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O.J. Simpson Released from Prison after Nine Years; Equifax, Wells Fargo Scandals Draw Congress Attention; "This is Life" Premiere Episode Explores Sex and Intimacy; Bourdain Kicks Off 10th Season with Singapore Trip. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired October 1, 2017 - 18:00   ET


[18:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's not clear what prompted the tweets but it does seemingly contradicts Tillerson's comments yesterday after he met with China's president and said the Trump administration can and does talk directly to Pyongyang.

Now Trump sent the tweets from his New Jersey golf club. He has been there watching the President's Cup Golf Tournament today at a nearby club and he is fending off new criticisms about his inflammatory tweets toward Puerto Rican official and its accusations that he and his administration are again losing focus.

On the scope of devastation in Puerto Rico, an island where millions of Americans are rationing life-saving resources going to bed hungry, thirsty, most still without power, many still without water and gas.

We want to go straight to CNN's Anderson Cooper on the ground in San Juan.

And Anderson, I know you spoke to the mayor of another town in Western Puerto Rico that was hit hard by the storm and he had a message for the president. What was it?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he certainly did. This is the mayor of a town called Aguadilla. It's a town the mayor says has about 60,000 people. It's in the far west of Puerto Rico. We were there yesterday.

While the mayor was distributing some cases of water that had been donated by the Red Cross, by the American Red Cross, I asked him about the president's tweets, the notion -- the president's criticism about the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico the president feels want everything done for them. Here is what the mayor said.


MAYOR CARLOS MENDEZ, AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO: Do you see me on top of the truck? Do you see me giving food to the people? Is somebody doing things for me or am I doing them myself? So let me tell you, Donald Trump, if you're listening to me, 10,000 federal workers, they don't have one here in Aguadilla city.

President Trump, I was a state chairman for the Republican Party in Puerto Rico for 12 years. My last year was last year. I still a Republican. I'm still a devoted Republican but no federal worker, 10,000, I haven't seen one in this town. If you get to Puerto Rico Tuesday, come and see me and you and I are going to walk around to see if we see one federal worker out of those 10,000.


COOPER: The mayor said he had received two shipments from FEMA but he said it was not enough in terms of food and water for a town of 60,000 people. There were some New York City firefighters there who were handing out waters that they had -- excuse me, not water, they're handing out MREs in conjunction with the American Red Cross that they had sort of requisition on their own.

And I did see three workers from the VA who were there to try to assess the needs of veterans in that town. But certainly the mayor feels that not enough is being done and that's a sentiment I think you hear in many of the 78 municipalities throughout Puerto Rico.

CABRERA: Well, it's a different mayor, a different place in Puerto Rico but it has been about 24 hours now since the president went right after the mayor of San Juan for poor leadership, as he calls it. How is she and how are others in Puerto Rico responding to those comments specifically?

COOPER: You know, I think certainly, there's a lot of disappointment I think to say the least in the president's tweets. You know, obviously a lot of people here don't have power, they're not able to watch television, but word has sort of filtered out and a number of people came up to me yesterday asking me exactly what did the president say. And I would read them the tweets and obviously it went from extremely angry to, you know, just a sense of disappointment.

And I talked to the mayor of San Juan last night just before 8:00 p.m. about the president's tweets. She didn't want to get into tit-for-tat with the president. She said, you know, she didn't want to be distracted. She felt those were a distraction and that she is trying to do what she can to help people here.

CABRERA: Anderson Cooper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, thank you.

Now to the latest on the tension level between the United States and North Korea. President Trump today tweeting about North Korea mentioning his Secretary of State and using his new preferred term for the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. These words from the president.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket man. Save your energy, Rex. We will do what has to be done. Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years. Why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail."

Keeping him honest, Kim Jong-un would have been just 10 years 25 years ago and only became the leader of North Korea in 2011. But joining us now CNN's Ryan Nobles not far from the Trump golf resort in New Jersey where the president spent much of the weekend. And, Ryan, the president saying in that message that Rex Tillerson is

in his words wasting his time. Is the implication that the United States should stop all diplomatic efforts? What are you hearing?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty hard to interpret exactly where the administration stands as it relates to their conversations, the negotiations or the situation with North Korea in general. And a spokesperson from the State Department back- pedaling a little bit today on behalf of both the Secretary of State and the president in a series of tweets.

