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The President's Latest Tweets; A War of Words; North Korea and Denuclearization; Toronto, Canada Shooting; Fallon, Nevada Ahooting; Rescue Mission to Save the White Helmets; Trump Tweets Explosive Threat to Iran; 3 More Men Arrested Over Acid Attack On Boy In UK; Taiwan FM: Chinese Live Fire Drills Meant To Intimidate; Floods, Landslides In Vietnam Kill 21 People. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 23, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:15] NATALIE ALLEN, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Breaking news this hour, a war of words between the leaders of Iran and the U.S. Hello, everyone. I am Natalie Allen.

GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: And I am George Howell. Welcome to viewers here in the United States and around the world, the rhetoric escalating just hours ago on Twitter.

ALLEN: Late Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this in all caps. To Iranian President Rouhani, never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences, the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious.

HOWELL: The U.S. President appears to have been responding to this quote from Iranian state media, speaking to diplomats Sunday. Iran's President reportedly said, Mr. Trump we are the honest man and guarantor of the safety of the waterway of the region throughout history. Do not play with the lives (Inaudible). It is regrettable.

Peace with Iran is the mother of peace, and a war with Iran is the mother of wars. President Trump's top diplomats also taking aim at Iran, listen here to the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and what he had to say on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bitter irony of the economic situation in Iran is that the regime uses the same time to line its own pockets while its people cry out for jobs and reform and for opportunity. The Iran economy is going great, but only if you are politically elected connected member of the elite.


ALLEN: Mike Pompeo there on Sunday. For more, CNN's Ian Lee joins us live from Jerusalem. Ian, don't know if there's been any reaction to these exchanges yet, but certainly Prime Minister Netanyahu has been one of President Trump's biggest international supporters. IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yeah, Natalie. It is a

bit early to get a reaction from Israeli politicians, even in Iran we're not seeing much reaction there either. But for Prime Minister Netanyahu, you're right. He's been against the JCPOA from the very beginning, from when the Obama administration was negotiating it.

He failed even though he tried to get the United States not to sign on to it, and that agreement went through. But under President Trump, he also pushed. And then this is something that President Trump campaigned on, is pulling out what he said was a bad deal. And the United States did pull out, breaking their agreement with the JCPOA, also known the Iran nuclear deal.

And this has sent the region literally scrambling. You have President Rouhani. He's going to the other members of the JCPOA, the P4+1. So you have Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany trying to see if there is some way they can circumvent this U.S. sanctions that are supposed to go in place in November 4. Now the United States has been very firm on this, saying that other companies from other countries will not be exempted from these sanctions.

And there are more than 50 international companies inside Iran that went in and reinvested in Iran once the JCPOA was signed. These companies are reassessing their situation. You have big companies like GE, and Siemens who have invested in there. They're looking to pull their investments in. And for Iran, this has been a huge blow, especially for President Rouhani who has championed this Iran nuclear deal within his own country.

You know also, you have you know the United States saying that they want to hit Iran's oil export, saying they want to get that down to zero also. That is a huge blow to the Iranian regime as they get a lot of their cash flow from the oil exports. And we have heard Iranian officials in the past say that they will close the straits of Hormuz, which is a very vital waterway that's about 20 percent of the world's oil goes through.

And it is not just closing it. Even threatening to close the straits of Hormuz could send oil prices up. And so that's -- this is what you're seeing, kind of this tit for tat from the President of the United States as well as the President of Iran with this very harsh rhetoric. And this is just kind of the continuation of what we have been seeing since the United States pulled out of it.

ALLEN: Right, tensions bubbling up. Mr. Trump had wanted and hoped that Iran would come to talk, to make a deal. That has not happened. We'll continue to follow these developments. Ian Lee for us, thanks so much, now over to George.

[02:05:00] HOWELL: And now, a closer look with Steven Erlanger. Steven, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for the New York Times, good to have you on the show with us. We'll begin with this latest tweet from the U.S. President. In bold letters to the President of Iran, the context here surely important. We just heard a moment ago, as Ian explained this. But it's really all part of a territorial war of words with Iran's

President over the straight of moves, which is a very important waterway that Iran has threatened to shutdown in recent days if provoked.

