tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN March 18, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
if it was a joke, the german chancellor certainly did not laugh. when the u.s. president suggested they had both been under surveillance by the obama administration and on that, still no evidence to support the president's claim that he was wiretapped at all. a classified report from the department of justice does not confirm his allegations. plus the u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson in beijing. he says it's time to get tough with north korea and he's looking for china's cooperation. from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the united
states and around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. it is 4:00 a.m. on the east coast, the u.s. president wrapping up a busy day. his unsubstantiated claim that he was wire tapped took center stage. u.s. justice department delivered a classified report to congress and two familiar with the report say that it does not back up the president's claim and still the president refused to drop the issue even standing next to the german chancellor angela merkel in a news conference talking about it. jeff zeleny explains to us. >> reporter: president trump did not back down from his explosive and unproven claims that president obama wiretapped him at trump tower. >> as far as wiretapping, i guess by this past
administration, at least we have something in common perhaps. >> reporter: meeting with angela merkel, the president reported past reports that merkel's phone had been tapped by the nsa. the president also did not apologize to the british government for suggesting that british spies were behind the wiretapping. >> and just to finish your question, we said nothing. all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. >> reporter: asked by a german reporter whether it was mistake to blame the british spy agency, the president passed the buck to fox news analyst andrew napolitano. >> i didn't make an pain i don't on opinion on. that was a statement on fox. so you should be talking to fox. >> reporter: fox news responded. >> fox news cannot confirm judge
napolitano's commentary. fox news knows of any evidence of any kind that the now president of the united states was surveilled at anytime in any way, full stop. >> reporter: the wiretapping claim escalated in to an international incident after sean spicer defended the president thursday. from the white house podium, spicer repeated napolitano's suggestion that a british intelligence agency helped obama spy on trump. >> judge andrew napolitano said that three intelligence sources have informed fox news that president obama went outside the chain of command, he did not use the nsa, the cia, the fbi or department of justice. he used gchq about th. >> reporter: a spokesman for british prime minister theresa may said we've made clear to the u.s. administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored. a senior administration said
that h.r. mcmaster offered what amounted to-to-an poan apology british government. but spicer refuted that. all this made the first meeting between trump and merkel even more awkward. two years ago the president suggested merkel's immigration policy was ruining germany. >> the german people will overthrow this woman. i don't know what the hell she's thinking. all rig >> reporter: the chance lollor pointed out that he was beginning to forge a new relationship with her third american president. >> translator: i've always said it's much better to talk to one another and not about one another. >> reporter: and they did talk about other issues like trade, immigration and even climate change. they will meet again this summer at the g-20. but again, these wiretapping claims have now eroded or are eroding the president's credibility.
jeff zeleny, cnn, the white house. >> thank you so much for the reporting. let's get context now on the political lines that jeff laid out for us. joining now to talk about it, james davis, dean of the school of economics and political science in switzerland. a pleasure to have you with us. >> good morning. >> rather than starting with the unsubstantiated claims the president keeps pushing, let's start with the substance of the meeting with the german chancellor angela merkel. they have very different world views. what were the wins and losses for these two leaders finding some common ground in this meeting? >> reporter: well, i think what was important about this meeting was that two leaders met and achieved something like a working relationship. it was important for them to find a level at which they can speak to one another and as the chancellor said, to speak to each other, not about each other band i think th and i think they achieved that. it was an awkward meeting, you could see that by their body
language, but it seems that they did find common ground in particular on questions of vocational training, the need for the united states do a better job at retraining its workforce, and looking to germany as a role model for that. and i think that is one of these areas where we can clearly have some common ground and common agenda. >> let's talk more on business there. the german chance lore came with a high powered entourage of ceos that invest heavily in america. do you think that that will make a big difference for this president who is focused on increasing american jobs, his america first plan? >> i think what the chancellor was trying to do is explain to the president that our economies are so intertwined today that it doesn't make sense necessarily to talk about american or german companies, but rather we need to talk about how we can grow the economy together. she brought for example the chairman of bmw. bmw hats os one of its largest
plants located in the united states. and so to talk about german cars without understanding that german cars bring americans jobs is the wrong way do this. so i think what she's try doing is point out to the president that we can grow our economies together and by doing that, try to push back on what seems to be a protectionist nationalist economic agenda of this administration. >> chancellor merkel did bring up the topic of immigration when she was standing next to the u.s. president donald trump. also they talked about nato. and i'd like to listen to that exchange. we can talk about it on the other side. >> i reiterated to chancellor merkel my strong support for nato as well as the need for our nato allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense. many nations owe vast sums of money from past years. and it is very unfair to the
