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President Trump Opens NATO Summit With Blistering Criticism Of Germany; Trump Demands NATO Allies Step Up Defense Spending; A Chaotic Day As Officials Try To Reunite Toddlers Separated From Parents; France Advances To World Cup Final. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:56] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But, Germany is totally controlled by Russia.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: A stunning and confrontational prelude to the NATO summit. President Trump saying that NATO countries are taking advantage of the U.S. by cutting side deals with Russia.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Costs for dozens of drugs will not go up as expected. Pfizer rolling back price hikes for now. The catalyst, a phone call from President Trump.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt. It is just 31 minutes past the hour.

President Trump coming out swinging this morning in Brussels before the NATO summit officially starts later today. At a pre-summit breakfast, the president really dressing down the secretary general of NATO, demanding increased defense spending by NATO allies. His wrath trained specifically on Germany, which he called a captive of Russia.


TRUMP: But, Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they were 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.


ROMANS: The president's sharp tone coming as no surprise to European leaders. You know, they fear President Trump will follow through on his threats to cut back on military protection for U.S. allies. Earlier, the European Council president had a -- had a stark warning for Mr. Trump.


DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many.


MARQUARDT: Very blunt from Donald Tusk right there.

The NATO summit comes just a few days ahead of President Trump's sit- down with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

Let's bring in "CNN POLITICS" reporter Jeremy Diamond live at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Jeremy, we knew the message that President Trump was bringing to Brussels but is it surprising to those on the ground how quickly he got to that message? How he just came out swinging right there with Stoltenberg at breakfast.

JEREMY DIAMOND, REPORTER, CNN POLITICS: That's right. The U.S. president certainly wasting no time bringing his combative approach here to Brussels.

The president opened up his first public comments in Brussels during a breakfast with the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, talking about NATO allies defense spending, something that has been a frequent chorus of this president.

But he really singled out certain countries in particular, and one of those countries today that was targeted was Germany, one of the United States' closest allies, of course. An ally who has fought alongside the United States. And the president accused Germany of being captive of Russia -- totally controlled by Russia.

Why? The president is pointing in particular to a deal that Germany and Russia have with regards to national gas -- Germany importing billions of dollars in Russian natural gas -- and the president saying that that gives Russia apparently total leverage over Germany.

But the secretary general really pushed back against some of the president's criticisms on that front, in particular, arguing to the president that while this may be a difference between the United States and some of its allies in the NATO alliance, that the NATO alliance is ultimately stronger when these allies put aside those differences in favor of this collective good -- this collective goal of protection between these -- between these allies.

The secretary general did, however, back up the president's calls for increasing defense spending. But the president appearing again to go further than he has in the past, saying that these allies need to not only increase defense spending by 2024 to two percent as has previously been the goal post but really moving those goal posts instead and saying that those allies should increase defense spending immediately. And once again, Germany was singled out by the president on that front.

The president now going to shake hands with these allies and do a family photo, and we'll see where things go from there.

MARQUARDT: Yes, a rocky start in Brussels.

Jeremy Diamond there at NATO headquarters. Thanks very much, Jeremy.

And joining us this morning from London, chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour. Good morning, Christiane.

ROMANS: Good morning.

MARQUARDT: Why don't we start right there where Jeremy left off and Germany, in particular, targeted by President Trump for not spending enough in NATO.

Does he not have a point where the NATO countries have committed to spending some two percent of their GDP on defense while Germany, which is the powerhouse of Europe -- the economic powerhouse is only spending 1.5 percent? Should they not be spending more?

[05:35:14] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Of course, everybody should be spending more. That is the NATO doctrine. That was what was decided under President Obama when they had their last big NATO summit where they declared this here actually, in the United Kingdom, back in 2015 -- 2014.

And the idea was to all increase their domestic military spending up to two percent by 2024, so it's a 10-year plan. And everyone is doing that. Everybody has increased their spending.

That's according to U.S. NATO ambassador. It's obviously according to the NATO secretary general and those are the facts. If you look at the graph, every single member of the 29 NATO countries are increasing their spending.

