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President Trump Hold Press Conference at G7 Summit; President Trump Discusses Trade Negotiations with Allies; President Trump Discusses Upcoming Meeting with Kim Jong-un. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 9, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It's Saturday, June 9th. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So glad to have you with us. This hour President Trump speaking from the sidelines of the G7 summit. We're going to have that live for you as soon as he steps to that podium you see there. And then he's wheels up and headed to Singapore to try and convince one of the world's most notorious dictators to give up his nuclear weapons.
BLACKWELL: Sandy beaches, golf courses, casinos and theme parks, we will take you to the luxurious island resort where the president is set to meet Kim Jong-un.
PAUL: And so many people had much to say about the death of Anthony Bourdain. We're remembering the legendary chef and television star through the words of the people who knew him best.
BLACKWELL: Also ahead this hour, listen, we know that standing on a balcony is not typically a headline, but it is if you're Meghan Markle. Thousands of fans in London officially welcomed the duchess of Sussex to the royal family.
You are in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: Any moment now, President Trump is set to speak at the G7 summit. This was unexpected to most of us, didn't know it was going to happen, so interesting to see what he would have to say. The president meeting with some of America's closest allies over the last couple of days. We saw him this morning. He did arrive late to the breakfast on gender equality which made people wonder if he was going to show up at all. He did, indeed, show up. He sat through that meeting. And now as you can see, they're setting up at the podium there as we wait for the president to speak.
BLACKWELL: We're told it's just seconds away. But we know that trade, of course, has been a major focus of this summit. Despite publicly sparring with the leaders of France and Canada on Twitter at the end of the week, day one there were no major fireworks. No major fireworks here on the second day, but we're still waiting to hear what the president has to say. And after that, we're expecting him to leave the summit, skipping the rest of it to fly to Singapore ahead of his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un, that's on Tuesday.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski is following the latest from Washington. Of course, Michelle, you know that we may have to jump in if the president begins to speak. First, though, let's start with Boris Sanchez. Same warning to you, live in Quebec City. Boris?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Victor and Christi. Yes, President Trump expected to deliver some remarks here, coming up within the next few seconds. The president has had some very tense exchanges via Twitter the past few days with other G7 leaders, including his French and Canadian counterparts, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau. Though here at the G7 they've appeared mostly on cordial terms, with handshakes and smiles. Save of course for that head-scratching moment this morning when the president showed up late for that gender equality breakfast. There were questions about whether he would even show. And while some may argue that it is purely just coincidence, that perhaps the president was caught up with other things, this is a president that is extremely sensitive to optics. He understands the power of the image. And him showing up late to that meeting sends a message, as does the fact that he was an hour late to arrive at this conference, having to reschedule a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
We should also point that the White House announced on Friday that they were cutting the president's time here in Quebec short. The president will be missing a number of sessions related to climate change and the environment, the health of the world's oceans, perhaps not surprising, considering this is a president that has called climate change a hoax that's perpetrated by the Chinese.
So we may hear the president talk about some of the conversations that he has had here in Quebec. Obviously, trade at the top of that list. The possibility of a looming trade war. Tariffs between some of these nations. The president obviously feels and has for quite some time that the United States is being taken advantage of by other nations and he is unhappy with the trade deficits between these nations, so he will likely address that.
We know that he had conversations regarding the Iran nuclear deal with some of our European allies as well as the United States' involvement in Syria. All of that likely to come up at this press conference. And we may potentially see a preview of what the president has in store for next week with his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: Michelle Kosinski, want to bring you into the conversation here. One of the things coming into this G7 summit was the president talking about how he thinks Russia should be reinstated and readmitted back into the G7 to become, of course, the G8. A lot of reaction to that. What are you hearing in that regard?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was a stunning moment. When we heard it, we had to stop and say, did he really just say that? And we know that U.S. diplomatic counterparts were saying the same thing, wondering where that came from and why he would say that at this particular moment. The fact that he doesn't have time to sit down one on one with the U.K.'s prime minister Theresa May, but he's saying that Russia should suddenly be back to being a part of this group.
[10:05:07] Remember, until 2014 it was the G8, and then Russia got kicked out for invading its neighbor Ukraine. So what justification is there for that? He is sure to be asked that during this press conference.
PAUL: Do you think he will take questions, however? We know this is a press conference, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will talk to the press. We don't know if he will let them ask questions.
BLACKWELL: The White House has said this is a statement. So we'll see if he actually takes questions.
