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Pompeo: Sanctions Will Remain Until Denuclearization; Trump Gives Praise to "Tough Guy" Kim Jong Un; Rift in Europe as Migrants Seek Asylum; Antarctica's Sea Ice Melting Faster than Ever; U.K. Remembers the Victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire; Destiny Pictures Distancing Itself from Summit Video; Canada, U.S. and Mexico to Host 2026 Tournament. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 14, 2018 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles.


Ahead this hour, fear no longer, Donald Trump says North Korea's nuclear threat is over. Despite earlier assessments that denuclearization could take at least ten years.

Growing tensions between European neighbors with thousands of migrants caught in the middle. All of this after Italy's new government shuts its borders.

And, one year since the horror of the Grenfell tower fire and so many questions remain unanswered.


VAUSE: Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause, and this is the second hour of Newsroom L.A.

After the self-described 'world's greatest deal maker' signed off the nuclear agreement with North Korea, it's now up to America's top diplomat to make it work. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in South Korea meeting with President Moon Jae-in as well as foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan.

Around the region there seems to be confusion and concern over what exactly did President Trump agree to with Kim Jong-un. And in particular, why did he suspend joint military drills with South Korea. At the same time, why the North Koreans now claiming economic sanctions will soon be lifted?


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe that Chairman Kim Jong-un understands the urgency of the timing of completing this denuclearization. That he understands that we must do this quickly and that sanctions relief - - we should recall these are U.N. sanctions, the sanctions relief cannot take place until such time as we have demonstrated that North Korea has been completely denuclearization.


VAUSE: CNN's Anna Corrine joins us from Seoul.

And, Anna, there's probably fewer people in the world with a tougher job than Mike Pompeo.

ANNA CORRINE, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. A monumental task ahead and he's in charge of bringing denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.


He's wrapped up talks with President Moon and the foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan. They're all singing from the same hymn book, certainly everybody very much on the same page and praising President Trump and Kim Jong-un for taking this step.


CORRINE: But, let's discuss this more now with our panel of experts.

Markos Kounalakis joins us again, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, from San Francisco, as well as Graham Ong-Webb, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Great to have you both with us.

Markos, if I can start with you. As John alluded to, Mike Pompeo has a huge task, monumental perhaps. Do you think he is able to pull this off? Considering the time frame that he's given himself, two and a half years?

MARKOS KOUNALAKIS, HOOVER INSTITUTION AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Anna, it's a great question. Of course, we're not going to know if he can pull it off. But if there's somebody who at least has the trust and is able to speak on behalf of the President right now, it is Secretary Pompeo.

We know the last Secretary of State was not empowered in the same way that Mike Pompeo is. And, of course, Mike Pompeo comes from the CIA. He was most recently there as the director.


And, so he has the type of skills, he has the access. He has, it seems, the smarts to be able to get into this negotiation in a very serious way. and when we talk about two and a half years, you know, again right before the election of - - or the reelection potential for President Donald Trump, the timing is really astounding because it is a political calendar.

But, when we're talking about that two and a half year deadline, he better deliver something. And what we can at least expect from the United States perspective, is that the national security threat to the continental United States needs to be eliminated and it has to verifiable, and it has to be permanent.

And I think that's the standard, at least in the United States, maybe not in South Korea or in Japan, but at least in the United States that must be the standard that he is able to achieve, if this two and a half year deadline that is imposed currently, is going to be a valid one.


CORRINE: Graham, we heard from Mike Pompeo a short time ago. He reiterated that there will be no sanction relief for North Korea until there is full denuclearization.

When we heard from President Trump in Singapore, he didn't seem as definitive. And certainly, the North Koreans, if we listen to the state media, they don't seem to be reading it the same way.

Has something shifted? Has something changed in the last few days?

GRAHAM ONG-WEBB, RESEARCH FELLOW, S. RAJARATNAM SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, SINGAPORE: That's a great question, Anna. I think it's an important one because the maximum pressure policy and the unprecedented tight economic sanctions is integral to the process we have right now.

[01:05] And any unraveling of that effort could clearly disrupt or even derail the whole process entirely.

I think there is a lack of clarity. I think that's quite clear from the press conference we saw President Donald Trump deliver right after the summit. One could get a sense by some of the statements that it's neither here nor there. On one hand, some hint of maximum pressure, still in place, on the other hand, some sort of reference towards a possible tit-for-tat synchronous you know, reciprocal exchange of rewards for good deeds from North Korea.


So there is clearly confusion. I think Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has a lot of hard work and my hat goes off to him for the hard work ahead of him to make that clear about what the U.S. position really is about.