united states. these nations must pay what they owe. >> translator: i was gratified to know that the president said how important he thinks nato is. nato is of prime importance for us and it was not without very good reason that we said during our summit meeting in wail olest also germany needs to increase its expenditure. we committed to a 2% goal until 2024. last year we increased our defense spending by 8% and we're going to work again and again on this. >> so with nations like russia looking on, what is the plus/minus from these two leaders standing together talking about nato? >> again i think they need to find a common line or common sheet of music here. and the president is absolutely right when he says that nato cannot be more important to the americans than it is to the
europeans and the europeans need to meet their spending goals. that has been the position of american administrations going back many years. but the president is wrong when he suggests that this is some kind of a gift to the european whens t when the americans commit to nato. nato is central for tto the uni states of our own security policy. and so nato is important to us. it's important to the europeans. and i think it was very good news that both the chancellor and the president recommitted themselves to this nato which is central and as you suggested with threats coming from moscow and other areas of the world, we don't have the luxury of quarreling amongst ourselves about the importance ever this allege l of this and i lie answer. >> we can't have time to get into the claims of wiretapping, but quite frankly, there is nothing to talk about. there is no evidence. thank you so much.
the secretary of state is seeking chinese support to rein in the north korean weapons program. in south korea he said that the u.s. would consider military action against north korea if it was provoked. let's get the sfview from china. will ripley is live from beijing. a pleasure to have you with us. let's talk about the secretary of state on the ground in china at the same time the president on twitter putting out this tweet within the last 24 hours. tweet reads as follows -- north korea is behaving very badly. they have been playing the united states for years. china has done little to help. this pressure that the u.s. is putting on china to do more, will it work? >> reporter: well, that is the big question. and we know that as we speak, secretary tillerson is having a conversation with one of china's two top diplomats, foreign
minister wong, very cordial greeting talking about mutual cooperation. the fact that china and the u.s. have co-existed peace ffully fo many decades and they continue to do that moving forward. so polite publicly. but we know behind closed doors, there will be more difficult conversations with congress ahead of the meeting tomorrow between tillerson and xi jinping. what the u.s. wants and what the trump administration has made clear in that tweet from president trump and long before is that they think that china can do more when it comes to north korea. they believe china has the most leverage of any country in the world because it's north korea's essentially only meaningful trading partner. their trade relationship with china accounts for 70% to 90% of north korean trade. so what tillerson is going to ask the japanese is what they're willing to do, how far they are willing to go. because clearly the trump
administration feels that they need to go farther to rein in kim jong-un. now what the chinese are expected to tell secretary tillerson is they think the onus is on the united states to stop provoke cacee provocative acts. it makes beijing nervous when those military exercises happen. but the u.s. is not going to be willing do that. they think the exercises are vital to keeping cooperation between those two key allies and they think that they're transparent about it unlike the north korean regime which continues to secretly launch missiles and conduct nuclear tests without any warning. >> and just to give our viewers here in the united states and around the world a little background on you and your reporting, you've traveled to north korea, you've covered that nation extensively many times. so i pose this question to you. how is all this being perceived in north korea? we're hearing rex tillerson say that the patience for north
korea has ended, that all options are on the table. will that make a difference in how north korea continues to react and respond? >> reporter: we know that the north koreans are monitoring the activity of the new administration very carefully. they have now launched five ballistic missiles, four assi simultaneously and one a few weeks earlier. so clearly the procevocative action continues. there is satellite activity that shows potential signs of an imminent nuclear test perhaps an icbm launch which north korean leader kim jong-un has said is coming. but what the north koreans knew was that during the obama years, during the strategy of strategic patience, there was not going to be the possibility of military engage engagement. so by secretary tillerson saying that strategic patience is over, military engagement is on the table if north korea takes provocative action that could
make pyongyang and beijing more nervous. nobody knows for sure how far the trump administration is willing to we know there is expected to be a meeting next month between president trump and xi jinping where they will talk about these issues. but north korea has to be a bit more nervous right now thinking about the potential of military action even though their propaganda say they're also prepared for imminent invasion by the united states. >> will ripley thank you for the reporting. we'll stay in touch with you. this is "cnn newsroom." still ahead this hour, a look inside crimea three years after its annexation by russia. what residents there say life is like under russian rule.
