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Customer Wrestled Gun out of Shooter's Hands; Macron to Address Joint Session of U.S. Congress; North Korea Talks; Blast Kills 57 at Kabul Voting Center; Suspect In Tennessee Waffle House Shooting Had Guns Seized After Arrest Near White House Last Year; Egypt's First Female Minister Of Tourism Talks To CNN; Egypt's Tourism Industry Coming Back Post Revolution; Vegetarian "Omnipork" Launches In Pork Loving China. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 02:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A massive manhunt in the U.S. for a gunman who killed four people inside a restaurant until a customer stepped up and took the gun away.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron will reunited shortly at the White House. There will be a big dinner (INAUDIBLE) the issues that will be on the table.




VANIER (voice-over): Why broadcasts like these into the Korean demilitarized zone have stopped, leaving only silence.


ALLEN (voice-over): These stories are ahead here. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER (voice-over): And I'm Cyril Vanier. This is CNN NEWSROOM.


ALLEN: Our top story: a massive manhunt is underway in the U.S. state of Tennessee after a gunman opened fire at a restaurant, killing four people. It happened early Sunday morning at a Waffle House just outside of Nashville, in the community of Antioch.

The gunman, who was barely clothed at the time, was armed with an assault-type rifle. His motive is still unknown.

VANIER: This is the suspect the police are searching for, 29-year-old Travis Reinking. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added him to its 10 most wanted list and they believe he may still be armed and dangerous.

The bureau is also releasing a newer photo of Reinking. Police say that when he fled the scene, he went to his apartment to put on pants and then may have escaped into the nearby woods.

ALLEN: More than 80 officers are now searching for him. Authorities in Morton, Illinois, where he recently lived, are also on high alert. Morton is about a 6.5-hour drive from Nashville and the sheriff's office there said they're ready if he returns.

Meanwhile, police are also praising the heroics of one Waffle House customer, James Shaw Jr., who wrestled the weapon away from the gunman. He was grazed by a bullet on his elbow. You see that there. And he burned his right hand when grabbing the barrel of the gun.

Shaw describes how everything went down.


JAMES SHAW JR., WAFFLE HOUSE HERO: His gun either got jammed or he was trying to reload. Not exactly sure but I saw my opportunity, my window. So I took it and I ran through the door as fast as I can. And just kind of jammed him up with the gun when it pointed down and then we started kind of wresting for it and scuffling and fighting for it.


VANIER: As CNN's Dianne Gallagher is in Antioch, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She has the latest on the gunman and his past.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question that so many people here in Antioch, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville have today is, why?

Police say that 29-year-old Travis Reinking came to the Waffle House behind me just after 3:00 am Central time on Sunday morning and walked out of his truck, completely nude, wearing a green jacket, armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing two people in the parking lot and then went into the restaurant, killing two others.

He injured four additional people and police say had it not been for one man that they're calling a hero, it could've been much worse. They say that James Shaw Jr. ran to the bathroom when he heard the shot.

And then he says he just kind of decided it's fight or flight. I've got to do something. He tackled the shooter, was able to get the gun away from him, threw it over the counter and pushed him out of the restaurant.

After that, that is when the shooter, police say, walked off into the woods. He hasn't been in Nashville very long. Police here had no interactions with him whatsoever. He moved here in autumn of 2017.

But the summer before in July of 2017 he had a run-in in Washington, D.C. U.S. Secret Service arrested him trying to get into the White House. He said he was a sovereign citizen and that he had a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Now they took him off; they put in kind of a program to get him through that and then let him go. But the FBI and Illinois authorities in his home state visited him, interviewed him and later Illinois revoked his authorization to own a gun.

They confiscated four weapons; they gave them to his father and police now say that his father has acknowledged that he decided to give those four guns back to his son.

One of those weapons, the AR-15, was, police say, used in this particular shooting on Sunday morning. It wasn't the first time, though, that authorities in Illinois had had any sort of run-in with Reinking. They say that he, back in 2016, (INAUDIBLE) shoot himself and he had delusions about the pop star, Taylor Swift, that she was stalking him, that she was trying to tap into his Netflix account and into his phone.

She was with the FBI and his parents ganging up against him. And this is something that they say they were concerned about. Obviously, they are still investigating and trying to figure out what may have led --


GALLAGHER: -- to this event here at the Waffle House.

