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China's New Tariffs; Tillerson Doesn't Mention Trump in Farewell Speech; Ex-"Playboy" Model Alleges Affair with Trump; Syrian Civil War; Steve Bannon On Cambridge Analytica: 'Facebook Data is For Sale All over the World; Last Two World Cup Champs Face Off In Friendly; First F1 Race Of Season; LeBron, Love Lead Cavs Comeback Over Raptors. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 23, 2018 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, another wild day at the Trump White House. Two senior advisers quit while stock markets tank amid fears of a looming trade war.

Syrian rebels strike a deal to escape one of their last held enclaves on the outskirts of the capital, setting the stage now for the war's major confrontation.

A life without Facebook, many are considering it. Meet the man who's done it and life, he says, is good.

Hello, thanks for joining us. If you missed the last two hours, don't worry. There is still one more hour left of NEWSROOM L.A. I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us.


VAUSE: And there is late word from the White House that President Trump is suspending those controversial steel and aluminum tariffs on members of the European Union and six other countries, including Canada and Mexico. Donald Trump will decide whether to continue those exemptions based on future discussions.

But a new round of tariffs will hit China in what looks to be the start of all-out trade war. Beijing announced $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports, including pork, fruit, nuts, wine and steel pipes.

Earlier, President Trump slapped China with $50 billion in new tariffs, which he says are retaliation for the theft of intellectual property. And he says more trade restrictions are on the way.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing things for this country that should have been done for many, many years. We have had this abuse by many groups of in order to take advantage of the United States. And we don't want that to happen. We're not going to let that happen.


VAUSE: Well, that announcement sent the blue chip stocks in New York plunging by nearly 3 percent, the Dow down by more than 700 points, the fifth largest point drop ever. Investors in Asia have followed suit. Markets in Japan, China, Australia all in negative territory.

CNN's Andrew Stevens is live this hour in Beijing and our emerging markets editor, John Defterios, is in Abu Dhabi.

But Andrew, first to you. The announcement by Beijing seems relatively measured, according to a lot of experts. But we should note this is just the start and it's a response to the tariffs on steel and aluminum, not the latest announcement coming from the White House.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: That's right, John. This is a clear response to that first move by the Trump administration, which comes into effect today, to put the 25 percent and 15 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum.

You're right, it's a measured response. About $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, over 128 types of goods. We don't know what they are at the moment. We expect the Chinese to outline more details at the end of the month and there will be a consultation period.

But it does show that China is sending a clear message here. These were relatively modest tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China is reacting. These latest rounds, this proposal of the $60 billion worth of tariffs on China would likely be met by a more forceful response from China.

The Chinese have made no bones about the fact that they are prepared to fight back on this. They don't want a trade war, they say; by the same token, they're not standing back and let it happen to them. The commerce ministry is saying that. The Chinese ambassador is saying that. The Chinese premier said that a couple days ago.

All in all, it looks like a major step towards a trade war. Interestingly, if you look at the stock market reaction here in Asia, the falls in this part of the world are actually bigger than Wall Street. Japan down more than 4.5 percent at this stage. So it gives you an idea of the fear in Asia.

Remember, this is an exporting region really, the fear here of a full- blown trade war, what it would mean to the regional economies.

VAUSE: OK, Andrew, thank you.

Over to you, John, because, as Andrew was saying, the markets are clearly rattled. It's that possibility of a trade war, which is -- obviously they're worried about.

But what is the impact of all the ongoing chaos and staff upheaval at the White House? JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: I think it's a key point, it's just adding to the risk, John, we had the three moderates if you will, now H.R. McMaster, Gary Cohn, who was running the National Economic Council, and Rex Tillerson, they were the ones that were restraining Donald Trump on a number of different policies.

Gary Cohn, for example, left because he didn't think the tariff policy was a wise idea. Then we have the big question mark about the mixed messages. You put in steel tariffs. Put them right across the European Union, originally started with Mexico and Canada. And then you pull back. So it's the huge question --


DEFTERIOS: -- mark of where we're going. Let's make it very clear. Investors like predictability. They don't like the idea of tariffs, saying you want to fight a trade war. Although privately many businesses in the United States have complained for years about intellectual property rights, particularly when it comes to China.

So they'd like to see some action. They just don't like somebody beating the drum. SO you have one issue with China and President Trump going directly after China now, as Andrew suggested. Then we have to think a little bit further down the road with McMaster out of the picture there and John Bolton gunning to replace him. You have the whole issue of tearing up the Iranian agreement on the nuclear weapons and development in that country.

This is added to risk in oil prices; we're nearly at $70 a barrel on the international benchmark. But I think it's creating even wider tensions in the Middle East and North Africa.

