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Trump Refuses to Endorse G7 Statement, Blames Trudeau; Trump, Kim Jong-un Arrive in Singapore Ahead of Summit; Trump Isolated Over Call to Reinstate Russia to G7; Eminem Under Fire For Gunshot Sound Effects at Festival. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 10, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:33] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone, and thanks so much for joining us for this special split edition of the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman live in Singapore on the eve of President Trump's historic summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. We're about 30 hours away from the two leaders meeting face to face. But, it's the president's war of words with the Canadian prime minister that is getting so much of the attention. So, Fred, making an astounding amount of news before even getting here we'll send it back to you for more on that.

WHITFIELD: We'll delve into that. Thank you so much, John.

So, the White House is in the middle of a huge international shoving match against one of its closest allies. The president's advisers hitting hard this morning using extremely combative language about Canada. The president backed out of signing the joint G7 statement, and is personally slamming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just hours after insisting all his relationships were a 10 out of 10 as pertained to the G7 community.

White House advisers blame with a called Trudeau's betrayal right before Trump's high stakes meeting with North Korea and warning the U.S. cannot appear weak to Kim Jong-un.

Let's go to CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny in Singapore. How is this potentially setting the stage there?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, it certainly sets the table and gives a sense of the president's mindset as he's entering this historic summit here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. You get a sense internally what the president and his advisers were thinking and talking about as they flew here to Singapore, the long flight from the G7 in Canada, trying to enter this historic meeting in a position of strength, still talking about the G7, still talking about the U.S. allies as they turn their attention toward an old U.S. foe here.

But take a listen to the president's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow who was on CNN early this morning, what he had to say about the president's state of mind.


LARRY KUDLOW, TRUMP'S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: POTUS is not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around, push him, POTUS, around, President Trump, on the eve of this. He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea, nor should he --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So this was about North Korea?

KUDLOW: Of course it was in large part.

TAPPER: So because Trudeau said that as Trump was going to Singapore --

KUDLOW: You know, one thing leads to another --

TAPPER: Oh, I see. OK.

KUDLOW: They are all related. Kim must not see American weakness.

PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP'S TRADE ADVISER: There is a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President DONALD j. TRUMP and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.


ZELENY: So very curious to see the president's top economic adviser. They're linking what happened back in Canada to the president's frame of mind here in Singapore as he does get ready for that meeting. But certainly it does give a sense of what the president is thinking.

Now, extraordinarily, Fredricka, this is going to be the first meeting between an American president and North Korean leader. They are, in fact, right here in Singapore. It's the overnight time now. They are staying in hotels some half mile or so from each other. They are going to meet in about 30 hours or so.

But all day Monday here, there are going to be top meetings with the president and his advisers of course getting ready for that historic meeting. The question, of course, is North Korea willing to denuclearize? The president says he'll stand for nothing less. The question, what will the U.S. give up in these negotiations.


WHITFIELD: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

I want to bring in CNN Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Michelle Kosinski in Washington. So earlier in the G7 conference, Prime Minister Trudeau said publicly that Russia should not be allowed back in the G7. Could that perhaps have added to the animosity between Trump and Trudeau since Trump said Russia should be welcomed back in?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: It's possible, but I don't see how Trump or any of his advisers could think that any of these U.S. allies, save maybe Italy which just elected a new very right wing government, could support that idea. I mean, talking to other U.S. allies since then, they felt like this was just an impossible dream or some kind of idea out of left field.

[15:05:02] So was it over Russia? It's possible, but I think it's remarkable that, you know, in one breath, the president is saying that these relationships are fine, that they're a 10, accusing the American press of putting out fake news by even asking the question about anger and frustration. Well, it doesn't really seem like fake news anymore. I don't know how he could possibly think that now that this has happened.

But something obviously went on in those meetings where it's possible that President Trump felt like they had reached some understanding, at least that's what he was saying on his way out of those meetings. And then, you know, there was some element of that that prompted the Canadian prime minister to then say, well, we're not going to be pushed around. You know, what they were saying -- what the U.S. side was saying is just not right. We're not going to be dealing with this. We're going to have our tariffs at the U.S.

I mean, it wasn't really anything very different than what we've heard from the Canadians before, but something in that meeting went wrong enough for the Canadian prime minister to want to say those things publicly, and then for the president and his advisers to react the way they did. So, was there some shred of an understanding that, you know, both sides ended up not really seeing eye to eye on? It's really hard to say what the details are, of course, without being in those meetings. And I'm sure more will come out over the next few days.

