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Trump Arrives In U.K. After Contentious NATO Meetings; Trump Slams May In "The Sun" Newspaper Interview; Rescued Boy Hailed As Hero Is Myanmar Refugee; U.S.-North Korea Talks On Troop Remains Set For Sunday; Republicans Slam FBI Agent Over Anti-Trump Texts; Trump Slams May, Mayor, Immigration In Interview; Trump's Visit Sparks Protest In London; World Cup Fever Takes The Internet By Storm. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired July 13, 2018 - 00:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Donald Trump's mixed messages to Theresa May in London. Joining her for a fancy dinner, hours after criticizing her in an interview.

The North Koreans skip an important meeting with American officials at the DMZ. What that means for negotiations going forward.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to represent what you said accurately, I'm happy to answer that question. But I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok. I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016.


VANIER: And the contentious testimony on Capitol Hill with an FBI agent.

Live from the CNN Center, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.

It's now early Friday morning in London, and if President Trump's second day there is anything like the first, hang on. As the president wrapped up a formal black-tie dinner with Prime Minister Theresa May Thursday evening, the British tabloid "The Sun" released an interview with him in which Mr. Trump blasts his host, saying he told her how to do Brexit, but she didn't listen.

Trump says May's current blueprint for a soft Brexit would probably kill any future trade deal with the U.S. He also says that Boris Johnson, who just resigned as Britain's foreign secretary over Brexit, would make a great prime minister. And that's just for starters. Mr. Trump also slammed London's mayor, saying he's done a terrible job on terrorism and on crime. And on immigration, the U.S. president had this to say.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think what's happened to Europe is a shame. I think the immigration -- allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe. And unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was, and I don't mean that in a positive way. So, I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you're losing your culture.


VANIER: Mr. Trump's arrival in London came after he left the NATO Summit with a similar scorched earth approach. Our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is traveling with the president.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump was welcomed to Britain with pomp, pageantry, and protesters. So royally ticked off, they're flying a Trump baby balloon over London. Still the president dismissed the notion he's unpopular here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think it's fine. I mean, I think they like me a lot in the U.K. I think they agree with me on immigration. I'm very strong on immigration.

ACOSTA: The president arrived in the U.K. after a trip to NATO that was no love fest. Mr. Trump emerged from his intense talks with key U.S. allies claiming he had convinced NATO countries to go beyond the alliance's commitment of devoting 2 percent of their GDPs to defense spending by 2024.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They are going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before. Everybody in that room, by the time we left, got along, and they agreed to pay more, and they agreed to pay it more quickly.

ACOSTA: A NATO official told CNN the discussions behind closed doors were tough on both sides, but that leaders rejected Mr. Trump's call for countries to spend 4 percent of their GDPs on defense as a throw away remark. French President Emmanuel Macron said as much in front of the cameras.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We will uphold the engagements taken, which consist of moving toward 2 percent of GDP on the horizon of 2024.

ACOSTA: At a news conference, the president insisted he supported NATO and brushed off the notion he would tweet differently.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, that's other people that do that. I don't. I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius.

ACOSTA: It was just one day ago when the president started one of his tweets with the words, what good is NATO? But the president seemed to answer one of his own questions when asked if whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was a threat?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't want him to be. I guess that's why we have NATO.

ACOSTA: European leaders are concerned about the president's upcoming summit with Putin set for next week as Mr. Trump rarely criticizes the Russian leader.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He's not my enemy, and hopefully someday, maybe he'll be a friend. It could happen, but I just don't know him very well.

ACOSTA: The president said he would again press Putin on meddling in the 2016 election but insisted he already knows the response he'll receive.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again. You know, what am I going to do? He may deny it. I mean it's one of those things. All I can do is say, did you, and don't do it again, but he may deny it.

ACOSTA: Even on the subject of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the president blamed his own predecessor, not Putin.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That was on Barack Obama's watch. That was not on Trump's watch. Would I have allowed it to happen? No, I would not have allowed it to happen, but he did allow it to happen. So, that was his determination.


