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Soon: Trump And Putin Hold High-Stakes Bilateral Meeting; CNN: Russia Steps Up Spying Efforts After Election. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired July 7, 2017 - 09:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: -- man, got him to the hospital. A few days later, the man's family stopped by the restaurant with a picture to thank Austin. Austin says he was happy to save a life.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Look at that. You all hope you'll act like that in the moment.

CUOMO: But what's the key? Not only do you have to have the gumption to get in there to help. You have to know what to do. That's why that CPR training very important.

HARLOW: CPR training that John Berman does, and he'll take it from here.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I do. I have both gumption and training. All right, guys, have a terrific weekend. Nice to see you. We got a lot of news. So let's jump right into it.

All right. Hello. I'm John Berman. I want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. We are just minutes away from one of the most anticipated meetings of the year and what will be one of the most analyzed moments of Donald Trump's presidency.

Mr. Trump and Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, about to sit down for their first official meeting. At stake, armed conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, trade in Europe and Asia, domestic politics of the U.S. and Russia, and very real questions about past, present, and future espionage.

All that in a simple question of whether the two men will get along. They already shared a brief handshake, an arm grab right there, a simple pat on the back, a brief grin. That's on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany.

A short time ago they assembled for this, their class photo. You can see President Trump there on the bottom left. Angela Merkel, the host, right in the center wearing red.

And while we wait to hear what happens inside the meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin, outside, this is what it looks like. Protesters clashing with police. So far, more than 150 law enforcement officials have been injured. Plus, we have new CNN reporting, U.S. intelligence officials say Russia has stepped up spying efforts in the U.S. We're covering all of this with our team of reporters.

Yes, I want to begin with CNN White House correspondent, Sara Murray. She is live at the G20 in Germany. Anticipating the meeting with Vladimir Putin and already some other news this morning -- Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, John. You saw their initial meet and greet there, but the formal bilateral meeting that comes later, and it will be highly scrutinized. Not just sort of the body language, sort of the attitudes, but also anything that they say publicly.

There are still questions about whether President Trump will bring up Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Other topics that could come up are the challenging situation in North Korea, as well as Russia's aggression in Ukraine as well as in Syria.

Now this is going to be a relatively short meeting, only about 30 minutes, and it's going to be an intimate one. We'll see President Trump, President Putin there, as well as their translators.

But other than that, a small group, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has a longstanding relationship with Putin, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Trump's advisers have said there's no set agenda for this meeting.

And even though, he came into the G20 with a big briefing book, only a couple of those pages were dedicated to what was going to happen in this meeting with Putin.

Now until then, there's plenty of other business going on at the G20. President Trump just met with the Mexican President Pena Nieto and he was asked whether he still wants Mexico to pay for the wall. Trump said absolutely. Back to you guys.

BERMAN: That is something he has been reluctant or resistant to say during his time in office. He still says he wants to build the wall, but he's backed off saying Mexico is going to pay for it because he's been trying to improve relations with Mexico since he was inaugurated. Interesting to see that video. We'll play it for you when we get it. Sara Murray, thanks so much.

Vladimir Putin now is known to prepare extensively for the kinds of meetings he's about to have with President Trump. As for the president, he's new at this. His own advisers admit he can be unpredictable.

CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, live in Hamburg, Germany. Nic, what does Russia want out of this meeting?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, one of the things they want to do is to come out of it having President Putin looking strong. They'd like to feel that he is resonating with some of the other G20 leaders here. And to that point, the kremlin has already been positioning President Putin this morning on that. They say they've got a full briefing on everything President Trump's talked about in Warsaw yesterday.

They also say that they are essentially on the same page as the Germans and the Europeans, and many other leaders on globalization. That's a view that wants to have the sort of the bosses and the workers.

The view that also says the belief is that President Trump believes there should be, you know, winners and losers in that equation. That's how they see that. That aligns with the Germans and many of the Europeans.

On protectionism, this is something the United States has been criticized by many countries for at the moment. Putin's positioning himself against protectionism. On climate change, he's positioning himself again with the majority here.

[09:05:01]He says as well that all the G20 should come together to fight terrorism. Well, they might find some resonance on that. But on all those other issues it really sounds like the kremlin is trying to put a very, very positive spin on President Putin going into this meeting.

