Return to Transcripts main page


North Korea Claims Successful ICBM Test; Trump Prepares For G20 Summit; Government Shutdown Ends In New Jersey; Trump And Pope Support Sick U.K. Baby. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 4, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour this Fourth of July holiday.

Breaking overnight, North Korea announcing its successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile ordered by leader Kim Jong-Un.


Pyongyang claims this missile could target anywhere in the U.S. -- anywhere in the world, rather. Experts say judging from data gathered by the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, the missile could be capable of hitting Alaska. The missile, launched into the waters off North Korea's eastern coast, flew nearly 600 miles.

BRIGGS: President Trump heading straight to Twitter after a briefing at the White House, the president mocking Kim Jong-Un.

Quote, "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer." And adding, "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all."

For the latest let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks live for us this morning in Seoul. Good morning to you, Paula. Let's start with what we know about this missile.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, we know that this was North Korea's way of celebrating July Fourth.


It was a missile that they claim was an ICBM. They say it was successful. An intercontinental ballistic missile, they say, could hit anywhere in the world. Now, experts have said that is clearly not the case but they are trying to figure out whether or not it would be able to hit Alaska.

Now, we know that from the figures, the altitude was just over 1,700 miles, the distance just over 570 miles, and it flew for 39 minutes. That's what North Korea said. Now, we had an initial assessment from U.S. Pacific Command just before they claimed it was an ICBM. They said that it probably wasn't. They thought that it was a level lower but we haven't had the exact assessment from the South Korean military. We're trying to find out what they think the range was and certainly whether or not that will be updated by U.S. Pacific Command as well.

Now, that tweet you mentioned by the U.S. president, that was just after the missile but before we realized just how significant this missile test could have been, so it will be interesting to see if there's any updated response from the White House.

Now, we have had a response from the South Korean president, Moon Jae- in. He has said that he has warned North Korea not to cross the bridge of no return. Now bear in mind this is a pro-engagement, pro- dialogue president. He supports talking to North Korea but right now he is saying if North Korea crosses the red line in South Korea and the U.S. don't know what our response would be. We don't have an official indication of what that red line is.

BRIGGS: Right.

HANCOCKS: But certainly a potential ICBM, if it turns out that it was that, is significant -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Paula Hancocks live for us in Seoul. Thank you.

ROMANS: The latest provocation from North Korea coming just ahead of President Trump's second overseas trip.


He departs for Europe tomorrow for the G20 summit where the president's meeting with Vladimir Putin may no longer be the main attraction.

CNN's Nic Robertson live from Abu Dhabi for us this morning. Nic, meetings between the president and several Asian leaders now very much under the microscope.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Absolutely, and he already -- President Trump already planned to have a trilateral meeting with the South Koreans and the Japanese on the margins of the G20 but a sharper focus now, of course.

What is he going to say to Xi Jinping of China to get his support? I mean, he talks in his tweet about, you know, hoping to have to move on North Korea to sort this -- to sort this all out, but the reality is, you know, President Trump and Xi Jinping -- their relationship has sort of tanked over the last few days.

You know, talk of steel dumping, trade tensions, and that's the sort of lowest on the scale. Sanctions on a Chinese bank for not enforcing -- not enforcing sanctions on North Korea. Selling $1.4 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, completely something that's -- that -- things President Xi Jinping. U.S. naval ships sailing too close to Chinese- disputed islands. That's a contentious issue. The list kind of goes on so, you know, this is perhaps going to be a big part of the discussion there at the G20.

But we can't still overlook this sort of President Putin-President Trump meeting as well. There's been a lot of talk about it, as you said. It was the central focus and we just heard from Russian television now, saying that they don't think this was an ICBM. They think it was an intermediate-range missile, the next sort of level down, if you will, something that North Korea's been doing for quite a number of months now.

So, you know, in Russia's eyes they're sort of downgrading that so perhaps in their eyes, a President Putin-President Trump meeting ratchets up the agenda again.

There's a whole host of tensions between President Trump and the international community, not least of which on global trade that's going to come up.


ROBERTSON: But one of the pressing things that probably will come up when he speaks to President Putin, and we heard this from the Kremlin yesterday. They say their patience is running out over those diplomatic expulsions that President Obama did towards the end of last year, hinting is there going to be finally a quid pro quo? They will try something similar.

[05:35:10] ROMANS: All right, Nic Robertson. Certainly, a lot of work ahead this week. Thank you so much, sir.

BRIGGS: All right. Joining us to discuss all this, Jason Russell, contributors editor for the "Washington Examiner," live for us via Skype. Good morning to you, sir.

ROMANS: Morning.

