tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN August 11, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
top of the hour. good morning. i'm poppy harlow. president trump escalating his rhetoric in response to threats from north korea, fire and fury, his words on tuesday. his words today, locked and loaded. here is the president's latest statement on twitter. military solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded should north korea ask and hopefully kim jong-un will pass. they vowed to hit the mainland with strategic nuclear weapons should the u.s. launch a preemptive strike. we have global coverage of all the fast moving developments. let's begin in beijing with will ripley. what do you make of the latest statement given how many times
you have covered this from inside north korea? >> reporter: president trump had his catch phrase, fire and fury, locked and loaded. north korea has been war fanatic talking about the united states. the rhetoric we have seen this morning for north korea is similar to statements from the country. trump is driving the situation on the korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war, a statement we have heard many times, making outcries such as it has u.s. will not rule out a war against the dprk. we have heard them say that and threaten the united states with nuclear anileuation in another statement released overnight. they have talked ant the history and the korean war saying the u.s. was an aggressor back then and the u.s. is an aggressor now. the statement reads, all of these facts go to prove that the u.s. is, indeed, the master mind of the nuclear threat and the
heinous nuclear war fanatic, that catch phrase again. north korea paints itself as a victim in some ways, they are surrounded by bad guys around the world. they view north korea as an aggressor. at least the rhetoric we are seeinging now is back to what we are used to seeing and not the detailed plan near guam that we saw a couple days ago. >> it has not gone away. it is under review by kim jong-un. i take your point. there is news that has to involve china where you are and russia that has just cross zed. russia's foreign minister is working with china on a double freezing plan to prevent u.s./north korean conflict. they quote lavrov saving the u.s. should end the joint military drills because the one who is stronger and smarter must take the first step away from the dangerous line. what does that mean?
>> reporter: well, this is something we have heard from russia and china many times before. every august, every april, there are joint military drills. china and russia will call for the suspension of the drills because they say the military exercises enrage pyongyang and often the months of august, we have seen missile launches and military force. you have the russian foreign minister selling this as a new plan, but something that china and russia called for many times. the united states has said, no. they say they are bound by treat dwrou work with south korea as military allies and part of working together is training together and north korea not willing to freeze their testing, either. >> will ripley in beijing. thank you for your reporting. lets's go to the pentagon. barbara starr is there. the comment the military is locked and loaded if north korea acts unwisely, to be clear, the military has been at the ready, locked and loaded, ready for
this for quite a while. >> that's right. when you look at those words, it's important to focus on should north korea act on wisely? a lot of the rhetoric here from the president is aimed, if you look at it with precision and he mean what is he says, a u.s. reaction if north korea were to launch an attack if they were to launch the missiles against guam, talking about the military options being locked and loaded. military options, as we reported at cnn have been updated to give the president a rapid response capability. they are in place and they have been. the possibility of shooting down those north korean missiles if they are launched and headed toward guam. u.s. forces, 27,000 plus in south korea, 50,000 in japan. the forces in the pacific have a slogan, ready to fight tonight. that is something they take seriously. they are ready.
