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President Trump's Harsh Criticism of Justin Trudeau; CNN Hero Kakenya Ntaiya; Melania Trump Appearance at Ford Theater Gala; House Explosion in Ohio; Justify the Horse Capturing the Triple Crown Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 10, 2018 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST. The President's advisers is hitting hard this morning using really extremely combative language about Canada.

The President backed out of signing joint G7 statement. He personally slammed Justin Trudeau. White house blames what they call Trudeau's betrayal that took place right before high-stakes meeting in Singapore with North Korea. Warning the President cannot appear weak.

Let's go to our senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny who is also here in Singapore -- Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John, this is extraordinary when you think about the kind of language and rhetoric here that the President is using against longtime loyal allies of America. Certainly striking as he is preparing to meet with Kim Jong- un here.

But let's focus on G7 meeting in Canada for just a moment. This is something that is going to continue regardless of the outcome of the summit here in Singapore. This is something that the President is going to have to work out, this relationship. But listen to the words of his economic advisers today on the Sunday morning shows, to talk about deep disdain the President has for some key allies.


LARRY KUDLOW, TRUMP'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE ADVISOR: He really kind of stabbed us in the back. He really actually, you know what, he did a great disservice to the whole G7.


KUDLOW: Yes, he did, because they were united in the G7. They came together. And there I was extensively. I was involved in these late night negotiations. President Trump was charming, good faith. I was in the bilateral meeting with Trudeau and President Trump. And they were getting along famously.

PETER NAVARRO, TRUMP'S TRADE ADVISOR: There's 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: Now John, you could say this is potentially some posturing. You know, the top economic adviser Peter Navarro there saying there is a special place in hell, certainly words you don't hear very often about a White House official talking about a foreign leader.

But the reason is this is significant, they are reflecting the views of the President. The President when he was flying here to Singapore was watching the press conference the Canadian prime minister had and became infuriated, we are told. So he did fire back on that. Now all of this, of course, you know, explains the President's mind-set. Perhaps a little bit of plus bluster here as he is heading in to meet with Kim Jong-un. Perhaps a sense one White House official said earlier that they are trying to show that the President is willing to be hard on his allies, potential message for Kim Jong-un or perhaps just simply a reactionary. But certainly interesting here, John, on the eve of that historic summit -- John.

BERMAN: Yes. Jeff, you say they reflect the statements of the President. I assume they are practically regurgitating actions from Justin Trudeau, sounds very much like him with those.

Jeff Zeleny, appreciate you being with us.

Betrayal, stab in the back, that is the language that we heard. Joined by CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto.

Jim, let's start, though, with a different point Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro made was that the President can't appear to look week even with Canada prior to the meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-un.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't know. Shows some consistency then, right. You are weak with Russia. OK. You know, inviting, making a public invitation for Russia to join the G7 having baseball been kicked out for illegally annexing and invading territory in Europe, right. So he makes that comment 24 hours before. But somehow, it is showing strength to North Korea being friendly to Russia publicly, but show a very public division with America's closest allies Canada.

I mean, if you are going to make that argument, that then show some consistency, particularly how you deal with nuclear armed adversaries which might be the better parallel for Kim Jong-un. Vladimir Putin, Justin Trudeau across the border in Canada.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) over the last ten, twelve hours, is that they never heard language like stab in the about an ally like Canada or special place in hell for someone like Justin Trudeau -- the prime minister of Canada. What's the impact of language like that?

SCIUTTO: Listen. Remember what Justin Trudeau said. His exact quote I think was, you know, we are kind of insulted. Those were -- it is kind of insulted. And the reason he said that, right, is that for the U.S. to impose -- for the U.S. to impose these sanctions, these tariffs, rather, on Canada, they have to declare under the WTO, the World Trade Organization, that Canada is a national security threat. And that's exactly what Prime Minister Trudeau was reacting to. He makes the point how can we have national security threat when we fought shoulder to shoulder with Americans for years?

