tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN July 6, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
morning. john berman here, breaking news of the morning, big drama, big stakes and in some cases big contradictions for president trump. a strong defense of key nato ally, his clearest statement yet of what he called the destabilizing activities of russia, but also a fairly blistering critique of his own intelligence agencies and a public full throated aggressive ambivalence about the notion of russian meddling in the u.s. election. that's just the beginning today. as we speak, the president is on his way to germany for the g20 summit. he arrives there shortly. we will cover every twist and turn. first though his warning shot to russia while standing in front of thousands cheering in warsaw.
>> we urge russia to cease its destabilizing activities in ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including syria and iran. and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself. >> pretty clear. also pretty clear his statement hours earlier continuing to sow doubt over his own intelligence agencies findings that russia meddled in the u.s. election. >> i think it was russia, but i think it was probably other people and/or countries. and i see nothing wrong with that statement. nobody really knows. nobody really knows for sure. >> nobody really knows. his intelligence agencies say they know. just the beginning of what could be a very important 48 hours, perhaps the most important 48
hours in terms of foreign policy of his presidency to date. cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is in hamburg, that is where the president arrives about an hour from now. the g20 summit, nic, we've seen a lot already today. >> reporter: we have. and already the leaders that will meet here we've heard a lot listening to him there in warsaw before he left. the europeans will have noticed he was critical of their failing to make proper financial contributions towards nato, that he was critical of big government. the european union is nothing if it's not big government. and critical as well of immigration, which is something that, you know, will strike a chord here in europe with some people, but it's also not the sort of language that european leaders here like to use. so i think having -- they having listened to that will find some things that they like, that he was strong against russia, but a lot of things they won't like and that's going to add on to
the other pressures, tensions, climate change, trade, those sorts of things. but what a lot of them will have listened to is his equivocation, if you will, on this issue of russia meddling in the u.s. elections when he was pressed on the issue he didn't seem to want to get into a -- >> i think it could very well have been russia, but i think it could well have been other countries. and i won't be specific. but i think a lot of people interfere. i think it's been happening for a long time. it's been happening for many, many years. now, the thing i have to mention is that barack obama when he was president found out about this in terms of if it were russia, found out about it in august. now, the election was in november, that's a lot of time he did nothing about it. why did he do nothing about it? he was told it was russia by the cia, as i understand it, it was well reported. and he did nothing about it. they say he choked.
well, i don't think he choked. i think what happened is he thought hillary clinton was going to win the election and he said let's not do anything about it. had he thought the other way, he would have done something about it. >> reporter: so rather than being critical of president putin who's going to sit down face-to-face, he appeared to want to be pivotal back to president obama. but that meeting with president putin, for president putin in that meeting he'll be well prepared and he will have heard what president trump has to say about russia needing to change its position on syria, on ukraine. this is not going to be a meeting of minds, we can certainly see that coming, john. >> all right. nic robertson in hamburg. again, we are waiting for the president to arrive there. he holds a meeting with angela merkel today, just one of the many things on his agenda. and it's really just part of the story because the president is also dealing with a major development on the korean peninsula. for the first time north korea testing an icbm, a missile that could for the first time in theory reach the united states. now, when asked about a possible military response to this, the
president said, quote, very severe things are being considered. what could those severe things be? cnn's barbara starr at the pentagon with the latest on that. good morning, barbara. >> good morning, john. let's be clear, many sources we are talking to here in washington this morning are telling us they do not anticipate at this point u.s. military action against north korea. that the administration is still looking at options involving sanctions and diplomatic action despite the rhetoric that is emerging. so that perhaps is a starting point. could there still be diplomatic action and sanctions to come. that said u.s. military commanders certainly have recently updated military options for the president if he were to choose to exercise them. he has said there's no red lines. let's listen to a bit more of what he said of all of that this morning. >> i have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about, that doesn't mean we're
going to do them. i don't draw red lines. president obama drew a red line and i was the one that made it look a little bit better than it was, but that could have been done a lot sooner and you wouldn't have had the same situation that you have right now in syria. that was a big mistake. but i think we'll just take a look at what happens over the coming weeks and months with respect to north korea. >> so when a president of the united states says red lines, the world actually does hear the concept that there might be military action. that's what you're really talking about here. at what point would north korea cross the line in provocation or weapons development that the u.s. would have to take some action. this notion that there is no red line is not exactly correct because his own defense secretary james mattis recently told congress that u.s. policy was that north korea would not be allowed to build an intercontinental ballistic missile and a nuclear warhead that of course could strike the u.s. keyword, build.