[18:05:06] She said that diplomacy is still on the table and military options are still on the table, and she said that it's up to the regime to decide which way the United States goes. But this really tracks back to a statement that Secretary Tillerson made while on a trip in Beijing. He just met with the Chinese president. He came out of that meeting and said this, quote, "We are probing, so stay tuned. We asked, would you like to talk? We have lines of communication to Pyongyang. We're not in a dark situation or blackout. We have a couple of channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them directly through our own channels."

So only about 24 hours ago Rex Tillerson suggesting they're talking to the North Korea, trying to figure out what they want may be the best path to some sort of resolution to calm the situation in the region and hopefully promote peace, and Tillerson also described the rhetoric between North Korea and the United States is over heated. Obviously after his tweets today, the president feels as though Tillerson is wasting his time -- Ana.

CABRERA: Ryan, on that second tweet from the president today, "Clinton fail, Bush failed and Obama failed, I won't fail," what was the president be referring to here? What is not failing in this context?

NOBLES: That's a great question, Ana. And I think this tracks back to exactly what both the United States and North Korea would decide would describe as a successful resolution to this showdown. You could obviously take it to as far to an extent to say that some sort of military action could take place and that Kim Jong-un would be removed from office or is it as simple as trying to get them to agree to disarm their nuclear program.

That's long been the goal of not just the United States but other countries around the world including members of the United Nations. So that seems to be the long-term goal of this administration, to keep the nukes out of hands of Kim Jong-un, especially nukes that he can put on a missile and fire at the U.S. or its allies but they are certainly not taking off the table the option for a military strike if need be.

CABRERA: Ryan Nobles, thank you.

I want to talk more about the president's tweets on Tillerson and his tweets defending his administration's response in Puerto Rico, let's bring in our political panel, Scott Jennings, the former special assistance to President George W. Bush, and April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network.

Scott, President Trump says Tillerson is, quote, "wasting his time," trying to negotiate with North Korea. If you're Tillerson right now what are you thinking.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you're probably not all that happy about being undercut by the commander-in-chief. On the other hand there may be a bit of a good cop-bad cop going on here and there may be an attempt by the Trump White House to portray the president as, you know, just crazy enough to go to war in North Korea. After all the president needs the North Koreans, he needs the Chinese and he needs to Russians to believe that we are credibly considering a military option.

If they don't believe we're credible on threatening military action, then it gives us a lot less leverage at the table for diplomacy. So right now I think the State Department has communicated that there is a window open for diplomatic solution but the window is closing, the president is rattling his saber, and overall I think they want the region to believe all options are on the table for the United States.

CABRERA: April, the president also called Rex Tillerson a wonderful Secretary of State, how might these mixed messages affect Tillerson's credibility on the global stage?

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORK: Tillerson is the man of diplomacy. He's trying to work out all options, option of peace that's on the table. It undermines him as he's working for peace and you're hearing again the saber rattling and the president is leaning more towards the Pentagon DOD versus his man of peace.

And in this kind of thing as Tillerson is working to try to work up all diplomatic options, you have North Korea talking about it seems like we are talking war, we have declared war, and those kind of things just turn the rhetoric up and really Tillerson is almost obsolete. So when you have the president, the leader of this country, saying one thing and your man of peace saying another, you tend to believe the man who is leading, who is the boss over Tillerson.

So it's a tough way to go for Tillerson. Tillerson is trying his best but when you have the president saying this and the North Korea talking about they're talking war, it sounds like it to another country even though Tillerson is working hard to keep that option on the table of peace.

CABRERA: I mean, Scott, if you are another country, if you are Kim Jong-un and Tillerson is saying, you know, we have some negotiation ability or we're willing to work with you diplomatically, and then the president is saying throw that out the window in a tweet that's public for all to read, why would anybody want to negotiate with Rex Tillerson?

JENNINGS: Well, I think they have to negotiate with Rex Tillerson because he's the Secretary of State of United States. That doesn't mean that this sort of -- CABRERA: That doesn't mean anything.