CORRINE: Markos, you mentioned the language and that word verifiable, that was something missing from that text in the agreement signed by President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Mike Pompeo jumped on that again here in Seoul and said the word complete is all encompassing, that includes verifiable and irreversible.

Do we buy that? KOUNALAKIS: Well, you know, it's really going to be seen, it's hard for us right now, Anna, to look at this very simple one page declaration with general principles and say it is a definable agreement.


I mean, there is really nothing there right now, but - - other than goodwill. The de-escalation that we clearly feel, I think the symbolic nature of what occurred is something that everyone around the world feels and is relieved by. Because President Trump escalated this early on, as did Kim Jong-un and they both de-escalated this particular moment and the tensions between the two nations.

But, can we get to something that is verifiable? Well that is an expectation, certainly, and as you and your other guest were just talking about, it is going to be necessary that this is the case. Because otherwise how can you relieve sanctions, which is really one of the goals of the North Koreans and by the way, the Chinese.

So, are we going to get it? I don't know. Is it something that's necessary, required? Absolutely.


CORRINE: Graham, Mike Pompeo obviously came here to Seoul, not to just debrief the President on the talks at the summit, but also to allay concerns about the cancellation of those joint military exercises between the South Koreans and the United States.

Do you think that he's achieved that in the talks that he's had here?

ONG-WEBB: Well, I haven't been privy to the public statements, or the press conference, which Mike Pompeo, I believe, will be delivering later today, I haven't seen those yet. But I think he may be able to pull off a reassurance with the South Koreans about this military exercise.


If I'm not wrong, in terms of the yearly military exercise cycle, the military exercise that may be referred to would be exercise Ulchi- Freedom Guardian. Which is a by lateral military exercise between the South Korean military and U.S. military, has been running since 1976. It's a quasit (ph) of virtual exercise, done through computer war gaming and the other bit is quite physical.

50,000 South Korean troops and about 17,500 U.S. troops, a large footprint but nevertheless, an exercise that if it is ceased for now wouldn't be a loss to both sides because they've been doing it regularly every August for the last 30 years.

So, I think if Mike Pompeo is able to frame this right, he may be able to reassure his South Korean ally, but that remains to be seen right now - - how he's going to talk this out and create comfort where comfort is needed right now.


CORRINE: Graham Ong-Webb and Markos Kounalakis, joining us, many thanks for your analysis and perspective.

John, we did get word that perhaps we may receive a formal announcement from the Pentagon on the suspension of those military exercises due in just a couple months, in August. When we get that news we'll bring it to you.

[01:10] VAUSE: It seems a lot of people were taken off guard by that announcement from the President, from the Pentagon on down. Thank you, Anna.

With more on this now, let's bring in our political analyst, Michael Genovese, and CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin. We'll talk about the North Korea summit, and a lot of politics of the day.

OKay, according to the (inaudible) report, Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews around 5:30 Wednesday morning, Eastern Time. Within about 25 minutes the President was on the Twitter machine to share the good news.


"Just landed, a long trip but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."


VAUSE: Which, Michael, is nothing short of miraculous, the war heads of been destroyed, the reactors are being dismantled, the missiles disarmed and to think those folks over at Stamford University - - Siegfried Hecker, who's actually been and toured you know the nuclear facilities in North Korea multiple times, he said it could take 10 years. What does he know?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: And, you know, it's more than hyperbole, it's also runs the risk of get us to lull ourselves to sleep a little bit, that we let our guard down, that you'll see some sanction fatigue set in and people will start to trade with North Korea, especially the Chinese.

So, I think overselling this puts us all in a position now where if we need to ratchet it up again, we may not be able to. That we may be really alone in this.

And so, we're better off than we were six months ago. It's a start, I congratulate the president, but it's not what he says it is.

VAUSE: Here's the reaction to that Tweet from some Republican lawmakers.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Today the President said that nuclear threat from North Korea is gone. I mean, what's your reaction to the president making that declaration after these brief talks this week?

BOB CORKER, REPUBLICAN SENATOR: Well, that would be hyperbole.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The President this morning declared that North Korea is nuclear free. Is it your view nuclear free after discussions this week?

JOHN CORNYN, REPUBLICAN SENATOR: No. I think they made some representations about their intention, but this is the beginning, I think, of a long process.

CORY GARDNER, REPUBLICAN SENATOR: Well, I think there continues to be a nuclear threat until we achieve complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.


VAUSE: So, on that last point, from Senator Gardner - - Areva, those words are not in the final declaration. The words complete, verifiable and irreversible. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it's all implied. Does that imply that the North Koreans got one over the president?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it does. I think what's disingenuous about what Mike Pompeo was saying is, we were told there were objective standards set for these negotiations, nothing happened with regards to that.