KOSINSKI: That's a good point. People are going to be shouting questions out at him, so maybe he won't be able to help himself and he'll want to answer some of those because we were talking about optics. It doesn't look great that he doesn't answer some of these tough questions. But of course timing is what the White House is relying on. Timing is why they say that he was leaving early. Timing is probably why he was late to this breakfast this morning, in their words.
But all of this sends a very loud message. And for days now U.S. allies were thinking that Trump would leave early. Why? Because they were having trouble setting up meetings with the White House. They felt like something was up. And in their view, the president is just using trying to get there early for this Kim Jong-un summit as an excuse for not spending time on some of these issues that are tough for him, issues like climate change, issues like trade where he has to sit face to face with what should be the U.S.'s closest friends but with whom the president seems to have a pretty contentious relationship these days.
BLACKWELL: All right, Michelle Kosinski, Boris Sanchez, thank you both. Stand by.
Again, we are waiting for President Trump to deliver some comments here from the sidelines of the G7. Let's bring in former U.N. ambassador, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who is standing by with us. Mr. Ambassador, good to see you again.
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Your reaction to the book ending of this G7 summit, starting with suggesting that Russia should be readmitted to the group and ending with an early departure. Still waiting to see what the president will say, but leaving several hours early to get to Singapore for a meeting that's on Tuesday.
RICHARDSON: Well, this has been a very uncomfortable summit meeting in Canada for the president here we have our main allies upset at the president over the Iran nuclear deal, the tariffs that he has imposed on everybody, Japan, Germany, France, Britain. The whole contentious issue of climate change which he's not attending.
He's trying to divert attention from a bad summit to a potentially good summit with North Korea. Bringing Russia up is totally deflecting the news from the negative press the president is getting on the issue of the tariffs and trade and the relationship with our allies. So the Russian issue, nobody in Europe is going to accept this given Russia's behavior in the Ukraine, behavior with NATO countries.
BLACKWELL: Mr. Conte of Italy said that they should be readmitted. What do you make of that?
RICHARDSON: I think Italy has got a new government. They're a country that is right now in enormous transition. I think they're trying to basically get some investments there from Russia at a time when the other European leaders are shunning Russia. And the worst part is that Russia is involved in our election. I would like to hear the president say something about Russia not getting involved in not just in elections in the United States but it seems in elections in Europe. So he's trying to divert attention away from the bad results of this summit in Canada, which have not been good.
PAUL: So ambassador, as we await for the president to step up to that podium, and again, this was unexpected, what is it that you want to hear most from him at this juncture as he heads to this meeting with Kim Jong-un?
RICHARDSON: I want him to shift attention away from the European summit that just took place, the G7 summit, and talk about what he hopes to achieve with the North Koreans, not just a potential nuclear missile agreement but talk about also putting the relationship in a normal basis, normalization of relations, exchanges of people, human rights issues involving, for instance, our soldiers from the Korean War, getting those remains back. Finding ways that we can help the Japanese with the abductees that North Koreans took. Finding ways that we can do something about the North Korean people.
[10:10:00] In other words, normalizing the relationship, easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. In other words, shift away from a bad summit in Europe to a potentially good summit where the president might achieve some significant national security gains.
BLACKWELL: We just got word that the president will be out in just a few minutes. We were told it would happen at 10:00, then 10:05, and now we're at 10:10. We know these things sometimes come with delays, but we have been told the president will take questions. Of course we'll carry those as well. While we have you, Mr. Ambassador, let me ask you as we talked about North Korea, when will we know if the North Korean summit was a success insofar that agreements are not unprecedented for the North Korean, it's the follow through, it's holding and keeping those agreements that the world is skeptical on. When will we know?
RICHARDSON: When the North Koreans agree to significant inspections of their nuclear missile facilities, when they agree to having an inventory of all their nuclear and missile sites, many of which are hidden, when the North Koreans agree to just dismantling some nuclear weapons. They are not going to be for full denuclearization I don't think. They may have 60 nuclear weapons. That would take a lot of time. But to be able to say they are destroying, dismantling a certain number under inspections, then you know it is going to be a success.
And I mentioned the other issues, some human rights issues, normalizing the relationship, hotlines, many other factors that -- the remains of our soldiers. So I think the vibes are good. I'm hopeful. So the president shift away from Europe into North Korea if I were him and I were advising him in this press conference.
PAUL: So ambassador, you mentioned that you want to see the president do something that could bring some normalization to the situation with North Korea. Here's the thing. This is not a conventional president in the U.S., as we have seen. And Kim Jong-un is not a conventional leader in terms of trying to deal with somebody in a diplomatic sense. And when you talk about human rights, we just had a guest on a couple of hours ago who said it is because he withholds from people, because people are starving in his country that he holds on to his power and we know his power is what he wants most. How do you think the president should approach North Korea -- I'm sorry. I'm just getting word. Here comes the president. Let's listen together to hear what he has to say. Thank you, ambassador. Stay with us.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm getting ready to make a big trip. We're just leaving, but we wanted to have a little bit of a conference just to announce what's happened, how we've done. And I think it's been very, very successful. We've concluded a really tremendously successful G7 and would like to provide you with an update.