But again, we have four people dead, four others injured in this shooting -- Dianne Gallagher, Antioch, Tennessee, CNN.


ALLEN: Let's talk about it now with CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore. Steve is also retired supervisory special agent for the FBI.

Steve, thanks for being with us. We're sorry we have to talk about another mass shooting in the United States but, first of all, issue number one. This gunman, who has just killed four people, injured others, who definitely has some mental issues, is now on the run.

What are police up against?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're up against some really tough terrain right here. There is a huge open preserve right in the area there, I mean hundreds of acres if not hundreds of square miles, where he could potentially hide.

That is the hard part, the part that is on law enforcement's side is he does not appear to have entered the forest preserve, with much to help him except a weapon or two possibly.

He's not dressed for it and he is really at the mercy of the elements right now.

ALLEN: And this AR-15 which he used in this shooting, apparently he was given that by his father, his weapons that he had; two or three guns were taken away after he was arrested. He wasn't armed, trying to get into the White House.

So you have to figure how it came to be that he was able to get these guns back when there were so many issues on the table with this young man.

MOORE: Yes, and I have dealt with this before, where weapons had been taken away from people who are potentially dangerous and specifically parents give those guns back to the person who has been deemed dangerous by authorities.

And the mind boggles as to why they would do that. Occasionally they have been killed by their kids with those same weapons. And right now you have to realize -- and the father has to realize that he bears legal and moral responsibility for what has happened.

ALLEN: Right, because isn't there -- aren't there some laws that if someone get a weapon that you own and someone is killed that that person could be in trouble with the law?

MOORE: Yes, if you have not protected the weapon adequately. But that is even different than a situation where a person has been adjudicated to be a danger to himself or others, had the guns removed the guns; the guns were as inexplicably given back to the father and the father decides to disregard everything that the authorities have told him and knowingly gives the guns to a delusional person.

ALLEN: And this wasn't a kid. It's not like he's giving it to his -- this is a 29-year-old man who did this. And we want to point out this is the second mass shooting that Antioch has seen in the past few months.

In September, a gunman shot up a church, killing one person and wounding seven. Of course, he is from Illinois. Illinois is working to pass a law called the red flag, where if they feel like a family member is in some trouble, that they want their guns confiscated for some time. They are also trying to outlaw assault rifles.

But what we have here is someone who is extremely, it seems, disturbed and on the run. Of course they're on the lookout for him in Illinois. He had recently moved to Nashville.

Do not these people that carry these out sometimes end up going back home or going to family?

MOORE: Yes, they do. And one of the things we find is they go back to the one place where they are familiar with. If they can get there, And here is the scary part right now. He may have only a pair of pants and a gun with some ammunition.

How do you think he is going to get home?

How do you think he is going to get money?

How do you think he is going to get transportation or food?

Well, the only way that he could reasonably do it is to take it from somebody else. And right now I would consider him one of the more dangerous people in the United States.

ALLEN: We have just a moment to talk about this young man's, James Shaw Jr., who wrestled an assault rifle from this young man. That is just unbelievable heroism.

MOORE: Yes, yes, it is and besides just the gunfire going off, how do you manage to hold on to the barrel of a gun that is almost red-hot? I mean after you've fired -- I was on SWAT for years. After you've fired just a few rounds from AR-15, the barrel is blistering hot.

For him to hold the weapon by that barrel and continue to hold it until he takes away from the -- from the shooter is --


MOORE: -- pretty amazing just on top of the fact that he could have been killed at any second.

ALLEN: Yes. There he is again, James Shaw Jr., how about that one?

We always appreciate it, Steve Moore. We certainly hope that this young man will be brought in without another incident. Thank you, Steve.

MOORE: Thank you.

VANIER: French President Emmanuel Macron is making his first official visit to Washington on Monday, invited by President Trump for the first state visit of his presidency.

ALLEN: Mr. Macron wasn't able to convince Mr. Trump to stay in the Paris climate accord. That's an issue. But he will try to keep him in the Iran nuclear deal. For more now, here's CNN's Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This will be the first official visit for the Trump presidency. President Trump and First Lady Melania expected to receive their French counterparts in French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte at the White House this week. A number of special events planned all pomp and circumstance. That is according to an official state visit.

