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Markle Solo Outing with Queen; World Cup Kicks Off in Russia; Trump Praises Kim Jong-un; Trump's Team Plots Next Move; Cohen Changes Legal Team; Trump Says North Korea isn't a Threat. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 14, 2018 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:33:40] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: IT's a big day for the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, the royal newlywed leaving Prince Harry, just kidding, leaving Prince Harry behind for a series of royal engagements with the queen.

CNN's Anna Stewart is live in northern England following their every move. Tell me what she's wearing.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today she's wearing the most beautiful cream dress. We've just all seen her stepping off the royal train. Because this wasn't just a day trip, Alisyn. They actually overnighted it on the royal train. A little royal sleepover there for the queen and the new Duchess of Sussex.

And it's really significant, this trip, because it really shows you how her majesty has taken her new granddaughter-in-law under her wing. It's something she did as well for Kate Middleton around a year after she was married to Prince William, of course, now the Duchess of Cambridge. So it's a sign that she really wants to bring a strong bond, pass on some lessons, I'm sure, ahead of a big commonwealth trip for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry later in the year.

There are plenty of engagements this morning. A really busy day. And it's no wonder they overnighted on the train because it was an early start for them. They're currently opening a bridge nearby. They then come into town where they've got a series of engagements, lots of meetings with some schoolchildren, community groups. They're going to a cultural center and seeing a few performances, including a dance performance by the Fallen Angels, which is specifically for recovering addicts.

[06:35:03] And then once they've had this very busy morning, they will finally get here in town with a pass through the center of town, meeting all of the crowds of people you can see me. And they'll be heading to city hall where they'll be having a lovely lunch with officials before heading back on the train back home.

CAMEROTA: It all sounds very civilized. Anna, that you very much for that.

John, I know you're a royal watcher.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It sounds like a buddy movie. It sounds like "Tango & Cash" or something. The adventures --

CAMEROTA: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

BERMAN: Of Liz and Meghan like taking the trains everywhere.

CAMEROTA: Well --

BERMAN: You know, it's great. We can talk about stuff like this, because there's nothing to worry about, like, say the oceans rising or anything.

CAMEROTA: John, but, look, let's talk about our priorities.

Did you like the queen's lime green ensemble or the -- or the cream?

BERMAN: Actually, you asked what Meghan was wearing. I thought the lime green was lovely. It was fetching. Fetching, in fact.

CAMEROTA: Liked (ph) it.

BERMAN: On the subject of the oceans rising, again, which, you know, we don't have to worry about --

CAMEROTA: We're getting to it.

BERMAN: Oh, maybe we do.

CAMEROTA: OK, priorities.

BERMAN: A team of 80 scientists reports that the melt rate of the ice sheet in Antarctica has tripled in the last decade.

CAMEROTA: OK, that is serious.

BERMAN: Yes. More than 200 billion tons of melting ice pouring into oceans annually. Meghan Markle wearing a lovely cream dress, though.

CAMEROTA: I see your point.

BERMAN: This is raising sea levels half a millimeter every 12 months. At that rate, scientists warn that nations will have less than 10 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions or face the worst consequences of climate change.

CAMEROTA: OK, those -- that video is remarkable right there.

All right, meanwhile, the wait for the world's biggest sporting event is almost over. The World Cup is set to kick off in Moscow in just a few hours. Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Alisyn.

We'll find a way to make this relevant for John Berman here.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

Now, to put this in perspective, the World Cup, most ever watched Super Bowl brought 114 million viewers. That was when John's Patriots beat the Seahawks. Now, the last World Cup final in Brazil brought 28 times that, some 3.2 billion viewers.

Well, for the next month, Russia will be the center of the soccer universe. Moscow's Red Square packed with fans right now from all over the world, traveling there to cheer on their national teams.

Now, matches will be played in 11 different cities across the nation with two stadiums, though, right there in the nation's capital, where later this morning will be the opening match. The hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. And eyes around the globe are still going to tune in, even though Russia's the lowest ranked team in the tourny. Saudi Arabia is the second lowest. Russia still the favorite. The host nation has never lost an opening match. Even Achilles the cat chose the Russians. It's becoming tradition to have an animal pick the winners at the World Cup. And when offered two bowls of food in St. Petersburg, Achilles chose the one with the Russian flag.

