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Trump Willing to Testify on Comey; U.K. Election Complicates Brexit Talks; Trump and Team Send Conflicting Messages on Qatar. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 14, 2017 - 04:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Theresa May's reputation takes a pounding at the polls and her future as prime minister of Britain could be on the line.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In the United States, the president accuses the man he fired as FBI director of lying and leaking and now Mr. Trump says he is ready to testify under oath to tell his story.

ALLEN (voice-over): And Trump called out Qatar for what he said is funding terrorism at a very high level.

HOWELL (voice-over): It's 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. At CNN World Headquarters, I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta.


ALLEN: Our top story, U.S. President Donald Trump struck a defiant tone when he was asked about former FBI director James Comey's testimony in the Russia investigation. Trump says he is 100 percent willing to testify himself to dispute Comey's account.

HOWELL: But oddly enough he doesn't want to dispute all of it. Our Jim Acosta has details.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Speaking as he tweets in short bursts, President Trump tried to have it both ways, clinging to the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey as his salvation while also slamming the man he fired in the same breath.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker. ACOSTA: During a news conference with the Romanian president, Mr. Trump denied he tried to shut down the Russia probe, specifically when it comes to former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.

TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that, I mean, I will tell you I didn't say that.

ACOSTA: The president also rejected the notion that he asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty as the former FBI director said in sworn testimony.

TRUMP: I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance, who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? I mean think of it, I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. No, I didn't say that.

ACOSTA: Mr. Trump's response when asked whether he would speak under oath on the matter?

TRUMP: One hundred percent.

ACOSTA: But the president dug in his heels on the question of whether he has recordings of his conversations with Comey and others at the White House.

TRUMP: I'll tell you about that maybe some in the very near future. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time. OK? OK. Do you have a question here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When will you tell us?

TRUMP: Over a fairly short period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there tapes, sir? PRESIDENT TRUMP: You are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer. Don't worry.

ACOSTA: In their response to the Comey testimony, Democrats are eager for the president to tell all he knows under oath with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would expect at some point, not right away, but at some point that Mr. Mueller will feel he has to depose the president.

ACOSTA: Once subject the president was not asked about his Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The White House has danced around whether the president has confidence in the attorney general. Even some Republicans say it's time to know more about Sessions' interactions with the Russians during the campaign.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-MAINE), MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We, on the Intelligence Committee want to know the answers to those questions. We have begun to request information from the attorney general to allow us to get to the bottom of that.

ACOSTA: The president was asked by a Romanian reporter whether he's committed to NATO's Article 5, which would mandate that the U.S. come to the defense of the alliances more vulnerable nations on Russia's border.

TRUMP: I'm committing the United States and have committed, but I'm committing the United States to Article 5. Certainly, we are there to protect. That's one of the reasons that I want people to know we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force. Yes, absolutely, I would be committed to Article 5.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: As is every day a great deal to talk about, let's bring in Scott Lucas, Scott is a professor of international politics, live in Birmingham, England, this hour with us.

It's good to have you, Scott. So let's talk about what we just heard the President of the United States say, that he has decided he can challenge Comey's testimony, saying that he is willing to testify under oath putting his own credibility on the line -- Scott.

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, we'll see. I mean this is the same Donald Trump who said a few months ago when Trump University was facing a lawsuit, I'm going to fight this to the end. I'm going to fight it and then eventually had to settle out of court.

So Trump is trying to counter attack here. In other words, this is like the captain of the ship shouting, all is well while it may be sinking.

Here are the questions. One, Trump now has said, perhaps unwisely, I might have tapes. Those tapes will soon be subpoenaed by at least the House Intelligence Committee. Now either he has to turn over those tapes, which may back up James Comey's version of events, or he has to admit he doesn't --


LUCAS: -- have them.

Two, the investigation is not only about Trump now; it has reached Jeff Sessions. It has reached his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It, in other words, is reaching current members of the administration, not just former members.