And just for a moment, to remind folks what rules are. For a member of WTO to declare a trading partner a national threat, you have to meet three conditions. One is that they have to be trading in fissionable materials. That is they got to be trading nuclear stuff, OK. Canada is not doing that to our knowledge. The President certainly hasn't said that. They have to be trading in arms in a way that is preceded as a threat to America. That's something Canada is not doing. Or it has to be during a time of war. OK. Of course, U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq but Canada is an ally in those wars. So what exactly is the national security justification? That's certainly not a case of the President or his allies have made there as they imposed these tariffs on U.S. ally.

[16:05:33] BERMAN: You know that Justin Trudeau using the word insulting suggesting that Canada won't back down is the type of language he used before. But did he play into the President's, for a lack of a better word, insecurities by holding that news conference? It does seem that the President was surprised by hearing it.

SCIUTTO: Well listen, can a Canadian prime minister hold a news conference to answer questions about a G7 summit? Can any leader in that summit do so? Of course. I mean, the President does it, others do it, you know. What are the consequences of your comments? I imagine U.S. allies have learned that this American President does not react well to public criticism, right? You see some in private. That Macron, Emanuel Macron, Trudeau as well, you know, in early efforts they did their best to build rapport with President by showing him respect, perhaps a little compliments. You know, here and there. You have seen that even from U.S. adversaries.

BERMAN: Or a big compliment.

SCIUTTO: Or a big compliment, you know. So when you stray from that path, the President strikes back.

BERMAN: And you see the consequence.

Jim Sciutto, stick around. We have a lot more to discuss particularly when it comes to the meetings here in Singapore with North Korea.

In the meantime, Fred, let's go back to you.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right. Jim and John, thank you so much.

So how is all this going over in Canada? I want to bring in CNN's Paula Newton in Ottawa?

So Paula, what kind of reaction are you hearing following Larry Kudlow's comments using comments like betrayal and double cross? PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unbelievable words, Fred? And it

has shocked Canadian officials. They are reeling. And the reason is that despite all the acrimony going into G7 they actually thought they had come to progress. In fact, Trump's advisers do not dispute that. The fact they had made progress on trade issues. And yet the words backstabbing. Essentially the President called Justin Trudeau a liar tweeting. And then \you have people like Peter Navarro weighing in with a special place in hell.

I want you to listen now to Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and how she reacts to these remarks.


CHRYSTIA FREELAND, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Canada does not believe to add homonym attacks are particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries.


NEWTON: You know, the issue here, Fred, is that look. The Trudeau government would appreciate de-escalation. That's what they told me they wanted to do going into the G7. But clearly, that hasn't work. The problem is they were told by Larry Kudlow last night that Larry Kudlow had no idea why the President had abruptly pulled out of that G7 communique. And then within hours it was Larry Kudlow himself on CNN cutting down Justin Trudeau in the most ferocious way possible. Now, apparently the President was unnerved, fuming when he heard Justin Trudeau say this.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do. Canadians are polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around.


NEWTON: Will not be pushed around. That apparently is what did it for the President. You know, the prime minister's office came back in a statement saying, look, this isn't anything the prime minister hasn't said to Donald Trump in private and in public before. But I think from Larry Kudlow we know that it was timing. Timing was the issue here. You know, the President felt he should have had a lot more support from his closest ally going into that very key North Korean summit. And Larry Kudlow pretty much laid it on the line saying it made the President look weak and he did not appreciate that.

I mean, Fred, really, the remarks are unprecedented. We are at historic lows in terms of where the relationship is going. And this is in the midst of trying to get that NAFTA deal done. Something that's important not just to Canada but that a lot of U.S. companies, farmers, workers are looking towards right now.

WHITFIELD: Paula Newton in Ottawa, thank you so much.

So the eyes of the world are now focusing on Singapore as President Trump and Kim Jong-un prepare for a meeting many thought would never happen. How both men are preparing in the run-up to this historic summit. Next.


[16:13:58] BERMAN: All right. Welcome back. I'm John Berman live in Singapore.

President Trump is here, Kim Jong-un is here. Presumably both leaders asleep at this moment. They are in hotels less than half a mile apart. Both of their hotels about five miles from where this historic summit will take place. After all the ups and downs, all the diplomatic drama, historic summit really just 30 hours away.

So let's check in now with CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson.

