Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
Kim Jong-un in Singapore: Trump Arrival Imminent; Trump Slams Canada's Trudeau As "Very Dishonest & Weak". Aired 7-8a ET
Aired June 10, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:01] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing and that ends.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but also will not be pushed around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump fired back on Twitter, accusing Trudeau of being dishonest and calling him mild and meek.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we've reached a point of such isolation for the U.S. and such a rupture with our traditional allies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the point of view of his base, this is music to their ears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Singapore, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong- un, has arrived there for this historic summit.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But rest assured, our president is going into this summit with his eyes wide open.
TRUMP: It's a one time shot and I think it's going to work out very well.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: If you are here in the U.S., good morning to you. If you're joining us from somewhere else in the world, welcome to NEW DAY and our complete coverage of what is arguably President Trump's biggest moment on the world stage yet.
And just moments, these pictures out of Singapore as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was welcomed by the local delegation there. He is meeting with the country's prime minister ahead of his summit with President Trump later this week.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And in just minutes, we're going to see President Trump arrive in Singapore. The island country is playing host to this historic meeting, of course, which President Trump has called North Korea's onetime shot at achieving peace. We have a team of correspondents and analysts who are positioned
around the globe as we watch things unfold here. CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Paula Hancocks in Singapore. CNN's Nic Robertson live in South Korea. We also welcome Chris Lu, former assistant to President Obama and former White House cabinet secretary, with us as well.
Kaitlan, let's go to your first. What are you hearing there from Singapore now?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, we do know that Kim Jong-un did just meet with the Singaporean prime minister. That is someone who is hosting this potentially historic summit between the United States and North Korea, something that is costing Singapore, the prime minister, has said $15 million.
Now, one thing that's unclear about that $15 million figure is whether or not the Singaporeans are paying for the North Koreans' travel here. That was something that was up for much debate over the last few days, who was going to pay for it? And we do know that the United States said they would not be footing the bill for Kim Jong-un to come to Singapore.
So, the question remains, whether or not who is paying for that hotel room, that travel here on the Air China flight and whatnot.
But all of this is shaping up. They just met, likely discussing logistics, a formal diplomatic meeting between the two of since the Singaporeans are hosting this. And then President Trump, once he arrives in the next hour or so, will go his hotel and tomorrow is when he is scheduled to meet with the prime minister of Singapore as well.
So, both of those meetings are happening separately, though. Not together. It's unclear what is on Kim Jong-un's schedule for tomorrow and what is on President Trump's schedule outside of that meeting with the prime minister for tomorrow. But likely, those last-minute preparations before they do sit down face-to-face on Tuesday, something that has obviously been of much debate over the last few weeks after President Trump called off that meeting and then about a week later, eight days, said that it was back on and said here they are.
So, it is too late to back out of it now. Now, they are going to both be here in Singapore with the North Koreans just arriving and the president of the United States' delegation getting here any moment now essentially. But this is a moment that a lot of experts, a lot of critics did not think that the United States and the North Koreans would get to, but, Victor and Christi, they are both here and it seems like they are both ready to meet.
BLACKWELL: Nic, next to you. And let's call it the fluctuating expectations game that's happening from the White House of what this meeting will be. And the -- I guess the vacillating explanation of what it will be.
The president says that this will be a get to know you. He said, yesterday, from the G-7, we'll meet each other, we'll see each other. Maybe we'll like each other, but also on the other hand, I'll know in the first minute if he is ready to negotiate and if I don't see it, I'm going to leave.
How can you just be there to get to know someone but expect something in that first minute?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, President Trump really seems to be harking back to his time as a businessman where, you know, very important to get in a room to feel the participants in that meeting and to know whether or not they are going to genuinely engage with you and whether or not you can see that deal. This he seems to be taking in the same way. It is certainly setting out, you know, his position in a way that you might do with such a business meeting, by saying this, this is a one-off shot. This is a moment in history. This is the only time you're going to get to make this deal.
[07:05:03] But his coming off the heels to a trip to the G-7 where he seems to have misread the Canadian prime minister because at one point, he agreed to sign this common communique coming out of the G-7 and then he hears comments from Prime Minister Trudeau, rather, of which he says, you know, on the one hand, he was meek and mild earlier, and now, he's saying something different.
