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Trump & Moon Joint News Conference; U.S. Commerce Secy. Under Fire For Russia Ties; Remembering The Victims Of The Texas Church Shooting. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 7, 2017 - 02:00   ET


JOHN VAUSE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause live in Los Angeles where it has just turned 11 o'clock here on the west coast. U.S. President Donald Trump is now in Beijing the third stop on his Asia tour which some have said it will call for delicate diplomacy as he pushes China to do more to end North Korea's nuclear program.

Hours earlier at South Korea's National Assemble the president condemned North Korea's oppressive regime while praising Seoul's accomplishments over the past decades, seven decades. He said, "American does not seek conflict with North Korea but will not run from it either." And, he issues another stark warning to Kim Jon Un.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I hope I speak not only for our countries but for all civilized nations when I say to the north do not underestimate us. And do not try us.


VAUSE: Joining us now, CNN's Matt Rivers in Beijing. Also, Paula Hancocks in Seoul. Paula, let's just start with that speech to the National Assembly there. Many law makers in South Korea were a little nervous that Donald Trump's remarks might raise tensions with Pyongyang but apart from plugging his golf course this seemed to be a typical speech from a U.S. president. Maybe tougher in tone but it was met with a standing ovation.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, yes. Thirty-five minutes of standing ovation at the end. Although to be fair he had a standing ovation when he came in as well. It's a slightly different tact than we've been seeing from the U.S. president, that's for sure.

There were no direct threats to totally destroying North Korea. There were no personal insults against the North Korean leader. But really (inaudible) it's criticism and insults (inaudible) of the country may actually annoy North Korea even further.

Pointing out the stark contrast between the north and the south. Talking about the south's successes and then talking about the North Korean's human rights abuses, the gulags, the fact that they had a devastated famine in the 1990s. the fact that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is more concerned with pumping money into a nuclear missile program than being able to feed his own people.

Now, all of this is based on fact but it was put forward in a very forceful way. Almost an emotional way of, almost putting himself on the moral high ground. And then, also questioning how others could let this happen, how other countries could support such a regime. So, certainly it was a fairly strong speech, John.

VAUSE: It was a strong speech and part of that speech was calling on China to do more. So, Matt, you're in over here in Beijing. We've heard this a lot from this administration in Washington for China to end the threat coming from North Korea. (Inaudible) in Beijing back in Washington moving closer (inaudible) sanctions which will specifically target Chinese banks and companies which do business with the north. So, that gives some teeth to that demand I guess.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and what the Chinese are going to say to Donald Trump is that they don't believe that those so called secondary sanctions are the way forward. They believe the only way to really solve this ongoing crisis is through bilateral negotiation between the United Stated and North Korea.

That said the Chinese would say that they've already signed on to some of the toughest sanctions ever imposed against North Korea. Those sanctions couldn't go forward without China's approval given their veto power on the U.S. Security Council.

So, China says they're doing enough already but really that brings us to this stalemate that has existed between the United States and China throughout the entirety of Donald Trump's presidency. The Trump administration's tune on China has not changed.

They want China to use their economic leverage to force North Korea to stop developing weapons and China says we're not willing to do anything to cut off the trade in such a way that could cause the Kim Jong Un regime to collapse. They say it would cause a humanitarian crisis and makes things worse.

In reality it also has a lot to do with their geopolitical strategy as North Korea as a bumper state between South Korea and the U.S. troops there. But we're really at a stalemate, John. It'll interesting to see if either leader can really force the other one to move in a different direction.

VAUSE: Just very quickly Matt have they cleared the skies of the pollution? Is it a blue sky day?

RIVERS: You know, yes it is, it's a blue sky day. Maybe the factories have been shut down, it's cloudy now but we had blue skies in the morning no pollution today.

VAUSE: It's amazing what they can do when they want to. Matt Rivers there on a blue sky day in Beijing and Paula Hancocks there in Seoul, thanks to you both. A lot more on this now our political panel joins us. We have commentators Jane Jacobsen as well as John Phillips also here in Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, Michael Shires. OK so the U.S. President is given a standing ovation, Paula Hancock said it went for 35 minutes; there was extended applause throughout the speech. So Dave, the South Koreans, I guess they liked what they heard or were they just realized that he didn't insult Kim Jong Un to start or something.