well, they're going ahead and doing it, right? i mean, we now have seen the building and actual test firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile. they are continuing to work on their nuclear warhead program. so we are exactly where we have been with a u.s. government. it's not clear mr. trump has any different path than the obama administration had. hope for sanctions, plan for military action, no indication of which way this is going. >> yeah. exactly where we've been except now north korea has a missile that could in theory reach alaska. barbara starr for us at the pentagon. thank you so much. again, we are waiting for the president to arrive in germany for the g20 summit. he has a key meeting with angela merkel in just a few hours. here to discuss what we've seen so far today, and it's been an awful lot, david rhodes, online news director for new yorker, tom pickering, former ambassador to russia. ambassador, i want to start with you. not only for the first and clearest time really did we hear from president trump a call for
russia to stop what he called its destabilizing activities. but whereas in europe before he failed to stand behind article 5 of nato, which calls for collective security. today he said that statement loudly and clearly. let's listen to what he said. >> i would point out that the united states has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind article 5, the mutual defense commitment. >> all right. that statement was something that nato allies in europe had been waiting to hear, ambassador. how significant was it he said today in warsaw, a new nato country poland that borders russia? >> john, it's very significant. it reminds me of a statement that winston churchill once made saying the americans after trying everything else will do the right thing. i think that this is a happy and useful development because not only for the polish audience but for the whole nato audience it
was significant that the president finally came out and recognized article 5 as a binding commitment on the united states. and it is the bedrock of our defense in europe. and obviously he's doing this on the eve of his meeting both with president putin where it's most important, but also with president xi. >> and, david road, there was a lot else in this speech as well. there was great praise of the polish people and the struggles they have had over the centuries frankly aggression coming from russia, also from germany, but there was also some discussion about the new modern europe. and he spoke about the challenges being faced right now in europe to terrorism and also immigration. listen to this, david. >> we must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding and their networks and any form of ideological support that they may have. while we will always welcome new citizens who share our values
and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind. we are fighting hard against radical islamic terrorism, and we will prevail. >> david, it was interesting while he gave western europe something badly wanted, article 5, strong statement about russia, he was also critical about immigration in europe and also big government there. >> yeah, this was sort of the full donald trump if you will. i agree with ambassador pickering this thing about russia was smart and important. it helps him politically. he's pushing back against russia. a lot of people wanted to see that. but then there was also lots of donald trump, talked about the dangers of bureaucracy and this threat against the west. but his answer to that was sort of having the will to fight it. he didn't talk much -- the word democracy was in the speech, but he didn't talk about it that much. and most importantly he's
standing in poland which has been criticized for having authoritarian regime, undermining press there and opposition and independent courts. he didn't talk about the importance of sort of the rule of law and these rules. it was more about the will to fight back and the dangers of immigration and government bureaucracy. >> and notable he attacked the free press, the president did earlier in the day side by side with polish leader cracked down on the press in his own country. ambassador, i want your take on the dual messages we got from the president. on the one hand standing up in the clearest terms yet to russia on russia's border. on the other hand refusing to acknowledge directly his own intelligence agencies' assessment that russia meddled in the u.s. election. what's vladimir putin to take from that in his meetings tomorrow? >> well, i think it's calculated. president trump loves to play to audiences. and in fact sometimes even at the expense of the national interest and consistency in support of the national interest. but however that may be he's positioning himself. he's not had an argument with putin before. he set the predicate at least
because he has at home a congress and a public that in my view is probably totally over balanced in an anti-russian position. and the president has to come out of this particular set of meetings with russia on a balanced basis. and so going in if you put it this way with a little criticism but a strong history of never having criticized putin before, and a situation in which pobothf them have a huge agenda, an agenda in which they have to deal with process, can tillerson and lavrov and mattis and his opposite number be engaged to help work on this process? the second is the tactical considerations. can they work on syria, which is short-term and very important? can they find a way to avoid the kind of impossible tragedy of a breakout of a conflict or shootdown or something else which because of accident, miscalculation and misdirection will be a problem? and can they begin to work on the longer term questions of
ukraine and the nuclear issue between the u.s. and russia, which i think has the real problem of undergoing a lotd lot of what i would call disintegration. if we can't solve this issue over the inf treaty. we need the inf treaty, we've accused russians of breaking it, they've accused us of breaking it. setting down two good people to work on the sides of the problem, and it is solvable, it would be an important way to go through. he has to produce result, it can't be too big result for the american congress and american public, but it can't be too little or mr. trump himself suffers. it's a very careful course to thread. >> david, i want your last quick thought on the president critical or so endowed on u.s. intelligence agencies overseas, you don't see that very often. >> you don't see that again very often, then donald trump sends message about russia and arguably sends wrong message about u.s. agencies. >> he will need u.s.
