Return to Transcripts main page


Trump's China Charm Offensive; North Korea Rips Trump For "Filthy Rhetoric"; GOP Tries To Discern Path Ahead. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 9, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:31:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China can fix this problem easily and quickly, and I am calling on China and your great president to hopefully work on it very hard.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump with a face-to-face appeal asking the Chinese president for help with North Korea. But why did President Trump compliment China for taking advantage of the U.S. on trade?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And, Republicans looking to reset after big Democratic wins on Election Day. So what's the takeaway for Republicans up for reelection in 2018 when it comes to Trumpism without Trump?

Thanks for getting an early start with us. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik. It's 30 minutes past the hour.

And you're about to see some live pics from Beijing. President Xi Jinping in the middle of a toast to a crowd. The president of China and President Trump sitting at a state dinner with the first lady, as well.

BRIGGS: Yes. They're really rolling out the red carpet for President Trump. A state dinner-plus, they are calling this.

We'll get a toast from President Trump. We will bring you those words live when we hear President Trump take the podium.

KOSIK: OK. So yes, President Trump in China making a direct appeal to President Xi to help solve the North Korea nuclear crisis. The president lashing out at Pyongyang during a meeting with Chinese business leaders and again, while delivering a joint statement with China's leader at his side.

BRIGGS: Mr. Trump calling on all responsible nations to stop arming and working with what he calls a murderous regime.

Let's go live to Beijing and bring in CNN's Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, good evening to you. The president said China could stop North Korea's nuclear threat easily and quickly, but is there any indication that China is willing to do so?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, that is a great question here as President Trump ends his day, as you said. There is another state dinner going on. Really, an example of the pomp and pageantry that has been going on throughout the last couple of days here.

But, you know, there is definitely an unknown about what policy changes there are going to be. They definitely expressed a commitment, President Xi, at that joint statements earlier today in the Great Hall of the People here. Said that China's committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula but also suggested he needed time for sanctions to work.

So they're trying to build a rapport here -- President Trump is -- to bring China on board. The president described it as a joint unified collective effort. Let's watch.


TRUMP: We agreed not to replicate failed approaches of the past, and there were many. Together, we have in our power to finally liberate this region and the world from this very serious nuclear menace, but it will require collective action, collection strength, and collective devotion to winning the peace.


ZELENY: So, of course, one of the key goals here by President Trump in his visit across Asia is to try and get Chinese President Xi Jinping more involved -- more active in, you know, confronting North Korea. That is very much an open question how quickly anything can change if anything would change.

Of course, he's also trying to engage Russia more, as well.

After the president has this toast this evening, which we're waiting for, he will spend the night here in Beijing then move on to Vietnam for an economic summit starting tomorrow. What could happen there is a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Of course, talking about North Korea and so many other issues on the table there -- Dave and Alison.

BRIGGS: Unfortunately, breaking with precedent there in China. No questions from Jeff and the rest of the Press Corps.

Thank you, Jeff Zeleny, live in Beijing.

KOSIK: President Trump's remarks in China came after the North Koreans accused him of warmongering. A state newspaper calling the president's warnings "Filthy rhetoric spewing out of his snout like garbage that reeks of gunpowder to ignite war."

[05:35:12] BRIGGS: Shakespearean, almost.

KOSIK: Kind of.

Let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley, live in Pyongyang. He's the only Western T.V. journalist reporting from the North Korean capital.

Will, this is an interesting choice of words, to say the least.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, you go through the North Korean propaganda and it is really remarkable what the writers come up. And, you know, it was matched leading up to this Asia visit by President Trump, who was coming up with fiery rhetoric of his own. He took a more subdued tone in South Korea.

But it's certainly not slowing down the North from laying into him, as you mention, accusing him of warmongering. They've called him an old lunatic.

And when we were out on the streets today that language was echoed by North Korean citizens because this is a country where the government strictly controls the news, what people hear, and so it's parroted back when we're out on the streets of the North Korean capital.

And you'll never hear anybody express any criticism of their government or say that their government's policies have led North Korea to this place where they are facing ever-increasing pressure from the international community, led by the Trump administration.

North Korea held a high-level cabinet meeting -- there was a report about that earlier this week -- where they told people here that they need to brace for the impact of more sanctions.

But they also are continuing to double down on their vow to round out their nuclear program, which means at some point -- we don't know when, we don't what, but more nuclear tests and missile launches, and a lot of speculation about whether that will happen during President Trump's Asia trip. The North Koreans will not reveal that information. They say it will be at a time and place of their supreme leader's choosing.

