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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Interview With New York Congressman Lee Zeldin; President Trump in Poland. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired July 5, 2017 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JASON MILLER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think President Trump knows what the stakes are here. I think he knows the historical nature of this sit- down.
And I think he also has a pretty keen sense on what the bigger issues are that he needs to be worried about here. So, I'm confident going into it that he's very focused. Folks I have chatted with and within the administration have conveyed that sense as well.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: They feel like he's ready, he's prepared?
MILLER: No, he's -- President Trump is going to be ready for this.
Let's just take a step back for a minute again for our viewers who may just be joining us. As we know, President Trump now has landed in Warsaw, Poland. He's just taking off there.
This is his first step to, of course, Hamburg, Germany, where he will going to next the G20 summit.
How significant is this Admiral, this trip, for President Trump? Just kind of lay it out for our viewers. Why does this matter? Why is this so important?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Any time a president travels overseas, it's significant.
And you would hope that with each stop -- I'm sure they have done this -- that there are outcomes, there are results, there are things he wants -- either messages he wants to convey or things he wants to actually get done.
And so each stop offers him a chance to that. Poland is critically important. Just in April, we put about 1,000 troops there on a rotational basis. Poland and the Baltic states, they matter a lot to us, and they should.
And what I think, this is a great opportunity for him to say he's going to say to the European reassurance initiative, that we have got your backs. He should say it exactly to the Poles what he said to our troops from the South Lawn last night. We have your back. We're with you.
That's a great opportunity. And he will be welcome there. They're talking infrastructure, by the way. That is the whole reason he was invited. Then at the G20, another chance, I think, to really recalibrate U.S.-Europe relations on a host of issues, many of which Josh has already brought up, and then of course the meeting with Putin we talked about.
BROWN: What do you make of the fact this is now a bilateral, more formal meeting with Vladimir Putin rather than the casual more pull- aside, Robin?
ROBIN WRIGHT, SENIOR FELLOW, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: That was the original intention, was to have a very limited, even possibly just a stand-up meeting on the sidelines.
This is a major development that they're have a bilateral negotiation.
BROWN: And why do you think they are? What do you think is the calculus?
WRIGHT: It's interesting that the Russians made the announcement first, and I think Vladimir Putin is all for that.
Vladimir Putin walks into this meeting much more experienced, much tougher than Donald Trump has. He's been in power through four American presidents and he knows the international stage and he knows these issues with nuances and specifics that go far further back than President Trump does when it comes to foreign policy challenges, the things we agree on and the things we disagree on.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Trump is surrounded by a lot of guys with a lot of good experience.
I think they made it into a bilateral meeting because H.R. McMaster said last week they didn't have a strategy and they were just going to talk about whatever came up. And they got a lot of criticism, right?
From my perspective, the more structure, the better. The more people you have in that room, the better. The more expertise around Donald Trump, the more you have actual topics that they're going to discuss, the better the chances they're going to get things done, OK?
If they want to make it a bilateral meeting with all the bells and whistles, have the press there, have all the protocol, that's a good thing. That means Donald Trump has a better chance of being on message and on task.
BROWN: Thank you so much. We have to wrap it up. I'm so sorry, Jason, but quickly do you want to say something?
MILLER: I was going to say I think it's smart that they're doing this bilateral during the midst of the G20. Takes a little bit of pressure off of it. Obviously, it will be the biggest story line that is going on, but it
also takes the temperature down, so I think that's smart.
BROWN: Thank you so much, everyone. Really interesting discussion there.
And the president has mentioned Vladimir Putin more than 80 times in the past four years, so will this meeting help separate fact from fiction?
Stay with us.
BROWN: And we are back with the world lead.
You are looking right now at live pictures of the president's motorcade. Just moments ago, President Trump arrived in Warsaw, Poland. He's making a brief stop there before heading to Germany for the G20 summit, certainly a big week for him.
Six weeks ago, Mr. Trump left Europe with a long set of disagreements, and since taking office, his policies and statements have ruffled the feathers of many world leaders.
I want to bring in CNN's Nic Robertson in Hamburg, Germany.
Nic, we may have gotten a little preview on Twitter this morning of what to expect from the president.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, we did.
And there is an indication there that he's dissatisfied with China and there might be some hint of, you know, damage to China-U.S. trade because of it. And certainly that was amplified listening to Nikki Haley at the United Nations talking again about that specific issue in relation to North Korea.
Certainly, his coming into this here for that meeting he will have with the Chinese president, that is clearly going to raise tension there, raise tensions with the Europeans on trade. That is big, globalization. That is big, raise tensions off the back, as you say, of the G7 about the Paris climate change agreement. That's big.
But, of course, the big, big thing will be that meeting with President Putin.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Of the world's 20 most powerful leaders gathering in Hamburg, these two will steal the spotlight.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He is a brilliant,
intelligent person, without a doubt.
TRUMP: I don't know Putin.