And, in fact, the agreement is so vague. It talks about working towards denuclearization and there's no guarantees, there's nothing to give any of us, as Americans, any confidence that anything will come from this other than the photo opportunity the President got from this.

We know he's anxious to be applauded and even awarded for what he calls his ground breaking, historic summit with North Korea. But, in terms of what we get as the American people, I don't think we got very much at all.

VAUSE: You know, from a legal point of view, whether you're doing a nuclear treaty or contract with somebody, words matter.

MARTIN: Spell it out, because if it isn't there, it doesn't exist. It's not there and we know the original talks, or the talks that they had initially, there was no one there, there were no note takers. So, we don't even have any verifiable objective evidence in terms of what was even said.

So when we look at that very brief, very ambiguous document, it can be read in so many ways. And, we know North Korea is already talking about lifting sanctions, that's not in the document, but yet that's how their spinning it. So, the document is subject to interpretation by any party that reads it.

VAUSE: The reason the president is Tweeting so much about this, it seems he's not getting the type of news coverage he thinks he deserves.


"So funny to watch the fake news. Especially NBC and CNN, they're fighting hard to down play the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have begged for this deal - - looked like war would break out. Our country's biggest enemy is fake news, so easily promulgated by fools."


VAUSE: I wonder if he actually wrote that one, but maybe he did.

But, Michael, you know, biggest enemy - - that's getting close to enemy of the people. I mean, does Donald Trump truly believe that the free press is the greatest threat this country is facing?

GENOVESE: Well, think of who he sees as the enemy. The free press? Canada?

VAUSE: What does that say about him?

GENOVESE: And, who are his friends? Putin? Kim Jong-un?

So, I think the president is in a bind because our western allies are all objecting to what we're doing, and yet people who were our adversaries are applauding it.

Now, Donald Trump has shaken up things and he's reshuffled the deck and that's got movement from North Korea. But you also have to have substance behind what you're doing, you need a strategic plan. You also need your allies. We're just jettisoning allies daily, now Canada's our big enemy - - and isn't it nice to have a president who will stand up to Canada?

MARTIN: They're a threat.

VAUSE: What was funny, Areva, I did not hear one Republican lawmaker - - maybe I missed it, come out and defend the value of a free press, which is one of the few values enshrined in the Constitution.

[01:15] MARTIN: We haven't heard them do that the entire time Donald Trump has been president. This isn't the first time he's Tweeted and attacked the free press.

He does it regularly, whenever the press doesn't give him the coverage he believes he deserves or whenever the coverage isn't consistent with the narrative he's putting forth. And, we don't hear the GOP standing up for the press, the media and the important role that the press plays.

Imagine if we didn't have the press pressing on - - the questions and asking the very tough questions they are. We would be left with the narrative, which is usually so far from the truth from Donald Trump.

VAUSE: OKay. One reason I guess Republican lawmakers, especially at the moment, have refused to stand up and criticize the president - - it seems President Trump has a grip on the Republican Party like never before.

That was evident in South Carolina, a Republican Congressman, Mark Sanford, he lost his party endorsement to a state lawmaker who made this vote essentially a referendum on loyalty to Donald Trump.

And there was this one Tweet in particular from the president, which Sanford said actually essentially cost him the primary.


"Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to make America great again. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He's better off in Argentina", we won't go into that, "I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in South Carolina, a state I love. She's tough on crime, will continue our find to lower taxes, vote Katie."


Bob Corker the retiring Senator from Tennessee, said the party has now become like a cult.


CORKER: We're in a strange place. I mean, it's almost, you know, been becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? And it's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to - - to - - to a president that happens to be purportedly of the same party.


VAUSE: Michael, it's pretty obvious and it's an understatement, this is not the Republican Party of old. What sort of party is it?

GENOVESE: Well you know, credit where credit is due, he has transformed the party. In 2016 it was a hostile takeover, in 2018 it's a complete takeover.

And, long, long ago Republicans ceased to be the party of Lincoln, but they were the party of Reagan. That's over as well, they are fully the party of Trump. He holds the reins with all the consequences good and bad.

Right now, Republicans running for office are afraid to cross him, for good reason, because that chunk of Trump voters - - and maybe it's 40 percent of the party, maybe 50 percent - - who really knows, they will withdraw their votes. And so a lot of Republicans are afraid of being primaried - - Sanford is a perfect example.

So, Donald Trump - - give him some credit, he has done a masterful job of taking over an American political party in a short time. VAUSE: And, the one direct impact of this, Areva, is that when

Congress tries to reach a bipartisan deal on something like immigration or gun control, it goes nowhere because the president blows it out. Because that's what his base wants him to do and he blows out, and then his base loves him for blowing out a deal.