Also this morning, the U.S. Open. Rickie Fowler, my favorite, John, perhaps yours too, earlier this week he golfed with Tom Brady.

BERMAN: Oh, wait to go for that.

Achilles, by the way, was paid off. This being the World Cup, Achilles, the cat, no doubt was bribed to pick. That's the way the World Cup works.

All right, President Trump -- thanks, Coy.

President Trump continues praising the North Korean later. The president's justification for why Kim Jong-un needed to be a, quote, tough guy. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:42:27] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you call people sometimes killers. He is a killer. He's clearly executing people.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he's -- he's a tough guys. He's a very smart guy. He's a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he's still done some really bad things.

TRUMP: Yes, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I mean I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: President Trump defending his praise of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, dismissing concerns about human rights violations.

Joining us now, CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers.

John, what strikes me as extraordinary, what the president just did, he dodged the question about Kim Jong-un's, you know, human rights record. He justified it. He justified it. He said he's a tough guy. But the part of the byte we didn't play there, he said, you know, but it was hard coming in at 27 years old in that country.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I know.

BERMAN: He's justifying --

AVLON: Got to kill a few people.

BERMAN: Mass executions.

AVLON: Yes.

BERMAN: One hundred thousand people (INAUDIBLE). Sometimes you have to be tough. That is remarkable from an American president.

AVLON: It is remarkable. It is troubling. Because, I mean, tough becomes proxy for killing lots of people. And tough is one of his favorite terms of admiration. There are plenty of bad actors on the world stage. There are few like North Korea where there are current, active gulags inside a country, where this individual has murdered members of his family. And the idea that he has a great rapport. I mean, you know, you criticized, you know, FDR for cozying up to Stalin. It doesn't looking good in the rear-view mirror of history. This is not going to look much better when the full history of North Korea is resolved.

But we know better as a government. The president doesn't seem to know better as the head of that government.

CAMEROTA: But one more thing, John. I mean I find this jaw-dropping. OK, it's jaw-dropping. When we -- I think we've gotten use to the president speaks in hyperbolic terms. This is jaw-dropping. And, guess what, that was on Air Force One.

AVLON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: That wasn't while in -- while in Singapore.

AVLON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: That wasn't with him by his side. That wasn't currying favor. I mean he may think he's currying favor. But that was on Air Force One. He didn't have to say those things anymore. The deal is done.

AVLON: Yes. And yet his impulse is to do that.

We heard this also during -- something similar during the campaign when he was pressed on Vladimir Putin's record. And he said, well, you know, we're not so innocent either. That kind of -- a moral equivalence by people who are heads of states that have committed murder and inflicted mass misery and the fact that human rights has not been part of the conversation in North Korea is stunning, it's troubling, it's a departure (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: It's something that leads people to die.

AVLON: Yes.

BERMAN: This justifies --

AVLON: Right.

BERMAN: For foreign leaders or dictators who might be, you know, have a predilection to do this to go ahead and do it. And you don't have to do it. If you're the president you can say, we need a nuclear deal with North Korea because this guy is a villainous murderer. So, you know, the president choosing to justify it. I find that remarkable, troubling, there are other ways to say it.

[06:45:10] Big news overnight, we think, Jennifer, on the president, just back home, on the phone with his lawyers planning for what he will do in the Mueller investigation. Will he testify? Will he fight it and get subpoenaed? This is what Rudy Giuliani said overnight about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: All of us know he shouldn't testify unless we get everything we want and he wants.

We should get it done in the next week or two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Next week or --

GIULIANI: Get the decision done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

GIULIANI: Which means then we go to battling over a subpoena or getting him ready to -- for a small, tailored, limited interview.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: I mean it's a big choice. It's a big choice. Either he's going to face questions or he's going to maybe start a battle that goes all the way to the Supreme Court. Any sense from that body language what he's going to do.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, I'm almost wondering if that's actually a new tape because this is the same thing that we've been hearing from Rudy Giuliani since he entered the case. It will be a couple of weeks. We don't know. Maybe yes. Maybe no. He wants to. We're not sure. I mean, I don't know what he's going to do. Honestly, I don't think we can even listen to what Mr. Giuliani is saying at this point there have been so many --

CAMEROTA: Why?

