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EARLY START

Protests Greet U.S. President in the UK; President Trump Criticizes Prime Minister Theresa May While Visiting the UK; Strzok Hearing Turns into Political Spectacle; Trump Tweets Very Nice Note from Kim Jong-un. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 13, 2018 - 04:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:31:07] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The president starts his first official trip to the UK by slamming the prime minister. President Trump says trade deals are in jeopardy because Theresa May didn't take his advice on Brexit. Also tens of thousands are expected to protest the president's visit and Trump baby headed towards the skies.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN ANCHOR: As the baby rising.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: How many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Mr. Chairman, it's outrageous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: Man, sparks like that flew for 10 hours as FBI agent Peter Strzok fends off accusations of bias and members of Congress fend off each other.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Michelle Kosinski.

BRIGGS: The 25 guys competing for a rose on "Bachelorette" called and said, guys, cut the theatrics.

I'm Dave Briggs. 4:30 Eastern Time. A lot of news to get to. We start in the UK.

President Trump hop scotching all over the United Kingdom. The one place he's carefully avoiding Central London this morning. Some 50,000 protesters are expected there. Before they do, this infamous Trump baby is taking to the skies.

For more, we turn to Nick Paton Walsh live in London. Nick, good morning.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, extraordinary sight behind me. A countdown to 10 amid a cheer as this Trump blimp was released. Now just in case you can't see its entirety, this is a likeness some say of Donald Trump in a nappy, in a diaper, naked, holding a mobile phone. Obviously perceived here as one of his key weapons unleashing on social media. Many of his more virulent attacks. But this is, it's fair to say, the closest but a likeness Donald Trump will get towards parliament. In fact oddly enough, to add to the surrealness of the scene, the place where normally you'd expect a U.S. sitting president to in fact spend much of his time, instead he's avoiding Central London.

As this was beginning to be prepared, a cage came into here which contains a man in adult Trump mask dressed as a gorilla. Now he was escorted off Abingdon Green because under local authority laws here you have to have permission to protest. This blimp does have permission to be up in the skies now for another two hours. And in fact that permission was given by the London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Now he has been a long virulent on social media -- opponent to Donald Trump often answering much of the criticism Donald Trump has had. But in an interview to "The Sun" which Donald Trump gave today, a key British tabloid newspaper, he in fact expressed how he felt, quote, "unwelcome in London." Surely partly because of this and in fact he also reserved some criticism for London Mayor Sadiq Khan saying how his policies had allowed crime and immigration to be sort of rampantly feeding each other here inside London.

Obviously it's the central government in the UK that controls those things, not the mayor of London. But still it's that antipathy that grows and we'll see in the city center of London building in the hours ahead. Up in Oxford Circus, protests with tens of thousands, they're supposed to begin marching towards to Central Trafalgar Square. And I have to say strangely, too, as this was unleashed we saw the two sights of U.S. presidential Osprey aircraft, extraordinary vehicles, rotors and fixed wings, they flew over parliament as this was being unleashed.

That's really the distance that Donald Trump has had to keep from Central London here. When those aircrafts were used a strange choice frankly because the noise in general, the terrifying glance they give to people. One passersby said it looked like something out of "Star Wars." So this is sort of the distance we're feeling between British people on the ground here at this point and the U.S. president who I should say again you would normally expect to spend all of his time in Central London, at parliament, at Buckingham Palace. Instead, he was in Blenheim Palace 60 miles from where I'm standing to the northwest last night, in Sandhurst Military College and then Chequers, and then Windsor Castle meeting the Queen later on -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, typically in war zones around the world, today a very different atmosphere in London. Thank you, sir.

KOSINSKI: Yes. The balloon doesn't fly very high. It is not exactly --

[04:35:05] BRIGGS: It's quite a view we have of the Trump baby. Let's move on, though, at 9:35 a.m. KOSINSKI: All right. So from the protests to the politics for

President Trump today in the UK. Lots going on but expect a rough road ahead made bumpier by combative comments the president made to "The Sun" newspaper. The interview went online just as last night's gala dinner with Prime Minister Theresa May was ending.

