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New Drama In Trump White House; Scaramucci Raises Preibus' Name In Leak Tweet; Trump Intensifiesd Attacks On Attorney General; Trump To Revive Military Ban On Transgender People; Venezuela's 48-Hour Strike Underway; Britain To Ban Gasoline & Diesel Cars In 2040; President Maduro Rejects U.S. Sanctions; Despacito Artist Slams Maduro For Using Song; The U.K. Is Europe's Biggest Car Market. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 27, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, the new drama behind the walls of the White House. Why is a late night tweet from Donald Trump's new communications director raising eyebrows?

VAUSE: At the very least, OK. Also ahead, Britain plans to ban the sale of petrol in diesel cars, but not in 23 more years. An activist says that's just too little too late.

SOARES: And the future of fake news. Why it's going to get even harder to spot the difference between what's real and what's not?

VAUSE: Hello, everybody! Thank you for staying with us. I'm John Vause.

SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares, and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

VAUSE: On of the series of late night tweet from incoming White House Communications Director is raising questions about the future of Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus. Anthony Scaramucci sent out this tweet: "In the leak of my financial disclosure information, which is a felony. I will be contacting FBI and the Justice Department has taken swamp at ranks 45." And we should note that Mr. Scaramucci has since deleted that tweet.

SOARES: But before he deleted that, in another tweet, CNN Contributor, Ryan Lizza, explained this: "In case there's any ambiguity in his tweet, I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Reince for leaking."

VAUSE: If the intrigue continues. Scaramucci followed up with this: "Wrong! It was public notice to leakers that all senior administration officials' are helping to end illegal leaks." OK. Let's figure out what exactly is going on here: Democratic Strategist, Caroline Heldman; and CNN Political Commentator and Republican Consultant, John Thomas. The tweet was there, John, eventually, it was taken away, we're all wrong. No, I don't want to investigate it.



THOMAS: But I just going to say, the first tweet was not an accident. You don't fire off that big of a shot, and not know exactly what you're doing. I mean, looks like he was accusing Reince -- by the way, on background, we know that Trump has wanted Reince gone for a long time. So, this isn't a surprise. And you don't make these kinds of actions without the approval of your boss.

VAUSE: Caroline, I mean, the question is: how much of this is happening with Donald Trump's approval, I guess?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It appears to follow Donald Trump's pattern quite well, right? Where, on his show, he wasn't actually doing the firing. We know from his bio that he doesn't like to fire people directly. So, perhaps Scaramucci, you know, got the go ahead from Donald Trump here to give Reince another little push out the door. There've been many rumors that he will be gone, and you know, we expect it any week now or any day now. So, it's not surprising, I think, that he had Scaramucci do this.

SOARES: Well, we know that Scaramucci met with him for dinners. We know they've been talking. But I mean, this is highly accusatory, isn't it?


SOARES: The fact that it's being done via Twitter. And we have heard the president talk so much in the last few days about loyalty, about leaks, leaks, leaks. But the way it is pointing doesn't look great for his own administration.

THOMAS: No, but you remember, Scaramucci was brought in -- in large part to end these leaks once in for all. I heard Scaramucci, I think it was on CNN, say that if that means he has to fire every single person, you know, in the White House, he'll do it -- certainly, starting in the comms department. And you start to see this house being cleaned. There are only a few long-standing voices, Reince being one of them. And remember, Reince was never been part of drain the swamp, he's the establishment holdover. See, you see he might have conflicting loyalties more than just to President Trump.

VAUSE: Caroline, every administration, when it gets into trouble, the first group of people they'd blamed, the communications department. And that seems to be what's happening here. I mean, that is a greater problem to this administration, is it?

HELDMAN: It's not where the problem lies, the problem lies at the top, the problem lies with a president who gives conflicting messages, with -- that conflict with his comms team. A president who sends somebody out to talk to the press and then contradicts what they say three hours later. That's why, I actually think, it has a lot more to do with Donald Trump's style than it does his communications office.

With that said, you know, Sean Spicer was not the best person for the role. Jason Miller, his original hire ran into a number of issues, I think. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is probably their best bet in the sense that she's nice and calm, and doesn't make comment about women's appearance, doesn't tweet late at night and then give everybody whiplash by the draw in the tweet. So, the most professional staff member I've seen so far is Huckabee Sanders.

