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President Trump Set To Meet Kim Jong-un; Trump And Trudeau Clash; Trump Tries To Make Friends At North Korea Summit; Pyongyang: Trump, Kim To Discuss Denuclearization; Trump: Readmit Russia Into G7. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 11, 2018 - 05:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: We will hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo live shortly.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's a one- time shot and I think it's going to work out.


BRIGGS: President Trump striking an optimistic tone as he prepares to make history. We are monitoring a White House briefing expected to begin in just moments.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: But digging in his heels on trade after a rocky weekend at the G7, why he is isolating himself from U.S. allies and the global reaction?

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. Monday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, June 11th. We welcome all of our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It's 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time, 5:00 p.m. in Singapore time, and that's where we begin.

President Trump getting ready to do something no U.S. president has ever done. In just hours, he'll be face-to-face with the leader of North Korea. It is late afternoon in Singapore. It has been a busy day there.

President Trump met with Singapore's prime minister and other government officials for a working lunch. The president joined by top aides and members of his cabinet including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

ROMANS: President Trump is insisting this is a one-time shot for Kim Jong-un to achieve peace and prosperity for his people.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think within the first minute I'll know.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: Just my touch, my feel. That's what I do. I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not in my opinion something positive will happen.


ROMANS: North Korean state media reporting Kim is open to discussing denuclearization and durable peacekeeping on the Korean Peninsula.

CNN White House Correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, live in the briefing room where we are expecting to hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Kaitlan, fill us in.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Christine. We are waiting to hear from Secretary of State Pompeo. He is going to brief reporters in the next half hour. likely we will let us know a little bit more about what tomorrow will look like and that first handshake between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his delegation have been meeting with North Korean officials all day hammering out those last-minute details ahead of this historic meeting. He sent out a statement earlier today saying that the president is prepared and that one thing we should note the U.S. position remains clear and unchanged.

Of course, that position has been that they want the north Koreans to commit to denuclearization. That is complete, verified and irreversible denuclearization. The words of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other State Department officials ahead of this meeting.

But we are learning a little bit more about what tomorrow will look like before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even briefs reporters. That is President Trump and Kim Jong-un will meet one-on-one without advisers and without staffers, the officials with them in the room when they do get started tomorrow.

That it means it will just be President Trump, Kim Jong-un and their translators in the room. That underscores two things. One, this meeting is really about underscoring that personal relationship between the two of them, that first meeting.

Something President Trump said he will know and get a sense within the first minute of sitting down with Kim Jong-un, what he is really serious about and what he is serious about committing to.

But also, one thing that we can take away from that is the accounts of both of these men is all we are going to have from that meeting. What is said, we are only going to know from Kim Jong-un and President Trump. There will not been any one else in the room to corroborate what happened.

So, there could be two sides of what unfolds in that meeting and that is what we'll be waiting to see. But yes, Secretary of State Pompeo will be here soon. He will let us know what we are going to be expecting to see in less than 24 hours away from that meeting -- Dave and Christine.

ROMANS: OK, thank you so much, Kaitlan. We see the room filling up behind you. Come back when you have more. Thank you.

BRIGGS: So as President Trump tries to make peace with the long-time enemy, he's simultaneously driving a wedge with America's relationship with its closest allies. Overnight, the president attacking members of the G7 on Twitter complaining about massive trade surplus.

He says the U.S. paying almost the entire cost of the NATO. The president refusing to sign the G7 communique once he heard Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say Canada plans to retaliate against Mr. Trump's steel tariffs.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: 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 because Canadians are polite and reasonable, but we will not be pushed around.


BRIGGS: President Trump calling Trudeau's comments dishonest and weak. And listen to the president's top advisers piling on.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: He really kind of stabbed us in the back. He really actually, you know what, he did a great disservice to the whole G7.

PETER NAVARRO, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: There is a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump.


[05:05:02] BRIGGS: That's a special place in hell for the Canadian prime minister. Let's go live to Berlin and bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent, Atika Shubert. Good morning, Atika, what is the E.U. response to all of this?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Clearly very disappointed, but not surprised at this point. I mean, Chancellor Merkel had an interview last night where she said, look, it would be nice to have a good relationship with the United States, but it is not something she can count on anymore.

And it's precisely if anybody was doing a disservice to the G7, Germany believes that was President Trump. If anything speaks about the way Germany sees how the G7 went, it is this photo. This is on the cover of almost every newspaper here. It says, "Europe will not be intimidated." It shows Chancellor Merkel leaning over and almost lecturing President Trump as he sits there with his arms folded. This picture went out the same day that President Trump was leaving for the summit in Singapore.

