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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Trump and Polish President Hold Press Event. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 06, 2017 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:01] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: There is the room. There are the podiums and the flags, all set up for the president to speak, speak to reporters in just minutes from now as he begins his European trip. The G-20, the North Korean threat, and the Vladimir Putin meeting all on the agenda.

Welcome back to EARLY START this morning. I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Dave Briggs. It is 4:30 Eastern Time. We welcome all of our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world.

Just minutes away, President Trump is expected to speak at a joint press event with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw. It's part of a brief stop in Poland before the president heads to the G20 Summit in Germany. He has meetings scheduled in Hamburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.

ROMANS: North Korea's recent saber rattling, the issue now hanging heavily over the G-20. America's U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley taking Russia and China to task for failing to curb North Korean aggression after Pyongyang's test this week of an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile. More that in a moment.

But our coverage of the president's trip begins with our White House correspondent Sara Murray. She is live in Warsaw.

And, Sara, we've seen some excerpts of the speech the president's going to prepare later today. What are we expecting in terms of this press conference? It will be a press conference we're told from those podiums?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It is going to be a press conference. That's what the White House is confirming. There's two questions to the American press. Two questions to the Polish press. President Trump alongside the Polish president.

Now, later on today after this press conference, President Trump will also be delivering remarks in Warsaw. He's expected to reaffirm the importance of the U.S. and Polish alliance. There will also a little bit of talk about protecting their borders. That's something that he has had in common with the Polish president who is more conservative, who has ideals that are aligned more closely with President Trump than he did with President Obama. So, this is maybe the cheeriest, the warmest reception President Trump is going to get on what is a very high-stakes diplomatic trip. Later today, he heads to Germany. There he's going to be meeting with

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They have, of course, had a frosty relationship and one that does not appear poised to improve, particularly after President Trump announced the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Now, all of this, of course, comes before President Trump's highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's the first time they'll be meeting face to face, the first time they get to size each other up. President Trump's advisers had been preparing --

ROMANS: All right. Sara, we're going to -- there we go. Thank you so much for that preview. This press conference is beginning with the Polish and American president. So, let's listen.

ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): It is my pleasure to welcome to Warsaw, to welcome to Poland the president of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump.

I am delighted with this visit, this visit in Warsaw, which is one of the first international visits paid by Mr. President Trump. This visit stresses our bond and the high quality of the alliance between Poland and the United States. It also demonstrates that we are and that we mutually assess each other as loyal partners, as those who cooperate on many different areas, including the area of security within NATO alliance.

And today, this was one of the topics of our discussion that we had with our meeting with Mr. President followed by a plenary session of our two delegations. We talked about the presence of American soldiers in Poland. We talked about strengthening security of our Europe including the eastern flank of NATO. We discussed generally the security situation in this part of Europe.

Apart from that, we mentioned the situation in Ukraine, we talked about the upcoming Zapad 2017 military exercise which will take place in Belarus. We also talked about contracts connected with the modernization of the Polish armed forces.

Now, we discussed the already entered agreement between Poland and the United States on purchasing Patriot missiles. So, we discussed the implementation of the Wisla program. We also discussed the implementation of another program code name Homad (ph). We discussed all the things that will be implemented in the next few years as regards to the security of Poland.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted after these conversations, I have a feeling that the United States is thinking seriously and Mr. President Trump is thinking seriously about Poland's security. He's also thinking seriously about the United States of America as our loyal allies. The president stressed strongly the strength of the Polish community in the United States, the Polish Americans whom he met even before elections.

[04:35:10] And, Mr. President, once again, thank you very much for that. Thank you for noticing also the contribution of Polish Americans and Polish people in the development, in the building of the prosperity of the United States of America.

But apart from that, ladies and gentlemen, we discussed the economic contracts. Not only military ones, but also those connected with security. We spoke at length about LNG gas deliveries to Poland.

