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US President Is Criticizing NATO Allies Yet Again Just As He's About To Meet Them; Daring Mission Inside The Cave In Thailand Detailed; France Secures Place In The World Cup Final; NATO Leaders Hope To 'Avert Disaster' Amid Concern Trump May Undermine Alliance; Rescuers In Japan Searching For Flooding Survivors; Trump Admin Misses Deadline To Reunite Kids, Parents; England Fans Don Coach Southgate's Waistcoat Look. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 02:00   ET


LYNDA KINKADE, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: Trump diplomacy, the US President is criticizing NATO allies yet again just as he's about to meet them. Rescued and recovering, the daring mission inside the cave in Thailand. New details from the doctors now treating the 12 boys and their coach. And France secures their place in the World Cup final needing just one goal to top Belgium in the semi-finals.

Hello, and welcome to all of you joining us from around the world. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to "CNN Newsroom." The US President is just hours away from coming face to face with NATO allies. He's been calling out on defense spending and trade. Donald Trump's combative stance along with his upcoming meeting with Russia's President makes for a very tense NATO Summit. Fred Pleitgen has more.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump in Europe for three tough meetings with American allies and adversaries. Clear on which meeting he is most comfortable with.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have NATO. I have the U.K. which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?

PLEITGEN: President Trump has ripped into America's NATO partners, saying they don't spend enough on defense while the US shoulders the bulk of the alliance's cost. European politicians calling on Trump not to forget who his friends are.

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many. Dear Mr. President, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO Summit.

PLEITGEN: NATO's loss might be the Kremlin's gain. Vladimir Putin's spokesman saying the Russians have nothing to do with the turmoil between America and its allies, but clearly not unhappy about the weakened alliance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through an interpreter): This is an alliance that was constructed to serve the purpose of confrontation and our attitude is based on this belief. What the alliance is doing long-term, I mean them getting closer to our border and expanding military infrastructure towards our borders just proves the essence of the alliance.

PLEITGEN: Russian pundits and politicians feel President Trump might be moving America away from its European allies and closer to Russia. State TV even joking that the Brits may have staged the recent poisoning of two people with Novichok, the same military grade nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy in England earlier this year to derail the upcoming Trump-Putin summit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through an interpreter): There's a vast field for conspiracy theories given that Trump is coming to the UK and with the NATO Summit coming up, they're gearing up to place blame on and prepare Trump ahead of his meeting with Putin.

PLEITGEN: The US allies will be closely watching both the NATO summit and the Trump-Putin meeting, looking to see whether America's President really will have an easier time with the Russian leader than with long-standing partners. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


KINKADE: International diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson joins us now from Brussels. Good to have you with us, Nic. This meeting no doubt is expected to be one of the most difficult NATO Summits in years. Even on his flight there, the US President sent tweet after tweet attacking NATO and we heard as in that piece, the chief, the European Council President firing back.

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: Yes, Donald Tusk is pushing back. He has warned the United States that the European allies who is part of this transatlantic partnership are the best allies that he could want, and not only that, the United States is running short on allies. What it's indicating is - and we've heard this before as well is that this isn't just about money. This isn't just about NATO meeting those financial commitments that they are working towards that they've committed to working towards, but it's also about the blood and treasure of all of these different NATO allied countries who have come and stood beside shoulder to shoulder as Donald Tusk said, shoulder to shoulder with the United States when the United States needed it after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

NATO sent troops to Afghanistan, and as Donald Tusk said, there were 870 different European servicemen and women who have lost their lives in support of that mission, so this is what President Trump can expect to hear more of here, but he is, as you say is doubling down, saying should he be asking NATO members for back payments for payments ...


ROBERTSON: ... that he would say would be due for falling behind falling in arrears over the past number of years, Lynda.

KINKADE: That's right and surprisingly, in the past, he has called NATO obsolete, but we must point out to our viewers that the Senate in the US Tuesday, voted on NATO and called on the President to prioritize the strategy against Russia which it says is undermining US democracy and support NATO and that vote passed 97 to 2. What does that say about the US President? Is he out of touch with his own administration?

ROBERTSON: I think what is happening here and this was a nonbinding vote as you say from the Senate and it echoes what we heard from Senator McCain who sort of addressed them in a slightly different manner. Obviously, McCain has been critical of President Trump and he is a Republican and he is well versed in international military affairs, and the point that is being made here is really to the United States NATO allies, the partners here if you will, to say, "Look, our commitment to you, our commitment to everything that we do is important," and this is sort of the understanding in European capitals, at least is that President Trump is not going to be the leader of the United States forever.