Ivan, the leaders did arrive here today. We saw both of them briefly.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Kim Jong-un arrived first. He is staying at Saint Regis hotel here. Incidentally that his half-brother was known to stay at. And that's the half-brother Kim Jong-Nam who was assassinated last year in Kuala Lumpur airport, accused that North Korea was behind that murder with VX nerve agent, a charge that North Korea denies.

Anyway, he traveled to meet with the Singaporean prime minister and was overheard by cameras thanking him for hosting this saying quote "if the summit produces a positive outcome, then the Singaporean government effort will be recorded in history forever, sounding optimistic."

President Trump sounded optimistic, saying only a few words to cameras upon arrival, very good, before being whisked off to his hotel. That there will be North Korean and U.S. working groups that will be meeting on Monday here.

But the two leaders aren't expected to meet face-to-face until Tuesday. The Trump administration has indicated that it's possible this one-day summit could be extended. We don't know what exactly is going to come out of it. President Trump himself has been lowering expectations from expecting a deal for the complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea's nuclear arsenal, something the Trump administration had demanded in the past. So we could, perhaps, get some kind of joint statement coming out of this potentially very historic meeting, the first ever between the leaders of two countries that have been adversaries for nearly 70 years -- John.

[16:16:12] BERMAN: Ivan, I was struck by the picture of that limousine driving down the streets here, that Mercedes. This the farthest Kim has ever traveled since he has been leader of North Korea in what has been a remarkable six months of firsts for him in a dramatic transformation.

WATSON: That's right. I mean, we have got to remind ourselves that it was just last year, just last September, for example, that North Korea had carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, last November it carried out a ballistic missile launch. And then there was that alleged assassination attempt using VX nerve agent against his half -brother that was in February of last year.

North Korea was isolated. China had rough relations with traditional ally. And then with the Olympic Games in South Korea, which North Korea was invited at the last minute to attend, suddenly there's been this burst of diplomacy.

Kim Jong-un making his first ever trip as leader of North Korea, making two trips to China to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He has had visits from Mike Pompeo, secretary of state from the U.S. now the furthest trip hen has ever made to Singapore. Incidentally he had to basically borrow an air China plane to make that journey. So suddenly the ruler of the hermit kingdom very much coming in out of the cold and on the verge of meeting the U.S. President. A dramatic transformation geopolitically in a very short period of time -- John.

BERMAN: All right. Ivan Watson, thanks so much.

I want to bring back Jim Sciutto to talk about this. We talk about this dramatic transformation for Kim Jong-un to this meeting.

You know, is it important to know that having this meeting in and of itself is an achievement for Kim.

SCIUTTO: Absolutely. An achievement, they have always wanted to be on level with western powers, to show that North Korea is a force to be reckoned with. And for him to have this face-to-face and last week a senior North Korean official to be welcomed into the oval office for an hour-and-a-half, those things give them face and power. So that is a win for them already.

North Korea you can argue has not made any lasting concessions to this point. They have serum stopped nuclear tests. They have stopped missile tests. That is no small thing in light of how close we were to real military conflict a few months ago. But those things can easily be reversed.

The question is when is North Korea going to give something up that is verifiable, that is lasting. When are they going to agree as to how to define what is verifiable and lasting on denuclearization? We haven't gotten to that point here.

BERMAN: And it may not happen here. The President has actually suggested it may drift, may be the start of what could be future meetings. Very quickly, about 30 seconds left. The idea of a peace agreement to end the Korean War. What should we look for there?

SCIUTTO: So, if something should happen a long time ago, of course, the war officially -- unofficially ended 65 some-odd years ago. To sign that, that would be symbolically important, OK. We are no longer at war. The U.S., China, South Korea and North Korea symbolically important though. And again, you can argue something that is a positive for North Korea, right, because it makes the U.S. have less credibility to carry out military strike on North Korea. Of course, the President could do whatever he wants to. But he would have less international backing if you were to do that having signed and official end to that war.

BERMAN: Look. Pay attention to this very closely. You get a sense for speaking to people close to the White House. This is something the President might be willing to discuss, you know, could be some kind of deliverable.

SCIUTTO: A deliverable, yes.

