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President Trump Leaves For Finland To Meet Putin; Chicago Police And Protesters Clash; Thai Soccer Team Mourns Former Navy SEAL; Deadly Zoo Escape; Serena's Message To Moms After Wimbledon Loss; Russia Election Meddling Aired 6-7a ET
Aired July 15, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Focus now turns here to Helsinki.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump seems to think that Vladimir Putin is his friend, that Russia is our friend when that is simply not the case.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I would have a very good relationship with President Putin.
TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: He is Putin's poodle. And is not going to hold Putin accountable.
TRUMP: Anything you do, so he's going to be, oh, Russia. He loves Russia. I love the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president feels like he can just go in and give Vladimir Putin a big hug and everything is going to be fine.
TRUMP: Well, I've been prepared, totally prepared. I've been prepared for this stuff my whole life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His warm embrace of Putin has the eyes of the world on this summit.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. And thank you so much for spending some time with us here.
President Trump is getting in another round of golf at his resort in Scotland before he heads to Finland, that's happening in just a few hours, and that of course where his historic meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This is the third stop on his European tour the one he is appear to be most vocal about even saying frankly Putin might be the easiest of them all.
PAUL: And it has not been a quiet trip thus far. Protesters following the president everywhere it seems, from London to Scotland, and they are expected to show up in Helsinki.
BLACKWELL: President Trump has also been very free with his advice to NATO countries in the U.K. This morning, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the BBC -- BBC rather, that President Trump told her to sue the E.U.
PAUL: CNN's Abby Phillip is in Glasgow, Scotland where President Trump is wrapping up his weekend here, and CNN's Nic Robertson is in Helsinki, Finland where the president is headed of course next for that summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That happens tomorrow but we're going to start with Abby in Scotland.
Abby, help us understand what is on the president's agenda today.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, this weekend has been spent with a combination of golf and preparations for this important and highly anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki tomorrow.
The president will be leaving Scotland in just a few short hours for this meeting. But it has already been complicated by some developments back home on the domestic front, 12 indictments of Russian military intelligence officers on Friday have prompted calls for President Trump to forcefully confront Vladimir Putin about Russian election meddling or cancel the summit.
The White House has already said they are not cancelling it. It's going to go ahead as planned but there are questions now about whether President Trump is going to do enough to make (INAUDIBLE) Putin that that action in the 2016 election was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, President Trump is here. We have just learned from a White House official that he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend to talk about this summit with Putin. Netanyahu just returned from meeting with Putin in Moscow so it seems very much the two leaders were swapping information about this summit in preparation for the president to sit down with Putin tomorrow.
There are a number of issues of mutual interests for both Israel and the United States. The most important of which might be Syria and President Trump has already said he is going to be talking about that, talking about ways that the United States can get Russia to do more on the issue of Syria, but, at the same time, there is still a lot of concern in the United States that the president is going into this meeting, perhaps a bit naive, believing that President Trump and President Putin can become friends. At the end of the day there is some real concern that there is very little common ground to be found here with President Trump.
PAUL: All right. Abby Phillip there in Glasgow with us. Thank you so much, Abby. Appreciate it.
Now CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live in Helsinki.
BLACKWELL: Nic, President Trump will arrive in Helsinki and we see that there are more protests there. Tell us how the people of Helsinki are viewing this meeting between Trump and Putin.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think, generally speaking, the people here are happy to see President Putin and President Trump meet.
They live on -- they live on Russia's doorstep. They live under the shadow of Russia. They manage to stay out of its grip at the end of the Second World War.
So any sort of (INAUDIBLE) between these two leaders is good for them. They feel is good for the world that it happening -- they're hosting it, they feel that's good. Nevertheless there will be a protest about human rights here.
It is we are told a family led protest and you could -- people here will apply that human rights issue to Russia but it'll also have some focus on president -- on Trump on this issue. However, we are told to expect small numbers relatively calm, nothing like we have what we have seen in Scotland or in London in the past couple of days.