STEVEN ERLANGER, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, that is right, George. And don't forget in 1967 when Egypt shut the straits of Hormuz, it created a war, the Israeli-Arab war of 67. So this is very important, a good part of the world's oil comes through this Strait of Hormuz. What we have here is all caps. It is true.

But I think that President Trump doing two things. One, he is trying to change the topic. He's trying to change the subject away from his disastrous summit in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin, and the chance that his lawyer, Michael Cohen has flipped talking to the Mueller investigation. So this is something that Trump is good at doing.

His early morning tweet set our agenda. Though we immediately stopped talking about one thing and start talking about another thing. But at the same time, Trump has made an alliance with Israel and the Sunnis of the region, especially the Saudis who are extremely anti-Iranian, all of them. And what he is implying is war.

I mean these sanctions are designed -- Rudy Giuliani has said so. Others have said so and cause of revolt against the Iranian government, the Islamic government of Iran, which is obviously had been looking for a nuclear weapon but then stopped doing that, which did do a deal with the United States and the other members of the permanent counsel of the U.N., which we have now pulled out of, and which is playing a sort of revolutionary role in the rest of the region.

It is supporting Hezbollah. It is supporting Hamas in Gaza. It is supporting most importantly Bashar Al Assad quite well it seems to me in Syria. So this is an anti-Iran coalition and the temperature is getting hotter. That's for sure, whether it means something right now, I am not sure. It may simply be a tactic of the President to change the topic.

HOWELL: Interesting that you see this as a topic-changer. And let's talk just a bit more about that. Because again, the tweet that we see, it is in all caps. It is directed toward the President of Iran. It is tough talk. But compare that and juxtapose that from tough talk from this U.S. President about his predecessor on the very topic of Iran.

We found these tweets on President Donald Trump's Twitter feed. Let's take a look here from 2011, if we can pull that up. In order to get elected, Barack Obama will start a war with Iran. Again, that back from 2001. And then this tweet that we found from 2013. Take a look. I predict that President Obama at some point will attack Iran in order to save face.

Steven, your point that you raise the President deflecting in your view from the summit in Helsinki that he saw a great deal of backlash. You see this as that?


ERLANGER: I see it as part of that, yes. I mean it is also a response to a speech by President Rouhani of Iran, which warned the United States in very florid language, which is in a typical of the entire region, that a war with Iran will be the mother of all wars. Now if you remember, Saddam Hussein used the same words about Iraq. It would be the mother of all battles.

Everything is the mother of something. So I think Trump has used that heightened rhetoric to Rouhani is in some difficulty with these economic sanctions. He is trying to find leverage to get them lifted. The Europeans who continue to support the Iran nuclear deal are trying to help Iran with business deals to keep up the treaty, which after all means that Iran stops nuclear enrichment.

[02:09:50] Now Iran is wondering whether it is worth it, whether it can keep going. My sense talking to people is Iran would like to stay in the deal because it has enough on its plate with Syria, with Hezbollah, with everything else going on. But it wants the Europeans to come up with some kind of financial help to make up for the American sanctions in order to stay inside.

So it is a very tense moment. A lot of people working to save the deal, in the meantime, the rhetoric as we have seen are going up, including Pompeo's speech. But those in Teheran do understand, I think, that the Trump administration with the Saudis and the Israelis want to pull them down. And that creates a whole different level of tension in Iran and could lead to something explosive.

HOWELL: All right. Steven Erlanger with perspective and analysis, thank you so much for your time live for there in Brussels.

ERLANGER: Thanks, George.

ALLEN: President Trump is also tweeting about Russian's interference in the U.S. election, and he is reversing course yet again.

HOWELL: He tweeted on Sunday that it is a big hoax and he slammed his predecessor, accusing Barack Obama of failing to inform the Trump campaign about Russia. Of course, we fact checked that. That is not correct. In August 2016, then candidate Trump were briefed by U.S. intelligence officials that Russia would try to infiltrate his campaign.