So, President Trump changing his mind about signing that communique based on the fact that he's changed his opinion about what he heard in that room after he left the room.
So, you know, his coming into this having signaled a very strong message to Kim Jong-un that I'm the toughest guy here of the two of us, that you've got -- if you're going to do this deal, this is the moment to do it. But the flip side of that is Kim Jong-un --
BLACKWELL: Interrupt here for just a second.
We are looking at live pictures of Kim Jong-un leaving here. I don't know if you can hear, I hate to interrupt, but we are watching that Kim Jong-un leave this bilateral meeting with the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. That has been within 30 minutes or so, we saw Mr. Kim walk in.
At about 35 minutes ago, there are probably five or six minutes of cameras there in the room and then they met for a few moments. More than pleasantries. They certainly had some things to discuss but now, Kim headed back. We presume to the St. Regis. We'll check in with Manisha Tank to see if that's exactly where he headed ahead, of course, of his meeting on Tuesday with President Trump.
PAUL: Paula, you're there in Singapore and you've watching all of this unfold. The extra security, the way people are reacting to these leaders who are coming to this country. The fact that this meeting only lasted 30 minutes, a surprise? Expected?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is really the protocol, the fact that it is Singapore that's hosting this. So, really paying respects to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong there. And so, it is to be expected. The fact it's half an hour, I mean, obviously, as you say, that goes beyond just thank you for hosting this historic summit.
Clearly, there has been some discussion there and it will be interesting to see how long the discussion goes on between the Singaporean prime minister and U.S. president on Monday when they meet as well.
But an interesting thing we're seeing here is that you see the motorcade going through the streets of Singapore. Clearly, these streets have been closed off to other traffic. There are an awful lot of people lining those streets and taking video, photos, whatever of the North Korean dictator rolling through the streets of Singapore. When we saw him coming from the airport, people were waving at him.
Now, whether these were Singaporeans, whether they were tourists quite bemused by the whole situation, it's quite significant that a man who many accuse of very serious human rights abuses is being welcomed in such a way to this city state. It really does go some way to showing how different the outward appearance of this North Korean leader that changed the last six months. The fact that six months ago, he hadn't met a single world leader. He's now met the leaders of China twice. He's met the leader of South Korea. There was a poll in South Korea saying their opinion of Kim Jong-un was about 10 percent approval before the summit after he met President Moon. It was about 35 percent.
So, people are responding certainly to the fact that the North Korean leader is here. So, it will be interesting to see over the next few days this is not something that Kim Jong-un is used to clearly driving through the streets of a wealthy country like Singapore and having people waving at him. So, that's something that really jumped out at me.
BLACKWELL: Paula, stay with us.
I want to bring in Chris Lu who's in Washington. Chris, the question of will this be a single meeting or will there be several meetings to reach a potential deal on denuclearization, if that is not reached on Tuesday in the first meeting, what does the president presumably need to secure from the North Koreans in the first meeting that you would expect would get him to a second, maybe a third?
CHRIS LU, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CABINET SECRETARY: Well, I think that is exactly the challenge and can you see the Trump administration trying to play it both ways at this time. They have both said this is a onetime shot as an effort to ratchet up the pressure on Kim to try to make a deal. But they have also cleverly lowered expectations and suggested this could be the beginning of a long process. So, obviously, it's kind of like throwing a Hail Mary to see if we can get a big deal but understanding this might be an extended process.
I suspect the summit will go far longer than anyone expects. You know, simply with the translation issues, whatever amount of time you're going to block in will then double in time. And I think it's going to be critically important for the president to come out of the meeting with something tangible because as we have already discussed, he has already given up something very, very significant to Kim by giving him a chance to be on the world stage.
[07:10:08] And as we keep pointing out, this is one of the world's most ruthless dictators who is now standing side-by-side with the U.S. president. So, I think it will be incumbent upon the president to get something, even if it's simply an agreement to continue talking before they walk out of that room and if it's -- if that takes several days, I expect it will go several days.
PAUL: Chris, these are two leaders who place a very high value on the optics for themselves. These are also two leaders who have been pretty brutal to each other in the past. Mentally deranged dotard is what has been lobbed at President Trump from the North Korean leader, little rocket man, and fire and fury has been brought to the table by President Trump.