The Presidential Palace here where President Trump will meet President Putin is just over my shoulder here. You're looking at it now. This palace is where the two will meet in just about 24 hours' time.
One-on-one first. Putin and Trump together, alone before they bring in other official and the of course root of concern for some analysts at the moment because they believe President Trump would be much better served if he went in with a full level of advisers and officials to flank him to provide the support and the information for him to be able to confront President Putin strongly with this evidence. These 12 indictments of these Russian military intelligence agents who meddled in the U.S. elections, the national -- the secretary of Homeland Security says is an attack on American democracy and should not be allowed.
PAUL: Interestingly, this morning, Nic, there is one other meeting we need to talk about that we just learned about, Macron. French's president Macron is going to be meeting with Putin in just a few hours here before the World Cup. They are going to meet one-on-one as we understand it.
What do we know about that meeting?
ROBERTSON: Sure. Look, I mean, right now, Moscow is sort of the center of the world's attention. President Putin is hosting the World Cup, in many ways. He is man of the moment through today.
So he will be hosting Emmanuel Macron whose team France is in the final. But this is a relationship between Macron and Putin that has been warming up this year. Macron came to St. Petersburg for a summit there that President Putin was holding earlier in the year, it's an annual event, and France's Emmanuel Macron went there.
So that relationship has been warming up but what Macron will be able to talk to Putin about today before the World Cup final is that -- is about the NATO meeting that President Trump has just attended. And, of course, the real concern there was that NATO would present a united front in the face of Russian aggression.
So what President Putin may learn, the questions he may ask, what Emmanuel Macron of France may tell him about that meeting will be information, will be valuable information of insights when he sits down with President Trump before he gets President Trump's take on that meeting. So the ball here metaphorically speaking on a World Cup final day is very much on this issue at the moment today at least in President Putin's court.
PAUL: All right. Very good pun there, very good way to say it. Nic Robertson, we appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us now Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor for the "Washington Examiner;" and Uri Friedman, global affairs staff writer for "The Atlantic."
PAUL: Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with us. Uri, I want to get your take first on this meeting with -- that we're just learning about with President Macron and President Putin.
URI FRIEDMAN, STAFF WRITER, GLOBAL AFFAIRS, THE ATLANTIC: Yes. I think it's going to be a study in contrast. Because Emmanuel Macron has very different positions than Donald Trump on many key issues like Ukraine, for example.
Donald Trump has not rolled out recognizing Crimea which was illegally annexed in 2014 by Russia as Russian territory. Whereas Emmanuel Macron and much of Europe has a much, you know, more -- really a stronger stand on Ukraine saying, it should be Russian territory and that Russia should leave.
And on Syria Macron has been much more vocal in calling out Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians, for example. So I think in -- on Iran as well, for example, the Iran nuclear deal, France wants to stay in, Russia wants to stay in, Donald Trump has withdrawn. So I think you'll see a study in contrast on certain issues.
There's a larger thing too which is that Europe has really become more independent in its foreign policy as a result of its tensions with the United States. And Emmanuel Macron has been at the lead of having a stronger European foreign policy and I think you'll see that on display in his meeting in Moscow with Vladimir Putin today.
BLACKWELL: Siraj, the president has talked a lot about and some would say bragged about being tougher on Russia than his recent predecessors. And, yes, he did supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, the sanctions as well. And we know that he urged NATO members to spend more on their defense.
How does he now turn that just a couple of days later and reframe that standing next to Vladimir Putin?
SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER AND EDITOR, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, given the fact that Robert Mueller announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for meddling in the 2016 election, President Trump has to bring that up in the meeting and he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't with respect to Trump's attempted friendliness with Vladimir Putin.