And you know the gentleman up are the legendary Larry Kudlow and the legendary John Bolton. We had a good meeting both on defense and environment and, frankly, on tariffs, which are what we're here for. First, I would like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for hosting this summit. It has worked out to be so wonderful. The people of Canada are wonderful. And it's a great country and a very beautiful country, I might add.
We tackled a variety of issues and opportunities facing our nations. At the top of the list was the issue of trade. Very important subject because the United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades and we can't do that anymore. We had extremely productive discussions on the need to have fair and reciprocal, meaning the same. People can't charge us 270 percent and we charge them nothing. That doesn't work anymore.
I made a lot of statements having to do with clarity. We want and expect other nations to provide fair market access to American exports and that we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect American industry and workers from unfair foreign trading practices, of which really there are many, but we're getting them straightened out slowly but surely.
We also discussed the issue of uncontrolled migration and the threat that it poses to both national security and other groups and countries and our citizens and quality of life. We're committed to address the migration challenge by helping migrants to remain and prosper in their own home countries.
A wide array of national security threats were addressed, including the threat of Iran. The G7 nations remain committed to controlling Iran's nuclear ambitions.
[10:15:03] With or without them, those ambitions are going to be controlled, along with efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and those who spread this deadly ideology. The nations of the G7 are bound together by shared values and beliefs. That came out loud and clear. Each of our nations is totally unique with our own people and our own sovereign obligations, but we can coordinate together and achieve a common good, a good for all, good for all of our people, all of our nations.
We're linked in the great effort to create a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world. And from the standpoint of trade and jobs and being fair to companies, we are really, I think, committed. I think they are starting to be committed to a much more fair trade situation for the United States, because it has been treated very, very unfairly.
And I don't blame other leaders for that. I blame our past leaders. There was no reason that this should have happened. Last year, they lost 800 -- we, as a nation, over the years, but the latest numbers, $817 billion on trade. That's ridiculous and it's unacceptable. And everybody was told that.
So I don't blame them. I blame our leaders. In fact, I congratulate the leaders of other countries for so crazily being able to make these trade deals that were so good for their country and so bad for the United States. But those days are over.
In just a few minutes I will be leaving for Singapore. I will be on a mission of peace and we will carry, really, in my heart we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people, people from all over the world. We have to get denuclearization. We have to get something going. We really think that North Korea will be a tremendous place in a very short period of time.
And we appreciate everything that's going on. We appreciate working together with North Korea. They're really working very well with us. So I say, so far, so good. We're going to have to see what happens, and we're going to know very soon. So I'll be leaving as soon as we're finished with this conference, I'll be leaving. And I very much look forward to it. I think it's very important for North Korea and South Korea and Japan and the world and the United States. It's a great thing. And we'll see what happens.
OK. Any questions? Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're about to embark what may be the most important meeting you've ever had in your life. What's in your guts, steel nerves or butterflies? Can you describe how you feel? TRUMP: There's always everything. This is probably rarely been done. It's unknown territory in the truest sense. But I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people. And he has that opportunity. And he won't have that opportunity again. It's never going to be there again.
So I really believe that he's going to do something very positive for his people, for himself, his family. He has got an opportunity the likes of which I think almost, if you look into history, very few people have ever had. He can take that nation with those great people and truly make it great. So it's a one-time -- it's a one-time shot. And I think it's going to work out very well.
That's why I feel positive, because it makes so much sense. And we will watch over and protect and we'll do a lot of things. I can say that South Korea, Japan, China, many countries want to see it happen. And they'll help. They'll all help. So there's a great -- there's really -- this is a great time. This has not happened in all of the years that they've been separated by a very artificial boundary. This is a great opportunity for peace, lasting peace, and prosperity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bringing Russia back into the G7 during meetings, and when have you lost spoken to Vladimir Putin? Do you expect to meet him in Vienna this summer?
TRUMP: I've not spoken to Vladimir Putin in quite a while. It has been discussed. We didn't do votes or anything, but it has been discussed. Some people like the idea of bringing Russia back in. This used to be the G8, not the G7. And something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in.
[10:20:03] I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it would be good for Russia. I think it would be good for the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7. I think the G8 would be better. I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We're looking for peace in the world. We're not looking to play games.
