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U.S.-North Korea Summit Coverage. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 12, 2018 - 01:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN: Hello and welcome back to another special live hour of PRIME TIME. I'm Chris Cuomo, it's 1:00 a.m. in New York, that means it's 1:00 p.m. in Singapore, where an historic corner is being turned, maybe.

Kim Jong-un has come to the table for talks, so has President Trump. This is a new era, and as much as many thought a moment like this may never happen in our lifetime, the president says the talks are going, quote, better than anybody could have expected.

And then hinted that he and Kim were going to some sort of signing, they went from there to check out the president's car, the one they call the beast, it's true, we have video of it.

The two men went, looked inside the car, and then went and talked a little bit with advisers, and then separated. What kind of signing, what does it mean, lets bring in Jeff Zeleny now.

There is some word from a U.S. official that signing may have been a little bit of hype from President Trump. We're being told that signing references something slightly less than a deal, which makes sense this early in the process. What do you know?

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It does, Chris. A U.S. official I just talked to here in Singapore a short time ago said a signing is a -- you know, a -- a sense of the progress that was made by the sense that they had the meeting and a pledge to go forward and talk.

But this official would not get into the specific details of what the U.S. will be potentially giving up, and now look for -- one thing we are looking for here, talking to a variety of people over the last several days here, Chris, is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterparts have been talking about terms of agreement.

But the security guarantee is one central element on that, so look for potentially something about the security guarantee to be in this document. But the president, not uncommon, he says this a lot, he's going to a signing.

U.S. officials are not putting the breaks on that, but perhaps not raising expectation for what that is going to be, which should be very clear, this is a historic day, these meetings are critically important, but so much more work to be done.

This is the very beginning of this process, Chris. Do not look for any major signing to signal a major deal.

CUOMO: But this has always been the gamble, Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much. The North Korean team, the regime got a big win just by this happening. What will President Trump bring home?

Remember, his party, very critical of President Obama for dealing with Cuba and for dealing with despots without preconditions, what will he bring home? Now we are also in the dark about North Korea, and it has made somebody in a bizarre way very relevant once again.

A man who calls Kim Jong-un a friend for life. Dennis Rodman has visited North Korea several times, he spent personal time with Kim Jong-un, he said years ago that Kim wanted a meeting like this to happen.

People laughed at him, he's now in Singapore there, he heard from the White House today, he says the president said he's very proud of Dennis for his help in what has happened today.

Take a listen to our interview.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: How are you doing, guys?

CUOMO: Good, do you have a -- what does your hat say?

RODMAN: What's my hat say?

CUOMO: Oh good, now I can see it.

RODMAN: Let's make America great again.

CUOMO: All right.

RODMAN: You got it right there, you got it?

CUOMO: I got it, thank you. So you made your way to Singapore, how important is this to you? You talked a lot about the prospects for peace when we spoke several years ago, did you think this moment would ever come?

RODMAN: Well in my heart and soul when I first went to North Korea, I was very honored to even be selected to go there, and once I went to North Korea, I was -- didn't really understand what the whole situation was as far as being over there.

And when I first met Kim Jong-un, I was more like I didn't know what to expect. You know, I didn't know who he was, I didn't know what he represented, I didn't know if he was so important.

But I knew something was going on, but once I got to meet with the --


-- with the culture and the situation over there, I got really used to being there. I thought it was -- I felt like I was at home.

CUOMO: Now you know both men. You've spent time with the North Korean leader. You've spent time with Donald Trump. How do you think the two men size up in terms of how they might get along?

RODMAN: Well I think the fact of the (inaudible) would understand the fact that the North Korean, the people of North Korea have a heart. They have soul, charisma, and they love each other and I think the fact that Kim Jong-un and his family understands that. I think that President Trump should understand the fact that the reason why the Marshall of North Korea respects Dennis Rodman and the fact that he trusts me and I gave him something for his birthday and I thought I couldn't pull this off.

And I said to him, the day before his birthday, I said, "I'm going to give you a present." He said, "What is that?" I said, "I'm going to bring a basketball team, a professional basketball team to you." He said, "Can you do that?" I said, "Yes I can." Even though I knew I couldn't know it I said if fail now, it's going to be a problem. So basically I got a lot of people together. I got (popcorn) helping me out my sponsor, thanks to those guys and it happened and Kim came to me and said, "Dennis, you know what? This is the first time someone has ever, ever kept their word to me and my country."

