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Trump Feuding with Allies; Trump's Inaccurate History; Capitals win Stanley Cup. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 8, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:28] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump facing back-to- back high-stakes summits. Today he faces angry allies, one-time allies in Canada for the G-7 meeting. Then he heads to Singapore for a potentially historic face-to-face with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

I want to bring in the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, author of the book "A World in Disarray," Ambassador Richard Haass.

Ambassador, thanks so much for being with us.


BERMAN: Your Twitter game is strong, sir, let me just say that. And one of the things you wrote in advance of the G --

HAASS: I take that as a complement.

BERMAN: The G-7 -- the G-7 summit is that Prince, you know, the famous recording artist, late recording artist, might have called this the group formerly known as seven. You know, the president has done something pretty major here.

HAASS: Yes, and I think this, in some ways, was the straw that broke the camel's back. It didn't happen in a vacuum (ph). It began with this inaugural speech, his embrace for protectionism, America first, getting out of the Paris climate pact, getting out of the Iran nuclear deal. Now the tariffs, done in the name of national security, imposed on allies, I think that's what did it.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But, you know, hold on a second because I'm trying to find the president's tweet. When the president spells it out in terms of what's being done wrong to the U.S., it's a compelling case. He says things like that, you know, Canada never mentions the fact that they charge us up to 300 percent on dairy. They hurt our farmers. They kill our agricultural. You know, he spells out all of the dignities that he feels other countries have done in terms of tariffs. So what -- what of that?

HAASS: Look, there are some legitimate trade disputes, but you don't resolve them unilaterally. You don't resolve them with tariffs. You don't resolve them using a national security argument, which of other use (ph) would break global trade. So, again, if we have -- you know, we have something called NAFTA. If you have issues with Canada or Mexico, that's the framer (ph). With the Europeans, we have other framers (ph), mainly through the World Trade Organization.

And let's say, you know, everything Mr. Trump says here is wrong. He does have some legitimate beefs on trade. But, but, but there's a way to go about them working with people, not essentially against them and treating them as enemies.

BERMAN: What's the potential impact of this shift? You called it the straw that broke the camel's back here. You have Emmanuel Macron, who has really done back flips to reach out to the president over the last 24 hours.

HAASS: That honeymoon is terminating.

BERMAN: Yes. I mean they may not be holding hands any longer.

But Macron is the one who used the language similar to what you used who said, you know, I'm fine if it's just six.

HAASS: Well, I think what a -- what the -- the consequences in the near term are mostly economic and the issue is whether we can navigate this and not have escalating tariffs, which would -- would hurt both countries. More jobs would be lost than saved.

The longer term effect, I think, is actually more interesting. What you're seeing is the psychological change in Europe. And what this is, is the beginning of a different world for them. This is, in some ways, the end of the post-World War II world, which has gone on for 70 years, where they could wake up in the morning and assume that they would essentially be more -- more than not in league with the United States. Mr. Trump represents to them a very different United States, not just on our foreign policy, but look at what is going on domestically. And, increasingly you're seeing a divergence between how Europe sees its culture, its relationship with itself, with the world, and how it now sees the United States. So I wouldn't underestimate this.

[06:35:26] CAMEROTA: We have reporting that President Trump will be leaving the G-7 tomorrow mid-morning --

BERMAN: Early.


CAMEROTA: Early, and skipping the climate change and environment portion of the event. And the feeling is that if he's not around like- minded people, why stay.

HAASS: Well, on those issues in particular, we know he's not like- minded, plus that he won't be there when they issue the communique. And it's quite possible, like we saw with the ministers the other day, you know, the trade -- the finance ministers, that you will have a six plus one. The United States will be -- will be the outlier. So he potentially also misses, shall we call it, that diplomatic awkwardness, which would really highlight just exactly where we've arrived.

BERMAN: It's crystal clear at least -- I think it's crystal clear -- that the president's head is 100 percent in this North Korea meeting right now in the sense that that's what he wants to be thinking about, that's where he wants the focus to be. Whether or not he's 100 percent involved in the preparation, well, that's now a big, open question because the president says it's not about preparation, it's about attitude.

HAASS: Yes, that took me aback. It didn't surprise me, but it stunned me. I've been involved in a lot of meetings myself. I've also served presidents -- you know, four presidents when they've gone into -- to summits. You want to be prepared. You want to know something about the other person's political position. You want to know about national negotiating styles. You want to get a sense of their agenda, what their priorities are. You never -- want you want to do, you can't eliminate it, but, John, what you really want to do going into a summit is to reduce the areas of potential surprise. It's almost like going into a game. You want to scout the other team. You want to be prepared for every formation they're going to throw at you. So why this president would not want to do that is beyond me, why he would not allow himself to have that advantage and that luxury is really beyond me.