You'll recall that President Trump was very excited during his Bastille Day visit to France, where the French ruled out the red carpet for hi, so this will be a chance for a reciprocal meeting of sorts from the Americans.

And there are some important items on the agenda. For one, they are expected to talk about one of the president's favorite subjects in trade and something that is immediate on the table, the Iran nuclear deal which reaches an important deadline in May.

Of course, President Trump has long talked about leaving that deal. Several of his key administration officials are also inclined to do the same including Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo and his national security advisor, John Bolton.

Macron has been inclined to suggest that President Trump should stick with the Iran nuclear deal so we'll see just how that plays out. Also on the agenda, the American presidents in Syria -- you recall there was a minor controversy after that joint strike by the United States, France and the U.K. on some chemical weapons facilities in that country.

The French president telling the press that he had convinced Donald Trump to remain in Syria, something the administration pushed back on, saying that the policy had not changed and that President Trump was keen on keeping with his promise. That surprised a number of officials within the administration and at the Pentagon that he would be removing American troops from Syria very soon. It will be a key visit.

And we should also note that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be there and will ultimately see the results playing out on the international stage -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, travelling with the president from West Palm Beach, Florida.


ALLEN: The France president is expected to take a practical approach with Mr. Trump o the Iran nuclear deal.

VANIER: Yes, he's been emphasizing that the agreement may not be perfect but it is better than nothing.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Is this agreement perfect and this JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran?


But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option?

I don't see it. What is a what-if scenario?

All you can be. I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran.


VANIER: Let's see if we can detail this a little bit. Olivier Royant joins us now from Paris. He's the editor-in-chief of the French weekly "Paris Match."

Olivier, what is Macron's pitch?

If you're the French president, how do you go about convincing Donald Trump to stay in this Iran nuclear deal?

OLIVIER ROYANT, "PARIS MATCH": Cyril, one year ago there was surprise to see that Macron would go Donald Trump. They've developed over the last 10-12 months a very personal relationship.

And what Macron managed to do about the course of the last months is to talk to Donald Trump. They talk on the phone quite often; during the Syria crisis two weeks ago there were three times on (INAUDIBLE) on the phone.

And what Macron is trying to do is to maintain Donald Trump within the coalition of the West countries. That is what around -- backstage around Macron, people are saying that Macron was the one who convinced Donald Trump to remain, to engage in Syria.

So I think it is about the personal relationship. Macron believe that he understand Donald Trump. He does not want him to be isolated and that what he managed to do over the last five or six months.

We saw this relationship developing in (INAUDIBLE) there during Bastille Day in July. And it's a very direct and fluid relationship. So that is what probably will take place.

Of course, Iran probably don't -- what we are hearing in the Elysee Palace and around the president is to say, lower your expectation. We do not expect many agreements in Washington.

But anyway, what will happen in Washington, maybe they will build on this, they will try to build on this positive dynamic that has developed between the two men.


VANIER: Tell me a little bit more about this relationship.

How did Mr. Macron, Mr. Trump develop this good rapport?

Because if you remember back to the very first time they met and they had that strange, awkward handshake, where they were both asserting themselves apparently. It did not seem to be getting off to a great start then.

ROYANT: Yes, it is amazing. We thought about international relationship are today, the impact and the importance of two people. So they test each other and I think -- they found a word to describe themselves. They say both of us are mavericks.

I mean they know, they understood that the other produced a very special circumstances and very special elections. Both of them on each side of the Atlantic Ocean. They want to deliver what they said during the campaign and the -- Donald Trump said let's make America great again.

What Macron wants to do is let's have a Europe that protects the people. So both of them know that they came from outside the system. They have to work together but otherwise is a done believer of the good that they promised during the campaign. They will be ultimately destroyed by the system. They shook -- so they shook up.

VANIER: And one more thing, Olivier. It strikes me that one of the peculiar things about this relationship is both of these presidents have a pretty high tolerance for disagreement. They're OK to disagree, to agree to disagree with each other.

ROYANT: Yes, it's -- these are two partners who say we agree to disagree. And I think it's important. Maybe it's about the business experience of Donald Trump and it's also Macron was a banker before.

So they know the art of the deal and they know that what is very important today is to say that they both, the United States and France, have been allies for 250 years.