JACOBSON: I think it's probably the latter.

VAUSE: Really.

JACOBSON: It's unfortunate, but yes I mean the fact is we haven't had a Tweet storm regarding North Korea in a couple days, which is a good thing.

VAUSE: Well Twitter is blocked in China but he should be able to get access to Twitter.

JACOBSON: I'm sure the President of the United States will have access, if he really wants, to Twitter.

VAUSE: You say that, but that is actually a real danger in these negotiations is that the president gets up in the middle of the night and reads something and gets upset and tweets.

JACOBSON: Absolutely and so I think that's a big question, is he going to do something to really create a disastrous scenario for his China trip, pardon me, but look I think with his speech tonight I think he's setting himself up somewhat for failure because he's really trying to intensify the pressure on Russia and China. But the fact is they just increased sanctions, obviously on a personal level, I support tougher sanctions but I just don't see any movement on that front, we haven't seen any indication at all that China is willing to do anything more than what they've already done. And so that's the big question is if he comes back without any deliverables on that front, is he going to look like a weaker president than he did going into this trip?

VAUSE: OK, John, one thing which the president does deserve credit for was highlighting the appalling human rights abuses of the North Korean regime. It has been -- it seems a long time since a U.S. President went into that much detail on this global stage like President Trump did.

PHILLIPS: That's right, he said North Korea is hell and I disagree with him on one point. North Korea is worse than hell because at least in hell they have the furnace turned on and Kim Jong Un is there to entertain you with riddles. In North Korea they have nothing, those people are eating tree bark and that's a thing too that most of our allies - or all of our allies can sign on to. The countries that he's visiting right now even China even Russia, if they're honest about it, they have to admit that the human rights atrocities that are going on in North Korea are unconscionable and need to be condemned both with them in the region and at the United Nations.

VAUSE: Is the problem though if you call out North Korean's human rights abuses, then you have to do that everywhere around the world where there are similar abuses going on?

PHILLIPS: Well right now, North Korea is the problem.

VAUSE: Sure but there are other places where it's pretty awful.

PHILLIPS: Right absolutely, but right now we have what's on our plate and right now North Korea is firing missiles off into the ocean over our allies so we've got to take care of this now before it becomes a disaster.

VAUSE: OK, Michael, the tone from the president's speech in Seoul a few hours ago, it was tough, it was silly Donald Trump, but at least there's this talk of diplomacy and trying to find a way out of this. But the problem is, opening demand is a complete non-starter. The North Koreans have made it clear that they will never give up their nuclear program and it seems that the president here is learning what other presidents have learned over the years.

SHIRES: Well it's a hard lesson to learn too I mean the reality is he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. I do think he has some leverage with the Chinese that people aren't really focused on, which is we trade a lot with them and Trump made a big campaign plank that he was going to change the trade relationship with China. So the shape of those changes is something that is on the table and can be negotiated.

So I actually think there's some significant leverage with the Chinese. I think it's kind of ironic that for him to influence the North Koreans, he has to turn to the Chinese and the Russians. With all the concerns about Russian collusion with the Trump Administration, you'd think he could just pick up the phone and ask Vladimir Putin to do what he wants.

VAUSE: You'd think. Before the president made that address in Seoul to the national assembly, officials of Pyongynag told CNN this, we will ever more strongly re-forge the blade of our treasured sword of justice and defend our independence with our righteous nuclear weapons and open up a new era of national prosperity with that treasured sword, which means they're not giving up their nuclear weapons.

So Michael, in the past the goal of diplomacy and talks has been essentially to put limits on North Korea's nuclear program. Is the president here making some sort of big opening play and he's willing to walk it back or do you think that's it?

SHIRES: I think he would count progress. You know, if he could get the ballistic missiles off the table I think that would be progress because our national security threat and the Japanese are affected by those. I think if you were to get some restraints on it, if you were to get some external verification and control on those facilities - I mean I think any form of real progress - substantial (ph), verifiable progress - is something he's going to be shooting for.

In an ideal world, we get them to give up their nuclear weapons. I agree. I think that's a long uphill battle, but if you do manage to enlist the Russians and the Chinese as your allies in this, the North Koreans may not have any choice.