You know, it would just -- you know, a lot of the things that he does with respect to how he approaches foreign policy, it would justify his behavior if he is playing by the player -- you know, keep your friends close but your enemies even closer. And I think that this culture of appeasement that he is being criticized for with respect to his relationship with Vladimir Putin and his toughness on NATO allies and Theresa May, the prime minister of England, the United Kingdom, you know, there is a lot of tough questions and Trump is always been the wildcard going into meetings.
The real key thing here is that both Putin and Trump do not care about their respective politics happening in their home countries because they are just going to do whatever they want to do.
PAUL: So, listen, there is something else that has happened this morning that has come out. Let's listen to Prime Minister Theresa May. She was talking to the BBC earlier today and revealed something that we had not known before about a conversation she had with President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He told me I should sue the E.U.
ANDREW MARR, HOST, "THE ANDREW MARR SHOW": Sue the E.U.?
MAY: Sue the E.U. Not go into negotiations, sue them. Actually, no, no. We're going into -- we're going into --
MARR: Do you think about that for a second?
MAY: We're going into negotiations with them. But interestingly what the president also said at that press conference was don't walk away.
MARR: Yes, then you'll be stuck.
MAY: Don't walk away from negotiations because then you're stuck. So I want us to be able to sit down to negotiate the best deal for Britain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, Uri, what is your reaction to the fact that the president told Theresa May to sue the EU.? I know our first reaction was sue for what? On what basis?
BLACKWELL: Sue for what and what court are we suing?
FRIEDMAN: Yes. That is very, very unclear.
Now Donald Trump knows about lawsuits. He has been involved in many. So he is familiar with that approach.
I think also more broadly this is Donald Trump's approach, you know, it is to go in, be disruptive, go in the harshest way possible. Theresa May has taken a much different approach which is to kind of do what is called a soft Brexit which is trying to be somewhat a part of the European Union while still being an independent country. And I think this is a good example of the way Donald Trump would approach this as opposed to, you know, Theresa May and the conflict between them.
And I think more broadly, this shows that Donald Trump wouldn't be afraid to kind of challenge the integrity of the European Union. He doesn't necessarily agree with, you know, the idea of trying to keep cohesion within the European Union.
FRIEDMAN: He actually wants to engage with all these countries on a more bilaterally basis and that's why he's urging Theresa May to do it and say, take or do clean break with the European Union. Let's trade together and let's do that with other European countries as well.
BLACKWELL: Siraj, listen to how the president this week framed his expectations for this meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will see what happens. Just a loose meeting. It's not going to be big schedule.
I don't think it should take a very long period of time. And we will see where it leads.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I mean, they have met twice before since the inauguration and this isn't like a Singapore get to know you meeting as that was framed. Is the president lowering expectations or is it realistic that he is really going into the summit with no expectation of deliverables?
HASHMI: The thing about President Trump is he feels he can go into a lot of meetings with world leaders or diplomats cold without having being briefed on a lot of the matters that are going forward.
You know, with respect to Syria, the United States struck twice against them in two planned military strikes with respect to using chemical weapons. You know, President Trump can use sort of that mentality of saying, look, if Russia doesn't get their act together, you know, we'll implement more sanctions or we will take matters even further. Of course, recognizing Crimea is not -- should not be part of that plan and certainly giving way to anything not even the mentioning the Mueller indictments that happened on Friday is sort of conceding that position right there. So, you know, Trump doesn't want to be too hawkish on Russia but, you know, there comes a time and a place where he has to put his foot down and say, enough.
BLACKWELL: Well, we know there will be this media availability, as it's being called. We don't know if the president will take questions but I'm sure that those questions will come up, especially about Crimea and Syria, Iran as well.
Siraj Hashmi and Uri Friedman, thank you both.
PAUL: Thank you, gentlemen.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you.
PAUL: So a special edition of "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" is live for you today from Finland. It's at 8:00 a.m. Eastern and at noon. You can tune in to hear from senators Mark Warner and Rand Paul.