How does that affect the dynamics when these two sit down face-to- face? Surely, they have specific values that they are bringing to this meeting that they will have tomorrow. But I cannot imagine either of them who care so much about optics easily forget those words.
LU: The irony is that Kim probably knows a lot more about Donald Trump than Donald Trump knows about Kim. Obviously, it's not only Trump's record, history as a businessman but he's had a chance to see Trump perform on the world stage over the last 18 months and, in particular, this past weekend in Canada.
And so, I think they will both smile for the cameras and I think, obviously, there will be some serious conversations because the issues web talking about, whether it's denuclearization, whether it's economic sanctions, whether it's the armistice, these are all hard issues and there's a reason why previous presidents have not been able to make significant progress on these issues.
But I think Kim will also understand that sitting across the table for Trump, what you see may not be what you get. He will see that Trump has had the same kind of schizophrenic relationship with President Xi in China, obviously with President Macron of France. You go it from state dinner, to a kind of a very heated war of words on Twitter over the last couple of days.
And so, I think both sides will have -- will appear to be friendly but will also be operating at arm's length from the other.
PAUL: All right. Chris Lu, we appreciate your input there so much. Kaitlan, Paula, Nic as well.
As we look at live pictures here. I believe of the airport as we await for Air Force One to touch down with President Trump.
BLACKWELL: I think these are the streets of Singapore here as we are still watching the motorcade return to.
PAUL: Thank you for the correction. BLACKWELL: -- to the St. Regis there.
PAUL: It is.
BLACKWELL: We've got a shot of the airport, let's take that now.
PAUL: Can we have that?
BLACKWELL: We do.
PAUL: I know we do. They told me we did. There it is!
BLACKWELL: There it is. All right. Shiny airport there. This is where we are expecting Air Force One -- the shot just went down. Live TV, right on time.
We'll take a break. We'll continue our live coverage of the upcoming summit of President Trump and Kim Jong-un there in Singapore. The meetings have already begun.
[07:17:37] BLACKWELL: Our breaking news: in just minutes, President Trump will land in Singapore for historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Kim is already there. The meetings have begun just. Just back at his hotel after meeting with Singapore's prime minister. He will witness history on Tuesday when President Trump and Kim, when they meet face- to-face.
This is the first meeting of two leaders between countries that had been, in some ways, feuding for some time now.
PAUL: And that shot you're looking at there is the airport in Singapore where the president is expected to arrive, we believe, later this morning.
But President Trump and Justin Trudeau also in the headlines today, as a lot of words are going back and forth between them after the G-7 summit. President Trump lashed out at the Canadian prime minister after he said this.
PAUL: OK. Actually, I'm sorry. Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada will move forward with retaliatory measures. Canadians will not be pushed around. President Trump did not take kindly to that. He called Trudeau dishonest and weak, and accused him of releasing false statements and that the U.S. will pull back from its endorsement of the G-7 summit's communique.
CNN's Paula Newton live from Ottawa right now.
How is -- how are people in Canada reacting to this back and forth? PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the headlines obviously would
dictate that look, they were pretty shock. I mean, Trump drops bombshell, unity torpedoed. He basically called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a liar in that press conference.
Having said that, I would say the Canadian officials behind the scenes are shocked but not surprised. One thing that they have learned is this president is incredibly unpredictable.
Having said, you have to remember, Christi and Victor, that this president arrived late to this summit. He left early. There were a lot of contentious discussions during that summit.
Officially, the prime minister's office reacting saying, look, we are going to talk about achievements in the G-7. We didn't say anything in that press conference we have not said over and over and over again to the president.
What's interesting here is that Congress will also be listening. And the issue is that Donald Trump in blowing up these trading relationships, Congress is starting to worry that, in fact, even if some of these trading relationships aren't fair and need to be renegotiated, that they do not appreciate the way the president is going about it.
[07:20:11] Also, though, it serves as a message for Donald Trump's negotiating style. I mean, he had just left the G-7. He said he would sign the communique. Canadian officials were left wondering what the heck happened on Air Force One. He tweeted from the airplane and basically not just tweeted, did just saying something that was insulting. Now, he actually pulled his consensus, his agreement for that G-7 summit communique that they worked on through the night.