ROBERTSON: And now in Germany at the G20, they will, under intense speculation about Russia meddling in the American 2016 presidential election.
TRUMP: I would love to be able to get along with Russia.
ROBERTSON: Trump has said so much about Putin in the past four years, 80 comments and counting, their coming together could offer a filtering of fact from fiction.
And now the pull-aside meeting has been upgraded to a fully fledged bilat. But that doesn't mean President Trump will actually bring up the election hacking.
Indeed, don't count on any of the 20 leaders here agreeing on anything significant. They have rarely been less united. Trump's last global outing at the G7 a month ago saw him dissing his partners, flatly refusing to join them endorsing the Paris climate change agreement, a topic on the G20 agenda.
He has become not just disengaged, but estranged on the world stage. Putin, who has become a pariah at these events since he invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, can expect more cold shoulders.
All this as the host, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, goes to the polls later this year. She needs a successful summit. And she won't be the only one worried. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who left the last G20 the leader of a democracy, and returns an autocrat.
And then the Saudis arriving with excess diplomatic baggage. A Gulf standoff with Qatar is unlikely to grow positively at the G20. The cast of characters is long and so is their list of problems, the British P.M. weakened, needing new friends.
Perhaps the ray on the horizon, the new French President Macron, who bounced into his first global outing in May, signaling to Trump he is not first among equals, a message he will likely hear in his bilat with Putin, too.
ROBERTSON: We've had a hint from the Kremlin about what they think will come out of that bilat.
They believe Ukraine will be on the agenda. And they have pretty much said they don't expect President Putin to change President Trump's mind on that. Syria, they've got their agenda there. They will be pushing their message for peace, the talks, the Astana talks. And I have to say, talking to some Syrians involved in that fight just in the last few days, they don't buy into the Russians' peace program in Syria whatsoever.
And he will also give the message, we're told by the Kremlin, to President Trump that the United States and Russia can work together to counter terrorism inside Syria. Well, we know what the Pentagon believes about Russia's claims to be attacking ISIS, a pretty hollow claim.
So, I don't think anyone is expecting a meeting of the minds, far from it, when Trump and Putin get together, Pam.
BROWN: We will certainly be watching it closely.
Nic Robertson, thank you very much.
And we're joined now by Congressman Lee Zeldin, Republican of New York and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Congressman, thank you so much for being here with us.
REP. LEE ZELDIN (R), NEW YORK: Thank you. Happy to be with you.
BROWN: I want to start with North Korea, because, obviously, there was the test yesterday that raised concern among U.S. officials.
As we know, North Korea has military artillery aimed at its neighbors in South Korea and Japan, where there are U.S. military bases. If the U.S. used military force against North Korea, as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said today was on the table, presumably, the North Koreans would retaliate, and potentially kill thousands of people.
Is a military strike even workable?
ZELDIN: It is an absolute last possible option.
And I think what will be important for the administration right now to do -- and there's nothing wrong with it -- I would actually encourage it -- is to be prepared for any of those scenarios, because what we can't allow North Korea to have the ability to do is to deliver a nuclear warhead with an ICBM to the United States.
And as North Korea gets closer to having that capability, we need to be prepared to go that route. However, that is definitely a last possible option.
BROWN: Right. OK. What do we do now in the interim? Because clearly North Korea is marching toward that goal. It doesn't show any signs of slowing down. And what has been done thus far clearly hasn't been a deterrent. So, what does the president need to do to respond to North Korea?
ZELDIN: The top several options have all -- and this is going back across administrations.
The top several options have included China taking a leadership role. And at the beginning of this year, they stopped importing coal. They did import a lot of coal before that, but that was good.
The president tweeted out this morning about how the trade between North Korea and China has increased. There is the carrot and stick approach with China as it relates to diplomacy and economic pressure. We saw it over the course of last week with an arms deal with Taiwan.
We also saw it with sanctions that are still an option to go even further with, with regards to Chinese actors doing business with the North Koreans.
We need China and other nations in that region to take a leadership role. That's still our top several options, even though it hasn't played out the way that we want it to over the course of several years.
So, the president should continue to pursue that course of action and apply the economic pressure on the North Koreans to get them to change their behavior.
BROWN: But it seems like -- if you look at the president's tweet this morning, it seems like he's sort of giving up hope on China. He criticized China for trading with North Korea, you pointed out. And then, last hour, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley offered this offered this morning. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade - such countries are also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That's not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, what do you think she was talking about there? Was she talking about China? Is that, if so, is that peaceable?
ZELDIN: I believe so. That's the way I would - I would take it. And it's important to have all of our options on the table, and we operate under the principle of dying here in this country. Diplomacy, information, military economics, we have a preference towards diplomacy, information, economics. And as Ambassador Haley brainstorms, all of her available options, we certainly have leverage in that particular region, how we choose to use it. I think it's important to send a strong message that we are willing to use any option which includes the stick part of the diplomacy and economics where we would apply pressure on Chinese companies, on Chinese individuals, on financial institutions. It's not something that we want to do, but it's something that we have available and the Chinese need to know that we're serious because that is definitely better than going into war with North Korea.