Three, Trump continues to be unable to talk about the extent of whether or not Russia influenced the 2016 election. He is trying to divert this on Comey, repeating, by the way, that James Comey is a liar and cannot be trusted, which is what upset Comey in the first place.

You add all that together and Trump's counter attack, I suspect, will be in very serious trouble by Monday morning.

HOWELL: Let's talk about this because you're suggesting that these are just a matter of optics before you get into sworn testimony.

So when it comes to optics, if this boils down to a he said-he said, how would that play in the public and then how would that play under oath?

LUCAS: If it was just he said-she said, you have got a point -- or he said-he said. You've got a point. But we'll have more than he said- he said when Robert Mueller, the special counsel, begins to not only accumulate information but begins to present it.

And that's something the optics can't get away from. But on the immediate question of -- let's put it bluntly -- Trump versus Comey, the fact is that James Comey came off as someone who appeared to be very reliable and very honest in his version of events.

Now I think Trump's diehard backers may say and stick with the president but I think a lot of other people will say, even in the question of whose word do you trust at this point, that until we get the definitive answer from Mueller, there is a lot there of suspicion, a lot there on Comey's words that need to be investigated further.

HOWELL: Let's talk a bit more about tapes. So the president is playing coy about whether tapes even exist between Mr. Comey and him, saying that maybe he will tell people about it sometime in the near future -- I believe is the quote that he used.

Is this just a matter of building suspense and, Scott, could these tapes either help or hurt this president?

LUCAS: This is standard Trump from well before when he was president, which is as long as you can keep talking about him and talking about his tactic talking points, he thinks he is winning.

Remember this is a man who called up the reporters in the 1990s, posing as his own spokesman to create this type of diversion. This is a man who did tape people in meetings in Trump Tower. So he has previous on this.

Now if he did tape on this occasion -- and I stress if because the whole point is to keep us guessing -- I think he's in trouble because I actually do trust that he said what James Comey wrote down in his record of events immediately after they occurred and the tapes back that up. And perhaps more importantly then, I believe that, James Comey believes that, which is why he said, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

HOWELL: Lordy, we'll see I suppose. Scott Lucas, live with us in Birmingham, England. Thank you.

LUCAS: Thank you.


ALLEN: Let's talk about the U.K. election in the wake of an election she called and then failed to win outright, British prime minister Theresa May is apologizing to Conservative MPs who suffered embarrassing losses.

She also is preparing to lead an uncertain minority government. She says she will form an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party -- that's the largest pro-U.K. party in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley in 1971, the DUP is considered very right-wing, opposing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

HOWELL: This is the result no one could have predicted just weeks ago and Ms. May's political gamble has shaken up the political landscape. Brexit negotiations are set just nine days away from this day and European leaders are waiting for visitors from London. It provides more uncertainty for business.

And then there is the question of Theresa May's future. The prime minister herself admits she needs to reflect on what went wrong.



THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm sorry for all those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren't successful but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs and ministers, who'd contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn't deserve to lose their seats.

And as I reflect on the results, I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward.


ALLEN: For more on the election fallout, we're joined by our Melissa Bell outside 10 Downing Street in London.

And the prime minister there saying, Melissa, she has to reflect on this and that. She does have a lot of reflecting to do, especially how did this go so wrong for her.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of reflecting, Natalie, and a lot of convincing as well since she has so much to do now in the face of a Conservative Party, lots of anger in her own ranks at this spectacularly misjudged gamble.


BELL: This was an attempt to consolidate a majority that she felt she needed to go into the crucial Brexit negotiations. In the end it has spectacularly backfired, of course and she now finds herself trying to convince her own party.

And one of the first things she will have to do is no doubt shake up the way she manages and has managed the Conservative Party over the course of the last few months. And her team within Downing Street and the way it has led a campaign that many say is the worst in living memory. She is then going to have to cobble together this fairly loose

alliance with the dup in order to create that minority government. For the time being, that is far from certain. It will take concessions no doubt and negotiations. And she is not in the stronger of the two positions.