ALLEN: Sunday's tweet by the U.S. President follows his stunning refusal one week ago to call out Russian interference as he stood side by side with President Putin. A day later, he backtracked.


PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Then (Inaudible) came to me. And some others they said it is Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it is not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be. The sentence should've been I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia, sort of a double negative. So you can put that in. I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.


HOWELL: One of the President's staunchest supporters though, says Mr. Trump needs to do a better job clarifying his stance on Russia. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence is overwhelming. It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016. So the President either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration.

But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming and the President needs to say that and act like it.


ALLEN: That from one of President Trump's staunchest supporter. Meantime, the top Democrats on the U.S. health intelligence committee had this to say about Mr. Trump's behavior regarding Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I certainly think he's acting like someone who's comprised, and it may very well be that he is compromised or may very well be that he believes that he is compromised, that the Russians have information on him. We were not permitted to look into one of the allegations that was most serious to me, and that is were the Russians laundering money through the Trump organization. The Republicans wouldn't allow us to go near that.

I hope that Robert Mueller's investigating because again, if that's the leverage the Russians are using, it would not only explain the President's behavior. But it would protect the country by knowing that in fact, our President was compromised.


HOWELL: All right. A lot to follow here for sure, look, the U.S. President also accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of misleading the courts after they released evidence about Russia's election interference.

ALLEN: And the target of that evidence, former Trump advisor Carter Page. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz explains the implications of this release.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: More than 400 page document, which is heavily redacted gives us a look inside a highly sensitive process, by which the FBI went about getting surveillance warrants for Carter Page, arguing in the affidavit that Page knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities.

The affidavit certainly significant in how the FBI characterizes Carter Page, a one point variety that they believe he has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government. And in another part saying they believe Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.

You know certainly serious accusations here from the FBI. They say in the affidavit that there is probable cause, that his activities involved or are about to involve violations of criminal statutes of the United States. Now Carter Page has denied, extensively denied that he has been working for the Russian government, and as of now, there is indication that Carter Page is going to be charged by the Special Counsel.

[02:14:55] Which as we know is investigating Russian interference in the 2016. Now, the accusations in these pages are certainly serious, and while conservative critics of Special Counsel Robert Mueller have argued that the FISA warrant is tainted because the FBI relied on information from the dossier. There are things that we just don't yet know because so much of the document is redacted, and we can't see what other information the FBI used in this affidavit. Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: And again, the target of this evidence, the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page speaking with CNN.

ALLEN: He told our colleague Jake Tapper, the accusations in the warrant application are ridiculous and a complete joke.


JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: You did advise the Kremlin back in 2013 or 2012, somewhere in there.

CARTER PAGE, FORMER CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Jake, that's -- I mean -- I was sitting in some meetings, but to call me an adviser I think is way over the top.

TAPPER: Except in a 2013 letter you wrote, it says quote, over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin in preparations of the G20 summit next month where energy issues will be prominent point on the agent. That's August 2013. That is yourself calling yourself an informal adviser to the Kremlin.

PAGE: No. Informal having some conversations with people, I mean this is really nothing and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document. You know page eight it says, it talks about disguised propaganda, including the planting of false or misleading articles, which is exactly what this is. So that's kind of the pot calling the kettle black. TAPPER: So it says quote, the FBI believes that Carter Page has been

the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government. And then it is redacted. And then it says undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential in violation of U.S. criminal law. It says that the Russians were trying to recruit you.

We know you said that you went to Russia in the summer of 2016 to deliver a commencement address. Is it not a possibility that Russians were trying to recruit you even if you didn't take the bait. Is that not possible? It seems to me like that would be their job and your working with Trump. You've worked with the Kremlin in the past. That would be a reasonable thing for them to try to do.

PAGE: It is totally unreasonable, Jake. It actually speaks to another misleading testimony related to the indictments that Eric Holder and Preet Bharara submitted on January 2015, talking about prior case. And you know a lot of that is incorrect spin. That individual, Mister (Inaudible), a young diplomat in New York, I talked with him about my class, you know.