BRIGGS: President -- he said President May ignored his advice on Brexit and he said a proposal to maintain close ties. The European Union would jeopardize any future trade deal with the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they do a deal like that, we'll be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK. So it will probably kill the deal. If they do that, their trade deal with the U.S. will probably not be made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: It was extraordinary criticism of a foreign leader and an already weakened prime minister. The U.S.' closest ally on a trip to her own country. And just the latest example as the president playing nice in person, but then getting tough in public.

For the latest let's bring in international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson live in London. So I'm hearing from sources there, Nic, that this is really hitting the fan. They expect the day to be dominated by so much that was in that interview.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sure. I mean, look, what British officials told me that they were most fearful about this trip was President Trump coming and getting upset by being able to see these protests and that plan was to try to keep him away and the time that he was going to spend with the prime minister was time that they hoped that they could really sort of help explain to President Trump why the relationship between the two countries is so good.

Britain, they say, creates a million jobs in the United States. Those were the sort of issues they wanted to talk about. We couldn't be a million miles further away from that and the estimation that British officials had that their biggest problem was President Trump seeing the protests. Clearly they had no idea what he had in mind when he gave this interview to "The Sun" newspaper. It has a wide viewership here, it has a populist readership in this country.

The shots that President Trump has taken at Theresa May could not come at a more damaging time. She's being criticized by her own party for her positions on Brexit. They're saying she's too soft. She's lost two key important ministers over Brexit this week. So President Trump weighing in and saying that this is not going to help Britain get trade deals with the United States, which has been a key part of her sell to the British public, that Brexit would be OK and whatever we'd lose in business deal with the European Union would make up with the United States. This is going to be additionally damaging. And then he turns the

knife, if you will, and says that Boris Johnson, her Foreign secretary who quit this week, would actually be a good prime minister. President Trump is going to go in and sit down again with Theresa May in a couple of hours.

I just cannot begin to imagine how that conversation is going to go, who's going to say the first word. I can't imagine that Theresa May ever thought that the man she tried to position herself politically close to would do this to her at this time.

KOSINSKI: Yes. That press conference later today is going to be interesting. Thanks a lot, Nic.

BRIGGS: Interesting indeed. Joining us this morning from London, "TIME" magazine international editor Dan Stewart.

Dan, good to see you this morning. So in this interview with "The Sun" the president blows up Theresa May's Brexit strategy, potentially elevates someone who could challenge Theresa May and her leadership. And despite all that, Chris Ruddy, who's a close friend to the president, and the CEO of Newsmax, told our Chris Cuomo last night it was a love fest. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS RUDDY, NEWSMAX CEO AND TRUMP CONFIDANT: It was a great night. I would describe it as a love fest between the president of the United States and the British prime minister in terms of their two countries. This president likes the inter-personal connection with people. He is a very people person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: So given everything the president told "The Sun" how does Theresa May handle this?

DAN STEWART, INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, TIME: I mean, I think that's a very good question. She will be meeting with Trump over lunch today in Chequers. She has a 10-minutes one-on-one with him. Perhaps she'll raise this in that meeting. But I think this is -- Trump has been quite hard on Brexit for a long time now. He said these sorts of things before he came to the U.S. and so, you know, it's sort of in keeping with his line on Brexit. So I mean, I think it will be interesting to see what happens as you say in the press conference.

I think what we're going to see is probably as a -- the guests last night said, you know, a rebinding of the ties of the special relationship.

[04:40:12] I think that's the prism to which they're going to try and reflect this rather than the kind of intricacy of the domestic policies, if you like.

KOSINSKI: And of course this is not a presidential system in the UK. I mean, Theresa May has to bring her entire party and her Cabinet with her. Really difficult to get all those views together especially over something as contentious as Brexit.

Is there a sense that the president even fully understands this was the deal that could be gotten?

