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Trump And Kim Set For Historic Meeting In Singapore; Trump Slams G7 Allies Over Trade Ahead Of Kim Meeting; U.S. Air Force Officer Missing For 35 Years Found Living In California; Politico: White House Staffers Tape Back Together Records Trump Rips Up. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 11, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:32:55] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in just hours right here in Singapore. But before meeting each other, both men had a chance to speak with Singapore's prime minister.
And our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour sat down with the prime minister of this city-state.
Christiane, it's so interesting, right? Kim has only now met with three world leaders -- President Moon of South Korea, President Xi of China, and now, the prime minister of Singapore. It's part of his big coming-out party.
What were the impressions that the prime minister had?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, you're absolutely right, but the biggest prize for Kim will be when he sits down with the President of the United States in just a few hours from now from where we're standing.
But I did ask the prime minister of Singapore, which has had traditional -- one of the closest links in terms of trade and visits from North Korea -- visa-free visits for many, many years -- many decades until the big international sanctions went on, what he made of this new young leader.
And remember, coming to Singapore is the furthest Kim Jong Un has traveled from Pyongyang since he became leader in 2011.
And this is what I asked Prime Minister Lee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I would like to ask you what you took away from that meeting. What did he say to you about this moment -- about a potential shift in North Korea's trajectory?
LEE HSIEN LOONG, PRIME MINISTER, SINGAPORE: Well, he's a -- he's a confident young leader. He came and he said well, thank you for hosting and we hope that it will be a historic occasion.
I think he wants to go onto a new path. What he's prepared to do and how an agreement can be worked out -- well, that's a complicated matter. But I think he has an intention to do something and that's why he's meeting Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, John, you know, I think that's important because he gets to get the measure -- to take the measure of the man before even President Trump meets him.
Prime Minister Lee then hosted Donald Trump just a few hours later, earlier today, for lunch and they also talked.
[07:35:00] But, you know, right now, I think they're both still quite far apart on the actual meaning of denuclearization, so we're waiting to see precisely what will come of that all-important get-together with Kim and Trump tomorrow, our time.
BERMAN: Indeed. And, Christiane, just by being here you do get a sense of how proud Singapore is to be hosting this moment in history. Who knows what will come of it but the sit-down, itself, is historic. Singapore, very glad to play some role.
And one of the key questions has been who is going to pay for North Korea to be here, and that's been a thorny issue in the past. South Korea has footed the bill, at times, for North Korea to sit down at the table to negotiate. And you asked that tough question of the prime minister of Singapore.
AMANPOUR: You know, I'm not sure how tough it was. Basically, the North Koreans have gotten used to any country that hosts them paying the bill. They're not that rich -- at least, they don't want to spend their money on hotels.
And so, whether it's the United States, whether it's South Korea. And yes, indeed, Singapore will be picking up the bill. As the prime minister delicately put it to himself, we will be picking up the tab for our hospitality to all -- you know, all in sundry (ph), most especially the North Korean delegation.
But beyond that, the North -- the Singaporeans have picked up the lion's share of the security costs, all the intelligence. This is a really important city-state in this region that punches way above its weight, not just on trade and on being a financial center but also, they have very strong intelligence and security operations as well. So they're ready to play their part, even in dollars and cents, when it comes it comes to this meeting.
BERMAN: Christiane, what do you make of the situation that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, finds himself in upon his arrival? This dramatic exit from the G7 summit when he gets in this fight or he -- depending on how you look at it, starts this fight with the Canadian prime minister on the way here, only to sit down with one of America's adversaries?
AMANPOUR: Well look, John, that is a question everybody's asking. It truly is unprecedented -- the name-calling of your closest allies, the denigration, the very personal ad hominem attacks.
It's as if the administration, over the weekend, ganged up to post those tweets and went all over the Sunday programs to specifically single out Canadian, French, and maybe a little bit of the Germans. And it was -- it's unprecedented.
I mean, I don't remember in any of my coverage of these kinds of summits that ever this kind of language has been directed at America's closest allies.
I actually put that to Prime Minister Lee and they all, a little bit, are sort of taken aback by this and they're waiting to see how it goes.
