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Desperate Search in Thailand; Swing Vote on U.S. Supreme Court Retiring; U.S.-Russian Presidents to Meet in Coming Weeks; World Cup 2018; Italy's Tougher Approach to Migration; Judge Orders Migrant Families Reunited within 30 Days; John Bolton Just Did a Complete 180 on His Russia Stance after Meeting with Putin. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 28, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A retirement at the U.S. Supreme Court is giving Donald Trump his second opportunity to change the direction of the highest court in the land.

Agony and shock for Germany as the reigning champions are knocked out of the World Cup.

Plus CNN talks to Italy's hardline new interior minister about his anti-immigrant position.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Thanks for being with us.

We begin with a desperate search for missing members of a youth football team in Thailand. Dive operations inside a cave where they're believed to be trapped have been halted due to heavy rains and flooding. That is according to the regional governor.

The 12 teenagers and their coach vanished on Saturday at the cave complex in the northern part of the country. Anguished relatives have gone to the site, hoping for any news. The U.S. military joined the effort Wednesday, sending 30 skilled search and rescue personnel to help. The U.K. has also sent in a search team.

On the phone right now, Jessica Tate, she is the public affairs officer with the United States Air Force and she's on the ground by the cave in Thailand right now.

Thank you so much for talking with us, Jessica. We know that these operations have been halted due to the rain and the flooding there.

Is there nothing that can be done in the course of this bad weather at this stage? JESSICA TATE, USAF: No, obviously, you understand the conditions here on ground are ever changing. We arrived early morning on the 28th of June and immediately began working with our Thai counterparts because we're here more as an assist and advise role, to be able to assess the situation on the ground and figure out what our Thai authorities have already been conducting and figure out what type of expertise and advice we may be able to provide.

CHURCH: With the weather conditions, obviously the dive operations are particularly difficult.

What about this other effort that's underway to enter through perhaps another hole or another entrance in the cave system?

Because we understand you do have maps that indicate the direction of all those various chambers of this labyrinth of the caves.

TATE: Sure. Definitely everything is being looked out. Our group is composed of terrest (ph) men. We have survival specialists as well as support personnel as well. And working with our Thai counterparts, we're right now in that initial course of action development phase when it comes to rescue operations.

Everything's seamless. You mentioned dive operations. You also mentioned (INAUDIBLE) above ground. So everything's seamless yet (ph). Nothing's been determined quite yet.

CHURCH: Jessica, there was also mentioned a couple of days ago about the possibility of using some sort of thermal technology.

Has that been pursued at all to determine whether these boys are alive and where they may be in the whole cave system?

TATE: Rosemary, I can't speak to that specifically because I don't know if that's a capability that the Thai government is currently using. But in terms of the equipment that we brought our guys are trained in personal recovery and what we've brought is what we perceived to be essential for the initial portion. But as I said, the situation is ever-changing. So I'm sure everything's being explored at this time.

CHURCH: And, Jessica, how hopeful are you and the U.S. team, the Thai team, the U.K. team, that these boys and their coach will be brought out of this cave system alive?

TATE: I think everyone here is hopeful. But at the same time, we're here in an advise and assist role. And really we want to make sure that, whatever capability, whatever expertise we're able to bring to support our friend and ally, Thailand, is present. And our hearts really go out to the kids as well as the coach and the families here on the ground.

CHURCH: Jessica Tate, thank you so much for talking with us. Of course, we all are wishing you and your teams all the success possible under these unfortunate conditions. Thank you so much.

TATE: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to take a giant step to the Right. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast deciding votes in key cases involving abortion and gay rights, is retiring. That will give Donald Trump the chance to nominate someone much more conservative to the high court. CNN's Jeff Zeleny begins our coverage.



TRUMP: He is a man who's displaying great vision, displaying tremendous vision and tremendous heart.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump facing a historic opportunity tonight to not only fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy but to fundamentally reshape the direction of the high court with a firm conservative majority.