VAUSE: Well, Scaramucci, he's a night time tweeter by looks of things. Donald Trump is a morning tweeter.


[01:05:06] VAUSE: And we saw on Wednesday, three early morning tweets from the president which essentially redefined and rewrote U.S. policy when it comes to transgender Americans serving in the military. According to the president, they are now banned. He said this in three tweets. We got the details from Jeff Zeleny.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House struggling tonight, to answer questions about President Trump's surprise announcement: forbidding transgender Americans from serving in the United States Military. The president, reversing an Obama administration policy with little explanation, saying on Twitter, "After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." Those words surprised many at the Pentagon and sparked confusion that new White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, had difficulty explaining.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: When the president made the decision yesterday, the secretary of defense was immediately informed as were the rest of the national security team. That had been part of this ongoing conversation.

ZELENY: The White House, unable to clarify whether transgender members of the military serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere would be removed from their posts.

SANDERS: That's something that the Department Of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place. This was a military decision. This was about military readiness. This is about unit cohesion. This is about resources within the military and nothing more.

ZELENY: Under persistent questions, Sanders, finally said, she had nothing else to say about a major policy change.

SANDERS: I'll keep you posted. But if those were the only questions we have, I mean, I'll call it a day.

ZELENY: All this, as the White House dealt with more fallout from the president's ongoing attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions, leaving the White House today is refusing to give in to a withering week-long assault from the president. At the very hour, Sessions was in the West Wing for a routine meeting not with the president. Mr. Trump leveled another broadside against his attorney general.

In back-to-back messages on Twitter, the president criticized him for not removing Andrew McCabe as acting Director of the FBI. "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace acting FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of the Clinton investigation but got big dollars for wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives? Drain the swamp!" It's the latest move in an extraordinary, yet one-way feud between the White House and top officials at the Justice Department.

SANDERS: Well, if you can be disappointed in someone, but still wants them to continue to do their job. And that's where they are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he still want him to continue in that job?

SANDERS: I think that I'd made clear last week, if there comes a point he doesn't, he'll make that decision.

ZELENY: The president's public shaming of Sessions has sparked an unusually intense GOP backlash on Capitol Hill. From Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah:

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: I don't fully understand why the president said what he said. But I think Jeff deserves, you know, better treatment.

ZELENY: To Senator Richard Shelby, who like Sessions, is an Alabama Republican.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: He's not the president's personal lawyer. He's an Attorney General of the United States. He took an oath to the Constitution, not to the president. And I think the president needs to realize that.

ZELENY: Now, those Republican Senators being highly critical of the president's words against Jeff Sessions, several other Republican Senators also raising questions about the president's decision today on transgender soldiers, sailors, marines, and others. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, Decorated Veteran, and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, he said that anyone should be able to serve their country if they are fit to do so. He was blasting the president's decision and how he made it on Twitter. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: OK. Back now to Dave and Caroline, the Washington Post reported in the last couple of hours, some advisers have come away convinced that Trump is determined to ultimately remove Sessions, and is seriously considering a recess appointment to replace him. An idea that has been discussed on some of the cable news shows the president (INAUDIBLE). These advisors of Trump would prefer that the attorney general resigns, rather than have to be fire. So, Caroline, a recess appointment for a new attorney general, what need Senate confirmation? What happens then?

HELDMAN: Well, requires 10 days, and -- a 10 days session. And from the rumblings that I heard reported in the press and from friends on the Hill, it's not going to happen. There is enough animosity. If something happens over Sessions, there will be enough animosity in the Senate that a number of GOP members will not let that happen. So, what they'll do is they'll run many sessions or they'll make sure that it doesn't run for ten days so that Trump can't do that.

VAUSE: This June, Obama's term.

HELDMAN: Exactly.

SOARES: Well, meanwhile, it seems that President Trump continues to fire some vitriol at some members of his cabinet. This is what he tormented at Attorney General, this is what he said, "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace acting FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of the Clinton investigation but got big dollars for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives? Drain the swamp."

How much is this? I mean, for an international audience trying to explain this. How much is this about pushing him into a corner here? How much longer do you think he can sustain this vitriol coming from the president?