OK, question? Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, excuse me, you said this was a positive meeting, but from the outside it seemed quite contentious. Did you get any indication from your colleagues that they were going to make many concessions to you? I believe that you raised the idea of a tariff-free G7?
TRUMP: I did. I did. That's the way it should be. No tariffs, no barriers. That's the way it should be. And no subsidies. I even said no tariffs. In other words, let's say Canada, where we have tremendous tariffs, the United States pays tremendous tariffs on dairy, as an example 270 percent. Nobody knows that. We pay nothing. We don't want to pay anything. Why should we pay? We have to -- ultimately, that's what you want. You want a tariff
free, you want no barriers, and you want no subsidies, because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries and that's not fair. So you go tariff free, you go barrier free, you go subsidy free. That's the way you learned it the Wharton School of Finance. That would be the ultimate thing.
Whether or not that works, but I did suggest it. And people were -- I guess they're going to go back to the drawing board and check it out, right? But we can't have an example where we're paying, the United States is paying 270 percent. Just can't have it. And when they send things in to us, you don't have that.
I will say it was not contentious. What was strong was the language that this cannot go on. But the relationships are very good. Whether it be President Macron or with Justin. Justin did a really good job. I think the relationships are outstanding. But because of the fact that the United States leaders of the past didn't do a good job on trade, and again, I'm not blaming countries. I'm blaming our people that represented our past. It's going to change. It's going to change. It's not a question of I hope it changes. It's going to change 100 percent. And tariffs are going to come way down because people cannot continue to do that. We're like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends.
In fact, Larry Kudlow is a great expert on this. And he's a total free trader. But even Larry has seen the ravages of what they've done with their tariffs. Would you like to say something, Larry, very quickly? It might be interesting.
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: One interesting point in terms of the G7 group meeting, I don't know if they're surprised with President Trump's free trade proclamation, but they certainly listened to it, and we had lengthy discussions about that. Reduces barriers. In fact, go to zero. Zero tariffs. Zero nontariff barriers, zero subsidies, and along the way we're going to have to clean up the international trading system about which there was virtual consensus of agreement on that. That would be a target. And these are the best ways to promote economic growth. We'll all be better at it. We'll all be stronger at it. So I, myself, was particularly gratified to hear my president talk about free trade. Thank you, sir.
TRUMP: Thank you, Larry. And it's very unfair to our farmers. Our farmers are essentially -- whether it's through a barrier, nonmonetary barrier, or whether it's through very high tariffs that make it impossible. And this is all over the world. This isn't just G7. We have India where some of the tariffs are 100 percent, 100 percent. And we charge nothing. You can't do that. And so we are talking to many countries. We're talking to all countries. And it's going to stop. Or we'll stop trading with them. And that's a very profitable answer, if we have to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President. Another question on trade. You just said that you think the tariffs are actually going to come down. But it does appear that these various countries are moving forward with the retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Did you get any concessions or any agreements with these countries not to move forward with those tariffs, and are you willing to not move forward?
TRUMP: If they retaliate, they're making a mistake because you see we have a tremendous trade imbalance. When we try to bring our piece up a little bit so that it's not so bad and then they go up, the difference is, they do so much more business with us than we do with them that we can't lose that, you understand. We can't lose it.
[10:25:12] And as an example with one country we have $375 billion in trade deficits. We can't lose. You could make the case that they lost years ago, but when you're down $375 billion, you can't lose. And we have to bring them up.
So there's very bad spirit when we have a big trade imbalance and we want to bring it up to balance, just balance, and they keep raising it so that you never catch. That's not a good thing to do. And we have very, very strong measures that take care of that because we do so much -- the numbers are so astronomically against them in terms of anything as per your question. We win that war 1,000 times out of 1,000.
TRUMP: So two things can happen on NAFTA. We'll either leave it the way it is as a threesome deal with Canada, with the United States and Mexico, and change it very substantially. We're talking about very big changes. Or we're going to make a deal directly with Canada, directly with Mexico. Both of those things could happen. If a deal isn't made, that would be a very bad thing for Canada and it would be a very bad thing for Mexico. For the United States, frankly, it would be a good thing. But I'm not looking to do that. I'm not looking to play that game. So we're either going to have NAFTA in a better negotiated form, or we're going to have two deals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will it have a sunset clause?
TRUMP: It will have a sunset. You have the two sunsets. You have the ISDS provision and a sunset provision. They've been very heavily negotiated. You have two sunsets, two concepts of sunset. We're pretty close on the sunset division. OK? We have one that's five years. You know it very well. You studied this very well. Congratulations. That's right. You have one group that likes to have five years and then a renegotiation at the end of five years. And you have another group that wants longer because of the investments. But we're pretty close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, with "Politico" of Europe, just to come back to Russia for a second, there's something that happened that got them kicked out of the G8, the invasion and an annexation of Crimea. Do you think that Crimea should recognized as Russia at this point?
TRUMP: You have to ask President Obama, because he was the one that let Crimea get away. That was during his administration. And he was the one that let Russia go and spend a lot of money on Crimea because they spent a lot of money on rebuilding it. I guess they have their submarine port there, et cetera. But Crimea was let go during the Obama administration. And Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude. So you'd really have to ask that question to president Obama, you know, why did he do that? Why did he do that? But with that being said, it's been done a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would allow Russia back into the G8 with Crimea still?
TRUMP: I would rather see Russia in the G8 as opposed to the G7. I would say the G8 is a more meaningful group than the G7. Absolutely.
Yes? Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How persuasive did you find the Europeans and Canadians when they made the case to you that you shouldn't use national security as a justification for tariffs?
TRUMP: They virtually didn't even make that case. My case is the fact that it is national security. It's our balance sheet. It's our strength. It's absolutely national security. And if you look at our -- just take a look at our balance sheet. We're going to have a very strong balance sheet very soon because of what I'm doing.
We have the strongest economy that we've ever had in the United States. In the history of the United States, we have the best unemployment numbers. Black unemployment, the lowest in history. Hispanic unemployment, the lowest in history. I don't mean the lowest in the last 10 years or 20 years. The lowest in the history of this country. Black unemployment is doing the best it's ever done. Hispanic, doing the best. Women are now up to 21 years. Soon it's going to be the best ever in its history, in the country's history. We have to have deals that are fair. And we have to have deals that are economic. Otherwise, that does, in fact, affect our military. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you make that case for autos specifically?
TRUMP: It's very easily. It's economic. It's a balance sheet. To have a great military you need a great balance sheet, OK? Yes, sir, go ahead.
[10:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you were heading into the G7 talks there was a sense that America's closest allies were frustrated with you and angry with you and that you were angry with them and that you were leaving here earlier to meet for more friendlier talks with Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
TRUMP: Well -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm wondering if you view it the same way?
And do you view the U.S. alliance system shifting under your presidency?
TRUMP: Who are you with, out of curiosity?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN.
TRUMP: I figured. Fake news CNN. The worst. But I could tell by the -- I had no idea you were CNN. After the question, I was just curious as to who you're with. You're with CNN.
I would say that the level of relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship. Angela, and Emmanuel, and Justin, I would say the relationship is a 10. And I don't blame them. I blame, as I said -- I blame our past leaders for allowing this to happen. There was no reason this should happen. There's no reason that we should have big trade deficits with virtually every country in the world. I'm going long beyond the G7. There's no reason for this.
It's the fault of the people that preceded me. And I'm not just saying President Obama. I'm going back a long way. You can go back 50 years, frankly. It just got worse and worse and worse. We used to be a nation that was unbelievably cash flow oriented, had no debt of any consequence. And we built the highway system. We built the interstate system out of -- virtually out of cash flow. And it was a lot different.
Now we have a very good relationship. And I don't blame these people, but I will blame them if they don't act smart and do what they have to do, because they have no choice. I'll be honest with you. They have no choice. They're either going to make the trades fair, because our farmers have been hurt. You look at our farmers. For 15 years, the graph has gone just like this, down. Our farmers have been hurt. Our workers have been hurt. Our companies have moved out and moved to Mexico and other countries, including Canada.
Now, we are going to fix that situation. And if it's not fixed we're not going to deal with these countries. But the relationship that I've had is great. So you can tell that to your fake friends at CNN. The relationship that I've had with the people, the leaders of these countries has been -- I would really rate it on the scale of zero to 10, I would rate it a 10.
That doesn't mean that I degree with what we're doing and they know very well that I don't. So we're negotiating very hard tariffs and barriers. As an example, the European Union is brutal to the United States. They don't take -- and they understand that. They know it. When I'm telling them, they're smiling at me. You know, it's like the gig is up. It's like the gig is up. They're not trying to -- nothing they can say. They can't believe they got away with it. Canada can't believe it got away with it. Mexico, we have $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico and that doesn't include all the drugs that are pouring in because we have no wall. But we are. We started building the wall, as you know, $1.6 billion, and we're going to keep that going. But a lot of these countries actually smile at me when I'm talking.
And the smile is, we couldn't believe we got away with it. That's the smile. So it's going to change. It's going to change. They have no choice. If it's not going to change, we're not going to trade with them.
OK, how about a couple of more. Go ahead in the back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Mr. President. Eliana Johnson with "Politico."
TRUMP: Yes, hi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going into these talks with Kim Jong-un, do you have a clear objective of what you want to get out of them?
TRUMP: I have a clear objective, but I have to say, Eliana, that it's going to be something that will always be spur of the moment. You don't know -- this has not been done before at this level. This is a leader who really is an unknown personality. People don't know much about him. I think that he is going to surprise on the upside, very much on the upside. We'll see.
But never been done. Never been tested. Many people, world leaders -- I'm talking about world leaders that have been right next to him -- have never met him. So we're going in with a very positive spirit, I think very well prepared. I think, and, by the way, we have worked very well with their people. They have many people right now in Shanghai. Our people have been -- in Singapore. Our people have been working very, very well with the representatives of North Korea. So we're going in with a very positive attitude and I think we're going to come out fine. But I've said it many times, who knows? Who knows? May not. May not work out. There's a good chance it won't work out. There's probably an even better chance that it will take a period of time. It will be a process.
[10:35:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there an outcome that you look for from this initial talk, to judge whether you think things are going well?
TRUMP: I think the minimum would be relationship. You'd start at least a dialogue. As a deal person, I've done very well with deals. What you want to do is start that. Now, I would like to accomplish more than that, but at a minimum I do believe at least we'll have met each other. We will have seen each other. Hopefully we will have liked each other and we'll start that process. I would say that will be the minimal. And the maximum, I think you know the answer to that. But that will take a little bit of time. OK? Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long do you think it will take you to figure out whether he's serious about giving up --
TRUMP: That's a good question. How long will it take? I think within the first minute I'll know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How? TRUMP: Just my touch, my feel. That's what I do. How long will it
take to figure out whether or not they're serious, I said maybe in the first minute. The way they say you know if you're going to like somebody in the first five seconds. Did you ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I'll know whether or not something good is going to happen.
I also think I'll know whether or not it will happen fast. It may not. But I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen. And if I think it won't happen, I'm not going to waste my time. I don't want to waste his time. Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you concerned at all that just by giving Kim the meeting, he's getting a win?
TRUMP: No, no, no. That's only the fake news says that. Look, we just got three hostages back. We paid nothing. They came back. They're happily ensconced in their homes with their families. They're the happiest people in the world right now.
We have gotten -- we haven't done anything. Everyone said, the haters, they say, oh, you're giving him a meeting. Give me a break, OK? There's nothing. I think if I didn't do this, it would be -- and it's never been done before. It's never been done before. And, obviously, what has been done before hasn't worked.
And this is something -- I can't stress this strongly enough. I talked about tariffs that previously people -- and I'm not looking to criticize people that were preceding me. But on tariffs, it should have never happened. The same thing on North Korea. We shouldn't be in this position. We shouldn't be in this position on tariffs where we're hundreds of billions of dollars down to other countries that frankly were never even negotiated with, they never even got spoken to. I asked a top person in China, how did it get so bad? He looked at me and said nobody ever talked to us. They were missing in action, our leaders.
Well, a very similar thing, if you think about it, took place with North Korea. This should not be done now. This should have been done five years ago and 10 years ago and 25 years ago. It shouldn't be done now.
I can't comment on that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you've got a plane to catch.
TRUMP: OK, one more question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you raise the issue of the gulags with Kim Jong-un --
TRUMP: We're going to raise every issue. Every issue is going to be raised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sitting here in Canada, you've talked the U.S. press back home, but you've also done it on foreign soil. I guess I would like to ask you why you do that.
TRUMP: Because the U.S. press is very dishonest, much of it. Not all of it. I have some folks in your profession that are with the U.S., in the U.S., citizens, proud citizens that are reporters. These are some of the most outstanding people I know. But there are many people in the press that are unbelievably dishonest. They don't cover the stories the way they're supposed to be. They don't even report them, in many cases, if they're positive.
So there's tremendous -- I came up with the term, fake news. It's a lot of fake news. But at the same time I have great respect for many of the people in the press.
Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, you've been listening to President Trump there on the sidelines of the G7. You even heard from Larry Kudlow there saying, Mr. President, you have a plane to catch he took so many questions. We will remind you that that plane will not leave without him. It is Air Force One.
PAUL: It's his plane.
BLACKWELL: It is his plane. But the president covered a lot of topics today.
PAUL: Yes, talking about trade, about immigration, about Iran, about North Korea, about his relationship, which he says is a 10 with our allies. I want to go to CNN's Michelle Kosinski. There is so much to talk about, Michelle, but I want to know, what is the headline of this for you? What stood out to you most?