The issue here even going into the summit in Singapore, what kind of unpredictable behavior anyone can expect, I think Donald Trump would tell you that's a good negotiating strategy. Right now, allies, best friends, Canada, even the European allies are wondering, is that really a way to treat your friends?
PAUL: All right. Paula Newton, thank you so much. We appreciate it.
Daniel Dale, Washington bureau chief for the "Toronto Star", is with us now.
BLACKWELL: Daniel, good morning to you.
What does this mean, this back and forth between Trudeau and Trump for the ongoing NAFTA negotiations?
DANIEL DALE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TORONTO STAR: Well, it makes NAFTA negotiations more difficult. I think at the very least makes it harder for Trudeau to sell a deal to Canadians, a deal with this president who is insulting him and their country. I think is increasing anti-Trump sentiment, although I haven't seen any early polling. And it again calls into question the extent to which Trump actually
wants a new NAFTA deal. He said in his news conference before he left the G-7 yesterday that the U.S. would actually be better off without a NAFTA deal. He said I'm going to continue to try to make a deal but it would be better if we didn't make one. So, I think all of these -- the insults, the belittling of Prime Minister Trudeau and the claims about NAFTA itself really calls into the question the extent to which his side is negotiating in good faith here.
BLACKWELL: All right. Daniel Dale, thank you for being with us. Washington bureau chief with the Toronto Star". Apologies for cutting the time short.
But we, of course, have the breaking news.
Let's go to Paula Hancocks. We understand you now have some information about what happened in this meeting between the Singaporean prime minister and Kim.
HANCOCKS: That's right, Victor and Christi.
We've got a translation of some of what was talked about and we heard Kim Jong-un during this 30-minute-plus meeting with the prime minister saying once again, those excellent conditions provided, thanking him for the hospitality, such convenient conditions provided.
And one thing he was saying is that Singapore really has helped make this summit take place, saying Singapore has shown such an effort, as if it was their own family affairs. If the summit produces positive outcomes, then the Singaporean government's efforts will be recorded in history forever.
So, this is what we have heard Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, saying to Singapore's prime minister. Now, clearly, he appears fairly hopeful there will be some kind of positive outcome when he meets with the United States President Donald Trump by saying that to the Singaporean prime minister as well. So, it gives us a slight insight into how he is feeling at this point and clearly having come all this way, the furthest he has ever traveled since he has taken power of North Korea. He would appear to be hoping for a positive outcome.
PAUL: And, Paula, with that said, we were talking last hour and I want to get your input on this. This is a leader, Kim Jong-un, who has pretty much complete control of his surroundings of the people that he chooses for his circle on a daily basis for him in North Korea for him to travel and be somewhere where he does not have that full control. How does the dynamic of that with Kim Jong-un, how do you think that will translate to this meeting with President Trump on Tuesday?
HANCOCKS: Well, it's really quite remarkable when you look at these images. He doesn't look like a leader who is out of his comfort zone. He looks like a leader -- really he has been doing this for year. He's been traveling the world and meeting with world leaders which quite clearly he hasn't been. Up until six months ago, he had not met a single world leader. He
hadn't even met Xi Jinping, the leader of China, who his main trading ally, who's the leader of the country that's effectively keeping North Korea afloat economically.
So, the fact is you're seeing a very swift learning curve for this North Korean leader. You are seeing with that meeting between him and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in that was remarkable and it was a picture-perfect summit and forget about all the substance but those images were very powerful.
There was a very personable side many are saying you saw Kim Jong-un laughing with the South Korean president, embracing the South Korean president.
[07:25:02] And that has an effect on people, because there was a poll from Gallup Korea saying before the summit, about 10 percent of those polled said, we trust Kim Jong-un, pretty low, and not surprising, given the circumstances.
Straight after that summit, they asked the same question. Thirty-five percent of those polled said they now trust Kim Jong-un.
So, these kind of images being around the world certainly do a lot for Kim Jong-un's image. They do a lot for what people think of him, because up until a few months ago, no one knew much about this leader. We only saw him on state-run media highly choreographed instances. There is nothing to choreograph about this. Obviously, it is fairly choreographed, but nothing to the point you see from North Korea.
So, we are seeing a different side of the North Korean leader. Clearly, he knows how important this is to give a good impression, to come across well, and it will be very interesting to watch how he reacts when he meets the U.S. president.