We had coffee one time. I met him at a conference at (Inaudible) society. We met once for coffee, and I gave him some of my class notes you know that my students at New York University were looking at. And it was in one ear and out the other. He never asked me to do anything. I mean it is just so preposterous.


HOWELL: Carter Page there speaking with our colleague Jake Tapper.

ALLEN: Ahead here on CNN, breaking news from Toronto where more than one dozen people have been shot. Police are working multiple crime scenes. We'll have the latest on the victims and the investigation. That is next.

HOWELL: Still ahead, also the U.S. President not known for holding back. But his private opinions on North Korea are reportedly very different from what he says in public. We'll explain as Newsroom pushes on.


[02:20:00] HOWELL: We're following and updating breaking news out of Toronto. One woman we understand has died and at least thirteen others injured after shooting Sunday night. Police say that the shooter is also dead. They don't know much about the shooter, but they are investigating quote, every possible motive including terrorism.

ALLEN: Investigators are working as we've multiple scenes, including outside of a restaurant. All of the victims were taken to hospital. One of them, a young girl is in critical condition. Here is what one witness had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what did you hear tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several gunshots, lots of gunshots. That's about all I heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many shots would you say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say I heard at least 20 shots (Inaudible). Clippings spent, reloading, clippings spent, reloading, clippings spent, that is what I heard. And then I saw the carnage as I ran down the street here to kind of follow the gun fire I guess. It was crazy. I saw at least four people shot here by the fountain.

As you've said, someone came out of the restaurant here. So I missed that. Another person in Dmitri's I assume was shot because there was a lot of action going on there, towels trying to be grabbed. Trying to help people out I guess is what they were doing. That's all I saw. And then obviously, the police arrived. And now I am standing there watching this. Not cool. Not cool at all.


HOWELL: Again, we know that 1 woman is dead, at least 13 others injured. This is a story we will continue to follow and bring you developments as we learn more.

ALLEN: Now to another story we are following. This in the state of Nevada, one person is dead there after a shooting at a church.

HOWELL: This again happening in Fallon, Nevada. Officials there say that a man walked into the Mormon Church Sunday afternoon, fired a gun and then walked home. Police say this man, 48-year-old John Kelly O'Connor later surrendered. The police talked about Kelly's possible motive. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Initially, it does not appear that this attack had been directed upon the church but the individual victim. Staff is currently working on gathering additional information. We're getting a search warrant for Mr. O'Connor's residence and conducting interviews with witnesses at this time.


[02:24:59] ALLEN: Along with the person killed, another person was injured in the leg.

HOWELL: Another story we have been following through the weekend about rescuers who need rescuing. In fact, we're learning more about the daring mission over the weekend to save members of the White Helmets.

ALLEN: The rescue volunteers were among 422 civilians evacuated from the civil war in Syria. It appears Israeli troops spearheaded the mission bringing the civilians into Jordan. Israel says it was at the request of the U.S., Canada, and E.U. countries. For more about it, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Istanbul.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: (Inaudible) Syrian civil war, often it was the White Helmets who were the first on the scene. With no local police or emergency services, residents in rebel held areas turned to these Syrian volunteers recognized by their iconic protective gear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have all chosen to risk their lives to save others. And that makes every single one of them a hero.

KARADSHEH: The group rescued tens of thousands people caught up in the conflict often the war's most vulnerable. Like this baby girl, after 12 hours of digging and drilling, volunteers finally reached this two-week old baby trapped under the rubble. But now, it is the White Helmets' themselves are being rescued.

As town after town in southern Syria is reclaimed by the government, there has been increasing concern over the fate of the White Helmets. The regime and the Russian allies have long labeled the group as terrorists, accusing them of staging chemical attacks and faking rescues. In an internationally coordinated mission and an unprecedented move, hundreds of Syrians, including White Helmet volunteers and their family members have been evacuated out of the country by Israel into Jordan.

The group will stay there before being resettled in Germany, Britain, and Canada, the three countries Jordan says have pledged to take them in. Canada has praised the work of the White Helmets saying quote, we feel a deep moral responsibility towards these brave and selfless people. The U.K.'s foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has described the rescue as quote, fantastic news.