So in Washington, Macron will deliver a symbolic message. Macron is very keen on messages and he is going to Washington with a special gift to the president. This is a tree, a tree that come from the Wood of Belleau, where the Marines, 1,800 Marines died in the 1918 in June.

And that's what we will be talking about also in Washington. It's about history. It's about George Washington. It's about the First World War and in November 11, we will celebrate in France the sacrifice of the Marines.

VANIER: Olivier Royant, coming to us from Paris, thank you very much.

ROYANT: Thank you.

ALLEN: Mr. Macron gets the first state dinner by this president.

VANIER: Quite an honor.

ALLEN: Yes. Coming up next here on NEWSROOM:



ALLEN (voice-over): That's an obnoxious noise coming from South Korea. We will tell you why the North Koreans will not have to hear it anymore.

VANIER: Plus political unrest grows in Armenia as police detain opposition leaders during mass demonstrations. We'll have more on that as well.






ALLEN: In just a few days, the leaders of North and South Korea will sit face to face for a historic summit. It is the first such meeting in more than a decade and there is a lot at stake, to say the least.

Let's bring in Paula Hancocks, who joins us now from Seoul, South Korea.

Paula, it was just a few weeks ago that you were covering the Olympics and that was a big deal, that North Korea had crossed over into the South for that. And look where we are now.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it is a good thing to sit back and stand back and look at it at some points and think how quickly things have changed, from that January 1st New Year's Day address from Kim Jong-un, when he said he was willing to be part of the Olympics and he said that he was willing to talk to South Korea.

From then, things have really happened incredibly quickly. So just a matter of months we now are just days away from this summit between the North and South Korean leaders.

Now there is working level talks going on at the moment at the DMZ between North and South Koreans, trying to hammer out all the last minute-details, the protocol, the media access, that sort of thing.

We know there will be rehearsals this week as well. Tomorrow there will be a rehearsal. That's Tuesday. On Thursday, there will be a couple more rehearsals, which the North Koreans will be involved in as well, potentially because this is going to be broadcast live on television, according to South Koreans.

They appreciate just how historic this moment is. So they want to try and televise this live from the moment the two leaders shake hands. So at the moment that the North Korean leader crosses the border into South Korea, the first time that a North Korean leader has ever done that. So they appreciate the enormity of what is happening. So hence the practices that they are putting in place.

There's also going to be a phone call between the two leaders. They set up a hotline the first time ever line, a hot between the two leaders has been set up. So they will be talking at some point this week before Friday.

ALLEN: Well, it certainly will be interesting to see what issues are addressed, of course the North has made concessions.

But what does Kim Jong-un really want now?

We will wait and see. Paula Hancocks for us there in Seoul, thank you.

VANIER: In Armenia, violent protests continue as the country faces a growing political crisis. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER (voice-over): Several opposition leaders were detained during the mass demonstrations on Sunday. For over a week now, protesters have been demanding that the newly appointed prime minister Serzh Sargsyan resign over fears that he is trying to make himself a leader for life.

ALLEN (voice-over): He's already served 10 years as president. He met Sunday with the main protest leader. But those talks quickly broke down.


ALLEN: Victims of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, were hoping to register to vote Sunday. Instead of bomber killed 57 people, including five children.

VANIER: This is the latest in a series of terror attacks targeting the Afghan capital. Michael Holmes has the details on this.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terror may have targeted --


HOLMES (voice-over): -- the democratic process in Kabul on Sunday morning, where Afghan officials say dozens are dead after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the gate of a voter registration center.

The interior ministry says people were waiting outside to collect national ID cards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): After I heard a bang, I rushed to the site of the blast. And when I arrived at the scene, we helped many wounded people, to carry them to the hospital.

All the victims were women and children, who were here to get their identity cards and register for elections.

HOLMES (voice-over): In a statement distributed through telegram, ISIS claimed responsibility, saying their, quote, "martyrdom brother" was targeting a Shiite dominated area of Kabul.

In a message posted to Twitter, Afghanistan's chief executive condemning the attack, saying, quote, "Our resolve for a fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won't win against the will of the Afghan people."

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan is also tweeting, saying the attack was "senseless," perpetrated by, quote, "enemies of democracy."

It's the latest in a series of attacks to hit the Afghan capital this year. Media reports say militants have attacked at least two other voter registration centers in the last week.