Because on the issues of Ukraine, Syria, Iran, for example, North Korea, there's clearly not going to be a meeting of the minds and perhaps for Putin at least, he's an outlier on those issues to the rest of the G20. So they're trying to make him look like a more central player before he goes into this meeting with President Trump.

BERMAN: Nic, we've all seen the pictures of the protests in Hamburg at the G20. There are protests at just about every international gathering like this. These turn violent. What is the latest there?

ROBERTSON: The very latest we have from the Hamburg Police is they've put out a call to other police units across Germany for reinforcements. They're trying to get more police to come in and support the effort here. There are a lot of police on the street.

It is quite normal in Germany and other countries in Europe to see big protests. This is not big compared to what the organizers here at the G20 have said. There was an understanding there could be as many as 100,000 people over the three days.

Last night just saw 12,000, but the tactics that the protesters have taken today is to split into small groups to try to block the roads that the G20 leaders are going down. Police are reporting just in the last hour, for example, a car close to here smashed up.

Police close to here hit with iron bars again in the suburbs of the city. An area, barricades put in the road and they were advising motorists to stay away from the area. It's a very dynamic situation for that protest but different tactics today. Protesters splitting up into smaller groups -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Nic Robertson for us in Hamburg. Keep an eye on the streets and those protests. Thanks so much, Nic.

President Trump ready to meet with Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, really in just a few minutes. Later this hour, CNN has new reporting about concern within the U.S. intelligence community about stepped up efforts of Russian spying here in the United States.

Shimon Prokupecz reported this story along with Evan Perez and Pamela Brown. Shimon joins us now. What have you learned?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Yes, that's right, John. So Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence gathering efforts in the U.S. according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials who say they have noticed an increase since the election.

The Russians have not been slowed by retaliatory efforts after it meddled in the U.S. election according to the U.S. intelligence community. Officials say they've been replenishing their ranks since the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying last December.

In some cases, Russian spies have tried to gain employment at places with sensitive information. The FBI would not comment for the story. The Russian Embassy didn't respond to a request for comment -- John.

BERMAN: So if U.S. intelligence knows or believes there are more Russian agents here in the United States and they are more active than before, why aren't they trying to stop it?

PROKUPECZ: Well, you know, even after the meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, both the Obama and Trump administrations have been slow to take measures to respond to the intelligence threat, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Partisan political disagreements over the Russian activity and President Donald Trump's reluctance to accept intelligence conclusions about Russia's meddling in the election has slowed efforts to counter the threat.

Another issue here, John, is there's an ongoing frustration with the State Department over granting of visas to people the U.S. intelligence suspect are intelligence officers.

A State Department official would not comment specifically on the visas. We are told, though, that the FBI's counterintelligence program, folks in that squad are keeping an eye on some of this activity -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much for that reporting. Appreciate it.

Joining me now, Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." Fareed, you know, we are minutes away from this meeting we've been waiting for, in some ways for months at this point between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. We have this new report about stepped up Russian spying. That's just one facet of it. How high are the stakes for this meeting? FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARAI GPS": They are fairly high in the sense that it's the first meeting, and a lot does get determined by how the measure each man takes of the other. If you think about the famous meeting between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna, it was, I think.

Khrushchev took the measure of Kennedy and thought he was weak. And that, in some ways, precipitated a series of crises in Berlin and the Cuban missile crisis. So you can sometimes end up with more serious kind of diplomatic problems if either side perceives the other as weak.

You know, I think a lot of bad things can happen from that kind of thing. It's difficult to imagine any particularly good outcome, only because when nations achieve some kind of diplomatic success, it's over a long time and there's a period of negotiation, and then there's a capstone meeting.

[09:25:04]For the first meeting, you're trying to protect the down side. Make sure nobody massively misreads the other.

BERMAN: And generally speaking, talking is what you want between world leaders of all kinds, you know, adversaries and allies. It's been fascinating to watch. We are just seeing pictures of the first handshake between President Trump and President Putin there. It looked perfectly cordial.

There have also been some other, to me, very interesting pictures throughout the morning at the G20 Summit as these world leaders greet. It's interesting to watch these leaders from around the world interact with each other.

Vladimir Putin, for instance, has been going to these meetings for a long, long time. He's speaking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He speaks fluent German. These two are speaking very much like they know each other.