You know, maybe for two more years, maybe for six more years, but if they can sort of weather this tumultuous phase right now, they might get back to a more normal relationship where they can be more easily, if you will, made agreements around the table. So, I think what the Senate is saying is a message not just for President Trump, but to his NATO allies to sort of say (inaudible) ...

KINKADE: We may have just lost our link there to Nic Robertson, but we will come back to hear him in the coming hours. But I want to go now to Thailand where doctors say that 12 boys and their football coach rescued from a flooded cave, they are in a surprisingly good mental and physical condition. Crowds cheered as the last four boys and their coach were brought out on Tuesday. They were trapped for 18 days.

Doctors say the boys lost an average of about two kilograms of body weight, some though are now being allowed visits from their parents.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost all of them showed symptoms of lung infection because they all had high levels of white blood cells, so the blood samples are being sent back now. If we don't find any abnormality, we will stop intravenous injections sooner than planned. So far, the assessment of their health is very, very good.


KINKADE: Well, the rescue effort truly has been a global operation and it has captured the world's attention. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.


MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A mission that defied the odds with an outcome that many are calling a miracle. If there are days when the forces of faith, science and sheer determination could be perfectly aligned, July 10th could be counted as one of them with the successful rescue of the last of the boys from the Wild Boars football team and their coach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through a translator): We managed to do something that we never expected we could do. It's the world's first.

RIVERS: On June 23rd, the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach left their bikes at the entrance of the cave in Thailand. Monsoon rains trapped them so far inside the deep cavern that more than 1,000 troops and an international team of rescue workers couldn't find them for nearly ten days. First contact came on July 2nd. Two British divers find the boys and their coach huddled on a rock ledge, four kilometers into the cave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?




RIVERS: These were some of the first images the world would see of the boys' proof of life for desperate families in a galvanizing moment of the people trying to save them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are very strong.

RIVERS: In the following days a lifeline to the outside world was setup with divers carrying food and medicine into the cave and rescue workers working around the clock to pump water out of it, but on July 6th, a tragic reminder of how dangerous this situation was. Sergeant Saman Kunan, a retired Thai Navy SEAL died as he returned from an operation to deliver oxygen tanks to the group.

Meanwhile conditions in the cave continued to worsen. Oxygen levels dropped to dangerously low levels and more heavy rain where in the forecast. So on Sunday, July 8th, a day Thai officials called D-day, the first wave of rescue operations began. Four boys with a diver escort on either side navigated the tight twists, turns and sharp passages of the cave to be met on the outside by an elated global audience.


RIVERS: Monday, a second rescue wave would follow with an additional four boys brought out. The last of the boys plus their coach emerged Tuesday along with the doctor and three Navy SEAL divers. For now the boys remain in a nearby hospital getting medical treatment not yet at home, but safe with the prospect of many more days to come. Matt Rivers, CNN, Chiang Rai, Thailand.


KINKADE: Well, for more on the boys and their coach, let's go to Chiang Rai, Thailand to CNN's Ivan Watson and Ivan, this is nothing short of miraculous that all the boys and their coach were pulled alive from this cave, and as we heard from that press conference just a short time ago, all scathingly in good condition.

IVAN WATSON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, on the mend. The first wave of boys no longer wearing the sunglasses that were protecting their eyes after more than two weeks in the darkness and the kind of outlook looks pretty solid, Lynda. According to the Thai doctors that all of these boys are going to make a very swift physical recovery that - some of them were suffering from lung infections, but they are responding to antibiotics. They were all malnourished of course and they've been slowly reintroduced to solid foods and they are slowly being reintroduced to their parents as well with the priority being keeping the quarantine, keeping the sterile conditions as long as their immune systems are still quite vulnerable.

But again, you couldn't ask for a much more positive medical assessment of the boys, and certainly of the rescuers who helped keep them alive, spending more than a week in that air pocket in that cave with the boys and then preparing them for the just remarkable rescue effort that was conducted over three days getting the 13 members of the Wild Boars youth soccer team out from what could have frankly become their crypt. Instead, they're breathing fresh air and looking forward to a life with their families and their loved ones.

KINKADE: Yes, it really is wonderful and it really was an incredible international effort to save these boys. Talk to us about the team of people, the divers who helped rescue them that were, really an international coalition of experts.