In March, two separate suicide attacks killed nearly 40 people; one of the bombings claimed by ISIS. In February, several were killed not far from the Kabul green zone. And in January, the Taliban said they carried out two attacks in which more than 100 people were killed.

Sunday morning's attack was only the most recent instance of carnage in Kabul, which is yet to see a month without violence this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I and three of my brothers were wounded in the blast after we had gathered to get our identity cards. The only thing we want from this government is a better situation and a peaceful country so we can study our lessons and live a better life.

HOLMES (voice-over): Michael Holmes, CNN.


ALLEN: European leaders and others will be watching the French president's state visit to Washington, the future of the Iran nuclear deal may be riding on the talks Emmanuel Macron has with President Trump. More about it coming up here.

VANIER: Plus, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, that means it's a good meatless meat and I'll buy it again. How one entrepreneur is trying to turn the taste buds of one meat-loving country. Stay with us.


[02:30:53] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. Great to have you with us. I'm Cyril Vanier.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Natalie Allen to update you in our top stories. Authorities in the State of Tennessee are looking for this man, 29-year-old Travis Reinking is the suspect in a Nashville area restaurant shooting that left four people dead.

VANIER: Police say Reinking was only wearing a jacket when he opened fired with an assault sniper rifle. A customer wrestled the weapon out of Reinking's hands who then fled.

ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump says the U.S. has not given up anything in its dealing so far with North Korea. The "Wall Street Journal" now report Mr. Trump will ask North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to substantially dismantle his nuclear arsenal before the U.S. agrees to lifting sanctions. There two are expected to meet in late May or June.

VANIER: Meanwhile, South Korea has stopped its propaganda speaker operation. Giant speakers near the demilitarized zone between the two countries had been broadcasting music, news, and weather forecast into North Korea. South Korea's Defense Ministry says the decision to stop them was made to ease tension ahead of this week's historic summit between the leaders of the two Koreas. ALLEN: Iran's Foreign Minister is warning a consequences if President

Trump pulls out of their nuclear agreement. Mohammad Javad Zarif says the president threat to scrap the deal sends a, "Very dangerous message about negotiating with the U.S. that agreement don't matter." The French President's three-day stay in Washington is the first official state visit of Donald Trump's presidency.

VANIER: Another two men differ on a number of key issues. Melissa Bell reports that they appear to get along personally.


MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The strikes may have been carefully coordinated but the route that followed was anything but after the French President claimed to be driving U.S. policy in Syria.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (via translator): Ten days ago President Trump said the U.S.'s will is to disengage from Syria. We convinced them, we convinced them that it was necessary to stay.

BELL: It took less than five hours for the White House to respond denying that its policy had change. A squaring off between two presidents that begun nearly a year ago with the grip that was more arm wrestle than handshake. Last May, two ideologically different political new comers side each other up for the first time. The policy clash came only weeks later over climate change when President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.

BELL: Emmanuel Macron responded turning Trump's campaign slogan against him.

MACRON: Make our planet great again.

BELL: But the sizing up and political differences then gave way interline to an unexpected truce. In Paris, the two presidents meet and it appears actually like each other.

TRUMP: Oh, I really have a feeling that you're going to have a very, very peaceful and beautiful Paris, and I'm coming back. You better do a good job please. Otherwise, you're going to make me look very bad.

MACRON: And you're always welcome.

TRUMP: Thank you.

BELL: Progress they said had been made on a number of issues even it seemed on climate change.

TRUMP: We discussed a lot of different topics and we briefly head on the Paris Accord, and we'll see what happens.

BELL: After the pompons circumstance of the best D-Day parade and more exchanges between the two presidents, it was time to say goodbye which they did with more warmth than anyone had imagined possible, warmth that has now translated into the first day visit of Donald Trump's presidency. Melissa Bell, CNN Paris.


VANIER: And while the White House prepares to host the French President, Mr. Trump had the Russia investigation on his mind. Among his many tweets on Sunday, President Trump sent this one at only four words, a complete with hunt. And that's how he's been characterizing the Mueller and the Russia investigation.

