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EARLY START

Trump Demands NATO Address Trade Issues; Focus Shifts To Rescued Coach & Players Health; Grim Assessment Of Pompeo's Visit To N. Korea. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 03:30   ET

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


[03:30:02] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: And we've got our Nic Robertson over there in Brussels at NATO headquarters. Do we have him?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey Nic, are you there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I am indeed. Good morning, good morning again.

MARQUARDT: Good morning Nic.

ROMANS: Hi. Good morning. What do you make of that piece of tape we just watched?

ROBERTSON: You know, it feels a bit like, yes, it does. It does feel like insulting but it was almost sort of getting a dressing down. He answered back. He answered with the points that we stated in. That he would have answered back privately and perhaps did not expect to have the cameras there at that moment.

And President Trump talking about Angela Merkel and the, you know, sort of energy security and Germany, doing lots of business with Russia. And then Russia, you know, the United States needing to bail Germany out because of the threat from Russia. I mean the reality in Europe is that yes, Angela Merkel was the one that trusted President Putin. She speaks Russian.

And she's from East Germany. She had a level of trust with him. But that evaporated over the invasion of Ukraine and she felt that President Putin was lying to her over that. So what we've seen is a pretty significant change in attitude between -- from Angela Merkel towards President Putin over recent years. She's perhaps the one who feels keenest the position that Europe is in vis-a-vis its energy dependency on Russia.

Germany gets about 30 percent of its natural gas coming from Russia. But Germany isn't the only country. Britain through the -- through fuel prices in the winter needed to depend on buying fuel and energy supplies from Russia. So, you know, the president has -- is making a point there. We've seen the French as well cancel defense contracts with Russia subsequent to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and annihilation of Crimea. So the president is making points that might have seem more valid a few years ago. But it does seem to be sort of mixing up some of the details. But this is all in keeping I think with what this NATO leaders of countries expect from him is a president arriving here in full force, full bluster, full bore to get -- to make that point that he needs more money from them, to up their defense spending to that 2 percent of GDP to be spent on defense by the year 2024.

He wanted much sooner than that commitment that was made back in the NATO Summit in Wales in 2014. So I think when we try to analyze this, you know, let's not forget there is Secretary of State Pompeo sitting there at his side as well. We know Defense Secretary James Mattis is not far away.

So when the NATO partners look at the presentation by President Trump, they also know that they're dealing with the secretary state. That they're dealing with the defense secretary as well. And as a package, they may feel as a whole package that perhaps there's some balance here. Although the points made by your guest just before that some of the points made by President Trump can be misleading or misunderstanding for some people present other difficulties. But taken in total some of the allies will bill -- perhaps more assured that there is a secretary of state there, there is a defense secretary there.

ROMANS: Well, I think they are learning how to speak Trump or to at least interpret Trump, you know, that there is a degree of what he says that is bragging almost that is him positioning, him talking to his base, may be a bit of exaggeration. But then trying to figure out what the core is of that message.

MARQUARDT: But yes, Nic, I mean when you see -- as if the ally there weren't nervous enough, when they see Trump coming out swinging like this immediately right off the bat, and let's very quickly remind our viewers what Trump just said it really was a remarkable start to this NATO Summit take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. And you tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not. And I think it's a very bad thing for NATO. And I don't think it should have happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: And Nic, as you were just mentioning, you've got Mike Pompeo right there, Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, the NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as James Mattis who was just off screen. Is there a sense that, you know, when Trump comes out and says these kinds of things that the NATO allies will then turn to the people around Trump for comfort, to see what he actually means, to see if this is just bluster or if this is something that Trump is really actually going to carry through on. ROBERTSON: You know, I think they come away from some of these leaders like Trudeau, like Merkel, like Macron, like Theresa May in London. I've come away from the G7 knowing that, you know, what President Trump says, he potentially will follow through on. So he has to be taken at face value and any threats that he makes has to be taken at face value.

But the sort of discussions that go on before summits like this, between secretaries of state and foreign ministers, for example, perhaps gives those NATO allies a better sense of what the United States in total is committing to in terms of resources. You know, the Secretary General Stoltenberg has recently pointed out that in over the past couple of years, the United States has contributed as increased its spending toward NATO in Europe by many tens of billions of dollars.

[03:35:28] So they'll look at those points and what Stoltenberg has been saying, when he came to London recently just two or three weeks ago and address NATO's allies there. He said, look, you know, there are plenty of differences in NATO. We disagree over Iran. We disagree over climate change. We disagree over trade.

