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Sigh of Relief for GOP in Georgia Special Election; Russia Probe Continues; Inch by Inch Danger; A Message from the Queen; Calculated Retaliation Plan. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 21, 2017 - 03:00   ET



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

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is claiming victory in the State of Georgia where CNN projects republican Karen Handel will win a seat in Congress. Now, many saw this contest as a litmus test for Mr. Trump's Presidency, with 99 percent of the vote in, Handel has 51.9 percent. Democrat Jon Ossoff has 48.1 percent. Donors and political action committees poured more than $50 million into the campaign. The most expensive ever for a U.S. House seat.


KAREN HANDEL, (R) WON GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL SEAT: I need to also thank Speaker Ryan and the house leadership and so many of the members across this country who also united to help us hold the 6th. And a special thanks to the president of the United States of America.



CHURCH: Donald Trump responded on Twitter saying, this, "Well, the special elections are over and those that want to make America great again are 5 and 0. All the fake news, all the money spent equals nothing." As for Jon Ossoff, he addressed his supporters in Atlanta.


JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: So, this is not the outcome any of us were hoping for.



OSSOFF: But this is the beginning of something much bigger than us.

(CROWD CHEERING) So, thank you. Thank you for the most extraordinary experience I've

ever had the honor of being a part of. Thank you for knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors. Thank you for making hundreds of thousands of phone calls.


It's extraordinary what you have done here. The fight goes on.


CHURCH: All right. So, let's bring in CNN politics reporter Eric Bradner, he's live in the studio with me here. So, of course the republicans are celebrating the win of Karen Handel, but after all, this seat was held by the GOP for more than four decades. She should have won this. The big question is why was it so close? What, 13,000 votes?

ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. Yes, this has been a seat that a lot of prominent republicans have held for a long time. Tom Price who left it to become Health and Human Services Secretary under President Trump, never dipped below 60 percent in an election.

The reason it was so competitive is because, unlike other republican presidential candidates, President Trump did quite poorly in the district in November 2016. He only won by 1.5 percentage points over Hillary Clinton.

And, so, democrats had been looking around the country trying to find a special election where they could really compete and what they saw was this is one where five months into his tenure, President Trump might be unpopular enough, there might be enough backlash among republican voters that democrats can peel away some of them away, peel away some independents and turn it competitive.

They were able to do that, but because republicans sort of saw this coming from miles away, they were also able to really get out the vote among republican voters who might not love Trump, but don't want to see democrats celebrate a big nationally relevant victory in their own backyard.

CHURCH: And they didn't celebrate it. A really disappointing night for the democrats. Was Jon Ossoff the right man for the job? Was he too much of a centrist perhaps?

BRADNER: That's what a lot of progressives are saying now. There's a sort of push-pull debate in the Democratic Party right now over what types of candidates are appropriate for these seats. Some on the left want to see people that will really aggressively take on President Trump, really hammer republicans over their push to repeal Obamacare and push a new health care bill.

Others like Ossoff are saying, in these moderate districts, in these republican leaning districts, you need someone who is sort of independent, who is willing to talk about local issues rather than get caught up in the national frenzy. [03:05:06] And this is an interesting test case. What you'll see is

democrats trying different strategies across the board headed into next year's mid-terms. The party hasn't really settled on a single approach and it will sort of be a district by district question. But this is a debate that's really raging in the Democratic Party right now.

CHURCH: Yes. It's certainly going to be interesting to see what happens in those 2018 mid-terms. You pretty much covered that question. So I also wanted to ask you, I mean, some $50 million was plowed into this campaign from both sides, mostly from the democrats. It backfired on Jon Ossoff, though, didn't it really?

BRADNER: It did. It sort of nationalized this race early on and gave republicans something to sort of defend. The reason so much money was poured into this race was because it was really the only show in town. It was really the only chance for either side to use a special election to sort of gauge President Trump's popularity. And gauge whether republicans are on the right track, the wrong track on Capitol Hill.

There won't be another test until this fall with Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections. But even then another year until the mid-terms. And so people were hoping to be able to read the tea leaves. And so that's why all of this money was poured in.

But what you -- what you wound up with is a city of Atlanta where these ads are the only things on TV, every commercial break, one after another after another. People are inundated with this message. At a certain point you start to tune it out.

CHURCH: Yes. It was certainly relentless for sure. Eric Bradner, thank you so much for coming in the studio.