MARTIN: But, that's why I'm kind of sick of listening to Senators like Bob Corker, and the other Republicans, that have become pretty adept at criticizing the president, but whenever there's a vote, they're voting with the president.

VAUSE: Yes, like 90 percent of the time.

MARTIN: They criticize him, but they're lock step with him. So, I agree with you, Michael, you know it's all about self-interest and no one wants to lose, but at what point do you put country above your own self-interest.


It's sickening to watch this GOP party allow the president to basically denigrate the systems of checks and balances we have in the country. And have a Congress that's pretty much doing the bidding for the president rather than exercising its power of an independent body.

VAUSE: Another retiring Republican Senator, Jeff Flake, has had the truth serum of retirement. He's been a big critic of the president.


"This is Trump's party. Boehner said it. We've all felt it. It was reiterated last night. If you want to win a Republican primary you can't deviate much from the script. It's the President's script. You can't criticize policy or behavior."


VAUSE: Michael, it seems the only thing that might break the fever of the Republican Party, will be a Democrat tsunami at the midterms.

GENOVESE: Which is looking possible, but not likely. You know, I think elections matter and in 2016 the Republicans came home, Democrats quite often stayed home. And, if the Democrats stay home again you're handing Donald Trump at least two more years.

So it's in the hands of voters. They can do anything they want. They can turn this government around, if they want to.

VAUSE: OKay. On to Michael Cohen.

[01:20] Do you remember when the president's personal attorney, who's now under criminal investigation, would talk in such a loyal way and give these pledges to his boss. Listen to this.


MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I will use my legal skills within which to protect Mr. Trump to the best of my ability.

I'll do anything to protect Mr. Trump.

I'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to Mr. Trump.


VAUSE: Well, now Cohen's legal team has walked, because apparently Cohen can't pay the bills, which are quite considerable. That's raising speculation that Cohen may flip (inaudible) Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation.

Jay Goldberg, who is close to Cohen explained why this could happen.


JAY GOLDBERG, ATTORNEY: He's of a type that I've recognized in the past as one not suited to stand up to the rigors of jail life. And don't forget, he's under pressure not only from his own personality, but from his family.


VAUSE: So, Areva, what's your hunch here? Will Cohen flip and will we know if he's flipped?

MARTIN: Well, there's going to be tremendous pressure, and there is tremendous pressure, because in addition to the mounting legal bills he's facing, the reality is he hasn't been indicted or charged with anything.

So looming over him, it's not just the legal bills, but it's the possibility that he'll be indicted. There's also the civil lawsuit still going in Los Angeles involving the fight he's having with Stormy Daniels.

It's ironic he said he will use his legal skills. it's those quote- unquote "legal skills" that some say have created this mess that now he finds himself in, and the president finds himself in as well. Which is why we're hearing rumblings that the president is withdrawing financial support.

Because he blames him for being drug into this Stormy Daniels nightmare that is ensnarling the president and perhaps is more damaging to the president than even the special counsel's investigation.

VAUSE: Michael, when I first heard this story, the first thing I thought of was tick, tick, tick. if Cohen flips to Mueller, that just leaves Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, who's under almost - - if not more pressure than Cohen right now. And if he gets Manafort and Cohen, that's all angles wrapped up, isn't it?

GENOVESE: Yes. You're playing the prisoner's dilemma game. Who's going to talk first? They'll get the best deal. So there's mounting pressure for people to talk, to cooperate. You'll see it as the screws are tightened on Cohen and others as we get closer to the rumor of indictment happening at any moment.

You know, I think Mueller is smart enough to not get too active during the fall campaign. So it may be we have to wait until January to really see the big punch. But, you're seeing human drama here, there are human beings who are - - their lives are ruined by their closeness Donald Trump.

You understand someone like Michael Cohen, who's got children . . .

MARTIN: A wife.

GENOVESE: I don't want to spend X number of years in jail. That loyalty to your boss, your mentor can fade quickly when the prospect of being of locked up behind bars . . .

MARTIN: And it's not reciprocal. Trump demands loyalty from everyone, but he's not loyal to anyone, except perhaps one of his children. We don't even know if he's loyal to all of his children.

VAUSE: Definitely Ivanka.

MARTIN: Other than Ivanka, I don't know about the boys. They're probably off on an island by themselves.

VAUSE: Well, you know he certainly has a lot of affection for Ivanka and the other one.

MARTIN: Tiffany.

VAUSE: And, Baron, of course.

MARTIN: We don't see much of them.

VAUSE: OKay. Thanks guys, appreciate you being with us.

Next on Newsroom L.A., the growing rift in Europe over which country will take in asylum seekers.


Plus, the World Cup now, just hours away and we now know the host country for 2026.



[01:27] VAUSE: A military assault is under way in Yemen.