[18:10:02] JENNINGS: You know, in public conversation doesn't undermine his credibility but he's the president's designated representative on the world stage so you have to talk to him and you have to take him seriously.

Again, the president's tweets here may not be helping his credibility but that doesn't undermine his position as representing the most powerful military and the most powerful country on the face of the earth.

So I don't know about the behind-the-scenes strategy here but I do know this. On his way out the door, the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon said to a reporter on the record there is no credible military option for the United States and North Korea. Well, they have the Internet in North Korea, some people do, and they have the Internet in China, they can read those kinds of comments and they know that we may not have the resolve to go to war. The president has to reverse that belief in order for us to have the leverage we need to get a result here.

CABRERA: I want to talk about Puerto Rico because the president will be heading there with the first lady in just a couple of days. There is obviously more to talk about as well on North Korea. But let's turn to this, April, because after that tweet saying Puerto Ricans want everything done for them, what kind of response do you think the president will receive when he goes and visits Puerto Rico?

RYAN: I'm waiting to see what happens Tuesday. It's going to be a very newsy day to hear the president's tweets and the back and forth between the mayor of San Juan and the president.

The people of San Juan, you know, they may be getting water -- a little bit of water, they may get things, you know, businesses may be opening. The people of San Juan, the people of Puerto Rico they are still hurting.

This is about humanity. This is about the heart. They are devastated there and it is an American territory and I just -- I can't predict, you know, one would think but I can't predict and I want to see what happens because this is a very tense time, it's a hard time for them, and they feel -- they feel left out just from what they consider a slow response, but also, you know, there are many people who are talking race and we have to just see how this plays out Tuesday.

You know, the president, when we went to Houston, he was lending a helping hand. He leaned in. Let's see what he does when he comes Tuesday to maybe change the dynamic and some of the vitriol that's been happening right now.

CABRERA: Scott, do you believe the president appears as concerned with the well being of the people of Puerto Rico as he is with the perception of his administration's response?

JENNINGS: Well, I think the administration is extremely concerned with the well being of Puerto Rico. They did send naval assets to the area before the hurricane hit. That's gone I think under reported. We do have a three-star general on the ground. We do have supplies streaming in. So I think the administration is doing what it can do.

I also think the devastation here is far beyond what we saw in the previous hurricanes. This was already a country suffering from bad transportation infrastructure, suffering from bad telecom infrastructure, suffering from poor building construction, and frankly, had been saddled with poor local leadership and a lot of financial problems.

So he's dealing with a really rough situation that existed before he took office and certainly before the hurricane hit. I hope he goes there Tuesday and takes a good look at the devastation, though, because how he responds to this and how he responds to the cleanup and rebuilding in Houston are largely going to define a big part of his domestic agenda in the first term.

CABRERA: Scott Jennings and April Ryan, thank you both for the conversation.

Coming up, the lost weekend, a new report how President Trump's time at his golf club may have hurt the response to the Puerto Rico disaster and could it have been done -- could more have been done to prevent scenes like this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're out of food. We're running out of food and water.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the kind of heartbreaking, soul-draining scene that's getting played out again and again as people -- look at her. As she gets on a sat phone for the first time. Oh my god. It crushes your soul.



[18:18:07] CABRERA: Just in to CNN, an appearance just moments ago, the president's cup golf tournament and President Trump dedicated a trophy to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Let's watch.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On behalf of all of the people of Texas and all of the people of -- if you look today and you see what's happening, how horrible it is, but we have it under really great control, Puerto Rico, and the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes, I want to just remember them and we're going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love. Part of our great state. Really a part of our great nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: So let's talk about a new report now raising this question.

Did President Trump's three-day weekend at his private golf club last weekend delay the government's response? "The Washington Post" said it did.

The piece offers the day-by-day account of the White House's response to the crisis including a crucial four-day window where it seemed as though no one including the president took the devastation seriously.

According to the paper, the sense of urgency only sunk in when the White House started seeing scenes like this on TV following the following Monday. Now White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denies all of this saying, quote, "Washington Post story on Puerto Rico is false. President gave military and first responders 100 percent support and has been updated daily on efforts by General Kelly and FEMA."