that is what we are being told here in the pentagon. pretty caulk about the whole thing. if this were very unfortunately to escalate further, you could see additional forces called in. from everyone we are talking to here, they feel they are in a pretty good position. they are ready, in fact, if north korea launches those missiles against guam and they are ready and have the intelligence gathering assets in place to keep a sharp eye on what kim jong-un's regime may decide to do. poppy? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you for that reporting. if a missile were to be fired at guam and get through u.s. defenses as north korea threatened, an official saying it would only take 14 minutes. that is the chilling headline that people in guam are waking up to this morning. ivan watson is there. what are you hearing? >> reporter: this is the guam homeland security adviser who
put out this rather disturbing piece of information, the estimate that a north korean missile would be in the air 14 minutes before it would hit guam. that is provided that everything worked technically perfectly on the north korean part and provided that the missile would be able to penetrate multiple layers of missile defense, involving the south korean and japanese military as well. local officials, while mentioning that insisting that the threat level has not been increased. they did publish and we are showing you on screen the emergency fact sheet the joint information center put out. in the event of a missile threat, it's rather detailed. it informs residents to make an emergency plan for their families to list potential concrete shelters, to stay inside 24 hours after a possible nuclear blast and not to look at the fire ball if they are caught
outside. so, it's not nice stuff to read if you are one of the more than 160,000 civilians living on this island. there are military personnel as well. at anderson air force base, local media were invited to see the b-1 bombers conducting routine operations and exercises and they heard from a lieutenant colonel from the air force. listen to what he had to say. >> the majority of the people here, we live here. so, i live here, my wife lives here, my two daughters live here. we go to the bay. we go to school here. so, we obviously have a vested interest here. we feel safe here right now. that's what this continuous bomber presence does. >> reporter: those b-1 bombers, of course, some of them conducted flights over the korean peninsula this week, which angered north korea and
caused threats against the island. despite the rhetoric, the local authorities are insisting the threat level hasn't been increased. the governor of guam urging residents here to enjoy the weekend, go to the beach and have a good time and try to live life as usual. poppy? >> ivan watson, live in guam, thank you very much. meanwhile, south korea is calling on the military to maintain full readiness for the provocations from north korea after a late night phone call from the south korean adviser and hr mcmaster. let's go to seoul, south korea. anna is there. good to see you. what more are you learning. >> reporter: poppy, south korea's military is combat ready. 600,000 troops are on stand by as tensions increase with this war of words between donald trump and north korea's jim can
you think un. people here are shaking their heads at the inflammatory language used by both these leaders, south korea's defense leader spoke to the commanders a short time ago telling them to be ready respond to north korea with powerful force. as you mentioned, south korea's national security adviser spoke to the counter part, hr mcmaster early this morning overnight your time. they just really reiterated that closeness of alliance and that need to work closely together to ensure the safety of south korea and the united states. the u.s. has almost 30,000 troops stationed here in south korea as i mentioned. a very tight alliance, a very old alliance and certainly, poppy, we know the south koreans and the americans will be holding the joint military exercises here. we are hearing august 21, which
is just over a week ago and, of course, they will definitely anger kim jong-un. poppy? >> anna in seoul, thank you very much. the president and the north korean leader wrapping up the rhetoric over the situation. more on that ahead. also, over 30 questions and boy did the president have answers taking the questions in two remarkable press conferences. we are breaking down the comments ahead. and paul manafort beefing up, switching up his legal team after his son-in-law met with federal investigators over some of those and also turned over some of those documents. we are going to have the details and the significance of that, ahead. (music stops) (bell rings)
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in just a few hours, president trump is expected to dive deeper into his diplomatic strategy on north korea. he will be visited with nikki haley. the war of words with president trump and his north korean counter part. sarah murray is near where the president is and has more. what do we know about this meeting? >> reporter: well, good morning, poppy. this is a meeting that's coming at a time when president trump is making no effort to tone down his rhetoric when it comes to north korea. if anything, he continued to up his ante. he did so on twitter when he fired a tweet saying military solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. meeting with nikki haley is going to be fascinating.
