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Bombing Victims Escalates; Flynn Cooperates; Keeping Distances; Sour Relationship; Hitting Bullet with a Bullet; Pentagon Delivers Weapons; Paris Accord Awaits Trump. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 31, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: Hello, I'm Max Foster in London, following breaking news for you out of the Afghan capital where a powerful car bomb exploded near the German embassy. At least 40 people were killed, and 300 wounded in the suicide. A huge plume of smoke could be seen rising from the diplomatic district.

Jessica Donati is a Wall Street Journal reporter base in Kabul for us. She is not far from the blast site and joins us now. So this is the area where most of the embassies are?

JESSICA DONATI, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, that's right. This is where the majority of foreign embassies and the U.S. military headquarters are based along with the U.S. Embassy as well.

FOSTER: So in terms of casualties, we don't know what sort of people were affected here?

DONATI: Well, I think it's safe to say that the majority of the casualties were Afghan civilians who were going to work. When the bomb exploded, it was rush hour. So the entrances to this area are flooded with people who are going to work at the ministries and at the military base.

And that's why there's such a high death toll. Inside the area, there's a lot of damage, like broken glass and shattered doors and that sort of thing. But we don't know yet how it's affected the people inside.

FOSTER: And just half an hour, the death toll doubled from 20 to 40 in terms of official numbers. So, likely to go quite higher. What's your experience of the situations there in Kabul?

DONATI: Yes, I mean, in the past, the Taliban have started using truck bombs here, and that has had a really devastating effect. We've had, you know, 70, 80 killed maybe in the past, and hundreds wounded. And this scale of attack, the hospitals are flooded, they're short of blood.

The health care is not great here. So we can certainly expect casualties to rise during the course of the day, unfortunately. FOSTER: And that diplomatic district presumably is meant to be the

most secure district of the city as well?

DONATI: Yes, that's right. Kabul is secured by a series of rings where they set up checkpoints at major roads to stop insurgents from bringing in explosives and that sort of thing. And this part of the city is supposed to be the most secure, because it's where all the foreign embassies are located and there's big checkpoints to the entrances to this area that's known as the green zone.

FOSTER: OK. Jessica, back with as we get more information, as I say, those casualty figures rising very quickly indeed.

The White House meanwhile, calling it another round of false and unverified claims, meaning, meant to smear the president. Multiple sources telling CNN that Russian official discussed potentially or having potentially derogatory information about Donald Trump and some of his top aides during the 2016 campaign.

The sources say the information was financial in nature and the Russians thought they could use it to influence a Trump White House.

Meanwhile, former national security director Michael Flynn is apparently ready to start providing documents to Senate investigators. A person close to Flynn says he will hand over the first batch by June 6th.

The White House communications team steered clear that cameras during President Trump's first trip overseas. But back in Washington, back in the spotlight, and CNN's Jim Acosta was there to see it.

JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It was back to the briefing room for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and as is often the case in a Spicer briefing, the back and forth over the Russia investigation was especially intense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't know at the time. When did he find out?



ACOSTA: Consider Spicer's response when asked if the president knew about his son-in-law Jared Kushner's apparent attempt to establish a back-channel with the Kremlin using Russian facilities. Spicer didn't deny it.


SPICER: I'm not getting into what the president did or did not discuss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he approve of the action? SPICER: You're asking if he approves of an action that's not a

confirmed action. That being said, I think Secretary Kelly and General McMaster have both discussed that in general terms, back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy.


ACOSTA: The president made clear his frustrations with the Russia investigation in a tweet. "Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. and how a lame excuse for why the dems lost the election has taken over the fake news."


MICHAEL COHEN, ATTORNEY: Say Mr. Trump's pit-bul.


ACOSTA: Another familiar face from Trump world has surfaced in the Russia probe, the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who has been asked to provide testimony and information to congressional investigators. Cohen told CNN he won't be cooperating, adding, quote, "they have yet to produce one single piece of evidence that would corroborate the Russian narrative."

[03:04:59] The White House is now in the process of ramping up its rapid response efforts in the Russia investigation. And may bring on former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski to help with damage control.

That's happening as White House Communications Director Michael Dubke is leaving the West Wing. Despite all that, Spicer insisted the president is happy with his team and then took a jab at the news media.


SPICER: I think he's very pleased with the work of his staff. I think that he is frustrated like I am and like so many others to see stories come out that are patently false, to see narratives that are wrong, to see quote, unquote, "fake news."

When you see stories get perpetrated that are absolutely false, that are not based in fact, that is troubling. And he's rightly concerned.

ACOSTA: Can you give an example of fake news, Sean?