intelligence agencies to deal with north korea and russia over the next few days. thank you so much for your insight here. president trump did take questions for the first time in a long time. and he did of course talk about the media in that news conference in a country that cracks down on its own media. plus, the north korean missile test now with an icbm that could reach alaska. the president promises some pretty severe things, like what? and the president's election integrity commission wants person voter information. this morning they need to explain why to a federal judge. termites.
all right. we are waiting for president trump to arrive in hamburg, germany. this is for the g20 summit. we are also on the eve of president trump's first one-on-one meeting with russia president vladimir putin. leave aside for the moment the fact trump said during the campaign he'd already met with vladimir putin at least twice. the president has already made a lot of thnews this morning. he's been very critical of russia on the one hand, as critical as he's ever been. but there is another hand as well. i'm joined by matt lewis, senior commentator for the daily beast,
matted visor and amber phillips, matt, i want to start with you. i know for a fact that you think the president's upcoming meeting with vladimir putin is a big deal because you've said to me on tv for the past few hours. i appreciate so far for that. we'll play into that meeting, one hand he continues to say nobody knows for sure whether russia's meddled in the election. on the other hand his most direct criticism of russia saying stop your destabilizing activities. >> i think just like donald trump has done too frequently he's sending mixed missages and i think someone like vladimir putin sees that as a weakness and vulnerability and he can exploit that. having said that, i thought that the speech in warsaw was very good. it's not getting the attention and the praise that i think it deserves. and it is about a civilizational struggle, it was about the preservation of western civilization. he said civilization, not
society, frequently. it harkenned to ronald reagan, fdr, some people saw that as tired and cliched. but i think there's a generation of americans and europeans who need to be reminded of the stories, poland's struggle against naziism and against communism. and how we are galvanizing western civilization together. that is a message about unity for the west but also a reminder to vladimir putin and others about the past. i think it was good. >> amber, you know, matt lewis apparently not watching the first segment of our show where we focused exclusively on the speech from president trump in warsaw and there were people who said it was important there. but this gets to the issue here of sometimes the president gets in the way of his own message because he delivered a press conference hours before where, again, he questioned his own u.s. intelligence that russia meddled in the u.s. elections. does that get in the way of this
larger direct message with the white house very happy with the speech in warsaw today. >> yeah. 100% this gets in the way of what the white house is trying to do. what i heard today was the president trying to have it both ways. to say, hey, listen, nato, we stand with you guys against any international aggression in western europe, but i'm giving russia the benefit of the doubt here that they tried to do an extraordinary thing in the u.s. election. this comes after weeks of hearings from former cia, fbi, homeland security directors saying it is not a guess that russia interfered in the election, it is fact. it is fact. and president trump is over there kind of defying what everyone back here in washington wants him to do, which is to acknowledge this and put the hammer down on russia. i imagine the european leaders he's going to meet with next want the exact same thing. and he's kind of trying to have it both ways on that front. >> you know, amber brings up a
good point, matt, it's not just the career intelligence officers including admiral mike rogers who say that russia meddled in the election. but also the political appointees, now mike pompeo running the cia, dan coates say, yes, russia meddled in the election. they're not saying nobody knows for sure. they are quite definitive. that aside, matt, to the point previously from the other matt, matt lewis, you know, the white house has been hyping this speech in warsaw as a defining moment in u.s. foreign policy. and he did deliver what members of nato have been looking for, which is a definitive statement that the u.s. will stand behind article 5. will this satisfy what some other nato members have been asking for? >> i think so. i mean, it's been sort of a bizarre stutter step toward making that verbal commitment to article 5, agreeing to step in and help nato allies. you know, president trump on his first foreign trip was expected