she really helped take a lead on putting pressure on north korea from a diplomatic angle. she was crucial in working behind the scenes to get this unanimous vote at the united nations to levy sanctions with north korea. obviously, she got her will on that. it will be interesting to see what message she is bringing to the president today. if he is as pessimistic about a diplomatic solution about the crisis or if they are trying to find a way forward that doesn't involve military might. this is a meeting that is going to be happening behind closed doors. as of now, we are not expected to see president trump and nikki haley together. as we saw, the plans could change. president trump wanted to talk to the media yet. let's hope he does today. >> let's hope he does. sarah murray, thank you very much. we have the adjunct senior fella
at the center for new american security. they specialize in defense policies. nice to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> the language from the president this morning, yesterday, he said maybe my talk wasn't tough enough. right? fire and fury comments. and north korea responds this morning by saying the u.s., trump is pushing us to the brink of nuclear war. the president reiterates that military solutions are locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. your reaction to the escalating words on both sides? >> my reaction is, really, that the president is being extremely unhelpful here in continuing to escalate this rhetoric. basically, neither the united states nor north korea has an incentive to want to go to war with one another. the cost of that would be so incredibly high for each. the type of rhetoric we are seeing out of north korea is the
credit rick we have seen for a very long time. the world is used to seeing the united states of america a steadying forth. >> what about the rhetoric president clinton used in 1993? he said if north korea uses nuk lar weapons, develops them, they will be demolished. >> that's different than we have been hearing. >> why? >> because what president trump suggested in the fire and fury comment is that the united states might be willing to use nuclear weapons against north korea first. >> you are saying because he was talking about a threat? >> we would be potentially interested in useing force in response to a threat. that is a different statement than saying the united states will respond overwhelmingly if attacked. the point is, really, when the united states sends signals into the world about the willingness to use force, the action it itends to take, it needs to be clear in its signaling. the main problem here has been
that the president is sending a certain set of signals and the rest of the cabinet is sending different ones. >> the counter argument is the 25 plus years of mainly, with the exception of what president clinton did say in '93, quieter, softer diplomats that got us here. >> there is no question, there's a lot of blame to go around in terms of failed diplomacy with north korea. the united states kept on the table the possibility of using force if they need to. every president, since this has been going on for the last three decades reiterated in a calm and sober way. >> let's bring in john kirby. hopefully you are heard some of this and saying look, this rhetoric is like any other president, it is harmful to the dialogue. to you, though, the argument that americans are waking up this morning and looking at a north korea with much more
advanced nuclear capabilities that could be months away from striking the u.s. mainland. they are supposed to think what? >> well, obviously, they should be concerned about what north korea is going and the threat they pose not only to the region, but to us. i think those are justified concerns. let me mention a couple things. i agree, the rhetoric is reckless and irresponsible by the president. we should be looking for ways to de-escalate the tension, pursue diplomatic tensions the way secretary mattis has been advocating. i don't think this is really -- people are paying attention to this. look at where we have been in the last 72 hours. look how all this started. the fact that the north was working toward miniaturization is something the intelligence community long believed. this all started this week with a leaked assessment to "the washington post" about the fact that they have achieved miniaturization and the
president responding to that leak and that news article. we went from zero to 100 miles an hour in the course of 48 hours based on a news article. >> admiral, you had north korea ramping up its rhetoric in response to the b-1 bomber flights. >> it's true, but poppy, that rhetoric over the b-1s, that is typical rhetoric and we have seen that. i'm not trying -- please don't get me wrong, i'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about miniaturization and the potential of an icbm, we should be concerned about that. what i'm saying is this leak, trump's reaction to the news prompted more reactions rhetorically from the north and we amped up the tensions in an unnecessary way. we do not have to be where we are right now. there is still room and error to come out of this and to try to work forward with a diplomacy.
i worry that the media itself and the media coverage of this has helped fan the flames. >> do you agree with that mira? >> i do agree. we have to start looking for much for ways to de-escalate the tensions here. there are ways forward that can be more productive than where we have been the last 48 hours. we should note the fact this past weekend, the u.n. security council passed a set of sanctions that was remarkable show of international -- >> you have china and russia. >> china and russia. remarkable unity. instead of heating up the rhetoric, the president should be trying to capitalize on that to build a coalition. >> perhaps we will hear more about that today as he metes with the woman who spearheaded that. mira, thank you for your expertise. admiral kirby, thank you as well. the president's tough talk does not stop with north korea.