You're right that Germany still is around 1.2, aiming for 1.5. However, there are all sorts of other things that Germany does -- and it still says it's increasing its commitment and it will -- like massive support of troops on the ground and all sorts of other issues that expand its monetary compensation.

But what you've got here is a real problem. You've got apples and oranges being mixed up.

You have the broken record of President Trump on and on and on about this transactional nature of this alliance that's meant to underpin global security and morals and values of the United States and its Western democratic alliance. And now, NATO very, very concerned about Trump being a threat to that alliance.

But then you've got this other tangent and unprecedented on diplomatic language and on factual language, the president claiming that Germany, of all countries, is a captive and totally controlled by Russia.

I mean, nothing could be further from the truth given the fact that Germany is the strongest European nation standing against Russia, has led the call for sanctions. Has led the call to keep Crimea, for instance, out of the Russian sphere and to Russia to roll back the annexation of Crimean.

And this pipeline deal was one that was done 15 or more years ago. It has nothing to do with NATO spending whatsoever. It's total apples and oranges.

And this is what the German defense secretary said to me.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, GERMANY: First of all, this is a pipeline. This economic project started, I think, back in 2002 or 2003, so way before Russia changed its behavior in 2014.

We have a very diverse mix of energy supply, so the president hasn't to be worried that there's any kind of dependency -- on the contrary.

If there's one person who has been dealing all the time with President Putin very hard on the issues of the Ukraine and the hybrid war in the Ukraine, it was Chancellor Merkel.


AMANPOUR: Christine and Alex, it is absolutely extraordinary and deserves real forensic psychological investigation as to why the president continues to personally single out Angela Merkel and beat up on her on every possible opportunity, whether it's about German cars, whether it's now about the pipeline, whether it's about her politics.

Remember, he tweeted that she was teetering on the brink of political collapse and that her immigration policy has caused crime to ratchet up in Germany. None of that is factually true.

And she is the leader of the Western alliance in Europe and it is incredibly unproductive, according to NATO allies, according to the Western democracy to beat up on this -- on this woman who has been in power of a very powerful country that's upheld the values, the economics, the military of the Western democratic and liberal world order.

You know, just before President Trump touched down in Brussels, the Senate in the United States passed by overwhelming majority its support of NATO.

And there's something very, very worrying for NATO allies in the president's rhetoric and we're going to see whether -- you know, whether this summit ends in a unified statement or collapses in debacle and disunity as the G7 summit did.

And if it does, that -- even according to the U.S. officials who I spoke to -- the U.S. ambassador to NATO -- if it collapses in disarray and disunity that will be music to President Putin who seeks nothing more and nothing less than the disunity and disruption of the Western alliance, particularly NATO. And that's who President Trump will meet right after the NATO summit.

ROMANS: It's so fascinating Christiane because the president seems to reject what is established conventional wisdom that everything that divides America and its allies is something that strengthens Russia. That is the intelligence he gets.

[05:40:00] That is the perspective of the people sitting next to him and of his own delegation who are there at the pre-summit breakfast but the president does not seem to believe that. At least his behavior suggests that.

AMANPOUR: Exactly, and this is a very important question to ask because look, yes, one should be able to sit around a table and pull Russia back into the community of nations and try to have Russia on board as more of a sort of a player -- a constructive player than a disruptive competitor on the foe side rather than on the ally side of the balance there.

So yes, that would be -- everybody's hope would be to get Russia to come back into the tent where it was before 2014 when it violated every international law by being a big country invading and annexing a small country. That is what it did in 2014. Those are the facts.

And it's only since 2014 that NATO decided that Russia has changed the rules of the game in Europe and therefore, they needed to up their individual defense spending. So on that issue, why is that President Trump feels this way and acts this way is very hard to understand?

You know, Russia has, as I said, done what it did by military force. It has also underpinned one of the worst -- you know, human rights violator -- slaughterers in the Middle East right now, and that is President Assad.

And it is also interfering in the Balkans where it's trying to put bases -- it actually has bases in the Balkans. Where it's trying to expand its territorial and military power in Europe.