President Trump -- his administration has indicated that he will be making a decision on whether to add North Korea back to that list of state sponsors of terrorism before the end of this trip, so within the next week. That's something the North Koreans are watching very closely. We'll have to see how they respond.

We haven't seen or heard a really strong response yet to President Trump's scathing indictment of this country, the system, and his direct criticism of North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un. But you can bet that the officials here certainly are furious about the human rights allegations that President Trump laid out in his speech. His criticism of this country's system, calling it a failed state.

We'll have to see what North Korea does next. Back to you.

KOSIK: All right. CNN's Will Ripley live from Pyongyang. Thanks very much.

And you're looking -- you're taking a live look at the state dinner in Beijing where President Trump is about to speak. We're expecting him to make a toast, as well. President Xi Jinping also just gave a toast to the crowd, as well.

BRIGGS: Let's listen.

TRUMP: -- President Xi, your generous words (INAUDIBLE). We both want to express our gratitude to you and (INAUDIBLE) for the extraordinary hospitality that you've shown us from the moment we arrived in your magnificent country, China.


TRUMP: Yesterday, we visited the Forbidden City which stands as a powerful symbol of China's Republic and majestic circle (ph). Your nation is a testament to thousands of years of vibrant living history.

JINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

TRUMP: And it is a tremendous honor to be greeted by the Chinese delegation right here at the Great Hall of the People.

JINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

TRUMP: This moment in history presents both of our nations with an incredible opportunity to advance peace and prosperity alongside other nations all around the world.

In the words of the Chinese proverb, we must carry forward and forge ahead into the future. I am confident that we can realize this wonderful vision, a vision that will be so good and, in fact, so great for both China and the United States.

[05:40:00] JINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

TRUMP: Though we come from different places and faraway lands, there is much that binds the east and the west.

XINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

TRUMP: Both of our countries were built by people of great courage, strong policy (ph), and the desire to trek across the unknown. It is a great nation (INAUDIBLE).

XINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

TRUMP: The people of the United States have a very deep respect for the heritage of your country and the noble commissions of its people. Your (INAUDIBLE) together in the present is so beautiful.

XINPING: (Foreign language spoken).

KOSIK: OK. BRIGGS: That's the president there with a toast to Xi Jinping and the Chinese at a state dinner there. We'll continue to keep you up-to- date if he says anything that we need to report.

No questions from the U.S. media on this trip.

KOSIK: He, however, did call China a magnificent place and although we come different places, he said there's much that binds the east and the west.

All right, we'll move on for now.

In a radical change in tone, President Trump is praising China's trade practices, saying he doesn't fault the country for taking advantage -- listen.


TRUMP: I don't blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.


KOSIK: Instead, he blames past administrations for America's huge trade deficit with China. And now, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump's words tongue-in-cheek.

But it was a huge departure from his usual tough talk. Trump often talks about China's trade dealings and being unfair, and that they hurt U.S. workers.

Trump made these remarks after two hours of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also announced $250 billion in agreements between U.S. companies and China. But that figure won't make a dent in the $309 billion trade deficit with China. That's actually the biggest for the U.S.

BRIGGS: All right.

Republican lawmakers trying to regain their footing after big election losses on Tuesday night. Now it remains to be seen if the party can get anything done legislatively and if the GOP can avoid a disaster in the 2018 midterms.

Exit polling shows anger at President Trump energized Democrats. They voted in bigger numbers than in recent past, especially in the suburbs where the most competitive House seats are located.

KOSIK: Republicans appear divided about what drove their defeat.

Frequent Trump critic John McCain scolded his fellow Republicans, saying "I predicted this, OK? And unless we get our act together, we're going to lose heavily."

BRIGGS: All right. Let's bring back Eugene Scott, political reporter for "The Washington Post." Good to see you, sir.


BRIGGS: Karl Rove, former President Bush adviser, says Mr. Gillespie won 95 percent of Republicans, seven points more than Mr. Trump last year.

So what's the takeaway from Trumpism without Trump if you are up for reelection in 2018?

SCOTT: I think it's really important to remember, just for context, that most people who went to the polls in 2016 voted against Donald Trump. So there was already some degree of expectation that this could happen, especially combined with the fact that this is the norm in an off-year.

But I think what is unique to this situation is the fact that people are looking at an administration that for 10 months has failed to deliver on many of the promises it campaigned on. And so, I think the main takeaway for Republican lawmakers is that they have to present some significant wins before the 2018 election if they want to motivate their base to come out in support of them again.