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bills passed, i'll be happy with him. i want to thank him. we are trying to cut down on payroll. i'm thankful he let go of a large number of people. i always found pal manafort to be a decent man. he makes consultant fees from all over the place, who knows? i don't know. i thought that was tough stuff. to wake him up, perhaps his family was there, i think that's tough stuff. transgender, the military is working on it. it's been a difficult situation and i think i'm doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it. as you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military. it's been a very confusing issue for the military. i think i'm doing the military a great favor. >> lot to talk about. good thing i have a smart panel here. white house correspondent for politico, tara is here. political anchor for spectrum
news errol lewis. nice to have you all here. congressman, let me begin with you. usually, you are far away from me. now you are here in person. >> this is the first time. i am so honored. sitting next to your all-star cast. >> we appreciate you being here. the president took on mcconnell, again. that's his style, he did it with sessions. we shouldn't be surprised. what is striking is the tone he used with mcconnell and the praise he gave vladimir putin saying it helps the budget. when they are going to be employed in the united states, still. it's not going to save money. help me understand it. >> he was sending a message to both of them. i think he played the putin thing perfectly. >> why? >> you don't want your adversary hurting you. >> wait. look what he's saying about north korea and kim jong-un. >> we are talking about putin
right now. >> you are making a broad argument. >> tough say to putin, do what you want. that doesn't bother me. on north korea, everyone is saying he shouldn't say this or that. people don't have a clue. if we know how to deal with north korea -- >> you are saying this administration doesn't have a clue. >> the critics who are saying the president shouldn't be doing this with a madman. you don't know. in terms of the approach to north korea, i think it's comprehensive, diplomatic, covert. i think there are a lot of cards being played we don't know about. >> i want to get errol in. it sounds like he is saying this is a kissinger madman theory. >> the problem is it relies on
at least one of the parties not being a madman. if you do this and you are dealing with a madman, you can't outcrazy kim jong-un. when you fear him and the president sort of trading these kind of comic book exchanges about i will bring fire and fury. they always sort of win, the rhetorical exchanges. there's a complete insanity to it. they have an economy the size of vermont, nuclear weapons and can threaten people all over the world, not just the united states, but the same missiles could reach beijing. we have a dangerous, unstable condition. the one thing i agree with the congressman on is decades of attempts to try to contain and control this have not succeeded. if you want to try crazy rhetoric and see, throw that against the wall and see where it gets you, that's where we are right now. >> hold the thought. tara, weigh in here.
do you agree with the congressman? i don't understand the president messaging with putin here. it doesn't apply to all adversaries. one of my guests last hour said he was being flipped. i didn't see a smile, so i don't know. what did you think of it? >> he sounds flip, but putting forward a statement. he's not condemning putin. he's saying thank you. it's flip, but he's not willing to go against him and say what you did is wrong. he never supported the sanctions, he reluctantly signed the bill. are we going to save a lot of money? not really. they are going to be reassigned to posts. the people that were going to lose their jobs are russian locals. >> diplomats serve more than diplomatic services. you know, there's more there, too, right? when you talk about having eyes on russia. you could argue is removing key
assets. on the transgender, it's not getting a lot of attention, but it's important because you speak, congressman, about the broader messaging. the president saying he is doing a great service, a great favor to the military through his twitter announcement about transjendsers not able to serve in the military. the pentagon said and the military said, we are not enacting that because they haven't told us how to do so. >> i was on armed services committee and had the honor of representing five military installations. regardless of your sex, gender, age, deployability is everything. if you are a young captain, you have to know how many troops are ready to hop on a c-130 and parachute into an area -- >> wait. what does being transgender have to do with that? they don't know how to implement. the president says he's doing
them a great favor. >> poppy, deployability has everything to do with it. you spend hundreds of thousands, up to a million dollars training somebody, then they decide to change sex. >> you know that's not the majority of transgender people serving in the military. >> it's a very, very small per cent. i can say this, there is a question on the troop level about deployability, it can take months and months and sometimes years. it's about deployability. what the president is doing is trying to force the hand of the military. let's come to a decision on this. also, i was there -- >> he didn't wait, errol, for mattis to come out with a review, he went for it. >> there are two conversations going on. one is civil rights and human rights, the question of whether or not they should have access
to the military. when the military says you can't just throw something out on twitter, there need to be orders. there need to be a legal check on these things, a deployment protocol, we have to put it into existing planning. you don't turn around something as big as the united states military based on 140 characters. it doesn't work that way. >> he said he consulted with the leaders. >> the generals are saying we don't know how to implement it. >> they didn't expect him to go this far. a lot of americans don't agree with paying for sex change. that was the issue. they didn't want to have to pay for military personnel. >> you know the cost. it's between $2 million and $8 million. >> it's an unpopular decision. he took it the other direction to get rid of them in general. it's not the direction mattis wanted them to go in.
