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The Highly-Anticipated Meeting of Trump and Putin; Protesters Blocks Streets in Hamburg. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 7, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, HOST, CNN: High stakes in Hamburg. The American and Russian President set to meet amid so many thorny issues between their governments.

GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: The meeting comes as intelligence sources tell CNN Russia is ramping up espionage activity in the United States.

ALLEN: Plus, day one of the G20 summit is already drawing protests and clashes between riot police and demonstrators.

It's all ahead here. Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. We are live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters. Newsroom starts right now.

Good day to you. Three a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. And in the coming hours, the much-anticipated meeting is set between the President of the United States, Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart.

ALLEN: The two leaders are at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. In the past Trump called Putin a real leader and someone he could get along with.

HOWELL: German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Mr. Trump on Thursday. A spokesman says they discussed North Korea and other foreign policy hot topics.

ALLEN: A second day of protest is underway right now in Hamburg. Demonstrators set fire to cars and clashed with police around the city. Police say 76 officers were hurt in clashes Thursday. Just one person was arrested. Right police responded with water cannon after protesters threw bottles and fireworks at officers.

HOWELL: So what's the situation in Hamburg now? Let's go live to Atika Shubert on the ground following the situation. Atika, if you could, set the scene for us there.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Absolutely. What we're seeing today is lots of smaller protests spread out across the city. This is one of them. In fact, I will take you a bit closer here. This is being called the color of the red zone protest. What these protesters are trying to do is to get into the red zone, the restricted area close to the summit. And that's to prevent delegations from actually reaching the summit.

This group has gotten pretty far and they're staging a sit-in along this intersection here. You can see behind them the riot police, as well. In fact, they're surrounded by riot police here. And they've been given two warnings already that if they don't disburse that they will be forcibly removed.

But these protesters say they are staying here. Their intention they say is to disrupt the G20 summit to show that it's an illegitimate gathering of people that has, in their words, shouldn't be directing the rest of the world, telling the rest of the world what to do.

And you can hear the chanting. They're saying anti-anti-capitalism. It is very much a leftist protest. And Hamburg is a city known for this type of protest. So both police and protesters have been preparing for this day for some time, George.

HOWELL: Atika though, if you could put this process we've seen in the last several hours into context, compared to other protests around this event. Is this one of the bigger protests that you've seen?

SHUBERT: I mean, in fact, as you can see there's less than 100 people here, so it is smaller but that's the objective, is to get smaller groups spread out across the city. And so it has become a kind of cat and mouse game between police and protesters today, but you're absolutely right. Protests like this are very common in things like the G20 summit, or a lot of these G7's kind of these smaller group gatherings of nations.

And so while protests like this are not unusual, Hamburg is a special security concern because it had a long history of protests, very aggressive leftist protests as well. So it was always going to be a challenge to get so many controversial world leaders in one place here at the G20 summit when you have determined protesters like this waiting for them.

HOWELL: It's 9.03 a.m. in Hamburg and Atika Shubert is on the scene there. Atika, we'll be in touch with you again through the hour to check on events there. Thank you for the reporting today.

ALLEN: As far as the meetings themselves, North Korea, Syria and Ukraine will be on the agenda for the highly-anticipated meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin.

HOWELL: OK. But the elephant in the room, the big question, will Russia's cyberattack on the U.S. election, will that also be on the table? Will that get attention?

Jim Acosta has this report.

JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The President of the United States once again contradicted the U.S. intelligence community assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody really knows, nobody really knows for sure.


ACOSTA: At a news conference in Poland, President Trump held open the possibility that other countries were involved.


TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered.


ACOSTA: But even as he insisted it was not clear Moscow alone interfered in the election, the president tried to blame former President Obama for failing to stop the Russians.


TRUMP: He did nothing about it. Why did he do nothing about it? He was told it was Russia by the CIA as I understand it. It was well- report, and he did nothing about it.


[03:05:05] ACOSTA: While even some democrats say the Obama administration didn't go far enough, Obama did confront Russian President Vladimir Putin directly last September. And the Obama administration officially accused the Russian government of interfering in the election in October.