WATSON: For sure, I mean, this was a Thai-led multinational operations, so you had divers from Australia, from the US, from China, from Thailand, from a variety of countries who lent their expertise and quite frankly, their bravery to this effort. I spoke with a representative of the US military, the US Pacific Command that had 40 people on the ground here assisting with this effort and any discussion about the incredible bravery and the success of this operation which the chief of the rescue operation has now dubbed mission possible.

Any discussion of that, you have to mention the fact that there was a former Thai Royal Navy SEAL diver who volunteered to be part of the rescue effort as so many others did and ultimately, gave his life last week when he ran out of air in those cramped claustrophobic dangerous tunnels as part of that rescue effort. So, there was one person who paid the ultimate price and that just underscores how dangerous this all was, and what an incredible effort it was and an incredible success that yes, one man gave his life, but ultimately, the rest of the kids made it out safely after Thailand and people from around the world invested so much in this effort.

KINKADE: Yes, Saman Kunan, that former ex-Navy diver who gave his life for this mission. Incredible story. Ivan Watson, great to have you on this story. We will speak to you again very soon. Thank you.

Well, as you can imagine, we are getting emotional reaction from the boys' families. Parents are waiting around the clock at the hospital for a chance to hug their children. One of the boys' aunt spoke with CNN's David McKenzie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through an interpreter): At first, when there were news that four boys were out and there was rumor that my nephew is among them, but we were still not sure. Is this real? Is this real? But it would be the happiest if all 13 are out. Everybody including rescuers and today, it is.

I think that this is one of the most traumatic experiences for him. Every single second he was with hunger, the cold, the ...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through an interpreter): ... darkness. I want to thank you all. Thanks for all the support. Thank you for everything, the love, the thoughtfulness, the fun, as well as lots of well wishes given to our families. It is the greatest gift of all. We do not know how we could ever repay you. We don't even have anything to give back as an act of appreciation. If it's all possible, I would get down on my knees and bow to each and every one of you. Thank you, thank you, thanks to all.


KINKADE: Many, many thanks, indeed. Well, doctors say the parents can visit the boys in rooms if they show they are free of infection. Still to come Britain's political survivor fights on, but now Prime Minister Theresa May has the daunting task of convincing critics the Brexit plan is not already doomed. Plus jubilation in the streets of Paris as team France is headed to the World Cup finals. We will have highlights and a preview of the other semifinal match to come.

Welcome back, the Trump administration has fired its latest shot in America's trade dispute with China. On Tuesday, officials released a list of additional Chinese goods worth $200 bilion that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period.

China's commerce ministry called the move unacceptable. Imposable tariffs would target Chinese seafood, fruit, vegetables, yarn, wool, rain jackets, baseball gloves. President Trump has said the move is meant to punish China for intellectual property theft. It comes after both countries imposed billions of dollars of tariffs against each other on Friday. US Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican criticized the Trump administration's plan calling it reckless.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has so far survived the party revolt over her Brexit plan to keep close economic ties with the EU. But it won't be easy for her to deliver a smooth and orderly Brexit. But Brexit supporters and skeptics (ph) have serious concerns about her proposal. We get the latest from CNN's Nina dos Santos.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Theresa May managed to cling on to power and also crucially not to have to water down her plans on Brexit which many ardent Euro skeptics in her party challenged her on by deciding to resign.


DOS SANTOS: She moved very quickly over the last 48 hours to fill the holes in her Cabinet as some junior ministers resigned and also big senior members as well. This means that we now have four key parts of the British government - the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home Secretary and also the Foreign Secretary - those positions now being held by people who advocated staying inside the European Union in the 2016 referendum. Whether or not that means the UK will eventually end up with a softer Brexit has yet to be seen.

With this latest political drama now having been sorted Theresa May assembled her newly-reshuffled cabinet early in the morning and says she was eager to get down to work.

The focus now shifts toward international affairs later on in the week with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel already in London to host a summit on the western Balkans. She had a press conference with Theresa May.

May will then be heading to NATO for the big summit in Brussels before hosting the US President Donald Trump. And even before he got on the plane to Europe, he didn't waste any time in commenting on the latest political shenanigans in Westminster.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Theresa May remain in power?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, that's up to the people. I get along with her very well. I have very good relations. Yes. That's certainly up to the people.