fred pleitgen traveled. >> reporter: it was the final pen stroke at the end of a land grab. three years ago. crimea has always been and remains an inseparable prt of russia he said, this conviction based on truth and fairness has always been resolute and was passed from generation to generation both time and circumstances could not erase it. it's important to remember that crimea has been home to russia's black sea naval fleet for over 200 years. not something easy for russia to give up. three years after the annexation, russia says crimea has been fully integrated into russia while many crimeans say there still is much work to be done. moscow points to the positive like the luxury hotel elena where a chef prepares crimean oysters and says he's experimenting with local ingredients instead of luxury products from abroad.
i only serve local food made from local ingredients, he says. it's not hard to keep the quality high. we just drive around here and pick the suppliers. we go to oyster farms and trout farms. of course many things are harder to come by because of international sanctions slapped on russia for the annexation of crimea. but the general manager tells me business is still going well. there is a tendency for guests to stay longer than they used to, she says. people used to spend a weekend or just a few days. now the average stay is around seven days. russia shocked the world when mass forces appeared in crimea in the midst of the upheaval in ukraine. moscow originally claimed the troops weren't theirs before putin finally admitted he had sent them. only weeks before, crimeans allegedly voted to break away from ukraine and join russia in a referendum that was heavily
criticized by the u.n., urs and u.s. and eu. the u.s. says sanctions will remain until the territory is returned to ukraine. and despite the positive development. of crimea remains poor with little economic development. much of the hold upcoming down to logistics. there is no direct land route from russia to crimea. planes and these ferries the only way for russians to get there. cars are often stuck in traffic for days this woman says. and sometimes the connection is disruptive because of sea storms. of course if we had a bridge, we would have more people here too. the russians are building a bridge for faster access in the future. russia hopes to complete the bridge by 2018. ite it's supposed to include a rail think as well as a motor way. and many here in crimea hope that the bridge will help a leel great alleviate a lot of the problems.