President Trump's uncertainty on the question runs completely counter to the U.S. intelligence community's analysis.


MARK WARNER, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Do you believe that the January 2017 intelligence community assessment accurately characterized the extent of Russian activities in the 2016 election, and its conclusion that Russian intelligence agencies were responsible for the hacking and leaking of information and using misinformation in order to influence our elections?






ACOSTA: The President also issued a stern warning to North Korea over its missile launch this week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I have some pretty severe things we're thinking about. It doesn't mean we're going to do them. I don't draw red lines.


ACOSTA: But later in a speech the president made a course correction of his own, stating his support for NATO's article five that an attack on one of the alliance's members is an attack on all, a stance he declined to take on his last foreign trip.


TRUMP: To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind article five, the mutual defense commitment.


ACOSTA: And his next stop in Germany the president made sure to shake the hand of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, something they did not do during a tense meeting in the Oval Office earlier this year, although they did at other times during that White House visit.

But it's his meeting with Vladimir Putin Friday that the world will be watching. A senior administration official said it is believed this will be Mr. Trump's first-ever face-to-face encounter with Putin. The President has given a range of answers on this question in the past.


TRUMP: I was in Moscow recently and I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.

I never met Putin, I don't know who Putin is, I have nothing to do with Putin, never spoken with him. I have no relationship with Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if you have no relationship with Putin, why did you say in 2013 I do have a relationship, in 2014...


TRUMP: Because he said nice things about me over the years.


ALLEN: Jim Acosta reporting there for us. Let's go live to Hamburg again and CNN's Nic Robertson he joins us. And Nic, it will be interesting what does come up in this meeting and what doesn't. How could President Trump not bring up Russia meddling, especially since President Obama looked him in the face, Mr. Putin and said, "cut it out" just a few months ago?

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: Well, H.R. McMaster, President Trump's national security adviser, has said that there's not a fixed format going into this meeting, and it will be very much determined by President Trump and, of course, President Putin because he's going to have his own agenda going into this.

He is a skilled negotiator himself, he's very skilled at dealing with leaders of other countries. He's had many years of experience doing this sort of thing.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined, you know, how he thinks the meeting will go. He also has met with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and has pointed out, the State Department has pointed out that this meeting between President Trump and President Putin comes with, you know, against a background of dialogue between Tillerson and Lavrov and other officials speaking to each other.

But this is at the most senior level, and that's what Secretary Tillerson is saying, that this really because of everything that's gone on in this relationship and the background, the tension that it's had, the focus that has been on it because of the meddling in the U.S. elections, that this will be an opportunity for both men to be able to sort of figure out what the relationship will be between the two countries going forward.

However, we do expect Ukraine, we do expect Syria, we do expect North Korea to come up and be part of the conversation, and President Trump yesterday in that speech he gave in Warsaw was very clear, Russia needs to stop its destabilizing in Ukraine and other countries, he said, and stop its support for people like President Assad and Iran and join other nations, join the sort of rest of the world, if you will, the other members of the G20 and its position and what it does in relation to other countries.

You know, Russia has -- has annexed Crimea. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations who said sanctions cannot be dropped on Russia until it removes its forces from Crimea. So the bar is very high.

What tone that conversation will actually take we probably at this stage can only guess at. There will, of course, be readouts from both sides later on, their own interpretations.

[03:10:04] But I think, you know, from Secretary Tillerson's point of view -- and he's pretty close to this -- the view is that this is an opportunity for them to kind of try to set the relationship going forward from here between the two countries, Natalie.

ALLEN: Which that relationship has been stymied ever since Mr. Trump took office. There are -- they are discussing many disparate issues, but could we expect perhaps a policy to emerge as far as their relationship? There really isn't a policy right now with the U.S. toward Russia.

ROBERTSON: You know, that will -- there is -- there is a potential for -- you know, for a beginning of that, but President, you know, Trump from his speech yesterday, the public -- you know, the sort of well-written, well-crafted speech that he gave yesterday in the central square in Warsaw seemed to be very, very clear, that to have a relationship Russia needs to change its actions.

