Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

President Trump Slams French and Canadian Leaders Ahead of G7; Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 8, 2018 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:13] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president leaves for the G7 in just a few hours and he'll be leaving early. President Trump will defend his tariffs after another Twitter tirade at world leaders he'll meet with directly today.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A longtime Senate staffer arrested for allegedly lying about leaks of confidential information. His ex- girlfriend, a reporter for the "New York Times" has her e-mail and phone records secretly seized.

BRIGGS: And finally something everyone in Washington can agree on. Stanley Cup headed to D.C. for the first time in franchise history. They got it done in Las Vegas last night.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START. Certainly a good morning in the nation's capital.

ROMANS: Yes. It is a good morning because it's Friday. I'm Christine Romans. Finally June 8th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Air Force One will be wheels up this morning for Canada and the G7 summit. But President Trump will not be staying long. He plans to leave Quebec mid-morning tomorrow, skipping sessions on climate change and the environment and the oceans.

The president expecting a brawl with top U.S. allies over trade. Even as late as Thursday afternoon he was questioning whether it even made sense for him to go. He'll be outnumbered on key issues.

But our sources said the president was told that cancelling the visit outright would make it look like he is shrinking from a fight he started. With that on his mind, the president told advisers he will enter talks swinging.

BRIGGS: No official reason given for leaving the G7 early, but we do know from Trump's own mouth that it is not to prepare for the North Korea summit next week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What are you doing to prepare for the summit with North Korea?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I'm very well prepared. I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: News of the president's early departure came as he fumed on Twitter late into the night against U.S. allies' trade policies. Even aimed directly at two of them earlier in the day.

Senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown with more.

PAMELA BROWN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Dave and Christine. President Trump arrives in Canada today to meet with the G7 leaders. But it appears he is looking forward to meeting with America's adversary, Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea than America's allies.

In fact before heading to Canada, the president engaged in a Twitter spat with French President Macron. Macron sending the first feisty tweet saying, "Trump may not mind being isolated but neither do we, as in signing a six-country agreement on trade if need be." The president fired back targeting both Macron and Prime Minister Trudeau who is hosting the G7 saying that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs.

And all of these really is setting the stage for what could be awkward meetings between President Trump and some leaders of, you know, America's allies. And President Trump has been telling his aides sort of questioning whether he even needs to go to Canada for this, questioning whether anything worthwhile will come out of these meetings. His aides have warned him that yes, this is very important.

Back to you, Christine and Dave.

BROWN: All right. Pamela Brown, at the White House. Thank you.

President Trump, as you heard, boasting there is no need for him to do a lot of prep work for next week's historic summit with North Korea. That doesn't seem to bother his secretary of State.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: There were few days that I left the Oval Office after having briefed the president that we didn't talk about North Korea. So over months and months, days and days, President Trump has been receiving briefings on this issue.

I am very confident the president will be fully prepared when he meets with his North Korean counterpart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now the president says he may even invite Kim Jong-un to the United States.

BRIGGS: Which is a fascinating development in this relationship when you go back to a year, the exchanges of words like "rocket man" and "dotard." And now you're talking about a murderous dictator -- we forget that. Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator, who ordered his uncle and his half brother killed. He could be at the White House in the next several months.

ROMANS: Meanwhile, with America's closest allies, there is nothing but friction at this moment.

BRIGGS: The optics of the next couple of days.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

BRIGGS: Here's what the president said about all of this just yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This will not be just a photo-op. This will be, at a minimum, we'll start with perhaps a good relationship and that's something that's very important toward the ultimate making of the deal. I'd love to see it could happen in one deal. Maybe it can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: All right. President Trump not the only world leader to experience an occasional Twitter fail. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe coming up short in the Twitter diplomacy department. In this tweet Abe says he looks forward to fruitful talks with his great friend President Trump. But take a look below that. The prime minister accidentally re-tweeted one of President Trump's tweet slamming Senator Jeff Flake as a flake. The post was quickly deleted.

[04:05:10] ROMANS: All right. A longtime Senate staffer arrested for allegedly lying to federal agents in a probe of unauthorized leaks. 59-year-old James Wolfe is the former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee. Prosecutors say he lied to FBI agents in December about his contacts with three reporters. In some cases, using an encrypted messaging app. Wolfe works under the leadership of both parties since 1987 before abruptly leading at the end of the 2017. He's due in court later today.

BRIGGS: In connection with the Wolfe investigation, the "New York Times" reports prosecutors secretly seized years' worth of phone and e-mail records of one of its reporters. The government did not obtain the contents of the e-mails and calls. The reporter, Ali Watkins, had been dating Wolfe for three years. The "Times" reports she denied receiving classified information during their relationship. The seizure suggests federal prosecutors are not letting on their aggressive efforts to deter leaks that were also used under the Obama administration.

ROMANS: All right. It appears Rudy Giuliani's act is starting to wear thin with President Trump's inner circle. A day after the president's lawyer said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: They insulted the vice president. They insulted his national security adviser. He said we're not going to have a summit under those circumstances. Well, Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: "Got back on his hands and knees and begged for it." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: We're focused on the important things. I know Rudy. Rudy doesn't speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation, these set of issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Giuliani also weighed in on the Stormy Daniels saga and whether Melania Trump believes her husband about the alleged affair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it's not true. I don't even think there is a slight suspicion that it's true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A day later, the first lady's spokeswoman delivered a sharp rebuke. She said, quote, "I don't believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani."

ROMANS: Wow.

BRIGGS: "Anything at all." The first lady has never publicly addressed the Stormy Daniels story. As for a response, Giuliani tells CNN that he never interviewed Melania Trump about Stormy Daniels.

ROMANS: So that was pretty clear that the first lady's office making it clear. Rudy Giuliani does not speak for Melania Trump. You know.

BRIGGS: Yes. He is clearly there as a mouthpiece for the president, on the Russia issue. And anything else. It's not clear President Trump is uncomfortable with how often Rudy Giuliani is speaking about the matters which he's speaking on.

ROMANS: Given how private Melania Trump is on -- that was a very --

BRIGGS: That's probably won't happen again.

ROMANS: It was pointed response from her office.

All right. Another day, another story about Scott Pruitt using his office inappropriately. The "Washington Post" reports the embattled EPA administration used his 24-hour security details to run errands for him. The tasks range from picking up his dry cleaning -- this is his security detail. Paid for by taxpayers.

BRIGGS: It gets better.

ROMANS: Picking up his dry cleaning, driving around to look for moisturizing lotion offered by Ritz Carlton Hotel. An EPA spokeswoman did not even deny the story, saying Pruitt follows the same security protocol whether his personal or official capacity. Also according to the "Daily Beast," Pruitt regularly send subordinates out during the workday to pick up his favorite snacks and treats. Sources described his demands as constant. The EPA declined to comment.

BRIGGS: A bold prediction meanwhile from Mitt Romney, the Republican Senate candidate in Utah, believes President Trump will win a second term. The 2012 GOP nominee is no fan. He has called the president a fake and con man. He made his prediction during a retreat in Utah attended by high profile business and political leaders. According to "The Associated Press" Mr. Romney said, quote, "I think our Democrats friends will nominate someone who is really out of the mainstream of American thought and will make it easier for a president who's presiding over a growing economy."

Since launching his Utah Senate bid earlier this year, Romney has mostly praised President Trump's actions while lamenting his bombastic style.

ROMANS: All right. Lawmakers this morning fighting back against the Trump administration's deal to save Chinese state-controlled ZTE. Remember this deal reverses a U.S. ban that cuts ZTE off from the parts it needs to make phones. Instead now ZTE will pay a $1 billion fine. It will change its entire corporate leadership in 30 days. And get this, it will imbed a U.S. chosen compliance team within the company.

I have never seen something like that. A lot of questions about how it's going to work, by the way. The Commerce secretary call this the first time a big foreign company will have such on-the-ground oversight.

So why does it need a babysitter? Well, because ZTE violated U.S. sanctions, selling its products to Iran and North Korea.

[04:10:03] It was caught, fined, then it lied about punishing the violators. ZTE's fate has been linked to trade talks with China. This deal could mean concessions from Beijing like it will buy more U.S. goods. But lawmakers are concerned the White House here exchanged a trade win for national security. Senator Marco Rubio says this will do nothing to keep us safe from corporate and national security espionage. Intelligence agencies has warned ZTE tech could be used for spying. ZTE's majority shareholder is a Chinese state-run company. Rubio says Congress needs to act and it is. A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to block that ZTE deal.

BRIGGS: A national security threat. We need to remind you.

All right. For the first time in their 44-year history, the Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions.

And Caps' Lars Eller scored the game winner with seven 1/2 minutes left in the third. They win the series in five games ending a remarkable run with final fight with Las Vegas Golden Knights in their first year of existence. And there he is. Ovechkin. No players savoring the victory more than the superstar.

Alex Ovechkin winning the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP and hoisting the cup there overhead. What a sight to see for Washington Capitals fans and quite frankly sports fans anywhere. He skated around the ice in front of the fans in Las Vegas. Kudos to the captain.

The celebration also back in the nation's capital. Check this out. First championship in Washington since 1992 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl. Looks like no violence, but always a rowdy scene when a city the size of Washington wins a title.

The guy back in the middle. Put that shirt back on, sir. That should be illegal.

ROMANS: Alex Ovechkin embracing that Stanley Cup. Is it heavy? Have you touched it and worked with it?