Starting with ground, air and naval forces trying to recapture the port city of Hodeida. Which is currently controlled by Iranian backed Houthi rebels. U.S. officials have confirmed a naval vessel from the UAE has come under heavy rebel fire. Four Emirate troops were reportedly killed.

The port city is considered a lifeline to the rest of Yemen, about 70 percent of the country's food, fuel and medicine comes through that port and aid agencies are fearing a humanitarian disaster.


INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS COMMITTEE MEMBER: Today we're at a point where catastrophic is becoming an understatement. The humanitarian situation will depend on how the battle is driven and how much respect for international law is shown by all the parties.


VAUSE: Yemen's civil war has raged for three years now and the national Security Council will meet Thursday to talk about the crisis.


VAUSE: After Italy turned them away, hundreds of migrants are now on ships in the Mediterranean headed for Spain. And their plight is highlighting a growing problem in Europe where a growing number of countries are closing their borders to tens of thousands of people fleeing their homelands.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leaving one ship for another yet again. On Tuesday, hundreds of migrants disembarked from the Aquarius onto Italian Navy ships that were to help ferry them to Spain.

Ahead, another four days at sea after Italy closed its ports on Sunday, leaving the 629 migrants in limbo. A crime according to the co-founder of the NGO that operates the Aquarius.


SOPHIE BEAU, SOS MEDITERRANEE (through translator): On board the Aquarius today, we have 51 women, 45 men and 10 children. We had to re-provision Monday and Tuesday morning, first by the (inaudible), then by the Italian boats. However, there are not enough provisions aboard if the trip increases because of bad weather conditions.


BELL: Even as the Aquarius headed to Spain, another ship carrying more migrants, more than 900 on this one, was allowed to dock here in Catania this Wednesday morning. The difference, this is an Italian navy ship and Rome now says that these are the only ones that will be allowed to dock in Italian ports. Italy's interior minister and the leader of the right wing league party today explained Rome's new policy to parliament.


MATTEO SALVINI, ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): I spoke with a German colleague with whom we shared the fact that we need to protect the exterior borders of Europe, not just Italy. We can't be the only ones do what we're commendably doing in the Mediterranean enduring economic and social costs. If Europe is with us, speak now or forever keep quiet.


BELL: A new policy that has also created a rift in Europe, with a French ambassador summoned by Rome, after the French President described the policy as cynical and irresponsible.

European division that comes even as the E.U. looks for unity on this question, what to do with the tens of thousands of migrants who continue to land on European shores barefoot and desperate? After a journey that has just been made a little more dangerous still.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Catania.

VAUSE: Sea levels could rise half a meter over the next 50 years or so, if solar


[01:30:00] VAUSE: Sea levels could rise half a meter over the next 50 years or so if polar sea ice continues melting at its current rate. The scenario was presented in the latest edition of "Nature" by scientists who've studied Antarctica for years. They warn of dire consequences to low-lying coaster areas where even small rises in sea levels can bring devastating flooding.

According to the latest study, Antarctica has been losing more than 50 billion metric tons of sea ice per year since the early 1990s, a process that has speeded up rapidly in recent years. If left unchecked it could eventually lead to massive die-offs of species in the southern ocean and that will have profound consequences worldwide.

Just ahead Britain marks one year since the deadly Grenfell Tower fire; survivors asking how their home became a symbol of death and neglect.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

The U.S. Secretary of State is trying to sell Donald Trump's North Korea deal to allies in South Korea. Mike Pompeo has met with President Moon Jae-in and the foreign ministers from both South Korea and Japan.

After the summit with Kim Jong-un President Trump declared there's no more nuclear threat from North Korea and he's suspending joint military exercises with South Korea.

In Yemen, Saudi-led forces are trying to retake the port city of Hodeidah currently under control of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Aid agencies are fearing humanitarian disaster because about 70 percent of the country's food, fuel and medicine travels through that port.

Hundreds of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on ships steaming toward Spain where they will be allowed to start asylum procedures. Italy refused to take them in even though the nation is ready and more than 900 others who were on an Italian rescue vessel.

Well, it's a tragedy which still haunts Britain one year on from the deadly Grenfell Tower fire. The United Kingdom is paying tribute to the victims. And this is the now shrouded high-rise in West London lit up overnight to remember the 72 people who died in the early hours of June 14th last year. There will be a minute of silence in the coming hours.

A public inquiry is under way with investigators and survivors, asking questions about the response to Britain's deadliest domestic fire since the Second World War. There have been apologies as well but questions and the voices of the Grenfell survivors are still loud and there is testimony too of the bereaved friends and relatives.