[00:05:08] ACOSTA: The president will likely face more questions about his rocky summit with NATO leaders when he holds a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. That happens just before the president meets with Queen Elizabeth.

But it's the president's upcoming summit with Putin that worries Europe most as a NATO official told CNN, Mr. Trump got an earful from U.S. allies behind closed doors, all offering their input on how the president should handle the Putin problem. Jim Acosta, CNN, London.

VANIER: All right. CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson is in London. Nic, I want to go back to that interview that Donald Trump gave "The Sun" tabloid just ahead of his meeting with Theresa May. When you read that interview, it's pretty clear the U.S. president is not trying to endear himself with his host.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: He isn't. I mean, it's not the sort of action you would expect from an American president or normally see from an American president. However, there's echoes here of, you know, Perhaps President Obama in a way, who is seen by those in Britain who would support President Trump.

If you remember when President Obama came here in April 2016, shortly before the referendum on Brexit, he said that Britain would go to the back of the queue when it came to negotiating a trade deal with the United States if it left the European Union.

And here you have essentially President Trump wading in on the same issue. But of course, the style is completely different. President Trump is not just sort of showing his -- essentially his animus for Theresa May, the British prime minister, by saying that he thinks Boris Johnson, the just resigned foreign secretary, would be a good prime minister.

But for Sadiq Khan, who he's had Twitter spats with before, digging up those old arguments. It appears Donald Trump is trying to sort of divide the British public opinion, win support for himself, support he says he believes he has here.

But in diplomatic terms, this is really being particularly -- you know, being a particularly big problem for your host when your host is already experiencing plenty of political issues. Two cabinet ministers resigning at the beginning of the week over Brexit.

Other difficult issues to deal with within her party. So, all of this comes at a very difficult time for Theresa May. I think British officials knew this was going to be a rocky visit, but they didn't probably calculate for something on this scale in a newspaper that's read by so many people in Britain. "The Sun" is one of the more widely read newspapers in the U.K.

VANIER: Trump has often criticized traditional U.S. allies. He's done it recently with NATO members, Canada, France, Germany. There have been many. Usually it's because he wants something. For instance, he wants them to lower trade tariffs. He wants them to spend more on their military or buy American gas, et cetera, et cetera. Is there anything he wants from the U.K.?

ROBERTSON: You know, I think perhaps it's a little bigger than that, Cyril. I think that perhaps what he wants from the U.K. is for the U.K. to be part of, you know, the trojan horse that's going to break up the European Union. He's had a strong dislike for the European Union.

His own golf resorts in Ireland, he said he had terrible difficulty trying to get planning permission for that golf resort because of E.U., European Union laws and restrictions. And that, in the early days of his election campaign, was how he measured the European Union.

At least that's how he spoke about it. That was his analysis of how they functioned. But since then, we've certainly seen him being drawn towards those political figures in Europe, who are most opposed to the unity of the European Union. He's very much against Angela Merkel. That was very clear at NATO over the past couple of days. She's seen as sort of a central figure in the European Union. He's had something of a relationship with Emmanuel Macron, but that doesn't amount to really any sort of political influence on Macron's part.

Macron, of course, in his eyes would be, again, a significant figure in the European Union. But when he met for the first time the Italian prime minister recently, this was a figure who he was drawn towards, who he spoke warmly about because this new Italian prime minister had emerged from elections that were fairly rejectionist towards the European Union.

So, I think what you're seeing here is perhaps an effort by President Trump, not just a wade into British politics, but to really goad on and amp up the Brexit side of the argument, the leave the European Union side of the argument in the U.K., because he doesn't like the European Union.

[00:10:06] I mean, a central theme on why Britain wouldn't be able to get a trade deal with the United States was because he said it would essentially be like trying to do a trade deal with the European Union.

I do have to say the headline in "The Sun," however, is something that Theresa May actually spoke about in parliament on Monday at the beginning of the week, shortly after Boris Johnson resigned.

