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Youth Football Team Found Alive In Thailand Cave; U.S. Intelligence Believes Kim Jong-un Won't Fully Denuclearized; Donald Trump Longtime Attorney Is Talking; U.S. Drivers Being Stopped About Citizenship; Needy Children To Get Gift Of Toys R Us Inventory; Government Offensive Continues in Syria. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 3, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Long-time allies is speaking out, suggesting he could turn on his former boss.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
Rescue divers in Thailand have finally reached a youth football team trapped in a flooded cave for the past nine days. The 12 boys and their coach say they are all OK, but didn't know what day it was when rescuers arrived. Now getting them out of the remote cave could take some time.
CNN's Anna Coren has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirteen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The moment divers find 12 boys and their football coach after nearly 10 days of searching. All that time without food, and without word from the outside world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are very strong, very strong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Outside the cave, the sound of joy after days of agony. Families of the local football team known as the Wild Boars hear the news that their loved ones have been found alive.
On the 23rd of June after football practice, the team entered the cave leaving their bikes and back packs near the entrance. The monsoon season had just begun and Thai officials believe heavy rain caused flash flooding inside the cave.
After the team had entered the 10 kilometer long complex trapping them inside. A massive search effort was mobilized involving the army, navy and volunteers with up to 1,000 personnel enduring challenging weather condition and mountainous terrain.
Throughout the week, a contingent of international specialists from the U.S., U.K., Australia, China and others joined the massive operation that had an entire nation praying for its success.
From above the cave system, teams clamored through chimney holes looking for new ways to locate the missing boys. The pumps were able to drain up to 150,000 liters of water every hour. And in the bowels of the cave, Thai navy seals set up a mini command center just over a kilometer of where the boys were thought to have taken refuge.
Finally, late on Monday, divers reached the boys. Telling them they couldn't leave the cave just yet. First they'll get some food and medical attention, and then equipment to help get them out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many people are coming, many, many people. We are the first. Many people come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Many people are coming, many people waiting to see these boys come out. Anna Coren joins us now live from Northern Thailand. Anna, this is what we were all hoping for. Now, of course, rescuers need to get these boys out of the cave. What are their best options?
COREN: Yes, that's right. That cave is the mouth of the cave is not very far from where we are. The entrance is literally over my shoulder, although we are cordoned off from entering. That is where the divers, the cavers, the military everyone are accessing it. This is a staging point.
And before we go into the challenges, I just want to describe this area, the staging point really for a thousand personnel. Obviously the mud, it is thick. And when it rains, it gets even worse. These are the conditions that obviously the military, journalists have been operating in. This is the media tent, some Thai journalists have been covering the
story for the last 10 days. The families of these children who are just absolutely elated. They are stage and kept away too from the media further up the hill. And then you can see dozens of ambulances in that car park further up, they are obviously there for when they do finally bring those 12 boys and their coach out.
But, Rosemary, these 13 members of the Wild Boar football team, a local football team here in Chiang Rai, they are remarkably in good condition. People are just shaking their heads, thinking how could this happen?
Well, these boys happen to be extremely resourceful. They have been collecting rainwater, which has been coming down through the ceiling which is a natural filtration so they've been drinking clean water opposed to the dirty polluted water that was lapping at their feet.
We know that they have had access to medical staff, a doctor, a nurse has assessed them. Light injuries is what we're hearing, perhaps a rash. But yes, malnourished. They are starting to eat food. Energy gels have been requested, sticky rice, pork and milk. So they obviously are getting their appetites back.
[03:05:00] But one of these boys, Rosemary, he said to the navy seal diver, can we get out today? That is how eager, how anxious they are to be reunited with their loved ones. As we know, Rosemary, the logistical challenge ahead is huge.
We saw a short time ago a vehicle carrying small scuba masks. They are obviously aggressively looking at this as a real option, training these kids how to be scuba divers to get out of this cave system. We know the problems, the challenges that professional divers have had to face over the last how many days, and now they are looking at the only option of getting these kids out is for them to learn how to scuba dive.
So they are aggressively looking at that and then from above, Rosemary, they are also still looking for those access points to see if they can drill down, bore down as another way to get these kids out.
CHURCH: Yes, these boys are going to go through an intense course for scuba diving. How do they feel about the prospect of going into that water that, you know, there are issues with visibility and a whole lot of other problems.
COREN: Absolutely. I mean, it is -- it's thick, muddy water. The divers are saying they can't even see in front of their hands. And we also know that the water levels, while it's been drained 24/7, you're talking about 150,000 liters of water being drained continuously from the cave, that this is monsoon season.