This is not a time to let Russia have that free rein and NATO allies are hoping that President Trump gives that demarche to President Putin when they meet.

But his words are very, very confusing to NATO, Alex. The rhetoric is very confusing.

MARQUARDT: All right, Christiane, dramatic hours ahead. Thank you very much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning. Thank you, Christiane, from London.

Pfizer putting its recent price hikes on hold thanks to pressure from President Trump. On July first, 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."

So, Pfizer says it will now roll back those price hikes after extensive discussion with the president, writing it shares the president's concern to provide affordable access to medicine and it will give the administration more time to work on its plan to reduce drug prices.

Cutting drug costs was a big campaign promise for the president. He unveiled a plan to reduce drug prices in May.

In that plan, he's got some concrete steps to make it easier for cheaper generic drugs to hit the market. Also, it targets the shadowy world of drug rebates but doesn't overtly take the power of the U.S. government to force companies to lower drug prices.


ROMANS: But the power of a tweet, apparently, and a phone call worked in this case.

MARQUARDT: All right.

Well, this father got to hold his son again, something that not every parent was so lucky to do on deadline day.

Now, the health secretary says that caring for immigrant kids is what he calls an act of charity.


[05:47:14] MARQUARDT: The Trump administration has missed the deadline to reunify 102 children under five years old separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

As of Tuesday evening, just 38 families had been reunited. The judge in this case anticipates that the number would reach 63 by the end of the day but it's unclear if even that bar was reached. The government is now saying that some parents could either not be found, had been deported, had criminal histories, or what they call other issues.

ROMANS: The deadline to reunify more than 2,000 children still in government custody is July 26th. That's just over two weeks away.

We asked Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar why his agency won't allow media cameras into those facilities housing the kids.


ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, 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.


MARQUARDT: A great act of charity, Azar calls it. Now, look at these pictures. Emotional moments from families that were reunited yesterday.

This is Ever Reyes Mejia -- he's the father. He's reunited with his 3-year-old son in Michigan. Look at that smile. The two hadn't been together since April.

Also yesterday, Walter Jimenez Melendez reunited there with his 4- year-old boy Jeremy. They hadn't been together for 48 days.

ROMANS: All right.

The Trump administration again slashing Obamacare funding. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide only $10 million for the Navigator program for open enrollment in November. That's down from $36 million last year and $63 million in 2016.

The Navigator program helps consumers, small business, and employees find health care coverage. The administration claims Navigators are not effective. Consumer groups disagree.

MARQUARDT: And former FBI lawyer Lisa Page plans to defy a Congressional subpoena and will not appear before the House Judiciary Committee that was due to take place today.

Page's texts with FBI agent Peter Strzok have been fodder for Republican claims of anti-Trump bias at the FBI.

Page's lawyer says that the committee issued a subpoena on Saturday without providing information about the scope of the interview or enough time for her to prepare.

House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte saying, "It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide. We'll use all the tools at our disposal to obtain her testimony."

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

The U.S. unveiling new tariffs on China and ramping up a trade war with Beijing, preparing additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. And China, of course, vows to respond.

It's shaking global markets this morning and Asia and European stocks are falling overnight. Dow futures down more than 200 points.

U.S. stocks closed higher yesterday. In fact, the S&P 500 had its best day since February.

The story there, investors are very optimistic about earnings season. That kicks off this week. S&P 500 profits should be 20 percent higher than last year.

[05:50:06] Americans are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate in years. In May, the so-called U.S. quits rate hit a 17-year high. It's a sign more people are confident they can find a new job and at higher pay. Wage growth has been slow for such a really tight labor market. Wages haven't grown more than three percent since 2009.

Southwest doing away with a classic airline snack -- peanuts. This is to help the passengers with severe allergies. Southwest calls the decision difficult, writing, "The peanuts will always be a part of Southwest history and DNA." But look, this is about ensuring the best onboard experience for everybody.

Southwest will stop service those peanuts on August first. They're still going to offer snacks like pretzels, cookies, and chips.

MARQUARDT: Do you -- are you a peanut person?

ROMANS: I tend to not eat the snacks on planes.