[01:35:02] CNN's Nick Glass has their stories.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In other circumstances you probably wouldn't give it a second look -- just another London tower block, one among many. Under the white plastic sheeting is Grenfell Tower and Grenfell is the stuff of nightmares. The tragedy played out mercilessly in front of all our cameras.

Strip away the shroud and as everyone knows this is still an incinerated concrete shell, a 24-story tombstone, the relic of a fire that should never, ever have happened.

AHMED ELGWAHRY (PH), WITNESS GRENFELL TOWER INQUIRY: My mom and sister were murdered and cremated on the 14th of June last year. To be more specific, my mom and sister were poisoned by the smoke. They were burned, they were cremated. I had to listen to them suffer and I had to listen to them die.

I had to watch Grenfell Tower burn for a couple of days but particularly the top floors. If that's not torture, then I'm not really sure what else is.

GLASS: Ahmed stayed on the phone to his younger sister Mariem until she fell silent and all he could hear was the crackle of flames.

One year on and Grenfell remains a place of profound sadness. How could anyone forget what happened here? There's grief and dignity, but also simmering anger and an unquenchable desire for justice.

The photos of the missing once plastered everywhere have begun to fade and fray but not the memory of the night or the manner of their dying.

HISAM CHOUCAIR, WITNESS, GRENFELL TOWER INQUIRY: When I go past and look at the tower, I have flashbacks. I know they are just pictures in my head, but I can actually see people behind those windows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I honestly don't -- it looks to me like it's only the outside, but -- oh, my god.

MARTIN MOORE-BICK, CHAIRMAN GRENFELL TOWER INQUIRY: In terms of loss of life the fire was the single greatest tragedy to befall this city since the end of the Second World War.

The sight of the building engulfed in flame is indelibly imprinted on the memories of those who experienced an event of unimaginable horror.

GLASS: Unimaginable horror -- and that's the truth of it.

With the launch of the public inquiry they stood in silence for a symbolic 72 seconds. 72 people died in the fire. It was a room full to overflowing with the bereaved.

CHOUCAIR: I have to live with my family ripped apart for the rest of my life. I don't see this as a tragedy. I see it as an atrocity.

GLASS: Hisam Choucair lost six relatives in the fire -- his mother, sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces. For seven tearful days the bereaved paid tribute to their loved ones. Some made commemorative videos.


GLASS: The artist Khadija Saye had just shown her work at the Venice Biennale. It made it all the more heart breaking -- so many children, so young, so vibrantly full of life.

MARCIO GOMES, FATHER OF LOGAN GOMES: He was so peaceful, so restful. He looked like he was just sleeping as babies do.

GLASS: At the very top of the building on the 23rd floor, Rania Ibrahim was trapped with her two young girls. And perhaps the most haunting of all the footage from the night, she used her mobile phone to live stream on Facebook.

First we hear a woman's voice shouting down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're stuck on the 23rd floor. Hello.

[01:40:02] RANIA IBRAHIM, GRENFELL TOWER VICTOM: I can't believe this would happen in London.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's too many people stuck upstairs. Hello.

GLASS: And then we hear Rania, herself.

IBRAHIM: There is no God but Allah. Allah, spare us from a dark death.

GLASS: None of them got out.

AMBROSE MENDY, WITNESS, GRENFELL TOWER INQUIRY: This isn't a time for vitriol and hatred, it's a time to come together and hold one another, to hold and embrace because we know we're going to go forward.

GLASS: The hope is for justice and a resolution of some kind. The inquiry has already heard about what experts have described as a litany of failures at Grenfell. Everything caught fire much faster than anyone could ever have imagined -- window frames, fire doors and perhaps most disastrously of all the exterior cladding installed just a few years ago. A small fire evidently started in a fridge freezer on the fourth floor, swept up the building in just 19 minutes.

The other issue involves the fire brigade. Their initial advice to residents was to stay put in their flats, believing the fire could be contained.

PAULOS TECKLE, WITNESS, GRENFELL TOWER INQUIRY: I will not have peace until I have the truth. I want to know why I was physically stopped from leaving the flat at about 2:00 a.m. Why were we kept inside for so long? What was responsible for that decision? I want answer. If I had not listened to the fire brigade, my son would likely have been likely alive today.

GLASS: The London fire brigade has described Grenfell as the most challenging incident in living memory. They say that the firemen on the ground were wholly unaware of the fire safety defects in the fabric of the building. And even early on the advice to residents to stay or leave involved substantial risk either way.

Grenfell Tower will eventually be demolished but never forgotten. Over 300 other British tower blocks are clad in similar material. The conclusions of the inquiry are keenly awaited.

Grenfell will remain a synonym for the cruelest of human tragedies. We all watched helplessly on, how in this day and age could this happen? Why couldn't we save so many of those trapped on the upper floors?

