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President Trump Addresses South Korean National Assembly; Trump Warns North Korea: "Do Not Try Us"; CIA Head Looks Into DNC Leak Conspiracy Theory. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 8, 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.

Here is 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 assembly, the president condemned North Korea's oppressive regime, or praising Seoul's accomplishments over the past decades -- seven decades.

He said America does not seek conflict with North Korea but will not run from it either. And he issued another stark warning to Kim Jong- un.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: 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.

And -- and Paula, let's just start with that speech to the national assembly there. Lawmakers 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 individual (ph) speech from the U.S. president may be, you know, tougher in tone. But it was met with a standing ovation.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, yes, 35 minutes, a 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 (ph) than we've been seeing from the U.S. president, that's for sure.

There were no direct threats to totally destroy North Korean. There -- there were no personal insults against the North Korean leader.

Really, the -- the (AUDIO GAP) criticism and insults (INAUDIBLE) leveling (ph) at the country may actually annoy North Korea even further, pointing out the stark contrast between the North and the South, talking about the -- the site's (ph) successes and then talking about the North Korean's human rights abuses, the Gulags (ph), the fact that they had devastating famine in the 1990s, the fact that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un is more concerned with pumping money into a nuclear and missile program than being able to feed his own people. Now, all of this is based on facts.

But it was -- 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 very strong speech, John.

VAUSE: It was a strong speech. And part of that speech was calling on China to do more.

So Matt, you in -- over to you in Beijing. You know, we've heard this a lot in (ph) this administration in Washington for China to do more to end (AUDIO GAP) right (ph) coming from North Korea, arrives there in Beijing (AUDIO GAP), back in Washington, moving closer (AUDIO GAP) sanctions which will specifically target Chinese banks and companies which do business with the North.

So that gives at -- at least 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 States 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 sections couldn't go forward without China's approval, given their veto power on the U.N. Security Council.

So China says they're doing enough already. But really, that brings us to the stalemate that has existed between the United States and China throughout the entirety of Donald Trump's presidency.

The Trump administration's tune (ph) 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 buffer state between South Korea and the U.S. troops there. But we're really at a stalemate, John.

It'll be interesting to see if either leader can really force the other one to move in a different direction.

VAUSE: Just very quickly, Matt, the (ph) -- the skies or the pollution, is it -- 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: So (ph) amazing what they can do when they want to (ph). 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 Dave Jacobson as well as John Phillips also here in Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, Michael Shires.

OK, so, you know, the U.S. president was given the standing ovation, Paula Hancocks said it was (ph) for 35 minutes. There was extended applause throughout the speech.

So Dave, you know, the South Koreans, I guess, they liked what they heard or just relieved that he didn't insult Kim Jong-un and set a war or something.

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: I think it's probably the latter.

VAUSE: Really?

JACOBSON: It's unfortunate. But yes, I mean, the -- the fact is we have another tweet storm regarding North Korea in a couple of days, which is a good thing.

VAUSE: This is (ph) -- well, Twitter is blocked in China. But you know, he should be able to, you know, get access to Twitter (ph).

JACOBSON: I'm sure the president of the United States will have access if he really wants a Twitter.

VAUSE: And -- and for that, you said -- but that is actually a real danger in these negotiations, is that the president, you know, gets up in the middle of the night or reads something, gets upset and -- and tweets.

JACOBSON: Absolutely. And so I think that's the big question, is like is he going to do something to really create a disaster scenario for his China (ph) trip, pardon me. But look, I -- 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 from -- we haven't seen any indication at all that -- that China is willing to do anything more than what they've already done. And so that's the big question, is like 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.


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

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN COMMENTATOR: That's right. he said North Korea is hell. And I -- I disagree with him on one point. North Korea is worse than hell --


PHILLIPS: -- because at least in hell, they have the furnace turned on. And Kim Jong-il is there to entertain me with riddles.

