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Top Trump Campaign Aide Emails about Effort to Meet Putin; Ex Russian Ambassador Denies Being a Spymaster; Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 8; Crowds Gather to Support Kaepernick. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 24, 2017 - 02:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: This CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Teleprompter Trump calls for unity, a day after the president's wild unscripted rant, widely criticized for being divisive and blatantly misleading.

SESAY: Exclusive CNN reporting on the Russia investigation, an email about an attempt to set up a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Vladimir Putin. It's getting a lot of attention.

VAUSE: As Confederate statues in Charlottesville are covered up, a new documentary unveils what we may never have seen during the racially protest three years ago in Ferguson, Missouri.

SESAY: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. You're watching NEWSROOM LA.

Well, as the saying goes, what a difference a teleprompter can make. US President Donald Trump is back urging peace, love and harmony, staying on message and reading from a teleprompter on Wednesday in Reno, Nevada. A sharp contrast to his reality challenge rant at a campaign rally in Phoenix a day earlier.

SESAY: To be fair, he called for unity in his Arizona speech too, then launched into an us versus them narrative that left many wondering which is the real Donald Trump. Here's a sample of Wednesday's scripted remarks.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time to heal the wounds that divide us and to seek a new unity based on the common values that unite us. We are one people with one home and one great flag.


VAUSE: Joining us now, Democratic strategist Robin Swanson, Trump supporter and host of America Trends Gina Loudon, and political analyst Michael Genovese. Thank you all for being with us. OK, so this week started with the commander-in-chief Donald Trump announcing his strategy for Afghanistan. That was on Monday. Widely praised for being presidential as he outlined this strategy to the nation.

Tuesday, we head to Phoenix and it's campaign Trump, dividing the country in an unscripted rant, which really left the crowd quite enthused.

By Wednesday, it's professional caregiver Trump, healing the wounds, bringing everyone together. So, Gina, will the real Donald Trump please standup?

GINA LOUDON, HOST, "AMERICA TRENDS WITH DR. GINA": I think we get the real Donald Trump every time we see him, like it or not.

And I think that's - a lot of what has confused the media this entire time, I think that - he is sometimes so honest and forthright and unpackaged, he is just not that separate president that a lot of us came to know and expect from both Republican and Democrat presidents.

And so, now to somehow say, well, this might be disingenuous is to say then that maybe he was packaged, which he never has been packaged. And so, I don't think that it's very fair to say that anything that he said is anything different than exactly what he was feeling in that moment. That's pretty much the way this president is, as we now.

SESAY: Robin, to bring you in, I think the argument, it's not just what is said, but it is also about the expectation for the behavior of the president, the man in the Oval Office.

ROBIN SWANSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's right. And I think we've seen a lot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and we're never really sure which one is going to show up.

And I think what we would like to see is a little bit of dignity, I think showing a moral compass, showing some stability, which a lot of folks are questioning the president's stability right now.

I think that's what people are craving in America. And we've seen he's not making America great again. He's making America hate again and we've seen that in Charlottesville, we've seen it time and again. And he really needs to step up as a leader and show some dignity.

VAUSE: OK. Well, the president used a teleprompter on Monday. He used one on Wednesday. He did not use one on Tuesday. Here is a reminder of that rally in Phoenix.


TRUMP: How about all week they're talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside? Where are they? Well, it's hot out.

They show up in the helmets and the black masks. They've got clubs and they've got everything - Antifa.


VAUSE: OK. So, this is what Donald Trump has said in the past about politicians who use a teleprompter.


TRUMP: In fact, if I wouldn't have known teleprompters, I would have used them. I've started to use them a little bit. They're not bad. You never get yourself in trouble when you use a teleprompter.

You know the problem is, it's too easy. We have a president who uses teleprompters. It's just too easy. We should have non-teleprompter speeches only when you're running for president and you find out about people. The other way you don't find out about anybody.


VAUSE: You find out about someone, Michael, when they're not using the teleprompter. Should we take the president at his words?

[02:05:05] MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Well, I think the teleprompter or not teleprompter Trump is a function of the battle within the White House and the battle for the heart and soul of Donald Trump.

Clearly, General Kelly and a lot of the Republican mainstream wants him to go teleprompter mostly because he doesn't say the outrageous things that come back to haunt him.

He wants to be unleashed. And I think Gina is right. That is the real Trump. That's the Trump that got to be president by being Trump. And now that he is president, there are different expectations, but he can't be chained in. He wants to be unleashed.

VAUSE: I just want to get - the observation has been made, the stuff that he says on the teleprompter often is the stuff he does not believe, the stuff he says off the teleprompter is what is truly in his heart.