VAUSE: OK, I'd like all of you to stay with us because there is a - it's been a big night here in the US as far as elections and politics, and democrats have been writing an anti-Donald Trump wave in elections in Virginia as well as New Jersey. CNN is projecting democrat Ralph Northam will be the next Governor of Virginia. He beat out the republican lobbyist and Trump supporter, Ed Gillespie. Trump tried to distance himself from the defeat, tweeting this, "Ed Gillespie worked hard, but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don't forget, republican won four out of four House seats, and with the economy doing record number, we will continue to win even bigger than before."

In New Jersey meantime, democrat Phil Murphy will move into the Governor's Mansion. He will be replacing the very unpopular republican governor, Chris Christie. As the polls show, the president's approval rating there at 36 percent.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Donald Trump in the White House, Jeff Sessions his attorney general, polluters run in the EPA, zealots heading the Department of Education, and Steve Bannon holding republicans in Congress hostage. Governors will have never mattered more.


VAUSE: OK, back to the panel now. OK. So let's focus on that race in Virginia because that was the big one. That was the bellwether, if you'd like. OK. So, Dave, tell me how this is the start of the anti- Trump wave, how this is all about the democrats retaking the lower house, the House of Reps, at the midterms. And, John, then you can follow up by telling me why he's completely wrong, and Gillespie never embraced Donald Trump, and it's all Gillespie's fault.

JACOBSON: Well it's clear that this obviously was a referendum against the president. Any republican who's running across the country - top of the ticket, bottom of the ticket - you're running on Donald Trump's coattail. There's no way to avoid that. And that fact is this is a significant win. I mean, it was a 9 point shellacking as President Obama said back in 2010, but against the opposing party.

I mean, look. The fact is democrats won up at the top of the ballet, and they won down ballet - won the Lieutenant Governor's Race, the Attorney General's Race, they picked four seats in the state assembly in Virginia. And so I think if you tea leaves, this could be the beginning of a potential blue wave that we're going to see in the 2018 election about a year from now, and I think you're seeing historic low approval ratings with the president. He's (ph) having around 33 percent which is unprecedented for a president in their first year.

So look, it's so early, of course. But if you look at the generic ballet for Congress, democrats are leading by double digits.

PHILLIPS: Yes, OK. In regard to the tweet, what is the saying "success has a thousand fathers and failures..." VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE)

PHILLIPS: Yes. I think we saw a little bit of that play itself out, but all politics is local. This is a blue state. This is a state that's been voting democrat. They have two democratic senators. They have a very popular democratic incumbent governor. Governor's in the state of Virginia are only allowed to run for one term. This was the lieutenant governor essentially running for what would be the second term of the Terry McAuliffe administration.

The surprising thing to me is that the republicans had a shot at this if this thing tightened up as much as it did at the end. Every possible advantage was going to the democrats, and I would add this point to the national perspective - Donald Trump's number aren't good right now. That's true, but they never were good. They weren't good during the campaign, he beat Hillary Clinton, and the democrats right now have numbers that are in the toilet.

I think that they've had their lowest number in quite sometime as a party. So I don't think you can take too much from this race outside of the fact that in Virginia, the democrats are on their way up.

VAUSE: OK. So, Michael, what's the reality?


SHIRES: I get to play referee here.

PHILLIPS: Yes, exactly. (ph)

SHIRES: I think it's a little of both actually. I mean, I think the Virginia democratic party did a fantastic job organizing. They had a tough primary, they brought the party together. I think that's a lesson for them going into the midterms. It's not about running against Russia. It's about running against Trump. It's about creating a positive message of unity. That's what worked for them.

At the same time, I think there's a little bit of a hangover from last year's election. A lot of the workers in Washington, D.C. live in Northern Virginia. They woke up a year ago and said, "what happened?" This time they made sure that it wouldn't happen again, and they worked really hard to organize locally to make sure that the result came out the way they did. And it's not just at the top of the ticket. They actually - I haven't seen the latest results. I know they had a shot at actually taking over the House of Delegates as well which would be remarkable. That would be 17 seat they'd have to flip.