STEWART: Well, who's to say what the president understands or not. I know "The Huffington Post" reported last night that Trump likes to say every time he calls Theresa May, you Brexited yet? As if it's something that she can do unilaterally. Well, of course it's a hugely, hugely complex undertaking. Not only does she have to have consensus within her Cabinet, she also has to have her government behind her. She also has to have parliament behind her. And then she has to make an agreement with the other 27 members of the European Union.

This is not just a matter as simple as just saying OK, we're done with this. Good-bye. So to the extent that Trump understands that, who can say? But, you know, his point is for making a swift decisive decisions and perhaps he sees that as a similar sort of thing as might happen with NATO or with NAFTA agreement, for example.

BRIGGS: All right. So we're seeing these images of protesters and this infamous now Trump baby balloon that is headed towards the sky. What is it that the people of London are protesting regarding President Trump's policies and/or his presence in London?

STEWART: Well, I think this goes back to a lot of his perceived views on race, on women. It's the same sort of perhaps, slightly from the left-wing view of his positions on immigration. Particularly with -- towards Muslims. As I was on my way here today, I saw people selling left-wing newspapers along the sort of parade route.

I think that's probably the sort of type of people you're going to see. But we have been promised a carnival. I think it's going to be quite colorful. Alongside the balloon you have a drag queen protest I think is joining the main protest. And also something called Trumpets for Trump where people are going to be playing brass instruments at a discordant level to sort of indicate their dissatisfaction. So it should be very colorful and perhaps not bitter, I think.

KOSINSKI: Yes. Sunny summer day. Brits getting creative. Not unlike that baby Briggs balloon I saw flying outside today.

BRIGGS: Oh boy. No Briggs balloon.

KOSINSKI: That was cute. It was cute.

BRIGGS: No diapers on this fellow.

Dan Stewart from "TIME" magazine. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

KOSINSKI: Thanks so much.

STEWART: Thanks for having me.

KOSINSKI: Well, it was a very contentious day as embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok testified before Congress. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER STRZOK, FBI: I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: And that was one of the more tame parts of the day. Coming up.

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[04:47:55] BRIGGS: Well, if you missed Peter Strzok's testimony on Capitol Hill, you missed quite the spectacle. Even by congressional standards. Members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees ripping into the FBI agent and one another for about 10 hours. Republicans have been using Strzok's text messages with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to promote claims of an anti-Trump bias at the bureau. But Strzok was having none of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STRZOK: At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took. And 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: Yes, this hearing was no snooze. Agent Strzok went on to tell lawmakers a sensitive and credible source told the FBI about a Russian offer to help a member of the Trump campaign. So Strzok says he could have leaked the information to hurt the Trump campaign, if he wanted to, but never considered it.

There were plenty of low moments in this hearing like this one when Congressman Louie Gohmert brought up Strzok's affair with Lisa Page.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: And I can't help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Mr. Chairman, it's outrageous.

GOHMERT: The credibility of a witness is always an issue --

(CROSSTALK)

REP. BONNIE COLEMAN WATSON (D), NEW JERSEY: Shame on you, Mr. Gohmert. Mr. Chairman, please.

CICILLINE: You know, Mr. Chairman, this is intolerable harassment of the witness.

COLEMAN WATSON: What is wrong with you? You need your medication.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: It was a race to the bottom. Louie Gohmert won.

Lisa Page will meet with members of Congress behind closed doors this afternoon. She defied a congressional subpoena to testify on Wednesday.

KOSINSKI: A devastating 2017 hurricane season has FEMA admitting its response capabilities were stretched at every level. This season included those hurricanes Harvey in the Gulf, Irma in Florida and Maria in Puerto Rico. FEMA admits now it drastically underestimated the devastation Hurricane Maria would unleash on Puerto Rico, hampering the reaction.

[04:50:08] The agency registered 4.7 million households for disaster assistance between August 25th and November 30th alone. That's more than Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Sandy combined.

BRIGGS: All right, 4:50 and some money headlines. Johnson & Johnson will pay a record $4.7 billion in the case linking its iconic baby powder to cancer. 22 women claimed Johnson and Johnson's power contains asbestos, caused them to develop ovarian cancer. A Missouri jury agreed, ordering the company to pay its largest settlement to date over these allegations.

