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EARLY START

President's Second International Trip; U.N. Security Council Emergency Meeting Today; Voter Fraud Commission Facing Legal Challenge; Qatar Crisis: Saudi Arabia and Allies Meet in Cairo. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 5, 2017 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump getting ready to head to Europe for his first G20 in just a few hours. He and Vladimir Putin already have plenty to discuss. Now, their different takes on North Korea's missile launch led to a complicated mix.

Welcome back, everybody, to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs.

Did you stay up for the fireworks last night?

ROMANS: I did not stay all the way up to the fireworks. So, maybe we should show them. I had to go to bed.

BRIGGS: Yes, we didn't stay up. You probably didn't stay up since it's 4:29 Eastern Time. But this is the skies above New York City late last night. Just a few short hours ago.

It's beautiful.

ROMANS: It really is.

BRIGGS: I kind of wish I would have stayed up.

ROMANS: Happy Fourth. Now, go back to work.

BRIGGS: OK. Now to the dire circumstances around the globe.

[04:30:01] President Trump departs on his second international trip, one that is loaded with consequence. After a stop in Poland, the president travels on to the G20 Summit in Germany. And there he'll sit down with Vladimir Putin for an official bilateral meeting we've now learned. It will not be an informal pull-aside, the kind that would signal Russia has a ways to go before the U.S. would reward it with a formal sit-down.

ROMANS: This will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders and the first official bilateral meeting between a U.S. and Russian president in nearly two years. Presidents Trump and Putin also likely to discuss North Korea's test of a probable ICBM, a launch that now has the U.S. and South Korea flexing their military muscle. More on that in just a moment.

Our coverage of Mr. Trump's trip, though, begins with Ryan Nobles at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, good morning. President Trump expected to leave here from Washington today for his second foreign trip and this is a crucial one. He'll first head to Poland before heading to Germany for the G20 Summit and there will be a number of big issues on the table. North Korea, of course, a big one after the country firing another test missile this week, but also the meeting with Vladimir Putin and this meeting taking on a much greater focus because both sides have announced that this will be a formal bilateral meeting. That will provide a much more focused to this meeting and it also could be an indication that both sides are open to better diplomatic ties.

There will be a number of topics on the table, even though the agenda hasn't officially been set. U.S. officials are expected to bring up the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. But the president is not expected to talk to Putin about Russia's alleged attempt to meddle in the U.S. election. One thing that both leaders will likely talk about though is North Korea and President Putin at a press conference with President Xi of China on Tuesday where they talked about settling the Korean situation and Putin specifically talked about his concern about the deployment of more U.S. weapons in South Korea -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGG: Ryan Nobles at the White House.

The U.N. Security Council is set to meet in emergency session today at the request of the United States. The meeting in response to North Korea's launch of what military analysts now think was a two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile. Pyongyang claims to have developed a nuclear capable ICBM and tested it as an Independence Day, quote, gift to the U.S.

ROMANS: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says he won't negotiate over his nuclear and ballistic missile programs until the U.S. ends what he calls its hostile policy and nuclear threat against the North. In response to the test, the U.S. and South Korea say they conducted a joint ballistic missile drill.

BRIGGS: And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has released a statement, calling the North Korean test a new escalation of the threat to the U.S. and the world. Tillerson says, quote: Global action is required to stop a global threat.

Let's turn to CNN's Andrew Stevens monitoring the situation from Hong Kong.

Good morning to you, Andrew. What's the latest?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave.

Well, the latest is we saw those missile tests coming from the South Koreans and Americans in South Korea, which was a direct retaliation for that missile launch by North Korea and very clearly, the South Koreans saying we're showing our capability, our military capability to perform precision strikes on the enemy leadership. So, that's a very, very clear message coming from the South Koreans.

On other fronts, the United Nations Security Council is having an emergency meeting later this Wednesday to talk about North Korea's actions and what could be done. Whether there are more sanctions could be in the pipeline, difficult to say at the moment.

We also heard from President Xi and Vladimir Putin in Moscow saying that the best way forward -- the only way forward really is dialogue.

