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Biden, Johnson Commit to New "Atlantic Charter"; U.S. Hopes to Agree that Ambassadors Can Return to Moscow, D.C.; First Lady Wears "Love" Jacket During U.K. Trip; First Lady Jill Biden to Meet with Queen Elizabeth Sunday; Lawmakers Grill FBI Director about Immigrant Surge; TX Governor Declares Disaster at Border Ahead of Security Summit. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired June 10, 2021 - 15:00   ET



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think the symbolism is important and certainly intentional from the U.K. and U.S. side of things.

When you think back to the original Atlantic Charter, signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill back in 1941, Fascism was on the rise.

And that charter helped solidify the bonds between the U.S. and the U.K. and really kind of underscored a relationship that would become central to the World War II era.

An era that Western democracies really established a number of institutions, rules and norm that came to help define the world for the better part of the decades to follow.

When you look at the overarching goal that President Biden has laid out for the trip, the overarching goal of his foreign policy generally is this idea that Western democracies are not in the midst of a fall right now, even though they're being challenged by countries like China, by aggressive actions by Russia.

The president will obviously meet with the Russian leader in just a couple of days.

But trying to underscore that while this is a different moment and a different time, an updated version of the Atlantic Charter that both leaders signed today kind of leads into the overarching play here.

That the Western democracies are still prominent, can still lead the world, and still have an opportunity to, at least in the president's view, do good and challenge those who might challenge those democracies.

You can see these all kind of comes together in concert with the vaccine announcement he made today.

Obviously, this was U.S. based. It did not necessarily have anything with the U.K.

But 500 million doses starting to ship out in August, 200 million this year, the rest of the doses going out next year.

And the countries those doses will be headed to, 92 lower and middle- income countries, the African Union as well.

And it underscores that the U.S. believes that both it and the G-7 partners the president will be meeting with in the coming days play a integral role in global health and bettering the global world.

Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a monumental commitment by the American people.

As I said, we are a nation full of people who step up in times of need to help our fellow human beings, both home and abroad. We're not perfect, but we step up.

We're not alone in this endeavor. And that's the point I want to make. We're going to help lead the world out of this pandemic, working alongside our global partners.

Under the U.K. chairmanship of the G-7, democracies of the world are posed to deliver as well.

This is U.S. contribution is the foundation for additional coordinated efforts to help vaccine the world -- vaccinate the world.


MATTINGLY: Leverage not just the U.S. capability here but the ability of the partners that the president will be meeting within the days ahead.

And, again, it all goes back to this central thesis the president has at this moment, the U.S. is back. He repeatedly says the U.S. alliances are being re-established right now.

And the U.S., at least in the president's view, can lead the world, particularly on this issue that has really caused a catastrophe in every single country in the world over the course of the last 15 months -- guys?


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: All right, Phil. Thanks so much. Stay with us.

Because we will take a look ahead now. Of course, we know that the next several days will be about solidifying those relationships with U.S. allies.

President Biden is also preparing to meet one-on-one with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, next week.

CAMEROTA: CNN has new reporting about what they will discuss. Three sources familiar with the plan say that President Biden will address the strained relationship with the Kremlin with the hope the two leaders can agree to send their ambassadors back to Moscow and Washington.

CNN national security correspondent, Kylie Atwood, has this reporting.

Kylie, tell what more you know.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It has been months since the U.S. and Russia had their respective ambassadors in the other country.

And that happened at the beginning, about three months ago, when Russia pulled their ambassador from the United States.

That came after President Biden called President Putin a killed. And then the U.S. ambassador returned to Washington.

So there has been a dearth of diplomatic communication at that level.

President Biden is going to address this diplomatic challenge when he sits down with President Putin with the hope that they can agree to send these ambassadors back to Washington and Russia.

We should note, the State Department says that Ambassador Sullivan will return in weeks. And that the U.S. is committed to open channels of communication with Russia.

But the key here is that can't really do that if they don't have ambassadors in place.

And, of course, this comes as there has been dramatic drawdowns, diplomatically, from the U.S. and Russia, in terms of how many personnel are in each country.

And we should note that's deeply concerning to folks here at the State Department.

And I can tell you that because there are fears of miscalculation. Right? If you don't have diplomats here at the State Department serving in Moscow in large numbers, they are not able to develop their expertise in Russia.