VAUSE: OK, well this race in Virginia started out friendly enough, but then towards the end with a few weeks to go, Ed Gillespie, the Republican, tried some Trump tactics hitting in issues like immigration and race and running ads like this one.


FEMALE: MS-13 is a menace yet Ralph Northam voted in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous and illegal immigrants back on the street increasing the threat of MS-13. Ralph Northam's policies are dangerous.


VAUSE: Northam also had his own controversies as well. An outside democratic group, I think, only aired this commercial once or twice but it was really criticized.


FEMALE: Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American dream?


VAUSE: Yes, running immigrant children, Latino children down with pick-up trucks with Confederate flags on the back. It's -- I mean, all the ads-- I mean people in Washington, D.C. got to be glad this elections over because these ads were horrendous.

But John, it seems most of the awful ads are coming from the Gillespie side. And he lost. Does that mean that your republicans now look at this and say, hey, maybe we need to change the strategy here?

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Oh come on John, on the cattiness scale this is not a blip. We just had presidential election where they were doing everything by throwing chardonnay in each other's faces. This was nothing.

So look, I mean in a country where you have a president's approval ratings is in the 30's and you have a democratic party who's approval ratings is in the 30's, any issue that splits 50-50 is a winner from their perspective.

The fact of the matter is that the exit polling, they asked people about the confederate statues, for example, and it turns out that the vast majority of Virginians wanted to keep the statues up. I don't think the cultural issues are winners for the Democrats particularly in states, even like Virginia, that are as blue as that state.

VAUSE: So Dave?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well I don't think the cultural issues clearly, according to the elections results at least not today, are a winning issue for Republicans running.

Republicans of Virginia campaigned on exploiting racial stereo types. The Republicans sent out mail pieces embracing Donald Trump's call where NFL players ought to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

And I think the reality is, these aren't winning issues for Republicans, you've got to be talking about -- at a time when there's so much chaos and anxiety across the country because Washington's not getting anything done, what you need and what American's are looking for is real collaboration where we're going to get stuff done and move an agenda forward. And think the problem is Donald Trump's brand is embodiment of divisiveness and chaos. PHILLIPS: Republicans didn't put out the ad running over a child.

VAUSE: But did have a bunch of horrible ones right?

JACOBSON: I thought -- frankly, I thought it was a very fulfilling ad.

VAUSE: But very quickly, Michael, one of the exit polls I saw, the people who voted for Northam, the Democrat, I think 35 percent the top issue for them was healthcare and that seems to be a very big issue. Could that be a big issue going forward?

SHIRES: Well it's going to be. I mean whatever shape the healthcare system ends up in right before the election next year I think is going to sway a lot of votes. I mean this is an area where Congress should have bipartisan initiatives to try and deal with some of the problems.

Everybody agrees the systems broken. They're just -- this is where hopefully some of those theoretical moderates, which might exist in the legislature, can come together. I think President Trump, at this point, is desperate enough for a win that he will sign legislation if they get it to him.

The challenge is going to be getting it to him. And I think that one of the messages for this campaign going forward, especially for Republicans after Virginia, has to be they need to produce some things that they can run on and right now they don't have much on their plate that they can say we've accomplished. And going into the mid-terms if they don't have that it may turn out even worse than they thought.

VAUSE: (Inaudible) will go around talking about, it was interesting when Donald Trump was in Seoul he was talking about his accomplishments and he mentioned Neil Gorsuch being invited to the Supreme Court, which I thought was an...

JACOBSON: Warmed over talking point there.

VAUSE: There's not a lot to talk about, I guess. That David and John and also Michael there as well, thanks for being with us.

PHILLIPS: Thank you.

VAUSE: Okay, we'll take a break. When we come back, the Texas church shooter had a well known history of domestic violence and yet he was still able to legally buy guns. We'll have more on that in a moment. Also, a new bill before the U.S. House calls for examining a link between domestic violence and mass shootings. We'll look at the chilling numbers in just a moment.