In North Korea, they have nothing. Those people --


PHILLIPS: -- are eating tree bark (ph). And that's the thing, too, that -- 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 (ph) the problem, though, if you call out North Korean's -- North Korea'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: So -- 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.


Michael, the tone from the president's speech in Seoul a few hours ago, you know, it was tough. It was certainly Donald Trump. But at least, you know, there is this talk of diplomacy of trying to

find a way out of this. The problem is is opening (ph) demand is a complete nonstarter.

You know, the -- the North Koreans have made it clear that they will never give up their nuclear program. And it seems that, you know, the president here is learning what other presidents have learned over the years.

MICHAEL SHIRES, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: 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 are something that is on the table and can be negotiated. So I actually think there is some significant leverage with the Chinese.

I think it's kind of ironic that, you know, 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 think he could just pick up the phone and ask Vladimir Putin to do what he wants.

VAUSE: You'd think? You know, before the president made that address in Seoul to the national assembly, officials of Pyongyang 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, you know, 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 (ph) back?


Or do you think that's it?

SHIRES: I think he would count (ph) progress. You know, if he could get the ballistic missiles off the table, I think that would be progress because, I mean, 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, substantive, 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 U.S. as far as elections and politics. And Democrats have been riding (ph) an anti-Donald-Trump wave in elections in Virginia as well as New Jersey.

CNN is predicting (ph) Democrat Ralph Northam will be the next governor of Virginia. He'll beat other Republican lobbyists and Trump supporter, Ed Gillespie (ph).

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, Republicans won four of out of four House seats.

And with the economy doing record numbers, 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. Exit polls show the president's approval rating there at 36 percent.


PHIL MURPHY, GOVERNOR-ELECT, NEW JERSEY: With Donald Trump in the White House, Jeff Sessions as attorney general, polluters running the EPA, zealots (ph) 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 -- that was the big one. That was the Bellweather (ph), if you 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 -- 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 breaks (ph) 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 coattails.

There is no way to avoid that. And the fact is this -- this is a significant win. I mean, it was a nine-point shellacking, as President Obama said back in 2010 but against the opposing party. I mean, look, the fact is Democrats won off (ph) at the top of the

ballot and they went down Bell (ph) -- won the lieutenant governor's race, the attorney general's raise, who picked up four seats in the State Assembly in Virginia. And so I think if you read the tea leaves (ph), this could be the beginning of a potential blue wave that we're going to see in the 2018 elections, about a year from now.

And I think you're seeing historic low approval ratings with the president. I mean, he's hovering around 33 percent, which is unprecedented for a president in their first year.

So look, it -- it's still early, of course. But if you look at the generic ballot for Congress, Democrats are leading --


JACOBSON: -- by double digits.

PHILLIPS: OK. In regard to the tweet, what does the saying success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan --

JACOBSON : And failure is an orphan.

VAUSE : Yes.

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 state has been voting Democrat. They have two Democratic Senators. They have a very popular democratic incumbent governor.

Governors 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 (ph) at this. And this thing tightened up as much as it did in the end.

Every possible advantage was going to the Democrats. And I would this point to the -- the national perspective -- Donald Trump's numbers 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 some time 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.


So Michael, what's the reality? Break it down --

SHIRES: I get to play referee here. 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 not 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'll be 17 seats they'd have to flip.


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



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MS-13 is a mess, yet Ralph Northam voted in favor of sanctuary cities that let dangerous, illegal immigrants back on the street, increasing the threat of MS-13. Ralph Northam 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 roundly (ph) criticized.



UNIDENTIFIED 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 would get better (ph) effects (ph) of that (ph). It's inevitable, I mean, all the ad (ph).

I mean, if you go to Washington, D.C., you're going to be relieved (ph) is this, I should say, because these ads were horrendous.

But John, it seems most of the awful ads are coming on the Gillespie side. And he lost. Does that mean that, you know, Republicans now look at this and say, hey, maybe we need a change in strategy here.