There is a break in the weather at the moment. There was a bit of rain earlier. However, we are expecting storms in the next few days. And that is going to continue for the next few months. This is Thailand. This is monsoon season. This is what happens. This is why, Rosemary, they are talking about putting supplies, food supplies into that cave with these boys and the navy seal divers that could potentially last them for four months, to stick out the rainy season.
But obviously that is not what they want. They want to get out of this cave. They're putting out the phone cable so that they can speak to their parents. They obviously desperately want to be reunited, but safety as we know is paramount.
CHURCH: Absolutely. And, of course, we know that monsoon season can last until October. These boys do not want to stay until then. Thank you so much, Anna Coren, bringing us that live report. I appreciate it.
Ocean explorer Tim Taylor joins us from New York. He is the CEO of Tiburon Subsea. Thank you so much for being with us.
Now we are all celebrating the fact that these boys and their coach have been found alive in that cave and now, of course, the hard part of extracting them begins. The quickest, but most dangerous option, is teaching them to scuba dive. How viable is that? And what are the major challenges involved?
TIM TAYLOR, CEO, TIBURON SUBSEA: It is a viable option, but it is a difficult one from the standpoint of experience. You can teach anybody to dive, but you can't instill experience in them. It takes time, so you're going to have to rely on the professional divers to get these guys through.
They're young. They're probably -- are much more malleable as far as learning diving fast. There could be language barriers with the instructors to teaching these as well. So, you have a few elements of understanding that will cause a great deal of difficulty and then over and above what already is there.
CHURCH: Presumably they would have translators with them when they do this. And of course, people do learn to scuba dive in a matter of hours on resort dive, don't they. Could the same approach be applied to these young boys who might not be able to swim, we emphasize, but they are very athletic. How do you think they would take to this whole concept?
TAYLOR: You don't have to swim to dive. You don't have to fly to fly. So, the equipment does the work for you. They just have to be comfortable and that's the hardest part. When the oceans are in places and under water, it's not natural. So to overcome that fear and to learn that is what's going to be difficult to teach.
To teach someone how to breathe out of a regulator in the best of conditions, but to teach them and then throw them into -- or not throw them, but put them in a situation like this, it is really going to be a professional effort and team to make this happen.
It's not impossible and it can be done -- it's not being done in a day, I would imagine. I would imagine they're going to take some time to train these kids if they want, but it can be done. CHURCH: They've got to be physically able, of course. They've been
there for nine days. They have to be hydrated and prepared for this. And of course, they are in a cave where these boys indicated it would be able for them to practice to get used to the sensation of diving into low-visibility water.
[03:09:59] But if that proves too daunting, could experienced divers lead them out one by one, perhaps blind folded? How viable is that if it is too daunting with that lack of visibility?
TAYLOR: It is a good chance it's that kind of visibility anyway. You don't have to blind fold these guys. It's going to be that kind of experience. So best is when you're diving in this kind of water, it is, it is all the fears you have as a kid of falling in water you can't see things around you, you don't know.
There is a lot of trust. You are going to find yourself in a situation. Taking these kids out is going to take more than a day's worth of training in my opinion. I think that if they can teach them how to do it -- again, it's a distance. It's not like it's 100 yards they have to swim. This is a pretty good clip they have to move. And even the best divers that are trained to do this find it difficult in these conditions to do this, even trained cave divers.
CHURCH: Yes. Important to emphasize that and the need to breathe slowly and deeply and evenly and not hold your breath which is hard if you're panicking.
TAYLOR: That's right.
CHURCH: Now one Thai official have suggested supplying the boys with four months of worth, essentially waiting out the monsoon rainy season in that cave, which seems a rather drastic approach. But if diving out of the cave proves too challenging, what are some other viable options?
TAYLOR: Well, just to touch on that for a second, if this is the monsoon season the water could rise. So taking -- waiting it out for the season may not be the option because this is coarse rock type. And what that basically means it's a giant sponge. So if water rises anywhere in the water table, it affects the whole cave system. It just rises together.
So if more monsoons are coming, and more water are coming, the camping out for four months may not be an option. As far as feeding them, if it is an option, you know, four months is not a long, long time when you look at the whole life ahead of these kids.
CHURCH: Yes. All right. We'll see, we'll be watching to see what they decide to do in the end. Tim Taylor, thank you so much for joining us.
TAYLOR: You're welcome.
CHURCH: I appreciate it.
The two-week government offensive in southwestern Syria has caused more than a quarter million people from their homes. That according to the U.N.'s refugee agency which adds that number is likely to grow even more as fighting continues.