BLACKWELL: Police and protesters clash in Chicago after officers shot and killed a man on the city's south side. We have got a firsthand look. You're seeing some of it now of the violence from last night's demonstrations.
PAUL: Also a half dozen animals in a New Orleans zoo killed after a jaguar got out of its habitat. How long it took zookeepers to track down that big cat?
BLACKWELL: And the World Cup comes down to today. Championship match featuring two European teams that could not be more different. We're live from Moscow for France-Croatia.
BLACKWELL: Look at this. These are the violent demonstrations last night from Chicago's south side. This is after police shot and killed a man.
Several protesters were arrested and now police are asking for patience as they launch an internal investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Tense moments in Chicago as police and protesters face off after a fatal police shooting. In this video recorded by "Chicago Sun-Times" reporter Nader Issa police are seen beating a protester with batons.
Issa reported that police rushed protesters who have been throwing bottles. Issa says he was also pushed to the ground by police. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your phone and get out now. This is private property. Get out.
BLACKWELL: Chicago police confirmed that at least four people were arrested and several officers were injured by rocks and bottles. Police also say their squad cars were damaged.
The protest started shortly after police shot and killed a man on the city's south side. Police have not identified that man but according to the chief, officers thought the man had a gun because there was a -- quote -- "bulge around his waistband."
FRED WALLER, CHICAGO POLICE CHIEF OF PATROL: After that, they approached the subject who became combative and as he became combative flailing away he broke free from the officers and what they thought he appeared to be reaching for a weapon which he did have a weapon on him and officers tragically shot this man.
BLACKWELL: A police spokesman says the shooting was record on a body camera. The chief says police found a gun at the scene but the man did not shoot at officers. Authorities say officers involved will be placed on administrative leave for 30 days.
The city's Police Accountability office is asking for patience as the investigation begins but protesters want accountability now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever shot this man was dead wrong. He was unarmed and they shot an unarmed black man again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shot that man five times because he had a holster and (ph) there (ph) wasn't (ph) even a gun in the holster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. What was your reaction when you saw that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I run for cover before I get one of the bullets because they ain't got no name on them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. City leaders in Chicago promised reforms after the shooting of Laquan McDonald. That was in 2014. Three officers were charged in that shooting and they are expected to go on trial later this year.
PAUL: Well, he gave his life trying to rescue a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave and now those 12 boys and their coach are paying tribute.
BLACKWELL: New photos released from the Public Health Ministry showed the group in the hospital mourning the Thai Navy SEAL who died during the rescue effort and writing messages of thanks on his portrait.
Kunan, is his name, an experienced diver, he died while returning oxygen tanks to the area where the boys were located. PAUL: Well, one day after a jaguar escaped its habitat and killed six animals, a zoo in New Orleans is expected to reopen this morning.
The male jaguar escaped its enclosure at the Audubon Zoo early yesterday morning. By the time zoo keepers were able to track down that big cat four alpacas, an emu and a fox had been killed.
Three other animals were injured. They are expected to survive but the park was closed at the time, no people were hurt, a full review is under way to determine how that jaguar escaped its habitat.
BLACKWELL: Still ahead, Serena Williams, her moving speech --
PAUL: I know.
BLACKWELL: -- after coming up short --
PAUL: It hurts. I know.
BLACKWELL: I know it hurts. But the speech makes up for a lot of it after coming up short at Wimbledon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER: To all of the moms out there, you know, I was playing for you today and I tried but, you know --
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Yes, you did. Yes, you did.
"History of Comedy" is back too this time with Steve Martin, Sean Hayes, Mo'Nique and more on the seriousness of laughter. The new season starts tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: Twenty-seven minutes past the hour. And we are hearing this morning now new interview with President Trump as he spoke with CBS this morning.
BLACKWELL: Yes. He is talking about both his expectations for this meeting with Vladimir Putin also how he will approach Putin from the perspective of the new indictment that came down from Bob Mueller of 12 Russians indicted for hacking the DNC.