PHILLIPS: Oh, come on, John, on the -- having (ph) the scale, this is not a blip. We just had a real presidential election where they were doing everything to throwing Chardonnay (ph) at each other's faces.

This was nothing. So look, I mean, in a -- in a country where you have a president whose approval rating is in the 30s and you have a Democratic Party whose approval rating is in the 30s, any issue that splits 50-50 is a winner from their perspective. The fact of the matter is is that the exit polling, they asked people about the Confederate statues, for example.

And it turns out 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 -- as that state.

VAUSE: So Dave?

JACOBSON: Well, I don't think the cultural issues clearly, according to election results, at least not today, are a winning issue for Republicans, right? I mean, you know, Republicans in Virginia campaigned on exploiting racial stereotypes.

You know, the Republican sent out mail pieces, embracing Donald Trump's call were NFL players ought to stand up for the -- for the Pledge of Allegiance. And you know, I think the reality is these aren't winning issues for -- for Republicans.

You've got to be talking about -- at a time where there's so much chaos and anxiety across the country because Washington is not getting anything done, what you need and what -- what Americans are looking for is real collaboration. People are going to stuff done and moving agenda forward.

And I think the problem is Donald Trump's brand is the embodiment of divisiveness --


JACOBSON: -- and chaos.

PHILLIPS: Republicans didn't put out the ad running over a child --


VAUSE: But they've had a bunch of horrible ads (ph) as well.

(CROSSTALK) JACOBSON: I know, John. It was -- I thought it was very boring (ph)

ad --

VAUSE: But very quickly, Michael, what was interesting, one of the exit polls I saw, the people

who voted for Northam, the Democrat, I think 35 percent of the top issue to them was health care. And that seems to be a very big issue.

Could that be a big issue moving forward?

SHIRES: Well, it's going to be. I mean, whatever shape the health care system ends up in right before the election next year, I think is going to sway (ph) 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 system's broken.

They're just, you know, 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, you know, 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 midterms, if they don't have that, it may turn out even worse than they thought.

VAUSE: Just on that, you know, we're wrapping up h here (ph), it was (ph) interesting that when Donald Trump was in Seoul, he was talking about his accomplishments. And he mentioned Neil Gorsuch being appointed to the Supreme Court, which I thought was an interesting point (ph) --


JACOBSON: Governor of Kentucky (ph) pointed this --

VAUSE: Exactly. They don't -- they don't want to talk about it yet.

Dave and John and also Michael there as well, thanks for being with us.

SHIRES (ph): Thank you.

VAUSE: OK, 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.




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. The violent past of the Texas church shooter should've prevented him from legally purchasing a firearm.

According to a police report, Devin Kelley also escaped from a mental health facility five years ago, must have (ph) passed background checks because the U.S. Air Force failed to report he being convicted of domestic assault. And now, democratic lawmaker is pushing for legislation to study why a history of domestic violence is a common thread in so many mass shootings.

For more on that, psychologist Wendy Walsh joins us now here in Los Angeles.

Wendy, it is good to see you. Thank you for coming -- coming by. As all these details emerge about the shooting, here we hear (ph) his violent history, it's really becoming clear that he's still fitting this pattern or, you know, this example of a connection between domestic violence and mass shootings. So 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 escalate to commit a mass shooting.

However, it does show there's some correlation. And I would say looking at it psychologically, that we're talking about somebody with, you know, some major personality disorder, some early life trauma.

And where 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.

WALSH: Yes, and even in healthy relations, that -- that is true. But --


WALSH: -- 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 off of the massacre of Sandy Hook Elementary, although (ph) the mass shootings in the U.S. where four or more people were killed between 2009 and 2016, a total of a hundred 61 shootings, which left more than 800 people dead, and they found at least 54 percent of mass shootings -- that's 85 -- the perpetrator shot a current or former intimate partner or family member. These domestic violence mass shootings resulted in 420 victims being killed, more than 40 percent of whom were children.