You see Vladimir Putin, an hour and a half before his meeting with President Trump, in command of the room here. When I was watching this, it seemed to be, here's a guy who knows what he's doing and what image this sends to the world.

ZAKARIA: By the way, he speaks fluent German. She, Angela Merkel, speaks Russian because as an East German, they were forced to learn Russian. She doesn't like to speak it because it reminds her essentially of Russia and Soviet imperialism. So that's why they speak German.

But you're absolutely right. He is completely comfortable in this world. He also is a man very well prepared. If you ever meet Putin, what is striking is how well briefed he is, completely in command of the facts he is. You have a feeling he games out these meetings well in advance.

Trump on the other hand is an impresario. He improvises and freelances. So that itself will be a very interesting dynamic to see how those two leaders with very different negotiating styles match up.

BERMAN: You know, on the subject of President Trump, we saw him during the class photo standing next to Emmanuel Macron for a brief bit. Also a picture of him earlier in the day speaking to Emmanuel Macron. It was almost as if the two men sought out each other.

And to me, that was particularly interesting because there were clear policy differences that Macron, especially, has enunciated between the two men. They had that bizarre handshake a couple months ago where Macron was intent on showing how firmly he can grip the president's hands.

But yet here, they really look, again, you know, friendly, cordial. President Trump in some ways not known to hold grudges and is perfectly willing to interact like this even with people who crossed him.

ZAKARIA: You know, President Trump is a charismatic president. He is -- that's one of the reasons he was a good dealmaker. He was always able to sell things. He's very -- I don't know if warm is the right word, but he's comfortable around people. He's a people person.

So it doesn't surprise me that he's able at a person level, and part of it is I think many of us believe that some of the political positions he takes don't stem out of deep conviction. He thinks this is what the public wants to hear.

And so it's not surprising that he can be quite flexible in dealing with people with whom he disagrees. By the way, that's been true in the past. People forget that Ronald Reagan was able to get on with European leaders who were much more left wing than he was because they found common interests and common threats, the Soviet Union, for example.

BERMAN: One of the big questions obviously going into this meeting is, will President Trump bring up the issue of Russian meddling in the U.S. election? I think it's much more likely than a lot of other people do because I don't there is any political cost to it really and a lot to gain politically. What do you think Vladimir Putin, or how might he respond, if at all if and when President Trump brings it up?

ZAKARIA: Well, we do know that when President Obama brought it up, he dismissed it out of hand. He essentially denied it was happening and dismissed it. Putin has done something very interesting over the last few months, which is he has sort of signaled that, yes, it might have happened.

He said, what can we do if patriotic Russians decide to take matters in their own hands and try to help Russia? Which is interesting because it's suggesting that helping Trump win would help Russia.

So he may have a slightly different position. I think Putin with these kinds of things with the cyberwar and hybrid war that he calls it and he did that in Ukraine, likes to have it both ways.

He wants you to know that he can mess with you, but wants to also maintain plausible deniability. It will be interesting whether he decides to do anything like that with Trump, which is to not to entirely deny it but not accept it either.

BERMAN: All right, Fareed Zakaria, again, we're minutes away from that meeting actually happening. We'll be watching for many, many things, much more than just body language, but also some of the policies and actual matters they discuss. Fareed, thank you so much.

We have some breaking news here in the United States in the meantime. The Labor Department released the June jobs report moments ago and it beat expectations by quite a bit.

Our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans with me as well as Neil Irwin Sr., economic correspondent for "The New York Times" and author of "The Alchemists." First all of, Romans, the numbers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: OK, 222,000 net new jobs that was better than economists have forecasted, and John, the prior two months were revised higher as well. So that shows a late spring, early summer with what we're calling at CNN Money robust growth in the labor market.

So it looks pretty strong for that. You see the numbers there. When you look at the unemployment rate, the chart shows a definite, definite trend here of decreasing unemployment rates.

Now month over month, it ticked up a little bit to 4.4 percent, John, but it's still very near the lowest we have seen since 2001. And the reason why it ticked up, John, I think it's really important to note because some 300,000, 350,000 people came off the sidelines, came out of the shadows and started looking for a job again.