Now despite calls to cancel tomorrow's sit-down with President Putin, the White House says it's going to move forward. President Trump says he goes in with low expectations.
Here is what the president also said about this meeting. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF GLOR, ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": What is your goal from the Putin meeting?
TRUMP: I'll let you know after the meeting.
I have absolutely -- it was mutually agreed. Let's have a meeting. I think it's a good thing to meet.
I do believe in meetings. Look, I believe that having a meeting with Chairman Kim was a good thing.
I think having meetings with the president of China was a very good thing. I believe it's really good.
So having meetings with Russia, China, and North Korea, I believe in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The president says he'll let everyone know the goal after the meeting.
A sit-down between the American president and Vladimir Putin, this has happened before, but this is different. Will the president confront Putin? Will he accept Putin's denials as it relates to hacking, specifically?
Here is CNN's Jeff Zeleny.
TRUMP: I think I have a very good relationship with President Putin if we spend time together. I may be wrong. You know? Other people have said that didn't work out but I'm different than other people.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump is about to find out if that's true.
Vladimir Putin has stood the test of time through four U.S. presidents but he has never been at the red hot center of American politics as he is today. On the eve of this Helsinki summit Trump's relationship with Putin is facing even more scrutiny in the wake of new charges of Russian interference in the U.S. election.
The indictments of 12 more Russian agents on Friday still prompted a joke, not a condemnation from the president. Even though he was briefed in advance the charges were coming before they were publicly announced.
TRUMP: I know you'll ask, will we be talking about meddling?
And I will absolutely bring that up. I don't think you'll have any, gee, I did it, I did it, you got me. There won't be a Perry Mason here. I don't think.
TRUMP: And I will absolutely bring that up. I don't think you'll have any, gee, I did it, I did it, you got me. There won't be a Perry Mason here. I don't think.
ZELENY: Since taking office the president has barely acknowledge Russian election meddling. Let alone forcefully confronted Putin for masterminding it as the U.S. intelligence community believes and there are no signs that will change in Helsinki.
TRUMP: Anything you do it's always going to be Russia, he loves Russia. I love the United States.
ZELENY: Yet on no other president's watch, has Putin's shadow loomed so large.
The Russian leader is looking for Trump to do something special. To elevate him on the world stage back to a position of strength, the summit gives Putin an early victory on that front.
Since the days of strolling in Moscow with Bill Clinton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome.
ZELENY: Meeting President Bush in the Oval Office and later on the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First, I would like to congratulate President Putin for being the only person who caught a fish today.
ZELENY: The Russian president has become isolated, punished by much of the world for the invasion of Ukraine and Crimea. The downing of Polish plane, the deadly nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom, and far more atrocities.
After a failed reset with Barack Obama who didn't fully recognize Moscow's reemerging threat or call it out election interference until it was too late. Trump has repeatedly diminished any dark motives by Putin who has even become a central theme at his campaign rallies.
TRUMP: But they are going, will President Trump be prepared? You know, President Putin is KGB and this and that.
You know what? Putin is fine. He's fine.
We are all fine with people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I've been preparing for this stuff my whole life.
ZELENY: The Helsinki meeting is Trump's first solo summit with Putin after an initial introduction last summer at the G-20 summit in Germany. TRUMP: It's an honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
ZELENY: They met again briefly last fall at an economic forum in Vietnam where Trump showed little appetite for challenging his Russian counterpart for interfering in the 2016 election.
TRUMP: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election.
ZELENY: Since then the Department of Justice has offered significant evidence to the contrary. The latest round of indictments against Russian agents making an already controversial summit dramatically more so particularly as the president continues to discredit the special counsel's investigation.
TRUMP: I call it the rigged witch hunt.