[02:35:05] ALLEN: Meantime, the Trump team is defending the president's relationship with this man you see here, his personal attorney Michael Cohen who is now under criminal investigation. Earlier, CNN asks Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway whether Mr. Trump is worry his so-called fixer could flip on him.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: I'm telling you that the president's concern has been for Michael Cohen the way he's been treated and he has said that again and again, and tweets it again and again with the camera's rolling, with the media in the cabinet room and elsewhere, and why is that because I think people going to be constantly who don't know President Trump at all and say, he's loyal to no one but himself. That is completely not true. He stands up for people in his inner circle and people he knows when he thinks they're being treated unfairly.


VANIER: All right. Let's discuss with -- this with Scott Lucas, Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham. Scott, investigators are looking into Michael Cohen's business dealings. We don't know but some of those may end up involving Donald Trump, does that cross the president's redline?

SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, Donald Trump certainly has said it would in the past when he said there should be no investigation of any of his dealings with those of the Trump Organization and more specifically and in short contrast to what Kellyanne Conway said after Michael Cohen's office and hotel were raided by the FBI on a no warrant on April the 9th. Trump and this is according to multiple sources including those that are from inside the White House was ready to dismiss deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller who oversees the Trump-Russia investigation . That's how agitated he was. It took a visit by Rosenstein on April the 12th to tell Trump, OK, the officers of Cohen had been raided but you're not a target in this investigation. Unspoken yet that Trump settled down. So, yes, I mean Michael Cohen knows everything about the Trump Organization. He is one of the men who has been closest to Donald Trump for decades, so to say that, you know, his dismissal arouses no concern for Trump. Well, that's a bit of wishful thinking. VANIER: All right. So could the president therefore be tempted to

fire the people investigating him namely Special Counsel Robert Mueller? That's been the speculation for quite a while. Listen to the White House on this topic on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is he going to fire Rosenstein? When is he going to fire Mueller? We have the same conversation. As far as I know, the president has no intention of firing these individuals. Right. That's always as far as I know and the president, he never says definitively, why not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the -- he has no intention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitively it's not going to happen. This investigation is going to run its course, period. End of story. I'll never --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you don't know how far up the investigation is going to veer. Right now, he has no intention of firing him.


VANIER: Well, Scott, isn't that a fair point from the White House? I mean after all, the president hasn't done it? Yes, there have been rumors but he hasn't done it.

LUCAS: But again, there's a public line that's taken and here's what we got from the sources who have spoken to -- of this June 2017. Trump on occasion will go back to, I want to fire these people. The Russia investigation is a witch hunt. There's no collusion and then the White House staff will have to go back to Trump including his other lawyers like Don McGahn, including the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and they'll have to say, Mr. President, if you do this, it will be a catastrophic stuff and then Trump pulls back. This is how serious this got just over a week ago. Attorney General Jeff Sessions who of course has to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. He said reportedly if Rosenstein is dismissed which probably means Mueller's dismissal then I go as well and so in other words, you know, Trump is like a would-be Sampston and that is, I'm going to pull the whole house down if things get to rough and everybody has to come back around and then say, Mr. President, it's not time to knock the pillars out yet.

VANIER: Yes. There's been a lot of pushback including from within his own party with some saying that could be the before of the end of his presidency if he were to do that.

LUCAS: I mean all I would do is give you a historical parallel and that is the 1973 Richard Nixon who saw Watergate closing on him and a dramatic move got rid of not only the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox but he got rid of the attorney general because the Attorney General Elliot Richardson refused to dismiss Cox. Now, this became known as the Saturday Night Massacre and far from taking the pressure off Nixon. It actually increased congressional pressure on Nixon from both parties as well as accelerated the investigation and we know what happened to him less than a year later.

VANIER: All right. Scott Lucas speaking to us from Birmingham. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

LUCAS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, we take you live to the Middle East's largest travel expo including a brand new city. Grab your passport, the story is coming up.


[02:43:01] ALLEN: Well, the Middle East is looking for a few more tourists. The largest tourism and travel event has begun in Dubai. The Arabian travel market is going to let you know about some new destinations in the area.

VANIER: About more than two billion dollars in deals are expected to be signed over the next few days. CNN's John Defterios is in the middle of all of this. John, what do you got?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks very much, Cyril and Natalie, and nice to see you. This is a huge market celebrating its 25th anniversary as you've suggested a market of 350 million consumers, so almost the size of the United States and they obviously getting with countries large and small. Each of a case in the last three years if you provide stability, the visitors will come after setbacks at the end of 2015 most notably the jetliner of Russia going down in (INAUDIBLE) let's bring in the Minister of Tourism who took the job at the start of 2018, Rania Al-Mashat joins me now. It's nice to have you on the program. It's amazing you provided better than two years of stability and you saw a 50 percent increase in visitors and 120 percent increase in revenues. Now, 8.3 million visitors is shy of the record you had in 2010 of 14 million. What is your strategy now to keep on building would you suggest?