[01:10:31] THOMAS: Senator Sessions has been through a lot -- A.G. Sessions has been through a lot of battles as a Senator. I mean, he's one of the most well respected former Senators. So, he got a pretty thick skin. I think he can endure a lot of this, but you're right, that's likely Trump's strategy to hope that he'll resign, say I can no longer do my job, not having Trump fire him. So, they're going to see Trump just keep throwing shade at him again and again, to see if it'll make him crack. I don't think a couple of tweets are going to make the attorney general crack here.

VAUSE: But there is -- you know there's a lot of reporting that, you know, Seniors Aides within the White House, Steve Bannon, and Reince Priebus, are actually approaching the president, saying, hey, wind it back because this guy is big with your base. They like him a lot more before they liked you. And it does seem to be sort of a different message or a different spin coming out of the White House when it comes to this rift between President Trump and the Attorney General. This is, well, Anthony Scaramucci again. Listen to this.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Everybody has personality differences, and everybody has a different style, aspect to their personality. One of the things that I like about the president that some in Washington, perhaps, don't like about the president, is the up-frontness.


VAUSE: Sorry, John, obviously. I'm used to Dave being here. THOMAS: Yes, yes, and you're not Dave.


VAUSE: But Caroline, just to what Scaramucci said, really? A personality difference? I mean, that's some, you know, A grade spin.

HELDMAN: It is. And he is not just really good at his job. This is not the person I would've put in if I were, you know, for lack of better term, a hothead like Trump. I would probably not put somebody in that position who's a hot head like me. And he mimics the president's gestures. We now see him mimicking him on Twitter. I don't find him to be really good at this. And I think this is the most recent example that he's good at spin, but it's easy to see through it.

THOMAS: But that's precisely why Trump hired him. You see why a mini Trump out there on the lectern, or in the Communications Department channeling Trump, fighting for Trump, like Trump would himself.

HELDMAN: I think you're right. But I don't think that's smart, do you?

THOMAS: I mean, look --

VAUSE: You see the enabler.


THOMAS: But that's what Trump's looking for.

VAUSE: Right.

THOMAS: You know, I think he's tired of having a communications team that might be pushing back on Trump's instincts. Trump is a victim of his own success.

VAUSE: So, these guys going to let Trump be Trump.

THOMAS: Clearly, Scaramucci is Trump Jr.

SOARES: But he likes the image of himself in Scaramucci.

THOMAS: You got exactly what I'm saying.

SOARES: Well, I want to get back to John's previous question on A.G. Sessions. Because, today, Gloria Borger writing to This is what she wrote: "But as you watch the president publicly troll, trash, and torment, Attorney General Jeff Sessions every day. The man who was the first Senator to endorse him, who never abandoned his candidate (even the darkest days of the Access Hollywood tape), who happily gave up a 20-year Senate career to serve -- you have to understand this could happen to you. What climate does, Caroline, does this create in the Republican Party?

HELDMAN: Well, I know that Sessions has a thick skin, but it feels to me like it creates a hostile environment. We're in a new territory. We've never seen anything like this. You know, every third day we're in new territory with Trump. But this feels particular setting it feels like workplace harassment. I think it would be illegal in another setting, perhaps, even here. But at the end of the day, it's really clear that Trump is trying to remove Sessions because it all leads back to Russia, right? That Sessions has the power to go slow and stop the Mueller investigation. And if he replaces him, then his successor will be able to do that. So, it seems to me like it's pretty, obviously, to try to curb Russia, and he's using extreme tactics to get there.

VAUSE: Of course, the other big news out today was the ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. And during the election campaign, the president promised to be a friend to the LGBTQ Community and to fight for their rights. This is just some of what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And by the way, the LBGT Community is just -- what's happened to them is just so sad. And to be thinking about where their policies are currently with this administration is a disgrace to that community, I will tell you right now.


VAUSE: John, the past six months have sort of proved to be the opposite. They didn't have pride month last month. They removed some of the protections for transgender students in public schools when it comes to, you know, being able to use bathrooms in their schools, which they identify with as opposed to the ones on their birth certificate. You know, this -- the criticism is, this administration is no friend to the LGBTQ community.

[01:14:57] THOMAS: I think the decision today was likely, twofold. One is, Trump received advice from people in the military and said we don't -- this is not productive to have this class of people within the military. And the second is it's politics. You know, Trump has to deliver on some of his big promises. He hasn't delivered on health care or tax reform but increasing military budget. In order to get that budget approved, conservative members of the House wouldn't vote for bill if included funding for this politics.