DON RIDDELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Riddell with your CNN World Sport headlines. The West Ham Football Club confirmed that David Moyes is their new manager. He succeed Laverne Village (ph), He was fired on Monday. The former Manchester United boss has a tough job on his hands; the Hammers are in the relegations though. And many fans are opposed to his recruitment. Moyes resigned from Sunderland in May after they were relegated from the premier league. Doping is a real problem in sports and athletes who agree to work with the authorities to help stamp it out should be applauded and one would assume that such athletes are clean

So, there was a bit of a shock when Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO. She's banned for four years. Sumgong claimed that the hormone was in her system because she'd been receiving treatments for an ectopic pregnancy but the authorities couldn't find any record of her hospital visit and dismissed her story.

South Korea's young sensation Park Sung-hyun has climbed to the top of the world rankings in her first year on the LPGA tour. A couple of titles including a major victory propelled her to the summit. Sung- hyun is the latest in a long line of dominant Korea golfers and she's the fourth from her country to become World number 1.

That is the quick look at your sport headlines, I'm Don Riddell.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody. The violent past of the Texas church shooter should've have prevented him from legally purchasing a firearm. According to a police report, Devin Kelley also escaped from a mental health facility five year ago. He passed background checks because the U.S. Air force failed to report him being convicted of domestic assault.

Now democratic lawmaker is pushing for legislation to study why a history of domestic violence is a common thread in so many mass shootings. More on that, psychologist, Wendy Walsh joins us now here in Las Angeles. Wendy, it was good to see you, thank you for coming by.

As all these details emerge about the shooter here, we hear about his violent history. It's really becoming clear that he's still fitting this pattern or this example of a connection between domestic violence and mass shootings. Explain a little bit more about that.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well the numbers are interesting, I think it's more than 50 percent of mass shooters have also engaged in domestic violence at some point in their life. That doesn't necessarily suggest causality. In other words if you commit domestic violence, that means you're going to go on to escalated to commit a mass shooting.

However, it does show there's some correlation and I would say looking at psychologically that we're talking about somebody with some major personality disorders, some early life trauma and when our psychosis plays out first is in our most intimate relationships. It's almost like - you've heard the saying, we save the most sadistic parts of our personalities for those we love the most-

VAUSE: Yes, we hurt the ones we love the most, right. HANCOCKS: And even in healthy relationships that is true, but it

doesn't turn into violence. So the question really is can we use this - this knowledge that we have to prevent mass shootings in the future?

VAUSE: OK well let's look at some of the numbers because Everytown for Gun Safety which is a group set up after the massacre of Sandy Hooke Elementary. They looked at mass shootings in the U.S. where four or more people were killed between 2009 and 2016 a total of 161 shootings which left more than 800 people dead. And they found at least 54% of the mass shootings that's 85. The perpetrators shot a current or former intimate partner or family member. These committing violence mass shootings resulted in 422 victims being killed. More than 40% of whom were children. The numbers tell a really compelling story here, but what we still don't have - what we still don't have established is there a direct link between domestic violence and mass shooting? How they are linked if you like.

HANCOCKS: Well psychologically you could go to simply say that, that is the practice ground, that is the intimate place where in the privacy of ones home somebody with a major anger and rage issue, and potentially a chemical problem - neurochemistry problem. That's where they begin and that's where it beings. So is the root to stopping mass shootings beginning with intimate partner violence? I think yes.

VAUSE: A canary in the coal mine?

HANCOCKS: I think it is -- I think domestic violence is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to mass shootings. This is our first line of knowledge that something's off. Now I also think domestic violence is highly under reported. One in four American women will suffer domestic violence in their lifetime. And much of it goes unreported, even if charges are laid sometimes charges are dropped.

So if we are talking about potential gun regulations do we say " everybody who's been convicted of domestic violence or domestic violence has been reported on them"?

VAUSE: All this is worth looking at because there's such a huge problem that this country seems paralyzed by at the moment. Because when you throw a gun into the mix there's one study out there that found the chances a woman will be shot and killed increases five fold. So...

HANCOCKS: And if a woman owns a gun herself for her own protection there's much more chance that, that gun will be used against her rather than to protect her. So we look at the data, but I think convincing people that legislative change needs to happen isn't really about the facts. It's more about changing people's idea.

I mean I think we need more people on the right, more conservative people, more validators(ph) from law enforcement, from the military. Trusted people to come forward and say look and when police officers say getting the call for a domestic violence call is the most dangerous situation they can put in. And they know that right? So why don't we start at the beginning and get the guns out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators? VAUSE: OK with that in mind the speaker of the house Republican Paul Ryan was asked about is there a need to tighten the laws on gun owners, and his reply was essentially there is a problem. This guy shouldn't of passed a background check.