GENOVESE: Well, clearly, the speech in Phoenix was from his heart. The attacks, he felt he was a victim, he went after Republicans, Democrats, he went after the media.

There is a lot of anger there and there is a lot of, "oh poor me, I'm always been attacked ." It was 70 minutes of poor me.

And I think that's Donald Trump. He feels really good. He feels that there are a lot of people out there out to get him. That's the Trump that's inside. But the Trump from the teleprompter is the one that the general, General Kelley, and a lot of his top staff want him to be.

SESAY: Gina, to go to you, to pick up on Michael's point that people like General Kelly want to see the president on teleprompter, staying to the script. And the fact that we've seen in the last couple of days that they have been unable to, does that essentially mean that they have lost that battle?

LOUDON: No. I think that every single person who is in that White House working for this president knows that they are working for this president, that he is not going to be a perfectly packaged, controlled, separate president.

That is what America elected. America liked this honesty and this transparency. And frankly, I think that most of America is much more concerned about the 1 million jobs that this president has created, about the bureaucracy that's gone away, about the things that he has done for veterans and the list goes on and on, than they are about whether or not he is using a prompter.

I think when he has those off prompter moments, that is him saying to the United States, "I'm still me, I'm still in the driver's seat, you don't have to worry, I'm going to be here, and I'm not going anywhere."

And I think that's very reassuring to a lot of Americans who supported him and they don't want to see him go the way of a President Bush or a President Obama, who was packaged and perhaps artificial to many.

VAUSE: Robin, I want you to respond to Gina. But, first, I want to show this new Quinnipiac poll, which has come out. Sixty two percent believe the president is doing more to divide the country, 68 percent believe the president is not level headed.

So, Robin, they're staggering numbers. And the events of the last two days really seem to be fueling that perception as well.

ROBIN: Yes. And I think - what we are hearing from Gina and what we've heard from Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump.

How about we care about what's happening to the American people? How about we actually focus on something other than Donald Trump's style and what he hasn't done, how he hasn't performed for the American people?

And I think that's what you are seeing in that poll. They don't trust him to get the job done because he has not shown good judgment, he has not shown the moral character that represents our country, that Americans thought that they elected.

And so, I think it's time to stop talking about Donald Trump and time to start talking about what package is he going to deliver because, so far, he hasn't delivered much of anything for the people that elected him.

I think people are going to be without their healthcare, people are going to be hurting for jobs, there is going to be economic packages that help wealthy people and not -

LOUDON: There's a million jobs. I really - I want to ask you -

SESAY: One at time, one at a time. LOUDON: But you're making gross platitudes that are frankly untrue. A million jobs. How many jobs would be satisfactory to you in the first 200 and some days?

SWANSON: Gina, I'm (INAUDIBLE) talk about Donald Trump and what Donald Trump has done -

SESAY: One at a time.

LOUDON: I'm talking about the American people actually who get those jobs. I'm talking about the American people who get those jobs.

But you will never answer the question. So, what would make you happy? If Donald Trump cured cancer, you would still say somehow that was about Donald Trump.

VAUSE: Oh, Gina, (INAUDIBLE). Come on.

LOUDON: Donald Trump is working for the American people.

SEASY: But, Gina, you have to acknowledge, just to intercede and bring you back to the polls that John just read out, you've got to admit that the polls don't back up what you are saying.

LOUDON: Well, the stock market does, the consumer confidence does. And these, by the way, are the same polls that we all listened to, right, all the way through the election cycle and, guess what, they were wrong.

When you really want to take the pulse of the American people, look at - what you do? You go to Main Street. You don't go to some Washington DC bubble poll-taker and you don't go - I'm sorry, to all of us who are in the media, right, who mostly live on the coasts and don't spend a lot of time in middle America, who has an opinion too that happens to matter, and they showed it in the election in November. Those are the people who matter and those are the people who came out and voted then.


[02:10:20] VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) I want to bring Michael in on this, guys. So, Michael, first of all, is there a use by date to that polls were wrong at the election, so they're always going to be wrong excuse? And what do you make of those numbers that we're seeing from Quinnipiac?

GENOVESE: Well, first of all, the polls at the national election were close to the outcome because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by the margin that people thought.

It was in the states that the disparities occurred. And so, the polls were not that wrong. They got the outcome wrong. They got the numbers right in terms of the popular vote.

But Donald Trump can't continue to govern successfully if he's going to be at 36 percent. He has to broaden his base. And that speech on Tuesday was to his base. His base is already with him. His base loves him. He said, I could shoot someone of Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose a vote. For his base, there's some truth to that.

But you can't govern with base alone. You have to expand. And his speech on Tuesday in which he attacked both Republican senators from Arizona, the commentary we're seeing about his tiff with McConnell.

VAUSE: The Senate majority leader.