So, there's a lot of talk at the moment. There's also a lot of daylight between -- between the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans on what the best way forward is.

Donald Trump has been leaning on China to try to do more economic leverage. Chinese is showing no interest in doing that at this stage. Chinese certainly can. Ninety percent of North Korea's international trade is actually done with China. So, China does hold significant chips here but they're not planning to use them at this stage.

BRIGGS: Yes, trade actually up between China and North Korea. Thirty-seven percent in the first quarter.

But you mentioned discussions between China and Russia ahead of the G20. What came out of that?

STEVENS: Well, it was more of the same in that the Chinese and the Russians have been saying, particularly the Chinese, that dialogue has to begin and the steps towards that dialog to get the U.S. and the North Koreans to the negotiating table is A, for the North Koreans to freeze their program, to freeze their missile and nuclear program and B, for the Americans and the South Koreans to stop doing these joint military exercises.

[04:35:04] Vladimir Putin also talking about this buildup of military assets by the U.S. in South Korea. He's referring to the THAAD missile detection system which the Chinese are also deeply, deeply angry about. They say it's just a way for the U.S. to spy on China. So that's another thing that needs to be dismantled really for the North Koreans and the U.S. to start these talks, Dave.

But just from the actions from the Americans in South Korea immediately after Putin and Xi had said this at a press conference, that they were totally ignored basically. They went ahead with these missile tests. So, really at this stage, as I said, the daylight between the key players is pretty big.

BRIGGS: Yes. A lot of dispute over the reason for the missile systems presence there in South Korea.

Andrew Stevens, live for us. Thanks so much, sir.

All right. White House officials have reason to hope President Trump's second European trip will be smoother than his rocky European debut in May. That was marked by some awkward body language, and the president scolding world leaders for not meeting their NATO obligations.

ROMANS: This time, the president starts his trip in Poland where the populist government is expected to roll out the red carpet for President Trump.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins us from Warsaw where the president lands later today.

Melissa, does the president face a warm welcome or the cold shoulder in Europe?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Almost certainly for the first leg of this trip, Christine, a warmer welcome than he's had in the past in Europe and that's because he's chosen Poland and it's no coincidence, not because American presidents haven't come before, they've also made it a pit stop. But because he's coming here first before going to London, before going to Paris, before going to Berlin, before meeting with what had been the United States more traditional staunch allies.

And, of course, it's no surprise. As you say, it is a populist government that is in charge here in Poland and that is considerably worried Brussels. It starts on things like immigration. Its attitude to the free press, the government control that it's trying to bring to Poland's judiciary. All of these things that have ruffled -- I think that have ruffled feathers in Brussels and they've been sounding the alarm bells on.

But Donald Trump will therefore share a good deal with the government here. He also shares concerns about immigration, for instance, supernational organizations and yet what he says here will be so closely watched, Christine, partly because the hosts of Donald Trump here in Poland are very much hoping him to commit absolutely clearly to that clause five, Article 5 of the NATO treaty that calls for mutual cooperation on case of foreign aggression. Of course, Poland shares a border with Russia and is extremely concerned about that and almost anything Donald Trump can say to go in the way of NATO, to go in the way of his hosts here to commit to that mutual help will ruffle feathers in Moscow.

So, too, will his commitment to provide Poland with greater energy, therefore allowing it to lessen its dependence on Moscow and this, of course, ahead of that crucial meeting that you mentioned a moment ago with Vladimir Putin. So, his words will be extremely closely watched when he makes that speech here in Warsaw tomorrow and this is after all a president who is not known for sticking to the script.

But clearly, the reception here will be much warmer than it will in Hamburg. There are signs all over Warsaw calling for people to come out to welcome the American president and to hear him speak. So, I think you're likely to see larger crowds and fewer protests here in Warsaw certainly than you will in Hamburg.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right. The president's wheels up in about just a little three hours. So, that trip about to get under way.

Thank you for that, Melissa.

BRIGGS: Like most things the president does, tweets says Russia will be watching and parsing every word of that speech.

ROMANS: Sure.