The numbers tell a really compelling story here. But what we still don't have, what we still don't establish is this direct link between domestic violence and mass shootings, how -- how they are linked, if you like.

WALSH: Well, psychologically, you could go to simply say that that is the practice ground. That is the intimate place where in the privacy of one's 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 begins. So is the route to stopping mass shootings beginning with intimate partner violence? I think yes.

VAUSE: The canary in the coal mine.

WALSH: 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 underreported. 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 regulation, do we say everybody who's been convicted of domestic violence or domestic violence has been reported on them, you know --

VAUSE: But all this is worth looking at because --

WALSH: Absolutely.

VAUSE: -- this is such a huge problem that this country seems paralyzed by at the moment because when you throw a gun into the mix, there is one, say (ph), out there that found the chances a woman will be shot and killed increases fivefold. So --

WALSH: If -- if a woman owns a gun herself for her own protection, there's much more chance that that gun will be used against her --

VAUSE: Right.

WALSH: -- rather than to protect her. So, you know, we look at the data. But I think convincing people that legislative change needs to happen isn't really about the facts.

VAUSE: Right.

WALSH: It's more about changing people's idea. I mean, I think we need more people on the right, more conservative people, more validators from law enforcement, from the military -- trusted people to come forward and say, look, I mean, police officers say, getting a call for a domestic violence call is the most dangerous situation --


WALSH: -- they can be 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, you've got (ph) -- about is there a need to tighten the laws on, you know, gun owners.

And his reply was essentially, there was a problem, this guy shouldn't have passed the background check.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN, HOUSE SPEAKER: 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 supposed to own a gun. He was a domestic abuser.

That's why we've got all these questions with the Air Force right now, which is how did this get through the cracks. How is it that this person who was -- 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 -- to the woman that he was abusing.


VAUSE: What if they're not married? What about the (ph) girlfriend loophole?

WALSH: Right, so --

VAUSE: 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?

WALSH: So I have two questions here.


WALSH: One is is the Air Force's criminal database, is it shared with gun background checks or is that a private thing, right?


WALSH: OK, so that's -- there is 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 --

VAUSE: Right.

WALSH: -- and decided to shoot someone, it's OK, you can get another gun.

VAUSE: You know, the -- yes.

WALSH: Yes, the boyfriend loophole. We've got to close that one up.

VAUSE: OK. Well, that seems easy, right?


VAUSE: We'll see.

WALSH: I think so.

VAUSE: Wendy, good to see you. Thank you so much.

WALSH: Thank you.

VAUSE: 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, with the (ph) symbolism -- all that just ahead.



[02:33:54] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Donald Trump, the U.S. President has arrived in Beijing, the third stop of the 12-day tour of Asia. Right now, he is actually into Forbidden City and he will be there for some time. This is where the Communist Party Leadership will wine and dine the U.S. President, a rare honor apparently never bestow before on a U.S. President. A sign of essentially how much the communist government there wants to woo Donald Trump. They are rolling out all the stops he came on this visit. It's a two-night stay there in Beijing.

And of course, the biggest issue, Donald Trump would like to have resolved by the time he leaves will be pushing China to do more -- to reign in the North Koreans and their nuclear missile elicit, nuclear missile programs. If that happens it will be a major accomplishment most hopefully than it will not. Just a few hours earlier Donald Trump was in Seoul, South Korea, addressing the national assembly there and he did call out North Korea, he did issue a very blunt warning, he's essentially saying don't test us, he did also offered the hope of diplomacy.

[02:35:00] And during that speech, he also said he wanted China and Russia among others to do more, to reign in to North Koreans. Talking more on this, CNN's Matt Rivers live in Beijing this hour. Also, Daniel Lynch is in Hong Kong. He is associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. And Daniel, just first to you, you know, there's the wining and the dining, there's all the pomp and circumstance here that does not t necessarily mean that Donald Trump is going to get his way.