We heard from the Kremlin just a few days ago, the spokesman for President Putin, Dmitry Peskov saying on the one hand they don't know what they want -- they don't know what the United States wants from them. So perhaps that will be clarified.

But they also said there won't be time in the meeting for President Putin to be able to give a full assessment of Ukraine to President Trump, which really seemed to be an indication there that they don't expect a meeting of the minds on Ukraine.

So in essence, therefore, the Kremlin is not expecting President Putin to come out of this and say I listened to what President Trump had to say in Warsaw, and, yes, we're going -- you know, we're going to change what we're doing. I don't think anyone is anticipating that sort of thing. So it's hard to see what that future policy could be.

Russia has talked about, yes, we'd like to work with the United States on fighting terrorism in Syria, for example, but the assessment of the Pentagon has been that actually Russia's military effort in Syria is focused more on propping up President Assad than it is on targeting ISIS.

So, you know, even if that's put on the table, one would expect that to have to go through a serious degree of scrutiny before you could even begin to sort of move forward and say, yes, we can agree to do that sort of thing. There is a huge amount of skepticism about Russia and Russia's role and what it wants at this meeting at the moment.

ALLEN: We thank you, Nic Robertson among our team there in Hamburg covering this important story for us. Thanks, Nic.

HOWELL: All right. So this supposed inaction by the U.S. over Russian meddling in last year's election it's already leading to some consequences, and apparently emboldening Moscow.

ALLEN: Intelligence sources tell CNN that Russian spies are stepping up their cloak and dagger operations in the United States.

Our Pamela Brown has that.

PAMELA BROWN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: 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've noticed an increase since the election. So the Russian's efforts have not been slowed by the intense focus of the intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the U.S. election.

And since the election U.S. authorities have detected an uptick in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the U.S. under the guise of other business. Officials say they've been replenishing their ranks since the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying last December. And in some cases Russian spies have tried to gain employment of places with sensitive information as part of their intelligence efforts. Now, the FBI which is responsible for counter intelligence efforts in

the U.S. would not comment for the story, and the Russian embassy in Washington didn't respond to a request for comment, but all of this, of course, begs the question why isn't this being stopped.

Well, 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.

Former and current intelligence officials tell us. We're also told that FBI intelligence is seeking to keep an eye on some of this activity. In some cases the FBI uses surveillance to track the suspected Russian intelligence officers as part of a counterintelligence effort.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

ALLEN: Earlier, CNN's Jim Sciutto spoke with the former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about increased Russian espionage. Here is how he explains the situation.


JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: I don't have any official access to classified information, but this certainly fits the standard Russian pattern which comports with their behavior going back decades.

They do want, I'm sure, repair the loss by virtue of the 35 intelligence operatives that were expelled by the Obama administration, and just their general push, they're going to stretch the envelope as far as they can to collect information. And I think largely, if I could use the military phrase, prep the battlefield for 2018 elections.

[03:15:06] JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Prepping, you think, putting themselves in position for further attempts...


CLAPPER: Think they're here to recon order and collect as much as they possibly can on the United States, whom they consider as their prime adversary.


HOWELL: So the question now, what is the Kremlin saying about the claims of election meddling? We head to Moscow and CNN's Ivan Watson in just a few minutes to get the reaction there.

ALLEN: And North Korea is celebrating its latest missile launch, but President Trump has some tough talk for Kim Jong-un's regime.


with your CNN world sport headlines.

At Wimbledon Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic making quick progress with easy straight sets wins in the second round of the Grand Slam held just outside of London. The second seeded Djokovic needing just over 90 minutes to see off the young player Adam Pavlasek; 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

Third seated Federer who is seeking a record eight title also winning in straight sets against the Serbian player, Dusan Lajovic on a hot evening out there on center court.

There's been a setback to tell you about for the world champion cyclist Peter Sagan who had been hoping for a brief following his disqualification from the Tour de France. The Slovakian taking his appeal to the sports court of arbitration after the sprint collision earlier this week that saw him knock rival Mark Cavendish out of the rate leading the Brit with a broken shoulder blade.