RODGERS: So many back and forths, so many inconsistencies, so many misstatements of the facts, misstatements of the law. I just -- you know, it's pretty clear to me at this point that Giuliani is acting not really as a lawyer, adviser, especially because he admitted that he hasn't spoken to the president about this in a few weeks. He's really just a press spin person. So, honestly --

BERMAN: This is just noise. Is it just noise?

RODGERS: I don't know.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, I do -- is it different that he's saying that we think that we will have a decision in a week -- within a week? I mean isn't that a different, new timeline?

RODGERS: He also said he hasn't spoken to the president about this in a few weeks. To me, I'd be surprised if we hear within a week.

AVLON: Yes, I mean a lot of -- you know, deadlines have been thrown out that are basically meaningless. I think what's a little bit different is the idea of a tailored spoke testimony. But, you know, it's just something really, really, really, really curated that can be quickly done and -- you know, but, look, I think Rudy's job primarily, as he has said, is not legal analysis. It's the court of public opinion. And increasingly simply the base.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about Michael Cohen.

So Michael Cohen, as we know from reporting, is changing his legal team. He wants somebody, according to our sources, that is more familiar with the southern district of New York. Logical?

RODGERS: It is logical. You know, he was -- he was in congressional testimony before obviously this huge document review. He had a lawyer that was great for that. It was a big firm with lots of resources that could go through all these documents. Now he needs someone who is experienced with SDNY, who has fought against them before, who knows how that office works. So I think it is smart to change gears now and get someone based in New York with that kind of experience.

BERMAN: Of course the big question is, does this indicate that Michael Cohen might be looking to cooperate with investigators? Listen to what Rudy Giuliani, who you say really doesn't matter, is just making noise, listen to Rudy Giuliani make noise about that overnight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I checked into this last night. It's not so. He's not -- he's not cooperating. Nor do we care because the president did nothing wrong. We're very comfortable if he cooperates that there's nothing he can cooperate about with regard to President Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: I think he cares. I think he cares.

RODGERS: Yes. I mean we've all seen reporting that he cares a lot. And he's, you know, going crazy about it in private, which makes sense. You know, I don't think it says he's going to cooperate because he's changing lawyers, yet I think we still have some time to wait. He hasn't even been charged yet and he's not going to walk in the door until he has a sense of what he's facing.

AVLON: No. But, I mean -- I mean, come on, the idea that, you know, everyone in the White House is very zen about the prospect of Michael Cohen flipping is just ludicrous. I mean that is a big no bueno day in the life of the Trump administration if he should flip.

CAMEROTA: Here's what Maggie Haberman's reporting in "The New York Times" is, Trump has been fuming about Cohen in private, blaming him for the messy Stormy Daniels situation, but he is also fearful of making that public because of chances it further pushes Cohen towards SDNY.

That is also logical. That makes sense. But the idea that -- mean that Giuliani is like, he is not cooperating. (INAUDIBLE). He's definitely not going to cooperate. But we don't care if he cooperates.

AVLON: It's all good if he does.

CAMEROTA: Cooperating would be fine. I mean it would be very bad, but it would be fine.

BERMAN: We checked -- and the other thing is, it's interesting that Rudy admits he checked into it. He's like, I don't care, but, boy, I checked in last night. I made sure, even though I don't care.

All right, Jennifer Rodgers, John Avlon, thank you very much.

From Singapore, to Seoul, to Beijing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefing leaders on the president's talks with Kim Jong-un, saying the U.S. -- claiming the U.S. will not lift sanctions until denuclearization is complete. I think North Korea might have a different idea on that.

Plus, the secretary attacking a reporter on the issue of verification.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:53:45] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Denuclearization, only then will there be relief from the sanctions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted without complete denuclearization. But North Korea state media is telling its citizens something different, saying it will be a step-by-step process.

Joining us now is Ernest Moniz. He was the U.S. secretary of energy under President Obama, currently the co-chair and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a key player in the Iran negotiations.

Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for being with us.

The president, after this summit, said there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Do you believe that to be the result of this summit in Singapore?