But it is striking to see not only the words and phrases that are used here but the fact that there wasn't even enough unity in this summit for them to all sign the same declaration, the same -- to be on the same page enough to even say, here's our joint statement after they had supposedly negotiated that.

WHITFIELD: Well, the U.S. abstaining from that signature. Trump saying he's refusing to sign that communique. Michelle Kosinski --


WHITFIELD: -- thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

All right, let's talk more about this. Joining me right now, Max Boot, CNN global affairs analyst and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Jon Erlichman, he is an anchor with BNN Bloomberg and a correspondent for CTV News in Toronto.

All right, So, Max, very strong language from advisers saying, you know, there's a special place in hell for Trudeau to saying that was a sophomoric move and that it was back-stabbing. What does this mean going forward for relations now between the U.S. and Canada?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: This was just shocking to me. I have never heard any U.S. official ever talk about another ally in these terms. The way that Peter Navarro was talking about Canada, that's normally the way that -- that's even harsher I would say than the way U.S. leaders talk about people like Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad before we go out and bomb them. I mean, this is just completely unprecedented.

They are just escalating this war because they obviously seem to think that there were some gain to be had from being at loggerheads with Canada. But it's inexplicable to me, and this is really, you know, doing Vladimir Putin's work for him. I mean, he is getting a full return on his investment at Trump campaign because Donald Trump is just destroying the western alliance. He is burning our ties with Canada, with the Europeans. This is just a heartbreaking thing for me to see.

WHITFIELD: And Jon, we just heard from our Michelle Kosinski who said, you know, it's not unusual to have heard Trudeau saying, that, you know, they will not be pushed around. But how is this translating in Canada to see now this open spat, this war of words, very insulting language between two very close allies or historically would have been very close allies?

JON ERLICHMAN, ANCHOR, BNN BLOOMBERG: Well, there's no doubt, Fredricka, there is a lot of uncertainty right now. And obviously, we're getting close to a year since the NAFTA talks got started. Along the way, there was some hope and optimism that things would get done. Certainly not too long ago, the prime minister had suggested he felt like they were getting pretty close, and then they were obviously not.

And then it's within the last couple of weeks that we know that we saw the White House impose those tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. And as a result, we saw a change in the tone from the prime minister. Very quickly, the Canadian government retaliated, announcing their tariffs, which have not taken effect yet. They are still hoping that if they find some common ground with the U.S. before the beginning of July that those tariffs are not implemented, but if not, they will be implemented.

And to your earlier point, the comments that we heard, including the prime minister talking about Canadians feeling insulted by these tariffs, are not necessarily new language. Over the last couple of weeks, we've heard that from the prime minister, we've heard it from the foreign affairs minister. Obviously, Larry Kudlow speaking on CNN today said it was the timing of those comments coming after the president had left, and they seemed to have an agreement on this G7 communique.

[15:10:05] But I think one question is, where would we be even with the communique signed, because there's still uncertainty about tariffs, and even now the president talking about his concerns with dairy here in Canada and almost foreshadowing, potentially more tariffs.

WHITFIELD: And Max, is that the issue? Is it about timing on the eve of this historic, you know, summit with North Korea? BOOT: Well, I suppose there is some connection, although I don't really see it. But, I mean, if you listen to Larry Kudlow, he seemed to be suggesting that by beating up on Justin Trudeau, somehow Donald Trump is going to enhance his negotiating position with Kim Jong-un. I really cannot see the logic of that.

WHITFIELD: It almost sound like he was inferring it was intentional, that this was terrible timing --

BOOT: Right, right.

WHITFIELD: -- that this undermines the president of the United States at a time when he needs to be showing strength, but this kind of criticism coming from the Canadian prime minister would mean it puts Trump in a weak position.

BOOT: I mean, this has just unhinged. The whole entire Trump argument here doesn't make a lick of sense, because if anything, I would think if that the mindset of Kim Jong-un is if Donald Trump can't even get along with America's closest friend and ally in the world, Canada, how on earth can Kim Jong-un possibly trust any reassurances that Donald Trump makes to him? Because Donald Trump has said a lot of things about how he's friendly with Canada. He claimed that the summit meeting was a 10 out of 10 and then clearly that was not the case.

