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AT THIS HOUR
U.S. To Classify North Korean Missile As "Brand New"; North Korea: Our Missile Capable Of Carrying Nuke; What Happened To Relationship Between Trump And Xi?; Trump Nears First, High-Stakes Meeting With Putin; Trump Faces Many Foreign Policy Tests In Overseas Trip; NYPD Cop, Mother Of Three, "Assassinated" In Ambush. Aired 11- 11:30a ET
Aired July 5, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in for Kate Bolduan. At this hour, North Korea launches a missile, the world goes ballistic. In just a short time from now, the United Nations Security Council is set to hold an emergency session on North Korea.
The regime launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, but U.S. intelligence officials say they have not seen before and then experts say could reach Alaska. The U.S. requested this U.N. meeting.
The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, calling for global action. This is coming after the U.S. and South Korea held joint military exercises, you're seeing there, in response to the launch, and just before the G20 Summit in Germany, which takes on an even greater urgency now.
President Trump set to arrive in Europe later this afternoon facing his biggest foreign policy test yet.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's David McKenzie in Seoul. David, U.S. officials now say this latest launch was a brand-new missile that has not been seen before. What are you hearing?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Ana. The assessment from U.S. officials is that intelligence shows this was a two-stage rocket. A liquid-filled rocket, one section of which was familiar to U.S. officials, the other one something new.
And they believe that is how it could potentially reach those extreme heights and if fired in a normal trajectory could have reached the shores of Alaska. This intercontinental ballistic missile test is certainly raising the temperature here on the Korean Peninsula.
And showing widespread calls from the Koreans, from the Americans to push Pyongyang to stop this march towards being a nuclear power. As you said, there will be these meetings at the U.N. where the U.S. and South Korea and others will try and push the potentially new sanctions against North Korea. But China and Russia having none of it. They say that there
needs to be talk rather than just the talk of sanctions -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right. David McKenzie, thanks for that update.
It is all about foreign policy today, North Korea taking its threats to a dangerous new level just as world leaders get ready for the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and the first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now President Trump is on his way to Europe as this hour.
CNN's Nic Robertson is already there in Hamburg. Nic, President Trump is already facing a series of foreign policy test on this overseas trip.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sure, yes. Not just North Korea and the fact that he needs to win President Xi Jinping's support, the Chinese president's support.
But the fact that the relationship with China has been going downhill in the past week. Weapons sales with Taiwan has been part of that. Sanctions on the Chinese bank have been part of that. There are many other elements.
Then there is that meeting with President Putin, and we've got an idea from the kremlin today that might come up in that. We knew that Syria, Ukraine would be the topics. But hearing today from the kremlin, they think there won't be enough time they say for President Putin to explain everything about Ukraine.
I think if you read between the lines, they know that President Trump is not going to give them any ground on Ukraine, on Syria, taking a slightly different tone saying we want to talk about peace.
The Estonia peace talks which was a Russian initiative we have to say Syrians involved in that process don't have any faith and the Russians are pushing that process and saying that they will help the United States fight terrorism inside Syria.
We already know what the Pentagon's assessment of that is, is that Russia doesn't so much target terrorists as the opposition forces inside Syria. So that's some of the meat of that.
But one surprise today, a major political weekly newspaper here in Germany had quotes from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. This is sort of a full frontal on the trade issue aimed precisely at President Trump when he arrives here.
We know there are major differences, personal differences between the two of them even. But she said, look, on globalization, the United States sees it in a different way towards. They see it as winners and losers.
We see it as it should be win/win. The United States, she says, has a view where a few people should profit. She -- of course, remembering she's running in elections here -- wants to see a more equitable distribution of what globalization can do for the world.
That's a lot on President Trump's plate. There are other issues but those are some of the big ones -- Ana.
CABRERA: And there is a lot, trade, Russia, of course, North Korea. Nic Robertson, thank you very much.
I want to come back to this pressing threat, North Korea. President Trump's biggest foreign policy test so far. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying the U.S. will enact stronger measures against the regime. But what does that mean? What options could be on the table?
[11:05:05]Joining us to discuss, Jeffrey Lewis, of the James Martyn Center for Nonproliferation Studies. He is an expert in nuclear strategy and international security. Also with us is former security official with the Bush administration, Michael Allen. He is now with the Beacon Global Strategies.
I want to show you both a tweet from President Trump just this morning. It says, "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us. We had to give it a try."