GENOVESE: You can't govern with just a small base.

VAUSE: Yes. Politics, they say, is about addition, making friends and growing your support, but that's not happening at the moment.

But, Michael, thank you so much for being with us. Also, Robin and Gina as well.

SESAY: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: Always appreciated.

Well, Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in law Jared Kushner is back in the Middle East, trying to broker a peace deal. In the coming hours, he'll meet first with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then he'll meet with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

SESAY: Kushner met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday, shortly after the US decided to deny millions of dollars in aid to Egypt over the country's record on human rights and democracy. Egypt called the decision a misjudgment, but the two sides still emphasize strong relations.

VAUSE: Oren Liebermann joins us now live from Jerusalem. So, Oren, Jared Kushner has a pretty steep hill to climb here just establishing a framework for peace talks, let alone anyone actually talking peace.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it's worth pointing out that he didn't just meet with the Egyptians, he met with other Gulf leaders as well.

And if you're talking about some regional peace initiative, all the regional players that can be critical in trying to advance some sort of peace process, that's a smart move.

But when he comes here, when he tries to meet the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, he is going to have a share of his own problems.

First, the administration hasn't even committed to the goal of a two- state solution. In fact, it was the state department spokesperson who said they're not going to put any name on it or try to bias this anyway.

That's a big problem for the Palestinians and the rest of the international community as well for that matter, who see the two-state solution as the only way forward here on Israel and to Palestine. As for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he is under criminal investigation here. And in response to that, to shore up his own base, he has moved sharply to the right, attacked the Oslo accords, attacked the idea of concessions to the Palestinians.

So, Kushner, who already has a monumental task in front of him, that task has just gotten harder.

VAUSE: Just one of the many. The Palestinian leadership, they're also upping the pressure here. They're considering dismantling the Palestinian Authority. They've put a time table on all of this.

"The Jerusalem Post" is quoting a member of the PLO Executive Committee, who said this. "This option is being discussed and considered seriously. We are studying its political, legal, administrative implications. If there is no political horizon, we are not going to be agents of the occupation." A reference to Israel.

How serious is this threat? And if they follow through, what does it mean? What happens then?

LIEBERMANN: Well, I don't think there's any likelihood that they follow through, at least not right now, because it is an oft-repeated threat. And the point is exactly what you just said. It is to put pressure on somebody - in this case, the American administration and President Donald Trump - to make some sort of real progress here, to state a clear goal.

The idea is that there is some sort of cost if that doesn't happen. But at this point, and as we've seen in the past, it is just a threat, trying to get some sort of progress here and make the administration make some sort of move.

The fact that Kushner is here with this White House delegation, that shows that Trump is still interested. But this idea that they're just going to come here and have more and more meetings with statements that come out saying, we're trying to advance some sort of peace initiative, that has a very short shelf-life and that may be running out very quickly, especially since the US won't commit to a two-state solution.

It's the Palestinians trying to influence, trying to pressure the Americans to make some sort of definitive statement here, perhaps put a timeline on this. We'll see what comes out of these meetings.

VAUSE: We're just short on time. But just explain, why is that such a threat. What happens if there's no Palestinian Authority, if you can quickly.

LIEBERMANN: Yes, of course. If the Palestinians dissolve the Palestinian Authority, it essentially cancels the 1993 Oslo accords, which were supposed to be a temporary move towards a two-state solution.

To dissolve the Palestinian Authority means essentially Israeli security has to move back into the Palestinian cities. That is a recipe for disaster that could set off the region. It'll create problems for the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it's essentially the nuclear option.

[02:15:13] It's the go back, start from scratch and try to proceed from there. That's why, in that sense, it's a threat, but not one they're likely to carry out at this point.

VAUSE: Perfectly put. And well explained. Thank you. Oren Liebermann there, live in Jerusalem. Appreciate it.

SESAY: Qatar has announced it's restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran. That's despite demands from four Gulf Arab nations to ease those ties.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the charge.

Now, a quick break. If you walk around Charlottesville, Virginia right now, you won't see that controversial Robert E. Lee statue that caused so much trouble a few weekends ago. What is it he has done in the wake of the white nationalist march? Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.

VAUSE: Also, what you probably never knew about the protest three years ago in Ferguson, Missouri. Those protests which were sparked by the deadly police shooting of an unarmed black man.


SESAY: Hello, everyone. In Charlottesville, Virginia, statues of Confederate icons Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are hidden from the public for the first time since they went up in the early 1920s.

But they weren't taken down. Instead they've been covered up with black shrouds. The debate over the fate of these statues and others has hit a fever pitch in the United States after a young woman died protesting a white nationalist Nazi rally earlier this month.