And I looked at him, I almost got emotion. I said, "Wait a minute. Hold on." He said, "What?" "Someone has never kept their word to you and your country?" He said, "Yes. This is the first time someone has ever suggested that." And I came through and I think he really appreciated the fact that he's done - here's the one that's trustworthy and I think that country is normally hearing people just always lie, deceitful, and not trustworthy.

I think if Trump goes in there with a great heart, with his heart on the table and let Kim see him, really emotional as far as like speaking to him, it ain't got to be about war; it ain't got to be about hatred or what happened in the future or in the past, or the past. We move on to the future and I've told people about Kim Jong- un. He's all about the 21st Century.

He's trying to progress his country and Donald Trump is going to do a great job to try to reach out and make sure that our hands, America's our hands are always open because as Americans we have let so many people around the world join (ph) us to be happy and one country, that's the United States. And now we have really put ourself on the line to reach out to North Korea and they have been so gracious to me, my family, and the United State. So let's make this happen. If Trump can pull this off, more power to him.

CUOMO: Dennis, did Kim reach out to you or any of his people reach out to you? President's people, anybody reach out to you for insight into the other side?

RODMAN: Well you know what I talked to those guys the last five years.

CUOMO: Which guys?

RODMAN: And we talked - I talked to Kim Jong-un and the Administration over there five years ago and he asked me five years ago, and we sat down for lunch and he sat down and asked me, hey Dennis, I would like to ask you three things if you go back to tell the President of the United States these three things, and I would be willing to talk to him. And this is a true story and I got my people here that heard the conversation.

He said things like if they can move the ships back in South Korea, I will do what I have to do to listen. If you can move some things or do some things I will listen; my ears will be open. And I try to do that to Obama and Obama didn't - he wouldn't give me the time of day. I asked him. I said I have something to say from North Korea. He just brushed me off. But that didn't deter me. I still kept going back, I kept going back, I kept going back. I so want loyalty my trustworthy to this country and I said to everybody, the door will open.

CUOMO: I remember you saying it. I remember you saying it. Let me ask you something. Does Kim understand English?

RODMAN: It's amazing. It's amazing. It's amazing when I said those things, when I said those damn things, when I went back home I got so many death threats, I got so many death threats that I was sitting up protecting everything and I believed North Korea and when I went home I couldn't even go home. I couldn't even go home. I had to hide out for 40 days, I couldn't go home. But I kept my head up high brother, I knew things were going to change. I knew it. I was the only one, I never had no one to hear me. I had no one to see me. I took those bullets, I took all that. I took everything everyone came at me and I'm still standing and today is a great day for everybody Singapore, Tokyo, China, everything, it's a great day.

CUOMO: It is a great day. This is a historic day...

RODMAN: I'm so happy.


CUOMO: You were saying to me years ago that you thought this would happen and I want to let you be ready for me ask you another question. I know you're very emotional about this.

RODMAN: (Inaudible).

CUOMO: This is what I want to know, I want to know -- well you're an emotional guy, you -- you feel very deeply about things, people who have been around you understand that.

Why did you feel so strongly that you needed to make something happen for North Korea? There's so many places you could have gone in the world that have, you know, a much easier path to peace than North Korea, given the record of human rights abuses and other practices of this despotic regime. But you chose North Korea. Why?

RODMAN: Well you know I (inaudible) I was very naive when I went over there, I didn't -- I didn't understand and expect all the things that was getting (ph) when I went over there.

They said do you realize what you was doing Dennis when you went over there? I said no. I thought it was just another one of those -- those things I was just doing charity event.

I knew nothing about North Korea, I just thought I was going to play basketball and just treat the people and be happy, and that was it. But it turned out to be so -- so much more bigger than what I thought, and I thought (ph) the fact that, you know, just listen to the people, send (ph) the kids, send (ph) the people there and just meeting with the regime, Kim Jong-un and the -- and the whole marshals and everybody.

I just fell -- I just fell in love with the country from day one, and I felt like that I guess I owe it to myself, you know, and the people around the world (inaudible). I'm not in here -- I'm not in this for no money, I never started this for no money, this is not about business on being the -- the greatest person in the world to lead these two people together.

It has nothing to do with that, I just wanted to see it get done so we all can live good together. No more hatred.

CUOMO: Here's the first day, let's see where it goes. Let me ask you something, you talked about speaking with Kim Jong-un, does he understand or speak English?

RODMAN: The one thing about him that I always say about him, he's -- he's more like a big kid even though he's small. He's more like a big kid, but he -- he loves to have a good time, and I was saying last night or this morning -- or this morning that he was going around taking selfies and stuff like that.