And beyond that, of course, with the loose alliance, with that alliance that she's managed to cobble together in Parliament, she will have to go into the Brexit negotiations with -- in a position that is weaker than the one she had before this election.

And this question of her judgment, I think really going forward, will the people around her, will the members of her own party continue to show her the kind of confidence she needs to hold all this together as these crucial negotiations begin in nine days' time, Natalie. We're there.

And it will take an awful lot of political clout and unity, precisely the things that Theresa May appears to have lost.

ALLEN: Right. And a lot of unknowing for the people who voted as well.

Will this be a hard Brexit or will it be a soft Brexit?

And how does her weakness perhaps affect the outcome?

BELL: I think that's exactly right. We'd been looking toward this harder Brexit and that is now entirely cast into doubt. First of all, because the people that she will be looking for to create this coalition that will allow her to go forward or this alliance within Parliament that will allow her to form that minority government are worried about some of the consequences of a hard Brexit, not least on the border between Northern Ireland ad the Irish Republic.

They don't want the kind of hard border that would be a reminder of times past. That will be a new factor, a new level of uncertainty in the Brexit negotiations, how her coalition partners want to go ahead with them.

So many questions, so many new uncertainties in this entirely transformed political landscape as she enters these crucial negotiations, which already look complicated, which already depended very much on her ability to inspire confidence in her own ranks. Very difficult to see how now she can get that hard Brexit through.

ALLEN: It's morning time there and perhaps she is mulling that over with her cup of tea. Thank you so much, Melissa Bell for us, outside 10 Downing Street.

For more, here's George.

HOWELL: And now joining us outside the Houses of Parliament, we have CNN political contributor Robin Oakley.

It's good to have you with us, Robin, today. So members of her own party, I want to talk about this, because Theresa May's advisers are taking a great deal of heat from the press today from Conservatives, who feel she listened to them, the advisers, rather than her own MPs.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, she presides over a really angry and absolutely shocked party that has seen a parliamentary majority thrown away by a wild gamble from Theresa May.

Now she was pushed into that gamble by the two people who are her closest advisers, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, advisers in Number 10. They call them her gatekeepers.

And there is a lot of resentment in the party, particularly among senior ministers, that she listens to everything those two say and she gives very little regard to what kind of information and advice comes in from senior ministers.

So certainly a lot of Conservative MPs want at least one of those two heads to roll as some kind of acknowledgement to the things that went wrong in this election campaign.

Theresa May, though, is a particular kind of character, she's a very close character, she's always operated with just a small section of decision-makers around her.

She's got to change her whole political style if she is going to regain her hold over the Conservative Party. The question is if she can really bring herself to operate without those two people leading her -- George.

HOWELL: Well, Robin, there have been rumblings from many who feel that they don't have enough access to Theresa May. So we will have to see, of course, how this all plays out.

Brexit negotiations now just a little more than a week away. The prime minister campaigned on the premise of heading into those talks from a strong and stable position. Now she's not nearly as strong as before the election and the government not nearly as stable.

OAKLEY: No. And either way, Theresa May has presented the European leaders recently as enemies of hers with a very tough anti-European line. And the suggestion was --


OAKLEY: -- that they were trying to get her to lose the British election. Actually European leaders, it was in their interests for Theresa May to win this election and to have a big majority because, when it gets to the crux in the Brexit negotiations, both sides are going to have to give something if they will get a deal.

Now if Theresa May had a majority of 100 in the British Parliament, made one or two compromises with European leaders, came back to the British Parliament, some of her own MPs, the hardline Brexiteers, would say, no, you're gone too far, we won't vote for that.

She needed a cushion of votes, a large majority to be able to accommodate some rebellion on her own side. And now that cushion isn't there. And so everything is uncertain about the Brexit negotiations.

We also don't know what instructions are now going to the civil servants preparing the negotiating brief, David Davis, Britain's negotiator.

Is Theresa May going to soften the stance?

For example Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, the only success in the British election with 12 seats gained in Scotland. Ruth Davidson wants an open Brexit.

Is she being listened to in Downing Street?

Is there going to be an alteration in the pitch as a result of her success -- George?