KOSIK: OK, Eugene. Former Vice President Joe Biden tore into President Trump after Tuesday's vote. Here is some of what he said at an event in Philadelphia -- listen.

[05:45:07] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Did anyone of you ever think that you would see in one of the historic cities in America, folks coming out from under rocks and out of the fields with torches carrying swastikas, literally citing the same -- the same exact anti-Semitic vile that you heard and we heard in the thirties?

This is eating at the fabric of this country. It is wrong. And I think what happened last night all across the country, including with Republicans, is tired of this.


BIDEN: It's undermining the social fabric of the nation.


KOSIK: OK. Biden being very blunt there. What do you think? Are we going to see more of him?

SCOTT: I certainly think so. He's someone who has not completely fallen back from the public eye and there's not a lot of interest in him doing so. He's one of the few politicians who is generally well received by the white, working-class voters who went for Trump, as well as many of the millennials and people of color who backed Hillary Clinton. So I think there's going to be quite a bit of interest to see if he is

able to unite this country that he has articulated that he believes Trump has so divided.

BRIGGS: And at the heart of this is does the campaign rhetoric match what the president has done in office, and when it comes to that you've got to look at the president, right now, in Beijing.

Let's remind our viewers what he said about China, trade practices. That's what he said during the campaign and even as president, and what he said just last night -- listen.


TRUMP (THEN-CANDIDATE TRUMP): We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing.

China's taking our jobs, our money, our base, our manufacturing.

What they've done to us is the greatest single theft in the history of the world.

TRUMP: I don't blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.


BRIGGS: All right. Look, no one can match their campaign rhetoric standing next to Xi Jinping in Beijing, but how do you reconcile those two things? The president, to be clear, blames his predecessors. That's why he doesn't blame China. But how do you reconcile those?

SCOTT: It's very difficult to reconcile which is why he's been criticized for throwing past Americans presidents under the bus while praising Chinese trade despite criticizing it while on the campaign trail.

One of the things is that this president has repeatedly been criticized for saying one thing when talking to his base and something else when confronted with the people that he consistently criticizes.

I think, though, what he's going to have to explain to the American people is how he's going to reverse this policy that he thinks takes advantage of citizens who are not Chinese in a way that will ultimately benefit the people that he promised to represent when he was on the campaign trail.

KOSIK: OK, Eugene. A couple of days before Tuesday's election there was a CNN poll showing that confidence is dropping in President Trump. So it begs the question, especially legislatively, are Republicans willing to expend their political capital and stick with this president, especially with tax reform on the table?

SCOTT: I certainly think so. We had Paul Ryan say yesterday the Republican Party has decided that they are with Trump. I think they are going to have to find a way to communicate to the American people that being with Trump also means being with the American people because as these polls suggest, the American people do not feel supported.

They are not in favor of this current president and Republican lawmakers, as well, and those are the ones that will probably suffer significantly in 2018.

BRIGGS: All right, Eugene. Let's end with some levity -- last night's country music awards. Musicians were asked to stay away from politics.

The hosts, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, they decided not to do so. In fact, they wanted to tie the whole political environment into a new little jingle -- listen.


BRAD PAISLEY, CO-HOST, CMA AWARDS: (Singing to the tune of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats) Right now, he's probably in his p.j.'s, watching cable news, reaching for his cellphone.


PAISLEY: Right now, he's probably asking Siri how in the hell do you spell Pocahontas.

UNDERWOOD: Well, here we go.

PAISLEY: In the middle of the night from the privacy of a gold-plated White House toilet seat he writes little Bob Corker, NFL, and covfefe.



KOSIK: Catchy in the words.

BRIGGS: That could be a brilliant remake of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." "Before He Tweets" was the chorus we didn't quite get to.

But the question is this. The president is overseas and he is anything but the man just described in that little song. He's been reserved, he's been dialed in on Twitter, he's been restrained.

[05:50:08] How long will he maintain that when he comes back? This president that we've seen in Asia might have a favorability rating 50 percent instead of the 36 he has. How long can he maintain Asia Trump?

SCOTT: I think Asia Trump will end when the Asian trip ends. I think once he comes back he will continue to go to Twitter and do what so many people have thought he would pivot from for months, which he has shown that he will not.

Hopefully, he'll be able to communicate something that benefits all of the American people in the way that he campaigned. There are a lot of people who want to see Trump win, who want to see Trump do well. America does win as a whole when the president doesn't deliver on promises that unify the electorate as a whole.