DANIEL LYNCH, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: No, I think that pomp and circumstance actually cuts both ways. One the one hand it's designed to appeal to Trump's ego and to show him, I think he used the term last hour show and a really good time in the present. I' going to add to you, this is going to realty impress Donald Trump, so he's made the ride in from the airport and to the center of Beijing, he's travelled down those broad boulevards with the tall buildings and of course he's a -- he's President, so he's usually impressed by tall and strong buildings.

I think it really communicates that China is -- has risen again and I think now taking him to the Forbidden City where he will have dinner, he'll see some of the historic artifacts. But really resonate with Xi Jinping's promise to the Chinese nation which he will restore China to centrality and world history and international relations. And I think President Trump -- anyone would really get the message that China is a great country and is back when they make that trip to the Tiananmen and then have dinner in the Forbidden City.

VAUSE: And Matt, to you in Beijing, it's very hard for -- I guess people outside of China to understand just how special this is at least from China's point of view having the U.S. President inside the Forbidden City. When I was doing your job, I remember back in 2007, Starbucks got run out of the Forbidden City because he was seen speaking to American, you know, too capitalist. So, you know, this is something which Xi Jinping is doing, essentially because he can right now.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, it's exactly right. Xi Jinping has consolidated power in a way that no Chinese leader has frankly since the days of Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the Communist China. And so Xi Jinping in days past for example when he first took over in 2012, there's no way he would have been able to do this if only because domestically he would have gotten a lot of criticism, you know, the Forbidden City is a central park of Chinese culture and to bring another foreign leader in there to show that kind of respect to another foreign leader inside the Forbidden City would have met with a lot of pushback and it's also, the Forbidden City has been a symbol of some difficult times in China's past during the later years of the imperial system here.

The Forbidden City was for some time an example of how China couldn't stand up to the world powers. But now, Xi Jinping has really said, this is my country, I'm going to do what I want to do here and there is a lot of symbolism with him taking Donald Trump inside the Forbidden City, he's doing it and saying, this is what I can do and who's going to stop me now because my name and my thoughts are literally etched into the Chinese Communist Party Constitution.

VAUSE: Just a few hours earlier, Donald Trump was in Seoul and he had this very personal message, sort of insult if you like to Kim Jung-un. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I also have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship. The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in a grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face. North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is hell that no person deserves.


CARTER: So Daniel, to you, that always seems sort of worse than calling him Rocket an.

LYNCH: It does, in a way. And I think it's also an interesting statement and so far as it will appeal to Beijing. Because actually for many years and even decades, the Chinese leaders have been trying to encourage North Korea to pursue the same kind of reform and opening policy that China has pursued so successfully. North Korea always refuses. So, to say that North Korea is not the paradise that Kim Il- sung, Kim Jung-un's grandfather expected. Chinese leaders will say, you're right, it's not. And the other thing is by making a reference to Kim Il-sung, he was a close comrade really of the Mao Zedong era of Chinese leaders (INAUDIBLE) Chinese leaders. So I think that's kind of possibly a shout out to China as well as an insult to North Korea.

VAUSE: There's so much going on, you know, you can read into is because it is all nuanced. It is, you know, it's diplomacy, it's China, it's North Korea. But Daniel, thank you for explaining some of it and Matt, thank you as well for keeping us updated of what's going on with the President's visit there. And with that, we'll take a short break here on NEWSROOM L.A. More on Donald Trump's warning to Kim Jung-un, that warning he delivered for the national assembly in South Korea.

[02:40:05] What is North Korea think about all of this? Well, that in a moment.


[02:44:08] VAUSE: Well, just a few hours ago in Seoul, the U.S. President warned North Korea's Kim Jung-un, do not underestimate us and do not try us. CNN's Will Ripley has North Korea's reaction in his exclusive report.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I spoke with North Korean officials here in Pyongyang just after President Trump gave that speech at the National Assembly in Seoul. And they reiterated a comment that they gave which is about an hour before he even spoke trying to downplay the significance and the impact of President Trump's words saying, "we don't care about what that mad dog may utter, we've heard enough."