BROWN: All right, Congressman Lee Zeldin, thank you very much.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
BROWN: Reports of more than 100 people shot in one of the bloodiest Fourth of July weekends in Chicago in years. So what happened to the new crime-fighting technology that was supposed to prevent this?
[16:50:00] BROWN: And welcome back. The "NATIONAL LEAD" takes us to Chicago where raging gun violence in America's third largest city did not take a holiday. In fact, this is going down as one of the worst July 4th weekends there in some time. The Chicago Police Department says its deploying some remarkable high-tech solutions to help curb the violence there, but as CNN's Ryan Young reports, it's not clear how much it will help.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the campaign trail and in office, President Donald Trump says Chicago is a war zone, facing epidemic crime and violence.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What is going on in Chicago? It's worse than some of the places that we - that we read about in the Middle East.
YOUNG: This year, police say overall crime is down 14 percent in Chicago but as the Fourth of July holiday weekend prove, the city continues to face challenges. Over 100 were people shot with 15 killed over the extended five-day holiday weekend, the victims as young as 13 and as old as 60. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson knows the fight is not an easy one.
EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: And if we could solve this issue in a week, we would have done it. If you have somebody that can do that, well, bring them forward and I'll be happy to listen to them.
YOUNG: Not an easy task. In 2016, more than 762 people were killed and 4,300 people were shot, the highest total in 19 years. So far this year, Chicago has seen over 300 homicide, but that slight drop has not meant the city is escaping national attention.
JOHNSON: We know that early in the year, we got a lot - a lot of attention - you know, from various tweets and this is what I'll say to that. We've gotten 20 new agents assigned here with ATF, and we're thankful for that, but the simple fact that is, we can use more.
YOUNG: Not waiting for federal help, the city is investing heavily in new technology aimed at outsmarting criminals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a real-time situational awareness room. YOUNG: Specially designed computers log every crime then adjust to what's happening to the second while using crime data from the last 10 years to help predict areas of concern. Each color on the screen gives officers a different warning or direction. A network of 35,000 cameras watches over the city and sensors listen for gunshots the second they happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you see here eight rounds were detected. We can play the audio to hear what those sounds actually sound like.
YOUNG: The information helps speed up response times. Sometimes helping police get to crime scenes before the first 911 call. This year crime is down by a third in the two neighborhoods where new technology has been installed, including Englewood, one of the toughest. But some of the daily violence over the Fourth of July holiday weekend did happen in the neighborhoods with the new technology. We talked to a man who has lived in Englewood for years and deals with that risk, too. His neighborhood is the epicenter of some of the violence.
JAHMAL CLARK, ENGLEWOOD RESIDENT: It's reactionary. You know, I hear more shot spotters on poles, blue lights flashing, German Shepherd sniffers when we get on the train, (INAUDIBLE), bulletproof glasses in front of us when we were ordering food, body cameras. I mean, all these things were reactionary.
YOUNG: He would like to see this city in private investments support programs that are working at keeping at-risk youth away from gang life. And the Superintendent knows a new technology is not a complete answer to the problem.
JOHNSON: There's no one simple solution, but more jobs, better education, better housing, better mental health treatment and better laws, commonsense laws to hold gun offenders accountable.
YOUNG: No matter who we talk to, everyone kept stressing that idea of jobs and mental health care. We heard it over and over from the Police Department to the people in the community. And we also heard a call for more parents to get involved to make sure these kids are off the streets, maybe to turn some of this violence around. Pam?
BROWN: All right, Ryan Young, thank you for bringing that to us. And from the violence there in Chicago, to what police are calling an assassination in New York City. The terrifying call from her partner after an NYPD Police Officer and mother of three is murdered. Stay with us.
[16:55:00] BROWN: And welcome back to THE LEAD, more in our "NATIONAL LEAD." We are learning some new details about the New York City police officer killed this morning and what the Police Commissioner called an assassination. Miosotis Familia was a mother of three and a 12-year veteran of the force. The NYPD says Officer Familia she was just sitting in her Command Car in the Bronx when Alexander Bonds shot her in the head, unprovoked. Listen to this chilling call her partner made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10-85, 10-85! (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your location for shots fire -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me a (BLEEP) bus! Give me a (BLEEP) bus!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your location?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10-85, 10-85! (INAUDIBLE) My partner's shot!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BROWN: That is so tough to listen to. Well, officers confronted and killed the suspect a block away from the attack. At this point, police say, there is no clear motive.
Well, that's it for THE LEAD, I'm Pamela Brown filling in for Jake Tapper and I turn you over to my colleague Jim Scuitto in for Wolf in "THE SITUATION ROOM."