to make a statement, aides and advisors forecasted he would and he didn't. but they still kept saying he supports it, he just hasn't stated it yet. so i think this sort of clears the air a little bit on that. what we saw in warsaw though is more the rosy, you know, supportive crowds, very public speech. now is sort of -- he's sort of shifting to a different portion of the trip where he might not be as greeted with warm arms in germany, angela merkel the host country in this regard. so i think it's a different type of trip from now forward. >> it's undeniable he's got a lot to do on this trip and he's only just begun. matt lewis, he delivered that message, the battle as you put it of threats to western civilization, he did it in poland, which is an interesting place. obviously poland has stood up, a
tough place to be as the president put it, however, the leader of poland, president duda also cracking down on the free press, also cracking down on the judiciary there. more authoritarian than perhaps some other nations. is that the right message of democracy the president wants to send? >> well, the good thing is i didn't hear that in the speech. i think this was a speech that, you know, could have been delivered by barack obama, ronald reagan, this was an american pro western civilization speech. but you're right about the context. and i think that is worrisome, that there is a strain of nationalism and populism that donald trump has in common with poland right now that stifles free expression and frankly they also have in common with vladimir putin who's targeted journalists. >> indeed he has. amber phillips, the president on his way right now landing very shortly for the g20 meeting allies that are skeptical of
him, could put him in an awkward situation there. and it's an awkward situation in every time he stands up to them perhaps the leaders of these other european western compa company -- countries, things that might be unpopular there might be popular with some here. >> i think you make a great point. if we know anything about the president, it's that he's a base politician. i think when he met with western european leaders a couple months ago, they were feeling him out, giving him the benefit of the doubt. since then he's done nothing to assuage their concerns about whether he's going to put aside what his base wants for what basically the rest of the world wants. you know, he got out of the paris climate change agreement. he's considering very protectionist trade policies like basically tariffs on steel, this travel ban that's gone into place that blocks refugees from coming into the u.s. so trump is coming from the perspective of wanting to close
up u.s. borders while pretty much everyone who's going to meet with at the summit want to open up theirs. >> matt viser, of course tomorrow the big meeting with vladimir putin, others reporting the president is being briefed on this in some cases getting short blurbs, 140 characters or less about how he should deal with vladimir putin. how prepared does he need to be given the fact that putin is famous for how he prepares for these meetings? >> i think he needs to be very prepared because putin is coming into this very cagey. and trump has done a good job at sort of i guess lowering expectations and getting this idea that, you know, he doesn't know what he wants to talk about, putin doesn't know what trump wants to talk about. so it gives trump a little bit of maybe leeway in figuring that out and coming into that meeting in that sense. but i think putin is much more savvy at these type of encounters on a world stage. this is the third president that he's dealt with from the united
states, and i think that putin is going to be briefed on just about every aspect of donald trump as the former kgb agent that he is. he's sort of very well prepared in that way. so i think trump comes in with maybe a disadvantage just new at this with somebody like putin. >> putin brought a labrador to a meeting with angela merkel because she's afraid of dogs. that's how he operates there. matt lewis, amber phillips, matt viser, thanks so much for being with us. a key issue possibility of trade war we're hearing that directly from key european leaders. cnn correspondent star of "early start" joins me right now with what's going on there. >> german leaders are concerned about a trade war, at the same time you have the president of the united states putting a lot of pressure on china. yesterday he tweeted the trade between china and north korea was up some 40%. he said so much for china working with us. but had to give it a try. we crunched those numbers, indeed trade between those two
countries was up just about 38% in the first quarter. and, you know, china accounts for about 83% of north korea's exports, so china does have a great big role here. now, the most hawkish of the china hawks, john, for years have been saying that it plays to china's benefit for north korea to remain unstable like this, to remain a problem for the united states because that's another negotiating tool in the toolbox when china has to talk to the united states about the united states' complaints about currency manipulation, about dumping steel, on the steel subject we're expecting any day to hear from the commerce department whether there will be new tariffs against chinese steel. that's something of course the chinese don't want. and we know there's so many different pieces of the trade puzzle at play at the very same time here. the eu and japan have just signed their own trade deal icing out the united states. and we're told china and mexico are about to start on their own as well, again going around the united states. so it's a whole new era in trade.