SPICER: Yes. Absolutely. I'll give an example.


ACOSTA: Spicer's only example an erroneous tweet that the president wasn't listening to the translation at the G7 when he really was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SPICER: That's the kind of thing that the BBC and ultimately a reporter who is now joining the New York Times push out and perpetuate with no apology -- what you're shaking your head. I mean, it's true.


ACOSTA: But Spicer refused to say whether reports on an impending White House shake-up are true. The White House is not backing down from criticism the president leveled at European leaders during his overseas trip.

In fact, the president tweeted, "We have a massive trade deficit with Germany. Plus, they pay far less than they should on NATO and military. Very bad for U.S."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounded gloomy after the president's trip.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over. I've experienced this in the last few days and that's why we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands.


ACOSTA: Spicer didn't see it that way.


SPICER: I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel, he would describe as fairly unbelievable. They get along very well. He has a lot of respect for her. They continue to grow the bond that they had during their talks in the G7.


ACOSTA: There were other questions to be asked, but Spicer abruptly ended the briefing.


SPICER: Thank you, guys very much. I appreciate it.


ACOSTA: On any normal day, the White House confirmation that President Trump is reviewing the Obama administration policy toward Cuba would be major news. But the White House refusal to provide any information on the Russia investigation just may be refueling the story the president wants to see go away.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

FOSTER: And since Jim filed his report, Trump attorney Michael Cohen has issued a statement. He said, quote, "I have not been subpoenaed to testify. If I am subpoenaed to testify, I will comply, and gladly, as I have nothing to hide. There is show of evidence that implicates me."

Meanwhile, congressional investigators are also asking for information from former Trump associate Boris Epshteyn. He appeared frequently on CNN as a Trump surrogate.

Back now to the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. It's not just his contacts with Russia's U.S. ambassador that are raising questions. He also met with the head of a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

RANDI KAYE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, CNN: This is the man Jared Kushner met with in December 2016. Just a month after Kushner's father-in-law Donald Trump was elected president. His name is Sergey Gorkov. He's a Russian banker, the chairman of VEB Bank.

He also has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appointed him to head the bank. What exactly was discussed between Kushner and the banker last year remains a mystery. Though keep in mind as an ally of Putin's, Gorkov reportedly may have been using the meeting to help establish a direct line to the Russian president outside the usual diplomatic channels.


JOHN MCCAIN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I don't think its standard procedure prior to the inauguration of a President of the United States by someone who is not in an appointed position.


KAYE: Jared Kushner has offered to answer the Senate intelligence committee's questions about not only this meeting but another meeting he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that same month.

It was Kislyak who had suggested Kushner meet with the Russian banker. The fact that Kushner didn't mention either of these meetings on his White House security clearance forms may also be a topic of inquiry, though he did rectify that quickly.

There's also the concern that the Russian bank has been under U.S. sanctions for the last three years. Also, when Kushner met with Gorkov, he was still CEO of Kushner companies, and critics question whether he was looking for financing for a pricey Manhattan real estate project.

The White House has said there was no discussion at the meeting about Kushner's company or about sanctions. The meeting itself didn't violate U.S. sanctions, but investigators will want to know what was said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: My dashboard warning light was clearly on, and I think that was the case with all the intelligence community. Very concerned about the nature of these approaches to the Russians.


[03:10:07] KAYE: Seems that Jared Kushner, who rarely speaks beyond a whisper in the president's ear, may soon be called on to do a whole lot of talking.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

FOSTER: For more on this, let's bring in CNN's Clare Sebastian live in Moscow. Presumably the stock answer from them on all this from their point of view.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right. Max, they're not commenting on any contacts between the Russian ambassador and any U.S. officials. That was confirmed to us yesterday by the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

But they are coming out very strongly in defense of their ambassador. He also said, you know, this is an ongoing defamation of him that's going on in Washington and its causing indignation.

And this is a sense this kind of fits with the sense that we're getting now, Max, of a new level of frankness from Russian officials about this relationship. It's not just the deputy foreign minister. He said yesterday that he's concerned that this relationship with the U.S. is not yielding any serious breakthroughs.

It's Russia, he said, is ready to do its part to revitalize this relationship, but they're not seeing anything like that from the U.S. side.

And just overnight, we get this exclusive interview that President Putin gave to the French newspaper, La Figueroa, he said that -- he basically accused the democrats in the U.S. of using the anti-Russian card as a way of explaining their loss in the election.

He described this as kind of irritating, essentially in a way, coming to the aid of Trump by echoing what he's been saying, that they are simply using this as an excuse for why they lost the election.

Perhaps, though, Max, the last thing Trump needs is the help of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at a time of such controversy surrounding his campaign and his administration's alleged links to Russia.

