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tv   CBS Morning News  CBS  June 16, 2021 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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good morning, and welcome to "cbs this morning." it's wednesday, june 16th, 2021. i'm anthony mason with tony dokoupil. gayle king is off, so adriana diaz is with us. president biden meets face to face with russia's vladimir putin in an historic summit in switzerland. norah o'donnell leads our coverage from geneva where both sides are expected to talk tough. russia's military build-up is just one of many topics the presidents will likely address. how president biden could confront putin over ukraine, cyberattacks, and the imprisonment of americans in russia. the u.s. surpasses 600,000 deaths in the covid pandemic, but the latest numbers suggest we are beating back the virus. dr. anthony fauci will tell us
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why we should be hopeful and cautious. and texas is on the verge of he heat wave. how lives are on the line again after the deadly blackouts in the winter. first, here's today's "eye opener," your world in 90 seconds. >> reporter: president biden wants to leave mr. putin with a clear understanding of how america will respond if russia does threaten u.s. national interests again. >> reporter: all eyes are on geneva, switzerland. >> reporter: high-stakes showdown between president biden and russian president vladimir putin. >> reporter: the cease-fire appears to be over. israeli military carried out a series of air strikes after hamas launched fire balloons. >> reporter: southwest airlines got hit with a systemwide outage causing more than 1,000 delays nationwide. the u.s. casts a grim milestone, 600,000 covid deaths. health officials are sending out a warning about the delta variant. >> i'm worried about those who are unvaccinated because this is rapidly increasing here.
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>> reporter: mackenzie scott donated nearly $3 billion to hundreds of charities. all that -- >> an historic performance from kevin durant. and all that matters -- >> california is open again. [ applause ] >> reporter: governor newsom celebrated the state's reopening by coming to universal studios. >> nothing says ready for opening without any unforeseen dire consequences like the guy from "jurassic park." hold on to your butts. on "cbs this morning." ♪ it's what we've been waiting for to embrace all that life has in store ♪ ♪ memories once you've got the vaccine ♪ ♪ hug your family it's time to hug your family ♪ ♪ feeling so relieved relieved ♪ ♪ no lockdowns
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we're free ♪ >> this morning's "eye opener" is presented by progressive -- making it easy to bundle insurance. >> and welcome to "cbs this morning" on what is an historic day for u.s. diplomacy. president biden is in geneva, switzerland, today to meet with russian president vladimir putin at what both leaders agree is a low point in relations between the two countries. mr. biden has promised a tough stand with mr. putin whose plane landed in geneva a short time ago. cbs evening news anchor and managing editor norah o'donnell is leading our coverage in switzerland. good morning. >> reporter: hey, good morning to you, anthony. here in geneva, president biden is facing what could be his toughest foreign policy challenge yet, a face-to-face summit with a man that he's called a killer. this week he also culled president putin bright and a worthy adversary. now all of this is happening
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against this beautiful backdrop. an 18th century villa right here on lake geneva. it's across from where we are right now. it's actually the third time this swiss city has hosted u.s. and russian leaders for talks. now today's meeting actually comes 20 years to the date that president george w. bush met with the russian leader. famously suggesting he had looked putin in the eye and got a sense of his soul and found him trustworthy. i think it is fair to say that the national security team around president biden doesn't putin at all given that russia has interfered in the last two presidential elections, and those recent crippling cyberattacks that originated from inside putin's country. you can see now that president putin is arriving right now at that villa. his motorcade had just passed by here. there was extremely tight security here, meeting the swiss president there. you hear the press, of course,
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shouting questions to them. it's unlikely that we will -- oh -- no handshake there. interesting. i don't know if that is covid concerns. we will see -- there it is. we will see russian president putin along with the swiss president and president biden later this morning before they have some four to five hours of talks. now we should also note, anthony, the larger geopolitical picture here because just this week russia began these naval drills in the pacific near the coast of hawaii. it is considered the latest in what the u.s. believes are a series of provocations against the united states, and that's what's going to come up at these meetings. ed o'keefe is traveling with president biden and is at the summit site this morning. and ed, we should talk about th ements expected tout hiee this summit as way of sending a very tough message to the
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russians? >> reporter: well, good mornin d the bend here in lake geneva at this heavily fortified villa where the president of russia has arrived. you're correct, white house officials not setting high expectations, nor expecting any major takeaways. what's officials do tell -- white house officials do tell cbs news the president will clearly state america's national interests and make clear that any russian actions counter to them will be met with a strong response. now in geneva, president biden is set to come face to face with russian president vladimir putin. when asked if he's ready -- ahead of the meetings, russia is sending a provocative message. the country's navy conducting its largest military exercise since the end of the cold war. positioning ships and long-range bombers about 300 to 500 miles west of hawaii. relations between the u.s. and russia are at a low point with russia-based hackers targeting two american businesses in just the last few months.espo if rsi
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under way at the swiss presiden will greet journalists here to cover one of the most hotly anticipated diplomatic meetings in years. the meeting is expected to last at least four to five hours. presidents putin and biden will both be greeted by the swiss president who will make remarks and then leave. the two leaders then set to be joined by their foreign ministers and interpreters. they'll meet for a while, and then summit will open up to more aides. both men are expected to hold separate news conferences. among the topics expected to be discussed today -- nuclear arms control, russian interference in u.s. elections, and cyberattacks. and the white house says the president's expected to raise the fate of two former u.s. marines being held in russian prisons, paul whelan and trevor reed. cbs news was first to obtain new audio of reed pleading for his freedom. >> i would say that i've spent my whole life in the service of my country, and i would appreciate it if my country
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would help bring me home in this difficult situation back to my family. >> reporter: reed's family said they hope the summit will bring him one step closer to home. what would be success coming out of this summit? >> for me it would just be that they are making a plan to free him soon. it's not going to happen overnight. he's not going to fly home with the president. but as at least if there are good talks that they agree that he will be coming home soon. >> reporter: reed was arrested in 2019 and charged with assaulting police officers. he has seven years left in his sentence. president putin has suggested a u.s.-russia prisoner swap, but u.s. officials say that's off the table. in marks this morning to the russian press, putin's spokesman said they want to talk about nuclear arms control and regaining access to embassies and diplomatic compounds in their respective countries. they are among several subjects that will be discussed today. >> no doubt at that very long
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series of meetings expected today. if you think about how the number of summits held between u.s. and russian leaders over the past many decades, even here in geneva, it has largely been about the threat of nuclear weapons, ed. at this summit, there's a different type of threat that's risen to the top of the agenda, and that is cyber warfare, right? what are you hearing from white house officials about what exactly biden will say to putin about those cyberattacks that have been launched against the united states? >> reporter: well, a few things. among other things, remember coming out of the nato meetings, there's agreement among members of the military alliance that they will consider cyberattacks on countries as a potential violation of the article 5, an attack on one is an attack against all. that could potentially amplify the severity of cyberattacks. the other issue to watch for is conversation about cyber prisoners or cyber crime prisoners and whether or not there should be a swap there. that was part of the confusion generated over prisoner swaps
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earlier this week. putin suggesting in an interview that perhaps if there were cyber criminals in the united states that could be sent back to russia, the united states says don't worry, we take care of our cyber criminals, he should do the same. >> reporter: all right. ed, thank you. let's send it back to all of you in new york. anthony? >> thank you. we'll go back to geneva as things develop there later in the day. let's bring in cbs chief political analyst john dickerson. good morning. >> good morning, anthony. >> we heard ed o'keefe say that the white house is signaling they don't expect major developments out of this. but this is a relationship the u.s. and russia that's been spiraling downward for a while now. both sides saying it's at a low point. is there a possibility of stabilizing the relationship at least? >> that's the really important thing is stability. 58 years ago almost to the day u.s. officials and russian officials met in event eva to work out the hotline with a red phone. it wasn't an actual red phone, but why did they do it? one was communication.
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they needed for adderversaries as norah was talking about y.- cyberattacks, the u.s. and russia has to be clear what the red lines are on the cyberattacks so something doesn't spiral out of control. that stability among adversaries, but that's important. so they could work out some of that. then there are these nuclear issues, these prisoner issues, there's obviously ukraine. there are a host of issues where the u.s. wants to say here are our priorities, and that's really important for the russians to know what u.s. priorities are, what the red lines are, and then also to know what the russians might do to get back in the u.s.' good graces and vice-versa. >> joe biden is a new president, but the two men have a prior relationship. there is a history. it is interesting to note i think the wording that joe biden has used about mr. putin, at one time, of course, not long ago he called him a killer. h said recently he was a worthy adversary which seemed to be a tonal shift. >> sure. so president biden is playing games. you can imagine president putin, who likes to play games in these meetings, extending the length
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of the meeting. in other words, he likes to show his physical prowess. he's going to do an ironman maybe approach to of gamesmanship. i thought worthy adversary was interesting, too. the president has been criticized for giving putin a meeting as if it's a prize. to be called a worthy adversary for an american president, for putin who wants to look on parity with an american president, is a kind of gift in advance of this. >> a form of respect in some ways. >> exactly. which means when they get behind closed doors, you would expect perhaps the president to say, look, i've shown you respect there, here are the things you need to hear me on in this private way. sort of playing an inside game and outside game. >> there's a meeting going on, but there are parameters as we understand it. the men will be together for hours along with staff. but no meal will be shared. they will never be alone together. and then afterwards, there will be no joint press conference. that's a lot of choreography. why? >> it is. think about the last time that a president met with vladimir putin, when president trump met with him, it was the exact
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opposite. it was unscripted. not as tightly controlled. the reason it has to be controlled is to make sure there are no misunderstandings, that both sides need to know exactly what they're saying to each other, and that's just -- that's about the moment, but it's also for six months from now so that when vladimir putin is making choices about what he's going to do, he can have in his mind the recollection of what they said in those meetings. and the same is true for president biden, as well. and so you just -- it has to be choreographed so there's no misunderstanding. inside the misunderstanding is where you have things go wrong. >> now president biden has been on quite the trip -- the tour of europe. what is the significance you think of this coming on the heels of the g7 and nato where a unified front was presented? >> president biden and staff keeps saying america is back. what does that mean? it means that the president is putting himself forward as the kind of the lead spokesman for a whole set of values that basically establish the liberal order in international relations
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over the last 70, 80 years. it's not just u.s.-russia relations, it's president biden saying i'm the representative of the moest powerful administratin on the planet. i have the countries behind me, the nato alliance behind me. that gives force to what i say. that is both a public message but is also private. i mean, when i asked dr. rice, former secretary of state, how to measure this, she said, don't look at the pageantry, watch six months later. if the private messages is paid off, what would we look for, lower, fewer cyberattacks, maybe some improvement on the human rights front. but those private messages are going to be the most interesting and, unfortunately, we won't learn about those for six months or so. >> we're looking, as you're speaking, at president biden's motorcade on its way to the meeting with president putin. how successful has president biden been so far do you think on the trip? and what constitutes success in this meeting with vladimir putin? >> yeah. that's a great point. we'll start with putin.
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as i was saying about former secretary rice, her point was success is if he can convey in these private meetings this is what is important to the united states and this is what we know you're up to, he can -- president biden can talk about intelligence and about what the u.s. really knows the russians are up to, and can say if you keep going down this road, here is the retaliation you can expect. again, predictability because in misunderstanding you can have a real -- particularly with cyber, it can go haywire fast. so unfortunately, a lot of that we won't be able to measure in the moment. we might not be able to measure for months. >> part of evaluating the president's performance will be what dr. puoes putin get out of. what does he need or want to do here? >> he's brought it home, being called a worthy adversary by the u.s. president. he wants to say, look, i can meddle in ukraine, i can imprison my political opponents, and i pay no penalty for it. so strength works. now the white house knows that. they know they're giving him that little bit. but what they've made the
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calculation is it's worth giving putin that because what we want is clarity, and we want him to stop behaving in the way he is. and the only way we can get a shot at doing that is if we deliver these messages privately to him. >> doesn't putin still need the united states for his home audience and say, look, there's the big enemy, they're enemy number one. i've kept you safe. keep me in power for another decade. >> sure. one foot on the gas, one on the brake. he will say they're the big enemy, i'm the only one who can stand up to them. when i do, i get this parity, i get called a worthy adversary. and so he can put -- show some of those bouquets that he's gotten. and sno in that sense he want t look chummy with the american president, that's chummy going can -- >> he's close -- >> be at least on the same level with an american president. >> yeah. >> which is one that allows him to show, look, i can do both things for you, the russian people. >> all of there is ei navalny i
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ss how does that play into this, especially with putin dismissing the issue when he was asked in an interview about navalny recently? >> this goes back to -- this is perhaps the trickiest part for president biden. it goes back to what he's been doing for the last several days which is say, i am the leader of the democracies. we care about human rights. fine, so he talks about that. but what is it going to do? how is it going to pay off? if you keep talking about human rights and don't put any muscle behind it or it doesn't pay off, then it weakens that message. so in terms of that public role as the leader of a democracy, navalny's case and what the president says about it and whether it pays off in any particular way is very important for the sort of public theatrical part of this diplomacy. we've talked about the private messages. but in a very public way, a u.s. president who puts the hammer down on human rights has to have some kind of a payoff. it will be fascinating to see how that goes. >> quickly, if you're president
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biden, what stick do you have to hold over vladimir putin to say "stop with the cyber warfare, stop meddling in u.s. elections"? >> we know where you live. which is we can look into exactly what the russian hackers are doing, why they're related to you, and we know you have companies and -- you could imagine all the way into your gas pipelines. we know how to turn them on and off. if you don't stop, you're going to start having lots of little accidents in russia that you don't know the origin of. i mean, i'm making this up, but this is the kind of private threat that a president can send that we won't hear about, but that could convey a strong message. >> all right. john dickerson, thank you so much. stay with cbs news for continuing coverage of president biden's historic meeting with vladimir putin. we'll bring you a special report of president biden's news conference after the meeting. ahead, covid restrictions are dropped in another big state. we'll talk with dr. anthony fauci about the nationwide reopening right as the pandemic
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reaches another unfortunate milestone. first, time for a check of your local weather. ♪
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president biden has just arrived at villa la grange overlooking lake geneva in switzerland. he shook the president of switzerland's hand. this is where he will meet with vladimir putin in their historic summit. that is coming up very shortly. as you saw, president putin is already there. they will be meeting momentarily. you're watching "cbs this morning."
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president putin prepares for these summits extensively, and usually tries to throw off the u.s. president. >> reporter: yeah, there have been interesting stories about that through the years. i was reminded the other day that years ago when he met with a major foreign policy figure forton, h w
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back to strobe talbott from a dissertation that talbott had written in college, trying to prove to talbott that he was, in fact, that well read in on the people he was meeting with. talbott apparently laughed it off because it was sort of seen as a -- a really comically -- just how detailed he'd gotten in reading the kgb file on him. yes, i mean, that's the kind of preparation we've seen. and russian officials much like white house officials in the last 24 hours or so have done a pretty strong job of also downplaying expectations, saying they're coming here to work. they're not coming here to fight. they want to discuss issues like nuclear arms control. the fate of diplomatic compounds in both count that have been seized. and that make it detrimental to conduct various pieces of diplomacy and other foreign policy that needs to be done in either country. of course the president, the white house said they want to talk about the fate of two americans that are being detained in russia, paul whelan and trevor reed. there was going to be a lot of discussion about cyberattacks, and the russians want to talk
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about arms control. on that issue, there's been notable progress. earlier this year president biden, president putin, got on the phone in early days of the biden administration, agreed to extend the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. there's work to do on that to ensure it can be extended beyond 2026. the white house and the russians say tofour to five hours. the schedule is likely going to get elongated. we may wait longer to hear how it went. >> we should note, of course, joe biden being the fifth u.s. president to meet with vladimir putin. this is a man who has had many interactions with u.s. presidents and is scheduled to stay in office through 2036. so to remind everybody, this is a dictator, that president biden is dealing with. the last four years it was a friendly relationship with president trump. that is not the case with president biden. there have already been two


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