BRADNER: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, U.S. Senate investigators are digging deeper into potential financial ties between the Trump team and Russia, including the president's own business dealings with Russian interests. Plus, we have more reasons to doubt the president's hints of a possible White House taping system.

CNN's Jessica Schneider reports.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight White House spokesman Sean Spicer still won't say if tapes of the president's conversations with former FBI Director James Comey exist. But he continues to promise the president himself will answer the question.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has said that he will make an announcement on this. I expect it this week and so when he's ready to make that announcement, we'll legality you know.

SCHNEIDER: The House intelligence committee has demanded any tapes by Friday, and the Senate intelligence committee is pledging to follow the money as part of its probe. Committee members just got word they'll get access to data from the treasury department's financial crimes unit as part of their investigation into possible collusion or financial ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

SEN. RON WYDEN, (D) OREGON: I have long felt that the follow the money questions are right at the heart of our work in terms of telling the American people what has happened with our democratic institutions.

SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, Michael Flynn is facing even more fire from Congress. A pair of top House democrats now digging into whether Flynn may have misled officials by omitting a trip to the Middle East from his security clearance form, where he worked to secure an energy deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2015.

House democrats are demanding documents from Flynn about that trip and another one in October 2015 which he disclosed but left out significant details.

Senate judiciary committee member Sheldon Whitehouse in an interview with Wolf speculated Flynn's silence so far means there could be a deal in the works.

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: All the signals are suggesting that he's already cooperating with the FBI and may have been for some time.

SCHNEIDER: It's a possibility fired FBI Director James Comey alluded to during his testimony June eighth.

SEN. ANGUS KING, (I) MAINE: Would closing out the Flynn investigation have imped the overall Russian investigation?

JAMES COMEY, FORMER UNITED STATES FBI DIRECTOR: No, unlikely, except to the extent -- there is always a possibility if you have a criminal case against someone, you bring them in and squeeze them and you flip them and they give you information about something else.

SCHNEIDER: But law enforcement sources have not indicated if Flynn is cooperating or not. House investigators don't know precisely when Flynn traveled to the Middle East, but they cited the discrepancy between this June 10th 2015 testimony he gave to the foreign affairs committee.

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I just came from a trip, fairly extensive trip to the Middle East and this was one of the big issues that came up.

SCHNEIDER: And the fact he listed an August 2015 start date on the financial disclosure form he submitted after he was fired as national security advisor. Flynn's attorney declined to comment.

Reuters is reporting the FBI is also looking at Flynn's business partner, Bijan Kian in its inquiry of whether payments from foreign clients to Flynn's consulting company were lawful. Kian played a central role in Flynn's contract with the company controlled by a Turkish businessman that Flynn initially failed to disclose.

[03:09:58] It's not clear whether Kian is a target of the criminal investigation or federal agents are trying to build a better understanding of how Flynn's company operated.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you want to get out of Bob Mueller tomorrow when you meet?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I'm not going to go into it.

SCHNEIDER: Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to meet with senior members of the Senate judiciary committee and others on the Hill this week to make sure there are no conflicts between his investigation and their own probes.


CHURCH: And Scott Lucas is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, he is also the founder and editor of E.A. World View. Always great to chat with you. So, what do you make of these new revelations relating to Michael Flynn and the Trump administration?

SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM SHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL: Well, this is layer upon layer. So, we have known now for weeks that there are issues not only about Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak last December, but about months of links before that with Russian and Turkish interests that he did not disclose.

And now added to that is the information that he took a trip to the Middle East to try to arrange a U.S.-Russian deal to put nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.

But remember, Flynn is only one part of a investigation which now has many moving parts. Beyond Flynn we got the question of other Trump administration officials and how deep their contacts with the Russians went.

That includes foreign ministration or campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, Carter Page. But it may also include the president's son-in- law Jared Kushner. And then beyond that, we've got the question of the financial links or possible financial links which put in a nutshell is did the Russians put money into Trump's campaign in 2016.

CHURCH: And, of course, we know that special counsel Robert Mueller is meeting this week with congressional intelligence leaders. What could this mean, do you think? And what would you expect to come out of those meetings?