I am pleased that the first shipment of LNG gas arrived to Poland on the 8th of July from the United States. This has turned out hugely successful. There were no problems or barriers to shape that gas to our LNG terminal, through the LNG terminal. This opens up the path to more contracts. I hope that in the near future there will be a long- term contract entered into for LNG gas deliveries from the United States and that through this, we will diversify sources of supply of this hugely important material to Poland.

In a few minutes, beginning with Mr. President, we will attend the Three Seas summit, where we are also going to discuss issues pertaining to energy security and pertaining to the development of the transatlantic bond between Europe and the United States. We will also talk about the development's infrastructure in our part of Europe, in central Europe. But we also are going to discuss the development of the European Union because all the Three Seas initiative countries are E.U. member states.

And whenever we talk about the implementation of the cohesion policy, we are looking at it from the European Union perspective. We want to implement it through the development of infrastructure from north/south to increase the competitiveness of our countries increase the competitiveness of the entire European Union. I hope we'll do that also in cooperation with the United States according to the win- win principle that is going to be beneficial for our countries.

Mr. President, once again, welcome. I'm hugely delighted with your visit in Poland. And on behalf of the Republic of Poland and on behalf of the entire Polish people for coming to Poland. Thank you, Mr. President.

The president of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump. The floor is yours.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you very much, President Duda, for your really gracious hospitality. We've had a wonderful stay. It's been quick, but the people of Poland have been so fantastic.

And as you know, Polish Americans came out in droves. They voted in the last election, and I was very happy with that result. So, I just want to thank you and thank them.

It's a true honor to be in Poland. It's a majestic nation. It really is. It's a spectacular place. Some of the most beautiful sites we just saw coming over. Really very inspirational.

You're rich in history and have absolutely an unbreakable spirit. That's something we've learned over the course of many years.

The president and I concluded a productive meeting in which we reaffirmed our enduring bonds of friendship and have united our citizens for a long time. But we've never been closer to Poland, I think, than we are right now.

Poland is not only a great friend but a truly important ally and a partner with respect to our military. We've had great cooperations with Poland. We fought shoulder to shoulder, many different encounters, particularly grateful for the active role Poland has taken in helping defeat ISIS where we've made tremendous strides, tremendous gains which you'll be hearing about over the next period of time, and other terrorist organizations.

Poland's been right there with us by training Iraqi special forces and flying reconnaissance missions. And just about any time we requested they were there. Brave Polish soldiers are fought and work side by side with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. On behalf of all American, I want to thank you and salute you. Very, very special people.

I also want to thank the Polish people for their kindness to more than 5,000 American troops that are stationed in your country. Our strong alliance with Poland and NATO remains critical to deterring conflict and ensuring that war between great powers never again ravages Europe, and that the world will be a safer and better place.

[04:40:04] America is committed to maintaining peace and security in Central and Eastern Europe. We're working with Poland in response to Russia's actions and destabilizing behavior. We're grateful for the example Poland has set for every member of the NATO alliance by being one of the few nations that actually meets its financial obligations.

As you know, I've been pretty hard on some of the Mexican of NATO for not, and the money is pouring in. I can tell you. I was criticized, Mr. President, but I can also say that the people of NATO aren't criticizing me. They're very happy. The money has been pouring in in the last year, far greater than it ever would have been.

It is far past time for all countries and all countries in the NATO alliance to get going and get up to their obligations. But I can say that Poland has been right there, and you will even exceed that number. I appreciate that very much, and so do a lot of other countries.

During our meeting, I congratulated President Duda on Poland's recent election to the United Nations Security Council. We also discussed our mutual commitment to safeguarding the values at the heart of our alliance -- freedom, sovereignty, and the rule of law. Poland joins the Security Council at a very critical time, it's a critical time frankly for the world because you see what's going on.

Not only must we secure our nations from the threat of terrorism, but we must also confront the threat from North Korea. That's what it is. It's a threat. And we will confront it very strongly.

President Duda and I call on all nations to confront this global threat and publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences for their very, very bad behavior. We also discussed the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and the need to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups where they control territory and populations. We have fought very hard and very powerfully against ISIS since I've been president. And we've made tremendous gains, far greater than has ever been made with respect to that group.