And I was saying that this guy wants to be around the world, he wants to come to America, he wants to enjoy his life, he wants his people to enjoy this life, but he's just -- I think that the fact that he doesn't have the tools and maybe (ph) (inaudible) the politics of this whole meeting that's going to happen, I think it's going to change a lot.

And I hope the fact that President Trump can understand nor (ph) that Kim is trying to reach out and try to get into the 21st century.

CUOMO: That -- that's the big question, I want to ask you about that in a second, but let me just get an answer to this. Do you think he speaks or understands English?

RODMAN: Well I think he understands bits and pieces. If you talk about basketball, yes, he understands that.

CUOMO: So you think it's about what he wants to talk about? Do you think he's studied English?

RODMAN: I -- I can say one thing, I think people know that Kim Jong- un is not a dumb man, I think he understands what his grandfather and his father, I think that he's going to protect his people, (inaudible) protect his honor and his -- and everything that has to do with his country.

But like I said, that's respect, that's respect. Nothing's going to happen overnight, it's going to take time.

CUOMO: A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

RODMAN: If Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump understand that, if they understand the fact that if we just sit there and have a smooth -- a comfortable relationship, smile, laugh, joke a little bit. OK, great.

It ain't (ph) got to be war, it's got to be something what everyone (ph) can be (ph) comfortable about. And I know this meeting's going to be a great meeting and --

CUOMO: Well that's the hope, Dennis. We'll see where it goes. It had a good start, they did the handshake, there was good body language, they said the right things. You know, it's all perfunctory at this part.

It's the opening ceremony, and we'll see what happens when we start getting reports about the actually policy negotiations. But you talk about the Kim Jong-un side and North Korea's side, did you hear from the White House at all today?

RODMAN: Well yes I did, but -- and a good thing about it, yes, Donald Trump restarted (ph). He called his secretary and she called me and said Dennis, Donald Trump is so proud of you. He thanks you a lot.

And that means a lot, you know, because after all these years, the fact that I saw (ph) what has something that to do with this North Korea situation, but I don't want to take any credit where credit is due.

I think we all need to take credit, and I'm just here -- I'm just so thankful to be here. I'm glad the fact that this is happening. The world saw it, I saw it, my kids saw it, so you know what? Just -- let's (ph) just hope for the best.

We don't need a miracle, we don't need a miracle, we just need the doors to be open so we can start fresh and make this a better place and world, baby, that's it.

CUOMO: Well look, sometimes it does take a miracle. I mean you're dealing with some really tough things on the table here, you know. I know that you've had good experiences with the leader of North Korea, and this is a nice moment, I'm not looking to get into it with you again, but you know now things you didn't know then.

[01:15:00] There's a lot of violence, there's a lot of negativity, and it all stems from your friend, the ruler of North Korea. You know this man isn't all selfies and smiles. He's responsible for the deaths and hardship of a lot of people...

RODMAN: Right.

CUOMO: can you be sure he wants something better than what he is right now?

RODMAN: Well as we know Chris, the fact that, you know, I'm not a politician. You know, I'm not going to fight the fact that I'm on his side 24-7, I'm doing everything right to say the right things to make him look like a better man, a better person.

I've never been like that. I've always been like down the middle, here it is. He's a good friend to me. That's what I look at. I don't see the politics of this whole situation. I don't want to see that. I want to see that go away. I want to see us get along, to have a handshake, to have a smile, have a glass of iced tea. Just talk to each other friendly. I don't need to worry about the war stuff and all the stuff that's going on.

I don't know anything about that. I just want to do one thing, bring sports to North Korea. And sort of bring that connection with us to North Korea, that's just sports. Everything else will be in Donald Trump's hands and the people that are in the White House hands. I'm out of it. I'm just so happy just to be here man and to see everyone in the world get emotional like I did, cry to see it really, really happen.

And Donald Trump should take a lot of credit for this because he went out of the box and made this happen. So I want to say one more thing before I leave. Can I say one more thing?

CUOMO: You can say whatever you want. Go ahead.

RODMAN: OK, so can I thank some people though while I'm here? Can I thank some people?

CUOMO: Yes go ahead. But let me ask you something, don't go on a whole tour about it but I want to ask you something else. But thank somebody if you want to thank them, go ahead Dennis.