President Trump's response, viewed by many as an equivocation of the two sides, was roundly criticized. He tried to defend his remarks at a campaign rally Tuesday, but he seemed to deliberately leave out the most controversial part, his repeated claim that many sides shared the blame.

VAUSE: With the US president roundly criticized for inflaming racial tensions, with neo-Nazis and Klansman emboldened by his words, once again, we're watching America struggle with its long history of racism.

But before Donald Trump equated the white supremacists marching through Charlottesville with the activists there to protest their twisted, hateful beliefs, there was Ferguson, Missouri, where three years ago, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot at least six times by police because he was walking the wrong way down a street. A moment so traumatic and scarring, many African-Americans took to the

streets to plead that, yes, their lives really do matter. For weeks, there was no bigger story in the US. The protest and anger in the outer suburbs of St Louis were covered live for hours on end.

But did you ever know how Michael Brown's mother found out that her son was dead?


LEZLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER: They wouldn't even let me identify my son.

The only way I knew it was my son was from people out here showing me his picture on their phones and their tablets.

That's how I learned about him because I was able to look on their phone and say, yes, that's my son. Laying in the street for hours. "


[02:20:08] VAUSE: Did you know a little girl lived in fear that her mother, one of the protest organizers, could be killed by police.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As time went by, the more bothered I got. (INAUDIBLE) the gas mask, the bullet proof vest, the more dangerous for us, the more emotionally involved she got into it because she would be afraid that the police is going to shoot me.


VAUSE: Did you ever see a black policewoman on the verge of tears on the front lines of the protest.


VAUSE: A new documentary "Whose Streets?" brings us of a view from Ferguson we never saw. Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, both join us now. Thank you for being with us.

And, Sabaah, just first to you, the motivation to this documentary, what it all started because you were unhappy with the coverage that you were seeing out of Ferguson.

SABAAH FOLAYAN, DIRECTOR, "WHOSE STREETS?": Right. We felt like the coverage of Ferguson was really focused on looting and rioting, as though it were an isolated event, and really didn't get to the root of the issues, the long-standing tensions in that community and the racial tensions that people really weren't willing to address.

So, we wanted to go and bring a more humanistic perspective, a perspective that was rooted in emotion and rooted in really trying to see and honor the human beings and the individuals who were taking part in that resistance movement. VAUSE: Damon, why do you think the mainstream media focused so much

on the looting as part of the story? There were good pictures, to be brutally honest, in many ways, I guess.

DAMON DAVIS, Director, "WHOSE STREETS?": I think the reason why is simply sensationalism. And I think the media cycle is based on it, based on viewership, is based on ratings. And I think it's easy to, I guess, cut out the most spectacular parts of a situation.

And when we talk about Ferguson, we're talking about militarized police, crowds of people, and I think that's the easiest thing to focus on and it brings the most viewership. And I think it was a very surface level look at what really happened here.

VAUSE: Yes. You mentioned the militarized police. And that was covered to some extent by the media organizations. But you managed to capture this incredible powerful moment. There was a black family, it happened in their front yard and they were teargassed by police. Here it is.


VAUSE: And, Damon, this was typical in a city which for a lot of time looked like Baghdad?

DAVIS: Yes. I wouldn't say it's typical. I wouldn't say it's typical. And I think that's something that shocked people, was how extreme the police took, just people gathering and mourning the death of a child.

What is typical is the constant police violence in black communities all over the country. But this - I think the thing that shocked most people in the United States and around the world was the level of militarization and the level of just repression that we saw at Ferguson.

VAUSE: And what we also saw, or did not see in the media coverage in Ferguson, Sabaah, and this is for you, was this incredible human side.

And tell us why did you focus on Brittany Ferrell? She was one of the protest organizers. She had a young daughter. She's married. She's gay. We don't often see black gay married women on our screens.

FOLAYAN: Yes. We felt like it was really important to center Brittany because she represents so many people who are not centered and not focused on.

But the reality of the situation is she was one of a whole lot of people who are really doing the work, really putting it all on the line, putting in all the risk to stand and protest at what was going on in a really non-violent way.

And when you see her come home to her daughter and take her daughter to school in the morning and teach her daughter about the values of democracy, I think it debunks this idea that this was a protest that was somehow rooted in just being anti-whatever the different issues are and was really about people standing up for what they love.

VAUSE: Damon, why do you think we didn't get those stories when Ferguson was actually happening?

DAMON: Yes. I'm not really sure. And the best answer I can come up with is it goes counter to the status quo and what you hear about black communities and the idea that you can villainize against young black men and women and the people will buy it. You know what I mean?

[02:25:05] And I think, they are like - well, what we tried to do with our film was to show the complexity that it takes to just maintain and survive in America when you're a black person. And added to that is to do it under basically military occupation.