[10:40:00] KOSINSKI: Two things. The way that he is trying to portray this G7 meeting, this summit, as very, very positive. I think he called it a tremendous success at one point. On what is he basing that? We'll let that play out. But he's going back to his lecture on tariffs, on trade. Obviously, the U.S.'s allies don't quite see things the same way. Obviously there has been tension.
And he seemed very, very sensitive on the point of relationships. He kept wanting to hammer home that it's the relationships that matter. And then he seems to have shifted on the trade issue from attacking the U.S.'s allies to more attacking his predecessors, saying that he doesn't blame other world leaders for this. In fact, he says, he congratulates them for having taken advantage of the U.S., for having gotten such great deals. Now it is his predecessors that have done the damage and he wanted to mention not just Obama.
I think what really stood out to me, though, was on Russia. He started out by saying the reason Russia is not in what was the G8 is because something happened a short time ago. Luckily, one of the reporters there pointed out that that something happened was Russia taking over part of its neighbor, Ukraine.
And then when the president blamed President Obama for that, saying that he was the one that allowed this to happen, it doesn't quite gel with his now saying that Russia should be rewarded for some reason by being welcomed back into the fold. So Russia took over part of Ukraine. It was kicked out of the G8. It is now the G7. Inexplicably, President Trump wants to reward Russia now by bringing them back. He's saying it's for relationships, but that is negating the fact that Russia was punished for -- so on one hand he's saying Russia did a terrible thing and that it was President Obama's fault for allowing it to happen. On the other hand, he's saying Russia now needs to be back within this group and that would be beneficial to everybody without really explaining that.
But there's so many points made in here. On North Korea, I think what's striking is for all the talk about irreversible, complete denuclearization, and as many times as the administration has tried to explain that no, this is not just going to be a meet and greet with Kim Jong-un, that something is really going to come out of this, the president seemed to lower expectations again considerably, saying he doesn't know what's going to happen. He thinks he's going to know within the first minute whether Kim Jong-un is serious and whether there is going to be denuclearization. He's going to know that right away, he says, by the touch and the feel and that's just what he does.
But he did say at the very least this is going to be, we meet, we say hello to each other, and maybe we like each other. And then the process could take a lot longer. So, is this going to be a meet and greet? Maybe, according to the president, but then again he'll know within the first minute or two whether it's going to be successful. So I guess we're just going to have to wait for that, guys.
PAUL: CNN's Michelle Kosinski, we appreciate your insight here. Thank you so much.
We have panels here who have a lot to say about everything that we just heard. I would like to hear more about what he had to say about Kim Jong-un that he wants his people to be in a good place.
PAUL: And would like to know what makes him believe that as he's going into this meeting with Kim Jong-un. Human rights not necessarily on Kim Jong-un's mind as we know it.
But we're going to take a quick break. We'll be back in just a moment. Stay close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:48:03] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But the relationships are very good, whether it be President Macron or with Justin. Justin did a really good job. I think the relationships are outstanding. But because of the fact that the United States leaders of the past didn't do a good job on trade -- and, again, I'm not blaming countries. I'm blaming our people that represented our past. It's got to change. It's going to change. It's not a question of I hope it changes. It's going to change, 100 percent. Tariffs are going to come way down because people cannot continue to do that. We're like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: CNN's Boris Sanchez joining us live in Quebec City just moments after we heard from President Trump. This was the first press conference we heard from the president, and especially heard something this long and expanded in quite some time, Boris. He talked about everything from trade, immigration, Iran, North Korea. What stood out to you?
SANCHEZ: That's right, Christi. It is notable, because, as I was talking to you this morning, there was no indication from the White House that the president was going to offer this sort of availability. So the fact that he actually held a press conference for the first time in many months is newsworthy in itself.
The president discussing a wide array of issues, saying that his relationship with the other leaders of the G7 is at a 10, arguing that the relationships with them are great and that the conversations here at the G7 have been fruitful despite some tense language that he exchanged with some of these leaders via Twitter earlier in the week. The president again referring to these other leaders as taking advantage of the United States historically.
[10:50:00] He says they do not have a choice when it comes to trade. They will have to deal with the United States and ultimately move in his direction in that regard.
Two other things stood out. Obviously, the president's discussion of Russia when he was talking about the G8 being much more meaningful than the G7. Obviously yesterday the president made the case that Russia should be re-invited back into the G7 to recreate the G8. He said something happened and Russia was booted out of the organization. Of course that something was the invasion of Crimea in 2014. The president ultimately said, though, that he wants peace and that he believes that Russia should be invited back to the table.