for now however the bridge, like much of the integration ever crimea into russia, remains a work in progress. >> fred pleitgen, thank you so much. claire sebastien is live with us from moscow. we just heard about the situation in ukraine. let's talk about the situation in eastern ukraine. very unstable at this point. angela merkel while in the united states alongside with u.s. president trump expressed her hopes that things might improve. let's listen. >> translator: i am very gratified to know that the american administration and also the president personally commits himself to the minsk process. we need to come to a solution of this. there has to be a safe and secure solution for ukraine, but the relationship with russia has
to be improved as well once the situation there on the ground is clarified. >> reporte >> so despite what we saw, germany and the united states, does that type of pressure make a difference when it comes to ukraine? >> reporter: russia's position on eastern ukraine is very clear. they maintain they are not officially party to that conflict and they are not responsible they say for the fact that tminsk agreement has yet to be implemented. but the optics of president trump standing with angela merkel, she is in favor of sanctions remaining in place, is something that will not be celebrated here in about moscow about that there was certainly some hope that the trump administration would soften its stance on ukraine. that appears not to be the case. and of course as you know russia's position on crimea position remains immovable today on the third anniversary despite the fact that the international community continues most of it
not to recognize crimea as part of russia and to condemn what they call the illegal occupation of crimea by russian troops. the illegal annex saying. just today in fact we heard from the eu policy chief who said the european union remains committed to fully implementing its nonrecognition policy including through restrictive measures. 2000 russia, this is not only a closed issue, not up for discussion, but it's a source of national pride. we'll see celebrations across the country today commemorating that anniversary. and this is definitely seen as a source of national pride here. >> claire sebastien live for us in moscow with the reporting. claire, thank you. now on to syria. the pentagon is denying that a u.s. air strike hit a mosque in the northern part of that country. a trike that killed dozens ever civilians there. officials say that al qaeda fighters in a nearby building were targeted instead. but this was part of a larger offensive. u.s. and coalition forces
launched 19 new air strikes against isis on thursday. warplanes attacked three cities in syria including eight strikes on the self proclaimed capital of isis raqqah. this is the scene in northern syria after one of those strikes. >> reporter: syrians are describing it as a massacre according to a syrian monitoring group activists and rescue workers, scores were killed and wounded after air strikes destroyed a mosque full of worshippers on thursday evening in the town in northern syria. u.s. military officials have confirmed carrying out an air strike in the area killing several terrorists, but did not bomb a mosque. the target they say was a building where an al qaeda meeting was taking place but acknowledged the building was only 40 to 50 50 fefeet away fre mochk. a u.s. naral official says according to satellite imamiri,
the mosque was still standing after the strikes. >> warplanes have violated the sangity tie sanctity of god which led to one of the most heinous mass kers. >> reporte massacres. >> reporter: they are looking into the allegations. in recent weeks the u.s. has ramped up air strikes, but they say most killed were syrian worshippers. al qaeda may use the incident to gain more support in the part of the country where they ever already been growing stronger. and they gone from silence to becoming a partner in the killing of the syrian people. >> thank you so much for your reporting today. still ahead here on cnn newsroom, president trump joked that he and angela merkel were both victims of spying by the
obama administration but the german chancellor was not laughing. there is no evidence to back the president's claim. we'll have that story ahead. cnn is live this hour from atlanta, georgia on our networks both in the united states and around the world this hour. you're watching "cnn newsroom." today, unlimited gets the network it deserves. verizon. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty. five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have. (vo) unlimited on verizon. 4 lines, just $45 per line. this is one gorgeous truck. special edition. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's five. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel.
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intelligence agency spied on president trump last year on behalf of former president obama. u.s. national security adviser h.r. mcmaster did speak about the matter with britt fish offici british officials. they call the accusation rid ridiculous and say that they have been assured that it will not be repeated. secretary of state rex tillerson is seeking chinese support to rein in north korea's weapons program. his visit follows a stop in south korea where he said that the u.s. would consider military action against pyongyang if kim john kim john unthreatens its neighbors. south sudan is facing the world's fastest growing refugee crisis. an official says an alarming 1.6 million people there are displaced. continued violence is definite investigation stagt the country which was already dealing with famine conditions and a severe
drought. police in brazil say they have made arrests after raiding dozens of meat packing plants including two of the country's biggest. investigators say inspectors were bribed to certify tainted meat and some ended up in school lunches. brazil is already reeling from government corruption scandals. the u.s. justice department delivered a classified report to congress on friday on president trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama. two government officials familiar with that report say that it does not back up the president's claim. still, mr. trump refused to back down. he enrepeated it during a white house news conference with the german chancellor angela merkel next to him. at one point, he joked that both he and merkel had been bugged by the obama administration. let's take a look at this exchange. >> are there time to time tweets that you regret?