BERMAN: Jim Sciutto, stick around. Thanks so much.

President Trump causing uproar among U.S. allies when he suggested that Russia might be invited back into the fold of the G7 making it the G8. This comes the same week as his own director of national intelligence said that Russia is actively undermining U.S. alliances.

But before we go to break, check out this tweet from President of the European council Donald Tusk reacting to, a special place in hell for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Tusk tweeted, there is a special place in heaven for Justin Trudeau, Canada. Thank you for the perfection organization of G7.

We will be right back.


[16:25:01] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta. My colleague John Berman live for us in Singapore as President Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un prepare for their historic summit.

So John, you know the eyes of the world are now focused on exactly where you are. But what do you see when someone in the city and country have kind of rolled out the red carpet so to speak.

BERMAN: I have to tell you, the city of nearly six million people is (INAUDIBLE) singularly focused right now on the summit that will take place her and quite proud I think of the role they are playing. We see the prime minister of Singapore as well as the prime minister very involved with meeting with the U.S. leader as well as the North Korean leader. And you see U.S. and North Korean flags at many different points in this city. It will be a remarkable 35 hours to be sure.

And you know, President Trump and Kim Jong-un now a little less than 30 hours away from first face-to-face meeting. The commander in chief and supreme leader both landing this morning. No sitting U.S. President has ever met with a North Korean leader. We just don't know what the impact of this will be. We do not know if there will be any kind of agreement. But the mere fact they are meeting substantial in and of itself. So let's bring in our panel, CNN chief national security correspondent

Jim Sciutto here with me in Singapore, CNN political analyst "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin, CNN political analyst and senior correspondent for the Washington examiner David Drucker and CNN national security analyst and senior fellow on council of foreign relations, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.

Friends gathering from around the world. What a great discussion.

Josh, I have been readings what you have been writing over the last day or so. And you are suggesting that the President is really lowering the bar here in terms of what he will require from North Korea. Explain.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, we have seen a steady moving of the goalpost from the Trump administration from a meeting that was going to get a deal to a meeting that's the beginning of a process that could get a deal at the very end. And that's fine if that's the method and process they want to go through.

But what has a lot of allies and people in Washington worried is what President Trump is really willing to give away in exchange for what he might get and what that means not just for America but for our allies and for our national security. We are talking about the U.S. security architecture in Asia, U.S. troops in South Korea, you know, U.S. -- nuclear umbrella that protects the region, right.

These are all things that President Trump has very strong views on that are different from his own advisers, different from our allies, different from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. And because there's so much unknown about exactly what's going to happen in these meetings, there's a lot of concern that given what we have seen about the preparation and given what we have seen about how the President is treating all of our allies recently that we are going to give away a lot and get back very little.

Now, the administration says that's not true. Yet if you just look at what's going on, especially what's going on over the last two days, it's created a lot of upheaval not just in Washington but in capitals and alliances all over the world.

BERMAN: You know, Gayle, it's our understanding that North Korea is hardly covering this from a media standpoint. There hasn't been much of a run-up to this meeting. I'm struck by that. What do you think Kim, insofar as we can tell, because we don't know for sure, what do you think he wants out of this meeting?

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, just think about this journey, John. I mean, we are on a remarkable trajectory from little rocket man not long ago to partner at a global summit that is attracting international attention from every corner in the world. And you have a country that is basically the size of Ohio with an economy smaller than Wyoming that is absolutely now moved from pariah to sort of the center of global diplomacy. And I do think for them this is branding and image makeover that have been a so far fairly successful. And I think from the Trump side, you know, I spoke with some of the

folks who are there at the very beginning of the administration and North Korea topped their list of concerns. So both sides seem to think there's more to gain by sitting across from one another there in Singapore than there is to lose by sort of you know, than there is a moment to lose, right. And Secretary Pompeo has been very clear that this was a moment they did not want to miss.

And so, I do think you see two leaders who both feel like they have something to gain by sitting down there in a branding and image makeover on the North Korean side that is actually startling in its speed.

BERMAN: I want to come back to North Korea in a moment if we still have time. But I don't want to miss what has happened with the U.S. and Russia over the last several days and the U.S. and its closest allies.