DAVE JACOBSON: This man should not have gotten a gun. You know why? Because he was a domestic abuser. We have laws in the books that says if you are a domestic abuser you're not suppose to own a gun. He was a domestic abuser, that's why we got all these questions with the Air Force right now which is how did this get - slip through the cracks. How is it that this person who was convicted of domestic abuse by the Air Force. How did he get through the system and get a gun. Because the laws we have right now on the books say a person like this should not have gotten a gun.

VAUSE: And that's true because he was married to the woman that he was abusing were they not married? Was the girlfriend loop holed. What if the woman who is abused drops the charges down from a felony to a misdemeanor? What if she doesn't report it in the first place?

HANCOCKS: So I have two questions here. One is - is the Airforce's internal data base is it shared with gun background checks? Or is that a private thing right? So there's the loophole there. There is something also called the boyfriend loophole. So if you are married to the woman, if you have children with the woman. Then, and you've been convicted, then you cannot own a gun.

But if you just dated and decided to shoot someone, it's OK you can get another gun.


HANCOCKS: Yes the boyfriend loop hole. We got to close that one up.

VAUSE: OK well that seems easy right?


VAUSE: We'll see (Brandy) good to see you, thank you so much. Well the U.S. President is in China where he is set to attend a history making dinner inside the forbidden city where many of the emperors once lived. We'll talk about the symbolism, all that just ahead.


[02:32:06] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: For the first time, the Kremlin think Russian lawyer at the center of now an infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June last year, is offering her version of what happened. And if what she says is true, what she says is true, it's potentially a very big deal. During a lengthy interview with Bloomberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya confirmed she went to New York to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, an Obama-era law aimed at punishing very high profile Russians suspected of being involved in the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who exposed a tax fraud scheme which implicated high-level Kremlin officials. In response to the Magnitsky Act, Moscow banned Americans from

adopting Russian orphans. Remember, that was the initial reason for the meeting attended by Donald, Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It was all about the children, all about the adoptions. Veselnitskaya announced on his Bloomberg, though, that Donald, Jr. told her, "Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it," a reference to the Magnitsky Act. And he went on, "I understand our side may have messed up but it'll take a long time to get to the bottom of it."

And here comes a really crucial part from Bloomberg's reporting, Veselnitskaya also said Trump Jr. requested financial documents, showing that money that allegedly abated U.S. taxes had gone to Clinton's campaign. She didn't have any and described the 20-minute as a failure. Again, if this is true, then it would appear to be a clear example of quid pro quo between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Well, for more and what all of this will mean, CNN Contributor, lawyer, and former ethics czar under the Obama administration, Norman Eisen is with us. He is in New Haven, Connecticut. So, always (INAUDIBLE) glad to have you with us.

NORMAN EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me back, John.

VAUSE: OK. We'll get to the question of credibility in a moment, but does this signal that Trump, Jr. was willing to exchange a shift in foreign policy if they one government -- if they won the White House in sometime in the future in exchange to help now in terms of the campaign from that Kremlin-linked laywer.

EISEN: John, it's very troubling if it's true, and of course, whenever you are dealing with those associated with the Kremlin, you need to take it with a grain of salt, the same goes for those associated with the Trump family. But if it's true, what you have here is a quid pro quo offer, where the President's son is attempting to trade a possible future U.S. foreign policy change in exchange for damaging information about the Clintons. And it raises a host of legal questions including under the rules that prevent private individuals from engaging in foreign-policy transactions during a presidential campaign.

[02:35:07] So, it's troubling, and John, it's another disturbing piece of evidence. Drip, drip, drip, it keeps coming in that these signals were going back and forth between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

VAUSE: OK. OK. On the other side, can the Russian lawyer be trusted? Her story has a history of changing, does she have credibility?