I'm joined now by one of the reporters behind the piece. Abby Phillip is a CNN political analyst and a White House reporter for the "Washington Post."

So, Abby, the White House says your story is false. What's your response?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think we need to just take a look at what is being laid out in the story, which Sarah Huckabee Sanders doesn't actually deny. You know, we said nothing about whether or not the president supported first responders. The question was, what kind of information was he receiving in those first few days after the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico?

[18:20:08] And was the federal government fully aware of the need of the degree to which that island was spiraling into total darkness and devastation? And, you know, we asked the White House multiple times over a period of two days to tell us what kinds of briefings the president was receiving from people on the ground in Puerto Rico, from people within his administration who are leading the effort to respond to these hurricanes. and they refused to tell us anything.

There were no events on the president's schedule related to the hurricane. It wasn't until Tuesday that the White House put some briefings on there about the hurricane. That was a day after two of the president's top emergency relief management aides came back from seeing the disaster on the ground.

Those images were being shown on television and the administration seemed to leap into action. You know, administration officials basically told us the president saw it on television essentially and they realized that this is really bad and the narrative was particularly troublesome to them.

CABRERA: So do you think the response would have been different if the president was at the White House instead of his golf club?

PHILLIP: It's not entirely clear. I think, you know, the president has the ability to receive briefings from wherever he is and I think that's what makes this so puzzling. And even when he is in Bedminster, he can receive officials who come to his golf resort to brief him on other matters on Friday. That was two days after landfall. He received a different kind of briefing on the travel ban where almost half a dozen Cabinet officials flew up to Bedminster to brief him but no one did that on the storm over the course of that weekend.

So I think it was -- there were a number of factors, one of them being that even Puerto Rican officials weren't totally communicating a sense of urgency that weekend but the federal government also didn't seem to understand how bad things were and the president was certainly not receiving direct information about the status of the response while he was at his golf resort.

CABRERA: And was his response to what happened in the hurricane striking Puerto Rico different than it was after Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma?

PHILLIP: I think that's pretty clear. I mean, after Harvey and Irma, there were a lot of efforts to have sort of Cabinet level briefings in the days immediately following the storm. The first time that that happened after landfall from Maria was on Tuesday. That was about six days after the storm made landfall. So you see quite a bit of time elapsing in which you don't see the president interfacing directly with officials.

We spoke to the governor of Puerto Rico, we spoke to congresswoman who represents Puerto Rico, neither of those officials spoke with the president after the storm, you know, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. It took until midweek the following week after the storm made landfall for him to speak directly to people on the ground who were seeing this face-to-face.

It was very different after Maria. The White House talked a lot about the kind of conversations he was having with local officials. He did teleconferences with FEMA. There were Cabinet officials visiting FEMA. None of that happened after Maria.

CABRERA: Of course we know the president went to Texas twice in the first week after Hurricane Harvey.

PHILLIP: That's right.

CABRERA: He'll be going the first time on Tuesday to Puerto Rico almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall there.

Abby Phillip, thank you so much for your reporting and for sharing it with us.

Coming up, the president doubling down on his feud with the NFL saying it is important players stand for the national anthem. The new poll numbers that show how the issue has divided the country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:28:15] CABRERA: In the midst of a huge upset victory over the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers superstar quarterback Cam Newton raised a clenched fist in what appears to be a sign of solidarity amid the debate over players that kneel during the national anthem.

It wasn't the only display we saw today. Just a short time ago about half of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the anthem. In addition, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch wore a T-shirt that -- if you can read it there -- says "Everybody Versus Trump."

Now Lynch has taken part in the anthem protest this season before. New CNN polling shows Americans are deeply divided on this issue. Among whites 59 percent say the players are doing the wrong thing by kneeling during the anthem. Only 12 percent of blacks agree.

Earlier I spoke to former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod about how Trump's base may react to the anthem controversy as well as the challenges for a president in tackling issues of race.


CABRERA: The president knows his attack on the anthem protest is something that does resonate with his base and he took it a step further this week. Listen.


TRUMP: I have so many friends that are owners, and they are in a box. I mean, I've spoken to a couple of them. They say we are in a situation where we have to do something. I think they are afraid of their players, if you want to know the truth, and I think it's disgraceful.