Sagan denies causing the crash, but CAS rejecting Sagan's appeal.

Joe Roots scoring a five brilliant unbeaten 184 runs on his first day as England's test skipper to put aside in control against South Africa on the opening day of first testing. There were 17 for loss of two week. It's when Root arrived at the crease which then saw his team slumping to 74 for 4. But the 26-year-old assuming control, England closing a highly respectable 357 for five Root. Luckily to drop one on 16, later reprieved by a noble when stump on 149.

That's a look at your sports headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.

HOWELL: Live image also this hour. Nine-eighteen in Hamburg, Germany. And we just saw a moment ago water cannons. We're seeing the water cannons now activated on protesters there. Again, this taking place as the G20 summit happening.

We see these protesters holding their ground. The police also holding theirs with these water cannons.

Our correspondent Atika Shubert is also there following all of this. Atika, so we saw this just the other day. It's happening now as well.

SHUBERT: That's right. We just saw the water cannon being brought in. There it is there. It's already -- just burst water twice on the protesters. You can see their soaking wet.

[03:20:02] It was interesting, right as the water cannon came out everybody brought out their wet weather gear, their umbrellas. They're determine to stay, but they say they will not violently resist the police, that this is a sit-in. If they are forcibly removed, they say they will have to be carried out, but otherwise this is their symbolic protest they say to try and disrupt the G20 summit.

And so what we see now is police have already given them two warnings to disburse. Now they've brought in the water cannon. We'll see what extra stems police take. There goes the water cannon again. We might get a little wet here, George. So if we have to move I will let you know.

But this is basically the process police are using to remove these protesters who right now are blocking the intersection because they're hoping to stop delegations from actually reaching the summit.

So that's what protesters are trying to do. You can see how powerful the water is just by the way people are reacting to it. You see the way it is just pushing against them there. This is a pretty powerful jet of water that comes out of these water cannons, but it is not removing the protesters, George.

HOWELL: Atika, it was just a few minutes ago that we spoke and, you know, the image that we saw, it seemed much more peaceful. What has happened between now and then to prompt this type of reaction? Because, again, what we saw a few moments ago very different than this. Was there an acute response from the protesters or what prompted this?

SHUBERT: I think it's been peaceful for a while, and think it will actually continue to be. What's happening though is that police are eventually saying, listen, at some point this protest has to wrap up. If you're not going to move we're going to find a way to move you.

They've already given two warning, now they brought in the water cannon. At some point we might see officers actually coming in to physically remove protesters. But what they have told us, the protesters, is that they will not violently resist but they're not moving either. So they say that if they're going to be removed, they're going to have to be carried out.

Once again, the water cannon -- I think this is going to go for a while as police try and basically get them to move one way or the other, first with the water cannon and then possibly by bringing in riot police.

You can see the riot police on the sides there with the -- with the eye shields on and the batons. Getting a bit of the water spray here. It is a really powerful jet of water, but it looks like demonstrators are absolutely determined to stay, George.

HOWELL: Water cannons are now activated there. Atika Shubert live in Hamburg, Germany where it is 9.22 in the morning. We will be in touch with you again through the show just to see how things are faring there. Thank you, Atika.

ALLEN: It is interesting. We only have one report of an arrest so far in these protests and actions with police. We'll wait and see how they stop that protest there.

HOWELL: Right.

ALLEN: Well, President Trump says he is weighing a response after North Korea's recent -- most recent missile test. He says that includes, quite, "some pretty severe things."

HOWELL: But the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis says diplomacy is still a priority.

CNN correspondent Barbara Starr has this report for us.

BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile rolled up to the launch pad, fired and changed the world for President Trump.


TRUMP: I don't draw red lines.


STARR: After declaring the era of strategic patience is over, the North Korean threat is now a major issue at the G20 summit. President Trump trying to leave all options from sanctions to military action on the table.


TRUMP: I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about.