BRIGGS: The president's voter fraud commission meanwhile running into resistance from even more states. Now, the first lawsuit has been filed to stop it entirely.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:42:45] ROMANS: All right. The Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its June meeting today. Oh, I can't wait. It may signal it will start shedding its $4 trillion balance sheet early. Why? The uncertain future of Fed Chief Janet Yellen.

The Fed intends to sell off the trillions of dollars it bought up during the recession and plan to begin the end of the year. But Yellen's term is up in February and President Trump has not said whether he would nominate her for a second term. So, the Central Bank doesn't want to start its new plan before a new Fed chair steps in.

The minutes may also show if it will hike interest rates again this year. So far, it has raised rates twice this year. Interest rates affect borrowing costs, of course, raising rates on things like credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and savings account.

BRIGGS: We're following breaking news here in New York City. A 12- year veteran of the New York City Police Department is clinging to life after getting shot in her car. Police are calling it an unprovoked attack. Officials say the officer was based in the Bronx. She was raced to the hospital and said to be in extremely critical condition. The gunman was killed by responding officers, a person thought to be a bystander also shot in stable condition. We'll have more information as it comes in.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump's voter fraud commission is facing its first legal challenge. The privacy group EPIC filing an emergency motion in federal court for a restraining order, a temporary restraining order. They're trying to block the administration's request for all 50 states to turn over the personal data of all registered voters. The court has given the White House until today to respond.

BRIGGS: Also developing this morning, the head of the voter fraud commission, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach accused of violating federal ethics law. A civil rights group filing a lawsuit claiming Kobach improperly used his role on the commission to promote his current candidacy for the governor of Kansas. He denies any wrongdoing.

ROMANS: At least count, 44 states are not complying with the commission's request for voter data. No official word yet from Florida, Nebraska, Arkansas, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, right here in our backyard, the winner and still champion Joey Chestnut, the man they call jaws, downing a record --

[04:45:02] ROMANS: Gross.

BRIGGS: -- seventy-two hot dogs and buns in ten minutes to win the annual Nathan's famous hotdog eating contest on New York's Coney Island.

Romans can't watch, but you can. Chestnut --

ROMANS: Doesn't he dunk it in water so that he can get it down?

BRIGGS: Dunk it in water --

ROMANS: That's just disgusting.

BRIGGS: Broke his own record of 70 hotdogs last year when he took home the mustard belt, scoring cool 20,000. One hundred sixty calories, Chestnut is a legend in the world of competitive eating. He's won this contest 10 times.

We have to mention, on the women's side, Miki Sudo won her fourth straight Nathan's title.

ROMANS: OK. That is really funny.

BRIGGS: She took down 41 hot dogs and buns.

Look, the gender gap, a long way to go in the world of competitive eating. We are bigger pigs, no question about that.

ROMANS: That is a gap I don't need to close.

BRIGGS: No, ever.

ROMANS: That is a gap I don't need to close. It just grosses me out.

BRIGGS: I know you're about the gender gap. So, I just wanted to tell you, we're bigger pigs.

ROMANS: You can keep that gap.

BRIGGS: So, you're not interested in covering the event next year. I will be live from there next year any time. Love the competitive eating world.

ROMANS: All right. Could this be the beginning of the end for the gasoline engine? The first major automaker is going all electric. We'll tell you who on CNN Money Stream, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: One month after severing ties with Qatar, foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and three of its Arab allies are meeting in Cairo to plan their next move. Qatar has just responded to a list of demands presented to them by those Gulf nations. A deadline to respond had already been extended.

Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live from Doha.

Good morning to you.

Any idea what's in this response, Jomana?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, the government here, the foreign minister would not disclose the content of that letter in which they responded to that list of 13 demands.

[04:50:05] They handed over that letter on Monday to Kuwaitis and now, we've had confirmation past few hours from the Saudi-led bloc saying they have received that letter, they are reviewing Qatar's response and they will respond in time. Basically, we've -- what you heard from the government here saying it is -- they will not be releasing the contents saying it is up to Kuwait, the mediator, here to do so.

But the foreign minister hinted at what their response really entails and he said that basically it was within the lines of international laws and in the context of preserving Qatar's sovereignty, yet another hint from him that they will not be agreeing to that list of sweeping demands that he again described as unrealistic and again said that the list proves what they've said all along since the start of the crisis, that this is not about funding terrorism, rather this is these countries, the bigger and stronger neighbors of Qatar trying to push it to change its foreign policy and strip it of its sovereignty. He says now they've done their part and now the ball is in the court of the Saudi-led bloc, with their foreign ministers meeting in Cairo today. It is up to them to decide what the next steps are.

The Qataris are insisting that the only way to resolve a crisis like this is through dialogue and they say that they are ready to do that, Dave.

BRIGGS: Jomana Karadsheh, live for us in Doha, Qatar. Thank you.

ROMANS: A Vatican-owned pediatric hospital is offering to care for terminally ill 10-month-old Charlie Gard. It's an effort to prevent doctors in London from turning off the child's life support, allowing his parents to decide his fate.

I want to go live to London and get the very latest from CNN's Diana Magnay.

Just such a sad story, but this is about what the courts are ruling here. The courts in the U.K., they are essentially speaking for little Charlie Gard.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, because in the U.K., if you have a situation where the parents and the doctors disagree over a child's care, which in this instance they do, then it goes to the courts and this has gone all the way through the British court system, from the high court to the appeal court, to the supreme court and then to the European Court of Human Rights. And all of those courts have agreed with the doctors and the medical experts who have testified to them, who say this treatment is not going to reverse Charlie's brain damage, it is going to be futile.

Now, the parents are clutching at straws and you can understand their desperation, and they just want to try it out. But the judges basically have said, you know, it might benefit medical science, it's not going to benefit Charlie. It is in Charlie's best interest if treatment is removed, if he is taken off the ventilator.

And even his parents have agreed during that court case that his quality of life as it currently is with severe brain damage, you can't tell whether his brain is actually functioning, he has no muscle capacity, very weak organs, that it is not worth sustaining. This offer from the Vatican, we understand that the mother called the Vatican hospital to see if there could be a transfer, but they were told by Great Ormond Street that Charlie needed to stay where he was, perhaps that is because he is so fragile.

But the fact of the matter is, Christine, there is no legal recourse anymore. The life support will be removed, but it will be done in a way Great Ormond Street hopes that they can create a sort of end of life care plan where the parents can be as much on board with the process as is possible.

ROMANS: You've got to feel for those parents and everyone involved in this sad story.

Diana Magnay, keep us up to speed, thank you.

BRIGGS: OK. U.S. air strikes have been instrumental in the campaign against ISIS in Raqqa.

CNN's Muhammad Lila had exclusive access to USS George H.W. Bush when it was on operations in Gulf in May and got some insight here into the air and sea war in Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're the unseen faces in the war on ISIS. America's fighter pilots 30,000 feet in the sky, providing critical condition air support to troops down below.

We were given exclusive access to the USS George H.W. Bush, home to a strike force of more than 40 F-18 fighter jets and the pilots who fly them.

(on camera): We're walking on the air deck right now. Take a look around. You can see the massive firepower that's all around us. This is the most advanced ship in the entire U.S. fleet. In fact, just from this runway to my side, they launch anywhere from 12 to 20 airstrikes against ISIS targets every single day.

SCOTT WELLS, U.S. NAVY: It's a pretty unique experience for sure. LILA (voice-over): Scott Wells spoke to us down below in the ship's

hangar bay, with engineers working around the clock. For him, the hardest part of the job isn't actually the job, it's being away from his wife and two young daughters for seven months straight.

[04:55:00] (on camera): How do you stay in touch?

WELLS: Via e-mail, pictures, occasional phone calls. But while we're underway, there's no Skype, chat, Facetime, anything like that. So, it's very challenging.

LILA (voice-over): The ship runs like a small town powered by twin nuclear reactors. With a crew of 5,000 on board, there's always activity, with launches during the day and with infrared lighting at night. By the time the deployment is over, the military says the pilots on boards will have dropped more than a million pounds of bombs in Iraq and Syria.

JAMES MCCALL, COMMANDER AIR GROUP: At the end of the day, we need to make sure we're putting bombs in correct positions to take out ISIS.

LILA: But that hasn't always happened. The Pentagon has been dogged by accusations that its air strikes have killed hundreds of innocent civilian since the campaign began three years ago. One monitoring group says that number is well over a thousand. The U.S. military maintains that it takes, quote, extra ordinary measures to mitigate the loss of civilian life.

REAR ADM. KENNETH WHITESELL, U.S. NAVY: Thank you --

LILA: Kenneth Whitesell is a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. He spoke to us while F-18s were taking off below.

WHITESELL: The war is very -- not a clean business. Some of the times, you know, a motorcycle or a car can come into an area where the weapons fall.

LILA: Most air strikes are planned days, even weeks in advance. But right up until the last second, a pilot can abort the mission if they see unusual activity on the ground.

MCCALL: When something comes up and they see someone who they haven't identified on the ground, they know we're not going to drop that bomb. That bomb can wait maybe an hour, maybe another day, maybe another week.

LILA: For the pilots on board, it's a responsibility weighing heavily on their shoulders, knowing their decisions can mean life and death.

Muhammad Lila, CNN, on board the USS George H.W. Bush.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Great reporting there. Muhammad, thank you for that.

BRIGGS: Incredible.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning.

Global markets higher. The U.S. is set to open lower potentially after being closed for the Fourth of July holiday. Investors today will be waiting for these minutes of the Feds' June meeting. They're looking for the timing of the next rate hike and the details of its balance sheet reduction.

Today is also the first full trading day of the second of the year. It's been a great year so far for Wall Street. The Dow and the S&P 500 up 8 percent. The tech heavy Nasdaq up 14 percent.

U.S. officials are lifting the laptop ban on two more airlines. Passengers on Turkish Airways and Emirates Airlines can now carry their laptops on board. In March, the U.S. banned electronics in cabins on flights from eight countries, including Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey. The concern was the devices could conceal explosives. Last week, the ban was lifted from Etihad Airways after it began tougher security measures. Now, Saudi-based Emirates and Turkish Airlines are exempt after doing the same.

Volvo is saying good-bye to gasoline engines. Starting in 2019, all new Volvos will be electric. The company plans to launch five fully electric cars. The rest of the fleet's motors will be hybrid. Volvo is the first major automaker to abandon the internal combustion engine. Bye-bye.

BRIGGS: Wow.

ROMANS: That's because automakers say electric is the future of this industry. Sales overall by the way of autos are slowing and automakers face increasing competition from companies like Tesla. In fact, Tesla's market value is now bigger than Ford, General Motors or BMW.

You know, Volvo has a Chinese parent company and in China, they're really pushing for more electric cars on the road because of the pollution. The smog and pollution, right? So the leadership here may actually be one of those examples where China is the leader here.

BRIGGS: Imagine that. That's where we are.

And you mentioned Ford and GM, front page story in "The New York Times".

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: Car makers cut American jobs as sales slump six straight months. It is a scary industry right now.

All right. Much more on the massive G20 meetings ahead as EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC) ROMANS: Less than three hours from now, President Trump wheels up for a high stakes trip to Europe. The North Korean missile launch, the Vladimir Putin meeting and more on the agenda at a highly anticipated G20 Summit. We are live this morning in London, Poland, Hong Kong and Qatar on the president's trip and more.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

We're going to a few places --

(CROSSTALK)

BRIGGS: Amazing just to hear that, yes. That's no ordinary half hour.

I'm Dave Briggs. It's Wednesday, July 5th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And just a few hours from now, President Trump departs on his second international trip, one that is loaded with consequence. After a stop in Poland, the president travels on to the G20 Summit in Germany, and there, he'll sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin for an official bilateral meeting as we've now learned. It will not be an informal pull-aside meeting, the kind that would signal Russia has a ways to go before the U.S. would reward it with a formal sit-down.