So in a nutshell, all the moderates are gone, those who have restrained President Trump. It's going to be a much more aggressive policy, I think, when it comes to China but also Iran and then we have to think about the tensions with Saudi Arabia and Iran with the crown prince now touring the United States at the same time.

VAUSE: And everything was sort of humming along really nicely with the global economy. (INAUDIBLE) growth, it all seemed really good. OK. John and Andrew. Thank you both.

Joining me now talk radio host, Mo' Kelly and Republican congressional candidate, Shawn Nelson.

So, Shawn, welcome. Good to have you with us for the first time.

If there is one issue that is near and dear to the president's heart, it's the issue of trade. He believes he's doing this for the people who voted for him. Here is what he said.


TRUMP: It's probably one of the reasons I was elected, maybe one of the main reasons.


VAUSE: But, Mo', the reality is, if there is a trade war, especially with China, many of those people who voted for Donald Trump, they're the one who are going to be hurt the most with higher prices.

MO' KELLY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're trying to make sense out of what I would call nonsense. And although the president wants to support free trade, he does not support seemingly an environment which breeds confidence in this trade proposal.

When the Dow went down 700 points, you can't separate that from what's also happening within his own administration. So if we can't have confidence in the president, it's hard to have confidence in any proposals that he might have.

VAUSE: We'll get to all the chaos with the national security adviser in a moment.

But Shawn, on the other side of this equation, there is now this possibility that China will hit, for instance, U.S. pork with a 25 percent tariff. Out of the top pork-producing states, 10 of them in the U.S., eight of them went for Trump in 2016, some just by a whisker.

We know that Republicans are facing a very tough midterm battle coming up in November for Congress.

So if these -- if there is this 25 percent tariff on pork and these other products, this isn't going to help much,, is it.

SHAWN NELSON (R), U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: It's probably not going to help much but I think there is a practical reality that the people that voted for Donald Trump understood that he believed in fair trade and fair trade had to include fair on both sides. Otherwise, you know, you're not dealing fair and square.

And, inevitably, at some point, we all know who the president is. I think this is all about negotiation and leverage. And I think what you'll see, time and time again, we see that perhaps his approach is a little different than we'd expect most people to take, but more often than not, he comes out with people saying, yes, it turned out he won yet again.

VAUSE: OK. Well, I guess may be a trade war won't be as bad as the looming real war now that H.R McMaster, national security adviser, is on his way out. And John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is on his way in. He's also a FOX News commentator. Listen to John Bolton on FOX News last year.


JOHN BOLTON, TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The only diplomatic option left is to end the regime in North Korea by effectively having the South take it over. I think you've got to argue that China --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not really diplomatic. BOLTON: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where they're concerned.

BOLTON: Well, that's their problem, not ours.


VAUSE: OK. Mo', does it give you much confidence that, according to our reporting, John Bolton promised the president that he wouldn't start any wars?

KELLY: It doesn't breed confidence and this will be the third national security adviser in 14 months. We don't have a secretary of state. We don't have an ambassador to South Korea. All these things fit together when you try to bridge some sort of gap between our nation and a country which we don't have diplomatic relations. This is very concerning to me.

VAUSE: And also here is part of a CNN's Kaitlan Collins reporting surrounding the exit of McMaster.

"After it quickly leaked that President Trump had been directly instructed by his national security advisers not to congratulate the Russian president Vladimir Putin on his recent election victory, the source said Trump was furious, asking White House aides and allies if they thought it was a McMaster person who had leaked it to the press."

Shawn, we are also learning from Jeff Zeleny, who was told that the president essentially accelerated McMaster's exit from the White House, it seems almost in retaliation for -- if McMaster didn't leak it, it seems --


VAUSE: -- he is getting the blame for it.

NELSON: I wouldn't have any idea who may or may not have leaked something. But I think what you see with the president is consistent with Donald Trump. He expects loyalty and wouldn't we all?

You know, if the issue was who leaked something, look, we all know that President Obama congratulated Putin. So despite all of the sort of, you know, feigned offense, the reality is that is not uncommon. Whether or not his advisers suggested he not do it, the president has been known to perhaps once in a while not listen to his advisers.

And, again, that's the man we're familiar with. But loyalty in the closest quarters of the White House should be expected. And disloyalty should be dealt with.

VAUSE: Obama congratulated Putin at a time --


VAUSE: -- when there was an attempt at improving relations and the Russians hadn't just meddled in the election.

KELLY: They hadn't meddled in the election. They conceivably did not assassinate someone on the soil of our chief ally in Great Britain. The context matters.