President Trump just arrived in Singapore for the G7 summit. And it was there and before that meeting when he said he would like to see Russia back as part of that group. Let's listen to what he said.


TRUMP: Some people like the idea of bringing Russia back in. This used to be the G8 not the G7. And something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it would be good for Russia. I think it would be good for the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries at the current G7.



BERMAN: Listening to the President say that, David, you know it just makes you think the Republican party, the John McCain's of the world, the George W. Bush's of the world, the Mitt Romney's of the world, even the Paul Ryan's, everyone else. Could you ever see them saying that about Russia at this point, as it has annexed Crimea and has done nothing to ingratiate itself with the west?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, John. That's something that happened, was the invasion of Crimea and annexation of territory from Europe. And I don't think we could envision another Republican leader, no matter how against the establishment in Washington that would have ever talked like that or acted like that.

I mean look, one of the big criticisms of President Obama by all Republicans who ran for President, other than President Trump and the rest of the party, was that he was too easy on Russia. Remember that famous tape some years back when he told Medvedev I will have more flexibility to work with you after my reelection.

Republicans went apoplectic. But this is one of the reasons why Vladimir Putin favored President Trump in the election against Hillary Clinton, because of the President's nationalist populist tendencies. He believed that this President would help him sow divisions, not wittingly but just the way he approaches the world, the way he views the U.S. in the world as a leader in the transatlantic alliance that President Trump had less regard for the traditions of American foreign policy post World War II than anybody else running.

And one of Putin's main goals has been to sow divisions in that alliance so he can continue to stand and thwart U.S. interest and divide the west, which gives him more room to maneuver. And so I think that it was a great day for Putin. And even though some of the President's policies have been tougher than Putin would prefer, and I think surprisingly so, presidential rhetoric matters a great deal.

And in this regard, President Trump's continuing to soft pedal Russia and treat them with kid gloves is a really big problem for the western alliances and a it's a big win for Putin.

BERMAN: Jim, I can see you at the side of my eye, nodding in agreement.

SCIUTTO: I mean these are -- David makes a great point there. Those western alliances created by the U.S. to serve its interest for decades, and they have worked, right. NATO, the WTO, the G7, it's not just rhetoric that is causing division there. There's actual action that is splitting those alliances now. The G7 is principally an economic organization.

You now have the U.S. and its allies on the precipice of a trade war, right? The WTO is designed to avoid that. The President has declared close U.S. allies national security threats under the rules of that. And within NATO, as NATO is facing to a newly redefining you know mission of standing up to Russia, you have the President continuing to take shots at allies you know on their military contributions or really their financial contributions to NATO.

So it is Putin's goal to undermine those institutions. And you can argue that the President has done that work for him.

BERMAN: I know. It's really interesting. I mean if you're keeping score at home, he's trying to ingratiate himself with Russia right now with the statements in the G7. He's pushing Canada, the European Union away, and he's here in Singapore about to meet with Kim Jong-Un. You know Josh Rogin, to you, the President has said he'll know within the first minute of sitting down with Kim Jong-Un just by touch, and just by the feeling he gets if it's going to go well. I know you're deeply sourced in the diplomatic community. Touching, feeling aside, how will they know if this has gone well?

ROGIN: Right. Well, everyone has a different definition of what well means. And that's the problem. And what you have now is an effort in Washington, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, and Moscow to define what does going well mean. And they are in different places. And that's a huge problem, it's because the President and his staff all over the place.

Nobody knows and everyone is trying to game out what he's going to say and then how they are going to react in all of these crazy circumstances. And when you look at what happened just in the last two days. It sends a message to everyone. It says two messages actually. One, that President Trump takes everything personally, right?

He blew up the G7 statement just because he felt personally insulted by Justin Trudeau. Most people don't even think Justin Trudeau insulted him. But nevertheless, he did it, right? So what does that mean? It mean he's going to have this one-on-one interaction with Kim Jong-Un. Nobody else is going to be in the room.

He's going to come away with an impression and that's going to guide international diplomacy and national security for the next however long of a time. That's super unpredictable and super strange and super risky. What does going well mean in that scenario is really anybody's guess. And that's the big problem here.