LUCAS: Well, I think there's two levels here. Again, the one behind closed doors is Mueller simply going to tell Congress, congressional representatives how serious this investigation is, or how serious it may become. So, he will give them, as it were, the details which we kind of lose in all the white noise, such as President Trump's confirmation last week that he is under investigation. But then at the public level I suspect that some information about

those meetings will come out because we do have a daily drip by drip about what the inquiry might be considering. And so, that, of course, will sort of, you know, the initiative, the pressure will -- the renewed against the Trump administration after we took a break for the weekend amidst things like the Georgia special election.

CHURCH: So, where do you see this Russia investigation going, and just how damaging do you think this could prove to be ultimately for the Trump administration?

LUCAS: Well, it's already damaging. I mean, the administration is frankly paralyzed. Whatever the republican hope maybe gained from last night's election result, it's unlikely that you repeal Obamacare, it's unlikely that you get tax recoding, it's unlikely that you get a significant infrastructure bill when the Trump administration is on the defense day by day about the Russian allegations.

But in contrast, like this almost the excitement we have each day, OK, could this be it, could this be a turning point? This investigation is going to take months. Trump is not going to go anywhere. His defenders albeit in the minority I think the Americans will stand by him. So I think we just have to expect this to be death by a thousand political cuts throughout the rest of this year.

CHURCH: All right. We'll be watching every twist and turn. Scott Lucas, thanks so much for your analysis as always appreciate it.

Belgian soldiers have shot dead a man suspected of carrying out a terrorist bombing. Next, how the attack in Brussels unfolded.

Plus, the Pentagon is accusing Russia of flying an armed fighter jet erratically right next to a U.S. aircraft over the Baltic Sea. The tension growing between the two countries. We'll take a look at that in just a moment. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are learning Belgian authorities have identified the man suspected of trying to bomb the Brussels central station. Officials are not providing more details, but they are treating this as a terrorist attack.

Belgian soldiers shot and killed the suspect and no one else was injured. Witnesses say the man yelled Islamist slogans before setting off at least one small explosion in an underground area of the crowded station.


NICOLAS VAN HERREWEGEN, EMPLOYEE, BRUSSELS CENTRAL STATION (through translator): When I walked down to the platform there was a man screaming, screaming and screaming. He was talking about Jihadist and things like that. At some point he screamed, "Allahu Akbar" and detonated the small suitcase he was holding next to him. Then people started to escape. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: As you heard there, we've heard from officials. They have not commented on whether the suspect yelled "Allahu Akbar," or God is great, but the prosecutor's office said soldiers moved in quickly and neutralized the suspect.

Well, the U.S. and Russia are getting into some tense encounters in the skies over Europe and Syria. The latest incident came when a Russian war plane flew dangerously close to an American spy plane over the Baltic Sea.

Our Barbara Starr has the details.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Tensions are high as Russian aircraft continued their bombing over Syria 24 hours after Moscow threatened to shoot down any U.S. planes flying in certain areas. All U.S. aircraft over Syria now taking measures to protect themselves from Russian planes and missiles and Syrian regime forces.

COLONEL RYAN DILLON, SPOKESMAN, OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR): We go through a very deliberate and calculated adjustments when threats are raised and we want to make sure that our air crews and our ground crews are, you know, operating safely, and that we take into account all possible threats.

STARR: In the latest sudden combat encounter, a U.S. F-15 shot down an Iranian made drone threatening U.S. troops in southern Syria just days after the U.S. also shot down a Syrian fighter jet and another drone, all in self-defense, according to the Pentagon.

[03:19:57] A key question now, after three shoot downs, can Russia even control Syrian regime? And Iranian backed militias increasingly challenging the U.S. presence that is fighting ISIS.

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The Russians think that this is one of the biggest violations of their campaign to sure up the Assad regime, and the reason that they are so worried about this is because they want to at all costs protect their sphere of influence in Syria. And they see Assad as their only way to protect that sphere of influence.

STARR: But some democrats say a new war may be brewing.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: This is a dangerous escalation. I think that we are getting closer and closer to open conflict with Iran and Russia.

STARR: Russia also says it's shut down a communications line with the U.S. military over Syria. The two sides still quietly do talk. This, as the Russians are still engaging U.S. aircraft over the Baltic in dangerous intercepts.

An armed Russian SU-27 erratically flying within 5 feet of an air force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft. These unsafe incidents are not new. In 2016, a Russian fighter jet buzzed the U.S. navy destroyer USS Donald Cook. Vladimir Putin has defended their provocative actions, telling Oliver Stone.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): What was the Donald Cook doing so close to our land? Who was trying to provoke whom? And we are determined to protect our territory.