RODMAN: I just want to say thank all the good people who stood by me Darren Prince, Beau, all the guys that went with me to North Korea. I'm thinking Chuck Daily, I'm thinking Phil Jackson, I'm thinking Jeanie Buss, I'm thinking (Inaudible), I'm thinking Eddie Vedder, everybody supporting me with - through all these things. So you know I want to thank my kids, they're still with me through all these years, all the things I've done up and down, they're still with me. I just want to thank everybody, you know. And plus you know what I thanking these guys at Potcoin that supported me through this whole venture.

COUMO: I got you. I - we see the shirt there, you got a good outfit, you got Trump on the top, you got Potcoin on the bottom. Let me ask you one more thing. Do you think there's any chance that you might have a role in this process? Has anybody reached out to you or given you reason to believe whether it's the North Koreans or the Americans that they may reach out to you as some type of resource here, something that is part of this mix going forward?

RODMAN: Well you know what, like I said, that's not my job. I wish that the fact that people would quit putting me in that tight of role, the fact that I should have been involved in this whole policy stuff. I just want to be involved with the sports aspect and if I can - if they can use me in that direction, maybe I can have some type of common sense to shine some light on what's really going on in North Korea.

If Trump want to come ask me about certain things, he'll figure it out today and I hope he does. But if he want to ask me one on one, I'm willing to do it. So like I said, I know a lot of things, but like I said, this is Trump and Kim Jong-un's day. This is the world's day; it's not my day. I just came here because I wanted to see them face to face with my own eyes. So thank you guys for having me on and the world, thank you guys. I'm going to do more important things down the road, please set behind me, be behind me.

CUOMO: Dennis, it's good to see you. I'm glad you are well. I know that you are on your own journey. Stay healthy, stay happy, and please let us know what you find out about this process. It's good to see you. Dennis Rodman in Singapore.

RODMAN: All right, thank you brother. All right brother.

COUMO: It's just a bizarre state of play where for all the experts you've seen on your screen tonight, nobody has spent the time with Kim Jong-un that Dennis Rodman has, even the White House called to thank him and say he - that the President is proud for Rodman's efforts. Interesting interview to be sure as always.

All right, let's take some live pictures from Singapore. The President just said moments ago that there's going to be a signing. Now we see an aid in white gloves that placed pens on the table. What is next? Are we about to see the signing, stay with CNN.



CUOMO: The photo op was history but only -- only policy will make peace any kind of real prospect. So, minutes ago, President Trump stood alongside Kim Jong-Un and said a signing is coming soon. Christiane Amanpour is on the ground there in Singapore. We see the table is set, but we also have word from a U.S. official that signing may mean a promise to keep talking. Is that what you're hearing?

AMANPOUR: Well, Jeff Zeleny, who is the White House Correspondent for us as you know, has been hearing from those U.S. officials who are saying that a signing will "Acknowledge" quote, "progress," that has been made so far and will also commit to a "... pledge to keep the momentum," going forward. And his official said that he didn't want to get ahead of what's actually going to happen, so we don't know whether there are going to be any actual details in any declaration that's signed.


And just to give you by way of a, sort of, a comparison, when it was the end of April, the meeting between Kim Jong-Un and the South Korean President Moon Jae-In, they did sign a declaration, the Panmunjom Declaration which specifically pledged to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to seek an end to the Korean War. So there were specifics in there.

If there are no specifics in this one, it's going to be a little less than everybody hoped for and we'll have to see what happens. But we don't know yet, we know what we've just reported. And obviously there will be something because the table is set out, the pens are there, the flowers are on (ph) and we're waiting for the principles to come out, Chris.

CUOMO: Well, there has to be something, Christiane, right? Because there's been a big give by the United States to this point, giving parity. We're looking right now at American and North Korean flags side by side. This was very high on the wish list for this despotic regime for generations. So the president has to bring something home, does he not?

AMANPOUR: Look, you'd think so. I mean, we have spoken to many experts who've been covering this and dealing this whether on a government level, on an expert, around the region on the allies level and they have all said what we need to see from North Korea is a verbal and written commitment that they are going to denuclearize. You've already had the secretary of state say, again on the eve of this meeting today, that we want complete, verifiable -- that's the key word, verifiable, irreversible disarmament.

And until then, we will not let up on the pressure of sanctions. So we know that that's what the United States wants. At the very least, I'm told by experts that what one could hope to expect is that they will continue to pledge to keep their freeze on their intercontinental ballistic missile test, their nuclear tests while the negotiators continue their work to hammer out final deals over the next year or more.