DOS SANTOS: And it wasn't just Theresa May who Donald Trump he said he was keen to meet. He also left a parting shot by saying he was keen to meet Boris Johnson, a long-time thorn in Theresa May's side who precipitated this crisis by resigning as Foreign Secretary after the resignation on David Davis, her Brexit Secretary. No comments from Downing Street on how well those comments from the US President went down. Nina dos Santos, CNN, in London.


KINKADE: We're also learning new details about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting last week with North Korean officials. A CNN source with knowledge of the talks said the trip did not go well and it did not move the relationship between the two countries forward and Michelle Kozinski explains.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is according to a source with familiarity with the discussion saying that the sense in the White House is that this trip of Pompeo back to North Korea to meet with at the very least, Kim Jong-un's right hand guy went about as badly as it could have gone, that ultimately, the North Korean side seems to be in the words of this source, "messing around," and not really serious at that point about moving things forward.

Also, Pompeo was apparently promised at some point, there's another meeting with Kim Jong-un himself and that never happens, so that sent a very bad message that things are at the very least not going the way the US would like them to go.


KINKADE: Now, Michelle Kosinki reporting there. Well, next hour, we'll speak to a UN official who says he is on a mission to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in North Korea. He'll be joining me live from Pyongyang.

The city of light is aglow over the World Cup. That is the reaction from the crowd in Paris after France scored a single goal against Belgium on Tuesday. But the win put them through to their first World Cup finals in 12 years. The party on Champs Elysees carried on well into the evening. Look at those pictures. The Blue will face the winner of England versus Croatia which kicks off in just about 12 hours from now.

CNN World Sport anchor, Patrick Snell is here with all the highlights. What jubilation, so much elation on the streets of Paris.

PATRICK SNELL, HOST, WORLD SPORT: Yes, it reminds me of scenes from 1998, Lynda when France won the World Cup for the first time in their history, can they make it a second time? We'll know on Sunday after the final there in Moscow. Look ahead to England-Croatia just a moment. This is a look of course of how it all unfolded. The French victory over Belgium, just one goal with was decided.

There is a reason why Hugo Lloris is considered the best goalkeeper at this World Cup by the international team (inaudible) and we just saw it there. Belgium frustrations exacerbated when Samuel Umtiti headed home what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Now, Marouane Fellaini there should have picked him up, the Belgian in defense should have picked up on Umtiti, he did with (inaudible). He tried to make amends with the hit of his own, but just went wild with the post. Symptomatic of the Belgians right there really, just not getting the job done in the end and once again, Hugo Lloris proving just a man mount in there, (inaudible) and at the final whistle, it would be the French keeper saving the moment.

Look at this, France through to the World Cup finals for a third time. You can see what it means to their players there, Lynda. They are absolutely ecstatic of course, the other side of the coin, is heartbreak for the vanquished opponents, Belgium.


KINKADE: Yes, tough if you lose, but great for the French and of course, 12 hours from now, England take on Croatia and I can see you support the English coach, the white coat wearing coach.

SNELL: What would make you think that? It is after all #waistcoatwednesday. This is all in tribute to England's head coach Gareth Southgate, yes, the three lions continue in their quest for what would be, they hope, if they get to the final, they would have win it for the first time since 1966, that's over 50 years ago, but what's all of this about waistcoat Wednesday, well, it's all the range right now where the fans are trying and can't get enough to this fashion accessories as they say, go down to Southgate to sartorial elegance personified shall we say on the touch line. It really has caught the imagination of many of those fans since England's World Cup campaign began. We're told, it's being reported, sales of the famed waistcoat reportedly up by some 35%, would you believe?


GARETH SOUTHGATE, COACH, ENGLAND TEAM: I've had this before I was not a renowned fashion icon throughout my playing career so, it's rather strange to feel that way now, but we are really proud of the support that we are receiving. We can feel the energy and we can feel the support from home and it's a very special feeling. It's a privilege for us.


SNELL: Okay, that's Gareth Southgate there. So what about their opponents, Croatia, they are a 1998 semifinalist and they really should not be in any way underestimated. They got to the last four twenty years ago and it's certainly, they have star quality when you look at it on the field of play there. They've got Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, both key figures of course for their club sides at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and here is why I think they really could pose a threat later on. They were extremely impressive in the group stages as well. They won all three of their games, trouncing with Lionel Messi and Argentina 3-0 along the away.

If they can get back to that kind of form, that is going to make life very tough for the English, we shall see in a fascinating second semifinal ahead.