Those fleeing have nowhere to go. Israel and Jordan have sent aide aid, but neither country is accepting more refugees. Meanwhile, Syrian government forces are focusing on Daraa province where they can be gaining ground. Jordanian officials tell CNN negotiations for ceasefire are ongoing.
Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following the story from Istanbul, Turkey. She joins us now live. Good to see you, Jomana. So what is the latest on this and what's the prospect for these people? They have nowhere to go.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You've got this humanitarian disaster that's unfolding on the border of Jordan and also we know that some of these internally displaced have headed towards the border with the occupied Golan Heights.
And you know, Rosemary, it's difficult to understand what is going on inside Daraa. All sides seem to be very tight lipped on whatever negotiations are taking place. We know that over the past few days there were several, like a couple of ceasefires that were agreed upon between the Russians and the free Syrian army with some Jordanian mediation, too. But that has fallen apart.
And according to one commander from the free Syrian army in the southern front saying basically that the conditions that were put forward by the Russians on behalf of the Syrian government were humiliating and they will not accept them.
We do know that the Jordanian government, as you mentioned, is saying that they will continue to work and they are continuing to work around the clock to try and reach a ceasefire. We know that the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi is headed to Moscow on Wednesday where he is expected to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
And he said that is to discuss the ceasefire and trying to bring this escalation to an end, keeping in mind this was a de-escalation zone that was agreed upon last summer between Jordan, Russia and the United States. But that obviously has fallen apart in recent weeks where we have seen this government offensive. That was expected to try and recapture the province.
And as you mention earlier, more than a quarter million people are right now displaced with nowhere to go. And the conditions are very, very tough, you know, they're out in the sweltering heat in these border region -- regions with little food and water and hospitals that have been targeted according to several groups, including Amnesty International.
[03:15:10] We do know that the Israelis on the one hand say that they have delivered aid. The Jordanian government also after a lot of pressure, Rosemary, from the Jordanian population, has also started sending truckloads of aid across that border saying that there's also dozens more trucks on the border waiting to deliver aid.
But here we are again talking about another part of Syria where it is the civilians who are trapped in this situation with no end in sight, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, as always. So let's just hope that a ceasefire can be reached. Our Jomana Karadsheh, bringing us that story from her vantage point there in Istanbul. Many thanks.
Well, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is keeping her coalition government alive for now after reaching a compromise in a political crisis over migration. The number of new migrants arriving in Europe has reached levels lower than before the refugee crisis in 2015, but a standoff between the chancellor and her interior minister threaten to undermine the stability of Europe's political and economic anchor.
Under the new deal, Germany will set up migrant transit centers along its border with Austria to help regulate the movement of asylum seekers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We want to install national measures, yet at the same time cooperate in partnership with the countries of origin and other countries. We will do just that. We will set up transit centers in Germany and from there carry out returns and agreement with countries from which asylum seekers come and where they are already registered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Mrs. Merkel's interior minister now says he will stay on the job after threatening earlier to resign.
We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the White House insists there is progress in talks in North Korea. But U.S. intelligence said that deal and a handshake may not mean much.
And only two more teams will make it through to the World Cup quarterfinals. We will look at Tuesday's match ups and the amazing last-minute goal that sent Belgium through.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Look at that, Belgium through to the quarterfinals the World Cup, thanks to a last-minute goal against Japan. They will face Brazil on Friday. For Japanese fans of course, it was a disappointing end to a surprise showing in the tournament.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was a real blast when the team scored the first goal. It was like a dream when they scored the second. At the end we lost and the whole viewing crowd fell flat then. But I have nothing but thanks for the players who gave us a moment to dream of victory. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN world sport anchor Patrick Snell joins me now to tad more about this. What a comeback on the part of Belgium. So sad for Japan. And we saw the band there.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORT ANCHOR: Heart break for the Japanese.
SNELL: But what a terrific story line for the Belgium.
SNELL: This is the World Cup. Because it keeps on giving us compelling story lines and great comebacks everywhere you look. This for me the most compelling and riveting I think match of the whole tournament because it has so much riding on it and it gave us a real insight into Belgium Brazilians. Because that's been questioned in the past.
But really they look to be in troubled, doesn't they, Rosemary? They were two down early in the second half. Japanese goal from Genki Haraguchi had a superb strike from Takashi Inui. And at that point we wondered, all right, Belgium, what have you got?