So Jeffrey, this is sort of an evolution we are seeing of Trump on China. First, he was all buddy, buddy, now this on top of the sanctions of a Chinese bank last week, making the arms deal with Taiwan, Nic Robertson mentioned. What happened with this relationship of being friends and now getting tough?
JEFFREY LEWIS, JAMES MARTIN CENTER FOR NONPROLIFERATION STUDIES: Well, I think it was always a little bit of a fantasy frankly that this would somehow work out for the United States, that China would solve our North Korean problem for us. I think what's happened is the president found the talking point he liked. He repeated it a lot and it didn't work out and so now we have unhappy Trump on Twitter.
CABRERA: So China and Russia, though, are kind of teaming up, almost against the U.S. to some degree. They put out a joint statement following this missile launch. Their statement was as much about the U.S. as it was about North Korea calling on both sides to de-escalate. Michael, what do you make of that?
MICHAEL ALLEN, FORMER BUSH ADMINISTRATION SECURITY OFFICIAL: I definitely thought it was an effort to plug further negotiations. I think China would prefer, frankly, sort of a status quo, whereas, the United States, I think, needs to raise this and is raising this as the number one issue in the bilateral relationship.
To say to China, to pressure China so we can have greater leverage over the Chinese so that they might in turn apply that towards North Korea. We've tried this with Iran. We've had a lot of success. We were able to get a nuclear deal.
Some may disagree with it, but nonetheless, we had some leverage. It's time to do those Iranian-styled sanctions against North Korea to see if there's any way to change the calculus because the military options are just too grievous to consider.
CABRERA: Jeffrey, do you agree that that's the way forward?
LEWIS: I think it is an important part of the way forward. I am a lot less optimistic that sanctions are going to convince the North Koreans to agree to agree to a diplomatic settlement in a way that they persuaded the Iranians.
North Koreans are much further along. They now have nuclear weapons. Now they have an ICBM that can reach the United States. And so I think that while putting pressure on North Korea, it's part of the strategy.
At the end of the day, we're going to have to accept that. Unlike Iran, North Korea is a nuclear arms state.
CABRERA: I mean, the U.S. response so far is that it's show of force, joint drills with South Korea, calling an emergency U.N. meeting. Do you think North Korea even cares, Jeffrey, or is this maybe what North Korea wants?
LEWIS: Yes, they don't care. In fact, it is what they want. I mean, ultimately if you look at the North Korean regime, they don't have a terrible amount going for them. The only argument that they have about why their government is an effective government is their nuclear and missile programs.
And so often we'll see the North Koreans -- they don't run from the tension. They seek to stoke the tension. They'll stage provocations. So while -- you know, at the end of the day, I think it is important to put pressure on the North Koreans.
I think we are going to have to come around to this idea that North Korea is a nuclear arms state and as much as we are not going to like rewarding them for that, we have to deal with them as they are.
CABRERA: How close do you think they are to having a nuclear tip to put on one of these missiles?
LEWIS: Last year. I think in September they conducted a nuclear test that they said was for that purpose. It was their fifth nuclear test. No country has done five nuclear tests and not been able to do it. So you know, I don't think this is a threat that exist in the future. This is a threat that is here now.
CABRERA: So Michael, remember this tweet from the president-elect then in January? This is January 2nd where he writes, "North Korea just stated it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen."
Now Trump promised he wouldn't allow North Korea's nuclear capabilities to advance. With this missile test, Michael, does he now own this problem?
ALLEN: Well, we, the United States, definitely own this problem. That tweet is a little confounding, but listen, I think it was his way of trying to say that I'm elevating this issue. It's an issue whose time has come. We can't kick the can down the road anymore.
Mattis, our secretary of defense, when he was traveling in the region recently called them a clear and present danger. So there's definitely an effort to ramp up the rhetoric I think to signal to the Chinese that we mean business.
I agree with Jeffrey, it does not look pretty even with the coercive sanctions regime in the future for the reasons that he stated, but I think we've got to try. I think we've got to limit the currency that goes into North Korea.
And really see if we can change the leverage equation to make them care, and the only way they'll do that, we assess, is if China seeks to, you know, expert maximum pressure.
[11:10:09]So that's got to be the play. It's been the idea for years, but we've got to put it into action now.
CABRERA: I mean it does seem like there has been an advancement in their rhetoric since this current president took office and there's been an aggression on both sides that will continue to go up and up and up.