There are many things we disagree over. But we can work our way through them. Historically, we've been able to work our way through them, for example, the Suez crisis gone back 1956. You know, NATO has a history of talking through this crisis.

So I think, when the NATO leaders arrive here, they have a lot of faith in Jens Stoltenberg, their secretary general. They have a lot of faith in the other members of the White House administration. And they also have an understanding as well that President Trump, like any American president, isn't here forever. And the relationship they hope, will endure whatever turbulent he may bring to the surface of it.

ROMANS: Nic, don't move, David Rohde is here with us on the set in New York. David, is there a policy in here when the President is dressing down the secretary general of NATO and insulting Germany, and American ally?

Is there a policy in here beyond just trying to get people to pay more for their -- or I mean, does he not want people to use, countries to use energy supplies from Russia? Does he want Russia to be iced out of the global trading system? What is he asking for here?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, I think, maybe he's pushing for this, you know, for this -- for Germany to increase to 2 percent of its defense spending for GDP. But I -- what's strange and I just want to point out how isolated the President is on this.

United States Senate, you know, pass resolution before the president left 97 to 2 in support of NATO. And this statement that Germany is held captive by Russia is a sort extraordinary, you know, coming from a President, you know, who, you know, the Russians intervened in our election to help him win that election. I'm not saying the President colluded with the Russian -- ROMANS: President has never used language like this about Russia.

ROHDE: Correct. He's never attacked Russia this way. That's what so contradictory and confusing to me about this sudden attack --

MARQUARDT: For some Germany more than Russia.

ROHDE: He is attacking Germany. But his argument is that, you know, that we should not -- Germany shouldn't be trading with Russia. But again, its so much of throughout his campaign has been talking about, you know, better relations with Russia. And, you know, mostly about nuclear arms and other things but, you know, also in terms of trade.

MARQUARDT: When you get off to a start like this and it clearly is going to be a bumpy, you know, 48 hours, is the best-case scenario that nothing happens?

ROHDE: No. I think, I mean Stoltenberg is, you know, runs NATO. He has no domestic politics to work about. You know, all politics is local. You know, this is the Angela Merkel, the picture of her sort of looming over Trump in Canada. If he does this, you know, publicly with leaders of these countries, Macron, Merkel, May --

MARQUARDT: Trudeau.

ROHDE: We have Trudeau. They have to push back. They might do it later, you know, in a press conference afterwards. But just for their own political survival, they cannot look weak. They cannot be humiliated by this American leader who is so unpopular in their own countries.

MARQUARDT: And he's thinking exactly the same thing. I can't be humiliated by foreigners.

ROHDE: And he -- everyone is playing to their own domestic audiences. But again, how does that solve, you know, this problem? And I -- and, you know again, maybe he'll succeed and they will increase their spending. But there's all kinds of damage and tensions. And the bigger issue, I think is the trade disputes that --

ROMANS: Yes.

ROHDE: -- you know, you've talked about. And that's -- he's playing that game also. But that is very dangerous for markets and for the U.S. economy.

ROMANS: All right David Rohde and Nic Robertson. Thanks guys.

MARQUARDT: Thanks to you both.

ROMANS: -- there a lot going on this morning. So we'll cover all that news that's been happening. Meantime, Pfizer are putting those price hikes we told you about on hold, pressured from President Trump.

On July 1st, Pfizer raised prices for about 40 drugs. On Monday, the President tweeted, Pfizer should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. Pfizer said, it will roll back those price hikes after an extensive discussion with the president writing, that it shares the president's concern to provide affordable access to medicine, adding that it will give the administration more time for work on its plan to reduce drug prices.

That of course was a big campaign promise from the president, remember? And he unveiled in May a plan to reduce drug prices overall including some concrete steps like making it easier for cheaper generic drugs to hit the market. He's targeting the shadowy world of drug rebates. But he stepped away from using the government's cloud to actually negotiate lower drug prices.

But you can see, he use bully pulpit of the presidency to stop those Pfizer increases. So that's a fascinating win for the White house there.

[03:40:04] MARQUARDT: All right, well the deadline has come and gone for the government to reunite families with young kids who were taken at the southern border. Now, the health secretary calls for the care of immigrant kids an act of charity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUARDT: The Trump administration last night officially missed the deadline to reunify 102 children who were separated from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border. As of Tuesday evening, just 38 families had been reunited. The judge in the case anticipated the number would reach 63 by the end of the day.

But it's unclear if even that bar was reached. The government said that some parents could not be found. They had been deported, had criminal histories or other issues.