ZELENY: As the president arrives in Finland after a week of sharply criticizing and at times publically embarrassing loyal American allies. Now his warm embrace of Putin has the eyes of the world on this summit.
Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Helsinki.
PAUL: And CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer is with us now. Julian, it's so good to have you here. Thank you.
I want to listen with you to some more of President Trump earlier this morning in this interview with CBS when he was asked about whether he would push President Putin to extradite the Russians who have been indicted now. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLOR: The Russians who were indicted, would you ask Putin to send them here?
TRUMP: Well, I might. I hadn't thought of that but certainly I'll be asking about it.
But, again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration and I heard that they were trying or people were trying to hack into the RNC too, the Republican National Committee, but we had much better defenses.
I've been told that by a number of people. We had much better defenses so they couldn't.
I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked but I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too but -- and this may be wrong but they had much stronger defenses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Julian, he is deflecting to President Obama. He is right in what he is stating in that it happened under President Obama but he is now the president so some would say the onus falls on him. To that you say what?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. It's kind of a reckless statement to make in the aftermath of these indictments. This was a very serious intervention by Russia.
Here he is going to meet with the leader of the country and he is the president and there are many warning signs right now, including from his own intelligence community, that this problem is still very much alive, and he is now the person with the responsibility to handle this, and thus far, he really doesn't seem to want to tackle it.
PAUL: Julian, he said in an earlier sound that we listened to just a couple of minutes ago as well when he was asked, what is your goal? And he said, "I'll let you know after the meeting."
A lot of people -- we have heard a lot of analysts say he is going into this and he has no plan. What is the plausibility that President Trump really does have a plan, he is just not sharing it?
ZELIZER: Well, it's always -- it could be true that secretly he doesn't want to tell the public what he's going to speak about but there's also a lot of evidence he -- he literally is going in and he is going to meet, and he wants to just do things on the spot.
But you can't do that. President Obama, President Bush both learned that Putin comes in with an agenda. He has very specific goals that he wants and we need to hope that the president is better planned than he is saying, because the meeting, itself, is significant.
It elevates Putin on the international stage, so President Trump needs to know what he aims to achieve.
PAUL: Senior Democrats sent him a letter yesterday urging him to take somebody with him into this meeting. Historically for a meeting like this, would presidents go it alone as he is advocating?
ZELIZER: Well, it depends. They certainly would go prepared. Every single president who has met with Putin, with any Russian leader goes in knowing methodically prepared about what the agenda is. Often there are advisers there to help but even if there is moments alone like Reagan and Gorbachev had during some of their meetings everything is almost scripted to some degree.
It's not a game of improvisation. The stakes are way too high especially when our electoral system is at stake, where there are territorial questions that are front and center you need to have some kind of advice and some kind of structure before you start speaking.
PAUL: All right. Julian Zelizer, always appreciate your insight. Thank you for being here, sir.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
PAUL: Sure -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: The remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War may be closer to returning home. We'll tell you why. It's coming up in a live report from Seoul.
PAUL: With just a few days after skipping a meeting on returning the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. Apparently North Korean officials are back
at the table now.
BLACKWELL: President Trump has said the recreation -- repatriation deal, I should say, was just one of the successes of a sit-down with Kim Jong-un.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We got back our great fallen heroes, the remains. In fact, today already 200 have been sent back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN's Andrew Stevens is in Seoul. Andrew, we knew the president and his administration, they were preparing for the troop remains to be repatriated. It seems the president was premature in giving those specifics?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Yes. He definitely was premature. Maybe wishful thinking or maybe he got bad information there.
But here are the remains of 200 U.S. service people who died during the Korean War believed to be still to be held by the North Koreans, that's according to the Department of Defense, Victor, but as yet there has not been any return of those remains.
As you say, there was a meeting that was supposed to take place on Thursday which didn't happen when the North Koreans didn't show up. They then asked for a meeting today, Sunday, at the DMZ which separates the two Koreas. That meeting we understand from local media the effects have been very few and far between on the ground but local media quoting unnamed sources in the South Korean government said the meeting did start at about 10:00 and went for a couple of hours, Victor.
