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EARLY START

Trump: North Korea Summit In "Three Or Four Weeks"; U.S. Intel Ramps Up North Korea Surveillance; Caravan Migrants Camp Out At U.S.- Mexico Border; No Decision From Trump On Iran Nuclear Deal. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired April 30, 2018 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not take words. We are looking for actions and deeds. Until such time, the president has made incredibly clear, we will keep the pressure campaign in place until we achieve that.

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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The dramatic progress on the Korean Peninsula had the president's supporters in a frenzy at a Saturday night rally in Michigan.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That's very nice. That's very nice. Nobel.

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ROMANS: For the latest on the Korean Peninsula, we go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Nobel Peace Prize, a lot has happened since Friday, but there is a lot of work to do -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christine. We are getting more information from the Blue House about what exactly was talked about on Friday at that summit. They say that Kim Jong-un has agreed to shut down his nuke test site in the northeast of the country.

He will do that in May. So, that is a fairly tight timeframe considering May starts tomorrow. He also said that he was going to invite experts and journalists along to make sure it was completely transparent.

He had an interesting comment as well according to the Blue House saying, he is not the kind of person who would launch a nuclear missile against South Korea or the United States. This is clearly a very different Kim Jong-un that we are seeing in the summit as a matter of months ago, last year, that was exactly the kind threat that we did hear from North Korea. So, certainly a big change of events. He also said that he rejected reports that this test site was obsolete because it had collapsed. He said that is simply not true. They actually have two more tunnels that no one knew about that were in very good condition.

But if the U.S. was going to say that they were not going to be aggressive against North Korea, if they were going to end the Korean War and if they were able to talk frequently with the U.S., then they didn't feel, they needed these nuclear weapons. The U.S. though saying they want actions rather than words.

ROMANS: All right. Paula in Seoul for us, thank you so much for that.

DAVID BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. From Seoul to New York to Atlanta, that's how we do it on EARLY START. Let's welcome in Chris Deaton, deputy online editor of "The Weekly Standard." Great to see you, my friend.

CHRIS DEATON, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Good morning.

BRIGGS: All right. So, we have been down this road before certainly, but this time with North Korea certainly it feels different, a promise to get rid of their nuclear weapons if we promise not to invade North Korea. Are you buying it?

DEATON: Cautious optimism, I think generally the way that you approach this stuff when it comes to looking at how we are going to move forward with respect to diplomatic (inaudible) and such. When you look at the past, what has happened. Sorry, guys, I have a little buzzing in my ear. So, it's a little awkward talking here, that's the only thing.

ROMANS: Hold on. Wait a second. They will fix that. It is a mixed minus. You can't even speak. It makes you feel like you are drunk, and you can't talk. Is it better not?

DEATON: No, not yet. Christine, I'll continue aiming for the one in the middle. If that makes any sense to you. Anyway, I'll continue pursuing the line of incredibly intelligent dialogue right now as I listen to myself talk which is an amazing thing.

It fits my morning routine. This is the type of thing where cautious optimism is the way to move forward. I mean, look, Mike Pompeo said that we are going to look at negotiating in a different way this time.

I'm curious to see what constitutes the word different. Obviously, the North Korean leader stepping foot in the south and making these sorts of incredible overtures that really are just shocking given the recent history of North Korea's belligerents even in the last year. How does that resolve itself with such abundant snap? I'm really curious to see how that plays out.

ROMANS: I mean, the president at the campaign rally. The crowd chanting Nobel. He loved it. They keep asking who should get the credit for this. He said I get all the credit. He was being the entertainer in chief. How much credit does the president get for what's happening right now?

DEATON: Well, certainly, you have say it is not zero, right. I mean, all of this has occurred subsequent to him taking over in the White House. I'm still not sure that trying to conduct Twitter foreign policy is perhaps the recommended course of action especially when it comes to a belligerent state that has ambitious nuclear aims.

But, you know, who knows what kind of effect that Trump's rhetoric has had on the North. I think certainly this has been in the last big 12 to 18 months for North Korea with the overtures they tried to make in Pyeongchang.

I think we have to remember the optics of trying to curry good favor across the globe with some of the overtures that made with some of their athletic teams. I don't think that can be forgotten.

[05:05:05] So, you know, maybe Kim has something else in mind trying to continue to curry favor across the world. But I certainly do think that definitely President Trump's administration has taken a little bit of a different more aggressive tactic and whether or not he personally deserves credit for the manner in which he's pursued it, I don't know. I think that's all subjective, but it definitely bears noting.

BRIGGS: Folks in Oslo may hate it, but President Trump looks like he is headed towards a Nobel Prize. Let's talk about the optics of what Christine discussed with the White House Correspondents Dinner in D.C. Presumably you were not there. We were not there.

Michelle Wolf, I think rather predictably given what I see on YouTube was pretty personal, fairly vulgar and taking on even a White House official sitting right next to her. Here's what Michelle Wolf, the comedian, said about Sarah Sanders.

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MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN: I actually really like Sarah. I think she is very resourceful. Like she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's lies. It's probably lies.

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BRIGGS: Let's be clear. That was nasty. Sarah Sanders has been different than any press secretary we've seen in modern history indirectly taking on and criticizing the media. Those comments and jokes seemed over the line and seemed to feed into the president's narrative, did they not?

DEATON: Yes, certainly to a certain extent. I mean, especially, Dave, if you are trying to talk about being it's us versus the elite's mentality. You know, in these tribal times, Sarah Sanders and the entire White House apparatus, Trump wants the American people who voted for him to claim that apparatus as one of their own. When attack on that person is an attack on them, and definitely when it comes to just another comedian thumbing their nose at the person who works on behalf of the administration in such a personal way.

Yes, that definitely undermines any type of goodwill the press may be trying to breed with the American public at this point given the media's relatively low regard, which I think it has been noted a couple of times in the last 24 hours here. It is a problem that extends far away. Not just last weekend.

ROMANS: She tore apart the media. Sarah Sanders story line is getting all the attention. She eviscerated the media for making Donald Trump and making headlines about Donald Trump and making money off Donald Trump the whole way. She offended a lot of people.

BRIGGS: All right. Chris Deaton, we will check back in with you. Thank you, my friend.

ROMANS: Breaking overnight, at least 29 dead, 49 injured in a pair of blasts in Kabul. Among the dead, at least eight journalists, including a cameraman for the French Press Agency, AFP. Officials in the Afghan capital say a suicide attacker on a motorbike detonated explosives around 8 a.m. local time.

A Kabul police spokesman said someone disguised as a cameraman carried out a second attack and that killed AFP's chief photographer in Kabul (inaudible). AFP says that attack targeted a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of the first explosion to report on it.

BRIGGS: That is the true risk of journalism. Not this mess about the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Right now, an immigration showdown playing at the U.S.-Mexico border. A caravan of Central American migrants camped out at the border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. After a hard month-long journey, dozens of asylum seekers vowing to remain outside of immigration processing center until every last one is admitted to the U.S.

ROMANS: At the rally in Michigan over the weekend, the president talked about the approaching caravan and he did not sound sympathetic.

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PRESIDENT TRUMP: Are you watching that mess that's going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this? Our laws are so weak, so pathetic. Given to us by Democrats. They are so pathetic, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer. Our laws are so corrupt and so stupid. I call them the dumbest immigration laws on earth.

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ROMANS: Last week, Homeland Security said it would arrest anyone crossing the border illegally. Let's bring in CNN's Leyla Santiago.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, Dave, what remains of the caravan, the migrants still here, say, they will wait throughout the night to be able to reach the United States, to reach some of the asylum officers and make their claims.

But let me show you around right now, what we are seeing some of the Central American families that have actually put down blankets with intentions of staying the entire night here. They say they will get to the United States to seek asylum.

So, what is the problem right now? The United States is saying that they do not have the capacity to process these claims. These migrants have had a very long day.

[05:10:11] Obviously, a very long month in this caravan as it has made its way north. Right now, inside behind the gates, there are about 20 to 40 women and children who made their way inside, but they were told by the U.S. officials they don't have the capacity to process their asylum claims.

So, they are waiting to see if that will change overnight. In the meantime, they plan to stay here. Again, it has been a long journey for them. March 25th is the day they started at the southern border of Mexico. They stayed in shelters and riding on trains and riding on buses and walking for days.

They say it is important to do this the legal way. They have turned themselves in or trying to turn themselves in at the port of entry as U.S. federal law permits. They are waiting to see when asylum officers and U.S. officials will actually allow them to go through with their claims -- Christine, Dave.

ROMANS: All right. Leyla Santiago on the border for us. It's 11 minutes past the hour. T-Mobile plans to buy Sprint for $26 billion leaving just three major wireless carriers in the U.S. The two will merge after years of negotiations.

T-Mobile and Sprint are the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers. Combined that new company will have 127 million customers and worth about $80 billion. Making it a fierce competitor for Verizon and AT&T.

The deal still needs regulatory approval. T-Mobile and Sprint first discussed the merger back in 2014 which was blocked after regulators said having four big wireless companies was benefitted consumers.