CABRERA: So, David, most of these athletes are African-American. These players that he says the owners are afraid of. Your boss was criticized for being too nuanced on race despite being the first African-American president. Now we have a white president who is being criticized for being too bombastic. What is the right way for a president to handle race?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think what is a disgrace is to willfully, purposefully for political reasons try and pour kerosene on the fire to try and exploit these divisions for his own political purposes, and that's what happened here.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: And he says Americans should be united around the flag.

AXELROD: I think Americans are united around the flag, but we ought to be united also around what the flag represents. And the idea of protests and calling attention to where we are not living up fully to the commitments of our country, to equal justice under the law, is part of the American tradition. It's part of the values that we share. I'm the son of an immigrant. He fled tyranny to come here for that

freedom. We ought not to be casual about that.


CABRERA: Our thanks to David Axelrod for joining us.

Coming up, after nine years behind bars, O.J. Simpson is a freeman. Details of his late night release and one state's fight to keep him from moving there. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[18:36:04] CABRERA: After serving nine years for a Las Vegas kidnapping and armed robbery, an upbeat O.J. Simpson walked out of a Nevada prison shortly after midnight. A spokesman for the Nevada Department of Corrections telling Simpson, don't come back. His response, quote, I don't intend to.

CNN's Jean Casarez joins us now live from Las Vegas.

Jean, what can you tell us about the terms of O.J.'s release?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are a lot of conditions of parole. And first and foremost, he cannot break the law. He can't commit any crimes. Secondly, he is not to associate with any felons, convicted felons.

Also, the Parole Board had determined that he has an issue with substance abuse, alcohol. He didn't like that at the parole hearing. He disagreed with it, but one of the conditions is that, although he can drink alcohol, he can be subject to a breathalyzer test or a blood test at any time to see what his alcohol level is.

Also, they can search him at any time, and he must report to a parole official every month.

Now, it was 12:08 this morning that O.J. Simpson appeared. And they did it in the early morning hours, they said, for issues of safety. His safety, the prison's safety, and also the public's safety.

But he met with his parole officer at that point. He was read papers. He was told things like how to get a driver's license when he is out. He signed papers.

They looked at his inventory, all of his belongings, and asked him what he wanted to take with him. He selected three things: a small burner, some clothes, and some shower shoes. And the rest of the inventory, they wanted to keep. They did not want it dispersed within the prison.

But with that, he left, and there was a driver. It was a light colored SUV.

Now, where is he? We know he's in the state of Nevada. We believe he's in the Las Vegas area at this point, but where his final destination will be, where he will want his permanent residence to be, that's a question now that I don't think anybody knows.

CABRERA: All right. Jean Casarez, thank you.

This week, two big financial scandals will be front and center on Capitol Hill. CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans has your "Before the Bell" report.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Some high profile grillings on Capitol Hill this week. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan and the newly retired Equifax CEO Richard Smith are both scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee.

Smith left Equifax last week following the company's stunning data breach. It exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. Shares of Equifax have been pummeled since that hack was announced.

It is a different story for Wells Fargo. Its shares have recovered from last year's fake accounts fiasco. But since then, the bank has disclosed a series of additional problems.

Senator Elizabeth Warren argues Wells Fargo and all big banks need more regulation. Expect some fireworks from her at both hearings this week.

Wall Street is also waiting for the September jobs report due out on Friday. One thing to watch for, whether job losses from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma show up in these numbers.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

CABRERA: Thanks, Christine.

Coming up, "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" returns with an intimate look at how couples who've lost their spark get their groove back.


[18:43:43] CABRERA: She has fought with MMA fighters. Spent time in the largest jail system in America. And now, Lisa Ling is taking an honest look at the world of sex, love, and identity in the new season of "THIS IS LIFE." Here is a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many men right now in our world who get their sexual release through porn, and they can't eroticize their life and let go of the years of programming that, as a man, I can't, you know, have sex with the woman I love.

You can lose yourself inside that sexual experience, and this woman can still be there for you and love you. And your connection can be that deep.

LISA LING, CNN HOST: The session ends with one more exercise for Ricky and Jennifer to try later in the privacy of their own home. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take a little bit of this coconut oil. We're

stripping away the layers of guilt and shame and having this very deep and beautiful sexual healing by saying sex is beauty. Sex is worship. Sex is love and connection.