In fact, Jeffrey, just in Trump's tweet that we just read in January, North Korea to our count has conducted upwards of ten missile launches. In fact, Kim Jong-un has tested more missiles in the last year than his father did during his entire reign. What could send him over the edge?
LEWIS: Well, I have a colleague at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who tracts all of these and he's been very busy this year. North Korea is testing missiles at an incredible clip.
You know, I think at the end of the day, North Korea's doing this because they have a strategy for using nuclear weapons. Their plan is to use nuclear weapons on the first day of a war.
Unlike say Saddam or Gadhafi in Libya, the North Koreans don't plan wait and watch the U.S. build up an invasion for a state-plan to go nuclear. What I think ultimately I have to worry about in sending Kim Jong-un over the edge is if he feels like he has no way out.
If he feels like this is heading to a military confrontation and it's better for him to go first rather than to wait for a second then end up like Saddam.
CABRERA: All right, we have to leave it there. Jeffrey Lewis and Michael Allen, our thanks to both of you.
Let's talk about Russia already laying out demands for the first face- to-face meeting between Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump. Hear why Putin and not the president may be the one bringing up election meddling.
Plus, a Justice Department employee quits over the president's, quote, "stunning behavior." Hear what she says is the tipping point. And a New York police officer and a mother of three ambushed inside her car. Why the NYPD says there's evidence this was an assassination.
CABRERA: Just two more days before President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sit down for official talks on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. Now this will be the first such meeting between the U.S. and Russian president in nearly two years.
This morning the kremlin says the goal of this meeting will be to establish, quote, "a working dialogue." The conflict in Syria and possibly Ukraine will be up for discussion.
Let's bring in Chris Cilizza, CNN Politics reporter and editor-at- large, and Jill Dougherty, CNN contributor and former CNN Moscow bureau chief. So, Jill, that this is an official bilateral meeting, not an informal pull-aside, what does that tell you?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it tells me that they want at least symbolically to make this count, that they want this to look important because Vladimir Putin really wants Russia to be on the stage as a country that helps to solve issues around the world.
That they are the country that really is kind of one of the deciders now, and so even this meeting, just the mere fact that it's happening is important for Vladimir Putin. When you get into the details, that's where I think a lot of doubts come up.
I mean, they know compared to President Putin, who has been in power for 17 years in Russia, Putin knows these issues down pat. He's got them down pat. Mr. Trump does not. Mr. Trump also -- and I think it's significant today with North Korea and China, Mr. Trump can change his mind.
So I don't think they want to get locked into anything specifically with Trump. They can leave that later on to people who work in the administration. But what they want is, you know, Russia's important, Putin's important, and they're on the stage.
CABRERA: And, Chris, the president's national security adviser also does not want to commit to a specific agenda. He's saying right now it's going to be whatever the president wants to talk about. Do we know what the goal is for President Trump in this meeting?
CHRIS CILIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Not really.
DOUGHERTY: See, that I think --
CILIZZA: Sorry, Jill. H.R. McMaster I think is smart in that he's dealing with the fact that Donald Trump usually doesn't operate on an agenda. When he says we're going to cover up this ground opens up the possibility that that ground isn't covered.
You know, I think for many Republicans here in Washington, what they would hope Donald Trump does is offer a stern sort of talking to, warning to Vladimir Putin regarding the election meddling, this can't happen again, you know, we have ample evidence that suggest you guys did this.
I'm skeptical that that will happen, but, remember, Donald Trump's brand is sort of being tough. He billed himself as someone willing to be tough on the world stage knowing that Barack Obama was in his mind not willing to be. So --
CABRERA: So Chris, am I hearing you say you wouldn't be surprised if he actually does bring up election meddling?
CILIZZA: I would be surprised only because I think that while that is his brand, I just -- we've seen no evidence of Trump being willing to do that even when not in a face-to-face with Vladimir Putin on it. He's sort of the one voice in the Republican Party certainly.
But really among elected officials who will say, well, yes, I mean, most things suggest it was them, but will not issue sort of the strong condemnations we've heard from virtually every other Republican elected official.
Could it be a moment in which he choose to do that? Sure. But given that he hasn't been willing to do it yet, I guess, I would be surprised. That's it. I'm surprised daily about things Donald Trump says and does, so I can't say that it would be impossible to do that. He would take that approach.