STARR: In his first public statement, Defense Secretary James Mattis says diplomacy still is the priority in controlling North Korea's new missile launches.


JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I do not believe the capability itself brings us closer to war because the president's been very clear and the secretary of state has been very clear that we are leading with diplomatic and economic efforts.


STARR: The secretary has long warned that war with Kim Jong-un could lead to catastrophe.


MATTIS: As you know, if this goes to a military solution, it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale.


STARR: Military options have been updated for the President, but the problem is unchanged, a limited U.S. strike poses significant risk. Kim Jong-un could quickly attack Seoul, South Korea, killing millions.


BRUCE KLINGNER, SENIOR FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: We would have to be prepared to go all-in, meaning an all-out Korean war.


STARR: The U.S. does have a limited missile defense capability on land and at sea, but there are questions about its reliability in some cases.


[03:25:04] KLINGNER: The same situation applies. Even if we were to just take out one missile in midair, one missile on a launch stand, that could escalate to an all-out war.


STARR: The map is simple. North Korea has thousands of infantry forces and armor and artillery near the DMZ, much of it according to the Pentagon in thousands of underground facilities and bunkers ready to fire on Seoul at even the hint of an attack by the U.S., which is why Secretary Mattis also rules nothing out.


MATTIS: The military maintains military options for the commander in chief.


STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

ALLEN: Well, let's get the perspective now from South Korea. Paula Hancocks joins us live from Seoul. Paula, hello.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hello, Natalie. Well, we've heard on Thursday in Hamburg from the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, when it comes to North Korea, really outlining his policy of what he thinks should happen.

Now, he is pro-engagement, he is pro-diplomacy, dialogue with North Korea. But since that ICBM launch earlier this week he had been pushing for stronger sanctions alongside the United States. But what we heard in this think tank speech was that he said if the conditions are right and if North Korea looks like that they want to ease sanction -- ease tensions, then he would be willing to meet Kim Jong- un anywhere at any time.

He also said that he has no wish to see the collapse of North Korea and he won't be pushing for any kind of unification by absorption. So really putting forward a pro-engagement policy when it comes to North Korea, slightly at odds with what we're hearing from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Now, just further north of the DMZ, the border that splits the Korean Peninsula, we saw a very different scene on Thursday. We saw grand celebrations after this ICBM launch. There were many of the top leadership of the regime, we also saw many of the scientists involved in this ICBM launch showing just how -- how much of a celebration there is in Pyongyang. There was dancing in the streets. So obviously a very different response in North Korea, the regime

extremely pleased with the success of this ICBM as the rest of the world discusses how to deal with it. Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We thank you. Paula Hancocks for us from Seoul. Thanks.

HOWELL: Following the story in Hamburg, Germany, let's go back to these live images. We're keeping track on this because a few minutes ago we saw police using water cannons there. It seems that activity has stopped for the moment, but, again, we will bring you back there live with a report as the news continues here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL: Welcome back to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is 9.31 in the morning in Hamburg, Germany. What we're seeing right now, water cannons that have been activated against protesters there. This the site of the G20 summit.

ALLEN: Those protesters doing a sit-in to try to block those attending the G20 summit from getting there. That's why they're sitting in this road. Police have been patient for a while, but as you can see no more, and we are told there are now many of these protesters, some of them are being arrested. Not sure how that's happening.

HOWELL: Let's see if we have Atika Shubert there live. Atika is in the middle of all of this. Atika, are you able to give us the latest there?

SHUBERT: I am. I am. What's happening now is that they've deployed the water cannon several times. I'm going to bring the camera forward here so you can see what's happening. Police are starting to forcibly remove protesters from the scene. You can see there, we've seen a few people being handled there. You can see the police there sort of slapping one of the protesters, getting them out.

What they're doing, the protesters, is linking arm also to try to prevent from being removed. The protesters have told us is that they will not resist violently, but they will also try and stay here if they can.

Right now police are trying to sort of get their arms around protesters and pull them out. Let's see if we can get in a little bit so you can see exactly the tactics that are being used here. Police have gotten hold of one protester. One voluntarily going, others are being dragged out.