She was asked the question, then, what is the impact of your Brexit strategy going to be in the future, doing a deal with the United States? Something she has put a lot of political capital to over the past year or so.

And her answer was, look, the strategy we're taking now is better for business in the U.K. And that means this current strategy does mean it would be harder to get a business deal, trade deals with the United States.

So, the headline in "The Sun" is not particularly new. The animus President Trump appears to be showing towards Theresa May and her government, that, of course, is a great -- it is a significant factor in the way that he's going to be perceived here.

VANIER: Nic Robertson, thank you very much. It's just after 5:00 a.m. where you are, early in the morning. I appreciate you getting up for us. We'll talk to you next hour. Thanks, Nic.

The Thai Navy SEALs who helped rescue the trapped football team in a flooded cave were given a hero's welcome.


VANIER: Thirteen foreign divers and five Navy SEALs helped guide the 12 boys and their coach to safety. The SEALs returned to a military base in Southern Thailand on Thursday and were honored with a special welcome home ceremony.

Meanwhile, the families of the rescued boys are finally getting the reunion that they waited 18 days for. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health says relatives wearing protective gowns and masks can visit them in their hospital rooms. One of the boys is being hailed as a hero for the special role he played in the rescue. Our David McKenzie reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're very strong.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days, they had no food, were in total darkness. When the British rescue diver finally discovered the boys --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you?





MCKENZIE: A clear confident voice acting as a translator from Thai to English.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I understand.

MCKENZIE: That young voice is from a 14-year-old migrant, Adun Sam- on, a star player of the Wild Boars soccer team. Adun's teacher believes he played a key role. He helped save though boys, he says. At the school, they put up his soccer trophies and image as a kind of shrine, praying he would return.

When he is at school, he's a good kid, he says, such a happy kid. But Adun didn't come from a happy place. He was born in Myanmar's border regions, infamous for militant insurgencies and drug trafficking rings.

(on camera): The border to Myanmar is right over there, right in the center of town. And like many people here, Adun had to flee as a child to seek refuge in Thailand.

(voice-over): His parents brought Adun to a church mission when he wasn't much older than these migrant children. In a country where migrants are sometimes shunned, Adun thrived with a near perfect GPA. His Thai teachers call him a champion.

His Thai best friend says he can't wait to play football again with Adun and give him a hug. I think Adun is a hero, he says. He helped get everyone out of that cave. The extraordinary international effort to rescue the boys brought together military specialists and dive experts from across the world. And putting their prejudices aside, helped unify a country. David McKenzie, CNN, Northern Thailand.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: Coming up, a North Korean no-show at the DMZ. Why the U.S. says there's still hope for talks about returning U.S. troop remains, ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it's so frustrating, answer the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you'll allow him to, I'm sure he will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has never answered the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I see you looking --


VANIER: And an FBI agent taken to task for sending anti-Trump messages during the Russia investigation. Stay with us.



VANIER: It could be a snub, or it could be scheduling, but North Korea failed to show up Thursday for talks with the U.S. The State Department says the meeting is now set for Sunday, but there are signs that recently improved U.S.-North Korean ties are breaking down. CNN's Brian Todd has more from Washington.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kim Jong-un's regime gives the brush-off to U.S. officials over a contentious, emotional issue that has torn at American families for decades. A senior U.S. official tonight tells CNN the North Koreans did not show up at a planned meeting at the DMZ where they were expected to discuss repatriating remains of Americans killed during the Korean war.

There was no call or explanation from the North Koreans, this official says, just a no-show. According to the State Department, the North Koreans contacted the Americans midday Thursday and offered to reschedule the meeting for this Sunday, but the snub still resonates.

LINDSEY FORD, FORMER TOP PENTAGON ADVISER ON ASIA: This is a clear sign that if you guys expect that this negotiation is just going to be about us giving things on our side, you've got a bumpy road ahead of you.

TODD: The Pentagon says there are up to 5,300 sets of remains of U.S. service members still somewhere in North Korea. Since meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, President Trump has boasted about their deal to return American remains.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains. In fact, today already 200 have been sent back.