ROMANS: Yes. I put my earbuds in and I just try to get through it all, you know?

MARQUARDT: I like the mixed nuts or --

ROMANS: You do? OK.

MARQUARDT: Oh, yes. Salted almonds or pretzels.

ROMANS: There you go.

MARQUARDT: All right.

Well, half the World Cup final is set. Who will France play for that title game on Saturday, England or Croatia?

Coy Wire with the "Bleacher Report." That's coming up next.


[05:55:46] MARQUARDT: Welcome back.

Twenty years after winning their first World Cup title, France, after beating my Belgian Red Devils --

ROMANS: Sorry.

MARQUARDT: -- has a chance at making history again.

ROMANS: Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. You still have great waffles though, so you have that for you.

MARQUARDT: We do. It's a good consolation. Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: But listen, France is just so much fun to watch. They are young, they have great charisma, and they have this exhilarating style of play.

This was a really big deal. French President Emmanuel Macron -- he was at this semifinal match-up with Belgium. A tough side -- a really talented side in their own right.

But they would advance, France would. They're going to their third World Cup final appearance ever.

It was Samuel Umtiti, 24 years old, born in Cameroon but grew in France, with this beautifully and technically-timed header that would give France the only goal they would need to get the win. Yes, do your dance.

It was a celebration -- party time. Thousands in the streets of Paris into the wee hours of the night. If you have any friends or family who have been to France or are from France and they're celebrating today, it looks like they had a little bit too much Dom P.

This is why. Check this out. Remember, I said this team is fun and they're likable?

France star Paul Pogba dedicated the victory to the rescued Thai soccer team afterward, tweeting "This victory goes to the heroes of the day. Well done, boys. You are so strong."

All right.

No coach keeps his team loose better than England's Gareth Southgate, having his side play tagged with a rubber chicken during practice yesterday.

England can advance to their first World Cup final since winning it all in 1966 if they beat Russia -- Croatia today. Remember, Southgate side did team yoga on Sunday.

You may be wondering though why all the suit vests on England fans. Well, Southgate is now a national style icon because of the vest or waistcoat that he wears on sidelines. Two of the country's museums are actually battling to display the vest which has been deemed a cultural icon.

Now, the stars came out at Wimbledon to watch Serena Williams. Drake, Justin Timberlake, and Jessica Biel were there to watch an incredible match in the quarterfinals.

Serena was actually in trouble early, losing her first set of the tournament but she dug deep and notched another victory. She'll advance to the semis and one step closer to a 24th grand slam singles title and closer to tying Margaret Court on the all-time list.

Now, let's end with one of the weirdest plays you'll ever see in baseball.

That A's (Astros) tied at five in extra innings and a game of tag goes wrong for the A's. Oakland catcher Jonathan Lucroy just had to tag Alex Bregman, but he missed and then tried to throw the ball to first. An errant throw allowed Kyle Tucker to score from second.

Bregman had two home runs on the night but it was this five-foot dribbler that would be the Astros game-ending difference-maker. You don't see that every day.

A six to five win for Houston.

Game time today is at 2:00 for that big England-Croatia match. We'll see if England can go on and get er' done. World Cup action has been nothing like it that I've ever seen. It's exciting stuff.

ROMANS: All right.

MARQUARDT: It's completely overshadowing Wimbledon which has been great so far this year.

ROMANS: Right, it's good.

All right, thanks so much, Coy. Nice to see you.

MARQUARDT: Thanks, Coy. Take care.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, July 11th, 6:00 here in New York, and what a beginning to this day.

The breaking news unfolding before our eyes this morning. President Trump testing the limits of the most important alliance on earth, if not stepping past those limits.

An absolutely blistering open to meetings with NATO leaders in Brussels and the very first photo opportunity of the summit, the president demanded that NATO members spend more on defense.


TRUMP: The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough. It's disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States, and we're going to make it fair.

I think that these countries have to step it up. Not over a 10-year period, they have to step it up immediately.


BERMAN: So European leaders -- they were braced for tough talk from the president, but the speed and the tone of this, it exceeds even their most anxious expectations, especially the rhetoric toward Germany.