J&J is currently battling 9,000 similar cases. Now the science linking talcum powder to cancer is uncertain, but the company says decades of studies show its powder is safe and denies that its signature powder causes cancer or contains asbestos. Johnson & Johnson calls the Missouri trial, quote, "fundamentally unfair." It plans to appeal the decision. Johnson & Johnson has overturned previous tough verdicts on technical grounds.

KOSINSKI: The president says he got a very nice note from none other than Kim Jong-un. But does it mean anything if Pyongyang then doesn't show up to a critical meeting? We're live in Seoul.

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[04:56:01] KOSINSKI: There are no notable signs of progress on negotiations with North Korea. But the president is still releasing what he calls a very nice note from leader Kim Jong-un. In the letter, Kim calls the president "Your Excellency" and describes their summit last month as a, quote, "start of a meaningful journey." Noticeably absent, though, from that very nice note any reference to denuclearization.

CNN's Andrew Stevens is back live with us in Seoul with more on this. ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: No message about

denuclearization in that note from Kim Jong-un. But Donald Trump still said great progress was being made when he tweeted out that letter from Kim Jong-un. That was dated on July 6th actually, Michelle, which ties in when -- with Mike Pompeo arriving in Pyongyang to talk to Kim Jong Chol. We know those talks -- excuse me -- did not go well at all. That Mike Pompeo did not meet Kim Jong-un. In fact, Kim Jong-un was apparently traveling in the northeast of the country looking at potato farms and potato factories.

Since then, the optics continue to look pretty bad. The North Koreans were a no-show at a meeting which was supposed to take place yesterday at the demilitarized zone with the Americans about the return of the remains of U.S. servicemen who died in the Korean War.

This is obviously politically important. It's delicate. Donald Trump has said in fact that some of the remains have already been brought home from North Korea. That is not true. But certainly there was a signing between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un about expediting the return of those remains which is not happening at the moment.

That meeting which is supposed to take place yesterday has now been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. And on top of all this, we have the U.S. pushing at the U.N. Security Council with new evidence it says shows North Korea is sanctions busting on the import of petroleum products, all products basically. They've said that the North Koreans have gone way beyond their allocated target for 500,000 barrels of fuel oil and has called on Russia and China to stop supplying anymore fuel to North Korea. So obviously there are major issues at play here and no progress as far as denuclearization is concerned.

KOSINSKI: All right. Well, at least that meeting is back on. But as you said, it's not even going to be about denuclearization.

Thanks so much, Andrew.

BRIGGS: All right. 4:58. A check on CNN Money now. Wall Street ignoring trade fears at least for now. U.S. stocks closed higher yesterday thanks to a rally if tech stocks. Right now global stocks of U.S. futures are higher. Investors are waiting on corporate earnings in some of the largest U.S. banks reported today including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Wall Street expects a strong season. S&P profits should be 20 percent higher than last year.

Delta plans to increase fares and add fewer flights as it combats higher fuel prices. Delta will pay $2 billion more for fuel this year. And it's not alone. All airlines are paying more for jet fuel as oil prices rise. U.S. crude is up more than 20 percent this year. That could mean higher ticket prices for you. Delta boosting fares by 4 percent. American Airlines raising prices 1 percent.

A Build-A-Bear promotion turning into complete chaos. Families across the United States went nuts for this Build-A-Bear sale. The, quote, "pay your age" promotion lets customers pay their current age for the popular stuffed animals. But thousands of customers as you could see showed up forcing Build-A-Bear stores to close, long lines and turned customers away due to crowds and safety concerns. However, the families didn't walk away empty handed. The store distributed vouchers for those who waited in line but left without a stuffed animal.

I'm not sure how kids prove their age if you show up and say I'm 7, you don't have a driver's license.

KOSINSKI: Well --

BRIGGS: But that just added I think to the chaos we're seeing there.

KOSINSKI: Build a crowd.

BRIGGS: Build a crowd, they did indeed.

KOSINSKI: EARLY START continues right now.

BRIGGS: The president starts --