We can't confirm that at this stage. And the topic of conversation, the sole topic of conversation as we understand it, was the repatriation of those remains when and how it will be done. We know the U.S. has caskets. They have flags at the DMZ waiting for the go ahead, to start returning these remains. And in the broader context, too, this is important, because it does give -- offer a gesture of good faith and good faith has been noticeably lacking so far in the whole denuclearization talks.
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump agreed to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. Kim agreed to return the remains as part of that deal. It's been very rocky since then.
So this, in some way, should result in a bit more good faith, goodwill between the two parties which, as I say, have so far got off to a very rocky start, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Andrew Stevens for us from Seoul, thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Andrew.
Well, Iraq declared a state of emergency after a wave of protests there. Security forces were sent to several Baghdad neighbors, that curfew was imposed in Basra. The unrest is most in southern and central Iraq.
BLACKWELL: Well, here's why. Demonstrators are fed up over things like unemployment, the lack of basic services, staging rallies and they've stormed government offices. Now security forces are reportedly and understandably on high alert.
PAUL: So after a month of matches, the World Cup is down to two teams, France and Croatia. They're facing off for the title today. Alex Thomas is in Russia. Good morning, Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hello. Yes. After four and a half weeks of soccer action, 63 games have gone and also 30 countries gone home disappointed, only two nations remain in the hunt for the sport's biggest prize.
We are just four hours away from kickoff of the World Cup Final.
PAUL: Did you watch Serena Williams yesterday? She fought --
BLACKWELL: She did.
PAUL: She fought hard.
BLACKWELL: Just not her day.
PAUL: That's what everybody said. It just was imbalanced in some ways since, of course, her battle here on the court. She fell short, of course, in pursuit of that eighth Wimbledon singles title.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Williams admitted the outcome was disappointing. She also said that she looks forward to future plays.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: To all of the moms out there, you know, I was playing for you today and I tried but, you know, Angelique played really well, she played out of her mind, so you know, it was really good, and I look forward to, you know, just continuing to be back out here and do what I do best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: She also had this message for moms who want to return to work. She says that, if I can do it, so can you.
PAUL: You know, it was a sweet moment between her and Kerber who they say were friends and support each other and she clearly did because she stayed on the court until the end. Every trophy was out, every round had been taken, you know --
BLACKWELL: Yes. Still very proud of her even with that loss (ph).
PAUL: -- holding up a victory lap and a lot of class there amongst both of them for sure.
BLACKWELL: OK. Down to two now. France and Croatia go head-to-head for global bragging rights.
PAUL: Yes. Alex Thomas is in Moscow ahead of the championship game.
All right. Alex, can you help us understand the mindset of both of these teams at this point?
THOMAS: Well, you just have to put in context how big and important the tournament this is.
You know, we have four and a half weeks into it. We've had 63 games, 30 countries have gone home disappointed, and only France and Croatia remain in the hunt for that biggest prize in world soccer.
And let's deal with France, first. Because this is an established power of soccer -- soccer powerhouse if you like. They're in their third World Cup final having won it on home soil 20 years ago when their captain Didier Deschamps who's the coach of the current Les Bleus (INAUDIBLE).
And the celebrations have already started in France in some respects. It will be Bastille Day on Saturday. We might have see fireworks behind the Eiffel Tower and social media feeds. So players like Manchester United Paul Pogba, for example, want that to continue with glory here in the Luzhniki Stadium behind me later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL POGBA, FRANCE MIDFIELDER (through translator): I know the taste of defeat in a final and it's really not good, very bitter. I remember defeat. It's really not good.
We will not approach this final like the euro. We will finish well with smiles to make France explode.