And, you know, the summit aftermath quickly degenerated into these unprecedented insults among the closest of allies, so how does that give Kim Jong-un any kind of confidence in negotiating with Donald Trump to see how he behaves with Canada, of all countries?

WHITFIELD: And then Jon, is there a feeling in Canada that perhaps people feel that the prime minister was mindful of the president on the eve of the North Korean summit and that's why he would say that?

ERLICHMAN: I think a lot of people are just trying to figure out where this whole story goes, Fredricka, here in Canada. Because we're starting to see evidence that businesses -- and I've been a business journalist on both sides of the border, and there obviously is this very strong relationship between the two nations. That businesses in Canada are being reluctant when it comes to making big investment plans because of the trade uncertainty. We've already seen tax reform in the U.S. for some Canadian businesses that's actually opened the door to do more business in the U.S.

So the prime minister, a couple years into his tenure, obviously dealing with some economic challenges here. Whether it's the NAFTA uncertainty, whether it's the competitiveness with the United States on issues like taxes. Whether it's some of the issues around regulation in this country. There is big conversations around issues like pipelines right now.

So the prime minister is trying to battle all of this and trying to avoid getting into a situation where the Canadian economy simply slows down as a result of all the trade uncertainty. There is already evidence out there from the IMF on that issue. WHITFIELD: Jon Erlichman and Max Boot, thanks to both of you. I appreciate it.

All right, John in Singapore?

BERMAN: All right, Thank you so much, Fred.

Next, the meeting that is really being watched all around the world. Less than 30 hours from now, we will begin right here in Singapore. President Trump says Kim Jong-un has a one-time shot to get this historic summit right. We'll talk about the stakes, straight ahead.


[15:17:50] BERMAN: All right, welcome back. I'm John Berman live in Singapore. The historic sit down between two nations. On one side, President Donald Trump, fresh off of ruffling the feathers of his closest allies at the G7 summit. On the other side, Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea known more for his secrecy and brutality than his diplomacy. So will these two world leaders be able to find some common ground during their summit here in Singapore?

Let's bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan -- excuse me, Ivan Watson here with me in Singapore. Ivan, what have we heard so far today from Kim and President Trump?

Well, President Trump landed here after series of flights from Canada from that Group of Seven meeting. And just told reporters when they asked him on the tarmac at the airport what he thought going into the meeting, and he just said the words very good, before getting into his limousine to head to the hotel.

Now, a few hours before that, the North Korean leader arrived on a borrowed plane from China, and Air China plane, and in the hour since then, we saw him go through the streets of Singapore in his limousine flanked by those jogging North Korean bodyguards in suits that we've seen before at their previous inter-Korean summit. He had a short meeting with the prime minister of Singapore, of course the host country here of who he thanked for hosting this potentially historic meeting. Going on to say, quote, if the summit produces a positive outcome, then the Singaporean Government's effort will be recorded in history forever.

Now the two leaders are not going to meet until Tuesday morning, Local Time here. On Monday, there will be a meeting of U.S. and North Korean working groups, presumably to hash out some more details until the two top leaders meet.

A little bit of context here, John, North Korea, its population dwarfs Singapore by many times. But its economy is dwarfed by this city state, this wealthy city state with less than six million inhabitants. So it just -- it's a sign of kind of where North Korea fits in the world.

[15:20:04] A huge difference, of course, its nuclear arsenal, and that's what these two leaders are meeting to talk about. John?

BERMAN: Yes, that crucial difference at stake here. Ivan Watson in Singapore with me. Ivan, thanks so much.

Joining me now, international security analyst Jim Walsh. Jim, thanks so much for being with us. You were involved in negotiations with North Korea back in 2005, back in the six-party talks. Those were -- that was one of the four sort of nuclear agreements that North Korea made and then broke at various stages. What will make this sit down different?

JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I do think the agreed framework, it lasted for eight years. We had eight years without a long-range missile test or a nuclear test. That sounds pretty good to my ears these days. But I wasn't -- in 2005, we weren't really having negotiations when I was in North Korea.

When I was in North Korea, I was there in the capacity of a private citizen, and we used to do that back then because there weren't diplomatic relations and sometimes the North Koreans would tell you something and when you return home, you would, you know, pass it on to your government that several of us went over the years.

I remember sitting across the table from Kim Gye-gwan who is head of the six-party talk delegation and is now foreign minister. And it's me on one side and a bunch of other North Korean officials on the other side. And I come here by myself and I must say I was a little nervous about my personal security.