But as you say, there is a completely different attitude in President Trump when he talks about more authoritarian leaders, whether it's Kim Jong Un, who he's talked about it's his honor to meet him. He believes that Kim Jong Un does have the historical vision to change tact. That's important because we've got to see what actually Kim Jong Un is prepared to do.
But to come into this having done that with the allies is certainly raising a lot of eyebrows. And most people believe that it is the United States, it is the Trump administration that has fired the first shots in the protectionism row, in the possibility of starting trade wars not just with rivals such as China in this neighborhood but also with European, Canadian, and Mexican allies.
So this, it does not sit well with any members of the global alliance because free trade is the underpinning of the way the world works right now. Even though there may be issues that need to be addressed on the margins, blowing up the whole system is considered a very, very risky gamble indeed.
BERMAN: Christiane Amanpour here with me in Singapore. Christiane, thank you so much.
Alisyn, I'm going to go back to you in New York.
And it shouldn't be lost on everyone, Christiane -- I mean, sorry, Alisyn -- that the administration would much rather be talking about North Korea than talking about what happened in Canada. But, obviously, still facing these questions and the clean-up from what happened there.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, and what happened in Canada was so remarkable that we need to keep dissecting it --
CAMEROTA: -- and what it means for geopolitics and all of these international alliances that have been in place for decades. So we're going to do that, John, coming up because President Trump lashing out at America's closest allies.
Is this all somehow the art of the deal? So we discuss with the co- author of that infamous Trump book, next.
[07:43:25] President Trump continues to lash out at allies ahead of his summit with North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un. Mr. Trump is focused -- has focused on trade early this morning in Singapore when he tweeted five times about deals with Canada and E.U. which he believes are unfair.
Let's talk about all of this. Luckily, we have our foreign affairs expert and columnist, Bobby Ghosh. We also have Donald Trump's co- author on "The Art of the Deal," Tony Schwartz.
Great to have both of you. So, you approach Donald Trump from different perspectives and it's great to have both of them.
Bobby Ghosh, insulting America's longtime allies, making nice with men who are internationally sort of renowned as dictators -- what are we to make of this?
BOBBY GHOSH, COLUMNIST, FOREIGN AFFAIRS Well, the second part we've always known about Donald Trump. He's always been very comfortable in the presence of strong men. Maybe Tony can psychoanalyze that for us.
But the insulting of allies is relatively new and certainly, he's taken it up a notch with this trip to Canada.
It's not the first time this has happened, it's worth pointing out for history buffs out there.
In 1971, Richard Nixon had a -- had a sort of exchange of words with Pierre Trudeau, the father of the current prime minister of Canada, and used a cuss word. And when that was brought to the attention of Pierre Trudeau, he said -- and this was a great line. He said I've been called worse things by better people, which might be something that Justin Trudeau might want to reflect on.
CAMEROTA: You know, just sticking with you Bobby, for a minute.
We just had Sen. Bill Cassidy on -- a Republican -- and he basically said ignore all the bluster. It's -- we do need to look at these trade alliances. They are unfair. They have been unfair to the U.S. for a long time.
[07:45:09] And, President Trump ran on this. He's shaking it up -- he's disrupting it.
GHOSH: Well, here's the problem. You can't ignore what the President of the United States says. He is the President of the United States. Words do matter and they don't matter any more than when they come out of the -- out of the mouth of the President of the United States, especially when he's talking to a -- to a collection of the country's closest allies.
CAMEROTA: And you think -- but you think --
GHOSH: That's one thing. And then --
CAMEROTA: But you think the words will actually fray the relationships? You think that with America's closest allies something will change geopolitically because of this tension that we're having with them?
GHOSH: It -- look at the response already. Look at -- look at how Trump has dragged everybody down to his level.
You have Macron and Merkel responding to him on Twitter. International statesmen are having conversations with each other over Twitter. They're trading barbs.
Now, some use better language than others but this is not how world relationships are meant to be conducted. This is profoundly abnormal and not good for any --
Diplomacy should be boring. There's a reason for that. Diplomacy ought to be dull. It should be putting us to sleep except -- unless we're absolutely sort of experts on the subject.