KINKADE: It is very exciting. We're very much looking forward to it. Patrick Snell, good to have you with us.

SNELL: Do you like the waistcoat?

KINKADE: I love the waistcoat. I think the English coach is very fashionable and you look very dapper.

SNELL: Thank you so much.

KINKADE: We're okay with that. Well, with those rescued boys safely in a Thai hospital. Now CNN ventured into the cave where they were trapped. We'll have a look at what they experienced inside when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We spend at least 70% for NATO and frankly, it helps them a

lot more than it helps us.


KINKADE: US President refrained that has NATO members on edge going into this summit. Also, immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the US border were reunited Tuesday, but only a few of them, not all.



[02:30:36] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Let's update you on our top stories this hour. U.S. President Trump is hours away from what is expected to be attend meeting with allies of the NATO Summit. Before landing in Brussels, he slammed alliance members for not paying enough for defense. In light of the European Union for what he view is unfair trading practices.

China is blasting the Trump administration's plan for another $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods calling the move unacceptable. U.S. officials have identified thousands of items that could face 10 percent tariffs including food, clothing, and appliances. Both countries imposed billions of dollars in tariffs against each other on Friday.

The last of the boys trapped in a cave in Thailand announced safety in the hospital. Doctors say they're in a good mental and physical condition. Rescuers brought out the final four boys and their coach Tuesday. Some of those rescued only this week are now allowed to visit with their families. The CNN crew went inside the cave on Tuesday after all the boys and their coach were rescued. Here's our David McKenzie.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a spectacular entrance of the Tanluan cave system and the boys had no idea when they came in here that the rains would flow in, and that their saga would capture the world's attention. They heavy flee deeper into the cave system as the water streamed in and it was here where the rescuers first mobilized to get them out. The boys survived by drinking water from the roof and they didn't eat any food for nine days. You can imagine the joy when a British diver crept up through the water nine days after they went missing. Everyone thought that they were dead and that was the beginning of this incredible rescue mission.

When they started their mission, the water was much higher than where it is now. You can see the measuring stick and they pumped water out 24 hours a day for days and days down the mountain. That allowed them the space in the roof of the cabins to get in with those extra divers, and a short enough distance to bring the boys out. And the last people to emerged were the four Thai Navy SEALs after those incredible days of rescue. No one thought they could pull this rescue off, but they did using a combination of expert divers and incredible teamwork. David McKenzie, CNN, inside the cave in Tanluan.


KINKADE: Certainly was incredible teamwork. U.S. President Trump has been critical of NATO since his presidential campaign at one point calling the organization obsolete. That has alliance members uneasy about what he'll say or do at the summit just a few hours from now. Barbara Starr has more on the president dramatically different stand from his predecessors.


BARBARA STARR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump still bitterly complaining about the alliance that has provided much of U.S. and European security for nearly 70 years.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We spent at least 70 percent for NATO, and frankly, it helps them a lot more than it helps us.

STARR: It's all raising the fundamental question of President Trump really is prepared to upend the global world order that has have the support of generations of U.S. presidents and has supported U.S. forces across countless battlefields.

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Europe was first to respond on the large scale when the U.S. was attacked and called for solidarity after 9/11. European soldiers have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in Afghanistan.

STARR: Today's rhetoric mimics Trump's 2016 campaign claims.

TRUMP: The U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.

STARR: Stoking fears, the U.S. may remove troops and weapons from Europe. But that maybe easier said than done. There are now over 70,000 U.S. troops in Europe, many in critical spots. A reality even Trump's Defense Secretary who fought alongside NATO forces for decades acknowledges its importance.

JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: In a world to watch and change, NATO stands firm as an island of stability and a turbulency.

[02:35:08] STARR: Trump's approach of taking on U.S. allies while maintaining a friendly position with Russian President Vladimir Putin stands in stark contrast to Republican icon in the same situation 30 years ago.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our first priority is to maintain a strong and healthy partnership between North America and Europe. We will never sacrifice the interest of this partnership in any agreement with the Soviet Union.


KINKADE: Well, joining us now is Steven Erlanger. He's The New York Times Chief Diplomatic Correspondent. Good to have you with us, Steven. Diplomatic if closes, in other word many will use to describe the current president who spent much of his flight to Brussels attacking his NATO allies calling them delinquent asking if they will reimburse the U.S. How will this strong-arm strategy work there?