ROMANS: The deadline to reunify more than 2,000 children still in government custody as July 26th. That's just over two weeks away. We asked the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, why his agency won't allow media cameras into facilities housing those kids, here's his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:45:13] ALEX AZAR, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: An act of charity. The president said yesterday that the solution to undocumented children being separated from their parents is simple. It is for them not to come to the U.S. illegally. But some families were split up, even though they came through legal channels seeking asylum.

One of those fathers Ever Reyes Mejia was reunited with his 3-year-old son in Michigan. The two hadn't been together since April. You can see that reunion right there. Also yesterday, Walter Jimenez Melendez reunited with his 4-year-old boy, Jeremy. It's a very sweet picture. They had been separated for 48 days.

ROMANS: All right, the Trump administration again flashing Obamacare funding for the coming year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide only $10 million for navigator program for open enrollment in November. That's down sharply from $36 million last year and $63 million in 2016.

Navigator programs help consumers, small businesses and employees find coverage on the health care marketplace. The administration claims, navigators are not effective, consumer groups disagree. They're concerned Obamacare shoppers could become easily confused.

MARQUARDT: All right, switching gears, former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, plans to defy a congressional subpoena and will not appear now before the House Judiciary Committee today. Page's text with former FBI agent, Peter Strzok, have been fodder for Republican claims of an anti-Trump bias at the FBI.

Page's lawyer says that the committee issue subpoena on Saturday without providing information about the scope of the interview that she was due to have or giving her documents it has and enough time to prepare. The House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte releasing a statement saying, quote, it appears that Lisa Page has something to hide. We will use all tools at our disposal to obtain her testimony.

ROMANS: All right, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti is requesting additional security. All members of the staff ordered to shelter in place because of rioting in the street, the State Department raising its travel advisory for Haiti to level four. That means, do not travel there. A sharp hike in fuel prices ordered the government, spark these deadly riots. Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant suspended the price increases on Saturday and appealed for calm.

MARQUARDT: And a heartbreaking tragedy in Texas. A 10-year-old girl was electrocuted while reaching behind the clothes dryer. Greenlee Marie's parents say, she died trying to rescue her cat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHELBY ROOS, GREENLEE MARIE'S MOTHER: She has beautiful soul. She had more compassion in her at 10 years old than most adults do in their entire lifetime. She loved her babies and she would do anything for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: The police are investigating the cause of the electrocution. Greenlee's parents plan to set-up a fund in their daughter's name to help local rescue for orphaned animals, absolutely heartbreaking.

All right, a Montana police officer is sharing what it was like to find an abandoned 5-month-old baby boy, buried alive in the woods. The child was alone for at least nine hours, covered by a pile of sticks and debris. While Deputy Ross Jessop hurt a faint whimper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSS JESSOP, MISSOULA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: My father influence came in. I abandoned any police training wherever, any chance of saving evidence there, I didn't care. I scooped up a baby. Make sure he was breathing. He had a spark on his eye. I warmed him up, gave him a couple of kisses and just held him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: Francis Carlton Crowley is accused of abandoning that young child. He broke down a crime during a court appearance yesterday. He's now being held on $50,000 bail and faces criminal endangerment charges.

ROMANS: All right, for the third time in 20 years, France is going to the World Cup Final. Defender Samuel Umtiti header in the 51st minute, giving the French a 1-0 lead over Belgium, they never surrendered. France last won the World Cup in 1988. They'll face the winner of today's match between England and Croatia. Are happy with that?

MARQUARDT: I'm really sad. I actually grew up in Belgium. And I was a bit of a Cinderella story. They, you know, they've really -- they've never been to World Cup Final. France already has won one. So it's really too bad.

ROMANS: I'm just so glad there wasn't a shoot-out. These shoot-outs have been just like, it take a year off my life every time there's going to be shoot-outs.

MARQUARDT: And that's not the way you want to see it ends. But these were two fantastic teams. We now have Croatia and England playing each other today and then the World Cup Finals on Saturday. And all European final regardless of what happens.

[03:49:52] ROMANS: All right, goodbye productivity for another day. All right, the Southwest doing away with the classic airline snack. No more peanuts. We'll tell you why on CNNMoney next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right, welcome back. All 12 boys and the soccer coach are out of that cave in Thailand, after 18 days, trapped by floodwater. Now, concern centers on the physical and emotional toll of the ordeal, one father telling CNN exclusively that he cannot wait to hug his son. CNN's Ivan Watson has the latest for us live from Thailand for us. Now, I can't imagine how these families are so relieved and so anxious to be reunited.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. But, you know, clearly also delighted that their kids are alive and healthy and safe because the Thai doctors, they briefed journalists a couple of hours ago. And the kids are getting a pretty clean bill of health. Yes, they were suffering from malnutrition, from not eating solid food for more than two weeks.