And has thanked Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on their request. He says the White Helmets are the bravest of the brave, adding that in a desperate situation, this is at least one brave hope, a moment of international action in a conflict where that has rarely brought any good. This time it may have saved hundreds of lives. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


ALLEN: You look at back at the pictures, George, and you see the White Helmet. There is always a White Helmet in those rescues that we saw.


ALLEN: Pulling children out of the rubble.


ALLEN: Well, President Trump again accusing his -- the former President Barack Obama of failing to warn the Trump campaign about Russia. I'll talk with a former Obama administration official about Mr. Trump's claims, and why the U.S. President seems to keep flip- flopping on Moscow. That is ahead.


[02:31:32] ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

ALLEN: At least 14 people including a young girl have been shot in Toronto, and one of the victims has died. Police say the shooter is also dead and they have no other information about him right now. They're asking the public for help. They are working multiple scenes including outside a restaurant. Police say they are investigating every possible motive including terrorism.

HOWELL: An escalating war of words between the leaders of Iran and the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting this just a few hours ago, "To Iranian President Rouhani, never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious says the U.S. President."

Now, it appears to be a response to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, he was quoted warning that the U.S. or warning the U.S. rather that a war with Iran is the mother of wars.

ALLEN: President Trump is reversing himself again on Russian election interference. He tweeted Sunday that it's a big hoax and that President Obama knew about Russia and failed to tell his campaign about it. But that's not true. In fact, the Obama administration reportedly informed then Candidate Trump in August of 2016 that Russia was trying to infiltrate his campaign. Joining me now is Shawn Turner. He's a CNN U.S. Security Analyst and the former director of Communications for U.S. National Intelligence during the Obama administration. Shawn, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: Sure thing. Well, the President has flip-flopped again and he has done it so many times on the question of Russian interference even in the past week since the summit. And now, it seems he's once again going against the assessment of his intelligence agencies. This is confusing not just for Americans but very likely our allies as well.

TURNER: Yes, I would agree. I mean last week the President reluctantly acknowledged that he believed the intelligence community's assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. But then week today, he kind of fell back to the position he has held from the very beginning suggesting that it was all a hoax. And you make a very good point, you know, there was a time when our partners and allies around the world could rely on a kind of a norm of leadership and stability out of the United States. And I think that there's a lot of concern on the international stage

right now, not just because of this, but because of a lot of the things the President has done recently as it relates to Vladimir Putin and as it relates to his interactions with our partners and allies at NATO. So, yes, this latest reversal is just the latest in a long line of very concerning and bothersome behavior on the part of the President.

ALLEN: Right. And he does seem to always go back to President Obama. He'll mention Hillary Clinton. Is that a way to deflect? Is that a way to try to put blame somewhere else when in fact we do know that Mr. Trump was informed in August of 2016 that Russia would likely try to infiltrate his campaign?

TURNER: Yes. You know, Natalie, I was in the intelligence community under the Obama administration and the President is right in that.

[02:35:00] It was during the lead up to the election that the intelligence community began to notice unusually invasive and aggressive behavior on the part of the Russians. You know, look, it is absolutely the case that the Obama administration once they found out about, once the administration found out about this, you know, it took some time to deliberate and think about exactly how bested -- address the situation. Everyone knows that the Obama administration did take significant steps to deal with Russian meddling including President Obama speaking directly to Vladimir Putin about this.

We have sanctions. We have expulsions from the United States. So, you know, the President -- President Trump is being a little bit disingenuous when he suggests that President Obama did not do anything. Now, I take -- there's certainly there's an argument that he made that whether or not previous administrations that have not and that's a debate. That's a -- the historian -- historians can have. But it's -- the case now that it's President Trump's issue to deal with.

President Trump has to understand that not only did the Russians interfere in the 2016 election, but the intelligence community has conclusive information indicating that they are probing and attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections. So we -- now is not the time to look back with the Obama administration did, you know, the President I guess do really needs to look forward and see how they're going to secure these upcoming elections.