While the cities of Raqqa and Mosul will soon be liberated from these murders, criminals, and butchers, we recognize that Syria requires a political solution that does not advance Iran's destructive agenda and does not allow terrorist organizations to return. We also reaffirmed that any nation that values human life can never tolerate the use of chemical weapons. We won't tolerate it either.

Finally, we agree to work to expand commerce between our countries. We strongly support the three C's initiative, and America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier or, as we sometimes call it, a monopoly.

I'm pleased to arrive that the first shipment of American liquefied natural gas arrived in Poland next month, and there will be many more coming. Maybe we can get your price up a little bit, but that's OK. He's tough negotiator.

We look forward to making the economic ties between the United States and Poland stronger trading relationships, and that is a balanced and reciprocal one. We want reciprocal trade relationships. We don't have too many of them.

I said before that the United States has made some of the worst trade deals ever in history. That's going to change. That's going to change.

The friendship between our peoples dates all the way back to the American Revolution -- a long time. I look forward to speaking more about these enduring bonds of faith and freedom when I address the entire Polish nation in just a little while.

I heard we have a big crowd, Mr. President. It's going to be a big -- I think they're showing up for you, not for me, right? We're going to have a big crowd. That's what the word is.

So, President Duda, thank you again for welcoming Melania and myself to your beloved homeland. Together, we can make the partnership between our two nations stronger than ever before. Special people, special place and it's an honor to be here. Thank you.

DUDA: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Thank you, Mr. President. We have time to take four questions from each side. We'll start with a guest from the United States.

Are there any questions from the U.S. side?

TRUMP: David? David?

[04:45:06] REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

In light of North Korea's latest ICBM testing, do you think they're beyond redemption, or is there a chance they might make a U-turn? And are you willing and ready to launch military action against them?

If I may, if I may, I have to ask you about this, since you started the whole wrestling video thing, what are your thoughts about what has happened since then? CNN went after you and has threatened to expose the identity of a person they said was responsibility for it. I think I'd like your thoughts.

TRUMP: Yes, I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them. As you know, now they have some pretty serious problems.

They have been fake news for a long time. They've been covering me in a very, very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President? CNN and others. I mean, I know this -- NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with "The Apprentice," but they forgot that.

But I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously. I think they've hurt themselves badly. Very, very badly.

And what we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free but honest press. We want to see fair press. I think it's a very important thing.

We don't want fake news. By the way, not everybody is fake news. But we don't want fake news. Bad thing. Very bad for our country.

As far as North Korea's concerned -- I don't know, we'll see what happens. I don't like to talk about what I have planned. But I have pretty severe things that we're thinking about. That doesn't mean that we're going to do them. I don't draw red lines.

President Obama drew a red line, and I was the one that made it look a little better than it was. That could have been done a lot sooner, and you wouldn't have had the situation that you have right now in Syria. That was a big mistake.

But I think we'll just take a look at what happens over the coming weeks and months with respect to North Korea. It's a shame that they're behaving this way. But they are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner. And something will have to be done about it.

Thank you. Thank you, David.

REPORTER: And, Mr. President, since we're speaking about press freedoms, your party has significantly clamped down on press freedoms in the last year and appears to be weakening the power of the national courts, as well. Do you think that people who live in other modern democracies, including some Americans are wrong to criticize you for leavening which reporters can cover the parliament?

DUDA (through translator): So to respond to your question, sir -- media order is a very significant thing, indeed. And when we look at the situation in the United States, when we look at the situation in Poland, in every case, you can see a lot of pathologists.

I can give you an example of one Polish magazine which compared to TV channels two of different broadcasters. And an example, one of those broadcasters did not report about my visit to Croatia, the visit of the president of Poland to Croatia, an important one, which was preparing for the British summit, because this broadcaster does not like me as the president of Poland. I'm permanently criticized by that broadcaster.