BLACKWELL: All right. Paula Hancocks, thank you so much for us there in Singapore. We will take a break. On the other side, we are going to push forward on this feud between President Trump and the other members of the G-7. Remember, they said there is no G-6 plus one when it comes to that communique, there appears to be.
We'll be right back.
[07:31:01] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thirty minutes past the hour. Welcome back. Good to have you. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So, President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been having a lot of nasty back-and-forths in the last 24 hours since the G-7 summit. President Trump lashing out at the Canadian prime minister after this was said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It would be with regret but with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1st, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us. I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but the something that we absolutely will do because Canadians -- we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: President Trump was quick to respond on Twitter. He called Trudeau dishonest and weak and accused him of releasing false statements and that the U.S. will pull back from its endorsements of the G7 summit's communique.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins is in Singapore and Daniel Dale is back with us, Washington bureau chief for "Toronto Star".
Kaitlan, first to you. Did the president say or is the White House saying specifically what the false statements were that they are accusing the prime minister of making?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: No, they didn't elaborate here, Victor, on what the president was accusing the prime minister of someone that just about ten or so hours earlier when the president was asked about the state of his relationship not just Trudeau, but also the German and French leaders as well. The president gave them a 10. He said that they're (INAUDIBLE) 10, that things had well at this summit and they had this discussion. And then the president agreed to sign on this carefully crafted statement, the communique that was a joint statement that all the leaders issue after that meeting. And then just a few hours later, while on Air Force One, the president must have watched Justin Trudeau's press conference which angered him and caused him to send that tweet.
But I should note that while the president was tweeting that, a U.S. official onboard Air Force One told reporters that the president has signed off on the statement, and then the president went and contradicted that by saying, hey, I'm not signing off on this any longer. So, it's very interesting, the set up. This meeting with Kim Jong-un here in Singapore was supposed to be the intense meeting of the last two over the last few days, but clearly the G-7 is the one that has really thrown things out of whack. It was a meeting left in disarray and upended by United States president, President Trump, by not agreeing to sign off on this joint statement, clearly making a statement and laying clear -- laying bare his tensions with Justin Trudeau after days of buildup before he did head to the G7.
This isn't what we expected to come out of the G-7, if you looked at what the president said last week in the days before he went, there had been very testy phone calls between not just him and Trudeau, but also him and the French President Emmanuel Macron in the days leading up to that. But then once the president was there, he seemed to be joking and laughing with the world leaders, joking that Canada had agreed to get away the trade barriers and then Canada joking back, Justin Trudeau joking back that they had agreed to go ahead with NAFTA and they had resolved their issues surrounding that.
So, a lot of laughs and smiles but clearly has changed since President Trump left Canada and since he has been on this flight headed to Singapore and really the president has upended what the entire summit was about, those days of talks with just a single tweet.
PAUL: So, Daniel, there was so much reaction to this, particularly on Twitter. James Comey tweeted, Senator Schumer tweeted, Senator McCain tweeted as well. Senator McCain saying to Canada, Americans stand with you even if our president does not.
How much weight do words like that from senators carry to perhaps have any influence in soothing over some of what we saw happen in the last 24 hours?
[07:35:05] DANIEL DALE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TORONTO STAR: Well, I think those words are appreciated but they don't do anything to soothe Canadians. You know, Canadians understand that the Republicans in Congress, even if they are offering kind words, are doing little substantively to check President Trump. There has been some talk by a small handful of senators about checking him on trade, but it doesn't look their proposed legislation from Bob Corker and company will go anywhere and they understand the nature of the relationship is being determined right now by one man.
You know, Canadian officials have good relations with some officials in Trump's administration and they know that the American people like Canada. Canada has a high approval rating in the United States, but this is about the whims of Donald Trump and there is nothing anyone can do for him to feel good about this and he is doing the opposite right now.
BLACKWELL: So, Kaitlan, let me come back to you. The argument for these tariffs were national security interest and protecting the steel and aluminum industry in case of war. Put the tweet back up that President Trump sent out yesterday clarifying here where he writes our tariffs are in response to his, speaking of Trudeau and Canadian 270 percent on dairy. So, the president clarifying if there any questions about the reason for these tariffs, he has laid it here.