EISEN: Well, the Russians have been enjoying the mischief that they've wrought in the United States, and I do think that we need to be cautious in accepting her story. But there's some corroborating evidence, we know that there was talk of adoptions, the cutoff in adoptions was, as you noted, punishment for passing the Magnitsky Act. We know that she has a history of closeness to the Russian government, so she is a plausible messenger for this. We know of the campaign's interest in the information. So, there's a lot of corroborating evidence and that, of course, is what you look for when you have a wish witness who's questionable.

VAUSE: OK. You talked about other shoes to drop, and another one has dropped, one of many, after the first time a member of the Trump cabinet has been linked with business ties to the family of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's a little complicated but it's been revealed that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, he has a stake in a company which charters ships for energy companies, one of their biggest clients is the Russian energy giant, Sibur, which I'm probably pronouncing correctly. Putin's son-in-law, though, was one of the big owners of Sibur. Secretary Ross, though, insists there's nothing inappropriate here. This is what he said.


WILBUR ROSS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: If our government decided to sanction them, that would be a different story. The -- our government has not thus far made the determination to sanction them, so there's nothing wrong with it. The fact that it happens to be called a Russian company does not mean that there's any evil in it. Where there is evil is the misstatement that I did not disclose those holdings in my original form. I think the important thing is there was disclosure, there is no impropriety, and if people draw a contrary conclusion that's because the paper has -- the papers have twisted the story and made it into something that it's not.


VAUSE: OK. John, so explain what the issues are here, and especially this part about disclosure because many would argue Wilbur Ross has been less than transparent.

EISEN: Well, in that sense, Wilbur Ross has retained an investment in a company that does business with a Russian entity that is operated in part that by Mr. Putin's judo partner and one of his closest friends and his son-in-law, they have a financial interest. So, when you strip away all of the different layers, and this was revealed by the Paradise Papers, it was not volunteered by Mr. Ross. He has a business tie to Putin's best friend and his son-in-law. I looked high and low in his filings and I did not see any mention of Putin's friend, his close friend, or of Putin's family member. And that's why people are upset. I mean, there is a disturbing pattern here, and it's no wonder in polling today, you see a super majority of Americans who believe that something is not right here in Mr. Trump's relationships with Russia.

VAUSE: They do seem to know a lot of Russians a lot more than you would expect. Norman, as always, good to see you. Thanks so much.

EISEN: Thanks for having me, John.

VAUSE: And we're standing by for a joint news conference with the U.S. and South Korean President. After a short break, we'll head back live to Seoul.


[02:43:34] PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to CNN live from Seoul. We're expecting a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President, Moon Jae- in shortly. The two leaders just wrapped up a bilateral meeting at the Blue House, which is behind us. Let's bring in Kim Sung-han now. He's a former vice foreign minister of South Korea. Great to have you with us.


HANCOCKS: A lot of people were concerned that President Trump's visit to the region could exacerbate tension to you and the Korean Peninsula. Do you share those concerns.

KIM: I don't think so. I think his visit to Northeast Asia will be quite reassuring moments in the sense that he will be meeting with the Japanese counterpart and the South Korean counterpart, most importantly, Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping to talk about how to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem. So, in that sense, I think this is a great opportunity for all of us.

HANCOCKS: And obviously, President Trump and President Moon have just wrapped up that bilateral -- and what we're waiting to hear from them at that join press conference. But North Korea, obviously, top of the agenda. These two men come to the issue very differently. President Moon wants a dialogue, President Trump wants to apply pressure and harsh rhetoric.

[02:44:54] KIM: But actually, you know, President Moon thought, you know, President Trump was just relying on harsh languages and just relying on a lot of pressure instead of dialogue, but later on, he found there's a common ground between the two in the sense that the end state of imposing pressure on North Korea will be to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. So, in that sense, who comes first, you know, national pressure or dialogue. So, in that sense, I think President Moon agree with President Trump in the sense that maximum pressure should come first and the dialogue should come later. I think in that sense, there will be no problem.

HANCOCKS: But the pressure is being applied, sanctions are being placed on North Korea which are being felt in Pyongyang and around the country, but it doesn't seem to be making much of an impact in so far as Kim Jong-un is hell-bent on developing his nuclear weapons program. So, where does the region and the world go from there?