But I believe this is the reality and right of the media. In Poland, we've got absolute liberty and freedom of the media. Problems that were there during previous governments. Also when the former president was in office, when one of the magazines was visited by special services in order to take away recordings which are compromising for all the politicians of the previous ruling party.

So, that is when the freedom was under threat. Now, we have absolute freedom of the media. We respect the freedom of the media. We do take care of the interest of the Republic of Poland and of the Polish people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Thank you, Mr. President.

Now, the question from the Polish side. The first question, Polish television. One question, please.

REPORTER (through translator): (INAUDIBLE). I represent the Polish television.

One question concerning energy, because of both of you mentioned the energy sectors and deliveries of LNG. So, my first question goes to President Trump, that in what time perspective do you think a permanent contract could be entered into to ensure LNG gas deliveries to Poland.

And the question to President Duda -- could Poland become a certain hub for the transportation of American gas, a hub to Three Seas countries?

TRUMP: Very fair question. I think we can enter a contract for LNG within the next 15 minutes. Do you have anybody available to negotiate?

[04:50:02] It will take about 15 minutes.

You know, we're becoming a great exporter of energy. Very soon, we'll be a great exporter of energy. We've taken a lot of unnecessary regulations out of our process. We are doing things that we haven't been able to do for a long time.

So, we're a -- we're blessed with great land. We didn't even know it 15 years ago in terms of what was underneath our feet. And certainly we have found out through technology that we are truly blessed to have this incredible wealth under our feet.

We are going to be an exporter of energy. It's already happening. Any time you're ready, we can do additional contracts. We've already done the one, but we can do many additional contracts. Thank you.

DUDA (through translator): Ladies and gentlemen, I will give the following answer -- it is not the president of United States and the president of Poland who are going to sign the long-term contract for LNG gas deliveries to Poland. But the contract will be signed by companies, by Polish company and an American company. And this is how it will be proceeded.

What is most however -- the most important thing is there is a green light given by the U.S. government, by the U.S. administration, that there is an incentive given by Americans for us to buy gas from the United States.

And on our side, on the Polish side, on the side of the Polish authority, there is also a green light. There is interest in this particular thing. So, I count that after relevant negotiations -- I know those negotiations are already ongoing. I believe that after the conclusion of these negotiations, there will be a long-term contract for U.S. LNG deliveries to our LNG terminals (INAUDIBLE).

And answering the second part of your question, can we become a hub through which gas, LNG gas, American gas, will flow to Central Europe -- I am convinced that the answer is yes. I'm convinced that the answer is yes. And today, we're going to talk about this. Also under the framework of the Three Seas initiative, this is connected with the establishment of an energy corridor, of a gas corridor along with the north/south exit.

But also in the future, this could ensure perhaps alternative supplies, vis-a-vis Russian supplies, alternative supplies to Ukraine. This is of primary importance, and this is what we're discussing with Mr. President Trump. I'm convinced that the future is very rosy on this one. The contracts will be entered into, and, of course, we on our part are going to develop our capacity as regards of the reception of the LNG gas from the U.S. and from other directions.

Media is free in Poland. So, now, a question from a private broadcaster, TVN.

REPORTER (through translator): Thank you very much. The question to both presidents. You've mentioned military cooperation. I'd like to find out from both of you presidents whether during your exchange, were there concrete guarantees exchanged concerning the presence of American troops in Poland as long as there is threat from the Russian side? And how do you see the future of presence of American troops in Poland?

TRUMP: Well, we didn't discuss guarantees, and we weren't really in that position to discuss guarantees. But, certainly, we've been here for a long time. We have quite a few troops here, up to 5,000. And we will continue to do that. And we will continue to work with Poland. We did not discuss guarantees, no.

DUDA (through translator): Sir, with Mr. President, the topic that we discussed first and foremost was the security situation that we have here. We discussed in the context of what is happening in our part of Europe, in the context of the 17 maneuvers which we have already mentioned, and from that point of view there's no doubt that the presence of American troops and NATO troops in Poland today is absolutely justified from this perspective.