And Russian government officials are known for speaking in opaque ways. So there are concerns about this at the State Department. And getting these ambassadors back in place would be one small step.

Of course, this comes as we don't expect there to be any grand deliverables between the U.S. and Russia after the summit. But this would be one thing that the U.S. could do to start opening the channels of diplomatic communication more regularly at the working level.


CAMEROTA: Kylie Atwood, thank you. Real interesting stuff. We appreciate that reporting.

Let's bring back Phil Mattingly, as well as CNN senior political correspondent, Abby Phillip. And Charles Kupchan. He's a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and he was senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council under President Obama.

Charles, I want to start off with you.

Let's start where Kylie left off, and that's the U.S.-Russia relationship.

You've said you think that Biden setting this trip up as a struggle between democracy and autocracy as a, quote, strategic mistake. Why?

CHARLES KUPCHAN, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS & FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We live in a world today that is irreversible intra-dependent and we can't go back to a bloc that is defined by us versus them.

Not so much so much because of Russia but because of China. The Chinese economy will soon be the world's largest.

Furthermore, I think one of Biden's agenda items in meeting with Putin, it will be done carefully, is to try to put some distance Moscow and China.

In some ways because the big elephant in the room is not Russia. It's China.

And if somehow Biden could improve the relationship with Putin to pull him a little bit away from China, it would cut back on Chinese influence.

And that, in many respects, is the prize that will be discussed at the G-7, at NATO, how to deal with the rise of China.

BLACKWELL: Phil, Kylie just reminded us that Putin pulled his ambassador out of Washington after the president called him a killer.

Are we expecting that there will be some rhetorical change from the Biden administration that will sustain having their respective representatives in each capitol, that this is going to be able to last longer than a few months?

MATTINGLY: It's a great question. When you talk to the White House officials about what expectations are, they made clear the president will be firm.

The president is going to very clear in his own right about what the U.S. expects from the relationship, what the U.S. may need from the relationship, and what the U.S. will do in the relationship if it believes that President Putin is continuing what they view as aggressive actions.

Now, I don't know if the rhetoric will necessarily match what the president said or agreed to off hand in an interview.

But I think what's interesting about the dynamic of these two individuals is the president has met with President Putin before, when he was vice president. He has known President Putin over the course of his foreign-policy heavy career.

But the approach here, you have seen several administrations -- not just the last one -- several administrations trying to figure out how to either work with President Putin to re-establish relations with President Putin, to kind of wrangle Russia, to some degree, and many of them have failed quite colossally.

Because President Putin is kind of his own individual leader. And his leadership style I think has confounded U.S. officials for a quite a while, at least confounded their efforts to kind of get outcomes or deliverables as you often look for.

Kind of really key point, Victor, and that is, when you talked to White House officials, they don't expect deliverables or necessarily outcomes. Small steps. Perhaps, ambassadors going back.

More of what they want and what the president wants -- and keep in mind, some of his advisors were against this meeting -- is to have a sit-down, get face to face, something that the president prefers when meeting with foreign leaders, and really layout where the U.S. is on things and see if they can work from there.

Beyond that, I don't think there's high expectations at this point in time.

CAMEROTA: Abby, what about that? What about what President Biden wants to come out of this, in addition to whatever happens with Putin, with Boris Johnson, with the G-7?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's start with Boris Johnson and the G-7 first because I think there's an order of operations here that is important for the White House.

What they want to do is re-establish the United States as the leader of the free world, to put it simply, in partnership with the U.K. and other G-7 countries.

Strengthening and shoring up those alliances so that, then, when he gets to the meeting with Putin, it's -- you know, it's the Biden team against Putin. And it's easier for him to have some standing in that meeting that is backed up by his allies.

And so Biden keeps using the phrase, "a stable and predictable relationship" that he wants to have with Russia. I think it starts by showing a certain amount of resolve. Biden, I'm sure, is of the belief that Putin is not going to

necessarily respond well to him coming with his arms open and saying, please, please, will you be friends with me.

It's going to require toughness in that room. And I think that's what they are trying to build up leading to this meeting. The question is, what are some practical things that they can get Putin to cooperate on?


There are some -- there are many practical things they need him for. One of them is on the nuclear issue, one of them is on the cyber security issue. And I think that these are the things that are going to be worked out behind the scenes.