KIM: I think it will be taking some time because previously, quite frankly, we didn't implement real sanctions. You know, North Korea is a very interesting country in a sense that their regime security is located higher than national security, which means the security of the Kim Jong-un regime is more important than national security. But previous sanctions were just focusing on national security not regime security, how to -- how to make him suffer, how to make a great leader like Kim Jong-un suffer. So, in that sense, I think the most recent U.S. initiatives, the so-called, "the secondary boycott," and some amount of Chinese corporation is quite meaningful in the sense that they will be targeting the regime's security, in other words, destabilize the security of Kim regime by freezing some foreign assets and by targeting some pseudo-Chinese companies within China. Actually, North Korean national companies, you know, went into China and created a lot of pseudo-Chinese companies. They are actually don't so many wrong things on behalf of the North Korea --

HANCOCKS: So, you actually support the way that President Trump has gone about in dealing with North Korea?

KIM: Exactly. Yes.


KIM: Yes.

HANCOCKS: You support the tough rhetoric, the harsh rhetoric?

KIM: No, no, no. Tough measures, but in a harsh rhetoric such as, you know, calling Kim Jong-un, you know, "little rocket man." This is somewhat insulting and humiliating. I think if you expect the rationale behavior from the North Korean leader, I think that you had better avoid that kind of insulting, harsh rhetoric, but you can intimidate with, you know, words such as (INAUDIBLE) pressure. We are going to, you know, explore all options on the table and sort of things --

HANCOCKS: OK. Kim Sung-han former vice foreign minister, great to have you with us, and thank you for sharing your insight. We really do appreciate it. Well, coming up, we'll look at some of the lives cut short by the Texas gunman, who they leave behind and how they'll be remembered.


[02:52:23] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Unlike recent mass shootings in cities like Las Vegas, Dallas, and Orlando, the massacre at a Texas church has devastated a very small town, population just a few hundred where everyone seem to know everyone else. Here's Randi Kaye now with more on the people who went to church on a Sunday morning and were shot dead.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In an instant, about four percent of the residents of Sutherland Springs, Texas were taken. The youngest victim about 1-1/2-year-old, the oldest killed, 77. Among the dead, Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old was the daughter of the church's pastor, who often spoke about her at church. One sharing this story about them riding his motorcycle together.

PASTOR FRANK POMEROY, FATHER OF CHURCH SHOOTING VICTIM: Annabelle has been wanting to ride with me and go with me here and there, and the bike was doing 34 degrees this morning and she was a trooper, she did not complain, she just sat back there behind me and rode.

KAYE: The pastor and his wife were out of town Sunday but Annabelle went to church anyway without them.

SHERRI POMEROY, MOTHER OF CHURCH SHOOTING VICTIM: One thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely.

KAYE: At just 16, Haley Krueger had big plans for her life before it was cut short. Her mother told CNN Haley was a vibrant 16-year-old that loved life, adding, she was also looking forward to her future as a nurse in the NICU, she loved babies and always wanted to help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was amazing and we're going to miss her.

KAYE: The church's visiting pastor Brian Holcombe was also killed, so was his wife Karla Holcombe. In all, they lost eight members of their family, three generations wiped out that terrible morning. The Holcombes lived on a nearby farm in Floresville, Texas, with several of their children. Their son, Danny, died Sunday and so did his daughter, Noah. She was the youngest victim at just 17 months old. The couple's son, John, was also shot and remains in a hospital, his wife Crystal Holcombe was killed. She was two months pregnant, three of her five children were also killed. The other two were shot and they're at the hospital with John their stepfather.

Also among the victims, Tara McNulty, a close family friend of the Holcombes and the gunman's own grandmother-in-law, Lula White. She was his wife's grandmother and friends say she volunteered frequently at the church. Her niece, Amy Bacchus, wrote this on her Facebook page shortly after White's death, "I have no doubt where she is right now. She is in heaven laying her crowns and jewels at the feet of Jesus and celebrating. I love and will miss you."

[02:55:18] So many lives taken by a man who likely knew most everyone in the church community, where he opened fire Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. We'll get back with more news and we continue to wait for the press conference with the U.S. President Donald Trump and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in. And when that happens, we'll bring it to you live, they're running a little late. We'll take a short break, and back in a moment. You're watching CNN.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

[03:00:14] VAUSE: Hello, everybody, I'm John Vause --