Nick Glass, CNN -- at Grenfell Tower in West London.



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

At the nuclear summit this week in Singapore it was a sales pitch like no other. Donald Trump used a Hollywood style made-up movie trailer to show Kim Jong-un what a Trumpian vision of a peaceful and prosperous North Korean future would look like if only he'd just give up his nukes.

Now the video was actually made by the U.S. National Security Council but they didn't put their name to it. Check out the production company mentioned at the very beginning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Destiny Pictures presents -- a story of opportunity. A new story, a new beginning -- one of peace, two men, two leaders, one destiny.


VAUSE: Yes, destiny. Destiny Pictures, which is very much a real production company here in Los Angeles, had nothing and wants nothing to do with the video.

And to make that clear, here's their Web site. "Destiny Pictures had no involvement in President Trump's North Korea summit video."

Destiny Pictures founder Mark Castaldo joins us now for more on this. Thank you for coming in.


VAUSE: OK. Go back a day or so. It's Tuesday morning, I think the weather was actually pretty good. Phone starts ringing. Describe the moment of the very first phone call and you got that very first question. Someone is asking you about a video you made that the President showed in Singapore about North Korea's future if only they would denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. That must have been a head- spinning moment.

CASTALDO: Yes. Well actually, what happened was the phone started ringing like three rings in a row at a quarter to 6:00 a.m. And groggy and waking up, I'm thinking three phone calls in a row, something is wrong.

VAUSE: Right.

CASTALDO: What's the problem? So actually, I go to get my phone -- cell phone. I open it up, and as I'm concurrently watching the phone, e-mails -- hundreds of e-mails.

VAUSE: Popping up one after the other.

CASTALDO: One after another. So I click -- I'm saying what happened? So as I'm reading I see this embedded video and the video starts and I'm watching this video then I start seeing people saying are you associated with this video? Are you the Destiny Pictures that produced this video? I'm thinking, what is going on?

VAUSE: The world's gone mad.


VAUSE: OK. I'm just curious. As this is dawning on you, the situation as it was over in Singapore, given the animosity that there is between Hollywood and the President; and the President Trump and Hollywood, we should say, was one of your first thoughts or concerns, oh my God, I'm ruined? I'll never do lunch in this town again?

CASTALDO: Not really. I was just trying to absorb the whole thing of what was happening. So I mean I just -- I tried to answer the e-mails and tried to get out in front to say I had nothing to do with this.

VAUSE: Did people believe you when you said that?

CASTALDO: Yes. Actually -- actually, the press was pretty nice.

VAUSE: OK. Oh, good. Thank you.

CASTALDO: Yes. No -- they were pretty nice. They listened. I wrote back. They wrote back to me. They asked some questions. I got on the phone with a lot of them. They did interviews --


CASTALDO: They wanted to hear what I had to say. So they' actually -- they were actually pretty good.

VAUSE: OK. Has there actually been, I guess, any blow back since this came out? Of course, word travels quickly enough so this was essentially -- had nothing to do with your company. It was basically, you know, the President and the White House failing to conduct basic due diligence.

CASTALDO: Yes. Well, I think so.

I mean what happened -- I mean I was getting out in front of it and they were listening and I was doing the interviews, but it took until late afternoon before -- because I guess they kept asking who did the video, who did the video and the White House never said anything.

Then they finally came out and said that the National Security Council did the video. And then it started to lighten up but then the interviews started coming in. So I just kept answering the questions. I did some interviews. I came here today. Huffington Post -- it just kept on going and going.

VAUSE: Right. And of course, they chose "Destiny" because obviously, you know, hope for the future and, you know, good times ahead.

CASTALDO: Sure. Yes. They were asking me why -- I said my gut instinct is that if you watch the video, it's to the future -- what can be in store and destiny pictures.

Now, they could have said Destiny Production, Destiny Entertainment -- and I know those companies --

VAUSE: Yes. And Destiny Films --

CASTALDO: Yes. And there's some companies like that I wouldn't have got hit --

VAUSE: You're right.


CASTALDO: They would have -- but they chose Destiny Picture.

VAUSE: OK. The Web site Axios has this reporting from a White House source on what the President was thinking and how he thinks. "Trump thinks of his presidency in cinematic terms with himself as star, producer, director, writer and critic. Now backed by the resources of the United States government, he's a studio too. The President is very aware of his celebrity and how people view Kim. Kim is a young tyrant obsessed with pop culture so literally casting the two of them in a movie Trump was celebritizing the summit and aiming at Kim's sweet spot."

What did you think of the video, you know, in terms of, you know, cinematic value?

[014958] CASTALDO: Well, I thought the video was overproduced. I thought it was about two minutes too long. It was like a little over four minutes.