But the fact that it's never a dull moment with the President of the United States is not a good thing.
CAMEROTA: Tony, you are able to get into his head because of all the time you spent co-writing his book, "The Art of the Deal."
Here's what you tweeted out. "Trump's G7 peak is all about his fragile ego. He's a bully seeking to cover over his vast insecurity. He'll serve his interests, not ours, with Kim Jong Un."
What does that mean? What are his interests with Kim Jong Un?
TONY SCHWARTZ, DONALD TRUMP'S CO-AUTHOR, "THE ART OF THE DEAL," FOUNDER AND CEO, THE ENERGY PROJECT: His interest is almost entirely about how he's -- how he's seen or how he thinks he's seen. And therefore, his perspective is a very -- it's wearing blinders.
And all he cares about right now, particularly in light of what happened at the G7, is that he can restore in his own mind his sense of self. And what's so fragile in Trump is his sense of self. And he has almost no ability to tolerate criticism, as you saw when Trudeau criticized him.
And that's a very scary thing because in -- right now, as he walks into this meeting, his concern is rehabilitating his image even if it's at our expense.
CAMEROTA: But what does that mean "at our expense?" It means that a photo op is good enough? That that's all he will get out of it or he needs denuclearization?
What happens in here with his ego, as you know it?
SCHWARTZ: What happens is he's under a severe amount of stress. So I believe -- and David Axelrod said this last night, Paul Krugman said this over the weekend -- I have long believed and have said that he is -- I'm going to say it very bluntly. He's mentally ill.
This is a man -- and I understand I'm not a psychiatrist, but he's prima facie mentally ill.
CAMEROTA: What's that mean?
SCHWARTZ: That's a personality disorder. That means on its face, this is a man who is unstable, who doesn't think clearly, and now has narrowed his frame -- let me just say this -- has narrowed his frame by pushing out anybody who will disagree with him and therefore, he is listening only to himself and he believes megalomaniacally that he is always right.
CAMEROTA: Look, all sorts of people who spent time with him say that that's not true and that he's operating -- you know, all of his faculties are completely intact. I just have to say this. I mean, the people who are with him every day say that they don't see signs of that.
SCHWARTZ: Well, first of all, that -- no, Alisyn, I'm not -- I love you but that's nonsense. People --
CAMEROTA: No, the people that meet with him say that.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, they say it publicly. But privately -- and I have heard it privately -- they all are terrified by his instability. Virtually everybody, including, I suspect, the man who you just had on -- the senator -- the Republican senator Cassidy. All of these people understand.
After this much time, what did Kelly -- John Kelly say over the weekend? He said it's a nightmare to work in this White House.
CAMEROTA: Let's do a little body language interpretation here. Here's the photo, Bobby Ghosh, of the president meeting with all of the G7 allies and you can see he's sitting and Angela Merkel is leaning over there -- and this is -- this is an amazing photograph, OK?
GHOSH: I --
CAMEROTA: This is an amazing photograph. What do you see here?
GHOSH: I've been that guy in the chair. This is the photograph of me every time I was summoned to the principal's office --
GHOSH: -- in school for getting into trouble.
I'm not making this up. That is how I sat, that is how I crossed my hands, and that is how the principal leaned over and looked at me. I have been in this picture. It is very familiar.
Now, look, we can all get our chuckles out of this image but the fact is this is not good for anybody. This is not good for the United States.
This is not good for the G6 either. They might feel at the moment that they have some sort of a solidarity going -- that there are six people united against the United States. It's not good for them either.
[07:50:00] CAMEROTA: Why?
GHOSH: Because they need this alliance. They depend on -- and Sen. Cassidy was right about this. They depend on the United States for so much. For our markets, for the defense --
CAMEROTA: So maybe they'll come around the way President Trump thinks they will.
GHOSH: But that's what -- that's what President Trump is counting on.
CAMEROTA: Banking on, yes.