TRUMP: We will begin our search for a new justice of the United States Supreme Court that will begin immediately and hopefully we're going to pick somebody who'll be as outstanding.

ZELENY (voice-over): His retirement, kept secret until the end, hands another monumental victory to the president in this pivotal midterm election year. Perhaps something fires up conservatives more than a Supreme Court vacancy.

Justice Kennedy delivered the bombshell news himself, carrying his retirement letter with him as he visited the White House only hours after the court finished its business for the term.

TRUMP: I got his ideas on things including I asked him if he had certain people that he had great respect for, that could potentially take his seat, which is a very hard seat to fill.

ZELENY (voice-over): That's an understatement. Conservatives will demand a far more reliable vote than Kennedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President and Ms. Reagan.

ZELENY (voice-over): A Reagan nominee and libertarian, who sided with liberals on abortion, affirmative action and gay rights. It's a chance for Trump to give the court its fifth full-throated conservative.

TRUMP: We have a very excellent list of great talented, highly educated, highly intelligent, hopefully tremendous people. I think the list is very outstanding.

ZELENY (voice-over): The president pledged to make his selection from a public list of 25 well-established conservative jurists. He said he would move swiftly, a sentiment echoed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: We will vote to confirm justice Kennedy's successor this fall. It's imperative that the president's nominee be considered fairly.

ZELENY (voice-over): McConnell infuriated Democrats by refusing to seat President Obama's Supreme Court nominee during the final year of his presidency. Democrats tried retaliating by mounting a filibuster of Trump's first nominee to the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

But it backfired and prompted McConnell to change the rules of the Senate, which means the next nominee only needs 51 votes to be confirmed. Trump often says putting Gorsuch on the court is his biggest achievement since taking office.

TRUMP: I have always felt that after the defense of our nation, the most important decision a President of the United States can make is the appointment of a Supreme Court justice. Depending on their age, a justice can be active for 50 years and his or her decisions can last a century or more and can often be permanent.

ZELENY: The president caught off-guard by this as much as anyone in Washington was. He did spend about 30 minutes one-on-one in private conversation with Justice Kennedy, who came to the White House to deliver his resignation letter by hand.

The president also was talking to specifically to Justice Kennedy about who replacements could be. So this certainly will be dominating forces at the White House as the midterm election campaign, of course in full swing. There's nothing that galvanizes conservative voters more than a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

The White House believes this could help the president and help Republicans hold the Senate and the House -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Fargo, North Dakota.


CHURCH: CNN legal analyst Paul Callan joins me now to talk more about all of this.

Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: Given Justice Kennedy sided with his more liberal colleagues on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, the president is embracing this opportunity to replace him with a much more conservative justice.

How might this reshape the court and the landscape of this country, possibly for a generation?

CALLAN: It could have an enormous impact on the landscape of the United States. And I say that because the president has said he's going to work with a list of 25 candidates that he publicly released when he was running for president. Those candidates were vetted by an organization called the Federalist

Society, which is group of about 65,000 very conservative lawyers and others in the United States. So these candidates were kind of carefully vetted for conservative principles and positions on issues. So I would think that if someone is selected from this list, you will see a much more conservative Supreme Court.

CHURCH: Given that, if President Trump picks someone perceived to be too conservative, how likely is it that some Republicans, such as Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski would vote against that pick?

CALLAN: Well, that's a great question because those are two very important votes. And on issues like gay marriage and women's reproductive rights, those two women are not going to want somebody who is going to overturn, for instance --


CALLAN: -- Roe v. Wade. So he's got to be careful that he doesn't lose those two votes because he needs the vote of every single Republican in the Senate to get confirmation.

CHURCH: Given all the candidates on Mr. Trump's list of 25, more conservative than Kennedy, would you expect to see any changes made to previous Supreme Court decisions, such as abortion or same-sex marriage?

