're not in a recession.

CHURCH: Right. We'll see if the market buys the spin, right? So if the White House continues to deny recession is on the way, does that mean nothing is being done to try to avoid it happening? Or could they be working on this quietly behind the scenes as we all hope they are?

PATEL: Well, you know, truthfully, I think they recognize it, because you talk about the U.S. and China last week. They came off the tariffs -- Christmas shopping for December. That's a huge third quarter, fourth quarter plus that the U.S. always needs in the economy. And trust me, Wall Street is not buying -- Wall Street has been up and down but they're not buying rhetoric. They're going to see if things actually, you know, if talks actually happening.

They're going to see the longevity behind it. So maybe they get a few days of the market. But, you know, I think the U.S. administration knows that they need the trade partnerships and for the economy to keep going forward. Otherwise, they wouldn't be doing these kinds of tactics. CHURCH: Right. Of course, some analysts suggest there's more of a

risk involved if the U.S. caves into China right now out of fear and negotiates a trade deal from a weaker, more desperate position, because China knows the U.S. is trying to avoid going into recession, giving China all the leverage here. So what do you say to that, and what options remain for the U.S. when it comes to trying to avoid a recession? What can they do at this juncture?

PATEL: Well, man, at this point you're completely right. I mean the U.S. Can't come back to the table and say let's do a deal. China, obviously, knows that. And the currency trade war -- if I am giving advice to the Trump administration, it's try to create a deal with China that makes them look good. That makes both of them look like partners, not just as adversaries. And that's the key in this deal here. China -- they are both going to win because China and the U.S. both need each other, but how you craft this deal to where you get what IP protection right you want and get what China wants is really key here, Rosemary.

Because no one wants to lose face, and they're -- we've been entrenched in this for such a long time now that I don't see either one backing down.

CHURCH: Yeah. It is a delicate operation, for sure. We'll be watching to see what happens, of course, to see how the markets open and close on Monday. Ryan Patel, thank you as always. Appreciate your analysis.

PATEL: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: That was key, though. Will the markets buy the spin? That's what it comes down to.

CHURCH: Because they're smart folks. I mean they're not going to listen to someone just trying to talk up the market. They know what's there. They know the fundamentals, right?

HOWELL: Absolutely, so we will see. Before returning to the White House on Sunday, Mr. Trump also discussed Afghanistan.

CHURCH: Yeah. The U.S. is holding peace talks with the Taliban. The president says he wants to pull even more U.S. troops out of America's longest war. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Looking at Afghanistan, we're talking to Afghanistan, both the government and also talking to the Taliban, having very good discussions. We'll see what happens. We've really got it down to probably 13,000 people. And we'll be bringing it down a little bit more. And then we'll decide whether or not we'll be staying longer or not.


CHURCH: And Mr. Trump's goal of leaving Afghanistan is facing pushback from members of his own party.

HOWELL: Here was Senator Lindsey Graham speaking on another network on Sunday.


[02:09:53] SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC): I would invite every member of the United States Senate and the House to look at the intel assessment as to what would happen to America if we pulled the plug on Afghanistan if we did not have a counterterrorism force. It is ominous to the homeland. Every national security adviser for President Trump is recommending unanimously that if we do a peace agreement with the Taliban.

We must maintain the ability to have a counterterrorism force with intel capability as long as conditions on the ground warrant. The idea of leaving at a date certain is a disaster for the United States, because ISIS and Al Qaeda will regenerate. And the intel assessment, I just spoke of, also has real-time events for Al Qaeda and ISIS are reaching back to the homeland to try to attack us.


HOWELL: So the majority of U.S. troops leaving. That departure won't end the decades of violence that has been seen in Afghanistan. Just a day before Mr. Trump's comments, Kabul was hit by another deadly suicide bombing.