>> indeed. matt agrees one of the many issues intertwined during this g20 summit. thank you both so much. the trump administration insists the use of force is on the table to deal with the north korea threat. how realistic of an option is it? we're going to speak with an expert next. (upbeat dance music) (dance music abruptly stopping) (dance music starting then stopping)
hey you've gotta see this. cno.n. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. all right. new this morning president trump says he's considering some, quote, pretty severe things after north korea launched a missile that could potentially hit the united states, a new kind of missile the likes of which the u.s. intelligence has never seen before. but what exactly is that regime capable of? tom forman explains.
>> what this tells us, john, is that the north koreans are going full steam ahead. they are on course to have a record number of missile tests this year, more than a dozen already. and each one is steadily expanding our sense of how far they can probably send some part of their arsenal. the latest one is a real milestone. now for the first time they believe that they would be capable of actually reaching onto u.s. territory somewhere up here in alaska. so let's take a look at this missile and talk about what we're dealing with here. this is a little life size model of it. not terribly tall, little more than 50 feet. so it's about as tall as a basketball court is wide. and even if you believe what the north koreans said about it, it didn't fly that far horizontally, less than 600 miles. why is everyone so excited? because of how high it went. the altitude of this thing took it way, way, way above the international space station.
and if we believe everything we've seen here, it came back under some sort of control to a splashdown. that speaks an awful lot about their advancements in propulsion and in guidance. so where do we stand now? in terms of range we have to give them a green light because they've shown now for the first time they can launch an intercontinental missile of some sort. they'll have to replicate it, but yeah, if they keep going this way they could hit places maybe in hawaii eventually, maybe even places in the lower 48 if they keep making progress. what about accuracy? now, this is a yellow light, a caution light here. they've not yet proven they can make something fly this far and necessarily hit what it is aiming at. that is also a big hurdle to get over there. and remember they had some big failures in their missile tests earlier this year as well. and the real stopper of course is the purpose of an icbm is quite frankly to carry a nuclear warhead. and there's no indication that
they have yet been able to miniaturize a warhead and make it reliable enough to be carried by any of their missiles. but still consider all this, put it all together and you still have to say they are making progress on all these fronts in a very worrisome way for the rest of the world. john. >> tom foreman, thanks so much. so what are the options now for the u.s. to respond to this? joining me to discuss anthony corp tisman, tony, thanks so much for being with us. is the idea of a limited military strike by the u.s. against north korea really even possible? >> well, it's certainly possible. the problem is what would north korea do in response. and it is also what would we gain from the strike. it's easy to talk about hitting at north korea's nuclear capabilities, but striking at a reactor would create all of the problems of hitting a nuclear device and nuclear fallout. that might be acceptable.
it's a relatively small target, but still you can consider the international impact. there is what appears to be an underground centrifuge facility near that reactor. whether we can target and hit that with conventional warheads is more questionable. and it's very likely that north korea has disbursed and hidden virtually all of its nuclear material it can use in weapons, or weapons it's actually assembled. we may or may not be able to target those. we may or may not be able to hit them if they're underground. other targets are easier and perhaps less provocative. their critical missile production and design facilities, something that would show we might be able to target any future missiles they take to a launching site. this would be a lot less provocative. >> and but then of course north korea has a pretty powerful deterrent. maybe they don't have icbms that
can reach the united states reliablely just yet, but they have plenty of artillery to reach south korea, they have plenty of weapons that can hit the 20,000-plus troops stationed yus over their border. >> well, they certainly have plenty of those weapons. they also have a very powerful existing missile force with conventional warheads. and they can strike at area targets anywhere in south korea. they could potentially launch a demonstrative strike against japan. they can certainly create the ability to harass any form of air traffic or shipping in the area. so these are all options. but we also need to remember that north korea is an extraordinarily fragile economy. there are precision guided weapons with conventional warheads that could hit at its power grid, communications systems and many other critical targets. so this is a problem of who is
willing to escalate the most and just how far this would go as a conflict began to develop. >> is missile defense whether it be here in the united states with these systems that have been tested with, you know, very midling degrees of success, is that a realistic option right now? >> well, you've got a key point because you have missile defenses in development to deal with a longer range ballistic systems, but as yet you have no north korean threat. and we're probably talking about a minimum of one to two years before they could develop an icbm reliable and accurate enough to use. knowing that if they ever launched it, it isn't just a matter of missile defense, the united states would almost certainly reply with a massive nuclear strike against north
korea. >> tony cordesman, very sobering realities. the president certainly will discuss with china and south korea in the coming days. tony, thanks so much for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> almost every state resisting request right now for voter data from president trump's voter fraud panel. there's even a lawsuit now. but one of the men running the commission is defending the panel and pushing back. stay with us.