ALLEN: And it's somewhat the fog lane even a mystery if you will why President Trump goes back and forth on the Russia interference. There are two theories let's discuss. One is big that the Russian President somehow may have compromising information on Donald Trump. The other more innocent that Donald Trump just refuses to acknowledge Russian interference because he thinks that delegitimizes his election. Your thoughts.

TURNER: Yes. So, you know, I need to take the compromising information question first. You know, there's been a lot of discussion of that. There are a couple of things I would say about it. One, I think that people have to understand how the Russian mindset works when it comes to compromising information. Russians identify individuals of influence, identify individuals of some notability, and they collect compromising information on them all the time.

They do it constantly, and consistently, and it's not always the case that they know at the time they're collecting the information whether or not their action is going to be able to use it for leverage at some point. So, you know, in reality, it doesn't really matter if they have compromising information on President Trump. What really matters is whether or not President Trump has come to understand their trade craft and now that there's a possibility that they could have compromising information.

And if that's really, if that's the way he feels then that certainly would have an impact on his behavior and --


ALLEN: I'm sorry. Last question for you, Shawn. As far as he continues to differ every once in a while from the intelligence community on this, what more can the intelligence agencies do to try and keep Donald Trump on the same page with them?

TURNER: You know, I know a lot of people in the intelligence community. I worked closely with them. I consider them to be friends and associates and I can tell you that they are going to continue to collect and analyze the information and present it to the President and to make a very strong case for the President regarding what the Russians are doing. They have to keep their nose to the -- to the grindstone and continue to push this narrative that lays out for the President exactly what's happening.

It's ultimately it's up to the President whether or not he wants to believe that and I think that for every Americans, not just Americans but for our partners and allies who are also dealing with Russian interference, it is in all of our best interest that the President take a step back and look at the intelligence and come to the conclusion that the intelligence community has and that is that Russia is being aggressive and attempting to interfere in our elections.

ALLEN: CNN Security Analyst, Shawn Turner, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

TURNER: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: There are growing signs of the tongue between the U.S. and North Korea that it's breaking down. More than a month after the Singapore Summit with Kim Jong-un, President Trump says things are going well. But according to a U.S. official in private, Mr. Trump is frustrated and angry at the pace of denuclearization talks. For more on this story, CNN's Alexandra Field is live in Seoul, South Korea. And Alexandra, frustration again from this private source about the President's mood on this.

But at least one bright spot and North Korea seems determined to continue with these talks which must be resonating well in the region there.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That is coming from one source close to the negotiation. That's the information that is given to CNN's Will Ripley. But certainly there's been frustration on all sides of this, George, because we have seen no concrete steps, no concrete action since the summit toward denuclearization. We know that North Korea continues to bristle and chafe under the heavy economic sanctions that have been leveled against them.

And in the absence of progress toward denuclearization, you've recently just in the last few days have the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reinforcing the fact that those sanctions must stay firmly in place and in fact going to even further by saying that countries need to do better in implementing those sanctions.

[02:40:13] So you have seen from North Korea is some more open hostility since the summit is it's rhetoric toward the United States. And now, in its rhetoric towards South Korea most recently over the weekend calling into question essentially whether or not North Korea would make good on another key promise that it had made in its talk with South Korea. And that was a promise to move forward with for reunions of South Korean and North Korean families.

Those reunions are scheduled to take place next month in August. Those are reunions of the select group of families who have been torn apart for -- by war for decades. Now, this is the last chance for many of those family members to come together. And just over the weekend, what we saw in North Korea media reports were more hostility towards South Korean officials and also the fact that these reunions could be called into question.

They said that there could be obstacles for these reunions if South Korea didn't immediately repatriate 12 North Korean waitresses. There has been a lot of debate over these circumstances surrounding these 12 waitresses. This goes back to 2016. North Korea says these are women who have been abducted. South Korea says these are women who defected. Again, this has been an issue of contention between the countries for the two years.

But George, the key point here is this is the first time we're seeing the repatriation tied to the issue of the reunions. The reunion is very important of course to the families not just in the South, but also North Korea and is it a key test as far as whether or not North Korea is ready to negotiate and act in good faith on the drafted agreements that has made with the United States and also with South Korea.