TODD: But that's not true. None of those remains have yet been handed back to the U.S. Former diplomats and Pentagon officials say the North Koreans are using this issue as bait.

FORD: The North Koreans will use whatever they can to extort it for cash for their regime. And then beyond that, it's how can they use an issue that is so sensitive for families and for service members to try to get concessions elsewhere in the relationship.

TODD: The North Korean snub at the DMZ comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's disastrous trip to Pyongyang, where he didn't get a meeting with Kim Jong-un and didn't make progress on drawing down North Korea's nuclear arsenal. A source with knowledge of the meeting telling CNN the North Koreans were messing around, not serious about moving forward.

DEAN CHENG, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The North Koreans are unfortunately acting very typically North Korean, which does mean arrogant, hubristic and taking the position they are in the driver's seat.

TODD: Still the president's swagger over the Kim summit hasn't receded. On Thursday, the president tweeted out a letter he got from Kim on July 6th. The letter calls Trump, your excellency, and called the Singapore meeting the start of a meaningful journey.

According to a source for "The Washington Post," Trump claimed to world leaders at the NATO summit that he recently called golfer, Jack Nicholas to brag, quote, "They have a thousand cameras at the Oscars, and we had 6,000 cameras in Singapore. The buzz was fantastic."

[00:20:05] FORD: I think the president's still sort of riding on a reality tv high coming off of Singapore, and he's going to try to keep that going for as long as he can.


TODD: A key question is how long is President Trump going to have patience with the so-called meaningful journey that Kim Jong-un talks about, and when might Trump finally feel embarrassed by all the North Korean dodging, deception, and arrogance?

At that point, analysts are worried that tensions might resume and get to where they were before, with sanctions tightening, a resumption of U.S.-South Korean military exercises and possibly talks of a first strike against North Korea. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

VANIER: When FBI Agent Peter Strzok sent disparaging text messages about Donald Trump in the months before the U.S. election, he didn't think they would become public, but they did. Now President Trump's Republican allies in Congress are holding them up as proof that Strzok and the FBI are biased against the president.

They grilled Strzok for nearly ten hours on Thursday, and there could be more where that came from. Here's CNN's Manu Raju from Capitol Hill.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok took a firm stand from the very beginning of the hearing.

PETER STRZOK, FBI AGENT WHO SENT ANTI-TRUMP TEXTS: The suggestion that I in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It simply couldn't happen. And the proposition that that is going on, that it might occur anywhere in the FBI, deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it's deeply destructive.

RAJU: Strzok saying he was removed from the Mueller probe because of how the texts were perceived, not because of bias.

STRZOK: I'm stating to you it is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias. That it was done based on the appearance. If you want to represent what you said accurately, I'm happy to answer that question, but I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed.

REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok. I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016.

RAJU: Republican Senator Darrell Issa making Strzok read his text aloud.

STRZOK: You want me to read this?


STRZOK: OMG, he's an idiot. Hi, how was Trump other than a dooze? Trump is a disaster. I have no idea how destabilizing his presidency would be.

RAJU: Strzok publicly disclosed why he sent an August 2016 text to FBI Lawyer Lisa Page, when he said, quote, "We'll stop it," referring to Trump as president.

STRZOK: That was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-Candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero. And my presumption based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.

RAJU: The lawmakers also turned their fire on themselves. At one point, erupting over whether or not the full transcript of Agent Strzok's closed-door testimony should be released. Something Democrats have called for and Republicans have resisted.

REPRESENTATIVE JERROLD NADLER (D), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I ask the chairman now to order the release of that transcript. Will the chairman do so?


NADLER: Will the chairman ever do so?

GOODLATTE: The -- you can direct your questions to the witness. That's your time to do that, not to discuss this.

RAJU: The hearing grew incredibly personal with one Republican spotlighting Strzok's extramarital affair with Page.

REPRESENTATIVE LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: And I've talked to FBI agents around the country. You've embarrassed them. You've embarrassed yourself. And I can't help but wonder when I see you looking here with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, it's outrageous.

