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Trump: Egypt's President "Has Done Fantastic Job"; Deportation Fears Scare Victims into Not Reporting Crimes; Woman with Autism Has Own Talk Show. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 4, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour: terror on the underground. Authorities race to find those behind the deadly attack on the St. Petersburg Metro. Plus, President Trump renews his baseless wiretapping claims at the sound of a busy critical week for his presidency. And later, breaking through autism. I'll speak to the young woman with nonverbal autism who's become a voice of autism, ahead. Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is now the second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.

Russian authorities call it a terrorist attack. An explosion ripped through a subway in St. Petersburg killing 11 people, wounding dozens more. Witnesses describe a smoke (INAUDIBLE). Some say they helped drag the dead and wounded from the mangled train. And it could have been so much worse. Authorities were able to diffuse a second explosive device at a nearby metro station. CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now live from St. Petersburg with the very latest. So, Oren, seems authorities have been very quick to reopen the metro stop just behind you.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They have, and it has already been a busy morning in the Sunni Square as the day has gotten started. A number of the people going into or out of this metro stop here behind me which was closed down, this is one stop - this and the next stop, the attack happened between these two stops so this was closed for a while. But opened early this morning and it has been busy since, many coming here to stop at what has become a very busy memorial and a growing memorial. Especially, as Russia marks three days of mourning starting with the day we have seen a number of people laying flowers here.

You can see there are hundreds of flowers as well as dozens if not, hundreds of candles as people here pay respects and there's a very similar memorial to this one station over at the technological institute station. And that is again - that's the next stations, so it's between these two stations that the attack happened. It was in fact at that other station that President Vladimir Putin came late last night and paid his own respect as well. Condolences pouring in from around the world for the victims here: 11 dead, dozens more are wounded, and some still in critical condition. That as a nation in mourning, investigators try to figure out who's responsible for this and how this happened.

VAUSE: So, clearly, this is just still early in terms of the investigation, but exactly where is it now focusing?

LIEBERMANN: So, police investigators have taken a number of steps both interviewing witnesses and metro employees as well as going through a number of metro stops, which is how as you pointed out, they found another device and were able to diffuse it before it exploded. But investigators haven't given any sort of indication about who their suspects are - who their main suspects are at least. There are sort of two traditional suspects if you will: one would be checking separatist who carried out a number of attacks on Russian soil but that was more in the early 2000's.

Although they have carried out attacks as recently as 2013, that has essentially quieted down a bit in the last four years and that leaves the other main suspect which would be ISIS, which has carried out - announced the number of threats against Russia, and famously claimed the bomb the metro jet flight, the Russian charter flight over Sinai about a year and a half ago, so those would be the two prime suspects, and yet, there's been no indication from Russian officials and investigators on which one they may suspect at this point as the investigation continues.

VAUSE: As we said, it is still early. Oren, thank you. Oren Liebermann, live in St. Petersburg. Thank you. Well, for more now, in Seattle Washington, Global Follower for the Woodrow Wilson Center and former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief, Jill Dougherty; and here in Los Angeles former FBI Special Agent, Bobby Chacon. Bobby, first to you, does the method of the attack, what we know about it, does that say anything about who may have been behind it? We also have learned there was an improvised explosive device, which was, you know, basically defused. It didn't go off, it was disguised as a fire extinguisher.

BOBBY CHACON, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FORMER SPECIAL AGENT: Yes. Well, I think that you know, if we're looking at previous recent ISIS attacks I think it could be - it could fit the profile of an attack. In other words, it wasn't that sophisticated. It looks like the device that went off may have been secreted in a briefcase that was simply left on the train - in the train car.

This wasn't an attack where say the device was actually attached to the tracks, that might cause a derailment of the train and cause more death and destruction. This was a, you know, more of a simplistic delivery of a device which could have been in a backpack or, in this case, a briefcase and the other device in the same manner. So, to me, this does look like an ISIS-inspired event, if you take some of their - some of their other recent less involved attacks.

[01:05:20] VAUSE: And also, ISIS have issued a number of threats recently, Bobby, regarding Russia's military offensive in Syria, in particular, it's bombing campaign in Aleppo.