>> very seldom. >> so you never would have wished to -- >> probably nt would be here right now, but very seldom. we have a tremendous group of people that listen and i can get around the media when the media doesn't tell the truth. so i like that. as far as wiretapping, i guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps. >> no laugh there by the german. these talks between mr. trump and ms. merkel looked a bit awkward. they didn't even shake hands. not much of a surprise given how mr. trump criticized the german leader not along ago as our tom foreman explains. >> reporter: even as the immigrant crisis was surging in europe, he said she was fantastic and probably the greatest leader in the world today. but as germany's angela merkel let more and more migrants into
her country and "time" made her person of the year, donald trump tweeted they picked the person who is ruining germany. >> i always thought merkel was a great leader, but what she's done in germg any is insane. merkel did a horrible job when she accepted so many. they will have problems like you've never seen. they're already having huge problems. >> reporter: during the campaign, merkel largely kept her thoughts about trump private. >> translator: i will not intervene at all during the u.s. american campaign. so we'll have to wait. >> reporter: and when he won, she was magnanimous. >> translator: i offer close cooperation to the future president of the united states of america donald trump. >> reporter: but the two now have many sharp differences. >> we're talking about the safety of our nation, the safety and security of our people. >> reporter: as he has tried to slap a travel ban on several muslim majority nations, she has
argued the fight against terrorism -- >> translator: does in no way justify a general be suspicion against people of certain beliefs. >> reporter: as he applauded great britain's vote to leave the european union -- >> i think brexit will be a wonderful thing for your country. >> reporter: merkel has promised germany will stand firmly with europe and won't be pushed around in any trade deals. they have disagreed on syria, on nato, on russia, and trump appears in no way eager to given the give the chancellor a pass. >> who do you trust more, angela merkel or vladimir putin? >> i start off trusting both but let's see how long that lasts. it may not last long at all. >> reporter: but merkel seems ready to at least give the new president some time. >> translator: even if about there are differing opinions, xlo compromises and possibilities are always best to be made when there is a respectful exchange. >> reporter: some close to merkel say she prepared extensively for this first
meeting with trump, going over his speeches, reviewing his encounters with other world leaders. even looking at an old interview in "playboy," all to make sure that she would understand her position and that he would understand hers. >> tom foreman, thank you. the u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson is meeting with chinese foreign minister wong right now in beijing. let's listen in. >> the two sides have had in-depth discussions on and started relevant preparations for the arrangement of a meeting between the two presidents in the coming future and we have arrived at a lot of agreement in this respect. we have agreed to maintain close communication on this to ensure that exchanges between our two countries at the top and all the other levels are smooth, successful and productive.
china/u.s. economic cooperation is win sl/win in nature. we have to work to expand trade and properly address our trade frictions to achieve a outcome. and at the same time, we will step up our communication and cooperation on and advance the settlement of the korean peninsula nuclear issue, afghanistan, syria and other original hot spot issues. and at the same time we will maintain close communication and coordination at the united nations, the g-20, the apec and other multi-level institutions. [ speaking foreign language ]
during our discussion just now, i made it clear china's positions on taiwan and other issues. and i believe both sides need to handle the issues. china and the united states are two companies with global implications. the importance of our relationship cannot be overstated. both sides are of the view that maintain a steadily growing an sound china relationship not only serves the two interests of the two peoples, but also conforms to the wide expectation of the international community. we are ready to work the u.s. side in a spirit of no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect and win/win cooperation to step up our communication, enhance our mutual trust, expand our
cooperation and address the differences we have appropriately. in this way we will secure greater progress in china/u.s. relationship for the greater benefit of the people in not only china and the united states but also in the whom world. thank you. thank you minister wong. now the floor is yours, secretary tillerson. >> good afternoon. i'm pleased to be here this afternoon in beijing to discuss the way forward in forging a constructive and results-oriented relationship between the united states and china. this is an important opportunity to follow up on the television conversation between president trump and president trump xi and pave the way for high level engagement. since the historic opening of relations between our two countries more than 40 years ago, the u.s./china relationship has been guided by an understanding of nonconflict,
nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win/win cooperation. it is important that the leaders of our two countries engage in further dialogue to develop a common understanding that will guide our relationship for the next half century. the united states and china are the world's two largest economies and we must both promote stability and growth. our two countries should have a positive trading relationship that is fair and pays dividends both ways. and we will be working on that going forward. [ translating in foreign language ]
because china's stated policy is denuclearization of the korean peninsula, we renewed our determination to work together to convince the north korean government to choose a better path and a different future for its people. i discussed the importance of upholding a rules based order in dealing with maritime disputes and freedom of navigation and overflight. and i made clear that the united states will continue to advocate for universal values such as human rights and religious freedom. i look forward on this visit to additional meetings today with state counselor yang and tomorrow with president xi. and to continue to work together to address shared challenges and opportunities.