FOSTER: In the past, you know, early on in the relationship, we would have thought perhaps there was, you know, Russia might be protecting any sort of contacts there might have been with the Trump campaign.

But actually relations are pretty low between the White House and the Kremlin right now. So there's no reason to protect any sort of relationships there right now.

SEBASTIAN: Well, it's interesting you say that. I think there is, we do see this edge to that comments coming out in recent days. Certainly in that interview President Putin did seem he was angrier than we've seen him in the past, certainly more colorful in approach to the questions.

But I do think there are still some circle some parties there in Moscow that are, you know, still holding out some hope that this relationship can still improve. They are not, it's interesting, overtly criticizing President Trump himself, even as they're coming out very strongly against the kind of anti-Russia controversy that's gaining momentum in Washington.

They still haven't explicitly said anything about President Trump, and he, you'll notice, has neither said anything about President Putin. So it does feel like they're leaving the door open to an improvement.

Don't forget, and just over a month, Putin and Trump are expected to meet for the first time. So I think, you know, it's all kind of gearing up to that, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Clare, thank you.

CNN has learned that two men are missing and another man is under arrest after they went undercover to investigate a Chinese company that makes shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand. All three were activist documenting labor conditions at the Huajian group of factories in Southern China.

CNN contacted Ivanka Trump's company about this story and they declined to comment.

CNN's Matt Rivers joins us with more from Beijing. What more information have you got around this then?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, we've been looking into this story since early this morning. It was first reported by the Associated Press and CNN has now confirmed all of the surrounding details. So this investigation was being done by a very well-known NGO that operates here in China called China Labor Watch.

And under that group, these three investigators went undercover to two different factories that were owned by the Huajian Group. One of those factories directly responsible for making Ivanka Trump brand shoes. This group also makes shoes for many other western brands.

But these three men apparently figured out after they went undercover by getting jobs at these two factories, what the group was planning on saying was that there were unfair labor practices. There were people getting paid less than the minimum wage. There were people being forced to work up to 18 hours a day.

China Labor Watch was planning on releasing a report next month documenting all of this. But then, all three of these men disappeared, as you mentioned. We only know the location that one of them has been detained because we spoke to one of the activist's wives this morning.

She said the police called her on Tuesday and wouldn't say where her husband was being held or what exactly -- or why she couldn't talk to him. She said they would only tell her that he was being charged with illegal surveillance.

[03:14:58] So, we're not really sure. CNN is not sure whether the act of getting a job at these factories was illegal under Chinese law. But China Labor Watch has employed this kind of practice for many years now, nearly 20 years.

And we spoke to the director of that group this morning and the director said that in his nearly 20 years of doing this, he has never seen punishment as harsh as in this particular situation, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Matt in Beijing, thank you.

Manchester police have released three men who were taken into custody in connection with last week's deadly terror attack. Also on Tuesday, authorities once again to stress the importance of finding this blue suitcase. They're asking anyone to come forward who may have seen the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi with that suitcase. They say it's different from the bag actually he carried during the bombing.

Ariana Grande and a growing list of musicians will hold a benefit concert for victims of the Manchester attack and that will be on Sunday. The one love Manchester lineup includes Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and more. All proceeds will go to the victims and their families.

You hear that crowd chanting "stand up for the 22." At another benefit concert, this one by Manchester's only in Gallagher. The former Oasis front man performed eight days after the bombing. The crowd also belted out the band's hit song "Don't Look Back in Anger" which has become an anthem for the city. The stage was set with 22 candles to honor those killed.

Just ahead, the latest on the massive suicide attack at the embassy zone in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Plus, after several missile launches from North Korea, the U.S. could have an answer for those threats. A missile interceptor. And taking action to defeat ISIS, the U.S. makes a big decision in northern Syria, but it's one that risks angering Turkey.


FOSTER: The death toll is still climbing in Afghanistan. Now 80 people are confirmed dead in the suicide car bombing near the German embassy in Kabul. More than 300 are wounded. Smoke billowing from the city's diplomatic district where the security is heavier. But the blast happened during the morning rush hour.

The U.K. Labour Party has been gaining some ground on Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and her conservative party in recent polls. But with just eight days to go, until the election, labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a pretty big gaffe that could hurt his momentum.

In an interview with the BBC, Corbyn couldn't quite answer a question about the cost of a childcare policy he was there to promote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me understand then, how much will it cost to provide on means tested childcare for 1.3 million children?

JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: It will cost, it will obviously cost a lot to do so. We accept that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I presume you have the figures.