[01:15:35] SOARES: But some feeling pain of this decision. The president's daughter and White House Adviser always seen as somewhat progressive, she tweeted a few weeks ago. I'm proud to support LGBT friends and Americans who have made immense contributions to society and economy. Now facing a backlash on social media. Here are just few examples. Words without actions mean nothing, openly supported and campaigned for most anti-LGBT administration. You mean nothing to us. How damaging is this?

HELDMAN: Ivanka Trump was trotted out to tone him down but it's clear they're night and day. He did perform support for LGBT folks but that's not where his heart is. It is an issue of getting military budget passed but to do so he threw Americans under the bus who deserved to be in the military. Everybody deserves to be a military hero if they want that path. As many as 15,000 transgender people are in the armed forces.

VAUSE: They are the largest employer of transgender people in the world and all got pink slips. What do you tackle first? Sessions? Where do you start with this? Little pickle. Assuming pickles is real kid, which I don't believe for a minute, how much money do you have?

HELDEMAN: He can't vote.

VAUSE: Pickle, real, fake?

THOMAS: I'm sure it's real. The White House gets a lot of letters.

HELDMAN: I'd like to see the proportion of hate mail versus love mail.

THOMAS: Yes, sure.

SOARES: Thank you very much. Coming up, a two-day national strike to challenge the country's government is underway in Venezuela.

VAUSE: Also, Britain is tackling air pollution, steps taken to get all the clunkers off the road.


[01:20:41] VAUSE: The U.S. has hit 13 current and former Venezuelan government officials with sanctions. It meant to pressure President Nicholas Maduro to stop coming election.

SOARES: It continued a two-day strike against the government. They say the vote is an attempt by President Maduro to turn the country into a dictatorship.

VAUSE: But Maduro says he won't be intimidated by the United States.


NICHOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT, VENEZUELA (through translation): You have all Venezuela's support against this unlawful insolent country. The imperialists of the United States believe they're the government of the world and Venezuelans can accept that. We do not accept it and repudiate it.


SOARES: Meantime, using popular hit as campaign song to promote his side in the election.

VAUSE: But the person who wrote the song is not very happy. Here's Paula Newton

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Nicholas Maduro tried to use the most streamed song of all time to entice voters, instead provoked more protest. The singer told the President to stop using his hit single Despacito for what he called manipulation and propaganda. But the idea of doing battle over pop culture anthem seems absurd when real battle is on the streets. Protesters waging fierce street battles over coming referendum could give Maduro sweeping new powers.

Within hours of returning to Venezuela, we witnessed intense confrontations. Opposition says it's fighting for last remnants of freedom here. Protesters hold a vigil for deaths of their own. More than 100 killed already in few months' protest. And Maria is getting ready for what's to come. A medical student, she and hundreds of volunteers like her prep ambulances, first aid kits and field hospitals. This improvised medical teams save lives as political sail worsens.

Venezuelans continued bleak ritual, lining up for basic food they can afford, with each branding of number, more frustration. Venezuelans used to line up for hours for basic supplies but this week things are different. The opposition called for two-day strike and in the face of that many stocking up as best they can for fear of the violence that is to come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): It's terrible, it's very hard. There is a lot of insecurity. It's been almost three weeks we barely leave the house. The only to shop or stay close to home.

NEWTON: for some good reason, this week. more than many others Venezuela seems on the brink of defining political confrontation. Here, people are bracing for fallout. Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.


SOARES: to the U.K. now. The country plans to ban the sale of new gasoline for diesel to improve air quality and aiming for every car on the U.K. roads to be emission free, green revolution. How viable or realistic is this? Ed Kim, the Vice President at Auto Pacific leads industry analysis operations. Thanks for coming on the show.


SOARES: This is hybrid cars in U.K. About percent of the U.K. market. How realistic is this plan?

KIM: It's actually a lot more realistic and feasible than it sounds. There's a lot of growth that's about to happen in the hybrid car space. In the coming years, we're going to see technologies like 48 volt hybrids, a low cost hybrid system that does give -- provide some useful improvements in fuel economy and going to start becoming common to the point where I think actually U.K. could reach that goal even without this initiative.

SOARES: It begs the question, what happens to all the petrol cars? How do you make the switch?