But also, what the Americans should want is to hear a declaration from the North Koreans as to what they have, what are their missile capability, what are their nuclear capability and are they willing to verify them, to have the international community, the IAEA and all the others verify the status and the locations of these weapons and these weapon systems.

That would be at a minimum. So look, let's see what they get out of it. Obviously getting together is a good first step. It's better to talk than to talk about war, it's better to talk about peace. And I will say that, you know, of all the substance that has come out of the conversations, you've had a little bit of -- of -- of sort of, you know, impromptu, in front of the camera talk from President Trump saying this is going to be excellent, it's tremendous, et cetera.

But you actually had substance from Kim Jong-un who said that it's taken a lot to get us to this, the obstacles were very, very high and the past, quote, practices and prejudices of the other side have been very difficult to overcome but we are here. So you can see, for them, anyway, history is paying -- is playing a huge part in getting them to this meeting.

But as you say, also Kim Jong-un has been now legitimated and legitimized on the international stage.

CUOMO: Right and you have to remember, you have to define what he calls the challenges and prejudices. This is a despotic and murderous regime that completely stifles the freedoms of it's people. About the size of the state of Mississippi here in the U.S., 25 million people there, the average earnings are less than $2,000. There is nothing that even approaches the American ideal of freedom and that's something that President Trump is going to have to deal with.

Christiane Amanpour, thank you very much for your perspective as always. Let's bring in CNN global affairs analyst and senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot. Max, couldn't have a better guest for this tonight. Thank you for joining us.


CUOMO: All right, so first of all, in terms of your expectations and the reality, how do they meet up so far?

BOOT: Well I would say that you've seen a process of receding (ph) expectations from very high to very low over the course of the last few months. I mean remember that in April Donald Trump was tweeting that -- basically that North Korea had already agreed to denuclearize, which clearly is not the case. And then a couple weeks ago you had that major spat where he called it off.

And then the -- it was back on again. And clearly the North Koreans really wanted the meeting but Donald Trump also understood, I think, as the price of getting the meeting he had to reset expectations and not talk about the Libya model of complete disarmament and not talk about -- you know, that there was going to be this massive concession by North Korea at this summit. And so basically he reset expectations to be essentially this is going to be a meet and greet and this will be the start of a lengthy process.

And when you set expectations so low that they're barely, you know, half an inch off the flow, you could meet those expectations and I would expect they would meet those. But they're certainly not going to meet the high expectations that he laid out when he initially announced the summit a few months ago.

CUOMO: Superlatives are not substance. That's something that people have become familiar with with this president. We have a policy and a political consideration. First the policy one. It seems as though what the Trump administration is going to try to get with North Korea is something that approximates the Iran deal that it just tore up and said wasn't worth the paper that it was written on. Does that sound like the saying to you?

[01:29:50] BOOT: Well, isn't that ironic -- Chris? I think you're right. I think In fact Trump will be extraordinarily lucky if he gets from North Korea a deal as tough as the one that President Obama got from Iran.

And this is the same deal, of course, as you just mentioned that Donald Trump has trashed as the worst deal ever. And it had some weaknesses. I opposed it at the time. But it's actually a pretty strong deal in many respects where the Iranians had to give up 98 percent of their fissile material, demobilize two-thirds of their centrifuges, and accept a very intrusive inspections regime.

Now, is North Korea going to do as much? Maybe but it seems doubtful. And if Donald Trump can't get as much out of North Korea as Barack Obama got out of Iran. How does he claim that this is the greatest deal of all time which we know he's going to say no matter what?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: And now the political consideration. And you're new to CUOMO PRIMETIME but here's the rule -- Max. You can always disagree with me. It's fine. Sometimes we're putting things out there just for the sake of argument. And here is an argument.

BOOT: I'm not shy about disagreeing -- Chris, so.

CUOMO: I know. I know.

BOOT: Fire away.

CUOMO: It's why I have you here. I always need better minds.

So under the Obama administration, the hard right crushed him for reaching out to Cuba, to suggesting that he would meet with leaders who are considered despots without pre-conditions. How can they swallow Trump coming home if only with a signed declaration with a promise on it to keep talking?

BOOT: I think it's fair to say, Chris, that the hard right, and the Republican Party in general, has basically given up 98 percent of their principles. And their only principle these days is to follow Donald Trump wherever he may leads. And so when he announced the summit they called it a stroke of genius. When he called off the summit, it was another stroke of genius. When it's back on, that was a third stroke of genius.

So he's not going to get a lot of push back from the right in the way that they would have done if this had been Hillary Clinton for example, who was having a meeting without preconditions with a dictator of one of the world's most vicious countries.

CUOMO: So you don't think he has to come home with anything?

BOOT: Well, I think he has to come home with something because I'm not a fervent Donald Trump supporter. I'm just telling you what the base of the Republican Party thinks and they will accept whatever Donald Trump essentially says.

I mean you saw him this weekend, he was trashing Canada of all countries, you know, saying that -- with his aide saying that the prime minister of Canada has a place in hell reserved for him. And there's very little push back on that from the Republican Party. So they're certainly not going to push back on this.

But I do think that as an outside neutral observer you have to say that with all the build up and hype of the summit and the fact that Donald Trump is providing legitimacy to Kim Jong-un and he is, you know, essentially putting North Korea on an equal footing with the United States, which is something that dictators of North Korea have long wanted to do in return for that and the fact that sanctions are de facto being relaxed now by China and other countries.

In return for that Donald Trump has got to get some serious concessions. And we need to remember what he himself promised which is that he said in late April that the way to judge the summit is, is North Korea going to denuclearize? So that's -- you know, don't let him twist the words. Don't let him set a new standard. Let's hold him to what he actually said which is are they going to denuclearize.

CUOMO: The Secretary of State said the same thing today, put out a statement saying our goal is nothing short of complete denuclearization.

The G-7 summit -- while I have you, let me get your head on that.

BOOT: Sure.

CUOMO: there are two theories. One is he went up there to intentionally blow it up to show that nobody is safe. And you know, he'll make the deals that he wants to make. And an ally is whoever he says is an ally. And he was going to come strong with Kim Jong-un so that Kim would know I make deals on my own terms, you know, I'm my own man.

The other theory is he just got upset because the Canadian PM basically played the same game that Trump does which is came out of a meeting with one disposition and then said what was self-serving in front of the cameras and he got upset so he did what he does best which is insult people he doesn't like. Which do you accept?

BOOT: The second interpretation is the one I find more compelling. It always kind of amuses me when people try to ascribe some kind of grand strategy to Trump and pretend he's playing some kind of three- dimensional chess game when in fact I think all the evidence indicates he basically just gets up in the morning and often very early and starts venting and tweeting like crazy and letting people know his feelings for that moment. And he does not think very far ahead.

And clearly he was very upset with Canada because Canada and our other European allies are not willing to take it lying down when he imposes tariffs on them. They are retaliating with tariffs of their own. And Donald Trump, you know, is all about an America first policy. But he can't stand it if Canada pursues a Canada first policy or Germany first policy.

He doesn't like it when people disagree with him. He doesn't like it when people push back on him and he gets very angry and so he lashed out in ways that I think are irrational and self-destructive.

[01:34:55] Justin Trudeau did nothing whatsoever to justify, you know, Peter Navarro saying that there's a place in hell for him. I mean that is crazy talk. But that seems to be the message that Donald Trump wants to send.

And I would -- you know, I'm very skeptical of this notion that there's somehow some premeditation here that's supposed to send a message to Kim Jong-un. No way -- I mean he basically thinks like ten minutes ahead I think. And you know, I think this is just an attempt to do some after the fact spin to explain his tirade against this close American ally.

CUOMO: Well, if you're right we know what's happening right now in the room on our screen. That Donald Trump is meeting with his adviser saying we've got to get something on this piece of paper that will look like a win to the people at home.

Max Boot -- thank you so much for your perspective. I appreciate it.

BOOT: Thanks for having me.

CUOMO: We're watching this now because we have been promised a signing by the President of the United States. What will that mean? This is where it's supposed to happen. They seem to be setting up for some type of signing.

We're going to take a break. Come back and follow CNN live coverage of this historic summit.


[01:40:00] CUOMO: All right. Let's take you back to Singapore.

Breaking news: President Trump and Kim Jong-un are expected to sit down at the table that you saw on the screen at any moment. For what we only know will be some kind of signing.

It's after 1:30 p.m. in Singapore, they're 12 hours ahead of the East Coast here in the United States. We're watching this summit unfold live before our eyes. This was just moments ago.

We don't know what is on the piece of paper but let's listen in.


Donald Trump, President of the United States: It's a pretty comprehensive document. And we have had a really great term together, a great relationship. I'll be giving a news conference at 2:30 which is in a little bit less than two hours. And we'll discuss this at great length. In the meantime I believe that they will be handing it out on behalf of Chairman Kim and myself and we're both very honored to sign the document. Thank you.