They were about just 20 minutes or so left and they get back into it somewhat fortuitously. Jan Vertonghen he somehow finds the back of the net. And here's the key from Marouane Fellaini. One of the two substitutes who Roberto Martinez, the Belgian head coach (Inaudible), he got his country level. I like the fact that both teams were still desperately trying to win this, even as we went into four minutes of stoppage time.
This is pretty much the final play, the final play of the game. And it's Belgium four minutes into stoppage time. This is a devastating counterattack. You know how Romelu Lukaku just cleverly lets the ball roll through to Nacer Chadli who scores 94 minutes.
Heartbreak for Japan. Belgium are through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. They fell through to the last state four years ago in Brazil. They got through the quarters in the year of '16.
This is the real test for me. This is the so-called golden generation of Belgium football. Can they now finally go on and do it? They've still got a lot to prove.
CHURCH: Yes, and Brazil through to the quarterfinals, they'll go up against Belgium on Friday. It will be interesting to see the outcome. But sad for Mexico.
SNELL: Yes, Mexico, you know, they kind of struck by that curse, so they can't get beyond the round of 16. For the last seven World Cups now, they've been eliminated at that point, Rosemary. Really frustrating for them. A key man here, Neymar in so many ways, because Mexico's resilience
had been fairly stubborn until early in the second half of that game. It was eventually Neymar who proved the difference. And he almost dropped a second actually before the end. His shot those deflected into the path of Roberto Firmino. Two-nil in favor of the Brazilians.
Remember, they are trying to win the tournament for a record extending 6th time. They are very much a nation I feel with a point to prove because four years ago they were actually hosting the tournament and they got humiliated in the semi finals. They lost 7-1 to Germany who were the eventual winners. Absolutely humiliated in front of their home fans on that occasion. So they definitely feel that they have a point to prove, no question about that.
CHURCH: Yes. You mentioned Neymar. Some dramatic antics on the field. Everyone is talking about it.
CHURCH: And they're not happy because it deflected all of the excitement from his team.
SNELL: Yes, let's show the video here. Make of this what you will. but I'll tell you what I make of this. Because look, this is what's disappointing. It's his reaction to what happened. Now, there's no condoning what the Mexican defender Miguel Layun did there. You can't condone contact with the foot there.
SNELL: On Neymar. Remember he had surgery earlier in this year. But it's his reaction to it or should I say overreaction to it that really did light up social media, Rosemary. It drew criticism and, of course, a lot of ridicule as well out there on social media as well because this is what's disappointing for Neymar.
It's because we saw his brilliance in the game. We saw what a fabulous player he is. He was absolutely crucial in determining the outcome in that game. He scored the first goal of the match. He broke down that Mexican resilience that I mentioned.
And then you see those kind of theatrics, those kind of antics from a player that we know is capable of so much more. And I do want to look ahead very quickly to what's on tap at the World Cup.
SNELL: This thrilling World Cup, as I said. I don't want it to end.
CHURCH: No, you don't indeed.
SNELL: Have I said that before?
CHURCH: You do.
SNELL: I'll say it again. Because we have two more fixes on this for later on. Who so we got? We got England who last won the tournament over 50 years ago, would you believe that?
[03:25:03] CHURCH: You have to go back a long way.
SNELL: In fact, 1966. They take on Colombia, and we've also got Sweden and Switzerland in action. So, what can we expect from the three lines looking to snap that drought of more than half a century?
Let's bring in CNN world sports Amanda Davies.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Even as notorious England cynic, with the way this tournament has gone so far, the way the draw is panning out it's hard not to get a little bit excited, maybe even start to dream. But let's not kid ourselves. The 2014 quarterfinalists Colombia are going to be no push over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARETH SOUTHGATE, ENGLAND MANAGER: You know, to figure out more than anything else, is the players to continue to attack the tournament as we have. That shouldn't change. Now we're in the knockout phase. If anything we should feel freer. They are gathering experience. We're the youngest team left in and the most inexperienced team left in.
But we've got some old fogeys as well to help the younger ones get through it and show super leadership. And everything is ahead for this team. You know, they are really hungry. They want to do well for their country. They're incredibly proud to wear the shirt. And I'm very confident that we'll see a really good performance tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: The big question mark for Colombia is over the fitness of James Rodriguez. His limbs off after just half an hour of their last game against Senegal. And while they're saying the good news is he hasn't suffered a muscle tear. The bad news for their fans is that as you can see, he's not training with the main group and isn't expected to start.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The results of his medical tests, of his MRI he has done show that he doesn't have any serious or big injury and he is recovering very well. We still have one-and-a- half days continue following his progress. And as always we hope he will be able to play.