And lastly on the issue of North Korea, the president saying that he believes that Kim Jong-un understands that this is a one of a kind chance for peace and he will know if Kim Jong-un is serious about denuclearization within a minute of their meeting, Victor and Christi?
PAUL: Boris Sanchez live for us there in Quebec City. Boris, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Joining me now is a Republican strategist Brian Robinson, former south regional director for Obama 2012, Tharon Johnson, and CNN political commentator David Swerdlick. Welcome to all of you. So David, let me start with you. And the president says that the relationship with the allies is a 10 here. The president gets to frame this first because he's leaving early, but we will hear from these other allies, and what we've seen over the last several days, the smiling and jokes aside, is that it may not be a 10.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Think about this with high school, Victor. The least prepared student shows up for class late which the president showed up this morning late to the breakfast among his colleagues, then starts answering all the teachers' questions and getting it wrong.
The president and our allies in the G7 had some strained relations over trade. The president starts it out in a meeting designed to bring people together by castigating them kicking out Russia over Crimea. When he's asked by a reporter why he thinks Russia should be back in, he said something happened not mentioning, until our CNN colleague points out to him it was the Russian an annexation of Crimea. And then finally turns around and says but I don't blame any of my G7 counterparts. I blame the problems of trade on my own predecessors from my own country. It's not stunning from President Trump at this point, but it's really stark.
BLACKWELL: Brian, what about that? The something happened a while ago that means that Russia is not part of the G8, now the G7, why would the president frame it that way? What's your reaction to that?
BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The president went on to address that later. He obviously knows about the invasion of Crimea.
BLACKWELL: He went on to address it because someone had to say that it was the annexation of Crimea.
ROBINSON: And then he correctly pointed out that wasn't during his administration. That was during the Obama administration. And President Trump has said consistently over many years that Russian aggression as well as the aggression of other enemies of this country went unchecked during the last eight years before he took office. That's absolutely true.
He gets condemned when he doesn't play by the normal diplomatic rules, when he doesn't necessarily want to play well with others. And in this case, where he is talking about bringing people in so that they can negotiate, so they can be at the same table -- obviously Russia is a major global player at this juncture. We're all talking about them all the time, right? He's saying they should be at the table to discuss.
ROBINSON: We can have disagreement with him about whether or not Russia is a fair actor and should be there. But that's all he's saying.
SWERDLICK: Victor, this is David again. Can I just cut in and respond to something Brian said?
BLACKWELL: Go ahead, quickly.
SWERDLICK: Brian said Russia went unchecked during the Obama administration. No. During the Obama administration in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. President Obama rallied those same European leaders, Angela Merkel, the then president of France, the then prime minister of Great Britain, to impose sanctions on Russia. The choices were arm the Ukrainian, impose sanctions, or do nothing. Obama chose to get Europeans to impose sanctions.
You can have a debate about whether or not that was the right course of action. Some still say we should have armed the Ukrainians. But you can't have a debate about the fact that this just went unaddressed.
BLACKWELL: Let me get Tharon in here.
ROBINSON: The Russians are still in Crimea.
BLACKWELL: Brian, hold on for a second. And President Trump is now in the Oval Office. And if he wants to do something about that, he could have said that today.
But Tharon, let me get to you on this question of North Korea. The president saying he will know in the first minute by touch and feel if Kim Jong-un is ready there to deal.
THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTH REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: Victor, first of all, congratulations to you and the gentleman who asked the question to the president and this network for being called out by the president. So that's always a good thing, I'm sure, for ratings. But, listen, I've been to a lot of meetings with a lot of people. There's no way you can tell within the first meeting how a meeting is going to go.
[10:55:00] I think what the president showed us today, Victor, is that he's totally unhinged. He's totally off message. This is a guy who said he has a relationship at a 10 with these allies. It may be 10 out of 100 but it's definitely not the highest level of the relationship. So I think what the president knows is as we are here on a Saturday, he's leaving this G7 summit early to go over for a meeting on Tuesday, is that he doesn't know how this is going to go. He doesn't know what the outcome is going to be. So I just really urge the president to not play games with this meeting and to really figure out how he can have some long-term diplomacy for our country.
BLACKWELL: He says that at the minimum they're going to meet each other, see each other, and hopefully like each other. We'll see if this meeting becomes more than that. Brian, Tharon, David, because of the schedule this morning with the president we went a little long. We have to cut this short. Thank you for being with us, though.
PAUL: Thank you again so much. Our coverage continues in just a moment in the next hour of Newsroom with our colleague Fredricka Whitfield right after this break. Make good memories today.