TRUMP: Would you like to say something.

KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREA LEADER (through translator): We have a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind and we are about to sign a historic document.

The world will see a major change. I would like to express my gratitude to President Trump to make this meeting happen. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Ok.

Starting that process very quickly; very, very quickly. Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President -- 100 percent denuclearization?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you talk about Otto Warmbier, sir?

TRUMP: You'll be seeing everything in just a little while. The letter that we're signing is very comprehensive. And I think both sides are going to be very impressed with the result. A lot of goodwill went into this, a lot of work, a lot of preparation.

I want to thank everybody on both sides. Secretary Pompeo and all of his counter parts -- they were absolutely fantastic.


TRUMP: Thank you very much. That's fantastic.

Thank you very much. We'll see you a little bit later. And we're very proud of what (AUDIO GAP). I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past. We both want to do something. We both are going to do something and we have developed a very special bond so people are going to be impressed.

People will be very happy. And we're going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.

[01:44:55] And I want to thank chairman Kim. We spent a lot of time together today, very intensive time. And I would actually say that it worked out for both of us better than anybody could have expected. I think far better.

I watched the various news reports. I would say far better than anybody even predicted. And this is going to lead to more and more and more and it's an honor to be with you -- very great honor.

Thank you. Thank you to all of your representatives very much.


TRUMP: Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir -- will you invite Chairman Kim to the White House.

TRUMP: Absolutely I will.


CUOMO: All right. Let's bring in Christiane Amanpour just to recap; people are coming in now. The second major handshake photo-op we've seen of the day.

The President and the leader of North Korea just signed a declaration. The President said it is very big, very comprehensive. He was asked whether or not it will be about denuclearization. He said we're going start that process very quickly; very, very quickly. He also said that it will be made public soon. So we'll get the actual details of it.

Chairman Kim said that this declaration means that we are leaving the past behind and the world will see a major change and expressed gratitude to the President. The President responded by saying that he and Kim now have a special bond after spending intensive time together.

Christiane Amanpour -- it's going to come out. So we're going to see what is on it.


CUOMO: But Certainly President Trump doing what he does best; speaking in superlatives about how amazing this has been.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's exactly right. And we are going to hopefully see it because they say they're going to distribute it. And that would be the norm. They did the same thing after the declaration was signed in Panmunjom -- obviously this was between the two Koreas.

But clearly they will do that since he said they were going to do it. And that's going to be really good to be able to see the detail of what they had agreed to.

But again they have both sat down, the two leaders of these two countries, and they have affixed their signatures to this letter, this declaration that the President calls comprehensive. And there was again more really warm words between them.

You know, obviously Chairman Kim slightly more reticent. He's not used to that kind of thing. He spoke less than President Trump did. But all the words of President Trump were translated by Kim's -- actually I don't know which translator. It may have been the U.S. translator because it was the woman and we know that is the U.S. translator. And then of course, a lot more handshakes, a lot more back pats and arm pats and off they went. We do know that President Trump said he's going to be holding a press conference. He said at 2:30; that's by my watch in about 45 minutes from now -- so about to hear a lot more very soon.

CUOMO: And it has to be a letter of intent though because there just hasn't been the time to hammer out any specifics. The question is whether or not it will be found satisfying. And that will be predicated on what comes next, yes?

AMANPOUR: Sorry -- I mean yes and no. I mean we don't know whether their people had hammered out a sort of list of things that they were willing to sign before the leaders came out.

We have been told that there's been a lot of work going into this letter, this declaration. So we don't know. So we don't know. If it's very comprehensive and the President said, you know, denuclearization will start very quickly, very soon -- that's interesting.

CUOMO: Certainly interesting. Christiane Amanpour -- We'll wait for more details to put meat on the bone. Thank you very much.

We're going to take a quick break.

On the other side, we have people on the ground trying to get you details of what is in this declaration. Wait, there they are. We want to show you live moments when we get them -- once again the President and the leader are together. You see the folio in the President's arm, they exchanged copies of this declaration that each had signed. We -- again the schedule is loose and somewhat extemporaneous so we don't know where they are going right now. We don't know if this is going to be another joint appearance. It does seem to be exactly that. Another photo opportunity.

Jeff Zeleny -- are you with us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said absolutely I will. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he a worthy negotiator.

TRUMP: -- on behalf of his people, a very worthy, very smart negotiator. We had a (INAUDIBLE) day and we learned a lot about each other and about our countries.

[01:50:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you learn about him? What did you learn about him, sir?