CAMEROTA: That's not how he rolls. It's just not how he rolls.

HAASS: I think you're exactly right.

CAMEROTA: He shoots from the hip. He feels things in his gut. If it's not going well, he's already said, he's going to walk out, he's going to up and walk out. So, I mean, this is really rolling the dice and an open question of what will happen. Maybe it's just a meet and greet. Maybe something -- maybe this style will work on Kim Jong-un. Unknown.

HAASS: Unknown. But given the stakes, it makes me really uneasy. I mean, you're right, this worked for the president fairly well in his previous life. Things don't necessarily carry over. Indeed, almost every previous president has learned that things that got him to the White House don't necessarily work once you're in the White House. But here it's not just about us. We've got South Korea. We've got Japan, as we saw -- as we saw yesterday. And, again, the stakes are really larger.

BERMAN: I want to talk about one thing the president said about Iran yesterday. You know, he basically said that the United States pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal has had an immediate impact in the U.S.' favor in terms of forcing Iran to do different things. Listen to exactly what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iran is not the same country that it was a few months ago. They're a much, much different group of leaders. And I hope at some point they'll come to us and we'll sit down and we'll make a deal that's good for them and good for us and good for everybody. And it will be great for Iran. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: A different group of leaders. It's the same group of leaders. And beyond that, you know, ambassador, is there any sign he's cowed Iran in any way?

HAASS: I don't see it. They're continuing their -- what you might call their imperial foreign policy in Syria and Yemen, other parts of the Middle East. They're talking about reopening their nuclear program in ways that had been shut. No change in the political leadership.

Plus, it might make it more difficult for anti-American forces to challenge -- I mean for anti-regime forces to challenge the regime lest they look, like somehow they're pawns of the United States, which still in Iran is seen as the great Satan. So, alas, I just don't see the basis of the president's comment there.

CAMEROTA: Richard Haass, we're going to need you on speed dial for the next week or two.

HAASS: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much for being here.

OK, so President Trump accuses Canada of burning down the White House during the War of 1812. It was actually the British. The president's loose relationship with historical facts. What effect does that have on diplomacy and why does he have --


[06:42:53] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Are you still angry about the fact that Canada burned the White House in the War of 1812, which Canada never did?

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: I think the president was probably joking. Everybody knows it was the Russians who burned the White House.


BERMAN: Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana with the win there, accusing the Russians of burning down the White House in the War of 1812. He knows they didn't. But does the president know that Canada did not burn down the White House in the War of 1812? In a phone call with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sources say the president told the prime minister, didn't you guys burn down the White House?

Joining me now is the author of the aptly named book, "Don't Know Much About History," Kenneth Davis.

Sir, thank you very much for being with us.

Look, I don't know if the president was joking or not, but give us the very short version of how Canada did not burn down the White House in the War of 1812.


Well, first of all, you know, dust off your history books. The War of 1812 is one of those obscure moments for most of us. We don't know much about history.

What happened in the War of 1812 was the second war between the United States and the British. And Canada, of course, was then still a colony of Great Britain.

What happened was that the United States actually invaded Canada first in 1813 and burned down York, Toronto -- modern day Toronto. And so the burning of Washington, D.C., by the British in 1814 was really in retaliation for that act. So back and forth.

But, you know, the president isn't a "Jeopardy" contestant. This isn't about knowing the answer to one question. It's really about having a full world view. History does matter, and I think that that's the real issue here.

BERMAN: Well, that begs the question, what is the president's relationship with history? And if you'll bear with me, we have some evidence of that. Let me play some sound for you.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Douglas is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more I noticed.

African-Americans vote for Democrats for the most part. You know, vast majority. They've been doing it for over 100 years.

[06:45:06] Abraham Lincoln. Most people don't even know he was a Republican, right? Does anyone know? A lot of people don't know that.

People don't realize, you know, the Civil War --


TRUMP: If you think about it, why? People don't ask that question. But why was there the Civil War? Why could -- why could that one not have been worked out?

And we've had leaders like Susan B. Anthony. Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?


BERMAN: You make a great point, the president's not a "Jeopardy" contestant, but he is the president. So why does history and an accurate understanding of it matter?

HAASS: It matters because, first of all, history can teach us things. There's no question that we repeat a lot of mistakes, but we can also learn from the things we did right and the things we did wrong.

Wars are terrible. That's a lesson of history. They're easy to get into and much harder to get out of. One hundred years ago we were at war in Europe, a war that we were reluctant to get into. And the costs of that war were astonishing. I'm talking about, of course, World War I.

The problem is that when we don't understand history and we don't understand how those things come about, we run the risk of creating them again. There's also the issue of unintended consequences. That if you don't understand how things came about, you risk much worse effects than anyone can even imagine.