So, I think it's just the order of the day. And I think that is American culture to show black people the way you saw them portrayed in most of the media and we were doing something very counter to that with this film.

VAUSE: Well, I guess, the first portrayal of black culture in a big way was 1915, The Birth of a Nation, the first movie ever screened at the White House.

And, Sabaah, I'm guessing that your documentary will not be screened at the White House while Donald Trump is president. So, given everything that has happened in the last week or so regarding Mr. Trump, how relevant is this documentary now as you see it?

FOLAYAN: This documentary is relevant as long as white supremacy is still the law of the land. And as awful as the current administration has been, when it comes to doing anything to try to heal and move forward from this huge fracture in our society that is racism, I'm happy that we have this film to share with people.

And this time, our people are looking for answers, looking to understand, what's going on, what's really happening, what is the shape of this problem. We have this film that we've been working on for almost three years, outside of the news cycle, outside of the realm of what's sensational and what's going to get ratings.

We've really put a lot of time and care into trying to tell a true story and a story that was going to have healing power. And so, I'm really happy that we have this to share right now, although it is such a disturbing and bitter topic. I'm happy to be contributing a message of love and solidarity.

VAUSE: Well, it's incredibly powerful, it's moving, it's been described as possibly the best documentary of the year. If it is, it's certainly is probably the most important.

So, thank you both and thank you for being with us.

FOLAYAN: Thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you.

SESAY: Such a timely conversation.

VAUSE: That's a very good documentary. You've got to watch it.

SESAY: Time for a quick break here. "State of America" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia.

VAUSE: So, for everyone else, an old email from the Trump presidential campaign is getting renewed scrutiny. Sources say it reveals a proposal not previously made public involving the Kremlin.


[02:30:10] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.


We'll check the headlines this hour.


SESAY: Now to an e-mail last year from a top Trump aid that's getting new scrutiny in the Russian meddling investigation. It was among 20,000 e-mails the Trump campaign turned over to congressional investigators.

VAUSE: Sources say the aide sent the e-mails to campaign staffers. It was an individual trying to arrange a meeting with the Trump campaign and Russia's president.

CNN's Manu Raju has exclusive details.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Congressional investigators have unearthed an e-mail from a top Trump aide that references a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to sources with direct knowledge. The aide is Rick Dearborn, who is now the president's deputy chief of staff. He sent a brief e-mail to campaign officials that, last year, relaying information about an individual who was seeking to connect top Trump officials with Putin. The person was only identified as being from, quote, "WV," which is a reference to the state of West Virginia. It's unclear who the individual is, exactly what they wanted, or whether Dearborn acted on the request. Dearborn did not respond to our requests for comments. But one source familiar with the matter said this person appeared to have political connections in West Virginia. That source told me that Dearborn, in the e-mail, appears skeptical of the requested meeting.

It did occur in June of 2016, and that means that was around the same time as that Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr, Russian operatives, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. The questions is whether or not this fits a pattern of efforts by the Russians to find entry points into the Trump campaign. That's a big question going forward that investigators are trying to understand at this time.

Manu Raju, CNN, Washington.


SESAY: One of the reoccurring central figures in the Russia investigation is Sergey Kislyak who, until recently, was Russia's ambassador to the U.S. His diplomatic posting officially ended last month.

VAUSE: Before returning home, Kislyak met with President Trump in the Oval Office alongside the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. U.S. reporters were not allowed at that meeting when Mr. Trump divulged classified information to the Russians.

Our Matthew Chance recently caught up with the former ambassador, and in a CNN exclusive, asked him about his connections to the Trump White House.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John and Isha. Sergey Kislyak could hardly have expected to run into us here, 600 kilometers, or 400 miles, from the Russian capital. But this is a man at the center of Russian election meddling in the United States and important questions needed to be put to him. And that's what we did when we finally tracked him down.


CHANCE: Do mind if I ask you a few questions.

Did you discuss lifting sanctions with any members of the Trump team when you were in the United States?

SERGEI KISLYAK, FORMER RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: With your respect, I'm here to talk to Russian people.

CHANCE: I understand that. You say you have no secrets.

KISLYAK: I have said everything I wanted prior to this.

CHANCE: Did you discuss opening secret channels with the Kremlin with Jared Kushner, for instance?

KISLYAK: I have said many times that we do not discuss the substance of our discussions with our American counterparts out of respect to our partners.

CHANCE: Fair enough. But when you met Donald Trump, the president, were you surprised when he disclosed secret information to you about Syria?

[02:35:02] KISLYAK: I'm not sure that I heard anything that would be secret. But it was a good meeting. And we were discussing things that are very important to your country and to mine. CHANCE: What about the allegation that you are a spymaster, a spy


KISLYAK: Nonsense. Nonsense.