And so, I think people generally are hopeful. I don't know if he will be able to deliver on those hopes, though.

BRIGGS: I'll tell you what, "Before He Tweets" would fly off the charts if they can get that one on iTunes.

KOSIK: And something tells me Dave's going to be humming this song all the way home today.

BRIGGS: Carrie Underwood is talented.

SCOTT: I was watching that just thinking -- I mean, Carrie Underwood is such an amazing talent.

BRIGGS: She's incredible, she's incredible.

All right. Eugene Scott --

KOSIK: Thanks, Eugene.

BRIGGS: -- thank you, my friend.

SCOTT: Thank you.

KOSIK: Sick of getting stuck in traffic? I know I am. Well, Uber wants you to fly over -- at least help you do so.

We're going to tell you how on "CNN Money Stream," next.


[05:55:38] KOSIK: FEMA will begin transporting 3,000 Puerto Rican hurricane survivors to the U.S. mainland at the request of the island's governor. The agency telling CNN it's working to get set up agreements from both -- with both Florida and New York to take in survivors currently -- who are living in shelters. And those two states were selected by Puerto Rico's governor.

The U.S. territory still suffering major problems, incredibly, after Hurricane Maria hit in September.

BRIGGS: A manhunt in Tennessee for three inmates still on the loose after breaking out of the Macon County Jail Wednesday morning.

Authorities say one of the escapees, 20-year-old Dylan Ferguson, is charged with criminal homicide and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Officials say Ferguson has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's "10 Most Wanted List" and a reward up to $2,500 is being offered.

Embattled actor Kevin Spacey being cut out of Ridley Scott's finished film "ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD." Sources say Christopher Plummer will replace Spacey with the film's release pushed to next month.

KOSIK: Meantime, a former Boston T.V. news anchor is alleging that Spacey sexually assaulted her 18-year-old son at a restaurant in Nantucket last year. Heather Unruh says the assault happened after Spacey got her son drunk.

BRIGGS: She says her son filed a police report this week after gaining courage from other victims who have come forward in high profile sex abuse cases.

No comment from Spacey.

KOSIK: Later this morning, five Capitol police officers will receive the department's Medal of Honor for their response to the shooting at the GOP congressional baseball team practice back in June. Officials say the officers displayed exceptional courage, risking their lives to save others after an active shooter opened fire.

Among the congressional leaders who will be on hand for the ceremony, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. He was critically injured in the shooting.

All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

Global stocks lower after more records for Wall Street. The Dow notching its fifth record close in a row. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also hit all-time highs.

Earnings season is almost over and it's been quite the solid one. Roughly 87 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported so far. Three- quarters have beat expectations.

Apple stock also hitting a milestone yesterday. It's now the first public company worth $900 billion.

Former CEO Marissa Mayer was given one final job for Yahoo, getting grilled by Congress. Mayer testifying before a Senate committee about Yahoo's massive 2013 security breach. It was the single biggest in history, affecting three billion accounts.

Lawmakers pressed Mayer on why Yahoo waited three years to disclose the breach. Mayer apologized but defended the company, adding that Yahoo reported the breach as soon as it was discovered.

Verizon recently bought Yahoo and Mayer left the company when the deal closed in June.

Are you sick of getting stuck in traffic? Here's a solution. Why not just try to fly over it.

Uber's new partnership could mean flying taxis by 2020, not so far off. Uber teaming up with NASA to develop air traffic systems for its flying taxis called UberAIR.

The company first unveiled plans for a flying taxi fleet in April. It's planning for tests to happen in Los Angeles in three years.

Known for its headache-inducing traffic, I'm thinking L.A. is a perfect test ground for those flying vehicles.

BRIGGS: Except for the headache-inducing air traffic control problems that are raised by --

KOSIK: Good point.

BRIGGS: -- just that.

KOSIK: Yes. Thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.

KOSIK: See you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a referendum on Trump and Trump and the Republicans lost.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: You can't fake the Trump agenda. You have to go all in.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: People want results and we've got to start delivering results or we'll have more election results like that.

TRUMP (THEN-CANDIDATE TRUMP): We can't continue to allow China to rape our country.

TRUMP: I don't blame China. I give China great credit.

ZELENY: Trade, front and center of President Trump, softening his tone against China.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: General Flynn has expressed concern about the potential legal exposure of his son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's enormous pressure to cooperate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The jig is up. The best thing that he and his son can do is to just be truthful.