[03:20:00] CORBYN: Yes, I do. It does cost a lot. The point I'm trying to make is, we'll make it universal so that we are in a position to make sure that every child gets it, and those that can, at the moment, get free places, will continue to get them. Those that have to pay won't, and we'll collect the money through taxation, mainly through corporate taxation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how much will it cost?

CORBYN: I'll give you the figure in a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know it? You're logging into your iPad here. You've announced a major policy and you don't know how much it will cost?


FOSTER: Another labour moment there. An hour later Corbyn clarified the cost of the program in an online Q&A session, saying it could exceed $6 billion a year. I say that because there have been a couple of other labour ministers who had similar experiences labour shadow ministers.

Now meanwhile, Mrs. May is catching a lucky break. Sort of. A protest song calling her a liar has rocketed up the iTune charts. But pre- election laws mean radio stations can't play it. And that's probably good news for her if you take a listen to this.


FOSTER: Of course a lot of people get their music online these days. So they will still be able to hear it. In the past five days since the music video was posted on YouTube, it's got more than 950,000 views.

Now the U.S. military says it successfully shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. Tuesday's launch was the first live-fire test of an upgraded interceptor, this follows a flurry of North Korean missile launches and is seen as a test of U.S. ability to fend off an attack.

But some experts say the U.S. missile defense system still has a long way to go before it can be considered fully developed. Paula Hancocks joins us from Seoul, South Korea. How will this be

interpreted from there then, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, certainly from the U.S. point of view, Max, they say that this is effectively trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. They're pleased with the success of this. And clearly they say that it's not solely because of North Korea that they had to carry out these kind of tests.

But North Korea at this point is pretty much the only country in the world that is threatening to try and hit mainland United States with an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile that this U.S. test was concerned with, this interceptor missile hitting the ICBM.

So clearly even though the U.S. says this isn't solely about North Korea, North Korea will see it as solely about themselves. And with the increase in missile launches we've seen in this year alone, just in the past three weeks, we've seen three missile launches from North Korea.

So we could well see a reaction from them to this test.

We've seen a reaction today from North Korea, not to this, but to the fact that there is now going to be two aircraft carriers in the waters off the West Coast of Japan. So obviously very close to the Korean Peninsula. The USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, carrying out military drills as early as Wednesday. So, as early as today.

And we've seen on KCNA, the state-run media, they're slamming this as U.S. hostile activity, potentially pertaining to war.

FOSTER: OK, Paula, in Seoul, thank you.

The Pentagon says the U.S. has begun delivering weapons to Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Syria. The small arms, machine guns, ammunition and armored vehicles are meant to bolster those forces that they battle ISIS i northern Syria. Whilst the move has been under consideration for some time, Turkey has long opposed it.

Let's get more from Ian Lee in Istanbul who can explain that. Ian?

IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Max, these weapons will be very significant for the YPG, the SDF when they try to take Raqqa. They're right now tightening the noose around the city, not yet engaging on that city.

But for the Turks, they say that this is essentially arming one terrorist organization to defeat another terrorist organization. Turkey views the YPG as well as the PKK as terrorist organizations.

So what they fear the most, Max, is that those weapons that are going to the YPG to fight ISIS in Raqqa, those weapons could go to the PKK in Turkey and be used against Turkish security forces.

FOSTER: OK, and in terms of the response from Turkey going beyond words, we expect a change in military engagement, for example, in the conflict?

[03:25:05] LEE: Well, Turkey has never ruled out military engagement to defend what they say are their legitimate interests and their sovereignty. They've conducted air strikes in northern Iraq and northern Syria before. And at times the U.S. has had to intervene, to send troops to kind of separate the Turks and the Kurdish fighters in Syria, to make sure that there isn't any fighting between the two sides.

This is a very tense situation. And Turkey is not happy with this. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed that to U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month, but the U.S. right now believing that this is the only way to move forward, to defeat ISIS and take Raqqa. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Ian, thank you for joining us there from Istanbul.

Now, the feud between the leaders of Germany and the U.S. escalating. What it means for global politics.

Plus, from global politics to global warming. But there will be -- but where will the U.S. stand when it comes to tackling that climate change? A decision is expected this week. We'll bring you details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

FOSTER: An update on that breaking news, the death toll climbing in Afghanistan's capital. The suicide car bombing, killing at least 80 people now, wounding more than 300.

It happened near the German embassy in Kabul. There's been no claim of responsibility so far.

We're joined now by a journalist, Jennifer Glasse in Kabul. This was rush hour, that's why the numbers are so high, right.

JENNIFER GLASSE, JOURNALIST: That's right. In one of the busiest parts of town, it's a main road leading between the interior ministry, heading down the road towards the British embassy. There are some supermarkets on that road, lots of shops. And it's a busy time of morning.