We saw the photos. It was extraordinary. We want to see this again with the players jumping, shouting everywhere with all of France, all of our fans, all of our families, everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: Of course, the Croatia team will feel exactly the same way. They might be a nation of only just over 4 million people which is only a third the size of the city of Moscow, for example.
They have punched about their way. They have talented players in their starting 11 that's for sure. They are in the World Cup final for the first time.
In some ways a no-lose situation for them. Whatever happens there will be a huge party back in the city of Zagreb, that is for sure. It's going to be a massive occasion here with dignitaries, a huge security operation as well.
PAUL: All right. Alex Thomas, you've got a good seat today.
BLACKWELL: Yes, indeed.
PAUL: You've got a good seat. Thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
PAUL: So, of course, months after they marched for their lives, students from Stoneman Douglas High School are still continuing their effort to make gun control legislation a reality.
BLACKWELL: Coming up we will hear from one of the shooting survivors who is organizing rallies and lobbying lawmakers. We will talk about his progress.
BLACKWELL: Some of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are now pushing forward on their commitment to get gun control legislation passed.
Last night Road to Change it's the organization that some of the students founded. It hosted a town hall meeting, that was in Salt Lake City. It was just one of several events they have been planning and leading up to the midterms.
I spoke with Cameron Kasky. He is a survivor of that shooting to ask if he's making any progress.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CAMERON KASKY, JUNIOR, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: There's a new bill that was recently introduced. It is called the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act. And this was introduced by Senator Leahy and Senator Nelson.
Right now the ATF is in the stone age and this bill simply brings it into the 21st century. This doesn't expand the ATF. This is not one step into this conspiracy theory that any digitalization will lead to the government knocking on your door and taking all your weapons. This is simply taking records that already exist and making them searchable.
BLACKWELL: During the CNN town hall shortly after Parkland shooting you had a pretty contentious exchange with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Let me remind people of that moment and we'll talk about some recent meetings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASKY: Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future? No more -- no more NRA money?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: -- during my time here.
KASKY: More NRA money? You can say no.
In the name of 17 people you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign? I'm talking NRA money.
No. I bet we can get people in here to give you exactly as much money as the NRA would have --
RUBIO: But --
RUBIO: And you're right about that (ph).
KASKY: Can you stand up and put your name to that real quick?
KASKY: Are you going to be accepting money from the NRA in the future?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So many people remember that but you tweeted this this week, "Just left the great meeting with the office of Mark Rubio. Let's get this ATF bill passed and let them enforce laws that already exist."
So has that relationship with Senator Rubio changed? Are you working with him now and his office now?
KASKY: Well, I had a nice meeting with one of the members of his staff. I didn't meet with Senator Rubio directly. I believe he was -- he was busy with something that certainly seemed very legitimate.
Look. I have no personal issue with Senator Rubio as a human being. My issue the night of the town hall was that I asked a politician who represents me, a yes or no question, and had to work about five minutes to get a yes or no.
If Senator Rubio is interested in passing these laws, I'm happy to extend an olive branch.
BLACKWELL: Have you been able to make any progress with Republicans? Do you have any Republican members of Congress who have now joined your cause? And even in any small way?
KASKY: Well, we have been taking as many meetings as we possibly can with Republicans. Several Republicans have expressed some sort of interest in getting more common sense legislature down but, unfortunately, until they put their money where their mouth is, we can't get too excited.
If the Republicans don't want to fund CDC research and gun violence as a health epidemic, because they say guns are not the issue let's fund the research to prove your point.
BLACKWELL: Cameron, listen to the president. This was soon after the shooting at Santa Fe High School in May. And this was the promised he made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Obviously, you're not satisfied with what is happening in Washington and the president's commitment, but what do you think happened to the president's promise of determination?
Do you believe it was valid? Do you believe that it's waned? What do you think?
KASKY: Well, I'm not sure. I believe that even Trump's strongest supporters know that a promise from Trump is worth a bit less than nothing.