CHURCH: And we thank our Barbara Starr for that report. And Diana Magnay joins us now from Moscow with more. So, Diana, the United States is calling this latest incident in the skies over the Baltic Sea unsafe. How is Moscow responding to that and has there been any explanation about why a Russian war plane flew so close to a U.S. spy plane?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Russia is saying why did a U.S. spy plane fly so close to a Russian fighter jet. They say that the spy plane was heading towards the Russian border. They went to intercept it and it made a provocative turn.

So, it is the same narrative as the U.S., just in reverse. Let's just remember that this is international air space. Both sides have as much right to fly there as each other.

But, of course, as Barbara said in that report, the number of incidents -- incidences of Russian war planes supposedly buzzing NATO jets and other NATO ships, et cetera, has drastically increased really since the Ukraine crisis. Rosemary?

CHURCH: So, Diana, where is this relationship between the U.S. and Russia going, and what more are we learning about the threat Russia made to shut down the de-confliction hotline between the two countries? That of course, designed to stop accident -- accidents happening in the skies.

MAGNAY: Well, the relationship could get a lot worse if that de- confliction line is not reopened or if contacts do not continue despite the sort of nominal closing of the line. It is designed to prevent collisions in the skies or direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia.

And it is also designed so that both sides can try and de-escalate brewing situations on the ground between the factions that they effectively represent.

Now, there are question marks over the degree of control that the Kremlin actually has over Assad's troops, for example, or indeed over Iran who is proving increasingly belligerent. They of course have always had factions on the ground in Syria, but last weekend, of course, we had ballistic missiles fired into the country by Iran.

And you have a situation where Assad's forces are moving towards Raqqa. I think what Barbara Starr alluded to in her report is the fact that you essentially have a situation now where the Syrian civil war on one side and the coalitions' efforts against ISIS are coinciding and coming together in the eastern part of Syria.

And that means that the possibility of Russia, the U.S., Iran coming into conflict with one another, is growing by the day as those ground forces come within fighting proximity of one another. That is extremely dangerous. It is not in Russia's interests to see an escalation happen, and that is why it is important not just to get this de-confliction line back open, but to start really bearing up in terms of diplomacy.

One positive is that you do have the undersecretary of state for political affairs on route to St. Petersburg where he'll be meeting the deputy foreign minister this Friday. You also, of course, have President Trump supposedly meeting with President Putin on the side lines of the G20 summit in Hamburg next month. But that still hasn't been laid down in concrete.

[03:25:02] So, it's still not sure whether that is going to happen. But you do get a sense that you do need some very, very high level diplomacy to resolve what could be a very, very dangerous situation on the ground in Syria, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, and it is causing a great deal of concern in the international community. Our Diana Magnay joining us there live from Moscow, where it is nearly 10.30 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, a royal shake up in Saudi Arabia as the king replaces the sitting crown prince with his own son. The Saudi monarch stripped Muhammad bin Nayef of his royal title Wednesday and named Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as first in line to the throne.

Bin Nayef was relieved of all positions, including interior minister. In addition to becoming Saudi Arabia's next ruler, Muhammad bin Salman also picked up the role of deputy prime minister and will continue his duties as defense minister. The former crown prince pledged allegiance to his replacement on Wednesday. Muhammad bin Salman then kissed the hand of his predecessor in a show of respect and humility.

Well, there is a major shakeup in the business world as well. Travis Kalanick who helped found ride sharing giant Uber has step down as CEO after a shareholder revolt. He will reportedly stay on the board of directors.

Kalanick took an indefinite leave of absence last week after overseeing a disastrous series of P.R. nightmares. Those included sexual harassment allegations within the company, a host of legal battles, and viral video of Kalanick berating one of his own drivers.

Well, the U.S. State of Georgia now has a woman in Congress, but that's not what has most people talking about Karen Handel. The republican's road to victory next on CNN NEWSROOM.

Plus, President Trump sends his top man to the Middle East on a mission of peace. More from Jerusalem, that's next. Do stay with us. Back in a moment.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and of course all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.

And we are following breaking news here in Atlanta where CNN projects republican Karen Handel will win the special election for Georgia's 6th congressional district. Now, many considered the race the first major test for congressional republicans under President Trump.