GOHMERT: The credibility of a witness is also an issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Chairman, please.



VANIER: OK, then. Political analyst, Peter Mathews, joins us from Los Angeles. He teaches political science at Cypress College. Peter, good to have you back.


VANIER: Peter Strzok answered questions for ten hours. There was lots of drama. We just heard it. What did we actually learn? Did it bring to light anything we didn't already know?

MATHEWS: It did not actually. It didn't change anyone's mind either about anything we already knew. So, it was just a bunch of visual to the world that's unbelievable to much of the rest of the world. The other countries in the world say, how do you operate like that as a nation, a democratic nation, one that has rule of law, to air this kind of laundry? It's not even laundry.

[00:25:05] Air these facts that are just breaking down into nothing but shouting match. It's quite disgraceful all around if you think about it.

VANIER: Now, Strzok made a point. I think it was his central point during those ten hours if you boil it down, that having an opinion on politics doesn't make you biased. Yes, he didn't favor Candidate Trump, but, no, it didn't taint his investigation of the Trump campaign. That's his point. What do you make of that argument?

MATHEWS: Very important argument because FBI agents are trained to be -- you know, people who stuck to very high standards of judgment, and they are trained to not allow political bias to get in the way of investigative action because the investigation cannot be in any way tainted.

This is something that's intrinsic. That's what Strzok was saying. He was for 20 years an agent. He's gone through that training and something like that would not get in the way of his judgments on the investigation. I think it's quite credible what he said, but certainly, the other side will not believe it or will not accept it.

VANIER: Well, let me channel the words of the U.S. president there via tweet. It's just over a day old now. How can the rigged witch hunt proceed when it was started, influenced, and worked on for an extended period of time by former FBI agent and lover, Peter Strzok. Read his hate filled and biased e-mails and the answer is clear. Now, Peter, it's true that if you read Strzok's messages, those about Trump, it is clear that he doesn't like Trump.

MATHEWS: It certainly is very clear, but he was actually taken off of the investigation by Robert Mueller once these things became public. He wasn't on the investigation that long.

And the fact that he was removed from it shows that the self-cleansing of the FBI itself worked quite well, and those statements that he made were, in fact, on the surface very biased.

You could see that. But there was action taken regarding that, and you put that together with the training the FBI has to not let personal opinion bias your judgment in investigation, I think it's much ado about nothing really.

And I think Trump is trying to use it to deflect the attention from his -- the investigation on him that's been going on by Mr. Mueller and others.

VANIER: So, about that, all in all, do you think that this Strzok hearing -- and we showed it on tv. Americans could see it all day long. Do you think that helped the president's efforts to discredit the Russia investigation?

MATHEWS: I think he's going to try to use it for that, and it's possible with some people who watch it, there will be some of that -- you know, the investigation tainted to some extent. But overall the investigation that Mr. Mueller is doing is not going to be affected by this.

It's continuing, and we don't even know how many people Mr. Mueller has actually spoken to. There have been several people who have pleaded guilty who are connected to this whole investigation. That should be a warning right there the president is not out of the woods yet. So, it should be interesting to watch the next few weeks and see how they develop.

VANIER: All right. Peter Mathews, as always thank you for joining us on the show. We'll talk to you a little later. Thanks.

MATHEWS: Thank you, Cyril.

VANIER: Still to come on the show, U.S. President Donald Trump receives a grand welcome in the U.K. But there are many protesters waiting for him. We have a report from London after the break.


[00:30:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Let's look into our headlines this Friday morning. U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Britain Thursday and promptly trashed his host in an interview with the tabloid The Sun, he slammed Prime Minister Theresa May saying he told her how to do Brexit but she ignored him. Trump also criticized London's Mayor and said immigration is causing Europe to lose its culture. Before leaving Brussels and the NATO summit, Mr. Trump said other NATO countries had agreed to increase and speed up their defense on -- their spending on defense but those other leaders said no they had not approved any further spending beyond the levels pledged in 2014. A meeting between us and North Korean officials on returning the remains of U.S. soldiers have been rescheduled for Sunday it was originally set to take place in the Demilitarized Zone on Thursday but that never happened.