HOWELL: Alexandra, there is a lot tied up in all of this. Of course, we'll have to continue to follow it. Alexandra Field, live for us in Seoul, South Korea. Thank you for the reporting.

ALLEN: Five tropical storm systems are pounding parts of East Asia all at the same time. Next here, we take a look at the forecast from Vietnam to China. Look at that map there.


ALLEN: We'll see if there's an end in sight to all of this. Stay with us.


[02:45:15] HOWELL: This just in, to CNN, police have arrested three men in the City of London in connection with an acid attack that badly injured a three-year-old boy. It happened Saturday in a shop in Worcester, England.

The boy has serious burns on his face and arms, investigators believe the attack was deliberate. Police already had another suspect, a 39- year-old man in custody. They say that the motive for the attack though is still unclear.

ALLEN: In South Africa, police say 11 taxi drivers were killed late Saturday when gunmen jumped onto the road from bushes and opened fire on a bus.

Four other people were critically injured, the victims were traveling back to Johannesburg from a funeral. Police say they don't know who the gunman are or why they attacked.

HOWELL: China is holding live-fire drills in the East China Sea. And Taiwan's foreign minister, says they are meant to intimidate his people. Our Matt Rivers is on this story and sat down with the foreign minister for an exclusive interview just a short time ago.

Matt, live there in Taipei. And Matt, tell us about the mood there, certainly, highlighting the delicacy of cross-strait relations, what's the reaction in Taiwan to these drills as they proceed?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting, George, because on this thing at the same time, this is something that Taiwan is dealt with for a long time.

Now, this kind of military drills but over the past couple of years, we have seen more ramped up pressure from Beijing direct -- directly targeting Taiwan. You see state media in China, of calling these drills specifically, aimed at what they call the separatists in Taiwan.

And predictably, the foreign minister, rejected that categorization here in Taiwan, saying that the people here are not intimidated by that. And that Taiwan is its own separate entity. Here is more of what he had to say.


JOSEPH WU, FOREIGN MINISTER OF TAIWAN They say they want to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people. However, what they are doing, military intimidation or diplomatic isolation tactics against Taiwan.

What the Chinese government is doing to Taiwan is to create hatred among the Chinese -- among the regular Taiwanese people toward the Chinese government.

And I think this is pushing Taiwan further and further away, and this is the opposite effect of what the Chinese government say, what they want to work on Taiwan.

RIVERS: Is there any concern amongst the leadership here in Taiwan that President Trump is not a reliable partner and could change his mind, and could decide that he doesn't want to support Taiwan militarily, economically, and so forth?

WU: Some people in Taiwan do worry since I want to worry about that aspect of the Trump administration, the decision-making style.

However, what we believe, and what they told us they believe in, is that Taiwan is not tradable, and democracy is not tradable. We both believe in the values that we share, that we treasure. And we feel very strongly that the Trump administration as a whole is deeply committed to Taiwan, either in Taiwan security or its relations with Taiwan.

RIVERS: If the United States continues to increase its support militarily for Taiwan, as you foresee, does that not increase the potential risk of confrontation militarily with China?

WU: No, the opposite is true. What we are concerned about is that the United States does not support Taiwan anymore, and if that security ties in between Taiwan and the United States is getting stronger, strengthening with the ties, then that will become a barrier for the Chinese to think about the future military scenarios against Taiwan.


RIVERS: And so, what the Foreign Minister is talking about there just to drive home that point is essentially, in this administration's view, the more the United States supports Taiwan, the more military aid, the more economic dealings that these countries have with one another, then the more they feel they can deter more aggressive behavior from Beijing.

So, that's really what they're trying to put forward here. It does appear that the Trump administration's policies towards Taiwan have been relatively consistent so far, and that is exactly what President Tsai Ing-wen and her administration are trying to make sure it continues.

HOWELL: Yes, closer relations I suppose, Matt, to your point for China to think twice. But again, these drills are happening. So, Matt Rivers, of course, continue to cover it live for us in Taipei. Thank you for the reporting.