Of course, it is the holy month of Ramadan. so people getting a little bit of a later start because they've been up all night having their Ramadan meals, and so it was a very, very busy time of the morning.

This blast, we understand the bomb was planted in a water truck, and it was detonated, as you say not far from the German embassy. Outside the offices of a major cell phone company here, as well as a popular television station. So people heading to work.

And it's one of those tragic things in Kabul. If you live here, you get news of those among the dead, one of my Afghan friends just found out that one of his colleagues walking to work that was caught up in the blast and sadly died at the hospital.

FOSTER: Frightening, because this is meant to be the most secure area of the city.

[03:30:00] GLASSE: It is one of the most secure areas of the city. In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, security forces shut down all of the roads in the area. And you could hear helicopters circling overhead for several hours as they tried to keep the area secure.

There are blast walls everywhere, not only the German embassy in that area. The French embassy, where we understand there has been some damage. Because the force of the blast was incredible. The force of the blast was it could be felt across town. It shattered windows not just in the immediate area but for as much as a mile away.

A large plume of smoke over the city. It shattered windows not just in offices and homes, but also in passing cars. Thirty vehicles were damaged. So, just to give you an idea of the scope of this blast.

FOSTER: OK. Jennifer, thank you. We'll have updates on this as the news comes in. Obviously just dealing with the immediate aftermath of that right now. So updates are coming slowly.

The White House is calling President Trump's first trip meanwhile, a foreign trip at least, a history-making success. But some of Washington's closest allies have a dramatically different view.

Michelle Kosinski tells us about America's changing position on the global stage.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Overseas for the first time as President, Donald Trump seemed to want to stand not just out, but apart, shoving to the front, the fierce handshakes, the stunning reprimand of NATO allies at what was supposed to be a big moment of support.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying.


KOSINSKI: In Italy, he was the only G7 leader not to endorse the Paris climate agreement. While they all walked in a group to take a photo, Trump chose instead to ride alone in a golf cart. As Trump continues to criticize Germany's trade practices, its foreign minister didn't hold back, saying flat out that Trump's policies put Europe at risk. Calling it short sided. A new American isolationism.


NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO NATO: This is a crisis of sorts in the Trans-Atlantic relationship, and these are our best friends in the world. There's a major difference of opinion on trade. There's a major difference of opinion on how to handle Russia. We've never had an American president who was so weak frankly, and dismissive of the big institutions that have bonded us to Europe over the last 70 years, NATO and the E.U.


KOSINSKI: With the Russian, it was the new French President who called out Putin to his face for spreading fake news, trying to influence his election.

In Asia, with the U.S. scrapping the huge trading bloc that would have been the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as slashing the State Department budget and foreign aid, China has been working on big deals of its own and is trying to expand its soft power and influence around the world.

Russia is also looking for in-roads. And if the U.S. does step away from its push against climate change, that, again, leaves room for others to lead.


BURNS: I think this could do more to diminish American credibility and influence and leadership in the world than any other issue. Because outside the United States, this is a number one, first order issue.


KOSINSKI: As it stands, there is concern among allies over what the U.S. will stand for. Will it be as strong a voice for human rights and democracy itself? Europe now stating openly the dynamic of leadership and partnership is changing.

Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.

FOSTER: Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't mention President Trump by name, she did say Germany can't count on the United States and has to take its fate into its own hands.

Mr. Trump responded on Twitter saying, "We have a massive trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay far less than they should do to NATO and military. Very bad for U.S., this will change."

This is what White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had to say about the U.S./Germany relationship.


SPICER: I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel, he would describe as fairly unbelievable. They get along very well. He has a lot of respect for her. They continue to grow the bond that they had during their talks in the G7.


FOSTER: Fred Pleitgen joins us now with more on all of this. You have reported on Angela Merkel, have met her many times over the years. Just give us what you see as the interpretation, the proper interpretation of what she's saying right now about the U.S.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, I think she would also describe the relations with the current White House as fairly unbelievable but probably in a bit of a different sense. I think that there's a bit of antagonism among the Germans, there's a bit of alienation also amongst the Germans with this current White House.

And a lot of the things that Sean Spicer said in his press conference yesterday, I think the Europeans do see very differently. And it's interesting because there's an article earlier that in the papers today in the Wall Street Journal, from H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser for Donald Trump where he talks about America first signaling the restoration of American leadership.

[03:35:01] But if you look at the way a lot of European leaders, the Germans and also the Italians came away from President Trump's first trip to Europe, it certainly looks a lot different.