Just feel total permission and pleasure and exhale. Feel that exchange of love instead of judgments, separation. You feel, now, connection and intimacy. And that's that sexual healing.

How do you feel, Jennifer?

[18:45:00] JENNIFER, PATIENT: I feel like a goddess.


LING: I really admire the steps that Ricky and Jen are taking. I mean, what they've been experiencing is what so many couples are dealing with.

Let's put it this way. I've been married 10 years, and I am very curious to know if this stuff is going to work.


CABRERA: Aren't we all? Lisa Ling joins us now.

So you look at different therapeutic approaches to help couples achieve sexual healing. I got to ask, whose idea was this?

LING: So this was my idea. We do profile two women with very different approaches to sexual healing. And you know, Ana, there is so much guilt and shame that surrounds sex these days. And it's even difficult to talk about.

And one of our experts says that if you have any deficiencies at all in your sex life, if you have any blockage to your sexual energy -- for example, you have experienced sexual abuse or you're not physical with your spouse or you have body image issues -- it affects every aspect of your body.

And so this episode -- you know, not all the episodes this season are about sex, but our first one is. And it actually is a very, very relevant topic right now.

CABRERA: What did you discover is the biggest cause of sex and intimacy issues? Is it technology, pornography, or what else?

LING: I mean, there are a whole slew of issues, but I think one of the biggest issues that we have as a culture is that there is so much guilt and shame around sex. You know, we have no problem promoting it and publicizing it, but we also shame it and we politicize it.

And so one of my objectives in doing this episode is to try and just normalize the conversation so that we don't have to feel afraid anymore. And again, I think that people are going to find this very relatable. CABRERA: Now, you look at other models of sexual healing, some old,

some new, there's the controversial surrogate partnership approach --

LING: Yes.

CABRERA: -- the ancient Indian practice of Tantra. One works better than the other?

LING: I wouldn't say one works better than the other. I think it just depends on what your issues are.

You mentioned the surrogate partner. So many people don't realize that there is a kind of therapeutic practice where the therapist actually becomes physical with his or her clients, and it culminates in sex.

And we spent time with one such therapist, and she worked with a man who was courageous enough to share his story. He's a man who became very, very successful, became a multimillionaire, in fact, but had never had sex because he was so severely abused as a young person.

And so he has been working with her for the last year. And something as simple as just a touch was something that was totally foreign to him. And he said something really profound in the episode, which is that human beings need touch. They need to be able to experience healthy touch.

And going back to what I said earlier, you know, what this therapist said was that, if you have any blockage, it affects every aspect of your life.


LING: So I hope you'll check it out.

CABRERA: Do you think that people are going to walk away from this episode and have learned some lessons that they can apply then in their relationship?

LING: I think so. And what we try to do with every episode is to just pique people's interest so that if they have any desire to, you know, dispel some of that shame that they've been living with, they might actually take the initiative to go do it.

CABRERA: What else do you have in store this season? You said it's not all about sex.

LING: It's definitely not all about sex. Next week, I embedded with a heavily armed militia in the state of Arizona.

We spend time with African-American Muslims because they were, in fact, the first Muslims in this country. They -- in the African- American community.

We explore the recent migration of Chinese who are extremely wealthy and investing millions and millions of dollars in the United States. And we also visit this world that exists beneath Las Vegas. It is

this series of storm drains that exist beneath the Las Vegas strip that are inhabited by hundreds of people. So a pretty diverse season upcoming.

CABRERA: Sounds fascinating. I'm a big fan of your story telling and journalism. Lisa Ling, thanks for joining us.

And we look forward to your new episode and the season premiere of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Coming up, Anthony Bourdain. Preview the big premiere of his new season of "PARTS UNKNOWN," the episode he calls straight up, old school, 100 percent food porn. His return trip to Singapore, next.


CABRERA: Anthony Bourdain is back for season 10 of "PARTS UNKNOWN," and his first stop is Singapore. Here's a preview.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: Jam-packed in between the carefully Feng Shuied architecture, the skyscrapers, and office blocks are rich, deep, very old, and deliciously funky remnants of the old world.