CHURCH: Yeah. And that kind of attack is nothing new in Afghanistan. But this one seems particularly vicious. The bomber targeted a wedding in Kabul, killing at least 63 people. ISIS is claiming responsibility. But the Afghan president says the Taliban must share in the blame. CNN's Becky Anderson has more from London.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A pile of victims' shoes. Blood coating chairs, all in a shattered banquet hall. In Afghanistan's unending maelstrom of violence, this is how weddings can end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've lost hope. I lost my brother, my friends who came to join me wedding party.

ANDERSON: The day after his wedding party, the groom recounts what happened when a suicide bomber snuck in and detonated a massive bomb that had been strapped to his body, shaking the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in the wedding party when a blast occurred. It was very powerful and the situation was terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were sitting in our home when the strong sound of the blast came up. We came to the site of the blast. And I saw that many women and children were screaming and crying. Many martyrs and injured people were transferred by the ambulances, and it was a really terrible situation. ANDERSON: It's not unfamiliar. In Afghanistan, death is a familiar

business. Murdered by terrorism at night, the next morning, families already burying the dead, as the wounded, badly hurt struggled to cling to life in dilapidated hospitals. While Afghans suffer through the bloodshed, the politics of finger-pointing goes on. The Taliban condemning the attack deny any involvement. But Afghanistan's president insists the group must share in the blame.

Saying "they provide a platform for terrorists," and later, as it often does, ISIS claiming responsibility, but offering no evidence. This latest episode of violence, horrific, but unsurprising as it is, comes as peace talks seem on the cusp of coming together. America could be about to agree to pulling out its forces. The deal is supposedly meant to be finalized in the coming days. Yet, it is unclear what that will mean for ordinary people.

The country is driven by religious and political factions, flooded with weapons, not to mention battle-hardened fighters, all after nearly 20 years of American involvement. So the only thing that seems certain, looking ahead is that these will be far from the last innocent deaths in Afghanistan. Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


CHURCH: And we turn to Hong Kong now where protesters are showing the world they are not giving up their fight for democracy. And to prove it, they are turning out in droves. Look at these pictures. Protest organizers say nearly 2 million people joined the march Sunday. Police say there were only 128,000 people at the rally's starting point in Victoria Park.

HOWELL: Despite conflicting numbers, the pictures, well, they speak for themselves. Take a look. The crowds filled out the park and turned the city center into a slow-moving sea of umbrellas. The march was unauthorized, but it was calm after weeks of clashes between police and protesters. Sunday's march was a move to restore peace. Our Ivan Watson was there to ask what they are hoping for.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Sunday, the skies opened up over Hong Kong, a tropical downpour that did not stop this sea of humanity. A mass protest against the government's handling of the worst political crisis Hong Kong has seen in decades. If the authorities were hoping that this protest movement would fizzle over time, they were terribly wrong. Even pouring rain hasn't dampened the protesters enthusiasm.

[02:15:07] From Hong Kong's Victoria Park, the crowd trudged west, among them, 30-year-old Desiree Wong here with her husband, mother, and sister. It is pouring rain out here.


WATSON: And there are still a lot of demonstrators. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Because we are determined to let the

government hear us. The weather cannot change our mind, cannot change our demands.

WATSON: Do you think that the government will listen to you this time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so. But to be honest, I do not have a lot of hope.

WATSON: Hong Kong has been locked in a cycle of unrest for more than two months. After two separate million-man protest marches last June, the city's appointed government suspended but refused to completely withdraw a proposed law that would allow the extradition of suspects from this former British colony to mainland China. Since then, the violence has only escalated.

The authorities denounced protesters, calling them rioting criminals, while the opposition accuses the police of excess use of force. On Saturday, supporters of the government staged their own smaller demonstration supporting the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We support the police and (Inaudible) Hong Kong (Inaudible).

WATSON: But the government in mainland China has a more ominous message, showing off its security forces on the border with Hong Kong, an obvious warning. But these threats from Beijing haven't quelled Hong Kong's dissent. This 23-year-old volunteer medic says she's attended more than 30 protests in the last two months. Is there anything that the local government could do to satisfy the people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. I think if they actually responded to those five requests, including, you know, withdrawing the extradition bill and setting up an independent inquiry council, I think that will calm a lot of things down.