And he starts the meeting by saying, Dr. Walsh, it 's good that you're here. Please, we hope that when you return, you'll say positive things about our country on CNN. And when they said that, I knew I was good for the trip, that I didn't have to worry.

BERMAN: What are your expectations here, Jim? If it is just a meet and greet, is that progress?

WALSH: Well, obviously, you would hope for more than that, given that it's the top two leaders. And the idea between the two leaders getting together is by starting at the top down, you can force the bureaucracy to move forward on some of these tough issues, that if you wait for it to bubble up from the bottom, it never quite gets there. So, they better come out with some momentum. I think, you know, if you look at what President Trump has said and if you look at what North Korea has done, releasing detainees, blowing up one of the tunnels for their nuclear testing, the moratorium on testing that we've enjoyed these last couple of weeks, that all signals to me they want this meeting to work. I think the president wants it to work.

And so I think we'll get something more than just words, maybe something around a peace treaty, a continuation of the moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests. But they need -- I think in this respect, President Trump is correct. They need to take advantage of this opportunity. They're not going to get a lot of them. BERMAN: The initials that you're going to hear a lot over the next 48 hours are CVID, Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization, right? Is that an achievable goal here, Jim, given that, look, North Korea has sacrificed so much of its treasure over the last 20 years to build this arsenal. Is it reasonable to think they'd want to give it up after one day of meetings here in Singapore?

WALSH: Well, that's a good point, John, and certainly many of my colleagues in security studies are deeply skeptical that they'll give up their nuclear weapons. I've been saying, you know, yes, but you never say never with North Korea. And they do have a conventional deterrent right from 1953 after the Korean War, up until they tested, they relied on their artillery for their national security and their deterrent.

It seems to me that when you have a country like North Korea, it's a one-person dictatorship. If the one person changes their mind, then, you know, you can get a very, very different outcome. So we're just going to have to test that, and the only way you test that is in a negotiation. So I'm glad to see them talking.

But on CVID, the infamous CVID, that was a concept borne out of the 1990s, but I think things have changed, John. And I don't think we've quite caught up in our thinking. The I in CVID is for irreversible. You know, it's impossible to make it irreversible -- North Korea is more like South Africa than the Libya case, right, they got nuclear weapons. If they ever really wanted to do it again, having done it once, I don't know that we could ever stop that if they put their mind to it, but what we can do is put them on a different track so they never revisit that decision.

I think that's what we're trying to achieve politically and diplomatically.

BERMAN: Jim Walsh, it's great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

WALSH: Thank you.

BERMAN: I want to bring in CNN Chief National Correspondent Jim Sciutto here with me in Singapore. And Jim, it's interesting. I read just a few minutes ago that the North Korean press so far as it exist is really barely covering this at all. There are very low expectations, if any expectations at all, for what Kim does here in Singapore. In fact, I think the one thing they covered was him visiting a fish restaurant in North Korea yesterday.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting. I mean, he's got a domestic political audience as much as President Trump does, right?

[15:25:04] And it's an interesting tactic on his part because he may want to be minimizing the chances of failure here, right? If nothing comes out of it, they don't want to be advertising here I am in Singapore meeting with the American president, et cetera.

It's interesting on Trump's side because he's had a different approach, but also, and managing -- actually frankly downgrading expectations until a week and a half ago or so, there was talk -- listen, the only thing on the table, complete verifiable, you know, irreversible, et cetera, you know, raising expectations on the progress you might make towards that goal in this meeting. Then it was Trump himself who walked that back to say, this really is a meet and greet. Just the relationship enough is good.

But then he ratcheted it up again a little bit to raise this prospect of ending the war officially, the Korean War officially with some sort of war -- you know, 60 years too late, but peace agreement on the Korean War. So then they raised it a little bit again as to what you might walk away with here.

BERMAN: One of the things the president has said is that, oh, I said, this is Kim Jong-un's one shot-- he got one shot to make this happen. The president also said he'll know within the first minute. He'll know right away when he walks in if this is going to work out, just by touch and by feel here.

You know, President Trump does things differently, as we know. Normally, that's not the way diplomacy works here. This is so unusual.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's also not based on reality, right? I mean, he may have a sense in the first minute. He looked back to George W. Bush, he looked into Putin's eye, right, and he saw a friend. They have a sense but, you know, the success of this deal is going to be what happens in the months and years to follow. Do you get a verifiable denuclearization? I mean, that you can have a gut feeling as to whether that's going to work out. I know that President Trump, he's a businessman. He said, he's always operated based on instinct.