It shows how clearly and released by the chancellor's office. It is very clear that they feel that the G7 countries are sticking together on this despite the fact that President Trump seems to want to pull out of the international agreements, whether it's trade or climate change -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Atika Shubert live for us in Berlin. What an image it was, one that explains just so much about our relationship with our allies. Thank you.

ROMANS: It is viewed differently. People who are Trump supporters like to see? It is all the liberal elites. Let's bring in Global Affairs Analyst, David Rohde, online news director for the "New Yorker." Gordan Chang is a columnist for the "Daily Beast" and author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World," and in Washington, our friend, CNN Political Analyst, Josh Rogin, columnist for "The Washington Post."

Good morning to you all. Gordon, I want to start with you. I guess, let's go around here. What are the expectations for this summit? One-on-one, these two men and translators, one-on-one before this thing gets started is remarkable.

GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, it certainly is remarkable. You know, up to now, it's only been the North Koreans who have made concessions. They've released the three Americans last month. Also, Kim Jong-un through the South Korean president has made denuclearization pledges.

But at this summit, it changes, because just by having this meeting, we give North Korea a big victory. Those photographs will be played throughout North Korea for as long as Kim Jong-un is ruler.

What did we get in return for this? I don't think we got very much. They are still hammering out the details. I don't think they will come to agreement on what we really need.

BRIGGS: David, realistic expectations for this summit?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think there will be some sort of communique and I think President Trump will declare it a historic breakthrough. The devil is in the details. This has to be better than the Iran nuclear deal. There must be more inspections, Americans with total unfettered access to every site they want in North Korea. That's the bar that President Trump himself has set.

ROMANS: You know, Josh, on denuclearization, it is having nukes that got him here in the first place. He's done what his father and grandfather couldn't have done. He has now appeared on the world stage. What do you expect from the meeting? JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Like David said the devil is in the details. What we're talking about, Mike Pompeo is talking about is complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. That's the end goal.

No one thinks we are going to get that anytime soon. So, the question is what will he promise and what is the timeline and what do we give in return? And remember, there is no way to really enforce this in the near term, right? We don't know what they have.

We are not going to have inspections for a long time. They have a huge program that is spread over the country. So, basically, what we are getting is a promise. In exchange for that promise, we have to give them something.

Then everyone is going to have to decide is that sufficient for what they promised, and we start this months-long process with the north Koreans. That will test all of our diplomatic skill and administration's range and it will include our allies as well. That is a big project we are only that we're only beginning to wrap our minds around.

BRIGGS: A lot of questions for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We will hear from him shortly and join that in its entirety. But Gordon to that point, denuclearization, what does it mean to North Korea? What do they want in exchange for it?

CHANG: Well, for them it means basically the U.S. getting off the peninsula. Breaking alliance with South Korea and even Japan. In the past, if you go back two or three years, they have been talking about the U.S. giving up its nukes.

So, there is a whole bunch of things that that term covers. From our point of view, of course, it is them dismantling their program and infrastructure for the program and also verification as Josh talked about.

ROMANS: All of that a win for China, by the way, too, right. I mean, a retreat from the U.S. on the peninsula and less of a U.S. role there.

CHANG: Yes, I mean, certainly, if that were the case. I don't think the U.S. will walk away from South Korea and Japan. China has a lot of risks here. you know, Kim Jong-un ended up in Singapore on Air China flight.

[05:10:06] That's the flag carrier for China and basically what Beijing is saying to Trump is, look, this is my vessel. He is my boy. Don't hurt him.

BRIGGS: They've met twice. Xi and Kim ahead of this summit, important context.

ROMANS: David, meanwhile, there's not just this happening. I mean, the president is spinning these plates, right. He is blasting NATO. He is insulting Justin Trudeau over a relatively small $600 million in dairy trade. He's wanting Russia back into the G7. He is insulting Angela Merkel. What is the strategy here?

ROHDE: I'm not sure. I want to be fair to the president. Maybe it is I'm tough with everybody presentation. I'm sorry, he is wrong on the facts. Overall, when you include services the U.S. actually has a trade surplus with Canada.

We protect tobacco just as they protect dairy, all countries do this. So, he's wrong on his facts and that is why, you know, Trudeau and these European leaders are so angry. He keeps exaggerating these issues that he said he's doing to defend American workers, but he's false in the claims he makes.

ROMANS: Is he trying to look strong for the North Koreans?

BRIGGS: Let's talk about that because Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser to President Trump told Jake Tapper that this is about North Korea and showing strength ahead of the summit. Here is Kudlow yesterday.


KUDLOW: 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: This was about North Korea?

KUDLOW: Of course, it was in large part.

TAPPER: Trudeau said as Trump was going to Singapore --

KUDLOW: One thing leads to another. They are all related. Kim must not see American weakness.