That shows they are hearing from friends and family. They are reading about strength in the labor market. They are coming back and trying to look for work again after dropping out of the labor market. So that's unemployment rate going up a little bit for the right reason.

Let me show you where there were good job gains. In manufacturing, about 1,000 new jobs there. Food, bars and restaurants that shows strength of the consumer. The consumers are spending money so these places have to hire more people to serve them.

Also business information systems, those tend to be, you know, higher paid jobs, office jobs, information technology jobs, lawyers, architects, stuff like that. Those jobs up 35,000.

When I look at the overall growth rate, I can tell you it's robust. That's the worried we're using. Not quite as strong as it was the same months in 2016 and 2015. In 2015, February to June, we created a million jobs. Still a strong labor market but not quite that blistering pace we saw the last couple of years -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I think really very much in the ballpark where we've seen the last two years. An extension in many ways of what we've seen. Neil Irwin, Christine Romans was talking about the labor participation rate. You picked up on that. You think that's significant, a signal perhaps there may be more room to grow here.

NEIL IRWIN, SENIOR ECONOMIC CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, I think so. What we saw, not only did the unemployment rate rise, we've seen this robust job growth. If we were full employment, you wouldn't think we could add 222,000 jobs a month. You wouldn't think there would be the people out there to fill them.

The fact that the people are coming off the sidelines and saying, maybe I do want a job. That's a good sign that there's room for this job market to grow that maybe the fed shouldn't be putting on the brakes. Maybe we should expect some better things out of the next few months?

BERMAN: Well, better wages? Because wages is the one thing that just hasn't seem to be affected by any of this, Neil.

IRWIN: Yes, that's a bit of a disappointment. So average hourly earnings are only up about 2.5 percent over the last year. That's about where it's been for, for years now. That's not an acceleration.

You'd expect if we were in a really tight labor market, employers would get in bidding wars for employees. That wage growth that raises would be higher for workers. They're not.

So that's another sign that maybe there is actually more room to grow, that maybe as we start to see more people coming into the labor force that maybe it is higher wages that pull them in and we are not seeing that just yet.

BERMAN: Twenty five million jobs over the next ten years, Christine Romans. That's what the president has promised. Are we on track for that?

ROMANS: If he can do 222,000 every month, yes. You need about 208,000 to do that every month. It's never so consistent. When you just look at that chart, you can see we had 50,000 jobs created in a month earlier this spring. A little bit of a pullback there. That was March.

But at 208 on average you could get to that 25 million. The president's economic team is promising that it's tax reform and health care reform and all of its reduction in regulations is going to explode the economy, 3 percent economic growth, 4 percent economic growth.

The president has even said 5 percent economic growth. But the concern among economists is that do we have the workers to drive that? You know, clearly, there's still workers on the sidelines who can come into the labor market, but can you do that kind of growth with the labor market we have today? Many worry you can't.

BERMAN: One final point here, you know, it's a very good jobs report. One the president will no doubt tout. It's the exact kind of jobs report he did not believe or bashed at the end of the Obama administration. So just keep both of those things in mind. They are both, in fact, true. Christine Romans, Neil Irwin, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

So we have seen the first handshake, back pat and even an arm grab. We've seen it all. The real question is, how will President Trump and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin get along behind closed doors? Will President Trump confront him over Russian election meddling?

Plus, some of the tactics that Vladimir Putin uses at these big meetings. Bring your dog to a meeting with someone afraid of dogs. Making world leaders wait for hours in some cases. Will he try some type of intimidation today?



BERMAN: All right. Very shortly now, within minutes, President Trump and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin come face to face for this very highly anticipated meeting. What will they talk about? What will their body language be? Will President Trump address the issue of Russian election meddling? We'll get answers to all these questions very, very shortly.

With me now Steve Hall, CNN national security analyst, retired CIA chief of operations in Russia, David Sanger, CNN political and national security analyst, and Heather Conley, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

Steve, I want to start with you here. One of the things we know about Vladimir Putin, at least we've been told, is he responds to strength. He responds to confidence. If that is, in fact, the case, should Donald Trump, the president of the United States, bring up the idea of Russian election meddling?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I believe he should. I believe he should be as strong as possible because I think the biggest mistake and the thing that concerns me is going in with a very western perspective. It sounds sensible to say let's find areas we can agree on. Areas we can cooperate on.