This is CNN NEWSROOM, and we'll be right back after the break.


[02:51:59] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Let's talk a little weather. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, CNN "WEATHER WATCH".

You're watching the unsettled pattern across the Eastern United States. Here's some soggy weather, certainly, in-store while the heat in place around the central portion of the U.S. And very little rainfall to go around in parts of Texas.

But, notice the activities thing around this region, from the Gulf Coast out towards the Atlantic coastline where we have thunderstorms abound. The tropics have been quiet, which is great news, at least. But still, doesn't stop the heavy rainfall that's been in-store.

And mainly around the coastal region of the Carolinas or another portions of the Delmarva there. A lot of rainfall expected over this week with the thunderstorms in the forecast.

New York City, upper 20s. Chicago not too bad remaining dry around 29 degrees. Denver climbed since the lower 30s. And Southern California has been added with quite a bit of heat so far this season, yet again, climbing up in Los Angeles up to 33 degrees over the next several days.

How about a comfortable set up? In Chicago, we warm up a little bit which is not too unusual for this time of year, but you notice as we wrap up the week, there it attempts do want to cool off a little bit. Very comfortable in New York City, considering it as the hottest time of year and back towards portions of the mountains -- Intermountain States there.

Watching a lot of wet weather come in, some of this has to do with the monsoonal moisture that streaming into the North Denver, could be one of the areas with quite a bit of rainfall over the next week. In that region that will keep the temps at bay across the region, as well. Nassau onto the Bahamas 31. Havana, 33.


ALLEN: This is Vietnam where at least 21 people have died, more than one dozen people are missing. Look at all of this water, this is after flash floods and landslides swamped entire villages. And get this, more rainfall is on the way.

HOWELL: Oh, goodness. Let's bring in our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, following this extreme weather situation. Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Yes, guys. Here, we're in the heart of the wet season, the heart of the tropical season. A lot of these storms having to do with tropical systems. And look at what's happening across the Pacific.

From the central portion towards the Western Pacific, we have tropical depressions and storms. 13, 14, and 15, yet unnamed. And then, of course, 17 which impacted the Vietnam, where we saw the footage from. And then, to the north, Ampil, impacting portions of Eastern China.

But really shows you the destructive nature of all of this with the tremendous amount of rainfall in these storms across this region. Now, they haven't been category ones, twos, or even threes, and nothing certainly, menacing.

But, the amount of rainfall they've produced, the way they've interacted with land across this region has really been the most problematic. In this particular storm, notice to move the shore in the past several days made landfall in Northern Vietnam.

And then, literally, the steering environment changes in the atmosphere, it pulls away from Vietnam makes the second landfall across the Island of Hainan in Southern China.

And again, at the same time, producing a tremendous amount of rainfall between anywhere from around five to nine inches, or as much as 235 millimeters in a one-and-a-half day period across that region.

So certainly, the flooding concern remains high, the system still sitting in place. We expect additional flooding across portions of Southern China. And then, you look to the north there, this is Ampil. This storm impacting areas around Shanghai, where about a quarter million people were evacuated out of its path.

Again, not very menacing on satellite imagery, not very significant looking, but certainly, had a lot of impacts across this region. And now, moving in, just east of Beijing where tens of millions going to be impacted by this with heavy rainfall.

Now, there is a tropical depression that we told you about. Number 13, sits right there across portions of the northern area of Taiwan. With it, heavy rainfall and guess where it's headed right towards Shanghai, yet again, and eventually ending up impacting Beijing.

So, the storms have been persistent, one after another, and of course, you take a look. This is northern areas of the Philippines around Luzon. Almost every single one of these storms, George and Natalie, has initiated somewhere around the northern reaches of the Philippines before it's made its track whether it be to the west or to the north.

So, the Philippines has been paying a pretty high price there with incredible flooding, as well, in recent days with all of this rainfall over this region. OK.

[02:56:10] HOWELL: Hoping that our Matt Rivers is watching down there in Taipei, a lot of weather systems coming through. Thank you, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Yes, that's as always.


ALLEN: We'll back with our top stories after this, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues right after this.