RANIA AL-MASHAT, MINISTER OF TOURISM, EGYPT: Well, first, it's very important to a highlight that you give that the performance of 2000 had a change of despite strong. It was one of the most -- the path is growing, the tourism is seen globally. We want to build on that momentum. The first quarter of 2018 has seen an additional 30 percent increase and that is a testament that people feel confident about the market, feel quite safe and secure, and that our investment in that have been paying off.

[02:44:52] DEFTERIOS: Now, to mention that overnight we heard from ISIS for the first time in 10 months, and included in the statement was the idea they want to attack Arab neighbors not targeting just the United States or Europe. What do you say as a minister of tourism? And what's being done since the deadline are went down in Sharm El Sheikh on securing the region to make sure we don't go backwards in terms of revenues and tourism?

AL-MASHAT: I mean, that we take in a very serious steps to tackle security. We will not be complacent, we will continue to take those steps to make every citizen who visit Egypt, feel safe and secure. It's very important to note that the Sinai Peninsula is a very big area. It's more than 60,000 square kilometers.

DEFTERIOS: That is big area.

AL-MASHAT: That is big. And the distance between Northern Sinai and Southern Sinai were all the resorts star is more than 100 kilometer. So, the -- any issues related to a -- in (INAUDIBLE) are in the north, in the very isolated focus. And we as a government, as well as the Egyptian people are very keen to make everyone experience safe, secure, it's the commitment that we have.

DEFTERIOS: President Sisi appointed you at the start of the year, you're an economist. I find it fascinating that he doesn't put in a marketing person to somebody who needs to restructure the sector to welcome more investments. So, structural changes to bring in investor, what is your strategy here to get jobs into the sector, but invite the investors to make sure the bureaucracy is out of the way?

AL-MASHAT: So, the president had in mind to running the sector from an economic perspective as you pointed out. It's a sector that in addition for just both of seeing on visitor numbers, we have a tourism development agency that caters to investors. It also has the promotion armed that has to do with the branding and the image of Egypt. But as you mentioned, from my perspective, the structural reforms that we need to do in the sector are quite significant in order to unleash his potential.

So, Egypt launch the program with the IMF in November 2016. They were monetary and peaceful, it measures that were taken. Now, we're focusing on structural measures on a sector level. And tourism is one of those sectors where we want to be able to be implement this structure reforms.

DEFTERIOS: (INAUDIBLE) we have 30 seconds. But most people think of the region of oil and gas but -- and Egypt is (INAUDIBLE) that, but how important is tourism to the contribution to growth? It is prior over the measure for job creation.

AL-MASHAT: Yes, tourism has direct as well as indirect impact on sectors. The sector itself has contributed by a more than 15 percent to the country's GDP growth in the last quarter. And the employment opportunities that are created and much more -- most immediate for the country can be generated in that -- in that sector. There is so many feedback loops, whether it's hospitality, whether its restaurant's activities that cater and create towards the tourist. So I think, it's definitely a factor that will push Egypt forward.

DEFTERIOS: Thanks to see you, as somebody had known from the Central Bank of Egypt and the IMF, now we're in the cap of tourism. Rania Mashat, of course, is the minister of tourism here in Egypt. We're right in front of their stand at the Arab Travel Market. As I suggested before with 40,000 visitors passing through the doors through Wednesday. Back to you Cyril and Natalie.

VANIER: All right, John Defterios, live from Dubai. Thank you, I think we see more of you the next hour. Appreciate it, John. Thanks.

ALLEN: I look forward to it. Thanks, John. Up next here on CNN NEWSROOM, trying to change the eating habit of people in China. When pork isn't really pork. We'll have that story.


[02:50:57] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Quickly, getting into the heart of the severe weather season, Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, CNN "WEATHER WATCH". Watching the Southern U.S. here, mainly along the Gulf Coast where in not instability in place. Not only from some very heavy rainfall but also some isolated severe weather in the forecast.