You can see that police there sort of trying to separate protesters, pulling them apart. This is all part of the civil disobedience that protesters are trying to use against the G20 summit. But police have warned protesters already twice that if they did not leave here voluntarily they would forcibly remove them. That appears to be what is happening at the moment. One by one they

are taking protesters out of the scene, removing them from the intersection, and this is exactly what police warned they were going to do earlier. It is going to take some time I think, but it does seem that they are able to -- they are slowly clearing out this protest, George.

ALLEN: Atika, I want to ask you, how long have these protesters been sitting there? How long did police wait to try to break them up before they're having to physically remove them now?

SHUBERT: They've been here for at least, you know, more than an hour, maybe even two hours we've been here. You know, it started very peaceably. At the beginning it was a bit of a cat and mouse game as they were running through the streets. Police intercepted them at one point, split the group in half and arrested a number of them, but then they took over this intersection and were sitting here.

Again, it was -- it was pretty peaceful. People were singing songs, for example, but they did receive two warning from police to move or they would be forcibly removed, and that it appears is what is happening now.

Let's get a better look. We're going to move the camera around so you can see a little bit more here. This is exactly what is happening here. As you can see, police trying to grab protesters, pull them out.

[03:35:08] What a lot of protesters are doing here, they have linking arms to prevent them from being taken up. They're trying to resist nonviolently, but insisting that they're going to stay here. This is all part of the tactics of civil disobedience.

Watch out, water cannon is coming this way. We might get a little wet. It is all very much a fluid situation here, but I think police are quite quickly now managing to extract people and forcibly remove them.

HOWELL: Atika Shubert there on the scene for us, just to update our viewers comparing what we're seeing right there to what we saw the other day. Seventy six officers who were injured, hurt Thursday. Demonstrators clashed with police. They set fire to cars there on the streets, and at least one person was arrested.

What Atika Shubert is showing us this hour, again, we've seen several people, we've seen one or two, it seem some people detain by police. We don't have an accurate number at this point to report to you but, again, police detaining some people there and, again, putting this into context to past protests.

Atika Shubert tells us as well that this protest not as large as other protests around the G20. But again, these live images this hour in Hamburg, Germany. Nine thirty-six in the morning. Things picking up significantly there. Our correspondent on the ground, Atika Shubert. Atika, if you are able to give us a sense of what is happening right there.

SHUBERT: Absolutely. I'm still here and you can probably see our live pictures here. One protester, as police try to pull him out and forcibly remove him from the scene, this is how police are disbursing protesters here, trying to remove people from the intersection one by one.

Now, what protesters told us is that they were not going to violently resist but they were going to make it as difficult as possible to be removed, and we've seen police using water cannons but also a lot of -- oftentimes four policemen to one individual to pull them out one by one here.

But they are making quick work of this. We can also hear, for example, some screaming from some protesters who believe they've been injured or hurt. We did see some pretty rough treatment, I have to say, by some of the police. One punch and a few slaps to get people going.

There are also a number of medics here and legal defense teams as well. We're going to pull in a little closer so you can see what is happening. Hold on a second. This is the last of the protest I think that's being rolled up here.

You can see a lot, the last few remaining people are there, being hit with the water cannon. And the police going in to remove them. See, you can probably get a closer look here, what is happening. What happens is protesters link arms or try to stay together so that they cannot be removed from the scene. That's what happening here.

ALLEN: Atika Shubert, we thank you for your live reporting for us. It looks like a very unpleasant job. Those police officers have to do, the protesters being very resilient there, but slowly this is ending and it seems to be ending without anyone hopefully getting hurt.

We'll have more coverage for you in just a moment. You are watching CNN Newsroom, live from Atlanta.


ALLEN: Welcome back. You're seeing live video from police in Hamburg, Germany breaking up a protest. Protesters blocking the entrance to the summit meetings. We have been told that the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has been the first to cross there and walk in, and we'll continue to follow this story. Police trying to remove all of the people sitting right there.