STEVEN ERLANGER, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, he's done it before. I mean he doesn't understand how NATO worked. He pretends that all of America's defense budget goes to defend Europe which is simply not true. He exaggerates the amount of money the United States spends and underestimates the amount of money European allies spent. He has been important I think in pushing European and getting allies to spend more for defense, but that's a sovereign issue. They don't owe NATO anything and they don't owe the United States money. And the guideline he keeps talking about of two percent of GDP is to be reached by 2024. It's an aim, not a commitment. And we're four years into that pledge. There's still six years left to go.

And European allies are spending more, considerably more. Every NATO ally is spending more in real terms on defense considerably more than they did four years ago when this pledge was first made. So Trump arise pushing the same old thing which by now is beginning to really annoy people because they hear the anger. They fear a president who suddenly doesn't seem to understand America's own interest in protecting Europe and NATO's design to deter Russia. And Mr. Trump is about to go in this very unexplainable bromance he seems to want with Vladimir Putin, to go see Mr. Putin. So the hope is the Europeans oddly hope that John Bolton who's a very hard line national security adviser and who is no friend of Russia will constrain President Trump in his clear desire to favor Russia over European allies.

KINKADE: I want to play some sound for our viewers of what the U.S. president had to say about his agenda including that meeting with President Putin just before he took off on Air Force One. Take a listen.


TRUMP: So I have NATO. I have the U.K. which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin maybe the easiest of them all, who would think.


KINKADE: Putin of course is a former KGB spy. He's running a country accused of interfering in U.S. elections among other elections around the world. Is President Trump underestimating him?

ERLANGER: Well, I don't know if he's underestimating. He's probably would be easier. Trump is speaking to another leader who doesn't have to talk to his allies. He doesn't have to talk to Congress. He's not going to talk to anyone. I mean he's a dictator. He's an authoritarian dictator. Sometimes I think maybe Trump wants the same. He seems very fatigue with Congress and it will be harder for him in NATO because there are 28 other countries who are full members of NATO. And he's going to have to cope with them. And in Britain, he has to deal with Theresa May who's having her own problems and he's trying to balance her own country general dislike for President Trump with her need for a better trade deal from the United States once Britain leaves the European Union. So for -- in the president's mind, it's easier to do a one on one surely than to deal with 29 other people.

KINKADE: And when it comes to that meeting with President Putin, even some people within his own party are concerned about what could take place. Let's listen to a sound from Senator Bob Corker.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIR OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I hope there are people present during the meeting and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you say that?

CORKER: I just do. I just -- I just hope there are people around him and some others hopefully, Pompeo.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: When the president met with President Xi, when the president met with Kim Jong-un, they took him to the cleaners it seems. It's even worse for him to meet with a very, very clever out for himself man like President Putin alone.


[02:40:14] KINKADE: It was Democrat Chuck Schumer speaking there. What is the risk that President Trump will meet one in one with the Russian president?

ERLANGER: I don't think there's a huge amount of risk frankly. I mean he can't -- he's the President of the United States but he's not all powerful. The risk people fear is that he will do what he did with Kim Jong-un which was unilaterally announced the suspending or stopping of military exercises and with North Korea or in this case aimed at Russia. And he did that in Singapore without telling the Pentagon or South Korea. So he's capable of saying things that -- and talking about things on his own. It's less clear he's able to actually get them done. I mean after Singapore, he proclaimed that North Korea has agreed to, you know, denuclearize. It's quite clear that's not true. So the risk is I think for most allies is that Trump will feel so much more comfortable with Putin.

He will begin to try to dismantle the political unity of the west in the face of the Russian annexation of Crimea, the Russian military involvement in Ukraine, Russian meddling in elections not just in the United States but in the European Union itself. And, of course, don't forget, Russia has been accused of assassinating -- trying to assassinate a former agent of his in Britain. And now, a woman has just died in Britain from the same Novichok poison. So the Europeans worry it's very hard if you have a disruptive NATO Summit which some people don't expect by the way to then go see Putin on the back of a sense that the U.S. is splitting from its alliance, and the alliance is designed to deter Russia. That's the real anxiety rather than he's going to actually do something that will throw something important away.

KINKADE: Ye. The optics certainly don't look good. Steven Erlanger from New York Times, thanks so much for your perspective in all of that.

ERLANGER: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, Japan is trying to recover after some of the worst floods in decades. Now, rescuers are going house to house looking for survivors. But there is a new weather threat. Also ahead, the U.S. government failed to meet a court ordered deadline to reunite children and parents separated at the southern border. So what's next?