TRUMP: I learned he's a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When will you see each other again?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you be meeting again, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you --

TRUMP: We'll meet many times. Thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right. Jeff Zeleny -- the two men going their own way.

We understand that the President was asked, would you invite Kim to the White House and he said yes. Is that your understanding?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He did, indeed -- Chris. In fact the President's exact words were, "absolutely, I will", to the question of would he invite Kim Jong-un to the White House, to Washington?

And that's exactly what the President said last Thursday in the rose garden when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Washington. The President was indeed asked if he would invite Kim Jong-un if the meeting went well. And he said he would.

So now this is after the meeting. So this is one of the next steps potentially. Of course, we do not know when that would happen. WE do not know if other conditions would have to be met.

But Chris -- interestingly, as we still await the hard details of that signing document there, the President said last week, this would not be a photo opportunity. He's right about that. This is a very substantive meeting, the fact that they met.

But this was a rolling series of photo opportunities, intended to design -- you know, still going on -- to show that this relationship --

CUOMO: Right.

ZELENY: -- he believes is going to be a real one here. So again, still important though to wait the exact details of what they signed because they have not been released yet. And part of the show going on is to sign it with this fanfare. We'll have to see exactly what they signed whenever the White House releases it.

CUOMO: All right. Let's bring in Christiane Amanpour. You just heard the President there. He's saying yes, I would invite Kim to the White House. He says I discovered he's a very talented man who loves his country very much.

You know, tricky sentimentalities here for a president of the United States when addressing the head of regime that is murderous and completely oppressive of freedoms in his country.

AMANPOUR: Well, first it's proven what we've already seen over and again, that the President of the United States can be a bully and a pussycat. So for whatever reasons that he calculates is best for the policy he's trying to achieve or the personal relationships, he can do both those things.

Now, he's obviously flattering Kim Jong-un, like other leaders flatter him because this is also about getting the measure of each other. The first time they have met, the attempt to create some kind of personal relationship out of a bi-national relationship that has been really mired in mistrust and all sorts of bad feelings over the last 70-odd years with a few spikes when there were a few times, for instance when President Clinton did the agreed framework in '94. Then you had President Bush with the six-party talks and what happened with the cultural opening with Pyongyang in 2008.

You tried with President Obama; that didn't really work. And now, we have got this attempt. So, you know, they have to try to also forge personal relationships. And you can see that that's what President Trump was trying to do.

And he's obviously a lot more adept at it. He's done it a lot during his business career. Kim Jong-un, slightly less adept, but seeming to follow along with a lot of smiles --

CUOMO: Right.

AMANPOUR: -- a lot of sort of noddings, a lot of being, you know, willingly sort of walked around by the President and stopped in front of various cameras and the like.

But of course, Kim Jong-un himself has already scored a victory.


AMANPOUR: And if he gets an invitation to the White House, that is icing on the cake.

CUOMO: Well look, the President will get points back home with his own party and even hard-line conservatives who are seeming in control here. Strength, control -- that projected power is important politically, in terms of optics.

However it does remind a little bit of Obama with Cuba. Now obviously the stakes are so much different with North Korea as potentially nuclear with its capabilities. But there was so much criticism, Jeff Zeleny -- of Obama for how do you deal with Cuba with all their human rights violations and no pre-conditions. You can't cut them any slack. How will the party regard the takeaway from this with Trump and Kim?

[01:54:57] ZELENY: Chris -- that is a great point and those are Republicans criticizing -- a large number of Republicans criticizing President Obama for human rights violations in Cuba.

But I think this is as you said, a nuclear power, a whole another level there. But the President, if you could hear it during one of those photo opportunities after the signing, he was asked if he talked to Kim Jong-un about Otto Warmbier, of course, the college student who died in the hands of the regime. And the President did not answer that question. So we do not know if human rights were discussed today.

Last week, the President said he would indeed bring up human rights. And this week, there was some question if that would happen. But clearly, this is not necessarily a moment for lecturing. That's not President Trump's style to lecture in public.

But our reporting will have to show and bear out if they talked about human rights at all. If they didn't, he will be criticized for that roundly -- Chris.

CUOMO: Jeff Zeleny, Christiane Amanpour -- thank you so much.

That's it for me. Join us Tuesday. Now we've had the historic moment. Now, it's time to test. Tuesday night, 9:00 eastern, CUOMO PRIMETIME will do just that.

Right now, our coverage of the nuclear summit will continue. Please, stay with CNN.