GHOSH: But you can only push people so far. Even if they are close allies, even if they depend on you, you can only push people --
And don't forget, the world's a very different place from when these alliances were first made. There are other big markets. There is India, there is China, there are other big markets where these countries are already playing. They don't -- they need us a great deal but not as much as they used to.
SCHWARTZ: Let me -- let me just pick up on what Bobby said. That body language is saying don't tread on me -- I'm impenetrable. There is nothing that you can say that will move me.
And that's what's so frightening is that there is no openness to compromise. There is no openness to grow.
CAMEROTA: I mean, if you look, there's another picture that we've seen less of. It's a wider shot of this -- and maybe we can just end on this.
It shows the entire room. It's from a bit more of sort of a bird's eye perspective and you can see he's the only person sitting down and everybody else in the room is standing up. And I don't know if that's a position of strength or weakness, sitting while everybody's hovering around you -- or the fact that he's the only one.
SCHWARTZ: Where does your attention go in that picture?
CAMEROTA: There you go.
Bobby Ghosh, Tony Schwartz, thank you very much for helping us analyze all of this. OK.
So a new report says President Trump has a habit of tearing up papers that legally need to be preserved. So, what staffers are apparently doing to piece these back together. That's next.
[07:55:47] CAMEROTA: OK, listen to this story.
An Air Force captain with top-secret clearance has been missing since 1983 and has just been found alive in California.
Special agents from Travis Air Force Base talking William Howard Hughes, Jr. into custody at his home. Investigators say he had been living under a false name since he disappeared 35 years ago.
Hughes claims he was depressed about being in the Air Force so he deserted and created a fictitious identity.
OK. So, at the Tony Awards last night, actor Robert De Niro delivered a profane message for President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: (Censored).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right, the reason you could not hear what was just said was because it was censored. His words included an f-bomb about the president, so that was bleeped. So the T.V. audience really had no idea what he actually said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA DEPARTMENT: Performing "Seasons of Love" from the musical "RENT."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That's such a great song. This is one of the emotional highlights of the night. Students from the Stoneman Douglas High School drama department performing the classic song, "Seasons of Love" from the musical "RENT."
And their teacher, Melody Hertzfeld, was honored with a special Tony Award for excellence in theater education after saving so many of their lives during the massacre there.
As for the awards themselves, "HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD" won the Tony for Best Play, while the "THE BAND'S VISIT" won best musical.
OK, listen to this.
Two former longtime White House officials describe to "Politico" how they frequently Scotch-taped President Trump's paperwork back together again.
They describe the president's filing system as ripping up memos, letters, and documents that he's done with, sometimes right down the middle, other times into small bits. Staffers would then pick up after him and try to tape it all together in order to keep him from violating the Presidential Records Act and send the scraps away to be put back together.
Both men say they were abruptly and unfairly fired earlier this year. They also claim the White House never gave them a specific reason for their termination.
So, in other words, there is no actual paper trail now? There -- these documents are not being put back together? We're going to follow that story.
We're following a lot of news so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think within the first minute I'll know. Just my touch, my feel -- that's what I do.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kim Jong Un and President Trump finally in the same city at the same time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is going to have to extract a definition of what denuclearization means.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are prepared to make security assurances necessary for the North Koreans to engage in denuclearization.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: It would be with regret but absolute certainty that we move forward with retaliatory measures.
PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have trade issues. We should resolve them in a dignified, firm way.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: To walk away from our allies, I think, is a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm John Berman in Singapore. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Monday, June 11th. Alisyn is in New York where it is 8:00 a.m. eastern time.
It's 8:00 p.m. here in Singapore and we are just 13 hours away now from this meeting between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In fact, 12 hours from when the two leaders leave their hotels with all the pageantry.
They are back in their hotels at this moment which, incidentally, are less than half a mile apart. Think of how close they are and how close they are coming to this moment in history.
And there is already breaking news about this meeting. The summit will be a one-on-one affair, at least at the beginning. A senior administration official tells CNN that no one except President Trump, and Kim, and their translators will be in the room when they first sit down to talk. That initial meeting could last up to two hours before other members of the delegations are brought in.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presumably one of those members. He briefed reporters just a short time ago. He says the president is confident.