CHANCE: Did you attempt to recruit any members of the Trump administration?

KISLYAK: You should be ashamed because CNN is the company that keeps up pointing to this allegation. It's nonsense.

CHANCE: It was U.S. security officials, intelligence officials that made it.

KISLYAK: I heard that in the statements by them. Also by former head of the FBI who said it. I was a diplomat. I had no -- no reason to doubt that he knew what he said.

CHANCE: Just one last question. What's your prediction for the future of U.S.-Russian relations?

KISLYAK: I'm afraid it's going to be difficult. And it's not because of us. It's because of the U.S. political dynamics, the anti-Russian law that isn't going Russian-American discussions --


CHANCE: Is it the sanctions?

KISLYAK: Sanctions is an instrument. It's basically, a statement of being anti-Russian. That's the most important thing. It's not going to be washed away. It's going to stay. And it's going to spoil ability of both countries to resume a normal scenario of relations and a normal scenario in the relationship is exactly what is missing.

CHANCE: Have you lost faith that Donald Trump is going to be able to do what he said during his campaign and make things better with Moscow?

KISLYAK: I'm not sure that -- I operate with definitions of faith, absence of faith. We work with the United States based on the policies that they have. They are not new. We have seen so many different things about it. We are pretty comfortable with what we do for Russia. And by the way, I'm here to do exactly what is important to us. So thank you.

CHANCE: Thank you very much. Thank you.


CHANCE: Well, Sergey Kislyak here, no longer Russian ambassador to the United States. But as you can hear and see, still very capable of responding with diplomatic answers.

Back to you, John and Isha.


VAUSE: Matthew Chance there. Thank you for that, Matthew.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, it has a duel-lens camera, big beautiful and shiny screen and, hopefully, it won't spontaneously explode and burst into flames. Samsung wants to put out the bad memories with its new Galaxy Note.

Also ahead, supporters of an NFL quarterback say he's being blackballed for speaking out against injustice. We'll have more on the groundswell of support for Colin Kaepernick, next.


[02:39:58] VAUSE: Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note 8 Smartphone. And along with all the bells and whistles, comes a promise, it won't suddenly, without warning, burst into flames.

SESAY: The new Note 8 features a duel-lens camera and expanded note taking, and importantly, lower battery capacity. A defective battery was the reason for the massive recall of the Note 7 last year.

VAUSE: Jacob Ward joins us now. He is a science journalist and former editor-in-chief of "Popular Science."

Jacob, thank you for staying late. We appreciate it.


VAUSE: I guess this has been a phoenix rising from the ashes. It seems Samsung has learned a lesson, less is more when talking about batteries.

JACOB WARD, SCIENCE JOURANLIST & FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, POPULAR SCIENCE: Absolutely. Coming back from the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is going to be an incredible thing if they pull it off. That was the worst kind of public relations debacle. You had -- not only did the company lose an estimated $41 billion in operating revenue. They also had flight attendants on every flight that anyone could take in or out or inside the United States saying the name of their phone along with the words "fire risk" and "hand it over or you get hit with a fine." It's the kind of thing that a public relations person wakes up out of sleep wrapped in bed sheets about. A horrible thing. This better be a great phone.

VAUSE: Exactly. You talk about P.R. I think it was more of a financial disaster because customers you would think would not be thrilled about a product that can spontaneously combust while on the phone. But "Wire" reports, "While Samsung surveyed thousands of Note owners to find out how sullied the name had become but found nothing but love. Some people hated giving up their note. Others wanted the next Note anyway."

What is the reason for all the love and forgiveness and loyalty here?

WARD: I think there is a tremendous human compulsion around technology now that the shinier and bigger and more beveled the screen, the more addicted we become to these things. We want our instant gratification right there.

The idea it might burn in our faces or something else might go wrong, much less all the other difficulties Samsung as a company is having right now, all of that is secondary to our immediate need to be right up in our devices.

VAUSE: You mentioned this phone had better be good. What is not -- what if Samsung is looking at the Note 8 being at the center of another mass recall, regardless of what the reason is, something not quite as serious as that, but still serious.

WARD: This would really be -- I don't know how the company withstand it from a morale perspective.

Now, as you know, the chief of Samsung is awaiting his verdict in this blockbuster bribery scandal, this case that has rocked South Korea.

Samsung, as you know, is the largest, the big family owned conglomerates in South Korea. They're in everything from consumer electronics to real estate to credit to all this other stuff.

The chief has been convicted of possibly handing out as much as $38 million in bribes. This is what brought down the president. This is a hugely rocked scandal-ridden company right now. So this better be a great phone because that company could really use a little good news right now.

