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EARLY START

President Trump and Polish leader Andrzej Duda Meet; The Trump- Putin Agenda; Haley's Warning On North Korea. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 6, 2017 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:00] (VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- so he attacked -- his first -- his first answer. He was asked about North Korea, then asked about the whole wrestling video thing with CNN and he went on a -- on a -- on a tirade against CNN -- an attack on the press in general, CNN in particular, and had less to say really about North Korea. What do you make about this president, how he is performing on the world stage?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (via Skype): Look, some of these mannerisms are very debilitating to diplomacy and I think this is something that has come up already. In diplomacy, there's a certain amount of decorum and structure that's expected and it's often necessary to achieve deals, so I think it is going to be important for him, if he wants to be effective, to contain this.

There's also a tension between the politics back in the U.S. where these kinds of statements and arguments are very appealing to his base and the necessities that he now has as he goes to the G20. But I don't think when you have a group of leaders in the room, the kind of remarks that he made at the press conference or the kind of comments he's often famous for work very well.

Other leaders want trust. They want some degree of stability and they want to see a president who has a pretty clear roadmap of what he wants to achieve. That's how you enter into negotiations in a strong position.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. For those of you just joining us, again, this is EARLY START, 5:31 a.m. eastern time, 11:31 in Warsaw, Poland.

And that's where Sara Murray is continuing to respond to some rather remarkable comments from the President of the United States alongside President Duda who, Sara, clearly is a partner, an ally of the president. Who is that person -- once the president travels on to the G20, who's that person that shares his interests, his goals, and is that ally?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a great question. I mean, theoretically, as the president heads over to Germany this evening, heads to the G20, he should be surrounded by a number of U.S. allies. But the way President Trump has sort of conducted diplomacy has left some people a little bit on edge and I think we saw that after his last overseas trip. We've seen that in terms of him pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

And we've seen that in terms of sort of the level of shade that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been throwing in Trump's direction. Now, she has her own reasons to do that for her own political race in Germany, but there's no question that the way President Trump is approaching his role and America's role on the world stage has left some of our allies on edge. So it will be very interesting to see not just in his comments later today in Poland, but also as he goes ahead to the G20, how he talks about these alliances.

For instance, how he talks about the NATO alliance. How -- if he mentions Article Five. Remember, he got a lot of criticism last time he was abroad for not explicitly talking about that mutual defense provision under NATO. The notion that if one country is attacked that everyone is attacked and everyone would respond. Now, he later affirmed that back on U.S. soil but it's certainly the kind of thing that America's allies would like to hear explicitly from the president abroad.

And this is just talking about how President Trump is going to navigate U.S. allies. That is all before he reaches this highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, aides say the president is preparing for it. They believe that he is taking their advice but there's always a little bit of wariness. President Trump tends to go off script. He tends to sort of make his agenda on the fly.That is not how Putin approaches these meetings with other foreign leaders. He is very meticulous in his preparation.

ROMANS: Sara, I want to listen to something here and get Nic and Julian to weigh in on the other side.

You know, we talked about North Korea. We know this is going to be a very important topic of conversation at this G20. What to do about the North Korea nuclear threat. There's a suite of options and those are being presented to this president.

And the president said he's got some very severe things he's considering but he will not draw a red line. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as North Korea is concerned, I don't know. We'll see what happens. I don't like to talk about what I have planned but I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about. That's doesn't mean we're going to do them.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Nic, what do you make of the president's position here and the diplomacy he's going to have to do, specifically with the Russians and Chinese and on whatever the response is going to be to North Korea?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, sure. What he wants to get out of both of those leaders is to get support for the United States -- the resolution of the U.N. Security Council, which is to increase sanctions on North Korea. Both countries are opposed -- appear opposed to that, President Putin even writing in a newspaper here that sanctions don't work. He, perhaps,

means that more in reference to sanctions put on him and Russia over their annexation of Crimea and involvement in eastern Ukraine.

[05:35:15] But to the point of China, I think the Chinese were coming here expecting, given the recent tweets by President Trump and his tone, that there would some kind of clotures or controls put on what President Trump has called their dumping of steel in the world -- on the global steel market, which he believes, and others believe as well, is dragging down the price of steel and impacting other countries, not just the United States. And to a degree, he may get a level of support here so I think the Chinese were coming here expecting something like that.

But having heard from Nikki Haley at U.N. Security Council last night, laying out that increased sanctions is the way they want to go, countries that haven't been working with the United States may also have to pay a price. She also said, before she said that last night, that she's spoken extensively with President Trump about the -- about the way forward and the position to be taken on this.

So I think there is perhaps here an increased expectation now that what President Trump is talking about -- this unspecified action -- could be some kind of restrictions on quotas on trade with China over steel. So not entirely unexpected but it does seem to have sort of come up the agenda.

That said, do you really change President Xi's mind to get his support at the U.N. Security Council or at least avoid his veto by threatening him with something else, and that is a great dilemma in diplomacy? Do you try to blow a hard wind and freeze someone or do you use the honey rather than vinegar -- put the sun out and try and warm them towards your position? And the threat here over steel, this is going to be the dilemma that President Trump faces right now.

ROMANS: It will.

BRIGGS: Yes, and how are these pointed tweets toward President Xi likely to hit there where they don't deal with 140-character diplomacy?

But, Julian Zelizer, let's bring you on when it comes to Russia, when it comes to North Korea, it seems the common thread is inconsistency. How important is one consistent foreign policy, historically?

ZELIZER: Well, it is possible to shift around. So the example of Ronald Reagan -- you had a president who spent much of his career and presidency attacking the Soviet Union, focusing on it as an evil empire. And yet, at the same time, he did shift and he did negotiate with the Soviets and achieve the historic Arms Accord, so it is possible to be inconsistent. What's important, though, is that --

BRIGGS: But, Julian -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm talking about being inconsistent in the same five minutes, not in the same term. I mean, this was widely wavering within the same speech.

ZELIZER: Absolutely. In that case there was a roadmap. There was some kind of vision of what you wanted to achieve. That's not clear --

BRIGGS: Right.

ZELIZER: -- with President Trump. So here you have inconsistency within a speech, within a press conference, and within meetings, and I do think that undercuts the effectiveness of a president because other countries quickly sense weakness.

ROMANS: Although it might be an advantage, potentially, with the Vladimir Putin meeting because, you know, how do you predict what the Donald Trump demeanor will be -- what the Donald Trump -- what Donald Trump will say?

I want to add a little bit of context here. You heard the president talk a lot, Sara Murray, about liquefied natural gas and how he lifted regulations and now we were going to be able to be a big exporter of natural gas.

And, you know, we haven't had the terminals built in this country to do it. We started building them last year. There was -- there used to be just a pipeline to Mexico to get that -- to export, but there will be more terminals built over the next few years and those are -- those are plans that have been underway really for some time, given the market forces, Sara Murray, going on in natural gas.

It's interesting that that's going to -- that's a deliverable with the Polish president. You know, this deliveries of natural gas. Even at home, he's touting coal and coal energy.

MURRAY: Yes, it is sort of an interesting difference and, certainly, this is the difference in President Trump speaking to a domestic audience versus a foreign audience.

When you talk about doing a gas deal like that with Poland that is a finger in the eye to Russia. That's what we're talking about when we're talking about some of, sort of, the tougher lines he had in at Russia and their destabilizing forces in this part of the world. That's a way we can help U.S. allies abroad in the eyes of President Trump and take a harder line with Russia.

But that's certainly not the message that you hear him talking about at home. You certainly hear him talking about America being energy independent, but you hear him talk much more about the revival of the coal industry rather than renewable fuels.

And that's just a difference in -- again, a difference in audience. He's speaking to his base. He spoke to them throughout the campaign. And he has a base of people who want to believe that this is a president who can bring the coal mining industry back even though, as you pointed out, part of the reason we're seeing this resurgence -- or the surge in gas and in gas exports is because of the market forces that are at play here.

[05:40:15] So how that will work out for him when it comes to his reelection, we'll see. And we'll see if the domestic audience is disappointed by the gains he makes on the energy front, even as he may be pleasing an international audience.

ROMANS: A lot more on this trip ahead. A lot more on this day ahead, even. We're so glad to have you all with us to talk about it as it happens. Sara Murray, Nic Robertson, Julian Zelizer, thank you all.

BRIGGS: All right. The president also warned of some pretty severe things when it comes to North Korea. Ahead on this show, Colonel Cedric Leighton joins us to break down what those severe consequences could be to the North Korean regime. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:00] ROMANS: President Trump, moments ago, saying he won't draw red lines and Syria and will wait to see what happens on dealing with Pyongyang's nuclear program.

It came a day after the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took direct aim at the Pyongyang regime during an emergency Security Council meeting in response to North Korea's first ICBM test.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The world is on notice. If we act together we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must but we prefer not to have to go in that direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Haley calling for an escalated diplomatic and economic response.

Let's bring in CNN military analyst, retired Colonel Cedric Leighton, former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Good morning to you, sir.

ROMANS: Good morning.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Thanks for being here. Let's play for you what the president said about the North Korean threat, warning of some pretty severe things -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: As far as North Korea is concerned, I don't know. We'll see what happens. I don't like to talk about what I have planned but I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about. That's doesn't mean we're going to do them.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: As to the drawing of red lines, we'll get there in a moment. But first, as for the pretty severe things, are there any good military options when it comes to North Korea?

LEIGHTON: Certainly, Dave, there are no military options that won't have a reciprocal coming from the north so, basically what that means is if we attack the north they are going to respond. It's very difficult for us to mop up the entire air defense structure of the north -- the entire artillery battery structure that they have facing Seoul. All of that would be very difficult to do.

And then the other part, of course, it's going to be very difficult to eliminate their nuclear program through a military attack. So those are the kinds of things that we'd be dealing with.

One of the big issues that they -- that we have here is, in fact, limited options. The North Koreans have been able to entrench themselves for over 60 years. They've been planning for a U.S. attack, basically, since the end of the Korean War -- the end of the actual fighting in the Korean War. Technically that's, of course, still going on.

And so there are a lot of things that they've been doing, they've been preparing. They are a country that has a state of war mentality and because of that it becomes a very difficult proposition. Not an impossible proposition, but a very difficult proposition for us to go after them militarily.

ROMANS: Cedric, let me ask you about China and the importance of China in any kind of negotiations and pressure on the regime. There are some who argue that, you know, a unified Korean Peninsula would be against Chinese interest because, you know, that North Korea is a blunt to the American ally, American influence via South Korea and that it is Chinese interest to have kind of an unstable north. What do you make of that of what the Chinese motives are here?

LEIGHTON: Well, I think, Christine, there is some -- there's some truth to that. Of course, if Korea -- let's say Korea does unify. I'm kind of using a German model but with a twist to it, and that twist would be this. If American troops were withdrawn from what is now South Korea in a unified Korea situation, that may be something that would placate the Chinese.

However, that would be something that we may not want to do because we don't want there to be fighting between, let's say, the Koreans and the Japanese --

ROMANS: Right.

LEIGHTON: -- or the Koreans and the Chinese, or anybody else in that -- in that part of the world. So those are some of the big issues there. But I think there are ways around this issue but it does take for a lot of creativity and right now, the Chinese see the status quo as being in their best interest.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: So you've got the military option, you've got the Chinese potentially applying pressure via sanctions or other means.

And then, the third option some are hearing about -- some are discussing -- is open negotiations. Sitting down with Kim Jong Un. This is a regime that has been willing to starve its own people at the expense of its military program. Is there any indication at all that the North Koreans would be willing to sit down with the Americans to discuss their nuclear intentions? Is there any incentive for them to negotiate?

LEIGHTON: So, North Koreans have basically said that they the nuclear piece of their weapon systems -- of their military is off the table. That is a non-negotiable piece. They see it as the only way in which they can maintain their independence and it's all about maintaining the independence of North Korea, but what that really means it the power of the Kim family -- the Kim dynasty in North Korea.

[05:50:10] So the way that it would work, potentially, is, you know, President Trump has talked about -- had talked about this during the election campaign that he might possibly be willing to sit with Kim -- to sit down with Kim Jong Un. That would be a great victory for the north because the north wants nothing more than to be recognized as a co-equal power not only with regional countries but with all the great powers in the world. So if they sit down opposite the United States that would mean that they would be --

ROMANS: Yes.

LEIGHTON: -- in essence, at the same level as us. That is not a good thing to do from a foreign policy perspective because the North Koreans are nowhere near the power that the United States is or even as any of the other countries involved in this region are.

So I think it would be, you know, something that could be a way forward but it would have to be a series of talks that would involve South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and possibly other nations in the region --

ROMANS: Sure.

LEIGHTON: -- such as Australia.

ROMANS: We're showing a tweet from Donald Trump, the President of the United States, about 20 hours ago where he said, "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us, but we had to give it a try."

He's criticizing China there for not doing more. And, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, has said any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefit, or fails to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions in aiding and abetting a dangerous regime, et cetera. So you can see that the diplomacy of the United States now is putting pressure on China.

LEIGHTON: Absolutely, and the reason they're doing it is President Trump sees the world through a very commercial lens and it is certainly pretty accurate to say that Chinese trade with North Korea has increased substantially and, you know, the Chinese are looking at this. We need to maintain that stability in North Korea because we don't know what will come next and we don't want there to be any surprises when it comes to things that are going on around us or on our borders. So, the Chinese are really, basically, bent on propping up this regime.

If the United States can convince China -- and it's a big if -- to curtail some of their trade then that would perhaps change things and perhaps bring the North Koreans more toward a place where these types of events such as the intercontinental ballistic missile test would not be happening or, at least, would not be happening the way they are right now as big surprises to the rest of the world.

ROMANS: Sure, and don't forget, the Commerce Department is considering slapping tariffs on Chinese steel -- more tariffs on Chinese steel, which is another piece of the whole -- the whole negotiating -- the negotiating -- you know --

BRIGGS: And that would have huge consequences --

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- back here. He talked about reciprocal trade relationships ahead.

ROMANS: Right. Colonel --

BRIGGS: All right. Colonel Cedric Leighton, thanks so much for being here on a hugely consequential morning as the president heads on to the G20.

That will do it for us. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" picks it up now.

[05:57:25] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, July 6th, 6:00 here in New York. Alisyn is off. Poppy Harlow joins me. Thank you very much.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's good to be here. CUOMO: And, as usual, you bring with you breaking news on President Trump. He is on the world stage on the eve of his meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Trump slamming his predecessor, dismissing U.S. intelligence, and questioning whether Russia alone meddled in the U.S. election, saying,"Others may have been involved. No one really knows." That was his quote.

HARLOW: During a joint news conference just a short time ago with Poland's leader, President Trump also continuing his attacks on the media, responding to the escalation from North Korea. The president facing serious foreign policy tests on this overseas trip on several fronts. In about one hour he will deliver a speech to the Polish people. You will see that live right here on NEW DAY.

We have it all covered this morning. Let's begin with our Sara Murray who is live in Warsaw where the president is about to give that speech. Sara, what did you make of the press conference?

MURRAY: Well, pretty remarkable comments from President Trump in his press conference today alongside the Polish president.

One of the things that's sure to raise eyebrows is President Trump questioning whether it was just Russia that was behind hacking in the 2016 election and blaming his predecessor, Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

Now, the thing I have to mention is that Barack Obama, when he was president, found out about this in terms of it were Russia -- found out about it in August. They say he choked. Well, I don't think he choked. I think what happened is he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and he said let's not do anything about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY: Now, whether President Trump is inclined to accept it or not, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies did conclude that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election. They did not conclude that there was any other country involved in that.

Now, obviously, anything the president says about Russia is going to be closely scrutinized on this trip but there are other diplomatic issues and challenges he's facing. Of course, one of those pressing ones is how to navigate North Korea. The president was asked about that today. He said he has a strong response in mind but he doesn't want to draw any red lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Say that people in NATO are --

As far as North Korea is concerned, I don't know. We'll see what happens. I don't like to talk about what I have planned but I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about. That doesn't mean we're going to do them.