The North Koreans also saying that the President's word will not affect any plans for upcoming military tests, they say those plans are already in place and the words of the U.S. President are going to provoke them one way or another, they say there will be more nuclear tests and missile launches will, them and that there will be more tests happening at the time and place of their choosing. Well, they are accusing President Trump of doing is continuing to push the situation here in the Korean Peninsula closer to the brink of an all- out military conflict.

In fact, those same government officials told me that they believe this is the closest that the peninsula has ever been to war since the end of the Korean War back in 1953. That's a very strong statement considering the fact that there have been many moments over the decade where tensions have been particularly high. But it just goes to show you how seriously, right now, the North Korea government takes the rhetoric and the actions, perhaps, even more importantly of the Trump administration. Because as we speak, there are three U.S. aircraft carriers in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, there's a ballistic missile submarine and other military assets preparing to engage in large scale military exercises.

Once again, the kind of exercises that always infuriate this country and its government and often provoke them to engage in some kind of response on their own. So, will North Korea follow through on a nuclear test or a missile launch while President Trump is here in Asia, we'll that's something we just have to watch and wait. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.

VAUSE: OK. Dr. Michael Shires joins us now, associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University. Just being a little point that -- you know, because Donald Trump raises in the speech that, you know, the three aircraft carrier, the nuclear submarine. He referred to them as the most beautiful F-18s and the most beautiful, magnificent F-35s, that is a message to North Korea, also a message to China as well, right?

DR. MICHAEL SHIERS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: It is, it's a really strong message. It says here we are, we're serious. I think there's also a kind of a defensive aspect. I mean, the President of the United States is just a few miles from somebody that he's exchanged some pretty harsh words with.

VAUSE: And with that in mind, they've been going back and forth for such a long time, Donald Trump has drawn so many red lines, it's like, you know, crayon gone crazy. And he drew a lot more red lines now. It seems that if he wasn't backed into a corner before, he is now.

SHIERS: Well, he's made a strong statement that he's going to try and change the status quo. And the trend that North Korea is on is a threat to the United States. And as president, he's doing everything within his power to try and reverse that. Now, whether he's successful or not is going to depend a lot, I think, on the Chinese and the Russians.

VAUSE: The problem though is that Chinese and certainly Russian interest when it comes to North Korea are completely opposed to U.S. interests.

SHIERS: Absolutely in the case of Russia. I think in the case of China, we actually have some leverage with all the trade and all the issues that Trump has raised in terms of the bilateral relationship to put some pressure on it.

VAUSE: You know, the also raised this, you know, or made this call for, you know, all peace loving nations to come together to reign in North Korea. That's a multi-national strategy, you know, like playing 3D chess. You know, some say this is a President who likes playing checkers or hungry, hungry hippo. This is not his thing, right?

SHIERS: Well, I think that, you know, the multi-lateral sanctions that the U.N. approved were his first step, and I think he's going to leverage those as far as he can, but I think he's also going to cut some bilateral deals with the chinese to try and put more pressure on the North Koreans. And I actually see the Chinese as being central actors in any kind of solution that comes out of this.

VAUSE: The issue though for China is that, you know, they are willing to go far as they have to keep, you know, Washington happy just enough so that the regime never collapses. And that's kind of what we've seen play out, you know, time and time again.

SHIERS: Well, the issue is the nuclear weapons, right? I mean, I think that Trump would be happy enough without regime change as long as there was a sense that the nuclear weapons are off the table.

VAUSE: In the past, when there's been this diplomacy between, you know, the six-party talks, for example, you know, the United States, North Korea, any of the other countries, China, Japan, Russia, those talks were aimed at getting a freeze on the nuclear program, freezing the missile program, Donald Trump has made this demand of denuclearization for the very beginning before talks can even get off the ground. That seems to be a (INAUDIBLE)

SHIERS: Well, it's a starting negotiating position.