[16:35:01] BERMAN: You know Gayle, the resources that North Korea has committed to its nuclear program over the last several decades, the sacrifices it has made and the importance to Kim personally. You know it would be very difficult for him, I would imagine to give that up.

LEMMON: Right. And the question is does he feel mission accomplished, right? Does he feel like the two priorities he laid out in 2011 at the age of 27, to focus on the nuclear weapons programs, focus on weapons programs more broadly? And then secondly, to build the economy, right, that the era of suffering had ended for North Korea, which had seen famine happen even among urban educated people, which is almost unheard of.

And so the question I think that's really fascinating is going to come down to part of what Josh was talking about, is how do you define what success is, right. I mean I think there are four D's that everybody is looking for, denuclearization and demobilization on the North Korean side. And then from the American, North Korea wants from Americans de-escalation and some talk about development, in terms of economic development and money coming in.

And I think you know the agreement on definition about who is talking about what, when is going to be how success is defined at the summit.

BERMAN: All right. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Jim Sciutto, Josh Rogin -- OK, to David quickly.

DRUCKER: I was just going to say the President is in an interesting place, because he's unpopular broadly at home but his North Korean approach is very popular and it gives him some room to define what success is at least in the short-term. And so it will be very interesting to see what he does with that.

BERMAN: And so North Korea very important for him diplomatically, internationally, but also domestically as well. It's a great point. David Drucker, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Jim Sciutto, Josh Rogin, thanks so much, Fred, let's go back to you. WHITFIELD: All right, John. Thanks to everyone. All right, coming

up, a house Democrat is criticizing the Canadian Prime Minister for, "sabotaging the cause by publicly feuding with President Trump." We talk to him, the Congressman next.


[16:40:00] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A Democratic congressman from Illinois is joining President Trump's harsh criticism of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi issued a statement today, blaming Trudeau for putting the trade relationship between Canada and the U.S. at risk. And he is urging Trudeau to calm down the rhetoric.

That congressman joins us now on the phone to explain his criticism. Congressman thanks so much for being with me. So tell me why you are criticizing Trudeau and not President Trump, who also sent out tweets that were inflammatory in terms of how he described Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, D-IL.: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on, Fredricka. I have been very critical of President Trump's tweeting and basically his inflammatory statements. What bothered me is right now we have to calm down the rhetoric. We have to lower the temperatures. And I was very concerned when Prime Minister Trudeau is you know basically taking to the airwaves in this escalating feud.

I represent Illinois, a portion of Illinois, but Illinois, the epicenter of U.S.-Canada trade relationship. We have to come to a resolution of our differences at the table, not on Twitter, not on the air, and not on any social media platform.

WHITFIELD: So Trudeau had said, apparently in the sessions, and then he said it again publicly that the U.S. won't push us around. And then Trump's chief economic adviser, you know, said that was a very sophomoric move, he said. It was very polarizing. He called it a betrayal and even that he was being -- that the President was being double-crossed by Trudeau. Are you in agreement with those descriptions?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: No, I am not in agreement with them. Again, I've been repeatedly critical of the President for his inflammatory statements. What I would say to everybody is come to the bargaining table. Resolve your differences at the negotiating table and not on the airwaves. And so when Justin Trudeau calls a news conference and basically goes again at this feud and you know says things that would escalate tensions, I think that is a bad move.

It just plays into the President's hands. And you know this goes on this Twitter war, does on add nauseam.

WHITFIELD: So Larry Kudlow, the Chief Economic Adviser, had gone as far as saying that these comments from Trudeau, the timing, this happening on the eve of the North Korean, or the summit in Singapore between the North Korean leader and President Trump was intentional. This intentionally undermines or weakens the President of the United States. Do you agree with that, that there was intention here?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: No, no. I don't see that. I will say this, Fredricka, which is that this is very instructive going into the North Korean summit in the sense that...


KRISHNAMOORTHI: We can't have this North Korean summit you know turn into a disaster the way that the G7 summit turned into. I would strongly, strongly advise the President and his advisers to stay off Twitter, stay off social media. Keep your discussions and keep your negotiations at the bargaining table with Kim Jong-Un and his team. We don't want this particular summit to go the way of the G7 summit. The stakes are too high.