Together both sides poured an estimated $50 million into this campaign, the most expensive House race in U.S. history. With 99 percent of the vote in, Handel has 51.9 percent, democrat Jon Ossoff has 48.1 percent.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer briefed reporters on camera Tuesday, something he hasn't done in more than a week. But there are still some questions Spicer just won't answer.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.


JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The White House was hoping to change the subject today from the lingering cloud of the Russia investigation.

SPICER: Good afternoon.

ZELENY: But during his first televised briefing in eight days, Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn't help matters with this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just very plainly, a yes or no answer, does President Trump believe that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 elections?

SPICER: I think I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing. Obviously we've been dealing with a lot of other issues today. I'd be glad to touch base...

ZELENY: Asked again Spicer gave the same answer.

SPICER: I have not sat down and asked him about the specific reaction to it so I'd be glad to touch base and get back to you.

ZELENY: Keeping him honest, the entire U.S. intelligence community said Russia did interfere with the election. And the president's reluctance to acknowledge it has confounded his allies and armed his critics. It also helped fuel the investigation on Capitol Hill and by a special counsel.

Meeting with the president of the Ukraine in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump had strong words for North Korea about the death of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who died Monday. He'd been in a coma after 17 months in North Korean captivity.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a total disgrace what happened to Otto. That should never, ever be allowed to happen.

ZELENY: Mr. Trump implied President Obama was to blame since Warmbier had been detained since January 2016.

TRUMP: Frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the result would have been a lot different. He should have been brought home that same day.

ZELENY: A former national security aide to President Obama said at least 10 Americans were released from North Korean custody during the last administration. It's painful that Mr. Warmbier was not among them, but our efforts on his behalf never ceased, even in the waning days of the administration.

Spokesman Ned Price said. All this while the biggest republican priority, repealing and replacing Obamacare is still under wraps in the Senate. After once hailing the House version of the bill during this jubilant Rose Garden event, the president lately has been describing it as heartless and mean.

SPICER: The president clearly wants a bill that has heart in it.

ZELENY: Senate democrats are seizing on the president's criticism.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY) MINORITY LEADER: I think President Trump summed up his health care bill best with one word, mean. For once on the topic of health care, my colleagues and I find ourselves agreeing with the president. This bill is mean. Very mean.

ZELENY: Now, it's unclear if President Trump even knows exactly what is in that Senate health care bill. His Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he didn't know when asked that directly today, but it's clear that Senate republican leaders want to have a vote on this measure before the July 4th legislative recess. They are trying to get one accomplishment on the board to overtake some of this coverage and this cloud of the Russia investigation.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And President Trump has sent one of his closest aides back to the Middle East. Mr. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is visiting Israel and the West Bank.

[03:35:00] Our Oren Liebermann joins us now live from Jerusalem. So, Oren, Middle East peace has proved elusive to even the most seasoned negotiator. What are the expectations there that Jared Kushner will have more success than those who came before him and deliver on this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look it's the Middle East peace process. You have to approach it skeptically and believe that there aren't great chances here. And yet Jared Kushner's arrival and he hasn't been a big part of this process so far, but his arrival signals how serious President Trump is about pursuing this and it raises the stakes for both sides. Jared Kushner arrived in Israel one month ago as part of President

Donald Trump's first visit to the region. This visit, it will just be Kushner. The White House official says this trip is to keep the momentum going on an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a top priority for Trump.

Joining Kushner is Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for international negotiations. Greenblatt has done most of the heavy lifting so far here with the Israelis and Palestinians. He met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

He's also met with regional Arab leaders as he tries to build a framework for negotiations. Now it's the president's son-in-law and senior advisor who will lead here.


TRUMP: He is so great. If you can't produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can.


LIEBERMANN: Kushner comes to the region at a time when Russia investigations hang over the White House. Kushner met with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and may have discussed opening up a secret backed channel of communications between Washington and Moscow.

The Washington Post reported that U.S.-Moscow tie has also impacted Israel. In a meeting between President Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Trump revealed Israeli Intel to the Russians, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials. Former Israeli intelligence called the revelation potentially, quote, "a catastrophe." Trump seemed to acknowledge the leak when he was in Jerusalem, standing next to the prime minister.


TRUMP: I never mentioned the word or the name Israel.


LIEBERMANN: Kushner will try to leave all that behind when he meets with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

And the former U.S. ambassador to Israel urges Trump and Kushner to work quickly while they are riding a wave of goodwill with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders in the region. Rosemary, the ambassador believes he can use that goodwill to try to make some sort of progress here, but he warned he has to move quickly.

CHURCH: Yes, we will watch very closely. We always hope for progress, but we'll see what happens. Oren Lieberman joining us there live from Jerusalem where it is near 10.40 in the morning. Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May has a tough road ahead after

the queen mark the start of the parliamentary year. The details still to come.


CHURCH: In just a few hours from now, Queen Elizabeth will formally open the U.K. parliament. Her annual speech was delayed by two days after the results of Britain's snap election which cost the conservatives their majority in parliament.

Prime Minister Theresa May's ministers prepared the remarks the queen will deliver, laying out their priorities for the next two years.

Meanwhile, protesters are expected to take part in a so-called day of rage over the government's response to the Grenfell tower fire.

Let's go to CNN's Hannah Vaughan Jones, she's at Abingdon Green near the houses of parliament in London. Good to see you, Hannah. Of course, this is all very well-choreographed. How is it all going to play out?

HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it certainly will be very choreographed. And fortunately, they got the weather as well. Another beautiful day here in the British capital. So two hours from now, Rosie. We will see her majesty travel from Buckingham Palace to this entrance to the palace of Westminster just behind me.

We are told that the ceremony itself will be slightly dressed down but there will still be an element of pomp and pageantry about it. It's not just the ceremony that will be slightly different. The politics this time is crucial as well. Why? Well, we had that snap election and so we're not quite sure what's going to be in this queen's speech.

And this is, of course, what the government's legislative agenda will be for the next two years we are told as well.

Let me bring in my guest to talk more about the contents of the speech. Tom McTague, the chief U.K. political correspondent for Politico. This is really a mission statement, isn't it, what the government intends to do. What do we expect to hear her majesty to say?

TOM MCTAGUE, CHIEF U.K. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: We're expecting a paired down queen speech. It was dressed down today, but it's also there is going to be fewer elements in the queen's speech. The controversial policies from the conservative manifesto will be taking out things like the dementia tax that caused so much trouble in the election.

So that will be gone we expect. As well as things like the end of free school lunches. So the big meat of this queen's speech is the Brexit. So there could be up to eight Brexit bills from immigration bill to a new customs bill all included in this and that has to get through in the next two years. JONES: And Tom, it's normally a formality that this speech will be

passed in a vote of parliament which is due to take place next week. Not so necessarily this time. We don't yet know whether the government will have enough support in parliament to actually get this through and this is her first challenge for Theresa May.

MCTAGUE: It's an extraordinary scenario. We have -- we have Theresa May going to parliament asking parliament to back her legislative agenda. If they don't, at some point next week, she's gone. You know, this is -- this is something that we haven't had in this country for years. So, what she needs to do is get a deal with the DUP, a small party in Northern Ireland which we could -- we could be struck by tomorrow.

JONES: Yes, the Brexit negotiations have now formally begun. They began on Monday. Might we hear something in this speech, though, which perhaps will signify whether we are going to get a softer Brexit than Theresa May, may have hoped for eight, nine weeks ago when she first called the snap election?

MCTAGUE: Well, behind me now, my colleagues in the lobby will be pouring over this document. We already have embargoed copies of there that we can't mention what's in it until later on.

[03:45:05] But we'll be going over it with a fine-tooth comb just for that very, to answer that very question. I don't think there will be because I don't think they thrashed it out in government yet.

This is a debate between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Prime Minister Theresa May and her hard Brexit allies. So nothing will be decided yet.

JONES: OK. And the speech itself we understand is 10 minutes long or so. It's hard to see how the queen could get too much detail into that legislative agenda.

On the sidelines of what's happening in the part of Westminster, we are expecting this so-called day of rage, protest of course, not just in the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire, but also against the austerity measures that the Conservative Party has been responsible for over the course of the last few years.

What kind of impact do you think that's going to have on what we hear potentially in the chambers behind us?

MCTAGUE: Well, there is real concern among labour M.P.'s today that this day of rage will turn into -- will turn violent today. It's hard, there is clearly a lot of -- a lot of anger out there and whether it's directed at austerity or at Grenfell tower or the mistakes that have happened, so that's what -- that's what concerned about.

But you are sig -- getting signals from the government they are going to change tack on austerity. So I'd expect -- I'd expect decisions on money to be pushed into the long grass.

JONES: OK. Tom, thank you very much, indeed. Well, decisions on money might be pushed into the long grass. As security, though, will be presumably a key aspect of the queen's speech. And security certainly around where we are here in Westminster is very, very tight indeed.

So any protesters hoping to get near anywhere where we are, the Palace of Westminster will be certainly pushed to one side so that the sovereign, her majesty is safe and that all the parliamentarians and those gathered around as well for the queen's speech, to say an annual event are kept safe as well. For now, Rosie, back to you.

CHURCH: Yes. We totally understand, Hannah. Thanks so much. We'll join you again at the top of the hour.

And coming up, the pressure is on the United States to take action against North Korea after the death of an American student who was sent home in a coma. What are the possible options? We'll take a look. Stay with us.


CHURCH: A warning to you now. The police video you are about to watch is graphic. It has just been released and shows the chilling moments leading up to the fatal shooting last year of Philando Castile.

A jury in Minnesota found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty last week in Castile's death. Until now, only those involved directly in the case have seen this police dash cam video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your brake lights are out. So you only have one activated -- active brake light, that's going to be (Inaudible), your third brake light which appeared on the top. And this one back here is going to be out. Do you have your license and insurance?

PHILANDO CASTILE, PULLED OVER BY POLICE: Sir, I have to tell you I do have a fire arm on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, OK, don't reach for them.

CASTILE: I wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't pull it out! Don't pull!


CHURCH: Now this incident ignited nationwide protests after Castile's girlfriend streamed the shooting's aftermath on Facebook live last year. More protests took place after Yanez was found not guilty. Yanez testified he fired his weapon in self-defense because he thought Castile was reaching for his gun.

The police department now says it's best if Yanez were no longer with the force and said he would not return to active duty.

Well, the United States appears to be weighing its options against North Korea after the death of an American student who was imprisoned there for more than a year. Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier died on Monday less than a week after returning home in a coma.

With three Americans still detained in North Korea, the Trump administration has to be very careful in its response.

CNN's Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump expressing his personal anger over the death of American college student Otto Warmbier.

TRUMP: It's a total disgrace what happened to Otto. That should never, ever be allowed to happen.

TODD: The pressure is now ramping up on the Trump administration to retaliate against North Korea for Warmbier's death.

TODD: Was this now a red line incident with North Korea?


TODD: A military strike against Kim Jong-un's regime, analysts say, is too dangerous an option. Kim might retaliate by firing his missiles at Seoul, at Japan, or he could attack the 28,000 American troops in South Korea. But a cyber-attack on Kim's growing missile program could be an option.

CRONIN: There may be attacks, yes, we can take on missile launches. There may be attacks we can take on the command and control center to send a signal to North Korea. You will not see the result of that. But Kim Jong-un will.

TODD: Experts say hacking the regime's internal calls and e-mails and putting them out in public is a possible retaliatory move. The U.S. and the U.N. have economic sanctions already in place against North Korea, targeting luxury goods and imports and exports which help Kim's military. Those could be expanded. But what could hurt North Korea more, analysts believe, is if the U.S. apply so-called secondary sanctions against Kim's chief ally China.

MARCUS NOLAND, SENIOR FELLOW AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, PETERSON INSTITUTE: It is pretty well known that there are an extensive set of Chinese entities that help North Korea evade those arms sanctions by the United Nations. We've had a limited number of cases where we've gone after Chinese firms for those reasons. We could greatly expand that number.

TODD: President Trump now signaling he believes China's efforts with Kim Jong-un have fallen short, tweeting, quote, "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried."

[03:55:04] The administration says it's looking at a possible ban on American tourists traveling to North Korea to ensure no other Americans meet Warmbier's fate.

Experts say the administration has to be careful in its response so it doesn't put the three Americans currently being held by North Korea in any more danger. But the president, they say, likely has to show he is doing something.

CRONIN: If he fails to send a clear, visible signal after the death of a young American in the hands of this North Korean regime, he will be seen as lacking credibility. He'll be seen as weak around the world.

TODD: Experts say one broad stroke move that could hurt Kim Jong-un financially is if the U.S. pressures countries in the Middle East and elsewhere to expel North Korean laborers. Experts say there are tens of thousands of North Koreans working construction jobs and similar jobs all over the world and they bring in hundreds of millions of dollar, most of it they say goes right into the pockets of the regime.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the United States and for everyone else, stay tuned. Hannah Vaughan Jones will join me for more news. You are watching CNN.