it's an example of trump playing rogue and playing to what his base would like, politically. >> there's something not getting as much attention, his praise of hr mcmaster. you wrote abiliout this, too, t. the sparring between bannon and mcmaster. the president said i respect mcmaster, i like him. basically saying, he's here to stay. >> from a republican base standpoint, they were uncomfortable with allowing susan rice to have classified access. >> it's typical, not a special thing he gave her. >> i think the president deserves praise for saying he went against his base. he stood up for his team member and, i think he did the right thing in this case, particularly with the tension going on in north korea and mcmaster. >> you have a big article on this. should this worry bannon? >> the issue is bannon and mcmaster have not been speaking
for weeks. trump is throwing his weight behind mcmaster. >> today. >> exactly. it's been for a few days. he put out a statement in support of mcmaster. general kelly is a friend of mcmaster. he respects him. bannon, who lost an ally in reince priebus, he's become isolated. it's important because they are hashing out the afghanistan strategy. we are going to hear which way the president plans to go. will he go with mcmaster or pull back? >> is this the kelly influence, who is gracing the cover of "time" magazine this week? >> uncomfortable place to be. in the jungle warfare of the trump white house, you have a lot of contending factions. you laid them out nicely. tara has written about them. it's really unclear who is going to win or if president trump wants any side to win. he likes the tension. in his life he talked about it all the time. he writes about it in books.
he likes contending ideas and factions battle it out and he steps in, not necessarily to pick a winner, but spur the next round of combat. >> every leader will say it's good to have opposing opinions around you. not sure people not talking is the best idea. i hear all of you. thank you. we appreciate it very much. russia and china working on a plan to prevent a conflict between the united states and north korea. we are going to bring a live report on what it means from moscow, next. you're more than just a bathroom disease. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara® stelara® works differently for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease. studies showed relief and remission,
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>> reporter: today, poppy, to be clear, the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov thinks it's up to america to blink first, step back and create a situation where north korea, the united states and everyone else involved can talk about this and come to a conclusion. he said this describing the russian-china plan for dealing with this. we heard a little about this before. it involved the double freeze. if north korea agrees to freeze the nuke and missile testing, the u.s. should agree to freeze the military drills it often carries out with south korea. the russian view is these activities fuel one another and they are self-perpetuating. lavrov says he's been told by america repeatedly, rex tillerson and john kerry, that's not going to fly. missile tests and nuke tests have been outlawed by the security council where by drills by the allies are fine.
lavrov, the foreign minister takes a different view. he says when it comes to a situation where it's so dangerous and close to a fight, it's up to the smarter and more powerful person to take a step away from the dangerous line. that's where he is implying clearly, he believes, russia believes it's up to the u.s. not to contribute to the escalating tension, but take a step back and try to create an environment where it's possible negotiations could take place. poppy? >> phil black for us in moscow. thank you for that important update, we appreciate it. ahead for us, former trump campaign manager, paul manafort, is hiring a new team of lawyers. why does that matter? it could point to the direction this russia investigation is going. we'll break it down ahead. your insurance company
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we have now learned the son-in-law of president trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort, met with federal investigators in new york. sources tell cnn his son-in-law provided information, handed over documents. this material is in the hands of special counsel bob mueller. joining us with more, shimon and sherry jackson. shimon, the meeting and documents handed over happened a few months but we are just learning about it. tell us the significance here. >> everyone in the manafort world is being scrutinized. we believe his now estranged
son-in-law and he were involved in some real estate business and now, as part of the special counsel's investigation here in d.c., they are looking at everything. this investigate of the son-in-law, we believe began before -- before the special counsel got involved, before he started his investigation, but this may be an effort to sort of learn more about manafort and even put the squeeze on the son-in-law to get him to cooperate against manafort. you know, as we learned a few days ago, a search warrant was executed at his home in virginia. also, some suspect there was an effort here to put pressure on manafort, per happens to rile him, to get to seek his cooperation. interestingly enough, people close to manafort told us the special counsel has not reached out to them seeking cooperation, has not requested documents.