VAUSE: Looking at the phone itself, is there one feature that stands out to you as being something truly unique that you can get anywhere else. That will set this phone up for what Samsung needs right now.

WARD: The dual-lens camera is the thing. It's two cameras in one, two 12 mega pixel cameras in one device with two lenses. It has the conventional lens but also a telephoto lens that has an image stabilizer, which means you can shoot what's in front of you but also what's across the park, the pool, the beach, anything else. The sheer influx of the quality imagery that will come through the phones of Samsung owners is going to be unprecedented. I think people are going to be inventing a new kind of photography with how many of these phones are going to be taking pictures.

VAUSE: Apple's iPhone 8 comes out next month, September 12. This one hits the same time in the market. Who wins this battle?

WARD: Apple is still the far-and-away dominate player in the marketplace. I don't think Samsung is going to take that away from them. It will be an interesting fight. Both will be the $1000 phone. Duking it out. Apple is reserving all of its best, newest tricks for the iPhone 8. Wireless charging is a rumor. So that fight is the thing to watch. The two eights are the two contenders right now.

SESAY: Jacob, thanks so much. Great to speak with you. Appreciate the insight.

WARD: Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

[02:45:16] VAUSE: More reason for people to stay on their phones. Like they need them.

SESAY: A little much.

Well, supporters of NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick are --


VAUSE: All right.

SESAY: Kaepernick, are rallying in his defense, gathering outside the league headquarters in New York Wednesday. Kaepernick kneeled for the national anthem during the 2016 season to protest black oppression and police brutality.

VAUSE: But Kaepernick's stance angered people who called him ungrateful and un-American. His supporters have called out NFL teams for not signing him, claiming Kaepernick is being blacklisted for speaking out against injustice.

SESAY: With me now, Anthony Tall, a criminal defense attorney and the founder of Aspire Sports Group.

Anthony, thank you for joining us.


SESAY: I want to read you something that Sally Jenkins wrote, which I found fascinating. She said, "They have blacklisted him. There is no other term for it. And in doing so, have unintentionally underscored his message about pervasive injustice for blacks. This larger rock is beginning to overtake any original insult or disrespect he may have committed."

Do you agree? Does she have it right?

TALL: I think so. Remember, this is a quarterback who, four or five years ago, was in the Super Bowl and he was going the transform the league. Had a couple of down seasons and the last season became controversial. But with his talent and there are so many quarterbacks in the NFL, so many teams that need quarterbacks in the NFL, with his talent, he should have had a job by now. The only thing we can point to is this situation where he took a knee and the owners have kind of in essence colluded in the sense it wouldn't be good to bring him into our organization or on our team.

SESAY: Sally Jenkins raises this point. She says this isn't an issue of race. She doesn't think that the owners care about his cause. They just care he is being a disrupter and dissenter?

TALL: I don't think it's so much about race but they do care about the fact he can hurt their bottom line and money and finances. And worrying about that, they decided to take this approach where I think they are fearful they want to be hands off with him. They don't want to have anything to do with him because they bring him in, he could cause such a backlash with some of the fan bases or some of the fans, who like to salute the military flag and military honors at the open of a football game.

SESAY: He says he mean not disrespect but he is just making this stand.

TALL: Right. And a lot of players and athletes have come to agree with that stance but the owners feel as if it would hurt their bottom line. And she's saying that it underscores -- they have made it bigger by not giving him a job, and it underscores his cause. I think it's a lot to do with this is a league that is 85 percent black, African-American. And the ownership that is 99.9 percent white. With that being the case and then the fan base being a majority white fan base. You have to remember that. With all of those dynamics, there's a lot of the things these owners don't want to touch, you know.

SESAY: Let's zoom in on Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner. This is what he said at an event L.A., "NFL teams are going to do whatever it takes to make their football team better. Those are football decisions. They're made all the time. I believe if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick or any other player is going to improve the team, they're going to do it."

Respond to that.

TALL: Well, I think he's right. I do think that if this was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in his heyday, you kind of generally get the privilege to say what you want to say. Like we see this in the NBA. And Lebron James says he takes a stand against anything he considers an injustice and he's not worried about anything. The NFL is a different type of league because the owners run this league. And Kaepernick, his skills were on a down level. It is a meritocracy, that's true.

SESAY: Does he have any power here? Bearing in mind, as you say, it's privately owned, it's all about the owners having the power. Is there anything that Goodell could do in this situation?

TALL: Probably not. He works for the owners. That's what Goodell does. But he could get other players understand Kaepernick's cause. And if more superstar players take a stand -- if this was Cam Newton, I think he would get picked up by an NFL team. That's where I agree with Roger Goodell. If you have superstar quarterbacks and players come around and agree with Kaepernick and Roger Goodell, that would make a difference. Then that would affect the owners.