>> now the q&a session. because of the shortage ever ti of time, just one question for each journalist. >> you're look at a live image in beijing. rex tillerson is meeting with the chinese minister of foreign affairs. the u.s. secretary of state talking about north korea, the u.s. putting new pressure on china do more about north korea and its nuclear ambitions.
also the chinese minister of foreign affairs talking about trade. the efforts to expand trade relationships and address frictions for a win/win outcome. this is "cnn newsroom." more news right after the break. if you have medicare parts a and b and want more coverage, guess what? you could apply for a medicare supplement insurance plan whenever you want. no enrollment window. no waiting to apply. that means now may be a great time to shop for an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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a story we're following in france, a man was killed a sold time ago when he tried to grab a soldier's gun. the airport's south terminal was evacuated during the police operation that then followed. the man's identity or possible motive that has not yet been made public. no explosives were found. we continue to follow this story here on cnn. this is "cnn newsroom." we'll be right back after the break. pain used to shut me down during pick-up games.
we want to show you the situation in peru where torrential rains and flash floods are reeking havoc in many parts of that nation. at least 62 people there were killed, more than 100 others injured after week of heavy downpour. peru's government says more than 60,000 people have been displaced. , areremarkable footage has e
to light of the flooding. >> peruvian president declaring a state of emergency. take a look at some of this dramatic visual evidence of why he had to do that. this is a mudslide. and right in the middle of this debris field as we zoom in with a camera, look at this woman emerging crawling, stumbling over debris that was dragged along. she survived by grabbing on to pieces of wood, tree branches, whatever she could get her hands on, trying to build a makeshift bridge to pull herself out of the muck. that is incredible. she's safe and recovering in the hospital as we speak. the on lookers brought her assistance as soon as they possibly could. you can see some of the infrastructure that has been damaged. over 100,000 homes, also 100 bridges chan s collapsed because flooding and rainfall. and the threat continues going forward over the next several
days because another 100 to 250 mill meters of rain is possible with our forecast accumulation across the coastal areas of peru.meters of rain is possible with our forecast accumulation across the coastal areas of peru. and one other story out of this is the ability to get fresh water has also become scarce. more of a company lllateral iss coming out of the dire situation. i want to take you to the other side of the world, we're talk southern italy. this is sicily and mt. etna, the most active and largest volcano erupted. and it also created some injuries. take a look at this visual coming out of the volcano. this is incredible. you have to see this, as well. a bbc reporter was caught amongst the hurling lava and rock and that was the scene that unfolded in front of them. ten people injured including this person here holding the camera. >> unbelievable.
wow. derek van dam, thank you so much. another hour of "cnn newsroom" straight ahead for you. stay with us. verizon. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty. five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have. (vo) unlimited on verizon. 4 lines, just $45 per line.
switch to comcast business. with high-speed internet up to 10 gigabits per second. you wouldn't pick a slow race car. then why settle for slow internet? comcast business. built for speed. built for business. with the german chance her merkel. there was some awkward moments but still some gains made as well. we'll have that story. just hours before his secretary of state arrived in beijing the u.s. president tweets this. china has done little to help with north korea. we're live in the chinese capital with reaction. plus, three years