HOWELL: OK. And I want to talk about political alliances here in the United States. One would imagine if the Democratic and Republican parties were to join together -- this is not the case when I -- just to talk about parties that have very different interests here, for the Conservatives, what does it mean to have an alliance with the DUP?

And what are the consequences for Theresa May moving forward?

OAKLEY: Yes, the biggest consequence in a way of the alliance with the DUP is that the power sharing executive in Northern Ireland, power sharing arrangements there between the nationalists and Republican parties and the unionists has broken down.

The British government has always needed to be neutral within the battles within Northern Ireland politics. Now the danger is, with Theresa May being sustained in power by the unionist side in Northern Ireland politics, that the British government doesn't have that neutral position.

So that is a considerable worry. Some progressive Conservatives are also worried that the social stance of the Democratic Unionists, who are opposed to same-sex marriage and to anything, any easing of rights on abortion, issues like that, assurances have been sought from Theresa May that the unionists won't be allowed to affect the Conservative Party stance on that.

And I understand that they have been met. But the unionists, of course, will also press for a soft border with the South and that may affect the Brexit negotiations, too.

And, of course, they will be looking for some financial reward, for example, the farming subsidies that will be lost with Brexit; they wants assurance that Northern Ireland farmers will be compensated for that by the British government -- George.

HOWELL: 9:17 in the morning there, Robin Oakley, live for us in London. Thank you, Robin. ALLEN: And coming up here, President Trump has a tough message for Qatar but it doesn't match what his top diplomat is saying about the country. We'll take you live to Doha coming next.

HOWELL: Plus after a devastating election, what lies ahead for the British prime minister?

And Brexit talks. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

ALLEN: And later this hour, we will hear from some of the young voters that made Jeremy Corbyn's campaign so successful there in the U.K.





ALLEN: Welcome back.

The U.S. is sending mixed messages when it comes to the crisis in Qatar. Top diplomats in Washington are urging regional powers to stop isolating Doha.

HOWELL: But President Trump is sharing a completely different suggestion. Listen.


TRUMP: The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level. The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding. They have to end that funding.


ALLEN: Strong words there against one Washington's biggest allies in the Gulf from the U.S. President. Let's bring in Jomana Karadsheh. She's following the story in Doha, Qatar, and gauging the reaction to this and these conflicting messages coming from Washington on all of this -- Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, there has been so much confusion here when it comes to what the U.S. position is regarding this crisis in the Gulf and these mixed messages have been the theme of the past week.

You get messages from U.S. administration officials, praising Qatar and calling for calm and then you have President Trump, on the other hand, with what is seen as inflammatory statements.

And we've heard Qatar's position. They have repeatedly denied these accusations. And they have said that the United States needs to be getting its information from a different source, not rival countries. And they say that they are the victims of this coordinated campaign of

misinformation. The president's comments yesterday will likely make the situation and this crisis worse.

And this is not just a diplomatic crisis, this is a crisis that is impacting people.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): The holy month of Ramadan is a time when extended families meet and enjoy generations or traditions. But the political crisis in the Gulf is threatening to tear this family apart.

Dr. Wafaa Al Yazeedi is a Qatari single mother. Her children are Bahraini citizens. In Gulf countries, children take the citizenship of their father. And when Bahrain along with other countries severed ties with Qatar this month, it ordered its nationals to leave Qatar immediately.

DR. WAFAA AL YAZEEDI, QATARI CITIZEN: I am in the risk of losing my children. But I believe it is my dream all my life to raise them around me and to get married from around me --


AL YAZEEDI: -- and to be happy all the day. Now I may lose my children any minute.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): The situation is uncertain but they believe that if they defy this order, Al Yazeedi's children would lose their Bahraini passports, leaving them stateless.

ALANOOD ALJALAHMA (PH), QATARI RESIDENT: My mom raised us by herself and it's tough especially because she's a single mother but that made us closer. And now, after 21 years, to decide us to pull us apart, based on the passport that we have, I mean, families are beyond passports.

It makes no sense to separate them based on what your passport.

At the end we're all humans, aren't we?

RASHED ALJALAHMA (PH), QATARI RESIDENT: I've been raised all my life in Qatar. I've lived with my mother. I've never like -- I've gone to Bahrain four times and it was just to visit family. And no I don't have any family that's worth visiting in Bahrain.

I wouldn't classify myself as a Bahraini because, you know, there is a English saying. It says your home is where your heart is and my heart is in this place.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): For Rashed, who is an aeronautical engineer, and Alanood, who is studying medicine at a branch of an Ivy league university in Doha, this is not just about being separated from their mother. RASHED ALJALAHMA (PH): My point of view right now is my education and to further develop myself and it's only that. And that is what is really important to me. And this country has given me everything to do that.

And then they say, go back to the country that holds your 48 pages of a document?

It's absurd.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): According to Qatari government figures, nearly 6,500 Qatari citizens are married to Emiratis, Saudis or Bahrainis.

ALANOOD ALJALAHMA (PH): It's not right. Children should never be separated from their parents, especially by force. I don't understand it. Especially with like a region that has multiple families from different countries. It makes no sense.

AL YAZEEDI: I never think that it would be happen in our country and in the Gulf region.

By who?

By countries who they are rise (ph). Brothers and sisters and neighbors who live all the life with us. Why?

KARADSHEH (voice-over): No one knows how or when the crisis will end, leaving thousands of families like this one living in limbo.


KARADSHEH: And Natalie, this is the story of one family. Amnesty International has just released a report with many other similar stories. And they are asking and they're calling on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to respect human rights and stop "toying with people's lives," as they put it.

ALLEN: It's a poignant example of how this is touching so many. Thank you so much, Jomana Karadsheh, for us there.

And the foreign ministers from Qatar and Russia will meet next hour. Moscow promising to help mediate this crisis in the region.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, 19 million people in the United States watched an explosive day of testimony in the Russia investigation. But there is a massive division as well in how the media interpreted what happened on that day.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, the U.K. election had some calling for delayed Brexit talks. What German chancellor Angela Merkel says about that -- coming up here.


(MUSIC PLAYING) GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. Our top stories this hour:



HOWELL (voice-over): The decision to call that snap election. People looking back at this, when the election was called, Conservatives had such a commanding lead in the polls, many people thought they would gain dozens of seats.

ALLEN: Nothing really snappy about it. Now it lingers on. Critics and members within her own ranks are questioning Ms. May's leadership. Here is more from our Nick Glass.


NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Solemn, if not grim- faced, her prepared statement just 2.5 minutes long, nothing ad libbed and no reference to the overnight election trauma.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen. And I will now form a government, a government that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.

GLASS (voice-over): The reality is Theresa May is a diminished, politically damaged figure. It had been a long, long night, a lady in red just 10 hours earlier, but just look at the body language, the forced smile, the anxiety, the awareness that every camera was on her.

There was nothing, absolutely nothing, to celebrate. And by her standards, her speech was hesitant.

MAY: And thank you to all those who have once again supported me as a Member of Parliament from Maidenhead.

GLASS (voice-over): She seemed more human, in shock, a spanner in the autopilot.

MAY: At this time, more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability.

GLASS (voice-over): The speech and the applause was brief. She could hardly get out of there fast enough.

And so into the night and back to London and time in the car to digest the catastrophe. She had asked for support to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations. She had manifestly failed to get it.

On a good Election Night, party workers would have crowded the steps at Conservative Party headquarters to welcome her. This time there was nobody, just an open door. Her cabinet, including her foreign secretary, were either silent or suddenly noncommittal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you still supporting Ms. May?


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Early days. It's early days and I think everybody should contain themselves until they see that -- (INAUDIBLE), how are you. Sorry. There we go. Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

GLASS (voice-over): Come daybreak and the contrasts couldn't have been greater. The triumphant Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, all hugs and smiles and waves and thumbs up. Any impartial observer outside Labour Party headquarters would have thought he'd won the election.

The fact is Labour made huge gains as Britain reverted to old tribal ways, the vote largely split between the twin rocks of Conservative and Labour.

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.

GLASS (voice-over): Brexit negotiations are scheduled to start on June 19th. They promise, quote, "to be a bloody difficult woman in the negotiations."

A spokesman for the European Parliament has tweeted this, "Fact is, this morning, she looks bloody weak."

The presse de corps (sic) outside 10 Downing Street could hardly have been briefer. Everything seemed rushed. No smiles, a certain nervousness. Theresa May was simply impatient to get away from the cameras and back inside -- Nick Glass, CNN, in Central London.


HOWELL: Nick Glass, thank you.

So again, the Brexit talks are looming, just days away now and the British election was watched closely by E.U. leaders.

ALLEN: German chancellor Angela Merkel was in Mexico Friday and she said this about the talks set for June 19th.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): On our end, we are ready for the negotiations. We are ready. We have completed the guidelines, the framework.

And from everything I've heard from Britain today, it will respect their negotiations calendar. We want to do this quickly, respecting the calendar. Right now, I don't see any obstacles for the negotiations to take place as planned.


ALLEN: Other E.U. leaders have also signaled Brexit talks will go ahead as scheduled. For what to expect from those talks, we're joined now from Belgium, Ryan Heath. He's the senior E.U. correspondent for Politico.

So, Ryan, the optimism there from Angela Merkel but how do these talks get underway with the mess that is underway in the U.K. with the leadership?

RYAN HEATH, POLITICO: Well, they can obviously get under way, it's just a matter of people turning up in a room.

But the real question for people in Brussels now is who are they dealing with?

Will Theresa May still be there in three weeks or three months?

So the E.U. will obviously try to negotiate in good faith but I don't think that there is a lot of confidence that what begins on the 19th of June is really going to last and hold towards the end of this year and into a final deal in 2019.

And then there are questions about the attitude that the British are bringing to the negotiation. I think there could be a mischaracterization of what is to be achieved here. It's treated from London a little bit like it's a war, where there must be winners and losers.

But really this is about two parties who say they want a mutually beneficial relationship. So they should be in a different, compromising frame of mind rather than worrying about secret strategies and who can crush the other side.

ALLEN: Hopefully, that will be not the prevailing thought there, as you say. And now we're hearing, because of her weakened support and others getting support, that it could affect whether there is a soft Brexit, a hard Brexit, a business-friendly Brexit.

What do you think?

HEATH: Well, it's very clear that Theresa May lost her mandate to really pursue that extreme hard Brexit. And by that we mean the U.K. leaving both the wider E.U. single market and the more specific single market for goods, known as the customs union.

But the problem for Theresa May in changing her position is that she set up very strict red lines around sovereignty.

So if the U.K. were to stay in these elements of the E.U. single market, they are prevented from negotiating trade deals with third parties. They can't go to the U.S. and China and other major countries and say let's do a bilateral trade deal and they would have to accept the freedom of movement of people.

So these two red lines, where the U.K. says it wants a global Britain and the freedom to do trade deals and it wants to control its own borders, if Theresa May changes her tack to a softer Brexit, she loses what with she promised on those red lines. So it's a really difficult situation for the new U.K. government.

ALLEN: And you're saying the folks there in Brussels really don't know who will show up when these negotiations begin.

At what point might they understand who is going to be there and how it might go, just from day one?

HEATH: Yes. Well, we know that David Davis is reappointed effectively as the Brexit minister. So we can only assume that --


HEATH: -- he will face off the table from a man called Michel Barnier, who is a former French foreign minister, a former commissioner from France here in Belgium, a very experienced European politician.

So those two should be the main interlocutors at the table and they'll be surrounded by their civil servants. But there has been a lot of speculation that the talks might go more smoothly if those two key figures aren't really there for all of the meetings.

If you remove some of those politically charged people and moments and just let the civil servants do the negotiating, then maybe you can essentially lower the political temperature and move forward more quickly.

But it will be a very difficult moment for the U.K. because they will be fighting domestic political fire; there will be a lot of tension around what the Democratic Unionist Party will demand, what are the strings that they are going to attach to this deal with Theresa May.

So I think that there will be a lot of distraction away from the Brexit table and not necessarily the ability for the U.K. to focus on the task at hand when these discussions kick off on June 19th.

ALLEN: If it weren't already complicated enough, now this. Thank you so much, Ryan Heath, the senior E.U. correspondent for Politico. We appreciate you joining us.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, the testimony had millions of Americans glued to their televisions. We're all watching the same thing though.

But how could the media see this so differently?




HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

Returning now to our top story, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, says he's been vindicated after hearing the testimony of the fired FBI director James Comey.

ALLEN: Mr. Trump has made an extraordinary offer to be sworn in and put his version of their conversations on the record. Comey's hearing was either really bad for the president or really good. It really depends whom you ask and where you get your information. Here's our media reporter, Brian Stelter.



BRIAN STELTER, CNNMONEY SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a hearing seen in the eye of the beholder.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST: A huge victory for Donald Trump today and a massive defeat for the Democrats and, of course, the propaganda media.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Well, this will end bad.

STELTER (voice-over): And on the Right, some Conservatives are declaring victory and saying it's already over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Jim Comey's credibility is at about zero right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that this is all passed, he can go back to doing what he promised he was going to do. There is no clouds, there's nothing getting in his way. They can't be obstructionist.

STELTER (voice-over): Trump's son says the clouds have parted. But if you change the channel, it is stormier than ever.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Well, today was, really was, as it was predicted to be, the worst day of the Trump presidency.

STELTER (voice-over): It's like hearing about a different hearing.

O'DONNELL: Imagine, right now at this moment, the seething rage that you know the president is living with.

STELTER (voice-over): This battle of ideas is not going away. It's a choose-your-own-news situation.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: So let's see, where are we now?

A month of shrinking hype, millions of words of ink, hundreds of hours of the shrillest television ever produced add up to pretty much nothing.

STELTER (voice-over): There is a split between the pro-Trump media and the mainstream media. FOX opinion hosts are hoping for the best while veterans of D.C. scandals know there is much more to come.

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think there is a big task. I think we now have about 5 percent to 10 percent --

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: Five percent to 10 percent?

WOODWARD: -- of the answers to the questions we need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're sort of in the middle, beginning of the middle of this process, certainly not the end of this process.

STELTER (voice-over): Contradicting Trump's son, experts are saying this is far from over.

BOB SCHIEFFER, FORMER MODERATOR, "FACE THE NATION": My general rule is, when things look pretty bad, from what we know, it's usually worse. This is extremely serious.

STELTER (voice-over): Try telling that to Trump backers like Corey Lewandowski, who claim leaks are the real story.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What we've seen from Jim Comey is his goal is manipulate the media, manipulate the press. He is part of the deep state. He's everything that is wrong in Washington.

STELTER (voice-over): On Twitter, the president confirms that he is watching, thanking FOX's conservative themed morning show for its "great reporting" and blasting what he calls "false statements and lies" from Comey.

The two men can't agree on the facts. And in a polarized media world, neither can the country.


HOWELL: It's important to point out -- and Brian made this in his report made this point -- but the difference between opinion hosts and opinion shows and also news shows with journalists reporting the news. So a lot to sort through.

That was Brian Stelter reporting for us.

ALLEN: Brazil's top court has handed the country's president a big legal victory.

HOWELL: Michel Temer and former president Dilma Rousseff were acquitted Friday of receiving illegal campaign funds during elections three years ago. Mr. Temer is still being investigated for alleged corruption and obstruction of justice but he denies any wrongdoing.

ALLEN: Ms. Rousseff was ousted as president after the senate convicted her of breaking budgetary laws.

(MUSIC PLAYING) ALLEN (voice-over): Coming up here, experts call it a youthquake. Young voters turned out in huge numbers for the snap election in the U.K. and we explore how they voted.





HOWELL: The snap election that was called in the U.K. So the prime minister, Theresa May, she won but actually, in a way, lost her strong position there. And Jeremy Corbyn was a big winner but one of the reasons that he won: young voters.

ALLEN: They went to the polls on Thursday in huge numbers to back Corbyn's Labour Party and their turnout was almost double what it was in 2015.

Why did they suddenly wake up?

Well, here is our Nina dos Santos.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): From humorous GIFs to memorable memes and #GrindForCorbyn, Britain's youth wore its political colors with pride for this election, providing pivotal support for a resurgent Labour Party under its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Since Theresa May called the snap election eight weeks ago, over 1 million 18- to 24-year olds registered to vote, thanks in part to organizations like Bite the Ballot, set up to give young people a voice in Westminster, not just online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the mobilization of the youth vote has come down to a few things. They are not a political priority because they are not registered to vote. The manifesto pledges are not going to be tailored to them.

It now has become I think a time for them to realize these things are happening with or without us. It's time for us to get involved. It's time for us to take our place at the table so we're not continuously on the menu.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): For the first time in their generation, youngsters didn't just sign up, they showed up in droves. Although official data won't be released for a week, the head of the U.K.'s National Union of Students tweeted that turnout among the young was 72 percent.

Other pollsters also put early estimates for turnout as high as 70 percent, too. And that compares to just 43 percent in the last general election two years ago. To Britain's young, yes, this vote was about Brexit but it was also

about so much more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think young people carry a lot of empathy toward the state of the planet, the state of the society as a whole, the well-being of individuals, the level of homelessness, the level of food banks.

And I think that they see this country as a wealthy country and are tired of this, oh, we have to do it because we haven't got any money.


DOS SANTOS (voice-over): This video produced by Corbyn's grassroots group Momentum, pitting a banker's luxurious lifestyle against the frugal existence of a nurse was shared more than 2 million times on Facebook in just the first 24 hours since its release.

While unknown band Captain SKA found fame on the 'Net with its single, "Liar, Liar, Ge2017"


DOS SANTOS (voice-over): For song's writer, Tenderpiece, (ph) to highlight --


DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Theresa May's stream of policy U-turns and a generation left behind in the world's fifth biggest economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're an adult in this country now. You're facing tens of thousands of pounds of student debt, uncertainty about zero hours contracts, just a fairly bleak future with a housing market that's unaffordable for most people.

So I think that -- it sort of tapped into that really. And I think it's just a lot of young people that, this has been the vehicle for their frustration.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Frustration turned into motivation and a restless youth which ultimately cost Theresa May her majority -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


HOWELL: It is good to see young people like me getting involved.

I'm just --


HOWELL: -- I'm just (INAUDIBLE).

Jeremy Corbyn, let's talk more about him.

ALLEN: All right, George.

HOWELL: Yes, I thought I'd try it.

Feeling like a rock star these days more than a politician, the U.K. Labour leader got a hero's welcome outside his local pub in North London following Thursday's general election. Supporters, they shook his hand, they took selfies with the leader as he celebrated his party's electoral gains against the Tories.

ALLEN: And as Nina just reported, it's the young people that he can credit for that -- not George. And on social media, the #CansForCorbyn is trending. There's George there.

Now the post shows supporters cracking open beer cans to celebrate Corbyn's newfound success.

Any excuse to drink beer.

HOWELL: Absolutely.

Before we close this hour, let's go into this, from one big win to another, LeBron James and the Cavaliers stayed alive in the NBA finals with a record-setting offensive performance.

ALLEN: They put up 86 points in the first half, the kind of score you might see over an entire game. Final score Cavs 137, Golden State 116. It's the Warriors' first loss of the postseason and cost them a sweep of the Best of Seven series but they will be able to steal the title on home court in Oakland Monday.

HOWELL: That said, anyone who remembers last year they'll recall these same Cavaliers were down 3-1 but they pulled off the improbable upset. Now we'll see if they can do it again, come from behind in a deeper deficit.


ALLEN: But that's it for this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues right after the break. Stay with us.