COLLINS: Yes, clarifying or throwing what his officials have said out the window for the fast few weeks, that these tariffs were on the basis of national security grounds. Now, that is something that Canada automatically refuted saying, we are one of your biggest allies. We fought alongside you in wars, how is this a national security issue? That is a statement that the White House maintained.
But then, of course, the president made clear what his thinking behind all of this is when he did tweet it was about that tariff on dairy from Canada. So, the president clearly angry about this. This has long been something the president has felt that the world global trade steel is against the United States and made it clear in that comment in the press conference, that the United States is like a piggy bank that was being robbed.
But you can see the way the president is going about negotiating this with these world leaders. He's had very testy phone calls. He had these conversations in person where he didn't seem to be as confrontational with people like Justin Trudeau, because this is a president who does not like in-person conflict. He may have a lot of bark on Twitter but when he's in person, he doesn't seem to confront the person in the way he's been tweeting about.
And essentially, that's what we are seeing here. The president had some very angry tweets, some very defiant tweets, calling Justin Trudeau weak and saying he is making falls statements, those are not typical statements that you would see a sitting U.S. president make about the leader of Canada, one of the United States' closest allies. But this is the way that the president, who fashioned himself as a deal maker, is going about this processing, complaining essentially and throwing a tantrum what he believes are these unfair trade moves.
So, where this goes from here is anyone's guess at this point, whether they try to remedy this over the next few days.
COLLINS: We did know that the president did not want to attend the G- 7. He thought it was distracting him to focus on the sit-down with Kim Jong-un, but then he did go anyways. You can see what level of priority that was for him. He showed up late. He was late to the breakfast today for women's empowerment that he was supposed to go to, and he also left even earlier that when he was expected to already be leaving the summit early. So, it just really goes to show where that is in the list of the president's priorities here.
PAUL: All righty. Kaitlan and Daniel, we appreciate you both so much. Thank you.
Nic Robertson has a view from the international community as to what has happened at the G-7.
And, Nic, I just I want to ask this to you, because a lot of people even from the outside/in, there maybe people looking at this saying, well, look, if there is a bold imbalance in trade, is it wrong for the U.S. to try to equalize that in some way and try to be strong about it? Is it -- is it the argument that's the problem or is it the presentation of the argument?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think there is a strong feeling among European leaders the argument is the problem. The presentation of it and the president sort of dispensing of his views on it ands the way that he tackles these leaders and the issue is a big part of it.
But, fundamentally, and I think this is what we're going to hear next from European leaders, we have begun to hear from it is their recognition that their dealing with somebody who doesn't use the normal diplomatic tools of international relations. This is somebody who is willing to stand up in their view and give a very skewed assessment of a situation. You know, we have heard from the Europeans saying that the United States has 350 different tariffs, whereas they only have about 40 or so. [07:40:02] So I think we are going to hear more of that. We're going
to hear more of European leaders and others and the Canadians as well, putting forward their perspective, answering back where they think President Trump is being inaccurate. They need to do that because they need to address that to their own domestic audiences back home. They need to appear strong to their own audiences back home, they need to win the argument when they sit around the table next time.
But they are also shocked and affronted by the way that affairs have gone in Canada. We heard from the French President Emmanuel Macron and from Theresa May saying, look, it's normal around the table. We're going to have frank exchanges. It's going to be difficult but it's OK because we're signing a joint communique.
There have been a concern. Emmanuel said, look, this just shows a collective desire to try to sort of reduce the temperature on this thing, to kind of resolve the tensions that existed, yet we're in this position now where the president has taken himself out of supporting that communique. So, I think there's a lot of emotions going on. Shock is one of them but the rebound will be a positioning as they see the fair facts.
BLACKWELL: Nic, let's expand this beyond just the G-7 nations because Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said that President Trump is undermining the international order. And this is the quote: Plays into the hands of those who seek a new post-West order.
You've got the Shanghai Cooperation Organization where you got Putin, you got Xi of China, India is there, several others Asian countries as well, with the melee at the G7 and the SCO with these Asian countries, went off without a hitch. Are we seeing some of that already?
ROBERTSON: It's a stark contrast and certainly President Putin of Russia will want to see something like that. President Xi Jinping of China certainly isn't going to show his satisfaction about it but it's something that plays to his desires in the future to see China's position in the world grow.
There's a real concern in the West that President Trump is abdicating the United States' position as the lead democratic nation when democracies are under fire and under fire directly from the -- from President Putin in Russia. The way that he has meddled in the U.S. elections, the way that he's tried to upend and affect the politics of Europe by supporting populist nationalist parties there, all of these things come into play for the concerns of the United States' traditional allies.
There is a real sense that Russia would like to see confusion surrounding United States position and President Trump in particular because it plays to them. They cannot fight the west on economic terms but if they see its ability to work together, the allies' ability to work together undermine and erode it, that plays to their overall objectives. They want greater global standing, they want better economists and they don't want -- what they see as expansion threats to the west. BLACKWELL: All right. Nic Robertson for us there in Seoul, thank you
We are awaiting the arrival of President Trump there for his meeting with Kim Jong-un. A quick break. We'll be back.
[07:47:52] BLACKWELL: All right. Live pictures here of the air base in Singapore where we are expecting Air Force One to land later this morning ahead of President Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He will meet with Singapore's prime minister first. That's happening tomorrow.
Let's bring in now CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis, and Chris Lu, former assistant to President Obama and former White House cabinet secretary.
Welcome to you both.
And, Errol, you're just joining us so I'm going to start with you. We have been talking about this retreat from the G-7 communique ahead of the president's meeting with Kim.
Is there some residual impact? Is there some carry over? The president is going to give Kim his word on personal security, regime security, economic opportunity, global inclusion.
Has value of that diminished as he goes into this meeting?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it's interesting, Victor. You raise -- you're suggesting something very interesting here, which is that the very unpredictability of the president which was on display following his departure from the G-7, frankly his late arrival, early departure and refusal to sign the communique actually might deserve in good stead in the next rounds of negotiations with a very different kind of a partner.
This is someone who is not an ally but an adversary. This is somebody who's not bound to any rules of the international system. And so, the hope that some people have had all along is that the very erratic nature, the very unpredictability of Donald Trump, at times, might be exactly what the situation calls for if you're going to deal with an authoritarian dictator like Kim Jong-un.
PAUL: Right. So, Chris, with that said, what does President Trump have to do to extend this meeting from this first meet-and-greet essentially that he is talking about from getting to know Kim Jong-un to maybe getting to a second meeting or a third where they can get into some real substantial talks?
CHRIS LU, SENIOR FELLOW, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA MILLER CENTER: Well, I think that's exactly the challenge because in President Trump doing this meeting, he has already given an important platform to really one of the world's most ruthless dictators. [07:50:07] So it's critical that before the president leaves
Singapore, that there is something tangible that he can point to, that he got in return from Kim. The challenges are these issues, whether it's denuclearization, whether it's economic sanctions, whether it's the armistice, whether it's U.S. troops on the Korean peninsula, these are really hard issues and it requires a lot of preparatory work which apparently has not necessarily gone into this meeting.
So, I think it would be best for the president simply do as he is doing which is to lower expectations, say this is a meet and greet, say that anytime two leaders can sit across the table, that's a good thing.
PAUL: All right. Chris Lu, Errol Louis, we appreciate you both being here. Thank you for perspective, gentlemen.
We'll be right back.
[07:55:02] BLACKWELL: A live look now at the air base where Air Force One is expected to land there soon. President Trump tweeted from the plane that he knows that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before -- create peace and great prosperity for his land.
PAUL: President Trump getting ready tomorrow to meet with Singapore's prime minister. That prime minister did already meet with Kim Jong- un. Kim Jong-un saying of that meeting that Singapore had organized the upcoming summit between North Korea and the U.S. as if it was, quote, their own family affair, and as they sat down, Kim Jong-un saying if the summit produces positive outcomes, then the Singaporean government's effort will be recorded in history forever.
But as you see there live pictures as everyone awaits President Trump's arrival. And again, he will meet with the Singaporean prime minister tomorrow ahead of the meeting with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.
BLACKWELL: And the president has said that this will be at the very least a meet-and-greet, a get to know you meeting. Of course, the goal is denuclearization of the peninsula.
Thanks for starting your morning with us.
PAUL: Always great to have you.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King right after this quick break.