VAUSE: Right.

SHIERS: I mean, I think he'll be satisfied with progress. I mean, if you have the Chinese controlling the weapons, for example, that might satisfy him. I think there's going to have to be some motion direction where you have external verification and control of the actual weapons. Not only for the United States but also for the Japanese and the South Koreans and the Philippines, and all of our allies that are in the region.

VAUSE: Just like in Iran nuclear deal -- they mentioned the Iran nuclear deal but --

SHIERS: So, for that President, if you're thinking about what's happened in North Korea.

VAUSE: Yes. OK. Michael, thanks so much. We appreciate you coming in.

SHIERS: It's a pleasure to be here.

VAUSE: Great. We'll take a short break. When we come back, with (INAUDIBLE) a cyber-attack on a Democratic Party an inside job will be result on a Russian cyber-attack. Sources say the CIA Director is reviewing that question because the President asked him to. More from Washington in just a moment.


[02:51:39] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Thank you for staying with CNN. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for CNN WEATHER WATCH. Here's what's going on across North America right now, with colder air beginning to really make its impact felt across portions of the City of Manitoba to (INAUDIBLE) work your way into Southern Canada and eventually into the Northern United States. It is all wintery across that region and we're seeing some impacts of it as a disturbance exit portions of Rockies, could see some cold enough air to support some snow showers across the western portion of the planes.

But beyond that, wet weather expected in particular for Dallas down into the single digits after a history start to November with a high last week of 34 degrees, 9 the best they can do. Even New York City into the upper 20s last week, 10 the high temperature and it just gets colder over the next couple of days. In particular around the Northeastern United States, but notice, it is extremely short-lived here, so we get about of what is essentially January-like temperatures for just about a day or two and then eventually warms up right back.

New York drops down to 3, Washington down to 4, their coolest on Friday. Even down around the Southern U.S., the lower teens will be expected, 14 out of Atlanta. That's a big storm system right there on the Western United States, expect a lot of snow showers across the I-5 corridor.

Here are the higher elevations, of course. And of course, heavy rainfall expected in Northern California. All of that is beneficial. Now, onto the Bahamas, upper 20s. Mexico City, sunny skies, 26 degrees.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. We are six minutes until the top of the hour. We're learning more about an unusual request President Trump made to his CIA Director. Sources say the President asked Mike Pompeo to meet with a conspiracy theorist who argues last year cyber- attack on the Democratic Party was an inside job rather than a cyber- attack carried out by the Russians. Jim Sciutto has details.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, multiple sources tells CNN that CIA Director Mike Pompeo met at the President's urging. As one of the principal deniers of Russian interference in the U.S. election. As first reported by the Intercept, Pompeo met October 24th with William Binney, a former national security agency employee who has theorized that the theft and release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails was actually an inside job, carried out not by Russia but a DNC employee. Then he tells CNN that Pompeo began the meeting which lasted an hour by saying, "the President told me I should talk to you."

Regarding the meeting, the CIA refused to comment but it said that Director Pompeo, "stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election. The President himself has repeatedly questioned Russia's involvement, both during the campaign --

[02:55:07] TRUMP: I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia.

SCIUTTO: And since his election as well.

TRUMP: If you don't catch a hacker, OK, in the act, it's very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I'll go along with Russia, it could have been China, it could have been a lot of different groups.

SCIUTTO: In October, Director Pompeo prompted a clarification from the CIA when he said in a speech the U.S. intelligence community determined that Russian meddling in the 2016 election did not affect its outcome.

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: The intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.

SCIUTTO: Soon after the speech, the CIA issued a statement saying, "The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed, and the director did not intend to suggest that it had. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. For our viewers in the U.S., the news continues with "EARLY START" after a short break. For everyone else, Rosemary Church will be with you from Atlanta. You're watching CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A high-stakes visit, Donald Trump arrives in China for the most consequential foreign --