[03:55:16] Some of them had colds. Some of them had infection of the lungs. But they say, that all of them are pretty well -- they're responding quite well to antibiotics, to medicine. Recall, that the kids came out in phases, four boys on Sunday, four boys on Monday, and then four boys and their coach, who is an adult, on Tuesday, as well as four rescuers who lived with them in that cave for more than a week.

And they're kind of doing the treatment in phases. The boys who came out Monday, they're going to start eating solid food by this evening, we're told. Their parents are being allowed to move closer and closer to them, though full physical contact isn't allowed yet, as they maintain the quarantine. They want sterile conditions to make sure that the boys in their weakened state aren't exposed to any additional germs or viruses.

But, you know, you can't ask for a much better diagnosis than what the doctors have given right now. They credit the soccer coach who was the only adult with the boys, throughout the entire ordeal, for helping them. And then, the rescuers for giving them jell packs that helped keep them alive, basically for the last week or so. Christine?

ROMANS: Just a remarkable ordeal. Ivan Watson, thank you so much for that.

MARQUARDT: Just extraordinary. That went off without a hitch. Nothing went wrong. I mean it's really a best case scenario.

ROMANS: Right.

MARQUARDT: All right, well, a grim assessment of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's third visit to North Korea. A source with knowledge of the talks that he recently had, has told CNN that the secretary of state's trip went "As badly as it could have gone", even though Pompeo when he left Pyongyang described the visit as, productive.

Let's go live to Seoul and bring in CNN's Andrew Stevens. Andrew, on the North Korean side, they called the talks gangster-like, the American attitude, gangster-like. So it seems very little was accomplished. Where do we go from here?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very little is accomplished. And what we're hearing from the State Department about just how bad it was really, just fits in with everything else we've been hearing. There's been a lot of unnamed sources coming from the Americans now, saying that, you know, the U.S. delegation, Alex, they didn't know whether they were staying, they didn't know where they meeting, that's as they arrived in Pyongyang.

There was a quote from one of the State Department people saying, that the North Koreans were just messing around. They weren't serious about taking this process forward. It gives a level and understanding that just the level of frustration in the U.S. And of course, we had those lines from the North Koreans. And on top of all that, we've got the Kim Jong-un looking suspiciously like a snub to Mike Pompeo. Apparently, the State Department working overtime to try and secure a meeting between Kim and Pompeo, it didn't happen. We've hearing from the state media in North Korea, that Kim was actually visiting a potato farm and factory. We're not quite sure the days, but that looks like it's around the same time.

So, where we go from here, it's -- there's a lot of fence-mending to be done, a lot of bridge-building to be done. We still got Donald Trump saying he believes in the process and believes that Kim will honor the contract. Let's wait and see.

MARQUARDT: A potato farm visit, rather than meeting the U.S. secretary state. That's quite a snub. All right, Andrew Stevens in Seoul. Thanks very much.

ROMANS: All right, let's and check in CNNMoney this morning, the U.S. unveiling new, new tariffs on China, ramping up a trade war with Beijing, preparing additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. China vows to respond. That is shaking global stocks at the moment. Asia falling overnight, Dow futures down more than 200 points at the moment, U.S. stocks yesterday closed higher. The S&P 500 had its best day since February.

Investors are optimistic about earnings season which kicks off this week. Look at that. S&P 500 profit should be 20 percent higher than last year, remarkable.

Americans are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate in years. That's a sign more people are confident they can find a new job at a higher pay. In May, the U.S. quits rate, as it's called, hit a 17-year high, proving that the jobs market is strong. Wages may rise. Wage growth has been sluggish for such a tight labor market. Wages haven't grown above 3 percent since 2009.

Southwest doing away with the classic airline snack, peanuts, to help passengers with severe peanut allergies. Southwest calls the decision difficult, writing, that peanuts will always be a part of Southwest history and DNA. But it wants to ensure the best onboard experience for everyone. Southwest will stop serving those peanuts on August 1st. But will still offer snacks like pretzels, cookies, and chips.

MARQUARDT: I mean pretzels a far superior snack anyway.

[04:00:00] ROMANS: I agree. I agree.

MARQUARDT: But they are a mainstay, part of the DNA. All right, here we go.

ROMANS: Connects in your DNA.

MARQUARDT: EARLY START starts right now.