RADAMEL FALCAO, COLOMBIAN FOOTBALL PLAYER (through translator): It is no more that in England the people think their teams are favorites. What we want to do is focus on our skills and weapons, and what we can do tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: Standing here, we could be talking about warriors going into battle, but at this point in the tournament the only cliche being used is taking it one game at a time. Fans are finding that quite difficult because they know waiting in the quarterfinals will be a choice of team that not many would have predicted. Either Sweden or Switzerland.
Amanda Davies, CNN, Moscow.
SNELL: Yes. No question James Rodriguez absolutely crucial to Colombian's cause. Will I, who knows. Maybe, just maybe will I finally get to see England win the World Cup. We'll see. We'll have to wait and see.
CHURCH: You Brits. We'll see.
CHURCH: I mean, anything can happen.
SNELL: This could happen. Especially this World Cup, Rosemary, I'll tell you.
CHURCH: Totally. Well, the Aussies aren't going to win, we know that for sure.
SNELL: That's for sure.
CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Patrick Snell. Always a pleasure. And we'll take a short break. Back in a moment.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we're following this hour. Divers in Thailand have finally found a youth football team and their coach trapped in a cave for the past nine days. The challenge now is how to get them out. Rescuers say they may have to teach the boys to scuba dive, so they can navigate the flooded cave network.
Syrian government forces are gaining ground in Daraa province in the country's southwest. Some 200 people have been killed in this month's offensive aimed at resting control of the province from the rebels. Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agencies says the number of people displaced this month has reached 270,000.
Australia's Archbishop of Adelaide will not face jail time despite being convicted of covering up sex abuse by a pedophile priest back in the 1970s. Philip Wilson is the highest ranking church official to be convicted of a sex crime. Instead of prison, the 67-year-old received six months house arrest and six months parole due to his age and failing health.
Well, the US Secretary of State will return to North Korea Thursday, looking for details on how Kim Jong-un plans to dismantle his nuclear arsenal. The White House insists progress has been made in the talks since the Singapore Summit, but US military intelligence experts say that isn't the case. Brian Todd has our report.
(START VIDEO TAPE)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's better than anybody could have expected.
BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: New indications that the grand declarations in Singapore and the promise of a safer Korean peninsula may mean little or nothing to Kim Jong-un. CNN has learned the Pentagon's top spy agency believes Kim has no intention of completely denuclearizing his country, at least for now. That's according to an official familiar with the findings of the defense intelligence agency.
BRUCE KLINGNER, FORMER CIA ANALYST: There would be an analytic assessment which is consistent with decades of North Korean behavior. We've had a previous agreement that have all failed because North Korea has cheated or didn't fully comply with the requirements.
TODD: "The Washington Post" cites US intelligence officials saying the North Koreans are exploring ways to deceive the United States about the number of nuclear warheads, missiles and facilities they have. Believing that US officials are not aware of the full range of their activities.
Former UN weapons inspector David Albright, whose organization tracks nuclear weapons tells CNN of a secret North Korean nuclear facility called Keng Sung (ph), which he says is in full operation.
DAVID ALBRIGHT, FORMER UN WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Keng Sung (ph), they're using gas centrifuges and this is the rotor assembly, the spinning part inside and they're producing weapon-grade uranium for nuclear weapons, and the site may have up to 6,000 or more of these centrifuges.
TODD: Also, a new analysis by American researchers of satellite pictures says North Korea appears to be finishing up its expansion of a key ballistic missile manufacturing site. Despite all of this new activity by Kim's regime, President Trump says he has "really good chemistry" with the dictator and his Press Secretary says the North Koreans have acted in good faith in other ways.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In the last eight months, you haven't seen missile launches. You haven't seen -- you haven't seen the nuclear detonations. And, again, these conversations are continuing to evolve. I'm not going to get into the details, but I can tell you that progress continues to be made.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Trump's national security advisor John Bolton says the U.S. has a plan to dismantle Kim's nuclear and missile programs within a year, but that the North Koreans have to be transparent.
AMB. JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: President has been very clear he is not going to make the mistakes of prior administrations. We're going to pursue this and we'll see what happens.
TODD: Many analysts still don't believe Kim will ever give up the weapons that he, his father and grandfather worked so hard to buildup. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Korea has repeatedly said that its nuclear
arsenal is a way of defending themselves against what they defined as the U.S. hostile policy. They fear the U.S. attacking them and they point to what happen to the regimes in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya when they abandoned their nuclear program. So they said we will not be like those countries.