Yes, President Obama did congratulate but it wasn't right after these events. And we've already told by Congress that Russia will try to meddle and influence our elections again.

VAUSE: H.R. McMaster can now go play golf with Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state. He made his final appearance to say goodbye to his staff on Thursday. Here's what he said.


REX TILLERSON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This can be a very mean-spirited town.



TILLERSON: But you don't have to choose to participate in that.


VAUSE: Shawn, notably there was no mention at all of Donald Trump in his farewell remarks by Rex Tillerson. On the upside of this, he didn't refer to the president as an effing moron publicly. This is a man who hasn't had a good relationship with Donald Trump.

NELSON: Yes. But he has been a dignified servant --


NELSON: -- well, in my opinion, he was a dignified servant and as I recall, when he entered, of course, he was the subject of disdain. And he's not qualified, et cetera. But, of course, then, at his departure, the very people that criticized him now want to jump to his defense.

Listen, he is a fine man and he served this country with distinction and he is now moving on.

VAUSE: Although, Mo', there are some saying that Tillerson was in fact one of the worst if not the worst secretaries of state in the history of the U.S.

KELLY: I would say he kept the status quo with the exception of the lack of staffing in the State Department. And I think if anything, he took his marching orders from the president. And I wanted to go back to something that you said, in terms of loyalty, that's just fine.

But this president has a habit, uncomfortable habit for me, of trying to humiliate people on the way out the door. And it's hard to ask for loyalty if they know that there is a distinct possibility they will be humiliated on the other side.

VAUSE: And Tillerson is one of those. He ran Exxon, it was a $50 billion company and he was constantly being undermined by the president. He was put in a really tough position.

And just for the record, turnover now of senior staff at the White House just in 14 months, it's more than for the first two years of the previous four administrations.

So, Shawn, everyone agrees, change is good. Clearing the decks is good.

But when does too much change end up being just simply chaos?

NELSON: I don't know the answer to that because these people don't work for me. I can tell that you have a substantial backlog that's not accidental just of presidential appointments. So why don't we fill the appointments that have been requested. And when it comes to the inner circle, you know, Donald Trump we all knew was high-stakes business. And I think there was an expectation it was going to be different than business as usual and we've sort of seen exactly what I think every reasonable person expected.

VAUSE: There hasn't been an administration in a hundred years that has lost this many cabinet members in its first 12, 14 months.

Doesn't that indicate to you that something is not operating as it should?

NELSON: Well, something certainly indicates to me that it's operating differently and whether you agree with it or not, I think it would be reasonable to say that the people that voted for Donald Trump wanted different leadership. That was absolutely on the menu.

KELLY: My concern is the instability shown within the administration has untold consequences for our economy and our society. We see it in the stock market which happened today. And we'll also have the raise of the interest rates. I wonder if this instability is playing out in unforeseen ways which will negatively impact all of us.

VAUSE: Yes, the law of unintended consequences can be brutal. It seems right now it's better to write down the names of people working at the White House in pencil rather than ink because we also have word that the lead attorney on the Russia investigation, John Dowd, he has quit.

Listen to the former White House strategist, Steve Bannon, a man was also fired by Donald Trump --


VAUSE: -- on what this could all mean.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF STRATEGIST: John Dowd's a good man and I think that's why essentially more aggressive attorneys got brought in that are now, you know, I think President Trump is going to war. I think it's very obvious he is going to go to war on this.


VAUSE: So, Shawn, you're going to war with the special counsel.

Is that a good idea at this point?

Is that the only option for Trump right now?

NELSON: I don't know that it's the only option but I think --

VAUSE: Is it the best option, I guess?

NELSON: -- again, reasonable people I think would at least generally agree that the special prosecutor was brought in to link the Trump political campaign to Russian collusion. And I think people are getting fatigued and really seeing that that's not what the special investigator is spending his time on and it's not evidenced in the results that he's producing.

VAUSE: Well, they have indicted 13 Russians.

NELSON: Thirteen Russians but --

VAUSE: -- and six others from the Trump campaign on various other issues. But yes.

NELSON: Again, I happen to be one of these people that believes that I think probably the Russians have been meddling in campaigns since the beginning of the Cold War.

VAUSE: Right.

NELSON: So Facebook is new. But meddling isn't.

VAUSE: Right.

NELSON: Whether the Russians were up to no good is an entirely different proposition than whether they were complicit and involved with knowing operatives in the Trump campaign.


VAUSE: -- Trump Tower meeting in June of --


NELSON: -- Donna Brazile leaking sort of questions --


VAUSE: -- Russian, though. I think --

NELSON: No, but if you're trying to throw a campaign and there is collusion, you find those nuggets and you realize, wow, that's extraordinary. You actually did that. There's been a lot of innuendo and accusation. I'd just like to know what exactly are we going to prove here?