I think it was redundant. It was repetitious. You know, how many sunrises do you want to see.

VAUSE: There were a lot of sunrises.

CASTALDO: And I thought that you could have told that story in two minutes. Too much voice over --

VAUSE: Right.

Would you actually -- if the White House came to you and said could you make this video for us --

CASTALDO: No. Well, that's another thing. I mean it's -- I just also said -- I mean that's not something I would do. I don't do that. I'm not a political guy.

VAUSE: You are an independent filmmaker and you've done a lot of production over the years.

CASTALDO: Yes. Yes, I just want to tell stories -- stories that say something and mean something. I keep my politics pretty close to the vest. And -- but the video, I mean I think it was edited well whoever did the editing --


CASTALDO: -- but it was kind of redundant, repetitious --

VAUSE: Yes. It seemed like a timeshare pitch to me. One video (INAUDIBLE) --


VAUSE: Someone trying to sell a timeshare.

CASTALDO: Yes, yes.

VAUSE: OK. Mark -- thank you so much for coming in.

CASTALDO: Thanks for having me. VAUSE: You were in the eye of the storm. I'm glad it's over.

CASTALDO: Yes. Thank you very much.

VAUSE: OK. As we go to break here -- a quick look at two spoof versions of the summit video. The first aired on the "Late Show" on CBS; the other comes to us oddly enough from "The New York Times".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can two powerful men forge a bond that brings world peace and lose their virginity before prom? This summer love goes nuclear.

Will you shake the hand of peace? Will you massage the ankles of history? Will you slam dunk the ball of destiny? And how many sunrises will it take?

Starring Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven billion people inhabit Planet Earth and their fates rest in the hands of these two men.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will be doing things. And I think he wants to do things.

I think he wants to -- we'll be doing something on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if we've been over-thinking foreign policy all along and what the world really needed was a movie trailer.

No really -- this actually happened. Trump made a fake movie trailer to deal with an actual nuclear threat.



VAUSE: Two of the lowest-ranked international football teams face off in a few hours as the opening act of the World Cup in Moscow. That would be Saudi Arabia 67th; host Russia at 70th have the tournament all to themselves, at least for a while.

And of course, every recent World Cup has had its animal oracle. This time it's a death-white (ph) cat named Achilles but the cat doesn't know that. The cat lives at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Given a choice between two dishes of food, Achilles picked Russia for the win. You can take that to the bank.

OK. Now, before the tournament, FIFA had one last piece of business to finish up. That was choosing host of the 2026 World Cup. And to the surprise of apparently no one, it went to North America -- that's the united bid of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico all sharing the limelight. What is surprising is how sour relationships turned among these three traditional allies.

We get more now from CNN's Paula Newton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

[01:55:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Compared to the tri- national jubilation of the united bid members when they found out, or even the behind the scenes sentimentality over at Fox Sports when they got the news, the political leaders' reaction was a bit well, underwhelming.

From President Trump on Twitter, "The U.S. together with Mexico and Canada just got the World Cup. Congratulations, a great deal of hard work."

Then to Canada's prime minister --

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: This is an opportunity to bring the world together and highlight how well things work between Canada and Mexico and the United States.

NEWTON: to Mexico's president claiming that when it comes to football -- or soccer, let's face it, the three countries don't even call it the same thing -- they are united. But please no one mention NAFTA.

Thank goodness for sports because on trade even maple syrup is a weapon. And how about that wall? As this meme points out it's a little hard to kick over it -- walls and trade have completely wiped out the neighborly vibe.

TRUMP: It's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada.

TRUDEAU: We also will not be pushed around.

ENRIQUE PENA-NIETO, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): Mexico will not pay for any wall.

NEWTON: What is true: that all three countries did lend their support to this bid, from facilitating immigration and visa issues to joint marketing campaigns, the politicians got off the sidelines and took center field to make it happen, including the Trump White House.

CARLOS CORDEIRO, PRESIDENT, U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION: We have terrific cooperation from the White House, from the President and all his team. And we wouldn't have been in this position today requiring the guarantees we need to host an event of this magnitude without that support.

NEWTON: So borders and barbs should mean little for World Cup 2026. It's a big coup for the continent and a chance for soccer -- or was that football -- to prove it can truly rise above.

Paula Newton, CNN -- Ottawa.


VAUSE: Why can't we all just get along?

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angels. I'm John Vause.

Please join us on Twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA for highlights and clips from the show.

The news continues here on CNN after a short break.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: It's being called the turning point for the war in Yemen. It could also be the tipping point in the country's humanitarian crisis.

Kim Jong-un takes a victory lap in Pyongyang while President Donald Trump declares --