all right. live pictures now from hamburg in germany. very shortly president trump will arrive at this airport on air force one. then he will get in that helicopter to go to the g20 summit where he'll be meeting very shortly actually, just a few hours with german chancellor angela merkel. you can see the press there waiting as well as the staffers to greet the president. again, that happens in just a few minutes. the next stop on what has been a very eventful day so far for the president overseas. meanwhile, the white house dealing with some activity here.
today's the deadline for the trump administration to respond to a federal privacy lawsuit that is threatening to shut down the president's voter fraud commission. this after a growing number of states have been resisting providing all of the voter information requested by the president's panel. now the vice chairman of that panel ripping those reports. cnn white house reporter jeremy diamond has all the details. jeremy, what are you learn sng. >> hey, john. well, a privacy group has been seeking to block this commission's efforts to obtain some of this voter data from a number of states. the trump administration sought to immediately dismiss that lawsuit and a federal judge, district court judge is not immediately agreeing with the administration instead asking for a series of questions requesting more information about essentially the motives of this commission and the storage of that data. so certainly an interesting point there with the judge not immediately siding with the administration, raising questions about the future of this lawsuit. of course that came after a flurry of criticism from a number of republican and democratic secretaries of states
with regards to this commission's request for voter data. the commission's vice chairman has pushed back on that in a statement noting that only 14 states have outright refused to hand over any information. and he also notes that more states are actually complying with the request. this morning on cnn's "new day," one of the members of that commission spoke out defending it. here's what he had to say. >> those who would want to kill the commission in the crib, you know, that's pure nonsense. there are organizations that understand that our voter roles across the country are corrupt. and that corruption is a vulnerability and an opening to folks who might want to change the result of an election. >> and that's the point that this commission and this administration is making is that a lot of this has to do with politics.
what's interesting is that a lot of the states that have actually refused to submit part of this information that the administration is requesting, a lot of that information actually the administration says in its letter only submit that to us if it's publicly available. so certainly some of these states that are actually complying by saying they will give public information despite the pushback in their statements, well, they're actually complying with the commission's requests, john. >> jeremy diamond for us in washington. jeremy, thank you so much. we have some more news from washington. this morning house majority whip steve scalise is back in intensive care. docto doctors readmitted him due to concerns about infections. his condition is now listed as serious. you will remember congressman scalise was shot last month at a republican baseball practice. a gunman opened fire on the team. he is recovering from a hip injury and major damage to internal organs and blood vessels.