A lot of them are saying look, Europe has to take its destiny into its own hands, as the Germans. The Italians are saying something very similar, saying we don't see eye to eye, especially when it comes to climate policy.

The Germans are saying the same thing about trade. I think one of the things that was really telling about not just yesterday, but really the past few days, since this political week started again, Max, was the fact that Angela Merkel made the remarks that she made, saying that Germany has to do more on its own, and has to do more in Europe. And never backed down from those remarks.

She clarified that Germany is still very much committed to the Trans- Atlantic relationship, however she never backed down from any of the remarks, saying look, right now it's very, very difficult with this White House.

And then on top of that, you have an election campaign going in Germany and even the people who are running against Angela Merkel are saying the same thing. So certainly this does really seem to show the frustration that you see right now in Berlin and in many other European capitals, with some of the things that are coming out of the White House.

All the while the White House itself is saying everything is good in the relations with a lot of these European leaders are becoming stronger than they were before. That certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect.

FOSTER: Does this create an opportunity for Russian influence in Europe?

PLEITGEN: Well, I mean, there are some people who say that. There was an article in the New York Times yesterday saying how Russia is trying to increase its influence, for instance, in Italy, where America currently doesn't have an ambassador.

I mean, I think the situation in Europe is a little more difficult than that. I mean, you did had the French who came out with President macron saying look, we do want to deepen our ties with the Russians, but you do still have that very large complex of the Ukraine conflict going on.

And certainly, the Europeans aren't naive as far as that's concerned. You have someone like Angela Merkel who pretty much led the negotiations around the Ukraine conflict with the Minsk group, in many cases negotiating directly with Vladimir Putin.

So I think they are really realistic about their relations with Russia. Of course the proximity to Russia really does something for that as well. So the Russians might try to make a push to gain more influence in Europe. I'm not sure that the Europeans would be up for it.

I think the thing you are going to see, especially in continental Europe, is you're going to see deepening ties within the European Union which is really the opposite of what many people were expecting when the European Union really was in a lot of trouble, for instance, after Brexit, and when it looked like you might have far-right leaders in places like the Netherlands and France.

That hasn't happened. It looks like European leaders, the key European leaders in Rome, in Berlin and Paris as well, are going to look to deepen their ties and try and gain strength from that.

FOSTER: OK. Fred, thank you.

Well, as the world waits and wonders if the U.S. will pull out of the Paris climate deal, the head of the U.N. has a message. Get on board or get left behind.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable. And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.

It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris agreement and that we fulfill that duty with increased ambition.


FOSTER: Well, we are expecting a decision from President Trump any day now. Isa Soares has more from London. He's been pretty clear on this issue, hasn't he?

ISA SOARES, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: He has, during the campaign trail and all along, he's kept everyone guessing. He sure has. And what we've seen, we heard there from U.N. chief Antonio Guterres who basically saying a deal is essential.

But we've also heard from G7 leaders, do you remember last week, who basically all backing the accord, this historic accord of almost 200 countries. But we also had from Chancellor Merkel, following from Fred was saying, we're talking about this isolationism.

We know that Chancellor Merkel, basically said, I'm quoting here, "A discussion on climate change was difficult." So what we're seeing is President Trump pretty isolated when it comes to this topic among G7, but also beyond that, Max. We look at the 28 member alliance of NATO.

They've also come out and said the climate change poses a threat to world peace, in particular, we're talking about the Middle East. Because, of course, when you have drought, severe drought that cause displacement.

So you have political pressure internationally, but also you have pressure at home in the White House, within his own family. Because we've got Ivanka Trump, reports that say Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who want in, who want him stay in. But then Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, want out.

All this, of course, also playing on the fact that voters, he voted with this pledge to really pull out and bring back coal. So it will be interesting to see where he goes. But voters will be keenly listening to what he said. He needs to remember, he called the Paris climate change agreement a hoax just to serve really Chinese economic benefits. Take a look.


[03:40:01] Hailed as historic the climate Paris climate accord united 195 countries in a single agreement to tackle climate change. All pledging to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Crucially and for the first time, it included the two biggest greenhouse emitters. China and the United States.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today the world meets the moment, and if we follow through on the commitments that this Paris agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.


SOARES: Almost two years on, there are fears the U.S.'s new commander-in-chief could undermine the ambitious deal. After all, it was one of his campaign pledges.


TRUMP: We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop.


Unbelievable. And stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.


SOARES: Now in office, Mr. Trump continues to be a critic of climate change. He's moved to dismantle the clean power plan and has restarted a coal leasing program on federal land, raising concerns that this may be one of the most anti-scientific administrations in a while.


MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward. We're not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.


SOARES: These statements have Europe nervous. In a statement to CNN, Arias Canete, Europe's energy and climate commissioner says "It's clear that we cannot expect the same kind of leadership from the U.S. following the change in administration.

What is clear is that while some look back, the E.U., China, and many other major economies look ahead. We continue to hope the U.S. will find a way to remain within the Paris agreement and to remain committed to the Paris goals."

It's not just politicians sounding alarm bells. Climate change advocates and scientists are worried too.


JOANNA HAIGH, CO-DIRECTOR, GRANTHAM INSTITUTE AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE: With the U.S. and President Trump suggesting they'll withdraw from the Paris agreement, this is a big threat. They are producing something like a fifth of the world's carbon emissions at the moment.

And if they were to rescind on their commitment, which was to reduce the CO2 from the U.S. by 26 percent by 2025, this would have a large impact on the whole global picture.


SOARES: If President Trump wants out and the terms of the Paris climate change agreement, it can take as many as four years, by which point his term would have ended. Or he can stay in, in name only, simply ignoring all the commitments.

Either way the fear is that a withdrawal would weaken the credibility of the pact. Potentially inspiring other countries to pull out too. But climate advocates believe the deal can survive with the support of the remaining countries, in particular, China. A belief that says this deal is bigger than any one man.

So that's what we're hearing from European officials. But I had capturing to America as well, Max. But importantly, what we're hearing now is from big businesses. Many basically telling me they're hoping that President Trump sees sense, economic sense, financial sense. Because we've heard in the last few months from big U.S. companies,

the likes of ExxonMobil, the likes of Chevron. And you're probably thinking, why are oil companies backing this? Because they've invested so much on clean energy and they want to have a level playing field.

So we've got big companies, technology companies, Microsoft, Google, Gap, Adidas, all asking President Trump to back this deal. So will the president go with the economics or will he go with the promise that he made to the American people, which is to pull out.

FOSTER: Who knows, he's very unpredictable.

SOARES: Absolutely.

FOSTER: Isa, thank you.

Coming up, many big retailers are committed to protecting farm workers by joining the Fair Food Program, but one fast-food chain refuses to take part. Find out why, next.


FOSTER: Police say Tiger Woods's car had fresh damage when he was arrested on Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence. They found Woods asleep at the wheel, stopped on the road on the side of the road in Florida.

The car was running with the brake lights on, and the right turn signal flashing as well. Both tires on the driver's side were flat. The rims and bumper were damaged and one of his tail lights was out.

Police say Woods slurred his speech until the officer he didn't know where he was. Woods also said he took several prescriptions.

Fellow golf legend Jack Nicklaus offered some words of encouragement for his friend.


JACK NIKLAUS, RETIRED PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Obviously I don't know what happened, what went on itself, but, you know, I feel bad for Tiger. Tiger is a friend. He's been great for the game of golf, and I think he needs all our help. And we wish him well.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, a tennis player has been kicked out of the French Open for inappropriate behavior towards a reporter, live on TV. Twenty-one-year-old Maxime Hamou of France repeatedly tried to kiss Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas, whilst holding her neck and shoulders.

The French Tennis Federation called this behavior reprehensible and asked for an investigation. Hamou has apologized. He's lost his first round match before the incident, but his credentials would have left him -- allowed him at least to remain in the stadium there. It's a long way from the farm field to the table, but some of those

who harvest the crops are making sure their welfare is not ignored. In the third part of our week-long CNN Freedom Project series Fair Food, Amara Walker shows us how some farm workers are standing up against unfair labor practices, including forced labor, and persuading major companies to join their fight.

AMARA WALKER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Have you ever wondered how your tomatoes get to the grocery store? Or given much thought to the people who pick them? Lupe Gonzalo, a former farm worker herself thinks about it all the time.


LUPE GONZALO, FARM WORKER (through translator): There are things you don't want any worker to go through. So that's why you fight for change. To create a better future for people who come after you.


WALKER: Lupe now works for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, or CIW, a grassroots anti-trafficking organization that advocates for farm worker rights, and fights against forced labor in agriculture.

They just wrapped up a two-week campaign against Wendy's. One of the biggest fast-food restaurants in the country. Hundreds of CIW members and supporters held protests in cities across the southeastern U.S., calling on people to boycott the fast-food giant.

For more than a decade, the CIW has used boycotts and protests like this one to pressure companies to sign on to its Fair Food Program.


GREG ASBED, CO-FOUNDER, COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS: They launched the campaign for Fair Food in 2001, so it's been 16, 17 years of working to bring retailers in.