Well, it is being billed as the heavyweight bout to geopolitics, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin finally meeting face-to-face.

HOWELL: After months of simmering tensions between the United States and Russia, this could be a turning point for relations for the better or for the worse.

ALLEN: Ivan Watson joins us live now from Moscow. What can President Trump, Ivan, expect from Mr. Putin?

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's the question we're all kind of asking right now. What we can expect is a very experienced politician and head of state. I mean, Vladimir Putin has been at this for quite a long time. This will be the fourth U.S. President he'll have met with as serving as President of Russia.

So he comes with a vast amount of experience to the table. He also comes from a relative position of strength when it comes to his domestic position of power. You know, Donald Trump is not only new in office but he's being dogged by investigations and challenges in the courts as well as on the streets, and from even members of his own party.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has had, you know, decades to consolidate power at home and is unrivalled in fact here in Russia.

The relations between these two countries, as one kremlin official put it, are at the zero point right now, and that's despite great hope that people here in Russia had when Trump was elected. He had talked about trying to improve relations with Russia, and instead they've deteriorated further.

Just a couple of weeks ago the U.S. slapping sanctions on dozens of Russian entities. We've gotten signs that perhaps Syria might be an area where the two leaders could come to some agreement.

[03:45:01] The U.S. Secretary of State earlier this week wrote about some success that both militaries have had establishing de-confliction zones in that awful war in Syria and Rex Tillerson quoted the idea of talked about no fly zones.

The Russian minister last night said that that could be a positive step, a step in the right direction. So perhaps that's one area where these two leaders could come to some agreement, and certainly that's one conflict that could use some international agreement.

ALLEN: Right.

WATSON: George and Natalie.

ALLEN: It's interesting that we've heard from many top people here in the United States, the White House, say that Mr. Trump may not bring up the election meddling.

And we know that CNN now reporting it looks like Russia is stepping up espionage in the U.S. Has there been any reaction from the Kremlin to the situation and/or what Mr. Putin might say in response to this meeting? That's probably another question no one can answer yet.

WATSON: Right, Natalie. Your report -- referring to CNN reports citing officials in the U.S. who are alleging that Russia has sent more intelligence agents, spies to the U.S. We reached out to the Russian embassy in Washington which declined to comment.

We've reached out to Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov and he responded in a text from Germany, "Good morning! Don't listen to fakes."

And we're waiting for some further response to these allegations, but probably Russian officials will continue to use the same line of argument that they've used for months, which is to argue that many of these allegations of Russian meddling in the November 2016 election are Russo-phobia, examples of paranoia, or in one line of argument that kind of syncs up with the argument of Trump supporters, these are opponents to Trump on the domestic political scene that are using Russia and as excuse to flog him politically at home.

That is one area where actually Trump supporters line up with the Kremlin and the Kremlin supporters in the state media here in Russia expect denials from Russia as they have always denied any allegations that they meddled in that 2016 election, Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes. That's all they've done so far, and to allege fake news because what else can they do at this point? Ivan Watson for us live in Moscow. Thank you.

HOWELL: The news continues right after this break.


DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: For the first time in 15 months North Georgia in the south eastern sections of the United States has been removed officially from a drought. Good news as well across this region. The national drought monitor, again, not showing any considerable drought areas across the entire State of Georgia. That is a big change from what it was a year ago.

And the reason why? All of the tropical moisture streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico that continues to bring scattered showers, and that forecast continues into the weekend for places like Atlanta, north ward into the Appalachian Mountains.

A few showers and thunderstorms could be strong to severe across Ohio and portions of the Great Lakes. You can see on our future cast radar the line of storms that moves through this region later in the day today. This is where we have large hail, damaging wind threat and isolated tornados according to the storm prediction center.

We've highlighted that slight risk of severe storms from Pittsburgh, to Charleston, Louisville as well as Indianapolis and into Cincinnati.

Let's talk temperatures. Still hot for Denver, 33, 31 for Atlanta. There's the thunderstorms for you. San Francisco to Los Angeles, temperatures in the lower to middle 20's with blue skies overhead.