BRIGGS: So, Josh, if you are North Korea, what do you take from all this?

ROGIN: I mean, it is really a baffling explanation because we don't know what the North Koreans can take from this. They are just as likely to see that and think here is the president who can change his mind on the plane after the meeting and tweet away everything that we just did based on a perceived slate that didn't exist.

The other thing they could take away from this is that United States is not really standing by its allies. This is about the Koreans and Japanese. If we are going to throw the Canadians under the bus, the Japanese must be freaking out right now.

ROMANS: Again, to go back to the dairy point, the $600 million annual trade in dairy where the Canadians are protecting small farmers in rural Canada the same way that David points out, the Americans try to protect small industries. That is just the way it works.

I want to read something from "The Wall Street Journal" about how the president is a disrupter, but at some point, you can't just disrupt. It says this, "Donald Trump has proven in 18 months that he can disrupt the global status quo for better Iran and worse trade.

The question as he brawls with his G7 allies after their annual summit and now meets with adversary Kim Jong-un. Whether the president knows the disruption isn't enough? Sooner or later he has to contribute to a better world order instead of nearly blowing up the old one.

And David, I guess, to your point, you don't know what the strategy if there is a strategy there, but at some point, you have to stop disrupting and sort of have a legacy.

ROHDE: This is important. This is an editorial page that supported Trump throughout this. You are right. Where is the strategy? Why start a trade war just before you have this historic meeting with North Korea? That's what makes no sense. You can put off the fight with the G7 if you want, but there's no strategy here. It's all, you know, reactive and chaotic, and I don't think chaos makes you look strong.

BRIGGS: To the point, we've gotten out of the TPP, Paris Climate, and NAFTA negotiations going nowhere, the Iran nuclear deal. Can the president build consensus among our allies or even our enemies? We will discuss that in just a bit. Gordon, David, Josh, thank you.

ROMANS: A lot going on this morning. The president suggesting Russia should have a seat at the table after the G7 Summit? A live report from Moscow next.



ROMANS: All right. President Trump refusing to retreat from his call to readmit Russia into the G7. In fact, he is doubling down on it.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: 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 of the current G7. I think the G8 would be better. I think having Russia back in would be positive thing. We are looking for peace in the world. We are not looking to play games.


ROMANS: A couple of things here. Russia is not one of the eight biggest economies in the world. In fact, I think its economy is smaller than Italy. It was kicked out of the G8 four years ago because it invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. It was the first violation of European countries' borders since World War II.

Let's go live to Moscow and bring in Senior International Correspondent, Matthew Chance. Matthew, you and I both covered G7 and G8 and G20 meetings. You know, Russia and its own actions isolated itself from this very elite group of economies. It was invited to anyway even though originally it wasn't big enough to be in the G7 or G8. I think the U.S. is alone here. Trump is alone here I'm thinking that Russia should be back in, right?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is. I think that Trump has formed his own G1 as I have been joking to my colleagues about this issue. But you're right. I mean, Russia was kicked out of the G8. It was invited in because it as an olive branch to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union under its former president, Boris Yeltsin.

It's kicked out in 2014 because of the annexation of Crimea and since then, there has been a whole load of other malign activity in the U.S., which has been laid at the feet of the Russians.

The meddling in the U.S. elections, the bombing of MH-17, downing of the airliner where everybody on board was killed, the backing of Bashar al-Assad perpetuating the Syrian civil war and the recent poisoning in Britain as well.

[05:20:08] And so, I think the overriding sense amongst the allies is that this is not the time to be readmitting a country like Russia -- Christine.

ROMANS: The president doubling down on that and not really even saying why, just saying that they should be because you don't want to play games. All right. Matthew Chance, thank you so much for that.

BRIGGS: Yes. He really baffled reporters on his way out to the summit walking out to Marine One. No one thought he would go back to that line and stick with it.

Ahead, "Politico" reporting President Trump has been shredding documents that must be kept under the presidential records act. What one former staffer is saying about the painstaking process to put them back together again, Humpty Dumpty.



BRIGGS: White House staffers have reportedly been taping pieces of paper back together after President Trump rips them in order to comply with the Presidential Records Act. According to "Politico," the papers include letters and official documents that are required by law to be preserved and sent to the national archives.

A former records analyst who was terminated after 30 years of government service says he had never seen anything like it in previous administrations. He says, quote, "I had a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He tore it up. It was the craziest thing ever. He ripped papers into pieces.

ROMANS: All right. It's 25 minutes past the hour. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set to hold a briefing in just moments. We're live in Singapore next. There's the room.



PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's a one-time shot and I think it's going to work out.


ROMANS: The president striking an optimistic tone as he prepares to make history.