Chinese, Indian, Malay, and a culture that still cherishes the joys of a simple, good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lot of delicious food you can get in Singapore.

BOURDAIN: What's your favorite?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite is, in Bali, Indonesia, we call it mie goring.

BOURDAIN: That's your favorite, the Malay?


[18:55:00] BOURDAIN: What's your favorite Chinese dish?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chinese, hokkien mee.

BOURDAIN: Hokkien mee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hokkien mee. Sometimes, chicken rice.

BOURDAIN: Chicken, of course.


BOURDAIN: And how about favorite Indian dish?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely, the biryani. You know that? BOURDAIN: The biryani?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, biryani rice. You got it right.

BOURDAIN: Oh, so many roads, right?


BOURDAIN: Oh, that's the best laksa. I've had some, you know.

Funny, I recognize every place here by food.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, how are you?

BOURDAIN: I've been good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit over there. Oh, so what blows you back to Singapore?

BOURDAIN: You know, why I come here. I come here to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I live here to eat, too.

BOURDAIN: I come here mostly to eat because that's what they do here. And they arguably do it better with more diverse, affordable food options per square foot than just about anywhere on earth.


CABRERA: So I spoke with Anthony Bourdain about returning to one of his favorite places in the world for an episode full of what he calls solid food porn. Here's our conversation.


CABRERA: Singapore's interesting because it's somewhat a contradictory society, is my understanding, and people have called it the Disneyland with the death penalty.


CABRERA: Do you think that's a fair description?

BOURDAIN: Well, it's close to the reality. It is a sort of a benevolent autocracy.

One can be -- it's a place with a very potentially delicate balance of ethnicities. I mean, you have Muslim Malay, Buddhist Chinese, Hindu Indian populations all living in close quarters in a very new country, in what's -- kind of looks to the outside like one big shopping mall.

And yet, they've managed to take care or address a lot of the social problems and inequities that exist in first world societies around the world very elegantly, as far as housing, home ownership, education, medical care. They managed to avoid the kind of ethnic strife that one sees in the area in other countries.

So though the show is largely about the incredible food scene there -- in that respect, it's an hour of near solid food porn -- we do sort of playfully reflect on the notion that maybe the freedom of speech is overrated.


BOURDAIN: Now, this goes very much against my core of beliefs, for sure.

CABRERA: Because people are happy there --

BOURDAIN: The people --

CABRERA: -- despite the lack of civil liberties, do you find?

BOURDAIN: People have willingly given up or exchanged certain freedoms that we hold dear in return for security, prosperity, a certain lifestyle, certain assurances. And it's tempting, when you spend time in Singapore, to think along those lines.

I think, you know, particularly when you look at the situation here, the struggle over whether the -- you know, a free press is even a good thing. I mean, we hear this being said directly by the President.

So we, in our own way, sort of pose that question frequently. Is this a tradeoff that people might be willing to make at some point?

CABRERA: And when you talk about eating through the whole episode, what was the best food there?

BOURDAIN: Well, it's -- the hawker food is what's best about Singapore. They have a very vibrant street food culture, but, you know, dirt is not allowed in Singapore. There are very high standards for health and safety regulations.

So they managed to rather elegantly move all the street vendors into enclosed areas with rigorous sanitation standards, but really keep the character of the original street carts.

So you go into a hawker center and you have options, all of these wonderful Halal Malay dishes, every variety of Chinese and mixed Chinese traditional food, Indian food that's some of the best in the world. All in a closed space and all valued just as much by the average Singaporean as a meal at a three-star Michelin.


BOURDAIN: People will drive, you know, in their Mercedes for 45 minutes and stand in line for another 45 for a $3 bowl of noodles.

CABRERA: Wow. Must be good.

BOURDAIN: Just as enthusiastically as they would get into the hot new restaurant. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Tune in for the season premiere of "PARTS UNKNOWN: SINGAPORE," tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for ending your weekend with us.

President Trump, in a series of tweets, is now suggesting diplomacy with North Korea is a lost cause despite the efforts of his own Secretary of State.

[18:59:57] President Trump writing, I told Rex Tillerson that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy, Rex.