But between the two leaders, I think they want to establish a sense of mutual respect. And in order to do that, it seems the White House believes they have to have the backup of the global community in order to project toughness and resolve going into that meeting.

BLACKWELL: Charles, you have written extensively about American isolationism and the consequences of that.

We have talked about Biden being a player on the world stage for decades now. But we can't return to just as if this is January 19th, 2017, right?

What is the work that this president has to do to return the U.S. to many of the places, the leadership spots that it held before the start of the Trump administration?

KUPCHAN: Well, you know, I think Biden, when he says America is back, is right. We have lived through a very troubled period here when it comes to liberal democracy and partisanship.

And the same has happened in Europe, right? Britain left European Union. There are right-wing populists across Europe.

And so, in some ways, the headline of this week is we need to make sure the foundations of liberal democracy are rock solid. We need to make sure that the allies, the democratic allies around the world are standing shoulder to shoulder. I think that's Biden's main mission.

And he wants to reassure Europeans that this turn in American foreign policy is going to last. Because Europeans found America First during the Trump era very, very troubling.

And they are very relieved that they have in the Oval Office someone who is committed to teamwork and committed to liberal democracy.

So this will be a good week for Biden. And it does set up, as your colleagues were just saying, a situation where nobody thinks we're going to see a wonderful embrace between Biden and Putin.

But I do think we will try and see them make the relationship less toxic so at least there can be a constructive dialogue on strategic stability, on climate, on the pandemic.

There are issues where Russia and the United States can and should cooperate.

BLACKWELL: All right, Charles Kupchan, Abby Phillip, Phil Mattingly, thank you.

And the jacket -- let's talk about this, the jacket the first lady is wearing on the world stage --

CAMEROTA: Sometimes our clothes speak for us.

BLACKWELL: We have seen that in previous administrations.

Jill Biden is sending a message of love on the back of her jacket as she accompanies her husband on his first trip as president overseas.

When asked if the president is ready for the trip, this was the first lady's answer.


JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: He's been studying for weeks, working up to today. Of course, he knows most of the leaders that will be here. And Joe, foreign policy, this is his forte. So I think the meetings are going to be --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He's preparing for the meetings?

JILL BIDEN: Oh, my gosh, he's over prepared.


CAMEROTA: Let's bring in CNN's Kate Bennett.

Kate, let's start with the cosmetics, with the window dressing, the jacket.

Because, as you well know, the former first lady, Melania Trump's, outer wear got so much attention when she wore the jacket -- I can't remember. "I don't care, do you," or something like that --


CAMEROTA: -- was her message.

And it's hard not to see love as the counter point to that?

BENNETT: I mean, quite frankly, it's a troll. This is Jill Biden's quiet fashion way of wearing something that is in direct contrast with the message in that Melania Trump was sending. Whatever it meant. Nobody really knows the final meaning of that "I really don't care, do you?" jacket. And certainly, the message from Jill Biden is very clear. In the same

quick press conference she did earlier today, she said love is the message that we're trying to send to other countries. We want them to know that America supports them, or something to that effect.

So clearly, she's messaging. She also, I might add, a pretty good hype woman for her husband, Joe Biden.

This is a role that Jill has had and taken on for four-plus decades, being there for Joe Biden, understanding the matrix of a trip like this and being on the world stage.

And I think it's interesting and telling that the "love" jacket was something she chose to wear today.

BLACKWELL: We know they are getting all dressed up tonight to meet with the queen -- maybe it's not tonight, but it's coming during their visit in the U.K. Sunday.

Is this their first meeting with the queen?

BENNETT: It is. It is their first meeting with the queen. And it will be the queen's 12th meeting with an American -- Biden will be the 12th American president. I think I've done the right math on that. So certainly, she's used to it.

But it will be new territory. This is a first lady whose first words out of her mouth are often, call me Jill, Dr. B. This is a very informal first lady who is busy and on the go and grading papers and doing multitasking.


And meeting the queen is a big deal. It's a lot of protocol. It's a curtsy. It's sitting when she sits, standing when she stands. And it's an important moment for diplomacy.

And it will be a very new venue. They are going to Windsor Castle on Sunday for this visit. It will be a few days after the 100th birthday, which is today, of the late Prince Philip. And certainly, there will be a condolence moment.

The first lady tweeted today that she was thinking of the royal family on this difficult day, Philip's birthday.