BRIGGS: I have never touched it. We tried not to when you're a reporter. But what a sight to see. One of the great players in hockey history.

ROMANS: That is pure joy on that guy's face.

BRIGGS: But you won't see much -- more joyful scenes than that. Wait until he gets home to D.C.

ROMANS: All right, 12 minutes past the hour. This morning another troubling video out of Mesa, Arizona.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun. No gun. No gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Now a second investigation of excessive force by police is under way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:16:36] BRIGGS: Mesa, Arizona, Police facing more questions about use of excessive force.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me where the gun is at? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun. No gun. No gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The department releasing body cam footage of an incident involving a 15-year-old boy arrested and charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. After a review of the body cam footage, officials launched an internal investigation into excessive force and two officers were placed on administrative leave.

ROMANS: All right. Meantime, in the beating of Robert Johnson, additional officers also now on administrative leave bringing the total number of officers on leave for that incident to five. Police releasing the incident report saying Johnson was aggressive, calling them names and spitting.

One of Johnson's attorneys says there is a lot in that report we disagree with. Mesa's police chief will hold a news conference this afternoon to talk about both of those excessive force investigations.

BRIGGS: A New York City man is facing deportation after trying to deliver a pizza to Ft. Hamilton military base in Brooklyn. Pablo Villavicencio showed his I.D. card to the guard last week as he had done several times before. This time the undocumented immigrant from Ecuador was asked to get a daily visitor's pass. Military and ICE officials claim Villavicencio wound up signing a waiver permitting a background check which revealed an active warrant for deportation.

ROMANS: But Villavicencio tells the "New York Post" that's lie, insisting he did not sign any waiver and claiming video cameras will prove it. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state has secured pro bono legal counsel for Villavicencio. Protesters gather last night outside the immigration court in New York, chanting "Free Pablo Now."

Alarming new numbers from the CDC. Suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the U.S. between 1999 and 2016. More than half of those who took their own life had not been diagnosed with a mental health issue. Numbers went up in every state except Nevada. The increase was ranged from 6 percent in Delaware to nearly 58 percent in North Dakota.

Researchers suggesting economic factor related to the number of suicides out west since people in rural areas have less access to mental health services. But experts say not every suicide is preventable but many are. There are steps to help like conversation and follow-up if you see warning signs like change in mood or behavior or alarming social media posts.

BRIGGS: Some breaking news. Authorities in Germany arrested four Iraqis allegedly linked to ISIS. German prosecutors say the men joined the terror organization between 2013 and 2015, and one is suspected of being an accomplice to war crimes and murder. Including a dozen explosive attacks between 2006 and 2008. In 10 of those attacks, members of the U.S. military were wounded or killed according to prosecutors.

ROMANS: All right 19 minutes past the hour this Friday morning. Problems keep mounting for Facebook. 14 million of you had posts shared publicly even if they were meant to be private.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:23:58] ROMANS: More than 100 deaths now blamed on Guatemala's Fuego volcano, according to this country's National institute of Forensic Sciences. Close to 200 people are missing. Guatemalan officials are vowing to launch an investigation to determine whether necessary protocols were established ahead of last weekend's eruption. Six badly burned Guatemalan children are now receiving treatment at the pediatric burn facility at Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas.

BRIGGS: Officials in Hawaii now say lava flows have destroyed about 600 homes on the big island since Kilauea began its eruption May 3rd. The state's governor just releasing $12 million to the county of Hawaii to aid in disaster response. Fissure eight among the most active, filling in the Kapoho Bay and sending a huge toxic plume of laze into the air along the coastline.

The U.S. Geological Survey calculates the volcano has released enough lava to fill 45,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. And showing no signs of stopping.

All right. Facebook facing another privacy problem.

[04:25:02] 14 million users around the world had their default sharing set to public. The bug affected new posts from May 18 to the 22nd. Facebook says the glitch occurred during the testing of a new feature.

ROMANS: After its discovery, Facebook went back, changed the settings for all posts by those users during that timeframe to private. Affected users are now getting a notification on the app or the Web site. Facebook says the notification signals a new proactive transparent approach to problems going forward.

BRIGGS: New progress in the search for signs of life on Mars. NASA says organic matter was found in soil from a three billion-year-old mud stone found by the Curiosity cover. Organic compounds like the ones found are the building blocks of life, though they can also exist without it. Curiosity rover also detected methane in the Martian atmosphere. It's the simplest organic substance also found in other places in our solar system that could support life. Researchers call the findings detailed in science magazine, breakthroughs in astrobiology. ROMANS: That's really cool.

BRIGGS: Fascinating.

ROMANS: All right. G7 leaders ready to do business without the U.S. The president heads to Canada this morning isolated. He's still unimpressed with the agenda. He's living early.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)