The State Department spokeswoman says the North Koreans made contact around midday to reschedule. Often circumstance amid protests and controversy. There are some mixed messages for U.S. President Trump as he visits the U.K. In the coming hours he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May again and have then tea with the Queen. But many Brits have no intention rolling out the welcome mat for him and the President even acknowledged to The Sun newspaper that he doesn't feel welcome in London. His schedule has been carefully designed to avoid the planned protests the biggest of which have been planned for Friday. Among the protests, the flying of this giant baby Trump blimp. Our Nick Paton Walsh has more on the demonstrations near the U.S. Ambassador's residence in London.


NICK PATON WALSH, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Small but noisy protests here. I would say probably 50 to 100 at the most. On the other side of that chain fence is where the security perimeter has been created. That is Winfield house where Donald Trump came in. The Osprey planes and the two helicopters that traveled with his team coming in over that tree line. While back landing as far as weather stands to the tune of the Beatles We Can Work It Out so some sense of party atmosphere they tried to conjure behind me. You see many of the guests leaving in the past hours but this is the beginning really of the problems for Donald Trump here. Frankly, it is the protests really there will be of a higher temperature for the U.S. Commander in Chief. They get cooking up tomorrow and they will to some degree shut down part of Central London if they reach the numbers tens of thousands here.

This protest, noisy as I say are small, many holding up signs say the Donald Trump is the world's number one racist, clear that they I think in this sort of hive of cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic capital of the U.K. rejects most the things that he stands for on the international stage. But he comes into a U.K. as I say with Theresa May is on some difficulty. She certainly lost two of us most senior cabinet members when it comes to her approach to leaving the European Union. In the year ahead, Donald Trump has made some perhaps less than helpful suggestions about how he fits into that sort of anti-immigration debates and whether the policy Theresa May is delivering necessary in his mind gives the British people what he says they voted for. A bizarre few days here and one I think where the kind of noise you and hearing behind me will begin to fill Central London tomorrow. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Following president Trump's controversial visit to the U.K. he will head to Helsinki Finland to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Trump says he intends to raise the issue of Moscow's interference in the 2016 U.S. election.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again. He may deny it. I mean, it's one of those things. All I can do is say did you and don't do it again but he may deny.


VANIER: Joining me now from Las Vegas is Dr. Jan Halper-Hayes. She's the former Vice President of Republicans Oversees. That's a political organization for U.S. citizens who live outside the U.S. She's traveling to Helsinki as part of President Trump's advance team. Now on the issue of Russia meddling in the US election, Mr. Trump says you'll bring it up but if Putin denies it, there's not much else he can do. Why does the U.S. President seem unwilling to apply the same level of pressure on Putin as he does on traditional U.S. allies?

JAN HALPER-HAYES, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLICANS OVERSEES: Well, you know, you're making an interpretation that way and if it's just around the Russian meddling because he has applied an enormous amount of sanction and he intends to and if you think about the comments he made about Germany and the pipeline, he's not going to be easy on Putin.

VANIER: OK, well you say it's my interpretation. I don't think I'm the only person who interprets Mr. Trump's comments to all of the traditional U.S. allies including all NATO partners, including Canada, including Germany as how should we put them, as harsh as very harsh whereas when it comes to Mr. Putin he says well he doesn't -- if he doesn't admit the meddling then it's over, conversation is over.

HAYES: Well, you're only making the point about meddling but if we even take a broader to the allies, I think it's really interesting how it was OK for Defense Secretary Cohen to say NATO was a relic in history or for Secretary Albright to tell them that they needed to share the expenses, in the 2015 NATO summit V.P. Biden had said you know, we might have to leave. We carry 72 percent of this. We're paying 650 billion of a 900 billion budget but somehow we need to make Trump the bad guy instead of the only one who has a backbone where the other ones had words and no actions to follow.