And the problem is that's not the way the Russians see it. I think what needs to be done is, yes, the election meddle, needs to be raised. The annexation of another country needs to be raised. The supporting of basically a civil war in the eastern part of Ukraine, the shooting down of civilian airliners, all those things need to be discussed.

And a line needs to be drawn before any further conversation really about what the Russians want to talk about, say for example, the lifting of sanctions, can be discussed. You need to be very strong with the Russians going in or they'll see this as a typically western approach.

[09:25:04]They want to cooperate that's fine. That means we don't have to worry about all those ugly things, the bad international behavior that Russia has been participating in over the past couple of years.

BERMAN: Heather Conley, you say these meetings will be a tale of two very different visions of the future. What do you mean?

HEATHER CONLEY, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: So the G20 right now represents two visions. You have Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Abe of Japan saying we want free trade. We want open societies. We want to protect the climate.

And Donald Trump's vision is very much an economic nationalism, the fair trade rather than the free trade, and certainly not supportive of a multilateral solution for climate change.

So you really have, in 70 years, the United States created the international system based on open liberal values and strong U.S. leadership. And now you have a very different vision where it's an America first, where it's our interest and the rest of the world can take that or not take that.

And so you really are missing that grounded U.S. leadership, security, economic and political. And that's the tale of these two visions. And you'll see the Japanese and the Europeans going in one direction and you'll see the United States moving in a very different one.

BERMAN: You know, in fact, David Sanger to that point, Angela Merkel opened up those meetings, and the very two first issues were global trade and climate change. Those were the first two issues she brought up. And they are two issues in which the president of the United States stands in opposition in many ways to many of the other leaders, if not most, of the other leaders in that room.

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's right, John. And that's what gives President Putin his opening here. What is the meddling in the election, the meddling in the French election, in Germany, the intimidation of European allies all about? It's about dividing the west.

And I think if Putin's view of the world from everything that we can try to piece together is that the west used Russia's weakness in the '90s after the fall of the Berlin Wall to humiliate the country, and he is bringing it back.

And if he can do so by dividing the west or accelerating divisions that we have anyway, then he's got to win. And so he's walking into this meeting in a pretty powerful place.

The president's got to decide whether to emerge with his usual, we got along great. Our relationship is going to be fine or whether he wants to convey a sense that you heard from Steve before that he really pushed back and made it clear to Putin that Russia will be contained in some of its activity.

And we don't have a clear understanding from the White House yet which one of those mind-sets President Trump is going into this meeting with. BERMAN: They've been deliberately vague about how he will approach this meeting. Even H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, said he's going in without a set agenda. I'm not sure whether that's true, but that's the message that they sent going in. Steve Hall, Vladimir Putin -- go ahead.

SANGER: Those can really be dangerous. That would certainly be dangerous. If you read the history of the Kennedy meeting with Khrushchev in 1961, which I wrote about in "The Times" two days ago, even going in with a relatively strong agenda, I think Kennedy felt deeply outmaneuvered. And if you go in with no agenda versus somebody like Putin is going in with a pretty clear agenda, that could be a problem.

BERMAN: Steve Hall, you know, a lot has been made about the fact that Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent, former spy in chief, approaches these meetings in a different way. Tries to get leverage any way he can. He brought a dog to his first meet with Angela Merkel because he knew she was afraid of dogs. How much do we read into that?

HALL: Vladimir Putin is indeed an expert on many different things. A lot is made of his former intelligence ties, KGB ties, and that will be helpful to him as he tries to assess his adversary, in this case, Donald Trump.

But, you know, almost as important, I think, is the vast experience that he brings into the room when you compare it to, from diplomatic and international relations terms, the much lesser amount of experience that you have on the American side.

You know, Putin has been around for years and years. He's met with all sorts of foreign leaders. He's met with four American presidents --

BERMAN: All right, guys, stand by. We're getting some new video of President Trump's meeting with Mexican leader, Enrique Pena Nieto. Let's listen in.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: -- we're negotiating NAFTA and some other things with Mexico, and we'll see how it all turns out. But I think we made very good progress. So it's great to be with you.

PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICO (through translator): Thank you very much. I want to thank you for opening this space that I've had with President Donald Trump.