And who are we going to say did it?

VAUSE: I guess we'll find out.

KELLY: Well, maybe. But let's not forget, we go back in history with Kenneth Starr and when he started with Whitewater, that supposedly was about a real estate deal. Then all of a sudden we got to Vince Foster and Paula Jones and out of that they subpoena Monica Lewinsky. And then we have the impeachment of Bill Clinton with relation to Monica Lewinsky.

I think Bob Mueller will reveal his evidence at the appointed time.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) about Karen McDougal. She's the former "Playboy" model who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump. She's suing so that she can tell her story. It's been bought by the "National Enquirer."

This all happened (INAUDIBLE) before Donald Trump was president obviously. McDougal sat down for an exclusive interview with Anderson Cooper. Listen to what she said.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Would you have come forward publicly if Stormy Daniels hadn't come forward?

Do you think that made an impact on you?

KAREN MCDOUGAL, FORMER "PLAYBOY" MODEL: I guess I think it made a little bit of an impact on me. It gives you more -- it takes a little bit of the fear away. However, i probably would have just because as I'm learning about this contract and the people involved and the way I was treated and all the behind-the-scenes things that I wasn't aware about and all the work I'm not getting, which I contracted for, yes, I probably would have come forward.

If you didn't get what you were told in a contract work-wise, wouldn't you say something?

COOPER: Of course.

Do you have any regrets about the relationship that you say you had with him?

MCDOUGAL: Back then?


MCDOUGAL: The only regret I have about the relationship that I had with Donald was the fact that he was married. If he weren't married, I wouldn't have any regrets because he treated me very kind. He was very respectful. As I told you, it was a good relationship while it happened.

Had I known at the time there were supposed all these other women, no, I wouldn't have been in the relationship. But I didn't know that at the time. So, no, no regrets except the fact that he was married.

COOPER: If Melania Trump was watching this, what would you want her to know?

MCDOUGAL: That's a tough one.

COOPER: Or say to her?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, what can you say except I'm sorry?

I'm sorry.

I wouldn't want it done to me. I'm sorry.


VAUSE: Shawn, just very quickly, Melania Trump is the one person I think who has been forgotten and what she is going through right now in all of this reporting, Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, all the rest of it.

NELSON: Well, she is not being forgotten by the press. And it seems like it's a pretty pointed effort to make sure that she gets every opportunity possible to live it in vivid detail.

I mean, I'm not sure what the entire point of all this is from 12 years ago other than to suggest Donald Trump wasn't faithful to his wife. But, you know, I have a sneaking suspicion that very few voters that went to the poll that had that as the last issue they were trying to resolve walking into the book during the election.

She's sorry for his wife?

She had a great -- in her mind -- a great experience with Donald Trump, other than the fact he was married, I don't know -- I don't know what that says about her necessarily. But you know --


NELSON: -- it's not a tit-for-tat issue. But what about all the women that had a very miserable experience with Mr. Clinton, our president. And I just -- I don't really get what's with all the sensationalism. We've lived through this under far worse circumstances.


KELLY: Just very quickly, that reckless behavior displayed by Donald Trump, be it 10 years ago, is the reason why we have to worry about someone who's susceptible to being exploited and blackmailed.

VAUSE: OK. And on that, we shall finish it up. Welcome great to have you with us, Shawn, it was a pleasure to have you --


VAUSE: Mo', as always, thank you. Thank you, sir.

We are following breaking news out of Capitol Hill where the U.S. Senate has adopted a massive spending bill averting another government shutdown. The $1.3 trillion package will increase funding for the military and domestic spending and there will be funding for major infrastructure projects as well as fighting the opioid crisis. The bill now heads to President Trump for his signature.

Next here on NEWSROOM L.A., the Syrian rebels are given safe passage out of the part of Eastern Ghouta.

Will other rebel groups soon follow?

Also ahead, Britain picks up the support of a powerful ally in its diplomatic standoff with Russia.




VAUSE: Well, the Syrian regime is tightening its grip on the rebel held stronghold of Eastern Ghouta after weeks of relentless bombing, one of the main rebel groups has reached an agreement with the government to evacuate its fighters and families from part of the city.

It's not clear where they will go. But previous evacuees have headed north to rebel-held Idlib. Joining us now, CNN's military analyst, Lt. Col. Rick Francona. He once served as a U.S. military attache in Syria and he knows the country well.

So, Colonel, thank you for being with us. This deal seems to have paved the way for Assad's biggest victory there since Aleppo allowing the regime to regain control of the Damascus suburb or at least what's left of it.

So what's the strategic advantage now for Assad?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, you're right, this is going to be a big victory for him because it's clearing out the entire area to the east of Damascus. This has been a thorn in his side for years.

Although that area has been under siege, it has still caused him a lot of problems. So this agreement paves the way for all of that area. There is going to be a series of agreements. This is the first one. There will be others. And pretty soon the Syrian government will reassert control over the whole area. There are a few other pockets down south they need to clear out. But then now all eyes are going to turn north to this province that

you mentioned, Idlib. That's where they dumped all of the rebel fighters and that's where the big battle will come. It just seems like the Russians brokered this and they -- part of it was to put them all up in Idlib and they've got them all in one place and the final battle was going to be the bloodbath in Idlib.

VAUSE: It sounds like they're setting Idlib up as a kill zone.

FRANCONA: That's exactly right. We'll call it a target rich environment but just about everybody in there now --


FRANCONA: -- is either one of these jihadi groups or is one of the Syrian -- the Free Syrian Army rebel groups. All of them are there, just about everybody there. Of course the problem is they're intermingled over a million civilians. And there are going to be horrendous civilian casualties because the Russians and the Syrians are going to treat Idlib just like they treated Aleppo, just like they treated Eastern Ghouta. They're going to bomb it mercilessly from the air and then put pressure on from the ground.

The problem will be I don't see much agreements coming after this because where are they going to go?

Idlib will be the last stand.

VAUSE: So there Is no potential that this is leading to some kind of partition of Syria, which is one of the plans out there; that maybe you put the rebels in one spot and you have the -- Assad controls the rest?

FRANCONA: I've seen that. And there may be a de facto. I don't think there will ever be an actual legal breakup of the country. But I think there is going to be enclaves. And of course, we are supporting some sort of a Kurdish enclave now. And that brings us into direct confrontation with our NATO allies, the Turks. So all that's going to have to be -- and the people that are going to make the decision, of course, are not the Syrians. This is going to be brokered by the Syrian -- I'm sorry; by the Russians, the Iranians, the Turks and possibly the United States.

But so far, the Russians, Turks and Iranians have been very successful at marginalizing our influence in what happens in Syria in the future.

VAUSE: And every time there's been one of those deals without involving the regime or the Syrian opposition groups, they just don't seem to last.

Col. Francona, good to see you. Thank you, sir.

One senior E.U. official says he is not celebrating President Putin's reelection. Coming up, the reason some E.U. members are giving the Russian leader the cold shoulder.




VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


[02:30:00] VAUSE: Now, heads to the president for his signature. Well, for Facebook and its two billion users, it's now a matter of trust. Can the social media behemoth be trusted with all that personal information? Will it be safe and not misused like it was by Cambridge Analytica? But once the trust is gone, it's a long hard road to win it back and many are not willing to make that journey like Cher. On Twitter, she announced, today, I did something very hard for me. Facebook has helped me with my charity. There are amazing people who work there with special friend, but she went on to say, today, I deleted my Facebook account.

Many like Cher either have or are considering unfriending Facebook for good which means alive with no poking, no liking, no wall posts, no birthday reminders, no pointless time wastes like what type of car would you be or what stupid Facebook quiz are you? No more cat videos or embarrassing friends who overshare. But going cold, Turkey on Facebook can be like a junky trying to get clean. The algorithm said, programming were created to be addictive and many are hook on the buzz of that short term government hit. Douglas Rushkoff is an author, lecturer, and media theorist. He joins us now from Westchester, New York. Douglas, good to see.


VAUSE: OK. You have been Facebook clean now for five years. Just wanting a heads up. We're about to show your old Facebook page and there it is just with a simple apology for content not being available right now. Only on hope that maybe one day you will actually go back. So first up, how difficult it was that break up initially and what has life been like without Facebook for all these years?

RUSHKOFF: Well, I mean for me the thing that was difficult about it was I chose to leave Facebook right before a big book of mine was coming out. So my publicists were outraged that I would lose this terrific promotional opportunity. But, you know, as a kind of a minor public figure, I felt that it was irresponsible of me to accept likes and follows from people who were making themselves vulnerable by liking me because I understood that -- it's kind of the marketing push and the surveillance machinery of Facebook would come through me to anybody that liked me. So that just -- it seemed to be an unethical thing for me to do.

In terms of leaving, I mean, my God, it was like a weightless lifted from my shoulders. I mean the people that I've been trying to get away from like friends from second grade who I've been trying to leave behind for 40 years. Now, were finally left behind and not, you know, showing up all of a sudden as if they're my friends today and I wasn't getting marketed about a future that Mark Zuckerberg knew I was going go live but I hadn't yet decided to do. So, you know, it felt like kind of got my autonomy back.

VAUSE: But was -- final stroke to me. Was it something -- was there a realization, an epiphany, a moment particularly what was it?

RUSHKOFF: I mean for me it was back. This was back in 2012. They came up with something they called sponsored stories. So what would happen is, you know, if they saw that you did something or like something they would then put out an ad with you in it. They would turn one of your post into an ad for a product that you may not have wanted to endorse and that was when I was thinking. Oh, my gosh, they've really -- they've crossover. They've step over the line now.

VAUSE: OK. (INAUDIBLE) for, I think it was on Thursday and this one like really stood out for me, every minute on Facebook is a minute you can choose to spend with another person forging psychologically healthy relationships instead of submitting to a company that is actively trying to undermine them. So are you saying Facebook is knowingly and actively harming real world relationships? And if that's the case, how are they doing it?

RUSHKOFF: Oh, I mean they have to because -- marketers reach you. The way that they get you to do -- click on things, to look at things, to read an article is by really detouring around your frontal lobe, the part of you that things and feels, and getting right back here to the brainstem to what's called the amygdala, you know, that reptile brain. It's the reptile brain that responds to, you know, fire, breast, you know, death, sex, you know, race, you know, different race than me, you know, that's the part that gets activated in a space like Facebook. It's not the part that makes you think and feel. That's slow. That's not as urgent as the fighter flight response that you can get keeping people down in that impulsive place. But that impulsive place isn't really good for you. That's -- when all you're stress hormones like cortisol released.

[02:35:02] When you're in the real world with real people making eye contact, you start to breathe together, this other hormone called oxytocin comes out. You bond with -- or trying to be social and -- that doesn't help Facebook. That doesn't help the marketers on Facebook who are trying to get you to just click and point and shove, and respond in that much more kind of lower addictive way.

VAUSE: It's incredible to think there is actually a chemical reaction in the brain to all of these and I guess --


RUSHKOFF: Well, anyone know about it is that they, you know, you look at the research, you look at the people who are designing the interface on Facebook are reading books about slot machine addiction to see how do we design an interface that's as addictive as a Las Vegas slot machines by using the very same principles.

VAUSE: I guess it's -- what you're saying is essentially this is about reclaiming your life.

RUSHKOFF: Yes. I mean -- and all of our lives. Reclaiming our society, reclaiming democratic process. I mean what we know about democracy is you need an informed -- you need an informed electorate that's acting with some intelligence. You don't want to need your crazy mob, you know, picking presidents and senators. You don't want your kid valuing him or herself online based on how many people have clicked on a picture of him or her because who's going to get the most clicks, the most likes on a picture? Somebody is doing something reasonable or someone who is doing something kind of crazy.

When you look at all of the data and you find out that, well, you know, teen social media use is directly correlated with teen suicide. You have to think, well, there's a public health issue here that people are not really talking about and they're not because the business models of these companies is really to extract as much data as they can from us any way they cane and it really puts them between a rock and hard place if they want to be less abusive, less distractive then they're going to make less money the way that they know how to right now.

VAUSE: Well, Douglas, congratulations on curing your Facebook addiction that we all seemed to have but you've actually manage to separate yourself --

RUSHKOFF: It's easy. It's easy. If you get more time, more friends, more love. It's a better life out here. I promise.

VAUSE: Thanks a lot. OK. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Appreciate it.

RUSHKOFF: Take care.

VAUSE: Proof again, social media is evil. Stay with us. More news after the break.


VAUSE: In a few hours, European leaders will meet in Brussels for talks focusing on Brexit, a day earlier. It was all about Russia and the threat to Europe. Erin McLaughlin is live in Brussels for a early morning live shoot duty. Sorry about that Erin. OK. A big part of the talks have been focusing on the nerve agent which was used in the attack in Salisbury. What's the main headline there among European leaders?

[02:40:05] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the summit lasted until around 1:00 A.M. That's when leaders less last night with the Salisbury attack was a main topic of discussion as was the U.S. trade announcement, the tariffs announcement of yesterday. But Theresa May was also on hand to give a presentation at the dinner to state the U.K.'s case to try and win support from all 27 E.U. heads of state and government to back the U.K.'s assessment that it's highly likely that the Russia Federation was behind that nerve agent attack in Salisbury and it appears from the council conclusion publish late last night that she was successful in that endeavor. I have a copy of the actual council conclusions and they're really critical part. Let me read it to you, John. It says, it -- as in the E.U. agrees with the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and if there's plausible alternative explanation.

The conclusions also go on to condemn the attack and express unqualified solidarity with the U.K. Now, compare that conclusion with a copy of the draft council conclusion that I obtained of the draft conclusions that were the working copy that E.U. leaders were looking at going into the summit. There's a marked difference in language. The draft conclusion reads, it takes extremely seriously the U.K. government's assessment that is highly likely the Russian Federation is responsible. So in her presentation yesterday, Theresa May was able to move the needle so to speak from in a Greek from it takes extremely seriously the U.K. government's assessment to it agrees with the U.K. government's assessment. It's a -- it's a small change in working that the difference in tone there is significant Theresa May can take back to Downing Street worth noting that no E.U. countries have announced any sort of expulsion of diplomats with what the U.K. has done.

Diplomats telling you they're going into the summit. Certain countries were reticent to fully back the U.K.'s assessment including Greece and Austria. But clearly Theresa May was able to present a convincing argument yesterday. We do understand that she's expected to come back here. Today, it was originally thought that she would return to Downing Street today while the 27 heads of state and government remaining to discuss the Brexit but we understand that she will be arriving back here Brussels to focus resume those talks on trade. Visibly, the E.U. leaders at this point trying to craft a response to the U.S. tariff announcement from yesterday, John.

VAUSE: High stakes and exciting times in Brussels. Erin, thank for you that. Erin McLaughlin live for us there. It's what, 7:22 in the morning. Appreciate it. And thank you for watching NEWSROOM live -- from CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. World Sport is up next. You're watching CNN.


KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome along to World Sport. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center. It's the international break right now and so which turning our attention to the fact that there are 83 days left until the World Cup in Russia this summer and we've got to get through all sorts of friendly fixtures this weekend. First, there in fact. There are 84 matches in just seven days. There are loads of great match-ups. This international break though for instance. The World Cup host Russia is hosting Brazil and Moscow. Notion freely that the visitors are the favorite to win the World Cup come this summer.

Meanwhile, the tournament host want to move on from both disappointments in the Confederation Cup and the European Championships. But, they might be able to catalyze on the fact that the superstar striker Neymar, is still out injured.


[02:45:39] TITE, MANAGER, BRAZIL NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM (through translator): First of all, Neymar is irreplaceable. Because of the high level, the quality he has, he's in the top three of the world's best players, this is a fact. And Douglas Costa will now replace Neymar. Douglas Costa will be Douglas Costa.


RILEY: Elsewhere and the last two World Cup winners will battle it out on Friday. As well, Germany, who are top of FIFA's world rankings are on a 21 match, unbeaten run right now. They will be facing Spain (INAUDIBLE) lifting the World Cup back in 2010. Of course, that all believed to be one of the favorite this time around by the Germany coach, no less. And the two go head to head in Dusseldorf.


JOACHIM LOEW, COACH, GERMANY NATIONAL TEAM (through translator): We all know that this tournament will demand superhuman efforts from us. Because we are the Confederation Cup winners and the World Cup winners. Therefore, we will be the haunted. But our goal is clear, we want to play an excellent tournament and we not want the same thing that happened to others. The Spaniards, the Italians after their win. Possibly the Brazilians after 2002. Happening to us, we don't want that to go home very soon.

JULEN LOPETEGUI, MANAGER, SPAIN NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM (through translator): We are not interested in previous conditions or tags. What we want is to get the most out of what is ahead of us. And that is a beautiful, exciting, and demanding match against the World Champions of their stadium. And that is enough to spur and motivate us.

We want to focus on plan a good game, showing how we understand and feel the game. And without drawing any further conclusions, we are focused on plan a good game and try to win it, of course.


RILEY: And is much excitement to miss of festival on next to picture. All right, only a friendly but Portugal against Egypt sees two of the world's best strikers face each other on the pitch. First of all, Cristiano Ronaldo has got 37 in all competitions this season. As for Egypt, well, that from Mohamed Salah, is also in red-hot form. He seemed this Premier League top scorer at the moment. Well, the pair both scored about four goals for their domestic clubs.

Last weekend, this will more probably. And of the goal is throw now, winter went earlier on Thursday. Wales traveled halfway around the world for what would prove to be a historic occasion. The Welsh, thrashing China in Nanning. Ryan Giggs, the winning stars in his first game as manager. It was also a landmark day for the man who played in his old position.

Gareth Bale, the Real Madrid forward has given the rock star treatment in China this week. And he rewarded the fans with first international hat-trick no less, making him Wales as record goal scorer now. He's now scored 29 times better than the legendary in rush.

Well, plenty of a reports on Wednesday, saying there could be a Hollywood ending for the megastar footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Earlier, a Manchester United confirmed the striker's contract has finished as told trap but a twist for the all smiles if the reports are to believe when he signed to the MLS side, L.A. Galaxy, later this week. Before his retirement from international football, he got more than a hundred caps for Sweden.

The 36 year old will be officially announced in the Los Angeles Times newspaper in a full-page adverse. He's expected to make his American debut against the Galaxy's newest rivals, LAFC. From one legend to the next, David Beckham, he also plays the United and the Galaxy told us what fans in L.A. can expect.


DAVID BECKHAM, FORMER PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER: He's a beast, (INAUDIBLE) is a beast. On and off the field, he's a -- he's a gentleman. He's a -- he's a person that any owner would want any same. He's a larger than life character, and this sport needs characters. You know, that's what makes football so great. There are so many talented players and characters for players for management and that's what should be about.

So, if he -- if he comes to L.A., which at the moment, we shouldn't say that because I think he's -- you know, he's still at Manchester United Club. If that happens that-- you know, American -- the American public, American fans would love it.


RILEY: Meanwhile, we can will be seeing blast on captain, the MLS all-star team this summer and earlier on today. The opponents of the annual match was announced serial leaders right now, Juventus. In a strange twist of faith, it's a club that the Swedish superstar knows all too well. He's got 23 goals for them during his time at that.

Coming over the show way count on down to the new season of Formula One, we are just out the way from the start. Big action down under at the Australian Grand Prix.


[02:53:01] RILEY: We are back with more on the countdown to the new Formula One Season. The lights go out in Melbourne on Sunday, and the clear narrative has already emerged. Can Lewis Hamilton continue his dominance from Mercedes? Or is Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel, capable of mounting a sustained challenge.

Well, the achievements of both men ranked them as two of the most successful in the history of the sport. They've won four world titles each. So, is this season needs a soft heading, it could be the drive for five. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEWIS HAMILTON, FOUR-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION: When you comes to end your career, you want another you can beat it against the best. There are those bow out before, you know, bow out early. There are those that I want championships maybe that has been as a competitive. And the ultimate goal is to be -- to be the best and you didn't go have to go up against the best. So, that's' great. It's been a great experience to me to be able to race Sebastian, you know, he's got the four world countries at the most of any other driver at the time. And I think, it's an exact year for all my fans.


RILEY: To NBA now, where it on be the greatest of seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers has it? But don't ride them off just here, will you? They have LeBron James, after all, and on Wednesday he served up, yet, another Master Club. The Cavs are up against Toronto, apparently, the best team in (INAUDIBLE) they allowed 79 points (INAUDIBLE) against of the points of the season so far.

And remember, their head coach, Tyronn Lue is actually off G.C. at the moment on medical grounds. However, they found the right gear later in the game. LeBron setting the example with the 35 points and 17 assists on Cleveland won this one by 136 and 129. If the Cavs end up crashing it in the postseason, you'll have to remember this game, really.


[02:54:58] LARRY DREW, INTERIM HEAD COACH, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: There is one game during the season that changes your team. That game to be -- that game to be early, amid midway, it can be late. But there's always one game that kind of changes -- you know, to changes your team the mindset. And I really believe tonight's game might have done that for us, strictly because we -- number one, we stroke handed, number two, we played a really good basketball team.


RILEY: One of the biggest names in boxing right now, May will be swapping the ring for the Octagon in the future. CNN reported the UFC are preparing an effort to lure Anthony Joshua away from the light. He knows now, the British heavyweight champion can perceive a new deal which includes multiple-fights and be worth over $500 million dollars.

If that happens, and Joshua, of course, though, loyal person to his promoter, Eddie Hearn, by the way. It would be a new direction for UFC as they expand their footprint in the world of combat sport.

And before we leave you, here's another look ahead to the new Formula One Season in today's "ROLEX MINUTES"

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: This Sunday, Melbourne host the opening round of the 2018 Formula One Season, the Australian Grand Prix. To mark whether a nine-time Grand Prix winner, his home race is one of the high class of the calendar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's been the first race of the year, sends a lot of anticipation, lot of excitement. Everyone loves competing in Australian Grand Prix. The history of (INAUDIBLE) 1956, dealing most one day at Albert Park. The Australian Grand Prix wasn't part of the forming on World Championship Game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This March, get us all the honors of Melbourne Olympic Grand Prix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Albert Park is a challenging circuit. The first sector is very fast and very narrow. The second sector is very open, and some fast and (INAUDIBLE) falling at the back of light there which is very rewarding for driver to get ride. And last sect is easy coy, slow. It requires a lot from the driver and it requires a lot from the car in sense of balance and setup. So, it's a very demand circuit. We stride and love the motorsport, we absolutely love accepting and embracing Formula One.



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Years of a trade war reignited after China and United State --