CHACON: Oh, yes. And ISIS has made no secret of the fact that they want to and intend to hit Russia in Russia. And in fact, there was an attack last year on two police officers just outside of Moscow. Of course, the incident with the airliner that was left on its way to St. Petersburg, in fact, that was taken down by ISIS. So, yes, they've made no mistake that they're coming from Russia, and they intend to carry out attacks.

VAUSE: Jill, is this attack is linked back in some way to Russia's to military offensive in Syria, will there be a political price for President Putin?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FORMER MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF AND GLOBAL FOLLOWER FOR WILSON WOODROW CENTER (via Skype): Well, it does have, you know, aspects that can kind of play both ways. I mean, you do have the President looking Presidential, continuing with his schedule, then going over and laying some flowers at the makeshift memorial, and showing, you know, strength, et cetera. So, that is what he would want to show. On the other hand, it kind of does undermine the faith, let's say, of people that he can protect them from outside forces, from terrorism. That's always been the issue with Syria, whether Russia supports for this.

Essentially, you have support for Shiites, that would be Iran which is an ally with Russia right now in Syria, against the Sunnis in most of the Muslims in Russia are Sunnis. So, there always has been a worry that maybe there would be some type of backlash and that's the dilemma right now. But you do have this other political side of it, which is President Putin in that conversation with President Trump who called President Putin to express condolences. Both of them agreeing that you have to fight terrorism and get rid of terrorism as quickly as possible, so, that for President Putin would be a good sign.

VAUSE: Bobby, I've heard some commentators say that Russia is now in the front line or it's the number one target when it comes to Jihadi groups. Do you think that's a fair comment?

CHACON: Yes, I think it could be, certainly. I think Russia has probably one of the largest numbers of foreign fighters, you know, fighting the war in Syria against the Assad regime of any non-Muslim country. I think they even have - they may even have more than France which, you know, leaves Europe in exporting fighters to that region. So, I think it's entirely possible.

VAUSE: OK. So, let's go on to what the response here that we're hearing from the Russian President, Jill because this was the first public response from Vladimir Putin after the blast. Listen to this.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA PRESIDENT (through translator): There's been an explosion in the St. Petersburg metro. There are killed and wounded. And at the beginning of our meeting, I'd like to express my sincere sorrow and condolences to relatives of those who died or who were injured.


VAUSE: And Jill, not much in terms of what he said but, sort of his demeanor, did he seem to be unusually subdued to you?

DOUGHERTY: Well, not really. I mean, after President Putin unfortunately, has the history having had to deal with a number of terrorist attacks. So, I think it was kind of a measured careful response. At that point, he was saying it could be terrorism, it could be other reasons, and then he went on with that meeting with President - with the President of Belarus and then, you know, pretty much continued with his day except for that visit again to lay the flowers. So, I wouldn't necessarily read anything into it, at that point. He just was being very careful. And at that point, they had to wait until the investigation is over. Once it is over, we have to listen very carefully to what he says and also to his actions, what he does when they actually do determine who carried out this attack.

VAUSE: We also heard from the U.S. President, moments after the blast. This was Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Terrible. Terrible thing. Happening all over the world. Absolutely, a terrible thing.


VAUSE: These two leaders have since spoken by phone as you mentioned Jill, but how will those remarks be seen by many Russians?

DOUGHERTY: Oh, very positively. In fact, in some of the Russia media, they're noting that he was the first person who made a comment in the west, among leaders, after that attack. So, it's what Russians actually have been hoping to hear perhaps, of course, not having been victims of a terrorist attack themselves, but hoping that the United States would come on board as they always put it and join forces with Russia and fight terrorism. That's what they wanted. It's what President Putin has pushed for and that's what President Donald Trump has been talking about. But a lot of this got highly politicized in these hearings et cetera about the Russian interference in the American election. So, it's he - I don't think, obviously, that President Trump has been able to move at all as quickly as he wanted to do with that to work with Russia against terrorism.

[01:10:51] VAUSE: And Bobby, finally to you, I'm just curious, was it a coincidence that Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg at the time of this attack, do they just get their timing - they're just lucky I guess, in their timing?

CHACON: I doubt it. Although it could be. But, you know, I think that, you know, if ISIS wanted to make an even stronger in the attack itself is that, look, we cannot only attack you on your own soil but we can actually attack you in the very city and in the very vicinity where your president - where Putin is. And so, you know, there've been posters around the internet and stuff with Putin with bullet holes in him and other things, you know, so ISIS is definitely, you know, put President Putin in the cross hairs and so this could be one of those ways in which they're saying that they can get close to him. You know, it's surprising that there's been no claim of responsibility yet, but, you know, we're still kind of early in it and, you know, I - that's one of the things I'm waiting to hear.

VAUSE: Yes. As are so many others. Bobby, thank you. Bobby Chacon and Jill Dougherty, thanks so much for being with us.

CHACON: Thank you.

VAUSE: The U.S. President is sending his son-in-law and who also happens to be a Senior Advisor on a diplomatic mission to Iraq. Jared Kushner made the unannounced trip on Monday. He met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad. He was invited by the U.S. top general for the trip. Our Ben Wedeman reports from Erbil in Northern Iraq.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN LEAD CORRESPONDENT: It was a get-to-know-you-visit to one of Washington's most difficult military and diplomatic challenges. The special advisor to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner came to Baghdad and met with Senior Iraqi officials including Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi. 36-year-old Kushner has no diplomatic or military experience, and this is his first visit to Iraq.

Kushner was joined in his meetings in Baghdad by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford and General Stephen Townsend, the Commander of the anti-ISIS International Coalition. They discuss the battle for Mosul and continue the American support for Iraq and its war against ISIS. Their visit comes at a time when the offensive to retake Mosul has reached its most difficult phase with bloody street to street fighting and mounting civilian casualties.

Although President Trump recently said, things are going very well in Iraq. Monday, the Iraqi military put out a statement saying it would be setting up safe corridors for civilians to evacuate West Mosul's old city in preparation for a new push to drive ISIS out of the area. I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Erbil, Northern Iraq.


VAUSE: Well, it seems the U.S. President is trying again to divert attention away from the Russia investigations. This time, Mr. Trump, citing at Fox News report, claiming that President Obama's former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, requested what's known as the "Unmasking" of those associated with the Trump campaign. In other words, revealing their identity of those who're caught up in surveillance of usually a foreign agent. Usually, those names are concealed or masked. Former Senior Intelligence official tells CNN, Rice's role at the time allowed her to legally request some information to be unmasked and that does not mean that information was necessarily late. Well, joining us now for more Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; Republican Consultant, John Thomas. OK. It seems right now; the whole unmasking issue is not the story which Fox or the President believed that it might be. Let's listen to a Democrat Congressman, Jim Himes.


JIM HIMES, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CONNECTICUT: There's absolutely nothing unusual about unmasking. We get all kinds of intelligence intercepts all the time. And it involves masked U.S. person information, it could be a reference to a U.S. person, it could be a U.S. person talking.


VAUSE: So, Dave?

[01:14:55] DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, Donald Trump is the deflector in chief. At a time when his poll numbers are sinking, they're more reflective not just a sinking ship, they're reflective of the titanic. They're almost at the bottom of the ocean. This is a guy, according to The Hill newspaper today, was polling with an approval rating of 34 percent today. So, he's trying desperately to do anything to change the conversation away from the Russia probe. And this is the latest sign of him trying to change the subject, yet again.

[01:15:23] VAUSE: OK. Here's -- before we get to John, here's a little more on the whole unmasking issue. It comes from the former Acting Director of the CIA, Michael Morell. OK, this is what he writes, "Senior officials in the U.S. government, when they see one of these intelligence reports that say U.S. person one or U.S. person two, they can go back to NSA and ask, who is that person? They have to have a good reason for asking that question. They have to explain that reason to the NSA. Once the request is made, NSA says yes or no. And when that gets approved it gets approved for the individuals who specifically requested the unmasking. It is not unmasked broadly." So, John, I found that on the Google machine. Couldn't the President have found it out by picking up the phone?

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Yes, I mean, he could have, but it's still -- there are unanswered questions here. Number one, Susan Rice who did a mask list, why is it that just a week or two ago she's said she knew nothing about it, she's never heard of this. She doesn't know what the President is talking about, and just seen that there is unanswered questions as to why she wanted it unmasked and who directed her to have it unmasked. I don't think it's cutting dry even if unmasking does happen regularly. Why Trump? Why around the election time? And why have this selective memory that it never happened in the first place?

VAUSE: Dave, you know, a good point. There does seem to be a few issues here which need to be clarified.

JACOBSON: I think the real issue though is Donald Trump has been singularly focused on these so-called leaks for the last few weeks with all of these stories, sort of exposing the Russia great scandal and here he is citing a story that really is emblematic of other leaks and so I think it screams hypocrisy and that's the real big issue here.

VAUSE: OK. And looks like the Senate. Let's move on is about to go nuclear over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PATRICK LEAHY, UNITED STATES SENATE DEMOCRAT: My conscious would not allow me to ratify the majority of leaders act. Not last year, not this year. I will not, I cannot support advancing this nomination.

CHUCK GRASSLEY, UNITED STATES SENATE REPUBLICAN: If the Democrats will filibuster this person of the high quality is, that there isn't any justice that a Republican will put forth that they would get his -- that they would support.


VAUSE: OK. So, John explains the nuclear option here for Republicans keeping in mind that most people around the world think that a filibuster is a filling for a sandwich. And why do Republicans think they have no other choice?

THOMAS: Yes. And I -- most of your viewers probably think the nuclear option means Trump is finally about to press the nuclear button. No, no, it just means that it turns the confirmation process to a simple majority and set a meeting to thirds and Republicans do have a simple majority to confirm nominee Gorsuch to the process. Here's the larger thing, it's -- it's not that Neil Gorsuch is one of the most qualified nominees that Trump possibly could have nominated, the trouble is that the Democrats don't want to give this guy an inch. They are the party of no now and it really is irrelevant of whether -- who the nominee is. In this case what so ridiculous about this is how well qualified Neil Gorsuch is for the position.

VAUSE: And that does seem to be, you know a fairly reasonable point. The standard for confirming a Supreme Court judge simply is that person qualified or not? You know, political leanings or you know whether or not you like the particular rulings, it's all about their qualifications and there are a lot of people out there saying Gorsuch is qualified.

JACOBSON: Well look. Last time I checked Barack Obama was elected to a four-year term and this seat opened up back in February, almost a year before the November Presidential Election. He wasn't elected to a three-year term it was a four-year term and so if we're talking about qualifications, Merrick Garland got widespread bipartisan support. Republicans' and Democrats said that he was highly qualified and the justice didn't even have an opportunity to have a formal hearing before the Judicial Committee whether will up or down vote by the entire United States Senate. And so I think, the challenge here, the Democrats have, is number one, they actually had a nominee that didn't get a hearing number one and number two, Gorsuch is out of the mainstream. This is a guy who didn't -- during the hearing didn't enthusiastically endorse and recognize the validity of Brown versus board of Education, number one. And number two, he has a long history of citing with big red corporations over people if you look at the hobby lobby case. And so I think Democrats -- go ahead.

THOMAS: This message is just sour grapes because Merrick Garland didn't confirm because the Senate upheld a long standard tradition that in the election year you punt until the next office holder moves in. Is it not even sour grapes? I feel like you need a better reason to block Neil Gorsuch in that.

[1:20:14] JACOBSON: Well listen during the election year, by the way, this was before the New Hampshire primary vote. This is before the South Carolina primary vote. We didn't know if they were Republican or Democratic nominee was. It was very early in the Presidential contest.

VAUSE: Yes. And you know probably, you know it's one of those moments that people just need to move on. And find the solution that makes everybody happy but I don't think it will. Thanks for being with us.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

THOMAS: Thanks.

VAUSE: Well, coming up here on NEWSROOM L.A., Donald Trump taking on North Korea just days before he's set to meet with the leader if China. We'll have the latest from Beijing, in a moment.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there I'm Patrick Snell with you WORLD SPORTS Headlines. The LPGA Michael Whan saying his written a letter to Lexi Thompson this after a controversial four- stroke penalty cost her a second major title. The 22-year-old from Florida left absolutely devastated after being given a total four- stroke penalty while leading the final round of the ANA inspiration event. An e-mail from a T.V. viewer having alerted officials that golf had incorrectly replaced the marked ball by about an inch or so during Saturday's round. And South Korea's So Yeon Ryu would go on to win in a slayer.

As the countdown continues to next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea, organizers there now know it will be without the participation of players from the National Hockey League following confirmation on Monday. The last few months the league has indicated owners weren't in favor of the NHL participation in the main due to the middle of season disruption and financial impact caused by shutting down the season for a couple of weeks.

Finally, remember we told you the stolen and found again jersey of winning Super Bowl quarterback Tom Brady while on Monday, Brady receiving that shirt at a Boston Red Sox game. His teammate Rob Gronkowski though had other ideas, wrestling it away from his grasp and trying to run off with it. Brady chased him down though to once again reunited with the jersey that it say value around half a million dollars. And that's a look at your WORLD SPORTS Headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.


VAUSE: Well, the U.S. President is raising the stakes on North Korea, warning if China are going to be leading Kim Jong-un in line the U.S. is willing to go alone. Let's head now to CNN's Matt Rivers live in Beijing. And Matt these comments come just days before Donald Trump is set to meet with the Chinese President Xi Jinping. So how will the Chinese leadership read those comments coming from the U.S. President?

[1:25:07] MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, officially and publicly the Chinese Government not taking the bait, not responding specifically to this interview that Donald Trump gave to the Financial Times only saying in a statement that was released yesterday that this is a very important summit for both sides and both sides should hope to work together moving forward. But I think privately, the Chinese are going to take this at face value. They're going to look at what the President said and how they're going to work that into their calculation is to how they are going to approach this first meeting between the Presidents of the two arguably most important countries in the world. But I think it's important to remember a couple things here. On the one hand, Donald Trump has said lots of things in the past about China that he has not followed through on.

So remember as a candidate, he was going to label China a currency manipulator on day one of his administration, that didn't happen. He was also threatening to put tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States. That has not happened so far and so the Chinese I think are going to look at this with a healthy amount of skepticism and kind of recognized the fact that this could very well be the opening play in what Donald Trump sees as the first round of negotiations between China and the United States. And I think furthermore John, they are not going to be surprised at this because if Donald Trump has been consistent about one thing with China, it has been his hard line stance arguing that China should do more to solve the North Korean problem, using its economic leverage over Pyongyang to get them to stop developing nuclear weapons. That's something that the Trump Administration has argued for a long time now. And so I don't think that the Chinese are going to be all that surprised at this kind of language coming from the President.

VAUSE: The Trump Administration has argued it. The Obama Administration has argued it. The Bush Administration has argued it. The Clinton Administration has argued it. The U.S. President are not giving any more details here beyond going it alone. It does seem if you look at the options here in they're pretty limited, what actually came from raining in North Korea.

RIVERS: Yes, they are. What you see is that a lot of experts will say that even if China were to exert its -- albeit large amount of economic leverage over North Korea, would the Kim Jong regime actually stop developing these weapons or would it find a way to move forward? And what you hear of from a lot of experts featured in this part of the world is that this is the only car that Kim Jong-un has to play on the international stage and he's gotten this far with his technology. He's getting closer and closer to a workable ICBM, he's getting closer and closer to miniaturizing a nuclear warhead. And it's the one thing really that forces other countries around the world to take his regime very, very seriously. And so no matter what China does, there are people out there who argue that it doesn't matter, Kim Jong-un is going to press the head with the only card he has to play on the international stage.

VAUSE: He plays a weak hand very well. OK. Matt, thank you, Matt Rivers, live in Beijing. We will take a break when we come back. To sum, Egypt's President is a ruthless dictator, but to Donald Trump, he's doing a fantastic job. Why the President's word mark a major shift in American commerce.


[01:31:26] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause, with the headlines.


It seems a U.S. president is putting human rights on the back burner during his administration. Mr. Trump hosted the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el Sisi, at the White House on Monday. Activists accuse el Sisi of being a ruthless dictator orchestrating brutal political crackdowns. Former President Obama refused to host el Sisi, and criticized his human rights record. Donald Trump has different ideas.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el Sisi who has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.


VAUSE: For more on this, Oren Kessler, with the Foundation for Defense and Democracy, is with us now from Washington.

Oren, thanks for being with us.

We just heard from the president, but has the Egyptian president done a fantastic job? The economy is struggling, 30 percent inflation, 12 percent unemployment, and according to the U.S. State Department, the number of terrorist incidents has increased dramatically since el Sisi took power in 2013.

OREN KESSLER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE AND DEMOCRACY: That's correct. The economy remains on the brink despite a recent $12 billion loan from the IMF. Inflation recently reached about 30 percent. The security situation is not good despite the assurances that Cairo has provided its own citizens and the world. There are about two attacks every day in the Sinai Peninsula by an Islamic State-affiliated group. So it's difficult to take those words from President Trump or indeed the assurances of President Sisi that everything is going fantastically well in Egypt. It's hard to take those at 100 percent of face value.

VAUSE: President Trump also talked about fighting terrorism together alongside the Egyptians. He also talked about this incredible bond between these two countries. Listen to Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We will do that together. We'll fight terrorism and other things. And we're going to be friends for a long, long period of time. We have a great bond with the people of Egypt and I look forward to working with the president.


VAUSE: OK. So is this the reality in Egypt right now? It seems American workers are facing an increasingly hostile environment there. Egyptians who are working for American companies reportedly facing trumped-up charges and there seems to be sort of an anti-Western bias on the state-controlled media.

[01:34:57] KESSLER: This is true and this is a decades-long problem in Egypt unfortunately that has been more or less constant throughout various Egyptian governments. This was the case before the President Sisi, during the era of the Muslim Brotherhood and, before that, during the three-decade rule of Hosni Mubarak.

Now, that said, the Egyptian-American partnership is long-standing one. It's a nearly four-decades partnership that has brought tremendous dividends to both sides, but it's not a perfect partnership. And the anti-Americanism that you speak of is real.

VAUSE: Well, the chances are el Sisi will continue to receive financial aid from the United States. That includes about $1 billion every year for their military. Would you say that money is money well spent at this point in Washington?

KESSLER: On the one hand, Egypt is, I think it's safe to say, too big to fail. We've seen the tremendous migrant crisis that has rocked Europe. We've seen -- we've seen hundreds of thousands of migraines coming from Libya and Syria into Europe. Just imagine if Egypt were to go the way of Libya or Syria, and you would have a country of 90 million people suddenly trying to reach the shores of Europe. There's also the Suez Canal that passes through Egypt, which is tremendously important the U.S. The U.S. gets expedited shipping through the Suez Canal. So there are a lot of benefits to the aid that is given.

On the other hand, the Sinai insurgency continues to rage. This is a group of maybe a few hundred ISIS fighters in the Sinai that the Egyptian army seems incapable of putting down. So the money is generally -- there's a reason to invest money -- for Washington, to invest money into its relationship with Egypt. But whether it's getting the bang for its buck that it ultimately wants remains an open question.

VAUSE: President Obama refused to meet with el Sisi because of the human rights violations under his watch in Egypt. I guess, if nothing else, a photo op at the White House on Monday a pretty big win for the Egyptian president.

KESSLER: Absolutely. In terms of just the optics of today's meeting, I think both sides can be very pleased. What Sisi wanted was the legitimacy of appearing with the leader of the free world and, of course, the praise he received from President Trump. And I think President Trump was really looking for an opportunity to show that he is a stateman, that he understands diplomacy, the he's nurturing vital relationships for the United States. So on the level of optics, I think really it went quite well from both sides' perspectives. The question is, what was discussed behind closed doors and what really the tangible outcome of this meeting will be.

VAUSE: OK. Oren Kessler, Foundation for Defense and Democracy, good to speak with you. Thank you, sir.

Up next on NEWSROOM L.A., a disturbing crime trend in Los Angeles. We'll tell you what it has to do with Donald Trump.


[01:40:22] VAUSE: Federal authorities say immigration agents will continue to make arrests at courthouses across the U.S. despite accusations from California's chief justice that it appears undocumented immigrants are being stalked. And L.A.'s police chief says that practice has also led to a fall in the number of crimes reported by many immigrants as well.

CNN's Sara Sidner explains.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESOPNDENT (voice-over): It is almost unheard of for a police chief to tell the public a decrease in crime reports may actually be a dangerous trend, but that is exactly what's happening in one of America's biggest cities.

CHARLIE BECK, CHIEF, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: In Los Angeles, domestic violence reports are down 10 percent in the Hispanic community. 10 percent. Imagine somebody being a victim of domestic violence and not calling the police because they're afraid their family will be torn asunder because of immigration enforcement.

SIDNER: What's even more alarming, he said, reports of rape dropped 25 percent in the Latino community compared to the same time last year. The fear is crime isn't actually dropping, but victims are too scared to report it. Noticing the drop came after Donald Trump and his tough stance on immigration took office.

BECK: There is no direct nexus to it but there is a strong correlation.

SIDNER: But in Denver, the city attorney says she has seen a direct link. Heightened fears of deportation have, so far, scared away four domestic violence victims.

KRISTIN BRONSON, DENVER CITY ATTONEY: All four were Latina and all four contacted our office to let us know they weren't willing to proceed with the case for fear of deportation.

SIDNER: The women were not so much afraid to face their alleged attacker but instead afraid of this --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you hear for ICE enforcement?

SIDNER: -- ICE agents in plain clothes waiting right outside courtrooms to detain undocumented immigrants. This video taken by a private law firm shows their fears are not unfounded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you here to make arrests?


SIDNER: Local law enforcement are worried the potential impact of ICE's presence of witnesses and victims.

BRONSON: We are worried that crime will go unpunished. And if crime is unpunished and there are no consequences, then obviously crime can rise.

SIDNER: According to ICE policy, courts are fair game. But ICE officials say detaining people at courthouses is often a last resort aimed at violent criminals. Still, their actions are having a chilling effect on victims, too.

(on camera): Where are you willing to go now?

UNIDENTIFIED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (through translation): The courts. It frightens me to think that just by going there, immigration will get me.

SIDNER (voice-over): This undocumented mother of two American-born daughters says she used to live in terror inside of her home because of her abusive spouse before fleeing. He was never charged. But now she's even more terrified when she leaves her home.

UNIDENTIFIED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (through translation): Every single day, I think about this. My daughter says, mom, I'm afraid when you pick me up from school, immigration will be there.

SIDNER (on camera): There are a couple of important things to note here. One thing is, typically speaking, there's only a very small of data because we're only talking about the first three months of the year, so hard to tell if there's a larger trend here. Secondly, ICE agents did end up in court houses making arrests during the Obama administration, but they largely stopped the practice sometime after 2013 when there was a huge backlash after ICE agents arrested some women who had gone to court to get restraining orders. Now ICE is clearly back in the courts and the clash between local law enforcement and victims' advocates is too.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.


VAUSE: When we come back on NEWSROOM, L.A., we'll catch up with the amazing Carly Fleischmann, a non-verbal autistic woman, now talk show host, and proving nothing is never really ever impossible.



[01:48:27] VAUSE: Bathed in blue to help the world see the light about autism. Global landmarks went blue on Sunday for the ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day. The White House took part in the Light It Up Blue campaign. We should note that April is National Autism Awareness Month.

We have an update now on an incredible story from last June. You may remember Carly Fleischmann, the young autistic woman diagnosed from childhood with a condition where the jaws, lips and tongue don't work together, leaving Carly without a voice. That is, until a few years ago when she started talking through a computer.



CARLY FLEISCHMANN, AUTISTIC TALK SHOW HOST: What did you think, a 21- year-old person with autism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, if I got permission from my wife.

FLEISCHMANN: All right. I've got my lawyers working on your divorce papers as we speak.


VAUSE: We spoke to Carly after that interview with the "Hollywood Star" went viral. It was watched almost four million times. It was widely praised for being funny, personal and revealing. It also seen as just the beginning for Carly.




VAUSE: The first in a series of interviews is now up on YouTube. Carly sits down with the actor, James Van der Beek, best known for teen angst drama, "Dawson's Creek.


[01:50:04] FLEISCHMANN: As I sit here drooling over you, I seem to envision you as a hopeless romantic. Name me two romantic things you do for your wife.

JAMES VAN DER BEEK, ACTOR: I think my wife would laugh out loud if you describe me as hopeless romantic.

I make her coffee every morning. Does that count as romantic?


VAUSE: Each month, Carly will post a new interview. They'll be available on the website as well as Canada's national broadcaster.

And Carly joins us from Toronto in Canada.

So, Carly, congratulations. You've got your talk show. I also see you've managed to get James Van der Beek to take off his shirt.

FLEISCHMANN: That's right. You don't think I can get you to take yours off? I'm only working if you want to do one buts ton I'm down with that.

VAUSE: The company policy says I have to keep my shirt on. It's a CNN rule.

FLEISCHMANN: Maybe next time.

VAUSE: Maybe next time. Hey, during the interview though, he also didn't do bad about a lot of things about family and his career.

FLEISCHMANN: John, if you watched the beginning of my interview I think James was not to expect. He's only said hi to you allowed me to hear about his family and even to hear what romantic things his wife is making. I will try to teach you a thing or two to try to be a general show to the show. It might take a while. Call me. Laugh out loud.

VAUSE: Definitely will. We'll chat.

You also interviewed Beth Behrs from the comedy "Two Broke Girls." That's an interview which you'll release later on. Let's take a quick look at one of the clips.


BETH BEHRS, ACTRESS: This is a cap Cat gave me one year for Christmas. I says I heart to fart. It's a secret. You're getting a full exclusive on this show. Cat gave me this because all -- I have the humor of a five-year-old boy and it usually means bringing me a whoopee cushion or going like this -- when they walk by.


VAUSE: All that seems fairly surprising. What was your reaction? Did it surprise you as well?

FLEISCHMANN: Beth Behr is an amazing actress and activist. We need more women like her. John, I've heard her make fart sounds in certain alexanders before. I never knew how far it went though. Joking around with her classmates pretending something else farted. It sounds like something you would do, John, to pass time. Not something Beth Behr would do. I think it's cool she has an outlet.

VAUSE: You know, we should also mention you've interviewed Grace Helvic (ph), a famous YouTuber, she was a comedian. So in general, in terms of the questions you ask and your responses, how much work goes into that? Do you type in different responses and questions ahead of time? Do you have a plan set up?

FLEISCHMANN: Believe it or not, it takes a lot of time for me to do an interview. The prep work alone is daunting. I never know what my guest is going to say or how he or show is going to react. I have to guess. That means I have different scenarios programed in my iPad. My question to you is, do you think I have won my marathon?

VAUSE: I think you could probably do whatever you want, whatever you put your mind to.

FLEISCHMANN: John, I think you're an amazing reporter and you left out some amazing things, but your audience does know too much about you. What would one challenge want you having overcome in your life?

VAUSE: I had to go to speech therapy. I had a really bad lisp. I used to get beat up by kids at school. Every now and then, if you've been doing a million hours on air, it comes back.


VAUSE: Yeah, way. You know, I remember when we talked last time you said you wanted your own talk show, and that's something that is happening right now. What would you say to anybody out there who is watching that has their own challenges? What sort of advice would you get them from their own experience and basically make their dream come true.

FLEISCHMANN: John, my whole life, I all I've ever heard is my wife no. Carly, no, you will never be able to talk in public and you'll never be a talk show host. And all I can say about that is something. We all have challenges. It's how we face them that defines us.

John, thank you for having me on your show. This has been amazing. I hope I can come back and my interview will hopeful.

[01:55:07] VAUSE: Any time and you've been amazing and it's been great to success and I'm sure it's not the last we'll hear from you. Hope it's not the last time we see each other. I look forward to the next time we get to catch up.

Thank you so much, Carly.

She's amazing.

You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angles. Please stay with us. I'm John Vause.

We'll be back live with more news after this commercial break.


[02:00:36] VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.


VAUSE: Hello, everybody. Thank you for being with us. I'm john Vause. NEWSROOM L.A., the third hour, starts right now.