But, you can't know -- U.S. intelligence can't know what and if North Korea is going to follow through on any agreement you make in that first minute. Now that is only going to be known over many years, right? And that's going to be the real test.

BERMAN: It will, and of course there is a meeting tomorrow of aides and whatnot before the big meeting on Tuesday. We'll watch that very carefully to see what comes of it.

SCIUTTO: We'll be here.

BERMAN: Jim, thanks for being with me right now.

SCIUTTO: Thanks very much.

BERMAN: Fred, let's go back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, gentlemen. Appreciate it.

President Trump extending another hand to Russia but could it be a slap in the face to key allies? We discuss that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [15:31:42] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Right now, President Trump at odds with some of America's closest allies. He is refusing to sign the G7 joint statement after leaving things a little rocky in Canada despite he's insistence that all of his relationships are solid a 10. One major point of contention, Trump's call to reinstate Russia to the group of world powers.

Joining me right now to discuss, our CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto back with us from Singapore. Democratic Political Strategist Howard Franklin. And Republican Strategist Kevin Scott. All right, good to see you all.

All right, so Jim, you first. You know, how serious is Trump about Russia being reinstated? Will he continue to push for this despite pushback from allies?

SCIUTTO: Well, we don't know, honestly. We don't know if this was peak Trump upset about how the G7 summit went and sending something of a message there. The president has made similar points before, saying that he seeks a better relationship with Russia, he thinks it would be valuable for the U.S., it would be valuable for the world, better for world peace, prospects for world peace, et cetera.

The idea of G7 entry, first of all, it's not entirely the U.S. choice, that would have to be a group choice, and there's a tremendous amount of pushback from G7 partners on this, and there's obviously pushback from the president's own party. You heard that from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham today. You heard similar warnings -- well, reaffirmation really of warnings about Russia's -- what Russia's intentions are, for instance, from the director of national intelligence Dan Coats that Russia's very intention is to divide the alliance. And by making a comment like this, particularly at the G7, President Trump seems to be on point on that issue with Russia. And that's worrisome.

I'll tell you this. I cover the intelligence agencies, I speak to intelligence officials frequently about this, and this is not a classified assessment, it's a very public assessment. They say that Russia is a threat to U.S. national security. It's a growing threat. And their push is for tougher, you know, sanctions on Russia, whether they be economic, a tougher response to Russia rather than welcoming it into a group of America's closest allies like G7.

WHITFIELD: And Kevin, you know, the continuing question, why is this happening? Why is the president bringing up, you know, Russia? Well, former Obama national security council spokesman said that Trump's statement, and I'm quoting now, crystallizes precisely why Putin was so eager to see Trump elected. For Putin, this is a return on his investment and it's safe to say that his investment has paid off beyond even his wildest dreams.

What's your thought on that?

KEVIN SCOTT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, Fred, I have no problem sitting here and defending the president's actions when I think they're just. I think this one is crazy. In many ways it emboldens Russia. It's not smart politically for the president, it feels like it implicates him.

And, just police wise, it doesn't make sense. Sure, Russia is a big nuclear power. They're a major force in that region. But economically, they're not a big force. If we're talking about adding to the G7, it's not Russia, its plenty of other countries that should be ahead of them on that list.

WHITFIELD: And Howard, the president is the one who initiated this thought.

[15:35:00] He wasn't even asked about it. He brought it up before he went to Canada and then he brought it up again, that Russia needs to be reinstated.


WHITFIELD: There's something that happened.

FRANKLIN: -- it's stunning that an American president under investigation for potentially colluding with the foreign power would take to the world stage and his first request, publicly and otherwise, would be to reinstate that same -- that very same foreign power to the G7, now the G8. And -- so there is really no indication as to, you know, kind of he's deciding on this sort of back of the (INAUDIBLE) foreign policy. And certainly isn't driving any of his issues in the right direction.

WHITFIELD: All of us very curious. I mean, Senator Lindsey Graham had this to say earlier.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I agree that expanding the G7 to the G8 now would be a mistake. You've got to deal with Russia. They're out there, they're in Syria, but there's no way I would ever agree to give them that legitimacy.