TODD: Even if Kim Jong-un's promises were sincere, analysts believe it would take two years for U.S. Officials to be able to verify that Kim's weapons program has been effectively dismantled and that they say, is it Kim is completely transparent and allows inspectors in from the outside. Something most experts believe he is not going to do any time soon. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
[03:35:12] CHURCH: Now Paula Hancocks joins us now from Seoul, South Korea, with more on this. Paula, Secretary Pompeo heading to North Korea for talks with Kim Jong-un's government Thursday. How delicate will those discussions be in light of these U.S. Intelligence and why is the U.S. still waiting on the promised return of the remains of the U.S. servicemen?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, that is likely to be one of the questions that the Secretary of State will be asking in Pyongyang heading there on July 5th. Now, we do know the U.S. military is ready to receive the remains of those fallen soldiers from the Korean War. It's not clear what the holdup is at this point. Certainly that will be something that the Secretary of State will be asking about basically because it was part of the declaration, that agreement that President Trump and Kim Jong-un signed in Singapore last month.
Now, also, there's a number of things that they will be talking about. So clearly this is the first face-to-face meeting between the Secretary of State and who he will be meeting with in Pyongyang, we don't have details of that at this point for the Singapore summit, so that will be key. There has been the pre-meeting between the U.S. and North Korean delegations at the DMZ on Sunday. A source have knowledge of U.S.-North Korea relations during that meeting they were trying to hammer out the schedule of the agenda of the meeting with Secretary Pompeo and specifically asking why there has been a hold up with the remains, the repatriation of those remains. That was assumed to be a fairly easy give, by the North Koreans, Rosemary?
CHURCH: And, Paula, what is being said in South Korea about this U.S. intelligence and how concerned is the South that this could perhaps derail what's been achieved so far.
HANCOCKS: Officially South Korea is not touching those reports. The intelligence reports suggesting that Kim Jong-un will never denuclearize fully. We've heard from multiple officials here saying it is inappropriate for them to comment on this. This is what we heard from the Blue House just yesterday as well, saying that it is just not appropriate for them to have an opinion on these reports, because they are reports, but the interesting thing is, of course, is that many people will be looking at this and these reports coming out of the intelligence community and saying this is what we have sought all along.
It was very difficult, if not impossible to find experts and longtime North Korean observers, people who know this regime inside and out and have covered the father and the grandfather and followed it very closely. They don't believe that Kim Jong-un is going to give up all of his nuclear weapons.
So, the fact that the intelligence community in the United States and these leaked reports from different intelligence agency are saying that they believe there may be an attempt to conceal the number of weapons, according to a Washington Post report, or to try to hide some of their other facilities. They have not been open about that is all what many experts have expected all along. Rosemary?
CHURCH: President Trump seems convinced that it is going to happen. We will watch and see as always. Our Paula Hancocks joining us there live in Seoul, South Korea, where it is nearly 4:40 in the afternoon. Many thanks.
Well, he has been quiet for some time, but now Michael Cohen is talking and what he has to say could spell trouble for President Trump.
And growing anger in the U.S. over a border patrol policy, stopping drivers near America's border with Canada. Some of those stopped think it is a form of intimidation and may be illegal. We'll have a look.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Donald Trump's long-time personal attorney once boasted about his loyalty to his former boss, but it seems Michael Cohen's loyalty has shifted, raising questions about what it means for the President. Brynn Gingras reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you with the new lawyers, are you happy?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORREPOSNDENT: Michael Cohen breaking his silence in an interview with ABC, Trump's self-proclaimed fixer, a man who has said he'd, quote, take a bullet for Donald Trump.
MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I would do anything to protect Mr. Trump.
GINGRAS: Is now making clear who his allegiance is to. To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter, and my son and this country have my first loyalty.
In a 45-minute off-camera interview, ABC says not once did Cohen praise his former boss. Instead, he signaled that if he faces federal criminal charges, he would cooperate, possibly offering information on the President, something Trump told reporters he wasn't worried about just weeks ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know if you're worried if he is going to cooperate with federal --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, because I did nothing wrong.
GINGRAS: After an FBI raid earlier this year which seized more than 4 million documents from Cohen, CNN has learned that U.S. Attorneys in Manhattan are interested in his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she had an affair with the President, which Trump denies. In the past Cohen says he facilitated the hush money alone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
GINGRAS: But when asked directly in this interview about what the President knew about the payment, Cohen declined to answer. Quote, I want to answer. One day I will answer, but for now, I can't comment further on advice of my counsel. That new counsel is Guy Petrillo, a former criminal division chief for the Southern District of New York. He is expected to take the reigns as Cohen's lead attorney by the end of this week.
It's a shift in legal strategy that could signal Cohen's willingness to cooperate with investigators. And according to ABC, that means a joint defense agreement between Cohen and the President which allowed both sides to share information could end.
This, strikingly similar to actions former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, took shortly before he flipped. When asked if Cohen worries he may be on the brink of an adversarial relationship with the President, he firmly said, quote, I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story and I will not allow others to try and depict me that way.
He also touched on the ongoing Russia investigation, telling ABC he has not been interviewed by Mueller's team yet, but would be willing. And he has provided documents to their case. Cohen disagreed with Trump's assertion that the Russia investigation is a witch hunt, telling ABC, quote, I don't like the term witch hunt. As an American, I repudiate Russia's or any other foreign government's attempt to interfere or meddle in our Democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same.
And he praised the FBI, calling authorities, quote, courteous and professional when conducting the April raids. I don't agree with those who demonized or vilify the FBI. I respect the FBI as an institution as well as their agents.
[03:45:01] After months of staying mostly quiet, Cohen still shied away from sharing what valuable information he may or may not have to any investigation, but he was clear, a lie, he is speaking out now. Quote, I want to regain my name and my reputation and my life back, he said. Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Let's take a closer look at all of this with CNN political analyst, Michael Shear in Washington. He is also the White House correspondent for "The New York Times." thank you so much for being with us.
MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITIOCAL ANALYST, THE NEW YORK TIMES WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sure, happy to be here.
CHURCH: So, Michael Cohen once said he would take a bullet for Donald Trump. Now he says he puts family and country first, signaling he may very well flip and tell all he knows about the President to the Mueller investigators. What could this mean for the President and what might Cohen have on him anyhow?
SHEAR: Well, I think it's really a concern legally and politically for the President. This is not a normal lawyer. This is not somebody who just worked on a case or a client or a couple of cases for a client. This is a fellow who for the better part of a decade or more really was the kind of fixer, the business associate for the President who handled all sorts of things, you know, both legal matters, but also problems for President Trump.
The most, you know, famous one we know about is, of course, paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, the porn star, to, you know, make that problem go away right at the end of the Presidential campaign for Donald Trump.
And so, you know, the challenge for the President is now that investigators are combing through every last bit of documents, phone calls, e-mails, everything that Michael Cohen has, the real question is what you asked, which is what does Michael Cohen have that could implicate the President in some things that the Mueller investigation is looking into. We just don't know at this point, but that is got to be what President Trump's lawyers are most concerned about.
CHURCH: Right. And so that is more the legal side. What about the political impact here on the President of the United States? Does it work against him or does it play right into Mr. Trump's narrative that this probe is a witch hunt?
SHEAR: Well, you know, it can probably be a little of both. I mean, the President has been really effective, I think, at repeatedly insisting that the prosecutors are overreaching and trying to, to sort of lay down the predicate for the public that he is the victim in all of this. And to some extent, to the extent his supporters especially, the people who are inclined to kind of be behind him politically, to the extent that they think that this is evidence of an overzealous prosecution, going after lawyers after all something not done very often in the United States.
Then that could be to his benefit, but ultimately I think it is far more likely to be politically damaging if at the end of the day when the investigation is really sort of unfurled for the American public to see, if there are really damaging details, things that the President has said, things that the President has done that are, you know, that are essentially kind of laid out in great detail from the documents that Michael Cohen had, I think that ultimately will prove to be more damaging than not.
CHURCH: Right. We'll just have to see what Michael Cohen has to reveal on all of this. I do want to turn to that other big issue, the imminent nomination of a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Now, there are suggestions that the President is more inclined to choose a woman, a conservative woman obviously, but right now prochoice Republican, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are indicating they would oppose any nominee who is hostile toward the Roe v. Wade decision on legalizing abortion.
How problematic could this prove to be for the President? Will he get approval for that nominee in the time that he wants? Because he is racing this through faster than we have ever seen in any President.
SHEAR: Yes. He really is, in part because they know they have a razor thin margin. The Republicans need to hold essentially every one of their Republicans. They can lose not one. And if they do, then the President is going to have to make another choice. The problem for the Democrats though, is that the Democrats also have to hold all of their folks, and there are several, you know, conservative Democrats in states where they're running for reelection and where opposing the President on nominee like this is also likely to be difficult.
So, the Republicans have I think the edge here, because even though as you mention there are these two female Senators who, you know, are going to have some issues with justice that is hostile to Roe v. Wade, there are a bunch of other Democrats that they can potentially pick up to replace, you know, somebody, one of those two female Senators if they dropped out.