BRIGGS: Let's talk about this North Korean development on the heels of some "New York Times" reporting that the call between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was characterized as the president warning China that he is, again, prepared to go it alone. We've heard that this call was impacted by some negative factors. Realistically, though, what are the president's options in going it alone in stopping North Korea's nuclear program?

JASON RUSSELL, CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR, WASHINGTON EXAMINER (via Skype): Well, if Trump is going to go it alone it's definitely a game of military escalation because North Korea can't out-escalate the United States military.

In the end, it's a question of how far can the U.S. escalate before China has to act because China is not interested in another war on the Korean Peninsula. They know that will just lead to millions of refugees flooding across their border into China and that's not something China wants to deal with. So, you know, really, the options in going it alone are pressuring China to get more involved eventually. You know, that's the key, eventually, is getting China involved one way or another.

ROMANS: "The New York Times," reporting on that phone call, calls it cordial but blunt and says that Xi, the president of China, is rankled -- their word, "The New York Times" -- was rankled by a whole host of other issues. This is a strained relationship, no question.

RUSSELL: Absolutely. No, it's definitely a psychological game between Trump and Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-Un as well. You know, Trump has to find this balancing act of trying to influence the Chinese through strength but not too much overt strength, you know. Not through flattering them but not through, you know, giving them some of what they want but not too much of what they want.

TEXT (PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEET): While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!

So, you know, the -- all of this is part of that game. It's the ships off the coast of Korea, it's the ships off of those islands in the South China Sea that, you know, previously unclaimed that China now claims.

ROMANS: Right.

RUSSELL: It's all part of that game of finding that balancing act of how to convince China to get involved in North Korea.

BRIGGS: And that tweet you saw there from the president characterizing their relationship from June 20th.

But also of utmost importance is this meeting, whether it's off-camera or on, between Vladimir Putin and President Trump and the handshake everyone's waiting to see. Will we see it or not, no one knows, but how pivotal is that meeting?


What will it, in fact, tell us about the president's priorities if, according to reports, he does not address Russian interference in our election?

RUSSELL: Yes, that would be huge. I mean, that would be a big factor in Trump being able to focus on his so-called America First foreign policy, you know. It's pretty clear that, you know, Trump can't get Putin to do anything in his Russia investigation so if he can stay focused on this, even though he's been so distracted by the Russia collusion investigation in the past.

If he can stay focused on that and make some kind of progress with Russia in terms of whether, you know, it's becoming more friendly with them or just, you know, intimidating them to get more of what America wants in terms of foreign policy, that's key. It's staying focused on foreign policy and not getting distracted by those investigations.

ROMANS: On trade, though, I think that there's a lot of room for disagreement with some of the world leaders he'll be with there, you know, on trade. And I -- you know when you cover a G20 meeting there's always this -- you know, this communique that goes out at the end that all the parties hash out what this communique is going to say. It will be fascinating to see if trade and protectionism or isolationism end up in that communique.

RUSSELL: Yes, absolutely, and Trump, in terms of trade, has been kind of -- I don't want to say rash but, you know, definitely off the cuff. You know, it's one country one day and -- it's China one day, it's Mexico another day, but then wanting to be friendly with the U.K. on the third day.

So, you know, no one at the G20 wants to be left out and, you know, have Trump say to them no, we're not going to trade with you. But then, of course, there's a question of how much Trump can do unilaterally in that respect and how much can he do, you know, without facing punishment from the World Trade Organization. So, definitely, something to watch for this weekend.

ROMANS: All right, Jason Russell. Nice to see you this morning. Thanks. Have a great day.

BRIGGS: Happy Fourth.


All right. New Jersey beaches back open for everyone, including Governor Christie, after a budget deal is reached. That, plus the holiday forecast for your fireworks, next.


TEXT (PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEET): Really great numbers on jobs and the economy! Things are starting to kick in now, and we have just begun! Don't like steel and aluminum dumping!

[05:43:55] ROMANS: All right. The latest jobs report comes out Friday but the president's already tweeting about the really great numbers, touting a strong economy, along with another tweet about new stock market record highs. The president is often taking credit for the state of the economy.

How much is due to his influence? Well, let's start with stocks. After the election, the market did get a bump. That is the Trump bump since the election, right there. The S&P 500 is up about 16 percent since then, fueled by the administration's promise of tax reform and deregulation and the hope -- companies have a hope that they will make a lot of money under a Trump presidency.

Now let's put it in perspective. He can claim the recent rise but let's go back further. The Trump bump is actually the tail end of a bull market that began under former President Obama. A slow, steady grind higher from a terrible, terrible recession.

All right, what about jobs? Some 600,000 jobs have been created since President Trump took office, which is actually the slowest pace in the last three years. It is still a solid number, however job creation isn't just a function of White House policy. It's things like consumer spending, and interest rates also influence hiring decisions.