they are working around manafort to get more information. >> something interesting too is paul manafort switched his legal team. he hired lawyers that focus on taxes and financial investigations. >> i think that's significant, poppy. here is why. initially, you hire lawyer that is could be well connected and negotiate and talk and see whether or not there's a path to resolution. then, of course, the investigation proceeds and you see how everything goes, then it gets hot. it was a no knock warrant issued at the home. what's the significance of that? the fbi doesn't warn you. they show up in predawn hours, take what they need. to the extent the investigation is heating up and they are looking at financial transactions that he was engaged in throughout the world, i said world, not united states, but around the world, now it's not
about negotiation and well connected attorneys, it's attorneys focused on tax law and if push comes to shove, can negotiate in a court of law due in a trial in order to, you know, protect the interest of their client. that's what that's about. >> there's been a lot of scrutiny around payments, it's reported manafort may have received in terms of prorussian government in ukraine. shimon, let's listen to the president talking about this raid yesterday. >> i thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever. i know mr. manafort, i haven't spoken to him in a long time, he was with the campaign for a short period of time. i always found paul manafort to be a decent man. like a lot of people, he makes
consultant fees all over the place. who knows? i don't know. i thought that was a very -- it was tough stuff, to wake him up, perhaps his family was there, i think that's tough stuff. >> two things, he's distancing himself from manafort. i think he ran the campaign for five months, b, he's criticizing his own fbi. >> well, right. i mean, not so much the fbi, i think he was asked, you know, follow up if he talked to the fbi director about this and he indicated he didn't. yeah, i mean, he clearly is taking some issues with the way the special counsel has been conducting the investigation. remember, he said and we reported on the nexus to finances to the special counsel looking at everyone's finances, even family members of donald trump. you know, trump said this is sort of a red line for him. we all were waiting to see what he would do. he has, trump, the president,
has taken issue with some of the direction that the special counsel's investigation is. right now, at least from everything we know, based on subpoenas issued, the search warrant and what they were looking for in the search warrant, which was financial documents, this was an investigation that's diving deep into the finances of various people that were attached to the campaign and to, really, the trump world. >> joey? >> i think it's important to know and understand that the fbi functions as a separate entity. now you have a special counsel, so, no matter what people's views are of the president, whether there was or wasn't collusion, the issue is the president doesn't control what the fbi does. doesn't control, in essence, going in, executing warrants, going to a judge. all of that is done, by and now, of course, with the special counsel. i hasten to add, poppy, we have
congressional investigations going on. manafort turned over, what, 300 pages of documents. there's a lot going to be gleamed from that. a lot of that information is going to be useful. final point, when you talk about executing a warnlt, you can't get one for any reason. there has to be a basis you convince a judge it's valuable and necessary and cause to believe something. what that is, we don't know, but it's significant. what that crime could potentially be, we don't know. you don't just get a federal warrant from a judge showing up saying your honor, may i have one. >> as you mentioned, a no knock one, at that. thank you, as always. the war of words intensifying between the president of the united states and the north korea leader this morning. president trump saying military solutions are locked and loaded if north korea acts unwisely. north korea declaring president trump pushing to the brink of
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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. locked and loaded. president trump and north korea escalate the war of words, lobbying new threats and new tweets. north korea accusing the president of the united states pushing the world to, quote, the brink of nuclear war. and the world is, indeed, taking notice. this morning, we learn russia and japan are scrambling to deploy their air defense system and china is