As I mention, 100 years ago we were at war in World War I. We had a flu pandemic at the same time. And those two things come together. Mr. Trump is probably aware of that because his grandfather died during the flu pandemic of 1918. But when you don't have a full rounded view of what history means, what the presents are and how history affects the present, you can get into some very bad decision making.

We need to understand what slavery meant in this country for 400 years. We need to understand what the Marshall Plan meant to the United States and its alliance with Europe after World War II. These things aren't just dusty facts for "Jeopardy," as I mentioned, but things that still effect policy today.

BERMAN: Very quickly, is there any pattern that you see to what the president gets right and wrong?

DAVIS: There seems to be no patter, but there seems to just be kind of grasping and pulling things out of thin air. Often we don't know history, but we've heard something about it and then we just repeat kind of the story we've heard. You know, it's the cherry tree approach. George Washington and the cherry tree. The story we tell children. It's absolutely false, but it gets into the consciousness of the country.

But that's a bad way to make policy. We need sound, practical history knowledge to make sound, practical decisions.

BERMAN: Kenneth Davis on the dangers of what one might call fake history. Thanks so much for being with us. I'm a big fan of your work. So, thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Well, Kim Kardashian became emotional after getting President Trump to commute the life sentence of Alice Johnson.


KIM KARDASHIAN: I said like, you're going home. Like, I can like cry thinking about it. Hearing her scream was like -- I know I'm going to cry so much when I see her, but just to know that like we changed one person's life.


CAMEROTA: Kim Kardashian's one-on-one with Van Jones. We have a CNN exclusive, next.


[06:52:19] CAMEROTA: Kim Kardashian speaking exclusively to our Van Jones and CNN about how she convinced President Trump to commute the life sentence of drug offender Alice Johnson. Kardashian also reveals how she found out about the president's decision and what it was like breaking that news to Alice Johnson.


VAN JONES, CNN HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW": How did it feel to make the phone call to let Miss Alice Johnson know that it was over, she was coming home?

KIM KARDASHIAN: I think she thought it was a routine phone call with her attorneys and she was surprised and excited that I was on the phone. And then I was a little bit shocked because she was very calm. And I had assumed she knew.

JONES: Right.

KARDASHIAN: So I just was like, wait, she doesn't know. And Alice was like, know what? And I was like, you're going home. Like, I can like cry thinking about it. Hearing her scream was like -- I know I'm going to cry so much when I see her, but just to know that like we changed one person's life, you know, is like -- we cried maybe on the phone for like three minutes straight. Like everyone was just crying. And then -- I have to get it together.

JONES: That's all right. I understand. It's emotional.

Just indulge me for a second. What did he say? What did you say?


JONES: I mean, did he get up? Did he shake your hand? Did he hug you? Did you salute? I mean give me something that I can work with.

KARDASHIAN: He said, well, what are we here for? And I said, well, I really want to know -- I'm here because I really want to know, why did you kick Khloe off "The Apprentice." It was a laugh and it was funny and then we got into business. And, you know, he -- he felt it. He was compassionate. He was sympathetic to her. He said, you know, this is a really long time that she's been in here. Like this just isn't fair. He knew it was the right thing to do. And he said that. And he was really honest with it. And he wanted to make it happen.


CAMEROTA: Really interesting. Really interesting to hear the back story.

BERMAN: Very interesting. Good for her. She worked very hard for this.

For the first time in team history, the Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." And he's here with us.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys. You know, D.C. finally getting to celebrate that pro sports -- big pro sports championship. They've been waiting for it since the Redskins won way back in 1992. So, yes, as you can imagine, the party probably still going on as we speak. Fans in D.C. lining the streets. And we know they have many different ways of celebrating, like jumping on cars, others like to climb street poles, but everyone out there having a good time.

Now, the game was actually in Los Vegas. Alex Ovechkin, considered the best player to never win a cup, scoring a huge goal in the second for the Capitals. He was named the MVP of the playoffs as D.C. wins 4-3 to take the series in five games over the Golden Knights. It's their first championship in their 44-year history.

[06:55:04] And Caps star T.J. Oshie getting very emotional when talking about his dad after the game, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago.


T.J. OSHIE, WASHINGTON CAPITALS PLAYER: My dad, oh, boy, he doesn't -- he doesn't remember a lot of stuff these days. He remembers enough. But I'll tell you what, he's here tonight. I don't know where he's at. But this one will stick with him forever.


SCHOLES: Yes. And Oshie actually found his dad right after that interview and got to share a very special moment with him celebrating with the Stanley Cup.

And, guys, you know, good for Oshie and good for the Capitals to win this year so they could have that special moment.

CAMEROTA: Beautiful.

BERMAN: So nice to see.

CAMEROTA: That is so nice.

Andy, thank you.

All right, so this is shaping up to be a G-7 like none other. President Trump is already warning the angry allies that he plans on showing up swinging. So how will all of this play out?