CALLAN: You know, a lot of Democrats are saying and will continue to say that this could be end of Roe versus Wade and that we'll be thrown back into the Dark Ages in terms of women's reproductive rights.

I don't agree with that. I think that Roe versus Wade, that decision has been around for about 30 years and the court tends to accept old decisions like that, that have been repeatedly readopted by the court, as settled law. And I would be very surprised if you saw a change in that.

Where you may see a change, though, is in another areas, where the liberals want some sort of doctrine adopted and sustained. You may see a more conservative approach. Now it's hard to predict what those will be. But we saw an example of it yesterday, of course, with the travel ban. A liberal court may have found that travel ban to be unconstitutional. But there were five conservative votes.

And that included Justice Kennedy and, of course, it was sustained.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed, and we know President Trump and majority leader Mitch McConnell are determined to get this done before the midterm elections and Democrats actually have little power to stop that from happening.

But what tactics might they use to slow this process down until the midterms?

CALLAN: The tactic that I see them attempting to use is to kill the first nominee, whoever it is, by coming up with something from the person's past or a position they took in a court case to say that they're unsuitable for the Supreme Court.

If they could do that, then he might not get the appointment in before the election because it takes about three months to go through the entire process of vetting, proposing and having a nominee approved by the Senate.

So I think that's what you're going to see very, very aggressive attack on the initial nominee in the hopes to knock that nominee out of the box so that then it becomes a bigger issue in the election.

CHURCH: And, of course, because President Trump has said, well, the list is there, which is very unusual, too; we haven't seen that in the past, where a president has actually made public of the list of candidates that may fill that upcoming Supreme Court position.

But would there we anyone on that list the Democrats might say, yes, maybe we would vote for this particular person?

CALLAN: No, I don't think they will. Most of them, anyway. Now there are a couple who are in states where Trump is very popular, who are going to be in a very, very difficult position. But Senator Schumer made a statement today, essentially saying and urging his colleagues in the Senate not to vote for anybody who's put forward by the president.

There's really no political gain for a Democrat voting for a Trump nominee. So I really think he's got to put this together largely with Republicans and maybe one or two Democrats will come over. I, by the way, think choosing a woman would be a very wise way for the president to go. We haven't had a woman appointed to the Supreme Court in a long, long time. And that's a weak area of support for him. So I think -- and there are a lot of women, very qualified women, on his list.

So I'm looking to see if he goes with a woman for the nominee.

CHURCH: It'll be interesting to see how quickly we see who he nominates in the end. And we'll keep a very close eye on it, of course. Paul Callan, many thanks. Great to have you with us.

CALLAN: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, they have met twice before and spoken on the phone a number of times. But the first formal summit between President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin will likely happen next month. Details on when and where are expected in the coming hours.

U.S. national security advisor John Bolton was in Moscow on Wednesday, where he met with President Putin and hammered out details of the summit with high-level officials there. Bolton says President Trump will bring up the subject of Russian election meddling with Mr. Putin. The Russian president says he's optimistic the meeting will bridge gaps in U.S.-Russia relations.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): It gives me great regret to state that relations between Russia and the U.S. are not in their best shape. It is the result of the acute internal political battle in the U.S.

Your visit here in Moscow has brought us hope that we'll be able to take first steps towards restoring full-fledged relations between Russia and the U.S.



JOHN BOLTON, TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think the president determined that, despite the political noise in the United States --


BOLTON: -- that direct communication between him and President Putin was in the interest of the United States, in the interest of Russia and in the interest of peace and security around the world.



CHURCH: How about this?

For the first time in 80 years, Germany has been eliminated from the World Cup at the first hurdle. The reigning champs ranked number one on the planet, fell to South Korea 2-0 in a stunning upset during added time. South Korea's first goal was upheld after a video review. Three minutes later, Germany's fate was sealed with South Korea's easy goal into an open net.

This was the third straight time the defending champ crashed down during the group stage. CNN's Atika Shubert has reaction now in Berlin.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The music is still pumping but a lot of the fans have left the fan zone in front of Brandenburg Gate. A lot of people came here to watch the match and they were hoping it would be an evening to celebrate. But that's not how it turned out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very disappointing for Germany after having won it four years ago. And we expected the same kind of teamwork. We were disillusioned somewhat by the team effort. It seemed almost like they didn't want to be there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not able to go faster on their plays. They are sleeping and they're not playing football. I have seen the World Cup in 2014 (ph) in real life. And I know the people, what they can do. But that play, that is not the play they are normally playing.

SHUBERT: For the last four years, of course, Germany has been the Weltmeister of football, the world masters. It was a point of national pride, which is why it's so hard to see the national team go out in the first round of the World Cup -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


CHURCH: Well, South Korea was not even ranked in the top 50 at the start of the tournament.


CHURCH (voice-over): The celebration in Seoul was electric, as they defeated the best team in the world. South Korea's surprise upset was especially sweet for Mexico. With Germany out, Mexico now advances to the round of 16.

That sudden reality took out the sting of Mexico's humiliating 3-0 loss to Sweden on Wednesday. Social media exploded with Mexico fans expressing their gratitude to South Korea for keeping their hopes alive.

Even the South Korean consul general was hoisted on shoulders like a hero.


CHURCH: Well, we have only scratched the surface of World Cup action. There's much more excitement ahead, including Thursday's matchups in just about 30 minutes from now on CNN "WORLD SPORT."

Plus an interview with Italy's interior minister as he takes a hard line on migrants. He's closed the ports. He's talking tough and he's not taking advice from anyone.


MATTEO SALVINI, ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): We as League propose to include in our constitution archer deo (ph) Christian influence (ph), because we have a history, we have an identity, language, culture, tradition. So people like Macron, who talked about values but didn't -- doesn't recognize these values, they don't give lessons to anyone, certainly not to Italy.






CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the migrant crisis in Europe comes to a tipping point in the

coming hours, when E.U. leaders in Brussels try to come up with some kind of solution. Migrants on this ship finally have a place to go after Malta and seven other countries eventually agreed to take them.

But it did take five days for European governments to reach that agreement. Italy's prime minister hopes that leaders will find a way out of this crisis.


GIUSEPPE CONTE, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We need more consistent help and a greater expression of solidarity from the European Union and its all member states. I will go to Brussels with the certainty that the themes of work, growth, competition and social integration, central to our government's mission, will be confronted with a greater vigor and decisiveness by the European Union.


CHURCH: And it is worth noting the number of migrants entering Europe has dropped dramatically in the last two years. You can see that in these numbers from the International Organization for Migration.

Now a key player in Italy's immigration debate is the country's controversial interior minister. His hardline stance has put him at odds with a number of European leaders. And our Melissa Bell sat down with Matteo Salvini to talk about his approach to the crisis.

SALVINI (through translator): We have to understand what we mean by populist. It's used as an insult. But for me, it's a compliment. If there's a lesson from Italy, it is that people want identity, security and jobs. There's a beautiful reaction of the people against the dictatorship of finance that wants an immigration out of control.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's how Matteo Salvini explains his rise to power, power that his far right anti- immigrant League Party now shares with the populist Five-Star Movement.

On the campaign trail, Italy's new interior minister used hardline rhetoric to fire up the voters. Now some fear that, in power, it lead to a return to some of the darkest days of Italian history.

SALVINI (through translator): My problem is to enforce the law everywhere, even in that Roma camp in Turin that the Carabinieri have checked in the last hours, finding every kind of illegality. We're talking of 40,000 people, living in Roma camps, a problem with an easy solution who is entitled to be in Italy, stays in Italy.

BELL (voice-over): Which is why the interior minister has closed Italy's ports to NGO ships carrying migrants. His aim: to force the rest of Europe to make the migrant crisis its own rather than leaving it on Italy's doorstep.

By getting tough, Salvini believes that Italy is finally calling the shots not only on immigration but also on the future of Europe itself.

SALVINI (through translator): With nice words, we never obtained anything. In this month of government, with our actions, we managed to be listened to; the Spanish intervened, Malta must intervene and so do the French, the German, the Dutch.

Then it's clear that we need a different kind of politics. We need to revisit the Dublin rules. We need to invest in Africa. But I think we've obtained more in this month than in the previous six years of chatter.

BELL: Europe, as Emmanuel Macron has said, represents values as well, values that you don't share with presidents like Emmanuel Macron.

How is that going to play out in the future?

It's very difficult to see how the whole project can survive the kind of challenge that you're presenting it with.

SALVINI (through translator): We as League propose to include in our constitution arche deo (ph) Christian influence (ph), because we have a history, we have an identity, language, culture, tradition. So people like Macron, who talked about values but didn't -- doesn't recognize these values, they don't give lessons to anyone, certainly not to Italy

BELL (voice-over): It is a message that Italy will be taking to the E.U. summit this week. But it is not the populists that needs to change but rather time that Europe listened to the populists -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Rome.


CHURCH: In the United States, the military is being asked to house and care for immigrant families. The Pentagon says the total could reach 12,000 people. Following the outrage over the separation of children from their parents, President Trump was forced to reverse his zero tolerance policy by executive order. But that hasn't brought many families back together --

CHURCH: -- yet.

Miguel Marquez reports from the border down of McAllen, Texas.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reunite families within 30 days, ordered a federal judge, a reversal for President Trump and his so-called zero tolerance policy.

In a sharp rebuke, U.S. district court judge Dana Sabraw, appointed by George W. Bush, called the confusion created by the zero tolerance policy, quote, "a chaotic circumstance of the government's own making," saying that, quote, "migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property."

The Justice Department responded by asking Congress for legislation. But that seems unlikely.

EFREN OLVARES, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: The president called immigrants animals. It's a dehumanizing impact of these people fleeing their countries for a safe haven.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The Texas Civil Rights Project represents nearly 400 separated families and hopes to begin reuniting them soon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The zero tolerance policy generating protests across the country. In Washington, D.C., two protests; one at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters. Protests also at a detention facility near El Paso and ICE offices in Portland, Oregon.

Anjelica Rebecca Gonzalez Garcia (ph) was separated from her 8-year- old daughter nearly two months ago. The Guatemalan mother is seeking asylum here.

"I'm desperate," she says. "I just want my daughter back."

Maggy Krell (ph) represents a mother from Honduras, whose 6-year-old son, born with brain damage, was taken from her three weeks ago. They've spoken once. The little boy asked his mother to come and get him.

MAGGY KRELL, TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT: He is very, very concerned. She's very fearful. She want to be able to see him herself, to hug him herself, to make sure that he has the medication that he needs.

MARQUEZ: The Office of Refugee Resettlement that's responsible for the care of these minors that are detained says that it won't comment on this particular case but says generally it provides good care for those minors that are in its care. It also says that reunification is its number one goal but many families out there waiting by the government's own numbers, 2,047 children and their parents remain separated -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, McAllen, Texas.


CHURCH: The suspect in a deadly vehicle incident last August in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been indicted on a federal hate crime. Now that means James Alex Fields Jr. could face the death penalty in the death of a protester. Fields has already been charged with first degree murder by the State of Virginia.

The incident happened during violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Collierville. Fields allegedly used his car to plow into a group of counterprotesters striking and killing Heather Heyer.

New images of North Korea are raising concern. What experts are saying about the recent pictures of work at a nuclear side.

And Prince William makes history in the West Bank. We will look at what's ahead on his Middle East trip. Back in a moment with that and more.