[05:45:00] What about manufacturing? The president swept into office promising to revive the industry and American factories are humming, the manufacturing index hitting its highest level in three years. Now, that's mainly due to strong global demand and a weak U.S. dollar which makes goods more attractive. A cheaper U.S. dollar makes U.S. goods more affordable. The dollar is down almost six percent this year.

So just a quick look. There's been a lot of bombast and a lot of promises and boasting but, really, when you look at the economy today it looks an awful lot like it did a year ago.

BRIGGS: Under President Obama.

ROMANS: Right. A year ago when the president said that it was terrible and phony and near depression levels.

BRIGGS: An interesting piece in "The Washington Post," "Trump's economic pledges fall short." The question is how will his policies help the middle class?

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: Help the Trump voter -- the people that put him in office.

ROMANS: The investor class has been enriched --


ROMANS: -- over the past six months. What about the working class? And, you know, his team hopes his tax policies, when enacted, will help everyone, at least economic growth -- at least economic growth and create millions of jobs. Where are we on tax reform? Still on the drawing board.

BRIGGS: A big if.

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: Not necessarily when.


Forty-two states are now refusing a White House request to turn over personal data of every registered voter, all of them either rejecting the request outright or pushing back with privacy concerns. The president's Voter Fraud Commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, apparently misunderstanding voter privacy laws. The states refusing to turn over Social Security numbers, birthdates, party affiliations because of legal concerns.

Now, only Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee are actually supporting the Commission's efforts. Five other states are still reviewing the matter or simply not commenting. ROMANS: All right. The government shutdown in New Jersey is over. Governor Chris Christie ordering all state parks to reopen this morning after a budget agreement was reached last night.


The governor blaming Democrats for dragging their feet on a spending plan, triggering a three-day impasse that ruined holiday weekend plans for thousands of beachgoers.

BRIGGS: Of course, the governor took lots of criticism for spending time at a beach he'd closed to the public. He's still defending that move and says now that a budget is in place he's headed right back to the beach. What an image it was, indeed, folks. In fact, the cover of the "New York Post" -- "Chris Crispy" was their headline. I'm going to hide the other photo from you.

ROMANS: I know. The other photo is a little risque on the front page of the "Post."

BRIGGS: I'm doing you a favor.

All right, with beach and picnic outings today and fireworks tonight, Americans checking the weather even more closely than usual. This morning, meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the holiday forecast.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Christine.

Look at the perspective here across the eastern half of the country. A lot of wet weather, a lot of cloud cover over the next 24 hours and really much of this afternoon and tonight. We're watching areas around the mid-south and south central states where convection already beginning to brew in eastern areas of Oklahoma. Expect that to push on into parts of Arkansas, eventually into the Tennessee Valley as well.

And this is an area of concern. If you have any outdoor activities across this region, anything lined up as far as fireworks are concerned, you might want to look at this carefully as we go in towards the afternoon hours because Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, to name a few, a few thunderstorms here could begin to pop up. That could maybe slow down some of the operations these cities are planning across that region.

But we're going to shoot for about 93 degrees out of St. Louis. In Chicago, not a bad day at 83. We've seen much hotter on the Fourth in the past. Atlanta makes about -- try 90 degrees, but when we factor in the humidity some areas around Nashville getting up to around 90 percent humidity while, generally speaking, about 50 to 60 percent widespread, so it is going to be a muggy perspective for much of the Fourth of July.

And lastly, I'll leave you with this. We have what could potentially be tropical storm or hurricane Don. Eight percent chance this will form sometime this week. At this point, watching the Leeward Islands as an area of interest -- guys.


ROMANS: Oh, yes, it's that time of year. Thank you so much, Pedram.


All right. Hit the road this Fourth of July, good news. You're going to see the cheapest gas prices in more than a decade. We have that next.


[05:53:05] BRIGGS: Time and hope are running out for a British baby born with a rare genetic disease. The parents of Charlie Gard are being blocked from taking their son to the U.S. for a last-ditch experimental treatment despite some very high-profile support.

CNN's Diana Magnay has the latest from London.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tubes that keep him alive will be turned off soon. His parents last hope to take him to the States for highly experimental medical treatment blocked by the British and European courts. Their last wish refused to take him to home to die.

CHRIS GARD, CHARLIE GARD'S FATHER: He's a true fighter, he's a soldier. He will fight. He'd fight to the very end and he's still fighting, but we're not allowed to fight for him anymore. Our parental rights have been stripped away. We can't -- we can't even take our own son home to die. We've been denied that. They don't think we've been through enough.

MAGNAY: Little Charlie Gard was born healthy but diagnosed the following month with a rare genetic disorder, a form of mitochondrial disease which has left him, his doctors say, with irreversible brain damage.