ERNEST MONIZ, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF ENERGY UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think that's very hard to accept given the fact that they still, of course, have their nuclear weapons. And one of the big problems we have is, we don't know how many they have. So once a negotiation starts, clearing understanding their inventory, I might add, not only of nuclear weapons, but of chemical and biological weapons, is going to be a starting place because, frankly, we can start working on that, but we can't trust them in terms of a full declaration.

BERMAN: So when the president says North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, he's wrong?

MONIZ: Well, yes. I mean nothing has changed on the ground. And I think this idea of personality cults, if you like, has only led to bad results in the past. We can go all the way back to looks into President Putin's eyes, for example, and statements that were regretted later on.

[06:55:19] BERMAN: Well, since you brought that up, let's talk about that, because the president was asked is directly about Kim's human rights record, the executions, the gulags. Let's just listen to this one more time what the president said overnight to Bret Baier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: You know, you call people sometimes killers. He -- you know, he is a killer. He's clearly executing people and --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he's a -- he's a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, a tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, if you can do that at 27 years old, you are -- I mean that's one in 10,000 that could do that. So he's a very smart guy. He's a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other.

BAIER: But he's still some -- done some really bad things.

TRUMP: Yes, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I mean I can go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done. Now, look, with all of that being said, the answer is yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: So, you know, sure, executions, gulags, but he's a smart guy, a tough guy. It sounds like the president's saying, he did what he had to do. Does that sound like the type of person you can trust in a nuclear negotiation?

MONIZ: Again, I think the basis of this negotiation, and I might add as it was for Iran --

BERMAN: Right.

MONIZ: Is, don't trust and verify, verify, verify. The verification challenge here in North Korea is going to be immense. So the record of Kim Jong-un and his forbearers in terms of what they've done with the population is abysmal. But right now we have a hard-nosed negotiation that I think is going to take a long time to reach a finish line in terms of, again, verification in a way that serves the security interests of everyone in the region, including the United States, in terms of our future military deployment.

BERMAN: Let's talk about verification, because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pressed on this issue. There is nothing on verification in the document that was signed by the two letters. And he had a testy exchange. I mean the secretary got angry when he was pressed about why there is nothing concrete on the issue of verification. I'll just read you part of it.

Secretary Pompeo said, it's in the statement. It's in the statement. You're just wrong about that. The question was, how is it in the statement? And then the secretary says, you're just -- because complete encompasses verifiable and irreversible. It's just -- I suppose you could argue semantics, but let me assure you it's in the document.

Well, I mean, the words are not in the document. Why does verification -- why would it be important for verification to be in the document and what would verification entail, Mr. Secretary?

MONIZ: Well, first of all, I think one point you should remember is the very word denuclearization is not really understood in terms of what North Korea's aims are. So we come down to the -- to the very reality -- the very (INAUDIBLE) reality that, again, as I said earlier, we don't even know how much nuclear weapons they have. So when they declare what they have, how are we going to verify that in the long term? We're going to have to have a verification regime that, for example, like the one that, unfortunately I would say was recklessly compromised with Iran situation, we need access anywhere in the country where we suspect illicit activities in terms of what they declare. So verification is very, very central. It's unfortunate that the word did not appear there.

But, look, the issue now is -- and don't get me wrong, I think that launching this dialogue and then a detailed negotiation with the North is what we need to do. We need to face up to this and hopefully drive to a resolution. But we have to do this open eyed, understanding the enormous challenge we're going to have in that society to get a verification regime that satisfies us and others in the international community.

BERMAN: You think it's a successful start?

MONIZ: Well, I think it's -- I think we are approaching the starting line. And then when the gun goes off, it means that we are getting our teams together for professional negotiations, remembering that we also need to take the step ultimately of making this multilateral in some form or another. It's not just about us and North Korea. It's South Korea, Japan, China, Russia has interests, we have interests. This is going to be a very, very complex negotiation. Let's get going on it and recognize -- be realistic. It's going to take a long time to, again, to reach the finish line.

BERMAN: Mr. Secretary, Ernest Moniz, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it, sir.

MONIZ: Thank you.

BERMAN: Thank you so much to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.

[07:00:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: President Trump's lawyers gearing up for a potential showdown with the special counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president has legal and political considerations about testifying.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He's not cooperating, no do we care.