[00:35:40] VANIER: the point I'm making to you and where I'm really interested in getting your perspective is just that Mr. Trump is not afraid of using very strong rhetoric and strong words with U.S. allies but he stays away from that and is quite noticeable when it comes to the Russian President.

HAYES: Well, it's true. He hasn't had a summit with him --

VANIER: And so my question is why.

HAYES: Well, frankly Putin doesn't tweet back where Kim Jong-un gave him some ammunition so he could call him Rocketman and they could compare the size of their nuclear buttons and everything else. And so right now he is -- he's really hoping to not necessarily turn him into an ally or turn Russia into an ally but he views it as a competitor and they need to find a way to work things out. And so why is the harshness needed, the harshness has come in sanctions, it's come in his actions and I think that's what people need to look at instead of having knee-jerk reactions to everything he says.

VANIER: The sanctions which Congress imposed on the President in which he appeared at least in the first instance unwilling to impose.

HAYES: Well, you know, there -- that was the latest U.N. thing but he has imposed a lot of sanctions over the past 18 months.

VANIER: Mr. Trump was pretty vague when he was asked about what he talked about with Vladimir Putin so to the best of your knowledge what does he hope to get out of a meeting?

HAYES: Well definitely to talk about his involvement in Syria. I mean, he's been rather open about that.

VANIER: I read a quote from you in The Sydney Morning Herald that he's interested in developing a relationship first and foremost with Vladimir Putin but to what end because from what I read your words, it seemed to be more about the relationship than the strategic interests of the U.S. at this stage?

HAYES: OK, if you understand Trump and you pay attention to him it's no different than when he was asked about Kim Jong-un what are your plans and he said I'm just going to go and establish a relationship. Trump really despite what people think is a very personable guy and he really likes to figure out the rapport because through that rapport it's better to negotiate and work things out because then you can understand both sides.

VANIER: All right Dr. Jan Halper-Hayes thank you very much for coming on.

HAYES: Pleasure.

VANIER: Coming up after the break from the Neymar challenge to England's optimism that football was coming home. We'll break down the best meme of the World Cup stay tuned for that.


[00:40:00] VANIER: The World Cup file that finally is just around the corner, just a little over two days to wait. On Sunday France and Croatia face off for the championship. Until then, however, we have enough memes, those viral images to keep us occupied. "WORLD SPORTS" Don Riddell breaks down the best one so far.


DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: The World Cup has captured football fans all over the world bringing moments of delirium and plenty of heartbreak. And in turn, the fans have captured the World Cup, its highs, and its lows online in memes. As the most expensive player in the world, Neymar was always going to be under the microscope but the Brazilian star brought joy to millions in a way that he could never have imagined. Clips of his overly theatrical rolling around went viral. In training, young kids all learned to do with the Neymar.


RIDDEL: And in general video editors were having a ball even turning him into one. It's not just the players who produce the magic, the fans do too. This clip has been viewed more than 20 million times. A grandma blessing the Mexico players before their win against Germany, granddaughter Paula tweeted I'm 100 percent convinced my grandma was the reason Mexico won. Later on, Mexican supporters were sure that South Korea was the reason that they were still in the tournament. After Korea's unexpected win against Germany, random Koreans were hoisted onto shoulders and paraded through the streets like gods. South Korea's Consul General in Mexico found himself to be the guest at a most unexpected celebration

England surprise run to the semi-finals inspired all kinds of creative musing. And while football didn't actually come home, their fans were dreaming. This boarding card perfectly captured the sentiment with references to England's only previous victory in 1966 52 years have hurt and of course their unflappable manager Gareth Southgate. It's a cruel game for these Croatian Firefighters watching the quarter-final shootout against Russia, the result was the joy but the climbing would cruel. In the satirical video, they posted on Facebook, the comedic sight of them racing out of the firehouse and so missing the winning shot is a reminder to us all it's only a game. Don Riddel, CNN.


VANIER: And the World Cup coverage continues. Football fever gripping Croatia you have more of that next on "WORLD SPORT." I'm back at the top of the hour with more news stay with us.