The Soviet Union may have fallen, but the evil it represents is alive and well in Putin's Russia. He is no friend of the United States. He is dismembering democracies everywhere and trying to do so in our own backyard, so there is no way I would legitimize him. I would stay tough on Putin. It would be a mistake to try to get him back into the G8.


WHITFIELD: And so, Jim, this particularly, you know, piques your curiosity and interest on what Lindsey Graham had to say. He's been relatively consistent about the ongoing threat of Vladimir Putin.

SCIUTTO: He has. And remember, he speaks to the president. He has something of a relationship with him. So to hear Lindsey Graham being so publicly critical of the president's comments is significant. And just a reminder, why was Russia expelled from the G7, then the G8? This was because in 2014, Russia invaded an annexed Crimea illegally. That still stands today. It invaded eastern Ukraine. That still stands today. You have Russian-backed forces still in Ukraine. So for the president to suggest they should be welcomed back in with none of the circumstances that led to their expulsion arguably, they've gotten worse, Russia has solidified its grip on Crimea. It's solidified military action in eastern Ukraine. It's just hard to see what the president is basing that statement on.

WHITFIELD: And so what does Russia's Vladimir Putin have to think about all of this and being the subject of all of this conversation? Take a listen.


PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): I believe it's necessary to stop this creative babbling and shift to concrete issues related to the real cooperation. The global economy in terms of volume and combined purchasing power countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and this is confirmed by the IMF has really surpassed that of the G7 countries.


WHITFIELD: So Howard, what's your take? And what he really means by this babbling.

FRANKLIN: I think he is looking to undermine the larger conversation. You know, by calling it babbling, it sounds like it's very much in line with what we heard about the strength that Russia tries to project, even though if it's not -- as Kevin has already kind of alluded to, not economically strong. So, I do think, you know, there's a lot of noise here, and most of it, it's coming from President Trump.


SCOTT: Well, I think the reality is how do we view Russia. And I think Russia is somebody who is propping up a regime in Syria, that's attacking American troops. There are so many things that are going on that Russia is bad for. I think we need a president that has a stronger stance against Russia. I think most people in the Republican Party believe that, most Americans believe it.

The bigger enemy is Russia, not Canada on this one.

WHITFIELD: (INAUDIBLE) President Trump had thought this was advantageous as he is about to embark on this North Korea meeting to involve the thought of Russia in all of this as potential leverage?

SCOTT: Yes. It's tough to imagine that. I mean, I'm sure he has a reason. He obviously believes that they're strong. We talked about they have the nuclear power. But ultimately, we need a stronger position against Russia.

I think Lindsey Graham is right, and it's tough to imagine what the president is thinking on this one. FRANKLIN: I'm not as certain that the president has a reason per se, but I do think just seeing how he's tried out issues day to day. I mean, two days from now we'll be talking about the next comment that he's made on the world stage of North Korea. So I do think this is very -- had a very healthy sculptor. I don't know if there's necessarily any thinking behind it.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kevin, Howard, Jim, thanks to all of you. I appreciate it.

All right, rapper Eminem coming under criticism for his use of realistic gunshot sound effects at a concert last night. The moment caused panic and fear among some in the crowd. When we come back, we'll show you how that moment played out.


[15:44:14] WHITFIELD: All right, brace yourselves. You are looking at a stunning scene of destruction. A house explosion in Cleveland, Ohio and it's left one person dead and another critically injured. A few neighboring houses were also damaged, as you can see right there. Emergency crews and the fire department were originally called to the scene for wires down. But the cause is still under investigation.

All right, meantime, hip-hop music star Eminem is getting backlash from some festival goers who were scared and upset over the rapper's use of realistic gunshot sound effects during a concert in Tennessee last night. Here is how the moment played out during Eminem's Bonnaroo performance.

[15:45:09] So concert goers are understandably on edge following a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed and more than 800 injured when a gunman opened fire on the crowd back in October. For more on the controversy surrounding Eminem's use of this sound, let's bring in CNN's Dianne Gallagher.

It's drawing a lot of criticism and then some support who are making reference to what they recall hearing in previous concerts with him.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that's right, Fred. So a source close to Eminem basically said that they want to make one thing clear, that this wasn't actually an imitation gunfire sound in that particular song you're hearing. It's something they call a concussive pyrotechnic effect. They use it in all types of music. He's been using it for more than a decade in his shows and his music.

It's not something that's new, but it obviously was received differently at Bonnaroo this time around. There were a lot of tweets from people who said that it triggered feelings and fear in them. They thought that perhaps there was actually a shooting at Bonnaroo. It caused them to run for cover.