CABRERA: Let me ask you, Jill. Could Putin be the one to may bring up the election hacking? We know he wants to get back those two Russian compounds here in the U.S. They were closed, of course, as the result of the U.S. response under the Obama administration following the election.
DOUGHERTY: You know, I don't think Vladimir wouldn't really want to bring it up because it goes nowhere. I mean, he -- the Russians and President Putin have said, we didn't do it, end of story.
[11:20:10]All of this, you know, the hearings and investigations are all part of American political hysteria, so I don't think he would want to waste his time doing that. I think if Donald Trump wanted to bring it up, Putin would do what he always did, which is, he will ram right back and say, hey, you do the same thing to us.
Because right now in Moscow they're having hearings their own parliament about American interference in Russian domestic politics. So that's not really going to get anywhere. I mean, I think what they would like to do is get somewhere in Syria, working together on Syria.
Get some type of anti-terror coalition going, maybe get into nuclear issues. That is really important. But I think their expectations are very low because they realize that this administration so far does not really have a Russian policy. They have bits of it. They have issues, but they don't really have a strategic long-term approach to Russia. So you know, listen, they could say, we met, it was a good meeting, a productive meeting.
I think the emotional tone is very important because if Donald Trump is nice and kind and friendly to Vladimir Putin, it's going to back fire domestically for Donald Trump. So --
CABRERA: So this is going to be a meeting that is scrutinized not just the tone and the context. But in the context of what happened last time President Trump met with the Russians, of course, it wasn't Putin so the stakes are even higher now.
But remember the infamous oval office meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, there was a classified intelligence shared. Russians were laughing about it. In fact, I want to play a spot and remind our viewers of how that exchange happened when they talked about -- when the Russians were asked about this meeting itself. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: (Inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Obviously that was in Russian. You saw the reaction by some of his administration, Putin's administration, laughing as he's talking about how his administration if there were secrets exchanged, they didn't fill him in.
And so it was very much, you know, coming across as they have the upper hand, Chris, in that interaction whereas the president of the U.S. was getting slapped on the hand, if not more.
CILIZZA: Two things. Context matters, Ana, so the context is not just a bad meeting with that image that you are showing, and what we know came of that meeting. Remember, that's the same meeting in which Donald Trump reportedly said that he had sort of had a great burden lifted with the firing of Jim Comey.
He referred to Jim Comey as a nut job in that meeting as well. But also the fact that, you know, we don't really know what Donald Trump looks like on the world stage with someone who, as Jill noted, is very skilled and practiced at this.
This not Vladimir Putin's first rodeo on something like this. I think as much as what they say, how they look, the body language, we know this is a thing with Donald Trump with the politics of the handshake onward, I think all of that stuff will be scrutinized.
And frankly rightly scrutinized because Vladimir Putin gets it, right. He gets this is theater at some level, and he will be ready not just for questions about what was discussed, but for how it looked.
And so I think Donald Trump -- look, he has a real challenge on his hands, not just with Putin but with the broader meetings. His last trip to Europe, he didn't exactly -- and I know this will make his supporters happy, but he didn't exactly wow European leaders.
So I think there's real questions meaning the broader G20 Summit with trade, migration, with it being in Germany and Angela Merkel hosting it. There's a lot of political policy peril there for Donald Trump that gets beyond just the Vladimir Putin meeting.
CABRERA: When you talk about people watching their interactions, I keep thinking of the handshake with the French President Macron and how that was really, you know, blown up --
CILIZZA: Or Trudeau or Angela Merkel and the lack of a handshake. It's a big story.
CABRERA: So much to watch and we'll be discussing it. Chris Cilizza, Jill Dougherty, thank you both.
Coming up, in a rare move, a Justice Department official is now revealing the reason she quit, President Trump's conduct. What she calls the stunning move that led to her resignation.
[11:25:04]Plus, the New York police commissioner calling the death of one of his own an assassination. Details on the attack that claimed the life of a 12-year veteran of the NYPD.
CABRERA: New York City Police are investigating what they say is an unprovoked attack that has left one of its officers dead. The officer and her partner were sitting in a mobile command unit when the suspect approached, and fired through the window, hitting her in the head. The police then confronted, they killed the shooter about a block away. Now authorities are looking for a motive behind the shooting.
Joining me now with details is CNN national correspondent, Brynn Gingras, with that story.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's such a sad story. No motive yet and it's just so unclear why anybody would do this, right?