[02:30:49] CHURCH: A warm welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour. Well, let's see the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy is expected to bring major changes to the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative judge cast the key swing votes in cases upholding abortion and gay rights. President Trump is expected to nominate a replacement further to the right.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton met with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday in Moscow and announced Mr. Putin and U.S. President Trump will meet for a summit in the coming weeks. Details on when and where are expected on Thursday, but America's European allies are already said to be concerned that Mr. Trump may make promises they oppose. E.U. leaders are meeting in Brussels in the coming hours to try to come up with a solution to the migrant crisis. Meanwhile, a ship carrying more than 230 migrants docked at a port in Malta. The ship was stranded for five days while Europe decided who would take those people in. Eight countries eventually agreed to do so.

Well, the U.S. Defense Secretary arrived in South Korea a short time ago for talks on North Korean denuclearization. James Mattis says the U.S. commitment to South Korea's security remains ironclad, and a full range of capability will be used to uphold that commitment including maintaining current U.S. troop levels. Mattis is coming from a stop in Beijing. On those talks, Chinese media, "President Xi Jinping" is saying that Beijing will not give up, "Any inch of territory in the Pacific Ocean."

Well, the secretary's visit comes as new satellite images are raising questions about Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization. Paula Hancocks is following developments and joins us now from Seoul, South Korea. So Paula, let's talk about these new satellite images. They apparently show North Korea has made improvements to its Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center. Why would it do that if it has pledged to denuclearize? It seems to be sending a mixed message. How concerned should we be?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Rosemary, there's a couple of things to consider when you're looking at these satellite images. According to 38 North, they were looking at images from March until June 21st. So clearly this was before the Singapore Summit before Kim Jong-un met with U.S. President Donald Trump. But they do say that's still they were improvements at a rapid pace at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research site. They say it's unclear though exactly whether the current operations are ongoing and the status of those current operations are unclear. So what we're really hearing from some experts is that it is an interesting piece of evidence, but it is not conclusive to say that North Korea is simply not keeping to the tone of what he said to U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to Mr. Trump when he spoke about that press conference after the summit in Singapore, he said that he believed that Kim Jong-un was heading home to start denuclearizing immediately. Now, we know North Korea has always favored this step by step process when it comes to denuclearization in the past. They've always wanted to give a little then receive some kind of financial incentives, some kind of sanction lifting which Washington has said that it will not do in this case. But certainly, it's something that Washington will be watching closely. The South's defense ministry also saying that they're monitoring this closely, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Paula, as we reported U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has arrived in South Korea. He was to meet with the South Korea President Moon Jae-in, but he's not well apparently. But Mattis is meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, what is likely to come out of those meetings? What are their main discussion points?

HANCOCKS: Well, we just heard some opening statements from both men from Secretary Mattis saying talking about the decision by the U.S. President to suspend the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. This massive drill which the U.S. and South Korean militaries tend to do at the end of summer saying that it is a chance to work to find a peaceful resolution.

[02:35:14] But also saying that U.S. and South Korean forces remain ready and vigilant to confront any challenge. We heard a very similar thing from the South Korean Foreign Minister Song Young-moo as well standing next to the Secretary Mattis saying that they did agree to suspend some exercise if North Korea continues to follow the path. So both men really trying to point out that even though these massive drills have been suspended which was unexpected by many straight after that Singapore Summit, if they see that North Korea is not keeping to its word then that can change very quickly, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. Many thanks to you, Paula Hancocks joining us live from Seoul in South Korea where it's just 3:35 in the afternoon. We'll talk next hour. All right. Well, the first real shots in the trade war between the world's two biggest economies will be fired late next week. That's when billions of dollars in added tariffs against China are set to begin. Christine Romans looks at who could get hit in the cross fire and the strategy behind the high dollar due.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House is confident it can win its trade confrontation with China.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do you see what's happening with China? We have no choice. It should have been done many years ago. We have no choice.