back in the hospital in intensive care. our thoughts with the congressman. the president now moments away from landing in germany. he will arrive at the g20 summit. you have live pictures now from the airport. he touches down in just a few minutes. he's made a lot of news this morning. his clearest statement yet condemning russian activities while at the same time questioning in clearer terms than he usually does whether or not u.s. intelligence on russian election meddling has been completely straightforward. stay with us. these birds once affected by oil are heading back home. thanks to dawn, rescue workers only trust dawn, because it's tough on grease yet gentle. i am home, i am home, i am home
the president arriving for the g-20 summit there. he has a series of big meetings which begin within hours. he will sit down with with the german chancellor, angela merkel today. tomorrow, his face-to-face meeting with vladimir putin. his stakes could not be higher. again, the president touching down here. as for his reception in germany, may not seem as warm as he seemed. angela merkel setting the stage for what could be confrontational moments. as we are watching the plane land, let's go to frederik pleitgen. fred? >> reporter: there certainly have been. one of the things you have been talking about is the reception by angela merkel and the city of hamburg as well. that certainly won't be as warm as we saw in poland. we are at the place where protesters are gathering not only protests against president trump here, but, of course,
generally against the g-20 summit. certainly, donald trump is a lightning rod for many protesters. that's something they believe the protests are going to be larger than they have at past g-20s. there have been a few scuffles. one interesting protest happened yesterday, a walk of zombies where several people or thousands of people were all in gray clay and walked across hamberg and the masses that walked out by summits like this one. there will be a larger protest and possibly violence. it's very important today with the bilateral meeting going on between president trump and angela merkel. certainly these people gathering right now want to be on the streets in force and make sure that the leaders, especially president trump hears their voice. john? >> fred, we are seeing air force one landing in hamberg. shortly, we should hear whether or not the white house briefed
reporters during this flight. sometimes they do on the short flights. that wasn't much more than an hour and 20 minutes. if they want a message to stick, it might be that the white house wants the president's words in warsaw to be the line of the day and not really add to that in any way. fred, i want to ask you because you have been in germany for a long time, covered many aspects of it. the president gave what his clearest message to date was in support of nato. he says the u.s. stands behind article five, the provision they will all stand together in case one nato nation is attacked there. i imagine among the leadership of the nato nations, including angela merkel, that will be a welcome statements. >> reporter: right. one of the people looking at that closely is angela merkel. one of the things she said when president trump was last in europe was she believed european
nations could no longer rely on others for safety and security. that was aimed at the president back then, not saying he was behind article v or failing to say that. the germans themselves boosted defense spending and want to continue to do so. it is a major thing the leaders are going to talk about when they meet. the other big ticket issues are trade. the germans are worried about things they have been hearing from washington. they gave an interview where they believed the u.s. might be out for trade war against europe and that europe would respond to that. angela merkel came out in a newspaper interview and the president sought globalization as having winners and losers. certainly, there are a lot of issues but nato is an issue they certainly are going to touch as well. >> the leadership in nato and the nations including germany
have different feelings. thank you so much. we are seeing air force one arriving at the airport in hamberg, germany. the president flying from warsaw where he gave a speech today where in the clearest terms he condemned russia's destabilizing activities. he set up what we considered to be a struggle between the west and what he threatens as western security. i've nic robertson in hamberg. the president landing now. what does the president have in store today, nic, and how do you think the message he delivered in poland -- how will it be received? >> reporter: well, his first meeting here will be with the german chancellor, angela merkel, his host. that is expected to last about an hour. he had a clear message on immigration when he was in warsaw.
that's not a message, his message is not a message that will play particularly well with angela merkel. president trump criticized her personally for what he described as her catastrophic handling of the refugee crisis, germany letting in more than a million refugees. he criticized that and criticized her, personally, on trade, saying germany is essentially fixing the value of the euro to its advantage, a trade deficit with cars in the united states. angela merkel tauted back saying i hope president trump is happy because there are lots of iphones here in berlin, meaning the united states is putting iphones in germany and germany is putting bmws in the united states. there's a clear disconnect between the two. this face-to-face meeting, not their first. that famous moment where president trump in the white house giving a joint press conference with angela merkel
saying how we both had our phones bugged. it was an awkward moment for angela merkel and she was critical for not having a retort for that. she can think on her feet. this meeting will be behind closed doors and get to the concerns of the foreign minister. we had fred explaining how he believes the united states might be about to start a trade war. they are relatively short meetings. i don't think anyone is going to change anyone's mind. between the pair of them, the host and the biggest leader are arriving at the g-20. they can agree with per am ters of how the g-20 will go. let's not forget, angela merkel invited ivanka trump here, the president's daughter, to a forum on women and women's values an women's role in the workplace and women's role in the world. that's something angela merkel wanted to keep within the
context of the g-20, language she would like to see in the end. there is commonality there as well. no doubt, they will find part of the conversation getting on to that topic as well. john? >> nic robertson in hamburg. air force one just arriving. the president will deplane shortly and head to his first meeting of the g-20 with angela merkel. nic laying out what's at stake there. a great deal of news made. the president made a speech today where he stood behind article v where he did not do before. the nato allies will no doubt welcome it. in the clearest terms condemned the destabilizing activities of russia. however, before that speech, he once again questioned the intelligence that russia meddled in the u.s. election. he said yeah, i think russia did