But certainly, this is Jill Biden's moment where she's not second lady anymore. She's not sort of taking these trips in a secondary role. She's the first lady of the United States.

And as we have known for decades, since Jackie Kennedy stepped out in Paris, European trips for American first ladies are a big deal. And I'm sure we will see Jill Biden rise to the occasion.

But it's definitely it's interesting to see Jill, from Philly, meeting the queen of England.

CAMEROTA: I am sure we will see that "love" jacket flying off the shelves since the first lady's fashion --

BENNETT: It's already sold out.

CAMEROTA: Who makes it?

BENNETT: Zadig & Voltaire. It was a couple of seasons ago. She actually wore it at the kickoff of the Biden campaign. This is my weird fashion brain memory.


CAMEROTA: I knew you would know this. I knew you would know this, Kate.

Kate, thank you very much --

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: -- for all of the reporting.

So in just a few hours, the governor of Texas will host a security summit about the surge of migrants from Central America. He's already threatened to start arresting everyone who crosses the border. We'll take you live to Texas.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a radio host who once questioned -- let me change this. There was a radio host who didn't have a problem with the audit that is happening in Arizona. He now says it's turned into a clown show. He joins us, live, to explain why he's now speaking out.



BLACKWELL: The FBI director today was getting questioned about the border crisis during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. And Chris Wray did acknowledge the danger that cartels present to migrants.


UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Is it true that many of the foreign nationals who are being trafficked across our border often arrive here deeply indebted to the Mexican crime cartels?

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Certainly, we have seen quite a number of such instances, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Are those debts collected through indentured servitude to the cartels?

WRAY: In some cases, there's no question that the cartel activity on the other side of the border is spilling over in all sports of ways. And you just put your finger directly on one that is extremely concerning to us all.


CAMEROTA: In Texas, the governor says he's ready to take the situation in his own hands.

Governor Abbott issuing a disaster declaration at the southern border and threatening to arrest migrants crossing into the U.S.

Abbott will host a border security summit this evening with a host of law enforcement, landowners and public officials.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Rosa Flores is there with a look ahead at that.

Rosa, what should we expect?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, if the governor's remarks are any indication of what he's going to say today, it's that he will start off most likely with the fact that he will blame the Biden administration for the open-border policy and for the ills along the southern border.

Then he will probably talk about Operation Lone Star and how the state of Texas had to take this into their own hands and launch an operation that deployed about 1,000 state troopers to the southern border.

And they were expecting for him to address something he teased on FOX News. He said on FOX News last week that he was going to start arresting all migrants that cross the border starting this week.

Take a listen.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): I follow the law. And the law that I am going to use will be legal ways in which Texas is going to start arresting everybody coming across the border.

Not just arresting them, but because this is not going to be aggravated trespass, they will spend a half a year in jail, if not a year in jail, as well as other actions that I will be announcing next week.


FLORES: That clip raises so many questions.

So I started last week asking questions about this, contacting the governor's office about exactly how the state was preparing, how they were going to work with local authorities, and how they were going to work with local law enforcement to be able to do this.

The governor's office referred to me to a press release about the disaster declaration that the governor launched last week.

And if you read the disaster declaration carefully, it does state the governor ordered the Texas Commission of Jail Standards and the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement to increase detention capacity. So does that mean that he plans to, in fact, arrest migrants starting

this week?

By the way, I did reach out to those two commissions. And one of them directed me back to the governor's office. The other one did not respond to my request. So it's unclear exactly what the governor is going to announce today.

But earlier today, he did tweet out this, saying that he plans to announce an action that the state of Texas will start doing this week. What that means, we don't know exactly.

Now, as for reaction from advocates about this, advocates are saying that the governor is using migrants as pawns to move forward his right-wing agenda.


And, Victor and Alisyn, I tried talking to law enforcement about this on the record but they would not go on the record about how exactly they feel about this.

I also tried talking to local officials about this. They tell me that they are going to wait to hear what the governor is going to announce today at about 5:00.

And that, then, they will make their remarks. Then, they will tell us how they feel about what the governor is going to do -- guys?

CAMEROTA: Rosa, thank you for sharing all of your reporting with us.

BLACKWELL: All right, still ahead, Mitt Romney says a bipartisan group in the Senate has agreed on an overall dollar amount for an infrastructure deal.

A bipartisan group in the House is working on a plan, too. One of the lawmakers leading that group joins me live.