PROTESTERS: We're still fighting, we're still fighting. Save Charlie Gard, save Charlie Gard.

MAGNAY: At the weekend, protests in London against the decision to turn off life support. And after the Pope sent a message to the parents from the Vatican saying he was praying for them in the hope that their desire to accompany and care for their own child until the end will be respected.

Now, Donald Trump has weighed in, too. "If we can help little Charlie Gard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."

MAGNAY (on camera): Charlie's case is extremely complicated. The treatment that the U.S. is offering is called nucleoside bypass therapy and it's never been tested on a strain of a disease as rare as Charlie's is.

[05:55:00] But even the U.S. specialist who's offering it says he thinks it's unlikely that it will be able to reverse Charlie's brain damage and that's why the British courts ruled the way that they did. They said they didn't want Charlie to be the subject of medical experimentation if there was no chance of him getting better. That his right to die with dignity must come first.

MAGNAY (voice-over): But that's not the way his parents see it. Sadly for them, the pleas of a pope and a president already too late.

Diana Magnay, CNN, London.


ROMANS: Thank you for that reporting, Diana Magnay.

All right, 55 minutes past the hour. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning. Global stocks are lower. U.S. markets will be closed today for the Independence Day holiday.

Wall Street had a great first half of the year driven by stellar corporate earnings and hopes for tax reform. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained eight percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq up 14 percent. That is -- if you are keeping track folks and, Mr. President, we are -- that is the best performance since 2009.

Tesla missed its delivery target and says batteries are to blame. Twenty-two thousand vehicles delivered in its second quarter. That is up from last year but on the low end of the delivery target it promised investors. Tesla blames a severe shortfall of battery packs and that's a problem as it prepares to roll out is first mass-market car. Founder Elon Musk says the Model 3 will begin selling this month.

All right, good news if you have a gas-powered car -- very good news. Fourth of July gas prices are the lowest in more than a decade. The average price for regular gas is $2.23 per gallon. That is down 15 cents from a month ago and lower than the beginning of the year.

Low demand and the falling price of crude -- it's really been a crash in crude prices and that has kept gas prices down. But enjoy it while it lasts. Oil prices have begun to rise. Experts say gas prices should inch higher soon.

And I've got a lot of people this morning on Twitter and Facebook are telling me, you know, what kind of low gas prices they've seen. In some states you've got a one at the beginning.

BRIGGS: It's amazing and yet that, at the same time, is demand for Tesla's new model -- the mass-market model is sky high.

ROMANS: Fascinating.

BRIGGS: Interesting dynamics there.

ROMANS: All right. Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to North Korea, they have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. administration, they want China to bring more pressure economically on North Korea.

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: What we have to do is prepare all options. The threat is much more immediate now.

LIU JIEYI, CHINA'S U.N. AMBASSADOR: If tension only goes up, the consequences would be disastrous.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The president prepares for the G20 summit and his first face-to-face encounter with Vladimir Putin.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: We need to be very tough with Russia. This isn't just business as usual.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is a special Independence Day edition of NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 4th, 6:00 here in New York. Chris is off today. John Berman joins me.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy birthday, America.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you here.

We begin on "The Starting Line" with breaking news, a new provocation from North Korea. The regime claims it successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, landing roughly 200 miles from Japan's coast. If true, it would be a significant development in North Korea's efforts to threaten the U.S.

President Trump reacting on Twitter, asking if Kim Jong-Un, quote, "has anything better to do with his life" and suggesting China could increase pressure on North Korea.

BERMAN: The president is preparing for a crucial international trip where he will meet with many world leaders at the G20 summit, including a face-to-face session with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tries to move past his beach day controversy, signing a budget deal that ends the government shutdown and reopens all state parks and beaches today.

We have this all covered. First, let's deal with North Korea. We're going to go to CNN's Paula Hancocks who is live in Seoul, South Korea for the latest -- Paula.


HANCOCKS: Well, John, this is certainly a significant announcement from North Korea. They have said it is an historic event for North Korea, a successful testing of an ICBM -- an intercontinental ballistic missile. We've just heard from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. They said they are still looking into it. They haven't accepted it's an ICBM but they are also not denying that that could be the case.

Now, looking at the figures that we have from North Korea in that state-run media announcement, an altitude of over 1,700 miles for this missile, a distance of over 570 miles they say it flew for 39 minutes. Now that is different to what we heard from U.S. Pacific Command much earlier, so just after the launch there -- their initial assessment -- they said they didn't believe it was an ICBM. We haven't heard an update from them, either.

But certainly, North Korea is convinced that it was. They said that Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader, signed the order. He ordered this. We see an image of him, as well, actually giving his signature. He was there at the test site and he has claimed this a great success.

There's certainly much concern around the region.