Seven day forecast for New York City looking pretty decent. We do have a chance of rain for the weekend but we dry out as we head into the workweek next week and hot temperatures continue along the East Coast of the U.S.

HOWELL: I want to update our viewers. Recent tweet from the U.S. President, we'll take it full screen to show you there in Hamburg, Germany. He says, "I look forward to all meetings today with world leaders, including my meeting with Vladimir Putin. Much to discuss."

A very anticipated meeting between the two leaders. HOWELL: It certainly will be and is. We will be covering it all for

you. Well, over the last few years Russia has repeatedly asserted itself on the world stage, and President Vladimir Putin has put forth an image of himself as a controlling strong man.

HOWELL: With all eyes on this meeting, our Randi Kaye looks back at how Mr. Putin has played some of his past encounters with other world leaders.

RANDI KAYE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, CNN: When German chancellor Angela Merkel met with Vladimir Putin back in 2007 they weren't alone. The Russian President brought along his big, black Labrador even though Merkel was afraid of dogs. She had been attack by a dog in 1995. She sat with her hands in her lap, clearly uncomfortable while the Russian President seemed to smirk.


MATTHEW ROJANSKY, DIRECTOR, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER: It was a power-play, it was an intimidation tactic. This is a way of showing the Russian people, hey, I'm a powerful man. I'm a manly man.


KAYE: Years later, Putin tried to explain to a German newspaper, "I wanted to do something nice for her. When I found out she doesn't like dogs, of course I apologized."


ROJANSKY: It is well-known that Putin is a former KGB officer, and in that role he was trained to be a handler of people. What that means in an espionage context is, of course, exploiting people's vulnerabilities but also their desires, their ambitions, their insecurities to achieve your objectives. That's not always to shame that person. It's not always to have dominance, but it's to advance your interests.


KAYE: This wasn't Putin's only apparent ploy involving a dog. Former President George W. Bush shared a story recently about how Putin, quote, "dissed his dog Barney."


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Putin said, would you like to meet my dog? Laura and I were with Putin and I said yes, I would like to meet him. And out comes a giant hound kind of loping across the yard. And Putin look at me and said, "bigger, stronger and faster than Barney." You know, it speaks volumes when you listen to what somebody says. In other words he's got a chip on his shoulder.

ROJANSKY: Putin at the end of the day is a human being. He certainly has his ego. He's got his insecurities. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Putin is also well-known for keeping important people waiting for a long time. In 2014, he left Germany's Angela Merkel waiting more than four hours to see him. He kept the prime ministers of Japan and Ukraine each waiting three hours. He even made the pope wait almost an hour. The waiting game it seems is just part of the power-play.


ROJANSKY: It puts him in a position of being appreciative of that time and automatically taking Putin more seriously, even if they're actually there to chide Putin or to try to pressure him into changing his views.


KAYE: In a meeting with Putin back in 2011, then Vice President Joe Biden referenced a conversation he had had with the Georgian prime minister. Putin's response seemed to hint that Russia have eavesdropped on that conversation.

[03:54:59] His response to Biden according to the Washington Post was, we know exactly what you're saying. Biden reportedly laughed. Putin did not.

And in 2007, Putin may have succeeded at unnerving the president of France. In a documentary that aired on French public broadcasting, a journalist said Putin berated Nicolas Sarkozy in a private meeting. Leaving Sarkozy visibly shaken for his press conference that followed.


ROJANSKY: This is again a way of setting a tone in a relationship where, you know, if you have anything resembling empathy for the story that he tells, you kind of feel like you owe him something. What are we going to do to make up for it, how do we apologize, how do we make it right.


KAYE: Vladimir Putin's power-play, his next target could be President Donald Trump.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

HOWELL: It's a big meeting ahead.

ALLEN: Will he be on time for the meeting, we'll wait and see.

Thanks for watching CNN newsroom. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the U.S.

HOWELL: And for other viewers around the world stay with us. Our colleague Max Foster is live with you in London. This is CNN, the world's news leader. [04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)