[02:45:21] KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, rescue crews in Japan are trying to find survivors after the country's worst floods in almost four decades. At least 167 people were killed when torrential rains led a massive flash flood and triggered landslides.

2 million people were forced to flee their homes, and thousands remain without power or running water. Now officials are warning more rain is possible in areas already devastated.

There's also another weather development. We're watching millions of Eastern China are in the path of Typhoon Maria at this hour. Our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with the details. How's it looking, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Lynda. This was a menacing storm, a couple of days ago. It is weekend a little bit but still among the stronger storms are seen make landfall in this part of China in over a decade.

And I want to touch on what's happening here, because very organized feature on satellite imagery as Typhoon Maria moved ashore in the last four or five hours across the areas around Fuzhou, China.

But look at this, across areas of Taiwan, we know tremendous mountains here. It has some of the highest density of tall mountains in the world. Taiwan does, upwards of 286 mountains that rise to at least 3,000 meters or higher.

And the reason that significant is when you have a tropical system come by, all of that moisture squeezed up the mountains. As it rises, it cools, compresses, and you have heavy rainfall comedown. And Taiwan has been hit tremendously with the storm that moved the shore over China with heavy rainfall.

We've had upwards of 400 millimeters reported. Again, this was just a brush by of a system for Taiwan. But, now you can see some of the images impacting that region. But, the storm system as it moves over Eastern China now impacting 100 million people with tropical storm- force winds. About 13 million people with typhoon strength winds.

So, certainly, a wide-reaching area is going to feel the impacts of this system, and you notice the wind gusts. This is going to begin to weaken here over the next several hours as it interacts with land. But very mountainous terrain ahead of it, so we'll watch the system, move a short over the next several days and as it does, rain itself out over hundreds of millions of people potentially moving over this region.

So, watch what happens here. The heavy rainfall generally 200 to 300 millimeters some areas certainly see higher amounts. But, what is left of this feature actually makes a right turn and eventually brings heavy rainfall across portions of Beijing. Potentially, the Korean Peninsula, as well.

Doesn't look like Japan gets in on this, fortunately, but you're tuning in Beijing. Get ready for a wet pattern in the next week or so. A lot of rainfall and some of this has to do with what is left to the typhoon at that point, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right, Pedram. Good to get that update from you, thank you so much.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, the Trump administration has -- had until Tuesday to reunite more than 100 children under the age of five with their parents. After they've been separated with the U.S. Mexico border. Well, the U.S. government failed to do that. CNN's Ed Lavandera, reports.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facing a looming deadline, immigration officials started the process of reuniting the youngest children under the age of five with their parents who were separated under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy.

CNN witnessed children moved in vans to Immigration Customs Enforcement facilities where the reunions took place in Arizona and South Texas. The reunions were mandated by a federal judge, but the Trump administration will not meet the deadline.

In all, the Department of Homeland Security, says it can reunite 38 of the 102 children under the age of five it's currently holding. But a federal judge says the government should be able to reunite 63 by the end of the day. A Department of Homeland Security official defended the agency's efforts to reunite these families.

CHRIS MEEKINS, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (through telephone): Our process may not be as quick as some would like, but there is no question that it is protecting children.

LAVANDERA: Trump administration officials say the reunions have been delayed by efforts to verify that the detained adults are the biological parents of the children. One example they point to officials say, three adults facing a DNA test admitted they weren't parents. But immigrant activists say, this is a crisis created by the federal government and should be resolved much faster.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't really understand that they poured all kinds of resources into separating them. Can we double those resources back to reunite them? This is a huge nation with great resources. We could have done this in a flash. And we can't we can still do it.

LAVANDERA: Homeland Security officials say the reunited families will be released while they navigate the asylum process in the United States, and will be monitored with GPS ankle bracelets.

Immigration attorney, Jodi Goodwin who represents 25 separated families, says if the federal government is struggling to reunite this small number of separated children, what's going to happen in a few weeks when roughly 3,000 more children must be reunited?

[02:50:04] JODI GOODWIN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: If the government could not put together a plan to organize only a hundred children to be reunited in two weeks, I think that it's incredibly questionable that the government would be able to reunify 2,900 children in the next two weeks. I'm very skeptical.


KINKADE: Well, the top government official overseeing the return of these children to their parents made some surprising comments, Tuesday. The Health and Human Services Secretary told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that a great service is being provided to these detains children, and he explained the delays.