[03:50:14] So, I still think if you were a betting person, the Republicans have the edge here. It's the Democrats who are really struggling to find enough votes to stop President Trump from getting what he wants.
CHURCH: We shall just have to see how fast this moves along. Michael Shear, thank you so much. We appreciate having you on the show.
SHEAR: Sure, happy to do it.
CHURCH: Well, people are now being stopped near the U.S. border, not the one with Mexico, but the one with Canada. It's a move that is causing concern and a great deal of anger. CNN's Martin Savidge has the story.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Driving down I-93 in New Hampshire, about 80 miles from the Canadian border, Justin Summers runs into a checkpoint operated by the U.S. border patrol. He starts recording. The border patrol agent tells him, if he wants to keep driving south, he has to answer a question. Summers tells me he resented being stopped and interrogated.
JUSTIN SUMMERS, STOPPED BY U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENTS: I indicate, hey, I don't want to answer these question and I would like to be on my way.
SAVIDGE: That didn't happen.
This is the area of the check point. Justin Summers said when he refused to answer the agent's question, they detained him and said they would hold him until he told them what they wanted to hear. In other words, indefinitely.
The message to you is, if you don't answer this question, we're going to hold you on the side of the road here until who knows when.
SUMMERS: Exactly it's kind of an intimidation tactic, I think.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I need you to pull over there.
SAVIDGE: A tactic critics say is happening more frequently and far away from the U.S./Mexico border which has been at the center of attention when it comes to immigration. This is another checkpoint in New Hampshire, Memorial Day weekend. And this was Maine just this month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to continue down the road, yes, ma'am. We need to know what country you're a citizen of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of thousands of individuals are being stopped, detained, seized and interrogated without any reasonable suspicion, without any probable cause that a crime has been committed. And that is really not how our constitution works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have anybody in the trunk?
SAVIDGE: The American civil liberties union calls the check point illegal. And blames the Trump administration's zero- tolerance immigration policy. And you don't have to live near a border to run into a checkpoint. By law, border agents can work up to 100 miles from the entire perimeter of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two-thirds of individuals living in the United States actually fall within this 100-mile region.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives a chance to see what's going on in our case, what's going on in our area.
SAVIDGE: Sector chief, Dennis Harman, says the checkpoints aren't random, but based on intelligence. He sees the questioning and detention of Americans as a minor inconvenience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's no more than a stop or inconvenience that you have at a traffic light.
SAVIDGE: The traffic light doesn't query me what I'm doing. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True. But we're not asking you what you're doing
or why. We are just asking a simple question, are you a citizen of the United States, or of what country are you a citizen.
SAVIDGE: But you will delay my moving forward until I give you some response.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which the courts have affirmed that we're allowed to do.
SAVIDGE: The checkpoint in Maine did apprehend undocumented immigrant. But Harman couldn't say how many Americans had to be stopped and questioned to make that happen. Meanwhile, in neighboring New Hampshire, Justin Summers was eventually released and says he'd do it all again. After all, he lives in the state who has not always lived free or die.
SUMMERS: And I don't want to be a nation of checkpoints. I don't want to be a nation where you have to prove that you have the right to be where you are doing your daily activities.
SAVIDGE: The U.S. border patrol at least up here says for now those checkpoints are going to continue. And the ACLU has some advice if you run across one. As an American, you don't have to give an answer, but if you don't answer, be aware you'll likely be detained. And even though the law states you can only be detained briefly, your idea of what is brief versus what the U.S. border patrol considers brief could be very different. Martin Savidge, CNN, Bangor, Maine.
CHURCH: A mystery million dollar gifted toys, nobody knows who is behind it. But a lot of needy children will be happy with whoever decided to be Santa Claus in July. We'll have that story for you after the break.
[03:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: How about this. A million dollars' worth of toys is getting lots of attention. A mystery donor bought up that amount of inventory from Toys R Us right before the bankrupt retailer's last day of business. The purchaser claimed everything at one store in Raleigh, North Carolina. And in some others as well. All of the merchandise will be going to children in need. People are speculating about who the secret buyer might be, but that has not been revealed just yet. Someone just decided to make it Christmas in July, a commendable gesture indeed.
And if you're a dancer with Moscow's famed (inaudible) ballet, what do you do back stage when Russia is on the pitch at the world cup?
They could not take their eyes off Russia's big upset of Spain. Dressed in full costume, the ballerinas gathered around a mobile device and caught what they could of the match before going on stage. That is true multi-skilling indeed. Thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to
connect with me any time on Twitter. I'd love to hear from you. And the news continues now with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. You're watching CNN. Have a great day.