WALKER: Greg Asbed is one of the co-founders of the CIW. He says they targeted the biggest fast-food chains first, going after them one at a time.


ASBED: The first campaign took four years to get Taco Bell on board. Second complain took two years to get McDonald's on board. The third campaign took one year to get Burger King on board. I think Subway was a quick sort of one-month process. So you can see there's a way that it was unfolding.


[03:49:57] WALKER: Those restaurants all signed an agreement with the CIW, pledging to purchase tomatoes only from farms that follow a strict code of conduct to protect worker rights.

They also agreed to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes, money that goes directly to the low-wage farm workers, as a line item bonus. In some cases, doubling their paychecks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us, we know it's the right thing to do, and honestly the impact on cost is nominal.


WALKER: When it comes to the major grocery chain, Whole Foods market was the first to sign on in 2008.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you get is greater transparency to understanding how your food is produced, that you're offering to your customers and the assurance that you're making life easier and better for the people who do the hard work to produce the food that we're selling.


WALKER: The Fair Food program includes mandatory worker training for all farm workers. A hotline so workers can report violations, and regular audits of the farms by an independent third-party.

Florida produces 90 percent of all tomatoes in the U.S. And today, nearly every tomato farm in the state has joined the Fair Food Program.

The CIW's goal now is to add to its list of buyers. A major success came in 2014 when Wal-Mart signed the agreement. Greg Asbed struggles to understand why fast-food giant Wendy's refuses to join.


ASBED: There's no justification. It is inexplicable at this point. The program is proven.


WALKER: Wendy's says it doesn't participate because it doesn't believe that it should, quote, "pay another company's employees just as we do not pay factory workers, truck drivers, or maintenance personnel."

In March, Wendy's announced an expansion to his own code of conduct, by adding additional safeguards and requiring third-party reviews related to the human rights and labor practices of certain produce suppliers.

Wendy's would not provide an on-camera interview, but in an e-mail wrote, "We do not believe that joining the Fair Food Program is the only way to act responsibly."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess I wouldn't agree with that. It's not the only way to claim social responsibility, but it is the only way to ensure it.


WALKER: CIW members say they are frustrated, but not deterred. They insist on calling Wendy's a future partner.


GONZALO (through translator): Sooner or later, Wendy's will come to the table and will sign the Fair Food agreement and then we will all be on the same side, all fighting for justice together.


WALKER: Amara Walker, CNN.

FOSTER: You're watching CNN newsroom. Still ahead, the soundtrack for a generation hits a remarkable milestone. How the Beatles Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band is getting a new lease on life 50 years on.


FOSTER: Well, it was 50 years ago this week when a piece of musical artistry was released, capturing the spirit of the era like little else before. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band and the Beatles unforgettable album still certainly a thrill.

Our Paul Vercammen, sports producer, Giles Martin, son of the legendary Beatles producer George Martin, who is making sure he will enjoy the show.

[03:55:01] (MUSIC PLAYING)


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I'm so glad to be joined by Giles Martin, his father the mastermind, if you will, of Sergeant Pepper's. Is it incredible for you to think that this was 50 years ago that this splashed down on all of us?

GILES MARTIN, RECORD PRODUCER: Yes, you know, it's crazy, because it's so fresh. My dad always used to say, he never planned on this music being heard in 50 years' time. He said he would have never written dark side of the moon. He had he not heard Sergeant Pepper's. And that the impact of the album is just extraordinary.

VERCAMMEN: When the Beatles were formulating the idea for Sergeant Pepper's, explain how they wanted to create this alternate identity. MARTIN: The Beatles were the first kind of boy band, if you think

about it. They all dressed the same, charismatic, progressive characters, that were taught to be polite for cameras. They just said, we're not doing this anymore. We're not playing the game anymore, we want to be us and that was the beginning of Sergeant Pepper's.

VERCAMMEN: If you look at the people on that cover, for the Beatles and for the artists, what do you think links them all?

MARTIN: I mean, they chose their heroes. They had a laugh. The Beatles had a sort of wicked sense of humor.

VERCAMMEN: You're given the keys to the kingdom and you're told to update and remix it. Daunting, I'm sure.

MARTIN: Daunting. It's funny, the actual mixes that we do sound fresher than the original record. You can hear everything much clearer.

VERCAMMEN: Rolling Stone magazine no less has rated this the number one record of all time.

MARTIN: I think that time in 1967 when there were so many things going on in the world, that they just, OK, let's escape into this beautiful colorful world and create something that is just ours, but then changes the way people look at life.


FOSTER: Fifty years. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm max Foster. I'll have the latest on the deadly bombing in the diplomatic zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, in just a moment for us, for you, so do stay with us.