Warming in some parts of Monday and eventually into Tuesday certainly, you can see some flight disruptive out of Charlotte, and also Atlanta with the amount of rainfall that is in store. But you were to wait towards Charles, and some of this storms could really mean business. In fact, upwards of 300 millimeters could come down in the next couple of days across the southern portion of the State of South Carolina.

Generally speaking though, the warms, the gorgeous weather, it is all going to be we can find out towards the Western U.S. and it warms up on a historic level here the next couple of days. We send those tents really soaring into the highest we've seen by far in 2018, more on that momentarily.

Across the East Coast, though you see kind of the battle of spring and winter take place Washington D.C. from 19 to 12, back up to 21, back down 19 degrees in New York City. Keep that temps sort of a trend as well. But most of the Western U.S. temps that you certainly do not see in the month of April, May, or June frankly when you sore into the 30's in Portland, and Seattle, as well, multiple days of Sunny weather. And into the middle 20's, what they expect?

Fortunately, down towards Managua, expect 36 degrees and Mexico City, about 27 degrees. A few thunderstorms beginning to pop into the forecast there. And further towards the south, La Paz, thanks for tuning in, 15.


VANIER: Hey, welcome back. So, China is the number one consumer of pork in the world, but one man is hoping to win over people's taste buds with a meatless alternative.

ALLEN: I'm sure the pig would appreciate that but will meat eaters, Cyril, like the vege options. Sherisse Pham tries it up for us.

SHERISSE PHAM, CNN TECH AND BUSINESS REPORTER: It's rush hour at Green Common. On the venue, Spaghetti Bolognese, all American burgers and beef noodle soup. But all the dishes here are completely meat free. David Yeung is the founder of Green Common. He's an investor in Beyond Meat and brought the U.S. startups Meat Looks Burger to Hong Kong. Now, he's got the site set on the bigger market.


DAVID YEUNG, CO-FOUNDER, GREEN MONDAY: We look at pork as the most overlook, yet, actually, the most impactful category that should be disrupted. And that's why we come up with omnipork.

PHAM: Omnipork is made from soy, rice, mushroom, and peas protein, but it tries to mimic the feel and taste of real pork. The target market for Yeung's new product in China.

China as a country consumes more pork than any other country on the planet.


PHAM: How are you going to get them on your side?

YEUNG: For people in China, for people around the world. People will become extremely concerned about food safety. We can present something that is much more natural.

PHAM: There are a lot of easy to cook meatless product already on the market. But Yeung said they mostly appeal to Western Palace. He made omnipork specifically for Asian taste and he got a two-star mission chef to tackle one of China's most popular dishes.

LI YUET FAAT, EXECUTIVE CHEF, MING COURT (through translator): When I got the omnipork, I felt what should I do with this? I came up with the idea of tinning them into Xiao Long Bao.

PHAM: Xiao Long Bao, steamed dumpling staff with pork and hot soup. It's of chef Li Yuet Faat seem several tries before they finally made a version with omnipork that they were happy to serve. But, we wanted to see for ourselves if that was as good as the real thing.

This one also was amazing. OK, so you brought us the Xiao Long Bao. I don't know which is which. It's very exciting, we're going to give it a try. That was very tasty, and now here we go, we're going to see if this one the real pork one or just omnipork? I have to say, I am already guessing this might be the real pork. And here we go, let's try it. That is the real Xiao Long Bao.

So, pork lovers can't taste the difference, but it's good enough for chef Li. And that should help omnipork win over Chinese diners that want to cut down on how much pork they eat but don't want to give up the whole hog. Sherisse Pham, CNN, Hong Kong.


[02:55:27] ALLEN: Omnipork, where do you think that, that name?

VANIER: (INAUDIBLE), I don't know about the name. Just sign me up the burger.


VANIER: This just -- its torture watching this things when you're hungry. This foods stories?

ALLEN: All right, we got another hours, though, you have to wait to eat a little bit longer. Thanks for watching this hour, I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier, we'll see you in just a moment.


ALLEN: A massive manhunt is on underway in the U.S. for a gunman who killed four people inside a restaurant before a customer stepped in and got the gun from him.

VANIER: And together again, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron will reunite in a matter of hours at the White House.

ALLEN: Also this hour, stranded. Why one man has been stuck in an international airport for more than a month.

VANIER: Hello everyone, live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.