KIM: A lot go through attrition. Older cars go out of service and newer come in and increasingly hybrid. U.K. is not talking about full electric or anything like that by 2040. Hybrids are commonplace today, something widely and readily available part of that initiative.

SOARES: But when I was looking at numbers, and many people looking at buying hybrid cars, there is a tiny problem, much more expensive than normal cars. Does the industry have to switch in order to make that more attractive to people?

KIM: To that point, our research at auto pacific has consistently shown that consumers are not going to make that switch unless there's a financial advantage to doing so. And that is something that's going to start happening. Cost of batteries coming down drastically, next five or ten years expecting cost to get so low that we'll get to parity with gasoline and diesel cars sooner than people think.

SOARES: So prices will start to decrease?

KIM: Yes.

SOARES: I kind of understand the metaphor. But what are the concerns for the auto industry?

KIM: There is a lot of change that needs to happen. But like I said earlier, this is change that's already happening. There's already a lot of momentum behind this change. Mr. Palmer was talking about this moon shot well by 2040, 22 years from now or little over, I think we're -- we have enough momentum. We're well on the way.

SOARES: Some people say the country's efforts are not aggressive enough. France set 2040 also as target but Norway from 2025, and India wants to do so by 2030.

KIM: Correct.

SOARES: Do you think it is that one is realistic but could entice other countries?

KIM: In the case of Norway and India, it may be realistic. In Norway, it's smaller market. So the challenge of getting a fully electrified fleet in seven years is not as hard as would be for U.K. or U.S. in case of India, that is emerging market, you know, vehicle ownership still relatively uncommon but set to grow very aggressively over the next decade or so. To get that market electrified is in a lot of ways easier than a market that's saturated with gasoline cars.

[01:29:43] SOARES: You don't have to change anything, but you have to just start from scratch. Ed Kim, thank you very much.

VAUSE: More on the U.S. President's announcement to ban transgender people from military service. More on people who might soon be out of a job.



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thanks for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Isa Soares. The headlines this hour:



VAUSE: That's the U.S. Army band performing a few years ago. In fact, the Pentagon has more than 130 military bands with more than 6,000 musicians.

All that tradition, pomp and circumstance costs U.S. taxpayers more than $400 million every year, a bargain, according to the military, because of the peace and goodwill the bands spread around the world.

But when it comes to thousands of transgender personnel in the U.S. military, President Donald Trump has cited the high cost of their medical treatment, between $2 million and $8 million a year, according to one study, as one of the main reasons to reverse a year-old Obama- era policy which allowed transgender people to openly serve.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've already been serving for over a year. We've caused no disruption.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Openly since the ban was lifted? Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Openly since June of 2016. We've caused no disruptions, there's been no readiness issues. We continue to deploy. We are company commanders, special operators, drill sergeants, who are continuing to do the mission. And there is nothing that has held us back with regard to moving forward on the policy.


VAUSE: The early morning Twitter announcement by President Trump, effectively --


VAUSE: -- banning transgender Americans from military service, seemed to be a surprise to the Pentagon, to the White House and, of course, the LGBTQ community.

Zeke Stokes is a vice president with the advocacy group, GLAAD. He joins us from New York. Zeke, thanks for coming in. It seems like the argument, the high cost

of medical care, that was debunked about five minutes after the president's first tweet. This seems to have a lot more to do with the president looking for a political win at the expense of transgender soldiers.

ZEKE STOKES, GLAAD: Well, his tweets were just filled with factual inaccuracies. The fact is that it appears he wasn't consulting at least the service chiefs because they were completely taken by surprise and the Pentagon was as well.

When it comes to the cost, the cost for treating medically transgender service members in this country is negligible, especially when you think about what it costs to train them to do their job in the first place.

When I think about a service member named Landon Wilson, who was discharged in 2014, he was a naval cryptologist. It cost the military $500,000 to train him to do his job.

It would have only cost them $30,000 over course of his entire career to give him the medical treatment he needed in order to serve in our armed services. And they discharged him instead.

So the real cost is in attacking these service members, in compromising our military readiness and unit cohesion and in putting the lives and careers of 15,000 actively serving transgender service members on the line.

VAUSE: Many have spoken out against this decision by President Trump. One of the most notable, though, is Kristin Beck, a transgender former Navy SEAL. This is part of what she said.


KRISTIN BECK, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, we don't want anything extra. I don't want any extra money, extra rights, I don't want anything extra. I just want what any other American citizen would be offered, dignity and respect and the ability to serve my country. It's all we're asking for. I don't want anything extra.


VAUSE: They just want respect. They just want to serve their country. But there's a lot of confusion and misconception when it comes to what it actually means to be a transgender person and the president seems to be confused. You alluded to this.

He seems to be suggesting that all transgender people in the military want gender-related medical treatment. They want surgery.

That's just not the case, is it?

STOKES: Not at all. The fact is that transgender people have been serving in our military since our military began and 15,000 of the are serving right now, as we speak. These are folks who put their lives on the line, who sign their name

on the dotted line to put their lives on the line to protect U.S. citizens, to protect this country, to protect our interests around the world, to, indeed, protect President Trump and his family.

And so they deserve for their service to be honored, not erased by this president. But it is just the latest example of this administration trying to erase the LGBTQ community. It started on day one.

And despite what president said throughout his campaign, we've been on the agenda from day one. He deleted us from the White House website. A few weeks later, he deleted us from the 2020 census. We won't be counted this time.

And this tweet this morning, trying to erase trans service members from our military, is just latest example.

VAUSE: It has not gone unnoticed that President Trump's announcement on transgender service people serving in the military came 69 years to the day that President Truman signed an executive order ending segregation in the U.S. armed forces.

And that executive order by Truman, that essentially became the model for integrating women, ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," moves which a lot of people have argued and argued successfully have actually strengthened the U.S. military.

STOKES: Absolutely. The U.S. military has been strengthened through diversity over the last few decades. And it did start with Harry Truman desegregating the services. It started with women being promoted through the services and gaining entry to the service academies. It continued with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the path that President Obama created for transgender service members to serve openly with honor and with integrity and without fear of losing their jobs just because of who they are.

And so for this president to try to circumvent the will of the service members and military leadership that have said we're ready for this and play politics with these careers and these lives is just reprehensible.

VAUSE: The other thing which is not really clear right now, policy on Twitter doesn't actually make a lot of sense. It's not clear if this is in fact an official directive, it's official policy. How will it be implemented?

What are the legal consequences here?

This could still be facing a whole lot of legal challenges.

STOKES: Absolutely. I think we'll see a lot of challenges to this. The fact of the matter is, I hate to break it to President Trump, but we don't create policy in this country with three tweets. It's done through compromise, through working together and through a system that has gotten us to where we are in this country -- [01:40:00]

STOKES: -- a free and fair democracy. This is not how we do business.

And President Obama knew enough about how we do business to empower the military to lead us to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and it was indeed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, who went to the Hill in 2010 and told Congress that our military is ready for this.

We've led it. We've created the path to repeal and we're ready to implement it. The same thing is happening on transgender military service and this president needs to get out of the way.

VAUSE: OK. A good point to leave the interview, Zeke, but thank you so much. Great to speak with you.

STOKES: Thank you very much.

SOARES: Donald Trump is claiming credit for plans by an Asian manufacturing giant to build a new plant in the U.S. and create thousands of new jobs. Foxconn is best known for making electronics such as by phones for Apple. It says will invest $10 billion in facilities based in Wisconsin.

Now the U.S. president praised the foresight of the time once company (INAUDIBLE). Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To make such an incredible investment, Chairman Gou put his faith and confidence in the future of the American economy. In other words, if I didn't get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion.


SOARES: Let's get more on this. Matt Rivers in Beijing with more.

Matt, this announcement is great for President Trump but Foxconn has had a mixed record following up on promises to create new jobs in the United States, which will make any wonder whether this will actually happen.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a number of questions over Foxconn's record in the United States. The most concrete thing that we could point to is the Taiwan-based manufacturing giant announcing back in 2013 that it would build a $30 million plant in Pennsylvania. And yet that plant has yet to be built.

Analysts that CNN has spoken to this morning here in China are saying everyone should be a bit skeptical as to whether these plans will actually go through. Another thing we're talking to analysts about is the number of jobs that will actually be created. It's one thing for politicians to stand up there, any politician to

say we're creating thousands of jobs. That's a good thing, good working, good paying, stable careers for people in our state. That's the hope for everyone, of course.

But fact of the matter is the reality is often different. You heard from Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin that this will create 13,000 jobs. And he said that unequivocally. But Foxconn itself is saying, well, it's going to create 3,000 jobs with potential to create 10,000 more jobs, bringing to 13,000.

So exactly what the economic boon will be to the state of Wisconsin, we're not exactly sure yet at this point.

SOARES: For the moment it sounds good. Matt Rivers there for us in Beijing. Thanks very much, Matt.

VAUSE: Coming up next on NEWSROOM L.A., when hearing and seeing is not believing, the future of fake news might already be here.





VAUSE: Now to CNN's Freedom Project and a crisis in Cambodia, which is quite simply robbing children of their childhood.

SOARES: Many are being forced to work in brick factories to help their families earn enough money to survive. Alexandra Field saw firsthand some of the desperate conditions the children are facing.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Phea Chantheng is 16 and only in first grade, but his teachers believe in him. He's done harder work.

PHEA CHANTHENG, FORMER BRICK KILN WORKER (through translator): When I was 11, I started working at the brick kiln. It was very difficult. I loaded bricks on the cart and then I pulled the cart full of bricks to dry. But one day, when I was putting clay in the machine, I slipped and my arm got caught in the engine.

FIELD (voice-over): Chantheng was 14. His mother says she was in debt to a brick factory owner. The whole family was making bricks to pay it off.

MOK THY, CHANTHENG'S MOTHER (through translator): Since my son got injured, I have never asked my kids to work again. I don't even allow them to get close.

FIELD (voice-over): Mok Thy says she took a $12 loan from the kiln owner 15 years ago. She kept borrowing money so her family could afford the basics. Today, her debt has ballooned to $2,800.

MOK THY (through translator): I can't even reduce the debt because what I make is just enough for food for one day. This is the life of a brick kiln worker. It will continue to our children and grandchildren.

FIELD: There are more than 300 brick factories across Cambodia and a big concentration of them is right here on the outskirts of the country's capital, Phnom Penh. We stopped in at four different brick factories and in all four of them, we see children working. The conditions are tough. The work is hard. But their parents say there is just no other way.

FIELD (voice-over): In 2006, the government cracked down on child labor in the kiln. Identified 100 child labors in the brick factories and another 2,900 considered at risk. They removed the children and gave them educational opportunities. The labor ministry claimed that by 2012, they had successfully wiped out the problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hardly see the case of child labor in the brick sector anymore. The employer who employs the children as child laborer, they will get death penalty. And we will not allow any perpetrator out of this issue.

FIELD: So, the owner will be charged?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will be charged.

FIELD (voice-over): We're told by the ministry that 600 inspectors now oversee the country's kilns. Their work hasn't led to the prosecution of a single kiln owner. A 2016 report from the Cambodian NGO LICADHO says child labor is still rampant in the kilns, a claim rejected by the labor ministry.

We saw children on the job at every one of the factories we visited. The labor ministry counters that workers may be older than they look and that while labor is illegal for children under 15, light work is allowed for children 12 and up. That's not the kind of work Chantheng was doing just two years ago.

CHANTHENG (through translator): Seeing my injured arm makes me scared. I don't want to go to the brick kiln anymore. I get scared when I see the machine.

FIELD (voice-over): The goal is to keep children in the kilns from working by getting them to school, the labor ministry says. Chantheng is finally getting that chance. With the help of the Catholic mission from Australia, he's living at a school for children with disabilities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's making good progress as well. He's a good, strong lad with great personality.

FIELD (voice-over): Twenty five miles from the kiln, Chantheng has found a new beginning, one that starts at the very beginning -- Alexandra Field, CNN, Phnom Penh. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, tomorrow, the story of a young man who not only overcame child labor in Cambodia but became a national champion.


FIELD (voice-over): This is fight night in Phnom Penh and he's the man of the hour, Clint Yu (ph), a 22-year-old local kickboxer, comes in at 112 pounds. Last year he won big, becoming a national champion in his weight class.

His nights in the spotlight are a fight for a better life far from the one he lived two years ago, working under the scorching Cambodian sun.

CLINT YU (PH), KICKBOXER (through translator): My family was very poor. My father had --


YU (PH): -- died and my mother didn't have a job. So I started working at a brick kiln.


SOARES: We'll see how this young fighter made his way from the brick kiln to the ring, tomorrow only on CNN. We're back with more news after a very short break.




SOARES: We've been hearing a lot about so-called fake news recently. Up until now, most of us have been able to distinguish real from fake.

VAUSE: Most of us.

SOARES: But things are getting a bit more complicated. Artificial intelligence and high-definition graphics are erasing the lines between the two.

VAUSE: Here's an example of a realistic looking video created at Stanford University. Looks like an authentic video of Donald Trump speaking but the facial expressions were not his. Those actually came from an actor.

SOARES: And then there's the voice impersonation technology being developed at The University of Washington as well as other places. Here you'll see Barack Obama actually speaking on the left and on the right, manipulated video and audio in which he seems to be saying the same thing even though he's not. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I visited with families of many of the victims on Thursday. And one thing I told them is that they're not alone. The American people and people all over the world are standing with them and we always will.


SOARES: Joining us from Seattle to help explain how to spot a fake from the real thing, Hemu Nigam, founder and CEO of SSP Blue, a firm that advises governments as well as corporations on Internet security.

Hemu, thanks for joining us here on the show. We've had a long discussion here on CNN about this because we're so used to seeing a manipulated image; photos slimmer and smoother. But this is new. This takes it to another level. Take a look, first of all, at what Stanford University has done with President Putin with this.

You can see here on the left, President Putin talking and then the gentleman on the right is just imitating, copying his expressions. This really blurs the lines between fact and fiction.

What worries you about this?

HEMU NIGAM, SSP BLUE: Quite a few things. On the one hand I can take that less serious

attitude which is, well, this is going to be even more entertaining news than we already see in the evenings.

But on the other hand, it's very horrifying because you could have President Putin, for example, or President Trump, all of a sudden announcing through fake rendered images saying they're about to bomb Korea because their missile test was successful and they want to do a preemptive strike.

So this can be extremely horrifying politically and from nation state perspectives and for newspapers but also even in the hacking world.

VAUSE: Take a look at another example. This is former U.S. President Barack Obama. The original source audio is on the left; on the right, a completely different speech which has been manipulated with the algorithms. Listen.


OBAMA: -- talk about over the dinner table. A lot of what we talk about is we live in a diverse world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and I think people can say that my election symbolizes some progress, at least within the small confines of the legal community.


VAUSE: So, Hemu, (INAUDIBLE) footage (INAUDIBLE) with just a few minutes of Barack Obama being manipulated and talking on the right of the screen. If you look closely, the manipulated mouth movements -- [01:55:00]

VAUSE: -- are a little blurry but it's still pretty convincing and the point is it's going to get better.


NIGAM: Yes, it's absolutely going to get better. This is just perfect time for universities to explore this. But wait until the masses have access to it, when somebody figures how to commercialize it.

And I think if I'm inside of CNN right now, I would be looking to invest in exactly the opposite, artificial intelligence combined with audio detection technology, that looks for those anomalies and says, this one is actually not real; therefore we're not going to run this story.

SOARES: But this, like you said, is very worrying on so many very levels. I was reading about Amnesty International's citizen lab that verify videos and images of basically alleged human rights abuses, using Google Earth to check whether they're real or not, whether they're been captured.

But this will complicate their work and people's lives so much more.

So besides the memes and the laughter on TV, what exactly are the benefits of this?

NIGAM: Well, I will add one more horrifying situation. If somebody takes that typical video from Facebook and the audio, they can actually send out a video from you sitting inside a prison, saying send money now. So hackers can use it.

On the other hand, the positives are tremendous as well. One of the things that we're always trying to do is find ways to use artificial intelligence and technologies like that, to take the place of certain things that are not possible.

For example, you can create an entire movie that everybody would love to go to, not using cartoons but real people in situations where you don't have to have the actor present because they got sick, they're pregnant at moment, they're in the hospital, whatever is going on. So there's many positives on the creative side.

VAUSE: Very quickly. Here's late night comic Jimmy Kimmel doing a very good impression of Mike Tyson.


JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST: So I can become Mike Tyson. Maybe you know me from my feature film, "The Hangover," or perhaps you know me better as the man who bit another man's ears off his head. This is a dream come true for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) but I just wanted to run the clip.

Good to see you, Hemu Nigam there in Seattle. Appreciate it.

SOARES: Thanks very much.

You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isa Soares.

VAUSE: And I'm John Vause. Stay with us. A lot more news after a very short break.