ROMANS: President Trump vowing to fight back in a trade war he says was started decades ago by the Chinese. His strategy to punish China which the U.S. accuses of stealing technology and trade secrets and for unfairly treating U.S. companies who want to do business there. Now, the U.S. targeting technology that China has vowed to dominate. Xi Jinping's Made in China 2025 initiative. China 2025 is an ambitious national goal to lead and control industries like robotics, electric cars, and computer chips. The U.S. calls those industrially significantly technologies and is slapping a 25 percent tariff on 1100 product categories like aerospace, robotics, high-end manufacturing, and autos. Who pays? U.S. companies will pay the tariff to the U.S. government when they import the goods. Companies can either absorbed the higher cost or pass it along to consumers.

Now, part two of the president's strategy, export controls or investment restrictions. A plan is in the works to limit what American technology Chinese companies and citizens can buy. Now, the White House believes it has the edge. China has more to lose than the U.S. since China's economy relies so much on exports to the U.S., $500 billion worth last year. And the president's economic advisors are confident the U.S. economy is so strong right now it can absorb the hit of a tariff dispute. Oxford economics predicts the China tariffs would only shave about two-tenths of a percentage point off economic growth next year. Of course, that all assumes there's not a protracted global trade war something economists say is impossible to predict.


CHURCH: A historic visit is drawing to a close. Coming up, what's on Prince William's agenda for the final day of his Middle East trip? We're back with that.


[02:40:29] CHURCH: Well, Prince William had a message for Palestinians on his visit to the West Bank. You have not been forgotten, he said. He is the first British Royal to make an official visit to the Palestinian territories. He met with the Palestinian president who walked a fine line in calling for peace in the region. Max Foster is following the developments and joined us now on the phone from Jerusalem. So Max, this has been the biggest test of Prince William's diplomatic skill so far, how did his visit to the Palestinian territories go and of course let's talk about just how careful he has to be in this sort of situation when he is expected to appear to be above politics?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He has. But what he has successfully done I think (INAUDIBLE) quite carefully. So when he went into a refugee camp in the West Bank for example, he met young people in a school. He spent time in Ramallah trying the food and spending time getting to know people and that was very much appreciated by lots of people I saw there. Obviously, politics (INAUDIBLE) everything here. So I speak to one of the girls who spoke to Prince William at the school for example and she (INAUDIBLE) now, he's currently back in Jerusalem. He -- this morning, he went to the Mount of Olives (INAUDIBLE) of the Old City.

And now, he's just entered. We got some pictures hopefully for you, some live pictures of him entering Haram esh-Sharif or Temple Mount. He's going to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque. So he's actually going into the most sensitive areas really (INAUDIBLE) main religion today which is, you know, a delicate matter to any visiting VIP. But it's something that he wants to do. I think he got a (INAUDIBLE) what he's trying to do is balance it out. He didn't show any favoritism or he wants (INAUDIBLE)

CHURCH: Yes. You mentioned it's something he wants to do, is this something that he has pushed for to take this trip?

FOSTER: He certainly very involved. We have a couple of opportunity to speak to him off the record. There's an interesting comment that he made last night. It was a reception he attended and a lot of Palestinians in that reception where (INAUDIBLE) I mean one of the messages he put out there is the message that I said to you that he's not been forgotten saying that to the Palestinian leaders and community members. And that went down extremely well. I also understand that he met a group from Gaza there as well as that perception. And he said he wished that God would come up more as an issue and a comment because of the vast differences between (INAUDIBLE) so he's not hiding away from any of these issues (INAUDIBLE) he's making sure he has -- he's listening -- he's quite listening to almost, but making sure he listen to all the right voices (INAUDIBLE)

CHURCH: Max Foster, thank you so much for joining us on the line from Jerusalem. I appreciate that. And thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT." Then, I'll be back with another hour of news at the top of the hour.