ALEX AZAR, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: What we're doing is we're going to case-by-case, individual by individual to confirm that they're -- that who the parents are? To confirm that it's valid, they assertion of parentage to confirm that it's a safe individual that they should be with. And we're sweeping broadly. That's why there's been some confusion about the numbers publicly because the court order who asked us to go back in time indefinitely. And also not -- it was not limited to the zero-tolerance policy.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: But it sounds, Mr. Secretary, excuse me for interrupt. It sounds like you really didn't have a plan in place. Even though, the then Homeland Security secretary and other White House chief of staff John Kelly, told me in March of last year more than a year ago that the administration was considering a family separation policy as a deterrent to illegal immigration. The Attorney General Jeff Session -- Sessions, he launched that new policy in April of this year. Why was the administration so unprepared to handle the logistics, the heartbreak of what's going on?

AZAR: Well, Wolf, we -- this is what we do is handle separated kids. I've got 12,029 separated kids. We handle over 40,000 separated kids a year because their parents send them illegally into this country or they leave their parents and come in this country illegally.

And most recently, we have some that have come into our care through zero-tolerance, taking care of these kids in a safe environment. And then, placing them with a full critical issues, what we do.


BLITZER: But why can't you be place -- if this is the policy, and it's been in place, it's been in the works for more than a year, you've been gearing up for this, why can't you meet this federal deadline?

AZAR: Well, Wolf, just two weeks ago, the court said to put them back in with parents who are in ICE custody. Within a two-week period, on average it takes us 58 days for a normal placement of a child to outplace them to a safe environment here in the United States. So, placing them back into ICE's custody with an individual purporting to be the parent was never an expectation that's never been part of what our office of refugee resettlement program does with these individuals.

And certainly not within a two-week time period. So, we have deployed the full resources of our department to ensure that we can meet the court's deadline as much as possible, as much of with the -- with the court permission to check parentage and to confirm that these are people that are safe and we have found.

As I said, 16 out of 102 individuals, these are not individuals who should have these kids with them. They are --

WOLF: There's -- this criminals?

AZAR: Or they are not the parents, they've lied about being parents.


KINKADE: Well, he went on to say that caring for these children is "One of the great acts of American generosity and charity."

Well, still to come, it is waistcoat Wednesday, across England. Could the country's hottest fashion item bring good luck to their team as they face Croatia at the World Cup?


[02:55:06] KINKADE: Well, to the World Cup now where England and Croatia face-off just hours from now in their semi-final match in Moscow. Croatia is hoping to reach the final for the first time. While England tries to end its 52-year wait to return. The winner will take on France.

Dedicated British fans are gearing up by wearing waistcoat like coach Gareth Southgate. Apparently, some fans think they're quite fashionable and that they may bring good luck to their team. Our Don Riddell, explains.

DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Welcome to waistcoat Wednesday, where wearing a waistcoat for the World Cup is worried it that is if you're an England fan.

The dedicated supporters are gearing up for the semi-final match against Croatia by supporting their waistcoat in honor of coach Gareth Southgate. He's been supporting it on the sidelines complete with trousers and dress shirt and tie. Even if he is a little modest about all of the attention.


GARETH SOUTHGATE, MANAGER, ENGLAND NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: I think I've said this before I was not a renowned fashion icon throughout my playing career. So it's rather strange to feel that way now, but we are really proud of the support that we're receiving. We've had the chance to make a difference. Thank you very much.

RIDDELL: But the fashion trend just caught on, and now fans are hoping it means good luck for the team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest with you, a lot of funny feeling I think, this is what momentum is so good. And you know, especially now we're already turned up with the special Gareth waistcoats, and then, he'll plant it.

RIDDELL: The idea has taken off on social media. People have posted photos of their very own waistcoats on Twitter with the #Waistcoats coming home and #WaistcoatWednesday. Supporters taking part in a waistcoat Wednesday will also be helping to raise funds for a blood cancer charity. Sales of them in both the U.K. and Moscow have skyrocketed. Department store Marks and Spencers' reported more than a 35 percent increase in sales, and say they're nearly sold out. Leaving fans scrambling for the must-have fashion accessory. Only time will tell if the waistcoat will boost England's bid to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966. Don Riddell, CNN.


KINKADE: That does it for this edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Lynda Kinkade, thanks for joining me. We are making connect with me anytime on Twitter. I'll be back in just a few moments with another hour of news. You're watching CNN.