WATSON: But earlier this month, a senior Hong Kong government official told CNN there would be no compromise when it comes to the protesters demands. The test of wills between the government and the people in the streets appears far from over. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Incredible determination there.

HOWELL: Indeed.

CHURCH: Yeah. All right, we'll take a very short break, still to come, the fallout from a no-deal Brexit.

HOWELL: That's right. A government report suggests it could lead to food and fuel shortages and widespread protests. We'll look at some of the other predictions as CNN Newsroom pushes ahead.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. Iran is claiming diplomatic victory after its detained oil tanker was released by Britain.

CHURCH: Yeah. The ship departed from the British territory of Gibraltar just hours ago. It set sail to an unknown destination under the cover of night. Its release came after Gibraltar rejected a U.S. warrant to keep the vessel at port.

HOWELL: Keeping in mind, the U.K. took control of that ship back in July. It was suspected of carrying 2 million barrels of oil for Syria in violation of E.U. sanctions. In the meantime, a British-flagged tanker that Iran seized last month, well, it's still being held. In less than 75 days time, the U.K. is set to leave the European Union with or without a deal. We'll see.

CHURCH: Yeah, indeed. But government documents leaked to the Sunday Times suggest a no-deal Brexit would see shortages of food and medicine and long waits at the ports of entry. CNN's Simon Cullen reports.


SIMON CULLEN, CNN PRODUCER: For years now, the U.K. has been preparing for Brexit. But now with just under 2 1/2 months to go, and with no withdrawal agreement between the E.U. and U.K., time is becoming a lot more critical. According to a report by the Sunday Times newspaper, which is based on leaked government documents, the U.K. is largely unprepared for the reality of a no-deal Brexit.

Codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, it warns that because of potentially significant delays at the English Channel and shipping ports, medical supplies will be vulnerable to severe extended delays. The availability of fresh food will be reduced and prices will rise. And border delays could affect fuel supplies in London and surrounding areas. More broadly, it warns that the return of a hard border between the U.K. and Ireland could spark protests.

And the potential unrest across the country could significantly stretch police resources. But the minister responsible for the U.K. government's no-deal Brexit planning responded to the report on Twitter, saying we don't normally comment on leaks, but a few facts. Yellowhammer is a worst case scenario. Very significant steps have been taken in the last three weeks to accelerate Brexit planning.

In the past few weeks, the government has announced an extra $2.5 billion to prepare for no-deal Brexit, including $30 million for an express ferry service to ensure that medicines can quickly arrive in the U.K. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is vowing to continue to pursue a no-deal Brexit unless the E.U. agrees to make changes to the withdrawal deal, something it has recused to do.

This week, he expects to meet his French and German counterparts for the first time since becoming prime minister. And while he continues to call on them to reopen negotiations, the increasingly likely outcome is that Britain will leave the E.U. on October 31 without a deal. Simon Cullen, CNN, London.


CHURCH: We turn to Bangladesh now where 10,000 people have been left homeless after a fire destroyed their makeshift houses in a Dhaka slum.

HOWELL: Residents there lost everything that they own in that fire. Our Paula Newton has this report for you.


[02:24:59] PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Residents watched from a distance as giant flames engulfed their homes Friday night, silhouetted by fierce pillars of smoke that swept through the Chalantika slum in Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka. Two thousand huts were destroyed in the fire. The local police inspector told CNN leaving at least 10,000 people homeless in just a matter of hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone started running out. Some people were bathing. They ran out wet. Some left all their belongings and ran to safety. It was chaos. So I lived here for more than 30 years, and I have lost everything. I don't know where I will go and live. I lost everything. And now I am homeless and don't know what to do.

NEWTON: Officials say the majority of the Chalantika residents earn low wages from working in garment factories nearby. And many were celebrating the Muslim festival of Eid when the fire broke out. Now, Bangladesh's state minister for management and relief announced on Sunday that around 80 percent of the slum was either completely or partially demolished by the fire. No one died, but it caused structural damage and injured four people who were then hospitalized, according to the director of fire services.

The fire services director said the initial flames broke out about 7:14 p.m. local time, lasting a little more than four hours before they were put out. Residents dug through what's left of their belongings, hoping to salvage anything they could.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was born here. I lived here with my father and mother. I grew up here. My whole family used to live here in this slum. And now, we'll be separated. Our family had 12 rooms together. It was such a nice place to live. And now we will never find a place like this to stay together.

NEWTON: What caused the fire remains unknown, but CNN was told a committee has been setup to try and investigate and report its findings back in 15 days. The mayor of Dhaka's North City Corporation, (Inaudible), said all necessary assistance for those impacted will continue until they are rehabilitated, according to state media. He added that the country's prime minister was promising permanent dwellings for all those left homeless.

But until then, the residents here are left to sift through the ashes of what they once called home. Paula Newton, CNN.


CHURCH: Paula, thank you. The U.S. president once said that Mexico would pay for a border wall, but we all know that American taxpayers are actually footing that bill.

CHURCH: And now, he and his team say China is paying the tariffs put on Chinese goods. We'll look at who is actually footing the bill, back in just a moment.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And a warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church, want to check the main stories we've been following this hour.

The Iranian tanker that was detained in Gibraltar for six weeks, has left British territory. It set sail after Gibraltar denied a U.S. request to hold the vessel on a warrant. Britain had suspected the ship was carrying oil to Syria, in violation of E.U. sanctions. The tanker's new destination is not known.

HOWELL: A deadly attack in Afghanistan, families there buried their dead, on Sunday, this after a suicide bombing at a wedding, in that nation's capital city of Kabul. It happened Saturday, that lasts killing at least 63 people, wounding almost 200 others, ISIS is claiming responsibility.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump and his top advisors are dismissing recession concerns. That is despite a volatile week on the global bond market and U.S. stocks plunging, before regaining some ground by Friday. The president's advisers also brushed aside the impact of the trade war with China. White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, discussed the impact of the tariffs with our Jake Tapper.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: All that the trade deal -- that the trade wars and the tariffs --


TAPPER: -- have anything to do --

NAVARRO: That's correct. The tariffs -- the tariffs are hurting China. China's bearing the entire burden of the tariffs --

TAPPER: That's not --

NAVARRO: In terms of -- hang on.

TAPPER: -- what a lot of experts say --u NAVARRO: This is what these experts says. What we see here, unequivocally, is that China is bearing the burden by lowering their prizes.

TAPPER: Right.

NAVARRO: They lowered the value of the Yuan by 12 percent.

TAPPER: Right.

NAVARRO: And here's the -- here's the most important part of the pain on them rather than pain on us, we're seeing production, investment, supply chain, sourcing, move --

TAPPER: But Peter --

NAVARRO: -- It's hemorrhaging from China --

TAPPER: Listen to the --

NAVARRO: And the good news is it's going -- it's going into Southeast Asia and it's coming here.

TAPPER: You and the administration keep on saying that the entire burden of these tariffs and these trade wars being --

NAVARRO: And that is absolutely true.

TAPPER: A study from researcher at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston M.A., found that U.S. importers are shouldering about 95 percent of the price change from the tariffs, and China is shouldering only five percent.

NAVARRO: That dog won't hunt. Let's do some math here, right? You put on 200 -- 10 percent tariffs on 200 billion --

TAPPER: Are you saying that their research is wrong?

NAVARRO: Hang on -- hang on, just do some math with me, $200 billion, we put on a 10 percent tariff, then China devalues their currency by 12 percent, OK? Is -- are consumers bearing anything on that? No. We have seen absolutely no evidence in the price data. That consumer -- that's not showing up in the Consumer Price Index. China is slashing their prices --


TAPPER: -- hurting anybody in the United States.

NAVARRO: They're not hurting anybody here.

TAPPER: They do want to give you an opportunity to just address the fact that you keep saying that China's bearing all the burden, and that goes against what we're hearing from researchers at Harvard, University of Chicago, the IMF, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, former Trump adviser Gary Cohn who I know you clashed with quite a bit.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal which is very conservative, economists after economists says that you're not being straight with the American people on who's bearing the burden of these tariffs. Why are all of these people lying and you're telling the truth?

NAVARRO: So, all I would say to you is look at the data. There's absolutely no evidence, no evidence whatsoever.

TAPPER: Did you look at that study --

NAVARRO: That American consumers--

TAPPER: -- I told you about?

NAVARRO: There's no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this.


HOWELL: It is the politics of denial in full-bloom for sure. U.S. presidents claim that China is paying tremendous amounts to the U.S. on tariffs, well that's not completely accurate.

CHURCH: Yes, tariffs are attacks on imports, so they have paid mostly by importers of Chinese goods.

[02:35:07] HOWELL: U.S. companies or U.S. units of foreign firms, of course.

CHURCH: Those U.S. companies may offset the higher cost by cutting jobs, or wages for U.S. workers or by raising prices for customers who are mostly American consumers and manufacturers.

HOWELL: The tariffs have met months of uncertainty for U.S. farmers, it's because China is not buying U.S. agricultural products. Instead, China is turning to Brazil and Argentina for that.

CHURCH: And in turn, U.S. farmers are left with high inventories and lower prices. Vanessa Yurkevich spoke with farmers who are feeling the impact in Minnesota.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER: Farmers we've spoken to here in Minnesota, say they are drained physically, emotionally, and financially. They're also warning that if this trade war continues, Trump is in jeopardy of potentially losing support from his base here in Minnesota.

We also spoke to one farmer named Cindy, who says that this trade war could change the face of American farming, forever.

CINDY VANDERPOL, FARMER: It's very scary. I mean, we -- I sometimes stay up at night, worrying about what the future does hold. You know, what do you tell your children that Lana Farm, do you tell them go find something else to do? One of our sons already has. He's already --sorry.

He always had a passion to farm and because you don't know what the future is going to bring. You almost want to encourage them to go do something else.

YURKEVICH: You hear that emotion from Cindy and the fear in her voice about the uncertainty of the future, something we've heard from so many here in Minnesota, including Gary Wertish, who's farmer on right now, he says that in order for Trump to end this trade war, he's going to need a change in strategy.

GARY WERTISH, FARMER: Words in Twitters and tweets, that isn't -- that doesn't pay the farmers' bills, that doesn't solve the problem we are dealing with and, you know, this one, like I said earlier, this one is self-inflicted by our president and we definitely agreed at the beginning where we -- it doesn't appear that there's a Plan B.

YURKEVICH: And that's the fear, that Plan A simply is not working and there is no Plan B, which makes it really hard for farmers to plan for their future. A lot of them say that that market with China is lost and is never coming back. And as we know, farm bankruptcies have been on the rise in the past couple of years, which is forcing farmers to have to make some really difficult decisions about their future.


CHURCH: And that was Vanessa Yurkevich reporting. As Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement shows the world that it's not backing down, the U.S. president is weighing in. Mr. Trump told reporters Sunday that he thinks China should make an effort to deal with the protests, but with a diplomatic touch, listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd like to see Hong Kong work out it in a very humanitarian fashion. I hope President Xi can do it. He sure has the ability, I can tell you that, from personal knowledge. He certainly has the ability to do it if he wants to. So, I'd like to see that worked out in a humanitarian fashion.


HOWELL: One of China's most outspoken state media outlets has consistently accused the United States of instigating a revolution in Hong Kong.

CHURCH: It's the Global Times which is known for its nationalistic coverage and it's frequently quoted by western media. The editor recently sat down for an interview with CNN senior producer, Steven Jiang.


HU XIJIN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBAL TIMES (through translator): The U.S. doesn't care if chaos reigns over Hong Kong, the U.S. wants to see chaos in Hong Kong and use it to pressure China, but Beijing has a responsibility to ensure peace, stability and development in Hong Kong. If there were no longer other options, then this military option would have to be used. And at that point, reactions from the U.S. or the west would matter very little.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: You've been increasingly reinforcing the notion of a U.S.-instigated color revolution in Hong Kong. What's your proof of that?

XIJIN: Nancy Pelosi and John Bolton have recently made inflammatory remarks. They are telling Hong Kong society that you've become a model for democracy for the world. I was in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 protest. I was a student in the square and we listened to the voice of America, every day. It was immensely encouraging when we heard U.S. leaders say such things.

Now, how could you say that the U.S. bears no responsibility for what's happening in Hong Kong. When it comes to unrest on the streets, they need spiritual support, incitement and encouragement. That's exactly what the U.S. and the west are offering, and in a very deliberate and intense way.

[02:40:10] JIANG: Global Times was among the first media outlets to publish videos of the people on the police force, congregating in Shenzhen by the Hong Kong border, and also, you've been writing things like it's time for reckoning in Hong Kong. So, are you preparing the public for a military crackdown by China in Hong Kong?

XIJIN: We obtained the video and believe that the amassing of the People's Armed Police soldiers was meant to send a strong signal. It was obviously a clear warning to the perpetrators of violence in Hong Kong. That was our analysis. You would've drawn the same conclusion in my position.

Should you call it just a regular exercise? That'd be insincere. No one would believe us and we would lose credibility.

JIANG: Your reporter, Fu Guohao, was captured and restrained by protesters in Hong Kong. Why do you think he became a target?

XIJIN: Many mainland journalists feel threatened in Hong Kong. They feel radical protesters are very hostile towards them. Normally, when they are asked about their identity, they tend to be vague to avoid trouble. It's been a common strategy adopted by mainland journalists, not just Fu Guohao, he didn't try to deceive anyone.

JIANG: Western media pay a lot of attention to what Global Times says, because your tone, your coverage tends to be cheekier, angrier, just a lot more interesting than most traditional Chinese state media outlets. Is that a deliberate choice on your part to get the Chinese government's message across on the global stage.

XIJIN: We say things out loud. You could call us radical or nationalistic, but we reflect true sentiments in Chinese society. You can learn the truths better through us, that's our appeal and that's why western media likes to quote us. Some of the criticisms against me are reflection of my debate with western media and values, and I don't mind them.

I want to promote progress in China and preserve China's national interest. If I became a controversial figure because of this, so what?


HOWELL: Well, still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, three recent arrests are raising disturbing scenarios here in the United States.

CHURCH: The charges these young men face and how they were nabbed. We'll have the details for you on the other side of the break, just stay with us.


[02:46:01] CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, in an unsettling development, U.S. authorities announced they foiled three possible mass shootings.

HOWELL: That's right. Three young men under arrest in three different states. Our Polo Sandoval reports, all three cases were brought to official's attention by tips from the public.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of the most recent mass shootings in the United States, these latest arrests are certainly disturbing for investigators. The first one in Ohio where a man by a name of James Reardon was arrested, last week.

Police say that he made an Instagram posed to the video which shows a man shooting a rifle. What really caught the attention of investigators here is that the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown was tagged into caption.

And that same caption also implies that the gunman seen in the video would be the shooter behind a potential attack at that Jewish Center. Reardon has been charged with telecommunications harassment.

Police served a search warrant at his mother's home. We're told they recovered several rifles, ammunition, a gas mask, and bayonet, even. And investigators are now trying to determine if those were purchased legally.

The FBI has interviewed Reardon in this case, but we are told they have not filed any federal charges.

And look at this body camera video that was released in Florida that shows the arrest of a 25-year-old man, believed to have threatened to commit a mass shooting. Tristan Wix, of Daytona Beach, was detained by police. He's suspected of sending messages that were threatening to open fire on large grounds. One of them, investigators say, read, "I'd want to break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever."

Now, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office telling CNN that was actually the suspect's own ex-girlfriend that initially alerted authorities about this.


BEN JOHNSON, SHERIFF, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, (via telephone): And his girlfriend is a real hero here. She went to a local municipality showed the text messages. And actually (INAUDIBLE) municipalities got involved. He is the profile of a shooter. He is 24 years old, he lost his job. He lost his girlfriend. He is depressed.

He had a rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition. There's a lot of carnage could have been caused when he took (INAUDIBLE). I truly believe in my heart that he was -- he will -- he is an active shooter. That's exactly what he was. He fits the profile exactly.


SANDOVAL: One lass note on this story in Florida, Wix has told detectives that he does not actually own any weapons to carry out any sort of attack. However, that he says, that he was fascinated with mass shootings.

And then finally, in the state of Connecticut. Another man was arrested there on Thursday who also showed interest in carrying out a mass shooting. He's been identified as 22-year-old Brandon Wagshol, who was arrested and charged with various weapons charges in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Police, saying that they received a tip that he was buying several components of a rifle and that, apparently, attempted to build his own weapon. Police also discovered though that he had posted messages on Facebook indicating that he would like to carry out a mass shooting.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

HOWELL: Polo, thank you. Migrants stranded at sea, they make a desperate attempt to reach land.

CHURCH: But some are determined to keep them out. Why their case is dividing the Italian government? We'll have that in just a moment.


[02:53:03] CHURCH: Well, a stranded rescue ship carrying more than 100 migrants has submitted an urgent request to dock on the Italian island of Lampedusa. But, Italy's interior minister has refused to let the ship into port.

HOWELL: And that's led some of the migrants there to take very desperate measures and it's caused a political firestorm, as our Rick Folbaum reports.


RICK FOLBAUM, CNN ANCHOR: A desperate search for a place to land. Migrants seen in this video make a valiant attempt to swim to an Italian island Sunday after being stranded on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean for more than two weeks.

The Spanish humanitarian ship called open arms rescued more than 130 people in Maltese waters, August 1st. The ship now waits off the Italian island of Lampedusa. The quest for a refuge at a standstill because of a stalemate with the Italian government.

An Italian court ruled Wednesday that the Open Arms should be permitted to dock in Italy despite a ban by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. A bitter political standoff between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Salvini as to whether or not the ship can dock on the island.

Salvini did allow 27 unaccompanied minors aboard the ship to disembark in Italy, Saturday. But place the responsibility exclusively on Prime Minister Conte. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, offered Sunday to open Spain's doors to the ship at the Port of Algeciras. But Open Arms founder Oscar Camps said another five days and 950 miles of travel could be unsustainable.

The four migrants who jump ship have been rescued and returned to the boat. But the plea from Open Arms becomes urgent. Camps said they warned of this days ago, despair has limits. Rick Folbaum, CNN.


CHURCH: Well, it's been the talk of Washington and Denmark for several days now. Does President Trump really want to buy Greenland?

[02:55:03] HOWELL: Well, some White House aides have downplayed that idea and Greenland, a Dutch -- a Danish rather territory has denied that it's for sale.

But now, for the first time, Mr. Trump is talking about it publicly. He says, yes, he is interested, though, it is not high on the priority list. Listen.


TRUMP: Well, Greenland, I don't know, it got released somehow. It's just something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark, we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.

So, the concept came up, and I said, "Certainly, I'd be." Strategically, it's interesting, and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner. I can tell you that.


CHURCH: Denmark insists Greenland is still not for sale. In an interview Sunday, the Danish prime minister called the idea, absurd.

HOWELL: Well, there you have it, folks. Thanks for being with us. CNN NEWSROOM, I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church, we'll be back with another hour of news next. You're watching CNN, stick around.