[02:50:28] SESAY: There is this growing outrage and protest, United We Stand, outside NFL headquarters on Wednesday. There were about 1,000 people there. We have also seen police officers protest in support of Kaepernick. We saw that a couple of days ago in Brooklyn. They wore those T-shirts, "I'm with Kap."

Listen to what Spike Lee told Anderson Cooper a short time ago on CNN.


SPIKE LEE, FILM PRODUCER: This is not the first time this has happened to African-American athletes that have stood up. Jack Johnson, heavyweight champion knocking out everybody else. Boom, out. Mexico, Olympics, John Carlos. Tommy Smith, black raised fist. Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted. All these are examples where men who stood up and believed in their beliefs and been crushed.


SESAY: Spike Lee says that when black men stand up, they get crushed. And the NAACP is weighing in now, asking to have a conversation with Goodell. This is 2017. The country is where it's at having this conversation about race and how everything fits together. Can the NAACP change this moment?

TALL: I they think they can. But it takes a coalition of the NAACP along with the NFL, and it has to be players who are -- who can make a difference, who are --

SESAY: It has to come from the inside.

TALL: It has to come from talented players on the field who the NFL teams are not going to risk losing. They don't care what type of stance they take, they want them on that field to make money and fill up those stands.

SESAY: If they are that powerful, are they going the risk it to get involved?

TALL: Muhammad Ali did.

SESAY: Now we're talking about the NFL.

TALL: Absolutely. NFL, I haven't seen any of them do it, but I think we'll see the tide turn. We have seen two white players take a knee. That was very important. And that opens up the door. I want to see Tom Brady come on board, Payton Manning come on board. I want to see this turn into, we're all working together and want to fight the injustices and everything that is going on.

SESAY: Anthony Tall, thank you very much.

TALL: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you.

TALL: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: Buckle up, the outrage machine is revving up again after the sports network ESPN reassigned announcer Robert Lee from a football game at the University of Virginia, trying to avoid controversy after protests there over the statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

One the left is Robert Lee, the announcer. And in case you have trouble telling them apart, on the right is Robert E. Lee, of Civil War infamy.

It seems trying to prevent a controversy at ESPN has not stopped it.

SESAY: On Twitter and elsewhere online, ESPN has been mocked mercilessly, accused of giving in to political correctness.

In a statement, ESPN said it was trying to keep Lee from being turned into a punch line and that they and he agreed he could go to another game after the tragedy and continuing controversy in Charlottesville.

VAUSE: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

SESAY: Good intensions.

VAUSE: Someone just got really rich, and it's not me.


VAUSE: The power ball ticket. You want to know how much they won? We'll tell you when we comeback.

I didn't win.

What else have we got.

SESAY: A British toddler steals the show on the lunchtime newscast.


SESAY: We'll be show it after the break.

We'll still be here. We didn't win.


[02:55:50] VAUSE: Someone out there in the United States won the $59 million Power Ball. It wasn't me.

SESAY: It wasn't.

VAUSE: The winning ticket was sold in Massachusetts. Massachusetts.

SESAY: It's the largest jackpot with a single winning ticket in North American history, people. The odds of picking all six winning numbers was one in 292 million.


SESAY: In other words, John was more likely to be struck by lightning while drowning --


VAUSE: And being eaten by a shark and hit by a trailer and a boat.

SESAY: You had a higher chance of all of that than winning. You'll be back here tomorrow then?


You read the rest.

A British child is enjoying a few minutes of fame thanks to a star turn on the midday news.

SESAY: She was there with her family to talk about a serious issue but her antics stole the show.


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: What's she like, now on the desk? She has to avoid -- you're all right, carry on there. You can't have the milk either.

Joining me now, are mom, Lucy Juncker and her children, George, and there at the front of my desk, Iris, who will do what she chooses to do in the next couple minutes.

First, let me ask you, Lucy, do you think that earlier detection would have helped you run the families and their lives with allergy.


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: Are there other things you fancy that you're not allowed to eat or drink.

GEORGE JUNCKER, HAS FOOD ALLERGIES: I'm not allowed to eat milk.

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: So no milk shakes. You don't miss it?

And that's it this lunchtime. I think we'll have a more peaceful time at 6:30. But from all of us, a very good afternoon to you. Bye-bye.


VAUSE: Have you seen those posters, keep calm and carry on. What a guy.

SESAY: He did very well there. She's welcome here any time.

VAUSE: Absolutely.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay.


SESAY: Be sure to log on to cnnnewsroomla for highlights and clips of our show.

The news continues with our Rosemary Church.

VAUSE: She didn't win the lottery either.

SESAY: She'll be here after the break.

You're watching CNN.

VAUSE: We'll be back.


[03:00:06] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour --