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Fears of Trade War Between U.S. and China Grows; Changing of the Guards in the White House Not New; Unarmed Man Killed in Sacramento Angered the Community; Tougher Abortion in Poland Spark Outrage; Trump Replaces National Security Adviser With Bolton; European Council, Russia Most Likely Attacked Ex-Spy; Fighting Words, Trump Versus Biden. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 23, 2018 - 03:00   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Fears of a trade reignited after China and United States issued tit-for-tat tariffs. Markets taking a hit around the world.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president swaps out his national security advisor. The new guy is a former diplomat who's previously advocated war with Iran and preemptive strikes on North Korea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show your hands. Drop your gun!


HOWELL: Police fired 20 times an unarmed African-American man in his grandmother's backyard. His death is sparking outrage and demand for answers.

ALLEN: We can understand that. That story is ahead here with all of the others this hour. Thanks for joining us. We're coming to you live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters. Newsroom starts right now.

All right. Around the world, good day to you.

Two major decisions by the U.S. president are sending shockwaves throughout the financial markets and diplomatic circles around the world.

ALLEN: First, Mr. Trump ordered $50 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports. That sent Wall Street and Asian markets tumbling.

HOWELL: And the second thing. The president replacing his national security advisor with John Bolton. Bolton a man with a history of hard line rhetoric against Pyongyang. This just ahead of crucial talks with North Korea right around the corner. ALLEN: But let's start with the tariffs. We're getting late word from the White House President Trump has suspended those controversial steel and aluminum duties on members of the European Union and six other countries. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.

HOWELL: China, on the other hand slap with $50 billion in new tariffs. The president says they are in retaliation with theft of intellectual property. Conversely China announcing its own imports taxes on $3 billion in American goods.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing things for this country that should have been done for many, many years. We've had this abuse by many other countries and groups of countries that were put together 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. It's probably one of the reasons I was elected, maybe one of the main reasons.


HOWELL: All right. And the impact of all this, so far on Wall Street the president is announcing sent blue chip stocks in New York plunging by nearly 3 percent. The Dow lost 724 points, its fifth largest point drop ever. The NASDAQ and the S&P were both off by 2.5 percent.

ALLEN: Let's head to Beijing and CNN's Andrew Stevens said unsettling looking at that graphic with the number just dialing backwards and backwards and lower and lower, Andrew, and certainly not looking good for world markets as well.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, absolutely not. And not surprising too, Natalie. I mean, this is a much, much bigger shot being fired by the Trump administration in what could become a trade war than we saw previously with those tariffs on aluminum and steel.

And correspondingly, you're seeing the markets here in Asia tumbling. Japan, down 4.5 percent, Hong Kong, down around about 3 percent, a little bit more to 3 percent. In fact, a lot of the Asian performing worse than the U.S. because that's the region is so still dependent on exports in so many ways, so any trade war between the two of the world's biggest economies is going to have a peripheral effect, a collateral effect, if you like, on other economies around here.

But it's interesting to see Donald Trump coming out, I mean, the administration really is coming out swinging on this they're calling it an historic act against economic aggression angling that's firmly at China over this theft of intellectual property.

And it is an issue that has been worrying U.S. administrations for many, many years now. There has been evidence that the Chinese have been -- excuse me -- stripping out vital intellectual property, trade secrets, if you like, from U.S. companies as part of the cost of U.S. companies doing business in China. What's important to note here is this retaliatory action by China, this $3 billion worth tariffs they're announcing on U.S. goods is not to do -- not a response to the $50 billion, it's a response to those steel and aluminum tariffs. So we're still waiting for China to act if it's going to act against the $50 billion. And certainly the rhetoric coming out of Beijing is looking more, more likely that they will take action.

They're saying, I just got a quote here from Beijing. If a trade war were initiated by the U.S., China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests, Natalie, which gives you an idea of the thinking here in China.

[03:05:02] That's to say nothing yet but certainly this is a major development, a major step forward, if you like, in what could be a trade war, probably on the cusp of a trade with that move by the U.S.

ALLEN: And there's always been something that no one wants, of course, Mr. Trump has said, bring it on, maybe the one person that does. But $50 billion, Andrew, help us appreciate the impact of that.

STEVENS: Well, it's typical is now at the moment what the -- what the targets of those tariffs will be by the U.S. So they got 15 days to sort of come up with a list of what they are going to go after, Natalie. I mean, there have reports that it's going to be everything from textiles to footwear to high-tech products as well. And really the high-tech is what this is all about it.

If you think about President Xi Jinping they're going to made in China 2025 plan, which revolves around sort of becoming dominant in real cutting-edge tech. I'm talking about artificial intelligence, mobile technology, that's a robotic set sort of thing.

A lot of this stuff has been passed by the U.S. companies by commercial U.S. companies trying to get into China that their trade secrets are being passed on. So that is what China wants and that is what Donald Trump is going to try and stop.

Now what he wants at the end of the day and what he's exactly said is he wants to see this massive trade deficit between China and the U.S. shrink and shrink dramatically. It's currently standing at $375 billion. Now you could argue that slapping tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. is not going to really have a massive impact on that deficit.

What could have a big impact is if the Chinese opened up their own markets in some of these high-tech areas, and some of these sensitive areas which are foreign nationals of band from going into at the moment.

So that could be the sort of result that Donald Trump is looking for here to get trade back on a more equal footing and to get that deficit down.

ALLEN: Andrew Stevens for us in Beijing, thanks so much, Andrew. HOWELL: Now to the constantly changing cast of characters at the White House, the president's national security advisor H.R. McMaster. He is now out, replaced by the former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

ALLEN: Bolton becomes the third man to hold the position in 14 months.

For more now here is CNN's Jeff Zeleny at the White House.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump engineering yet another shakeup here at the White House. This time his national security adviser sending General H.R. McMaster out and hiring John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush administration. Of course a hard line view on Iraq, on Iran, certainly far more of a hawk than General McMaster.

Now in making this view President Trump clearly wants to shore up the National Security Council. He believes that some people on the National Security Council trying to undermine him.

That became clear earlier this week when that leak happened here at the White House. All about his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin when some national security advisers advised him to not congratulate the president. The president did not. It was leaked. It certainly infuriated the president.

Now we do not know if that we came from anyone in General McMaster's world but the president certainly holds him responsible. But the reality is, this is been coming for weeks. The president is been looking for a new direction in his National Security Council. He's been watching John on Fox News and frankly, he likes what she hears and likes what he sees.

So invited John Bolton for yet another meeting here at the White House and met in the Oval Office on Thursday for about an hour or so, offer him the job. This transition will be taking place over the next two weeks or so.

So critical here, though, what does it do for the North Korea talks, that potential summit between the president and the Kim Jong-un. Will that be disrupted. General McMaster was leading the charge on those talks, certainly John Bolton much different views. The president of course will have a say he does want that to go forward.

But certainly, an interesting development here as yet another shakeup happens at the White House.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, at the White House.

HOWELL: Jeff, thank you. Also, a big change to tell you about in the president's legal team. This as the Russia investigation ensues. Possibly a signal for more aggressive strategy.

The president's top attorney of the probe has resigned. John Dowd has been an advocate for cooperating with Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller. ALLEN: Earlier this week, the president hired attorney Joseph DiGenova, the frequent Fox News analyst has said the Russia investigation is concocted by the FBI and Democrats to frame Donald Trump.

[03:09:57] HOWELL: Let's bring in CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. Josh also a columnist for the Washington Post joining from Washington with us this hour. Josh, let's start with this changing of the guard. H.R. McMaster out, John Bolton in. Describe the difference between these two men and how Bolton might back to removing forward.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, H.R. McMaster was never Trump's choice. He was hurried in after the downfall of Trump's first national security advisor Mike Flynn. They had no previous relationship, they had no previous bond. And what Trump found over the many months he worked with H.R. McMaster was that although he respected him as a military officer he didn't agree with him on a lot of core issues, the man never gelled he always thought that McMaster was working against his agenda or trying to constrain him.

And what we see now is a pattern of moves that are Trump's way of getting rid of all the people who he thinks are trying to pin him in and stop him from advancing the agenda he ran on. And Bolton on the other hand is much more in line with what Trump thinks about the world and what he wants to do.

Now it doesn't mean they agree on everything. Bolton is a hawk on Iran and North Korea, which matches Trump's instinct but he's also a hawk on Russia which doesn't match Trump's instinct. So it's not as if he'll get along a hundred percent.

But Donald Trump has done first the Pompeo decision to replace Rex Tillerson and now with the Bolton decision to replace H.R. McMaster is to install a cabinet of national security officials who will do what he wants advance his agenda and not stop him from implementing his instincts.

HOWELL: It is interesting though, Josh, to talk about Bolton another new hire for the White House who previously served as a TV pundit on a conservative network here in the states, he's made several comments on that network that at times seem questionable, as you point out, overtly hawkish. Let's listen to a few.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: There is no United Nations. Secretaries building in New York has 38 stories, if you walk 10 stories today, it would make a bit difference.

But our biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama.

We have to know the facts here and it's not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation.

I think the only diplomatic option left is to end the regime in North Korea by effectively having the South, take it over.


HOWELL: Josh, that's just a snippet of how Bolton thinks, but as of tonight, all the comments that he's made in the past well, he says that's in the past. Here's what he had to say about that.


BOLTON: I've never been shy about what my views are, but frankly what I've said in private now that is behind me, at least, effective April 9th. And the important thing is what the president says and what advice I give him.


HOWELL: All right. So, the question to you, Josh, can be easily turn the page and put all of that behind it. Because again, he will have the president's ear.

ROGIN: Yes, I think he can manage his relationship with the president by tempering the opinions that run afoul of the president's opinions and emphasizing the ones that he agrees with. But that's not going to be John Bolton's only task.

He has another problem which is how to deal with the foreign policy establishment that won't forget all of those things that he set over the years, and a Congress that is rejected confirming him twice and is now tonight, issuing several students warning about his past behaviors and accusing him of being reckless.

Now he doesn't need to be confirmed so he's going to get the job, but part of the main job of the national security advisor is not just to staff the president, it's to coordinate the interagency national security bureaucracy to get it to do what the president wanted to do and he's to face a ton of resistance from that as well.

Now one Mike Pompeo comes in to state, they can be allies, but if you look at Jim Mattis over the Pentagon those two guys do not seem to be on the same page. And the same thing with John Kelly as Chief of Staff. They've have tensions in the past. John Kelly at one point tried to keep John Bolton for meeting with President Trump. That's going to be impossible now.

So, yes, Bolton can, you know, temper his opinions to fit what the president wants him to think and say, but there's a whole another ecosystem that he is going to have to deal with and that's going to create a lot of tension, and perhaps a lot of conflict.

HOWELL: Josh, while we have you, also I want to talk about the president's attorney, John Dowd now resigning. What does that signal about his approach toward this Mueller investigation?

ROGIN: Well, the main takeaway is that the president's legal defense team is in chaos, OK, when your lead attorney resigns and you're left with and you replace it with a TV pundit who is alleging that the entire case is an FBI conspiracy. That sort of makes it very difficult for them, you know, to deal with the Mueller investigation in a way that's new one is responsible leads to negotiated outcomes.

[03:15:01] It predicts up really contentious period. It sets the stage for an argument by the White House and the president that whatever Mueller comes up with is not legitimate. It makes the prospect of Trump testifying less likely.

But again, just go back to the original point. The Trump's defense team is in chaos and that can't be good for the president.

HOWELL: Josh Rogin giving us some perspective there from Washington. Thank you so much.

ROGIN: Any time.

ALLEN: Republicans on the House intelligence committee have voted to release their findings on Russian meddling in the election. The committee ended its investigation this month, saying it found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

They also disagree with the intelligence community's claim that Vladimir Putin was trying to help elect Donald Trump.

HOWELL: Democrats reject that report. They say the investigation was incomplete and they plan to submit an addendum to the report.


MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: Democrats say that you guys have ignored so many areas in this investigation. And that is the number of subpoenas where you should have to compel more records and witnesses. Looking back at it do you feel like you should turn over more stones?

REP. MIKE CONAWAY(R), TEXAS: No, we don't. There are fishing exhibitions available across in the entire scope of things that we don't believe were -- would be productive in getting to the answers that we needed. We're not running a criminal investigation. We don't have to prove beyond that side of a doubt.

RAJU: Do you believe that Clinton was hurt by the Russians via an act of effort by Putin?

CONAWAY: Well, I don't think there's any question that she was hurt.

RAJU: What hurt?

CONAWAY: You know, I don't think there's any question that Putin does not like Mrs. Clinton. Whether that transfer into him wanting to hurt or not be president or be president or Trump to be president and not be president everybody got to make mind up on that.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: A rather sad chapter in our committees long history on with the ending of the majority's participation in the investigation. That ending taking place in secret session for no reason at all, except a desire to avoid the public scrutiny of this decision to curtail an investigation into one of the most serious intrusions into our democracy in our history.


ALLEN: The U.S. intelligence committee will still have to decide what parts of the report can be declassified.

HOWELL: Still ahead, Poland is considering even harsher laws on abortion. We'll have that story for you.

ALLEN: Also another deadly police shootings fuels protest in the United States. What body cam footage reveal about the killing of an armed -- an unarmed -- excuse me -- unarmed man, that's when we come back.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. In the U.S. State of California outrage is certainly growing there after an unarmed African-American man was shot and killed by police officer.

The killing of Stephon Clark sparked protests in Sacramento on Thursday. The demonstrators there marched on the city hall and into major highways.

[03:20:01] ALLEN: They also tried to block the entrances for an NBA basketball game. This was for the scene at Golden 1 Center where the Sacramento Kings were playing the Atlanta Hawks.

Clark was killed on Sunday. Authorities release video of the shooting on Wednesday.

HOWELL: Now CNN's Dan Simon has a look now at what that footage reveals. We do warn you though this report contains video that some may find quite disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, drop your weapons. Stop! Stop!

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The encounter last less than a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come over here. Drop your gun.

SIMON: After a brief chase Sacramento police fire 20 shots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired. Shots fired.

SIMON: And as the smoke clears they explain--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something in his hand, it looks like a gun from our perspective.

SIMON: Ahead in their spotlight and unarmed 22-year-old black male in his grandmother's backyard. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't over to get you help unless we know you don't have the weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very tragic for the family and for our officers. The officers felt that their lives were in danger and (Inaudible) point a harm.

SIMON: So the officers fired, apparently fearing for their lives. But no weapons were found at the scene. Just a cell phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right there, right there was my grandson dead with the iPhone.

SIMON: It does not appear the pursuing officers ever identify themselves as police before opening fire. Now the family of Stephon Clark, a father of two says, they are murderers.

Are you angry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm angry with own fears. I'm livid. I'm--

SIMON: You said you wanted his name to be remembered the same way that people remember--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown.

SIMON: Sacramento police arrived in the neighborhood Sunday after 9 p.m. responding to calls of someone breaking car windows. Police say they found at least three vehicles damaged and believed Clark was the culprit.

According to the sheriff's department, its helicopter crew observe the person breaking windows and taking up a tool bar. Aerial video shows someone police say as Clark hopping fences and running from police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police with the translander saying he was (Inaudible) He wasn't a gang guy, you know what I mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five-seventy is down, no movement.

SIMON: Moments after the gunfire Clark lay silent and the officers reload their guns, still fearful it seems of being attacked. Minutes later they approach to administer aid.

Where does the family go from here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're afraid. We're afraid. It's not the first and it won't be the last. That's why I think that's where it hurt the most.

DARRELL STEINBERG, MAYOR OF SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: Like any compassionate person I was horrified when I saw.

SIMON: Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg pledging full transparency. STEINBERG: The tragedy is not only our sorrow but a deep examination

of what occurred and what policies and procedures must be examined and changed to minimize the chance that this does not happen again.

SIMON: Protesters rallying at city hall Thursday afternoon, one point the point entering the building.



ALLEN: Stephon, not a gun. The two officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave, one of them is African-American.

HOWELL: Now to Poland. Protests are set there in the coming hours as lawmakers consider tougher rules on abortion. The country already has some of the harshest abortion laws in Europe.

ALLEN: CNN's Atika Shubert that's forcing many women to seek abortions abroad.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At a hospital in Germany, Anya (Ph) lies in bed. We aren't using her real name of showing he face she has spoken from a procedure that would be illegal back home in Poland, an abortion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't have an abortion and you also can have a breadth with dignity, so basically as a woman you have no right when it comes to reproductive price.

SHUBERT: More than 96 percent of Poles identify as Catholic and the influence of the church is especially strong on the issue of abortion. Poland has already limited access to oral contraceptives and the country has one of the most restrictive laws in Europe on abortion. It's legal in only three cases. If the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, if it endangers the life of the mother, or damage to the fetus.

When Catholic groups pushed Polish lawmakers to impose a total ban in 2016 the law threatened to imprison women seeking abortions and any doctor who performed the procedure. Tens of thousands took to the street in protest.

The government retracted the proposed law in the face of mass demonstrations, but this year, the government has a new proposal targeting the most commonly cited reason for abortion, damaged to the fetus.

[03:24:58] Anti-abortion lawmaker Kaja Godek wants doctors to stop prenatal screening to prevent what she calls eugenic abortion.

She said the original idea behind prenatal test has been completely distorted, instead of treating and preparing patients and doctors to receive the child and help him, he makes it easier to choose extermination, she said. Women rights groups estimate that already more than 80,000 Polish women a year go abroad or seek illegal abortions at home. Now they say that number may rise.

BARBARA NOWACKA, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: This underground will grow abortion tourism so women traveling the Czech Republic, U.K., Ukraine will grow again. And the second in fact, I think even more serious is the doctors will be afraid to send women for prenatal exams and prenatal scanning.

SHUBERT: Dr. Janusz Rudzinski, a Polish gynecologist working in Germany said he gets about six Polish patients a week seeking an abortion. Half he says come to him after botched abortion attempts.

There was one particular case, he recalls, a woman called me saying she had no money and couldn't travel but needed an abortion. She had a stuck a wire inside but now had a 40 degree fever with extreme pain. She called asked me what to do and I told her you may have sepsis, you need to go to the hospital immediately or you may die, he says.

Anya (Ph) already has an 11-month-old baby with her husband. She says she wants to have children in the future but not right now and not in Poland. She says Dr. Rudzinski was the best option for her.

What's your advice to other women who might have to face this decision in Poland?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I say just go for it and just leave this country and travel and get this procedure done. The way should be done this underground. Do not risk your health.

SHUBERT: Anya (Ph) acknowledges she is lucky to have the money to travel, other she fears will not be so lucky.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Prenzlau, Germany.

ALLEN: The Trump's administrations new tariffs on Chinese imports have many U.S. farmers bracing for a backlash. Just ahead, one soybean grower in Illinois what could the trade war mean for him.

HOWELL: And plus the other side of the tariff debate, how U.S. companies are affected by Chinese intellectual property theft. Stay with us.


HOWELL: A warm welcome back to viewers around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top stories now.

[03:29:59] After a week of speculation, President Trump's national security advisor H.R. McMaster has resigned. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will take his place. Bolton is a frequent Fox News analyst known for his hardline views on North Korea and Iran. HOWELL: U.S. president has slap China with new tariffs on $50 billion

in imports, he says it's in retaliation for Chinese step of intellectual property. Now in the meantime, China has announced $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods.

ALLEN: The apparent trade war has its financial markets around the world plunging. Tokyo's Nikkei ended the day down a whopping 4 1/2 percent, Blue Chip stocks on Wall Street also took a beating, the Dow lost 724 points. That is the biggest point drop ever.

HOWELL: Yes, that graphic really says it all. There, despite the plunged, the president's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, well, is not alarmed by what's happening on the markets and says the tariffs against China will be good for the U.S. in the long run.

ALLEN: Navarro has long advocated for tough measures against China and says U.S. efforts to negotiate with Beijing over the past 15 years have failed to help America's economy.


PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING TARIFFS: You know, there are basically stocks, wrong on the expectation of future stream of corporate earnings of by basically cracking down on China's I.P. theft and force technology transfer. The outlook now of American corporations that had been stolen from by the Chinese and going to China under really burdensome and unfair conditions or brighter today than they were yesterday. So, no Dow and then the second thing I mean, this is gonna be a great buying opportunity. This is a normal debt you seen the stock before, but look at what we have in place.

We got tax cuts which you are going to start to kick in force with additional investment and spending in 18 and 19. We've got a tremendous job by Mick Mulvaney in OMB. Just amazing on deregulation. We have now a situation where we are exporting energy. We are very low cost of fossil fuel energy which is going to help our manufacturing base.


HOWELL: So it's back and forth over tariffs. It's just starting, CNN Money emerging markets editor John Defterios, following it all live for us in Abu Dhabi. John, a good to have you with us, from Wall Street, now the Asian markets, what's been the reaction so far?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, in a word, I think George, basically to say it's been pretty ugly. Not too surprisingly, we're seeing the Asia of the export driven consonants are not reacting very well, whatsoever. You can see the boards here is Natalie suggest, a drop in the NEK Index of 4.5 percent, 3 percent drops or more on some of the other Asian markets and Australia down about 2 percent of these tariffs as the trade representative is suggesting, Peter Navarro are much deeper dealing with intellectual property.

So, the president now is homing in on China. This has been a complaint for U.S. industry productive, as a matter of fact, they had been looking for response, but they just don't like the president, kind a beating the drum saying on Friday to trade war with China, that's why we see of the choppiness in the markets in Asia, very likely in Europe and the big selloff that we saw on Wall Street and this gets to the rub of the issue right now.

President Trump is keeping up to a campaign promise, a delivery for blue-collar workers in the heartland of America providing tariffs, by the way, wont probably won't help jobs, right across the economy. It will probably undermine growth, but he did keep the promises, he say he would come in to office and do something about the trade deficit with China at the same he kind of judges his performance with the rise and fall of the stock market.

It's a 724 point all the Dow industrials is the biggest point drop ever. And certainly will not play well on Wall Street over time, because they don't like uncertainty, they like predictability and this is been served up uncertainty and a big, big way right now by this White House. It did cut taxes. The growth is better. They delivered on a campaign promise, but nobody likes a trade war. And this is a reality on why we are seeing the reactions today.

HOWELL: Uncertainty, as you point out, the markets -- tend to favors stability, but let's talk about the unpredictability that were seeing in the changing of the guard at the White House. These resignations, H.R. McMaster, the latest what influences that having with you say on markets?

DEFTERIOS: Well, I think we have to make the connection, George, it's a key question here between the chaos -- in a word within the White House and the unpredictability in the financial markets. As a result, H.R. McMaster, a moderate. Rex Tillerson, a moderate, who was that Secretary of State, the great Cohen, who was serving as the National Economic Council chair also one that kept the dampening influence on Donald Trump. Now, we take the harness off the horse, if you will, the both sides of the gate, it's going to be quite aggressive.

[03:35:08] This is applied to China, but as we noted here with the appointment of John Bolton at the National Security Council and serving as the chief advisor there. He'll take a much harder line on China, North Korea, and I don't think we can leave out Iran. We see tensions in the oil markets already, or right near a seven weeks high of nearly $70 a barrel on the international benchmark.

Many believes come May 12, the Trump administration is going want to tear up that nuclear agreement with China. We have tensions rising between Turkey -- Turkey and Syria as well. Even the European Union and turkey, rhetoric overnight after f the European Council meeting went up quite radically.

European diplomats told me here in Abu Dhabi this morning, if you look at the world today, it looks rather shaky and why financial markets are responding accordingly.

HOWELL: John, saying -- taking the harness off the horse in Texas, which they hold onto your hat, John Defterios live for us in Abu Dhabi, thank you so much.

DEFTERIOS: Yes, pretty sure. Thanks George.

ALLEN: One of the farmers in the U.S. could really feel the sting in the event of the trade war with China. China is the world's biggest importer of soybeans, which they used to make animal feed and the U.S. is already competing against other countries, including Argentina and Brazil. Rob Shaffer is a fourth generation Soybean farmer. Rob, we have been showing pictures of your fields during that setup for the farmer probably been showing pictures of your field during that set up. You're coming to us from El Paso Illinois. We appreciate your time.

ROB SHAFFER, FOURTH GENERATION SOYBEAN FARMER: Yes, thank you for the opportunity.

ALLEN: So, let's talk about what's going on. China is crucial to American soybean farmers, when you first heard about these tariffs. What was your first thought about the impact on your business?

SHAFFER: Well -- first of all, China is the largest consumer of United States soybeans, they are our number one customer as far as exports of beans and might be added to those beans go -- or whole beans that get shipped toward China, they get crushed in the mill, that feed their poultry industry and also, they have the largest wine herd in the world, for pork chops, pork loins, back down hams, that kind of stuff, they need those that feed their, you know, that feed their pigs and their chickens and their turkeys and that's a big consumer and a huge -- the charmer, my bottom line, you're in where you're out.

ALLEN: Give us the numbers. How much?

SHAFFER: $14 billion -- $14 billion is what we shift over to China and that's a very big number and the whole scheme of things as far as trade -- that's a not -- you know, it's helping offset the deficit as United States take from (inaudible) whether be a bore of soybeans and to give you an example, Soy beans barrow in rows. So, I plant 80 hectares, but for every 2.5 feet apart there is a row of soybeans, so China takes every third row of United States soy beans goes to China. Its' a very --

ALLEN: So how, serious is this for you, you know, we always hear the saying, could it cost you the farm, but this is serious business for you, isn't it?

SHAFFER: It's -- I work fourth generation, hope and leave it the fifth generation, if they want to come back and farm, that's our goal. And this, you know, if we lose our biggest customer China, like you said earlier, but Argentina and Brazil are more than willing to step up and build that need, if we don't figure out how to not get tariffs on and that kind of stuff, because the only thing that United States has is we have a very quality product, we can deliver in a timely manner in a very cause effect that matter to get it to China. That stuff -- because of our infrastructure, the waterways, and trucks and that kind of stuff that Brazil and Argentina don't have yet and that's our competitive advantage, so, if we lose that, you know, we could be bad to be looking at growing all corners or trying to figure out a different way other than soybeans to keep farmer on the myth and make a living.

ALLEN: Do you think the president in his quest to make America great again which is often protectionist policy that is backfiring on American business. I mean, clearly, you stand to lose a great deal. So when you hear the president say he doesn't care. There's a trade war, bring it on. What do you think about that? How does that make you feel?

SHAFFER: He won, because of the heart he's in (ph) and we like, you know, we need them to do the right thing as far as for us and you know, and also for United States. So, you know what's good, I would like to be able to see if there's a win-win for China and a win for us, so that everybody would be happy, but until that, (inaudible), you know, that kind of thing, but a win-win would be great. I am not sure if that's going to happen in a short term anyway.

ALLEN: Rob Shaffer, we appreciate your time. We hope -- wish you all the best. Hope this turns out all right for you and your fellow farmers. Thank you.

SHAFFER: Yes, thank you for the opportunity.

HOWELL: And that soybean farmer isn't the only businessman whose livelihood is dependent on China.

[03:40:00] The U.S. says it's cracking down on Chinese intellectual property theft by imposing new theft.

ALLEN: One CEO, says his company has already been a victim of these practices by China and he still paying the price. Clare Sebastian has that story for us.


DANIEL MCGAHN, CEO, AMERICAN SUPERCONDUCTOR: The fact are overwhelming it really reads like a spy novel or a major motion picture.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daniel McGahn has spent the last seven years fighting for his company survival.

MCGAHN: Their strategy was to kill us. Basically to eliminate us.

SEBASTIAN: They, is a Chinese winds turbine manufacturer called Sinovel. In 2007, American Superconductor, a Massachusetts based energy technology company, partnered with them to provide the technology to power their wind turbines. You get access to China's budgeting clean energy markets.

When did you fast realized something is wrong?

MCGAHN: We started to really understand in the early months of 2011.

SEBASTIAN: In March 2011, Sinovel, abruptly refuse to pay for delivery.

MCGAHN: What we learned is they had bribed an employee at the time in Europe, to the tune of about $2 million to common work for them and help them, so basically it was a bride to get access to our technology that we weren't selling to them.

SEBASTIAN: And once they had that?

MCGAHN: They don't need us anymore.

SEBASTIAN: The news weights nearly $1 billion of American Superconductor's market value. The employee, a Soviet national, confessed in 2011, and was sentenced to a year in jail. In January, this year, the U.S. convicted the company Sinovel of stealing trade secrets. Sentencing is set for early to. The response to the verdict Sinovel said its quote, "fully prepared and is actively taking measures to protect the company's interests."

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- work with China to strengthen, protection of intellectual property rights.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I trust the importance of protecting an intellectual property.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- rampant theft of intellectual property.

SEBASTIAN: Success of U.S. president had pushed China to strengthen legal protections intellectual property and crack down on theft. Some experts say there are sign of improvement.

What companies tell us is that in general, I.P. protection in China is getting better, but this is a slow moving boat, there still serious issues with things like technology transfer, with the ability to enforce your right on the market.

Do you see any of that evidence?

MCGAHN: As soon as we get paid I'll call you up and tell you that I see that there's an improvement.

SEBASTIAN: American Superconductor is now downsizing to a much smaller space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have taken the whole foot and bring in the company, and we have taken the head count and reduce it 1/3 of what it was.

SEBASTIAN: It is just like expanded into new technologies.

MCGAHN: That help bring more renewable energy onto the grid.

SEBASTIAN: And it's getting back on track, still hoping this case will be a catalyst for change. Clare Sebastian CNN Money, Massachusetts.


HOWELL: One top official of the E.U. says that he is not in the mood to celebrate the Russian president's reelection. Coming up, the reason some E.U. members are getting Vladimir Putin a cold shoulder.

ALLEN: Also coming up, a former Playboy model speaks exclusively with CNN about her alleged affair long ago with Donald Trump.


ALLEN: European leaders are in Brussels for a second day of talks, today they focus on Brexit.

HOWELL: But Thursday's meetings were dominated by Russia and the threat that it poses to other European countries. Following the story CNN's Erin McLaughlin is live in Brussels with us. Aaron, the nerve agent attack in Salisbury is certainly front and center it's dominated discussions there in Brussels, what has been the response so far from European leaders?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George European leaders expressing their quote unqualified solidarity with the U.K. and its assessment of that nerve agent attack. Theresa May was here yesterday taking center stage at a dinner to present of the U.K. findings on who was responsible for that attack saying, it is highly likely that Russia was responsible and winning support from the 27 other Head of State and government to unanimously endorsed council conclusions.

Let me read you really a critical part of that conclusion that they all agreed on last night saying that, quote, "It as in the E.U. agrees with the United Kingdom government assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation."

Now, this is significant, E.U. diplomats were telling you that going into the Summit yesterday, some countries will renascent to provide that kind of backing for the U.K. assessment. That they had not have access to the evidence and so, Theresa May seemingly able to convince during that private dinner conversation some -- on the E.U. member states to the U.K.'s point of view. So, this is seen as a significant diplomatic victory for Theresa May that takes place in the midst of a divorce with the European Union.

Now, she was expected to go back to Downing Street, following yesterday Summit, but we understand that she will be returning today as talks are ongoing regarding the E.U.'s response to the U.S. terrorist exemption announcement that happen early in the morning. So, all 28 reconvening this morning to craft a counsel conclusion on that as well.

ALLEN: All right. Erin McLaughlin for us, covering it. Thank you Erin live from Brussels for us.

HOWELL: People traveling to France get expect delays and inconvenience in the days and weeks ahead. Thursday to get a period of orchestrated work stoppages that would last after several months. Thousands of people walked off their jobs protesting proposed reforms to the nation's labor laws.

ALLEN: The biggest and most immediate impact is on mass transportation, only about one third of commuter trains are running and the flights were canceled at Paris airport, hospitals, schools, day care centers, libraries and various public services are also affected. Will keep you posted on that one.

HOWELL: Here in the United States, if former Playboy model Karen McDougal is now speaking out about an alleged affair that she had with the U.S. president at a more than a decade ago. According to her, the consensual relationship lasted nearly a year.

ALLEN: The White House denied it ever happened. An exclusive interview with CNN a few hours ago, she told our Anderson Cooper, why she's suing to regain the rights to her story.


KAREN MCDOUGAL, PLAYBOY MODEL: It's out there now, I'm not telling the nitty-gritty detail, as you can see, I'm very selective on what I'm saying about our relationship and I'm not out to make money on this. I'm out to get my rights back to prove a contract was illegal, that I was taken as a job and then go back to my life, period.

ANDERSON COOPER, BREAKING NEWS SHOW HOST: Does it anger you, I mean as part of this, because of the White House have said, you're lying, you're not telling the truth?

MCDOUGAL: I don't -- no one likes to be called a liar and now it's more about the illegal portion of the contract and I'm not fulfilling, but they promise, they promise me this work to date. There are only 10 articles on OK Magazine, 10 articles from Star Magazine and maybe 7, I read online. Right online, I'm so sick of poor for months. I mean, it is up in August. I got really nothing out of it.

COOPER: You think that whole talk of helping you relaunch, the new -- a whole new phase --

MCDOUGAL: They are fake. They didn't want to help me, I thought they wanted to keep my reputation claims from what they said, they want to rebrand me, they wanted to, you know, I'm an older model now they wanted to make something a new start, you know, they promise me all this wonderful, beautiful things. Even when I met with David Packer and Dawn and Keith in New York after, this is back last August. They offered me many more opportunities that I haven't seen anything and not that is not part of the contract, but my point is, to keep the same the same way as (inaudible). I'm not playing the game anymore.

COOPER: Should be -- should be regrets about the relationship, did you say you have with him?

MCDOUGAL: Back then?


MCDOUGAL: The only regret I have about the relationship that I had with Donald was, the fact that he's married. If you weren't marrying, I wouldn't have any regrets, because he treated me very kind, he is very respectful, as I told you, it was a good relationship while it happened at time. If I had known at the time, there were supposedly all this other women, no, I wouldn't had been in a relationship, but I didn't know at the time. So, no, no regrets. Except the fact that he's married.

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

MCDOUGAL: Tough one.

COOPER: What would you say to her?

MCDOUGAL: Yes. What can you say except, I'm sorry, I'm sorry and I went on to me, I'm sorry.


HOWELL: McDougall says she never gathered any evidence of the alleged affair except what she wrote in her private journal.

ALLEN: Next here on Newsroom, a verbal smacked down between the president and the former Vice President Joe Biden gets heated by the two men are threatening to beat each other up.


ALLEN: All right, we have this for you, an electrical fire would normally be new when it's hard to ignore an enormous mouth of a T Rex dinosaur going up in flames, when it was over nothing was left, but the giant lizard steel skeleton.

HOWELL: Somehow they felt it, absolutely catch a person's attention to see a T Rex on fire like that, the owners of the roadside attraction in the State of Colorado, they say the replacement T Rex should be ready this summer. It is one of 16 large motorized dinosaurs in that park that moves and make realistic noises.

ALLEN: It look, that's all of that's left.

HOWELL: Oh my gosh.

ALLEN: Looks like something from Jurassic Park with that fire --

HOWELL: That would be scary. From T Rex is to two people who want to beat each other up. Washington could be mistaken for boxing ring these days with bullies, brawls and a lot of insults.

ALLEN: Yes, now, we have to tell you this one, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden want to go toe-to-toe trading punches. Here's Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For a minute, Joe Biden sounded almost like -- Donald Trump.

It was a return to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: tell us nothing, trash talk.

MOOS: But then Vice President Biden started back during the campaign.

Ladies and gentlemen in this corner Joe "The Body Blow" Biden.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I wish we were in high school, I can take him behind the gym.

MOOS: And in this corner Donald "The Devastator" Trump.

TRUMP: He said, I'd like to take him behind the gym, oh, I dreamed of that.

MOOS: Who needs a weigh in when now President Trump is weighing in on Twitter, "Crazy Joe Biden is try to act like a tough guy, he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way, don't threaten people Joe." Some salivated at the thought of a brawl, I'm down for Trump versus Biden pay-per-view fight that money could build the wall. For others it conjure up images of grumpy old man, but at least no one is envisioning a person fist fight.

Tweeted Republican Senator, Ben Sass about Biden-Trump, those of our crazy uncles are fist fighting in the backyard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is such a (inaudible) spot, if women ruled the world this would not be what we're gaining --


TRUMP: Mr. Tough guy.

MOOS: Pro minors (ph) kept posting gifts of the imaginary combat and check out the sides of the president's gloves hands in this poster, like his career in wrestling, a Trump-Biden rumble is hot air.

TRUMP: You know what you do with Biden, you go like this.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

TRUMP: And he fall over.

MOOS: New York.


ALLEN: Really now, guys, come on. Late night comedian also took turns imagining what a Donald Trump and Joe Biden brawl would look like.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At first, Joe Biden said that he would've beaten up Trump in high school, then Trump tweeted that he beat Biden in a fight and Biden would go down fast and hard. Women everywhere is, thank God we didn't elect an emotional woman to lead our country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you imagine that fight, what did you say bro? Seriously, my hearing is not so good anymore, what did you say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Personally I have no idea who would win this fight, I mean Biden seems scrappy, but if 70 years of McDonald's could stay Trump down, I don't know what can?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last time I saw an old -- two old dude going on like that, in my local Walmart was down to a glass bottle of prune juice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though they're both in their 70's, Biden and Trump are talking about fighting. Experts say the match go for nine rounds with 10 bathroom breaks.


ALLEN: All right. You did good guys.

HOWELL: Thanks for being with us, I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. After a quick break more news with Max Foster in London.