[16:45:11] WHITFIELD: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, thank you so much for joining me.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, a stunning scene of destruction after a massive explosion leaves an Ohio home in splinters, as you see here. That story is straight ahead.


[16:50:00] WHITFIELD: Every now and then, we like to show CNN Heroes, not only helping others but helping each other. Kakenya Ntaiya educates girls in rural Kenya. But when her village was threatened by a problem that she couldn't solve, she convinced another CNN Hero, Harmon Parker to do what he does best.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many people do not understand how many people suffer in isolated regions from dangerous rivers, children drown. Kakenya asked me to build a bridge for her community so that children can go to school safely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, we are officially opening the bridge. The community really came together. They were celebrating, knowing that this is bringing a change. It was their way of saying thank you.


WHITFIELD: So to see how village elders decided to honor Harmon or to nominate someone you know to be CNN Hero, go to And this just in to CNN, we're learning first lady Melania Trump will attend the annual Ford Theater gala this evening. She will also make remarks at the end of the night. The first lady will be going it alone since the President is in Singapore for the big North Korea summit.

This will be one of Melania's first major appearances in front of the cameras, excuse me, after undergoing what the President called a big operation for a kidney condition. And a house explosion in Ohio has left one dead and another injured. The explosion's stunning aftermath shows the scene of destruction with debris thrown all over this Cleveland neighborhood. It's unclear what caused the blast but several nearby homes were also damaged. The explosion knocked down walls and blew out windows.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were two victims. There was one confirmed fatality and one sustained burning. There was heavy damage to multiple houses, whether it was from windows being blown out or actual structure damage.


WHITFIELD: And horse racing history at the Belmont Stakes. Justify capturing the Triple Crown, becoming only the 13th horse to accomplish this incredible feat. It was a special day for the three-year-old colt and his trainer. CNN's Andy Scholes was in Belmont, New York, for this astonishing race.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: What an incredible performance. Justify leading wire-to-wire, etching his name into the history books as the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown. He is also just the second horse ever joining Seattle Slew to do it undefeated. And the atmosphere here at Belmont Park was just electric, 90,000 fans on hand were rooting on Justify when he crossed that finish line.

They all went nuts. For trainer Bob Baffert, this is his second Triple Crown win in four years. He also trained American Pharaoh, who broke the 37 year Triple Crown drought just 3 years ago. Baffert now just one of two trainers to win the Triple Crown twice, and I actually spoke to Baffert earlier in the week. And he wanted so badly to win the race for Justify, because he told me the horse deserved it.

I was just an incredible, incredible athlete, comparing him to Lebron James. And he told me the most important part of this race was the first 25 seconds to get out of post one and to get in the lead. And it went exactly according to plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everybody wants to see this happen because he's such a beautiful horse. And he's just -- it's like pass me the win. I mean he's just so tough. And he's just an imposing horse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's the greatest of all time, just won the Triple Crown, man. He's my champion.

SCHOLES: After the race, Baffert also praising his 52-year-old jockey Mike Smith for the job he did. He was very happy for him to be able to win a Triple Crown this late in his career. And who knows, we may be entering another golden age in horse racing. These Triple Crowns seem to come in waves. We had 4 1 in the 40s, 3 in the 70s, and now 2 in a span of 4 years. And who knows, we may get another one before this decade is over. At Belmont Park in New York, Andy Scholes, CNN.


WHITFIELD: So exciting. Thank you so much, Andy, at the Belmont in New York. All right, thanks so much for joining me. I am Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta. Thanks to John Berman in Singapore. And John, you of course, will be back on the air tomorrow for New Day in Singapore.

[16:54:58] BERMAN: That's right, Fred. Thirteen hours from now, 6:00 a.m. Eastern time. Between now and then President Trump meets with the Prime Minister of Singapore, our next chance to see and hear him. How will he respond to this really intense shoving match with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? We're waiting for that. And also 30 hours until the historic summit here, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so much ahead. All right, thank you so much, John, great job. And we'll be watching. Still so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom at the top of the hour after this.