We asked about the situation we're seeing in Ukraine all the time. It is absolutely clear. We are going to discuss it further with Mr. President. We made an initial agreement to make next year into the White House. We agreed that I will pay a visit to the United States next year. The further details will be worked out later on.

That year is important for us Poles and for the Polish Americans, because next year, we're going to celebrate the centennial of Poland's regaining of independence. I would like, me myself and Mr. President to stress together the importance of that year, because this shows the contribution of the Polish people to the welfare of the United States of the last 100 years. T

The last question, American media. Very briefly, please, because the president has got to attend a meeting. Mr. Trump is going to select the next journalist to question (ph).

[04:55:03] REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. To you first, a two- part question, if I may. Will you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?

TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered.

REPORTER: You seem --

TRUMP: I've said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia. I think it could well have been other countries. And I won't be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere. I think it's been happening for a long time. It's been happening for many, many years.

Now, the thing I have to mention is that Barack Obama when he was president found out about this in terms of if it were Russia. Found out about it in August. Now, the election was in November. That's a lot of time. He did nothing about it.

Why did he do nothing about it? He was told it was Russia by the CIA, as I understand it. It was well reported. And he did nothing about it.

They say he choked. Well, I don't think he choked. I think what happens is he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and he said, let's not do anything about it. Had he thought the other way, he would have done something about it.

So, he was told in early August by presumably the CIA that Russia was trying to get involved or meddling pretty strongly with the election. He did nothing about it. The reason is, he thought Hillary was going to win. If he thought I was going to win, he have been done plenty about it.

So, that's the real question is, why did he do nothing from August all the way to November 8th? Why did he do nothing? His people said he choked. I don't think he choked.

REPORTER: So, the follow-up's for you on that, Mr. President. You again state you think it was Russia. Your intelligence agencies have been far more definitive. They say it was Russia. Why won't you agree and say it was?

TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you, let me just start by saying I heard it was 17 agencies. I said, boy, that's a lot. Do we even have that many intelligence agencies, right? Let's check it.

And we did some very heavy research. It turned out to be three or four. It wasn't 17. And many of your compatriots had to change their reporting and they had to apologize and they had to correct.

Now, with that being said, mistakes have been made. I agree, I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.

I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction. How everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Guess what -- that led to one big mess. They were wrong and it led to a mess.

So, it was Russia, and I think it was others also. That's been going on for a long period of time. My big question is, why did Obama do nothing about it from August all the way to November? If he did nothing, and it wasn't because he choked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two questions. Two questions. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. We must go.

REPORTER: Very briefly follow-up, Mr. President --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was two questions. Thank you very much.

REPORTER: Can I ask of President Duda?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. .

TRUMP: Thank you, everybody, very much.

ROMANS: All right. There you have a couple of questions to each president. President Trump was asked about the North Korean nuclear situation and whether North Korea is beyond redemption, and then sort of tossed a question about CNN and --

BRIGGS: And the wrestling meme that was posted on Twitter.

ROMANS: And Trump launched into a tirade, new attack against the media in general, CNN in particular. Even brought in NBC and said it is equally bad. He made them a fortune for "The Apprentice", but he -- I forgot -- I think they forgot about that, he said.

So, a new attack on the media. An attack, you heard, against the previous president, Barack Obama, showing much more anger and energy in his attack on the president than against Russia for meddling in the American election.

BRIGGS: Well, you might say wildly erratic, because It felt like the lead of this was going to be when the president said we're working with Poland in response to Russia's actions and destabilizing behavior. So, it looked like the president was finally going to confront Russia on Russian meddling in our elections as well as many other situation, and he pivots.

And to your point, perhaps the most shocking takeaway is more pointed remarks toward a cable news network, this one, more pointed remarks toward Barack Obama, a president of the United States, than he had for the North Korean regime, Kim Jong-un regime, who is testing nuclear weapons, who is perfecting an ICBM, who is a threat to the entire world.