If the deal goes through, many experts say customers could pay more. Both companies could eliminate their lower pricing and unlimited plans, but T-Mobile CEO John (inaudible) says this time U.S. regulators would see the benefits of the deal. The CEO will lead the merged company.

He said on a call Sunday, not only will the merger create thousands of jobs, it will help the U.S. beat China in the race to 5g. A recent report found China and South Korea are currently leading 5g development and the U.S. is lagging there.

BRIGGS: Two questions. Mega mergers, creating jobs and lowering prices? That is not generally my experience. How can that happen? ROMANS: Because they are in the space -- when you're talking about 5g. They are in the space where it is changing so rapidly, they may need to add lots of jobs to compete.

BRIGGS: Are you buying it? Lower prices?

ROMANS: That's going to be up to regulators. The companies say they will not raise prices.

BRIGGS: All right. The secretary of state in the Middle East with the major decision approaching. Will the president pull out of the Iran nuclear deal next weekend? We are live in the Middle East.

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[05:17:02]

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JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: He will make the decision. It's his call. I'm the national security adviser, not the national security decision maker. And in fact, on the Iran nuclear deal issue, I have presented him with options. I'll continue to do it right up until he makes the decision.

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BRIGGS: National Security Adviser John Bolton confirming President Trump has not decided whether to back out of the Iran nuclear deal. He has less than two weeks to make up his mind.

ROMANS: Iran deal is one issues being tackled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is in Jordan this morning after slamming the Iranians as the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Let's go live to Amman, Jordan and bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman. Good morning, Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine, the secretary has changed his tone somewhat. In Saudi Arabia and Israel, they do share the opinion that Iran is a major threat. Both those capitals, they also share the belief that the Iran nuclear deal that was concluded in 2015 should be scrapped in one form or another.

But here in Jordan, they have a whole different set of concerns. The secretary met with his Jordanian counterpart. In lengthy remarks, Secretary Pompeo only once mentioned Iran for the most part. He was talking about what really concerns Jordan, which is the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians where we have seen weekly tensions flaring on the line between Gaza and Israel.

His Jordanian counterpart did not mention Iran once. Jordanians are very unhappy about the Trump administration's decision to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Now over the last week, we were attending joint military exercises between Jordan and the United States and clearly their focus was the possibility, the threat, perhaps the probability of unrest spilling over from Syria into Jordan. Iran did not really enter into the picture.

ROMANS: All right. Ben Wedeman for us in Amman, thank you, sir.

BRIGGS: I like chugging beer from a catfish? Well, do you? Remember the Tennessee Titans firing up the crowd. Andy Scholes will try to explain all this madness. There it is. Next in the "Bleacher Report."

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[05:23:58]

BRIGGS: Lebron James willing the Cavs to victory in game seven against the Pacers, moving on to the second round once again.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. Lebron calling his super human effort in game seven, quote, "what the doctor called for." Cavs using their 34th different starting lineup yesterday. The one constant is Lebron James. He was on a mission in game seven making the first seven shots.

Lebron has played every minute of the game until the end of the third quarter. He had to leave due to being exhausted. He ate some orange slices and got back out there. He finished with 45 points. Cavs win to take the series. After the game, Lebron said he is worn out.

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LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS FORWARD: I'm burnt right now. I'm not thinking about Toronto until tomorrow. I want to go home. I'm tired. I want to go home.

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SCHOLES: Cavs will play the Raptors in the second round.

[05:25:02] Before yesterday's playoff game, the Nashville Predators honoring James Shaw Jr. for his heroics in the Tennessee Waffle House shooting. Shaw disabled the gunman saving lives. The Predators presenting him with his own custom jersey. Shaw receiving a standing ovation from the crowd as he was recognized during the game.

Before the game, the tense Titans offensive line and Marcus Mariota getting the crowd energized. A giant catfish as a beer luge. Never thought I would say giant catfish beer luge on tv. They got the chance to do that five times in the game as they won 5-4 in double overtime. Back to that catfish, what do you think that beer tastes like coming off the catfish? Probably not too good. BRIGGS: I think it is nasty. Didn't they have to smuggle those things in?

SCHOLES: Not in Nashville. In Nashville it is allowed.

BRIGGS: That is outstanding work by the Titans offensive line.

SCHOLES: That is how you hype up a crowd.

BRIGGS: That is taking it to the limit.

ROMANS: Little early in the morning for a beer and catfish.

BRIGGS: Thank you, Andy.

ROMANS: President Trump holds the third news conference for the week today. He should have plenty to discuss. We are live in Seoul.

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