I spoke with a student who went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She was there to speak on a panel. Her name is Alayah Eastman (ph). I texted with her. She said that she was at Eminem show. She wanted to see him. He is a legend and she was really excited about it.

But, she sent me a long text explaining it. She then said, "After the fourth really loud pop, I started to cry and I had to leave. It was so bad I nearly threw up."

I asked what she thought could be done differently around. She said she would like to see it eliminated altogether. She doesn't really think that there is a need for it even though -- we were just talking, Fred. I mean, look, they've used gunfire and imitation gunfire in music since -- I mean, even since the 1700s. (INAUDIBLE) in some of his compositions. It was really popular in the 70s and 80s.

(INAUDIBLE) home music, Madonna used it a lot. M.I.A. got some controversy for her use of it back in 2007. Eminem uses it quite a bit in his music. So do a lot of hip-hop artists. So --

WHITFIELD: But times have changed, events have changed, culture have changed --

GALLAGHER: And that's what a lot of people are saying. And they're not just pointing to Vegas. I mean, you have to think, Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Alayah told me to her, it sounds more like a bomb because the firework went up too. It frightened her. She thought of that. You think of what happened in Manchester, England, in Paris in 2015.

So, there is this triggering effect for people and it has opened up a discussion because a lot of defenders of Eminem are saying, what do you expect? I mean, the song was called "Kill You." This is not necessarily if you are suffering from feelings about un violence, perhaps the best place for you to be due to the content

of his songs. So, there is a debate going on right now about artistry and whether or not gun violence and those sounds belong in it.

WHITFIELD: And that awareness of sensitivity is being heightened as a result of current events.

All right, Dianne Gallagher, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

All right, next, at inside look at the venue where President Trump has that high stakes meeting with Kim Jong-un.


[15:52:52] BERMAN: Welcome back. I'm John (INAUDIBLE).

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: White sandy beaches, golf courses, casinos and theme parks, President Trump may feel right at home next week on Singapore's Sentosa Island, the luxurious location of what summer calling, the meeting of the century. Trump says there will be no Mar-a-Lago style golf diplomacy when he meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, trying to make a deal with the man who remains a mystery to much of the world.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE United States: Well, it's going to be much more than a photo-op. I think it's a process.


RIPLEY: The guest list for the island's five-star Cappella Hotel remains a mystery too, as is the question of who will foot the bill for cash strapped North Korea at the Capella or Kim Jong-un's rumored first choice, the Fullerton, where a presidential suite can cost $6,000 a night. The U.S. had said it won't pay for the Pyongyang delegation.

What is certain, protocol will be paramount. The numbers of U.S. and North Korean delegates must be equally balanced. And we do have clues as to who may have a seat at the table. Trump has met Kim Jong-un's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol at the White House earlier this month. And that makes him a likely partner for Kim on his flight to Singapore. Along with his trusted younger sister Kim Yo-jong.

On the American side, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state has met Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang twice.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: There will be tough moments, there will be difficult times. I've had some difficult conversation with him as well.


RIPLEY: Or perhaps Philippine's ambassador Kim Sung, a veteran of Korea diplomacy who set the stage for Tuesday's summit with plenty meetings on the DMG. The entire Capella resort is on lockdown for the talks, perhaps only the peacocks are allowed to roam freely on the pristine 38-acre grounds.

Soon this excluded island will host two nuclear armed leaders for what promises to be a surreal first ever encounter between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean supreme leader.

Will Ripley, CNN.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you, Will, for setting the stage. Tonight in a new CNN special report, CNN's Fareed Zakaria reveals the two faces of North Korea's leader.

[15:55:01] That's tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

We got so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM and it all starts right after this.


WHITFIELD: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta for a special split edition of CNN's NEWSROOM. My colleague John Berman is joining us live from Singapore on the eve of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Hello, John.

BERMAN: Hey, Fred, yes. History about to be made here in Singapore. No North Korean leader has ever met with a sitting U.S. president. Right now, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un presumably asleep at two hotels that are less than half a mile apart. So they are here and they are ready.

But before sitting down with an American adversary, the White House is in the middle of a huge international shoving match against its closest allies. The president's advisers hitting hard this morning using really extremely combative language about Canada.

The president backed out of signing the joint G7 statement, and he personally slammed the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau --