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Swedish Journalist Finally Gets Her Justice; Guru Leader Convicted for Rape Case; Trump Weighs Whether to Get New Iran Deal; Immigrants Flock to U.S. for Asylum; Trump Shift Tones, Says Kim Jong- un Has Been Honorable; Trump and Macron Special Relationship; Experts Worry About Trump's Cellphone Use; CNN Wins Peabody Award For Fall Of ISIS. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired April 25, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: There were hugs, kisses and handshakes, but will the bromance between the French and U.S. presidents spark action on issues like Iran?
Plus, the Danish inventor accused of the gruesome murder of journalist Kim Wall could soon learn his fate. We will have the details for you on that case.
And troubling concerns about the doctor Donald Trump chose to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Why one lawmaker says Ronny Jackson is known in the White House as the candy man.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this CNN Newsroom.
After spending a couple of days with his U.S. counterpart French President Emmanuel Macron will take his message to a wider audience with an address to Congress on Wednesday. Throughout this state visit Mr. Macron and President Donald Trump have emphasized their special relationship.
But they've also talked about some key issues where they differ.
A formal state dinner followed Tuesday's talks. About 150 people were invited. First lady Melania Trump spent months planning the event. The two leaders praised each other and their strong bond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): On both sides of the ocean some two years ago, very few would have bet on us being here together here today. But as a matter of fact we share the same determination and the willingness to serve both our countries, your country, my country and the rest of the world.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: May our friendship grow even deeper. May our kinship grow even stronger, and may our sacred liberty never die. God bless you, God bless France. God bless our alliance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Melissa Bell has more now on what's ahead on Mr. Macron's final day of the state visit.
MELISSA BELL, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Day three of Emmanuel Macron's state visit to the United States, and today will be mark by an attempt to speak more broadly to Americans. First of all, with a speech to Congress it will be delivered in English, but also with a meeting with students from George Washington University.
The big day of the bromance was Tuesday. And the amount of touching and feeling that went on between the two presidents seemed at times leave the French president slightly award, but seemed fairly genuine fairly genuine on behalf of both presidents. The culmination of a real strategy of behalf of Emmanuel Macron seeking to reach out to Donald Trump in order to get him to shift on certain issues.
Whether or not he has succeeded on any of the issues that the Elysee had made clear with their priorities remains fairly unclear. So, what do people here in France make of that bromance?
Well, there is remarkably little interest this Wednesday morning. And two of France's main newspaper mention the fact at all. Les Echos with a fairly small picture there of the two men on, and a headline on Iran. And Le Figaro which had at the bottom of its front page a fairly small article about the fact that behind the bromance a number of different tensions and failures to agree, question marks over what the two men can actually get together behind remains.
So some skepticism about precisely what Emmanuel Macron has managed to bring back from Washington here in France.
Melissa Bell, CNN, France.
CHURCH: And there are signs President Macron's loving efforts for it could pay off. Mr. Trump has threatened to pull out of the agreement and restore sanctions on Iran by May 12th unless major changes are made.
The U.S. and Europe have agreed on supplemental issues like Iran's missile program and nuclear inspections.
And after meeting with Mr. Macron, President Trump suggested progress was being made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACRON (through translator): For a number of months I've been saying this was not a sufficient deal but that it enables us at least until 2025 to have some control over their nuclear activities. We, therefore, wish from now on to work on a new deal.
TRUMP: But there is a chance, and nobody knows what I'm going to do on the 12th. Although, Mr. President, you have a pretty good idea. But we'll see. But we'll see also if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with solid foundations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And now for reaction from Iran CNN producer Amir Daftari joins us from Tehran. Good to see you, Amir.
[03:05:01] So, Iran not happy with President Trump indicating he is open to a new arrangement with European allies. In regard to the Iran nuclear deal what is being said there about it exactly?
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN PRODUCER: Hi, Rosemary. We've actually just heard from Iran's President Hassan Rouhani a few moments ago, and he had a comment for President Trump. He basically said how can somebody so inexperienced in international affairs work on something as intricate as the nuclear deal?
The thinking here is, Rosemary, that there's no room for tweaking or reneging, as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said it's all or nothing. They spent years putting this deal together just so they woudln't reach this point.
And some sources telling me listen, if they do agree to a tweak or change in the deal what's to stop the U.S. from then coming back and saying let's change this now, let's change that?
For Iran this was only about the nuclear capability, never about other security issues such as Syria. Now the Iranians say, listen, if everybody commits to this, everybody adheres to the nuclear deal, then yes, that will create other opportunities to talk about other issues. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And Amir, what does President Rouhani mean when he warns President Trump to stay in the 2015 nuclear deal or face severe consequences. What might those severe consequences be?
DAFTARI: Yes. President Rouhani made those comments yesterday in front of a large crowd in the northern city of Tabriz, but he didn't go into much detail.
However, other top ranking officials have been talking about what might happen if the U.S. walks away from the deal. Some have suggested that Iran could restart and speed up its nuclear activity.
One top ranking official who's a foreign defense minister even said Iran might pull out of another international deal, and that's the NPT, the nuclear nonproliferation treaty which basically restricts countries from building up nuclear arsenals.
Now, this is just a hint and not something that is very possible. However, it hadn't been mentioned before. So if that does possibly happen, it could have huge ramifications not just regionally but international as well. Rosemary?
CHURCH: So, we're waiting to hear what President Macron, the French president, says Wednesday in just a matter of hours actually when he talks to Congress. And he seems to think some sort of progress has been made with trying to keep President Trump within this nuclear deal with Iran. So it is a wait-and-see situation, isn't it?
DAFTARI: Absolutely. But, again, the Iranians is saying, OK, the U.S. and France are discussing these details but we're a part of this deal, too, as are several other countries. So how can they decide the fate of Iran and the other countries involved? It surely has to be a joint collaboration.
And as I said before, as far as they're concern there's no room for tweaking and changing. They setup this deal so that everybody would be committed to it and nobody would then go ahead and want to change it. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right, we will wait and see what happens. Amir Daftari joining us there live from Tehran. Many thanks to you.
Well, President Trump has softened his tone on the North Korean leader as they prepares for a historic meeting. A few months ago, the president was trading insults with Kim Jong-un calling him little rocket man and a mad man. But listen to how the president now describes the North Korean leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're having very good discussions. Kim Jong-un was, he really has been very open. And I think very honorable from everything we're seeing. Now a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years. But they've never been in this position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And President Trump did not explain why he said Mr. Kim has been honorable, but that assessment is not sitting well with activists who point to the human rights violations of Kim Jong-un.
And our Will Ripley is following this story from Seoul in South Korea. He joins me now live. So Will, the U.S. president's description of Kim Jong-un as very open and honorable has many in shock considering what this brutal dictator has done to his people and to his own family members. Is there some strategy here, or is Mr. Trump being played by Kim?
[03:09:53] WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm not sure that it's either of those options, Rosemary, to be honest because President Trump has lavished praise on many strong leaders that some have called dictators. Think of Xi Jinping of China and how he brutally oppresses any political dissent in his country.
Think of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines who has state sanctioned extra judicial killings. Vladimir Putin of Russia, he's never said a bad word about him. And so, President Trump could be speaking perfectly frankly that at this moment in time he feels that Kim Jong- un is behaving honorably.
Of course, we also know that President Trump can change his opinion very quickly. So, it all really going to depend on what happens when he walks into that room and sits face-to-face with Kim Jong-un. But at this stage of the game in 2018 we shouldn't be shock if he walks out and declares that they're friends at the end of the summit meeting or he could walk out and say that it was the worst meeting in the world. I mean, we just can never predict with this president.
But I think there a lot of people who are frankly concerned, Rosemary, that he's going into this summit underprepared, not fully aware of what he's walking into in terms of what North Korea is going to expect at the negotiating table. And they've proven themselves over the years to be very shrewd negotiators.
And of course, previous nuclear deals have fallen apart in North Korea's nuclear program has only risen quickly as a result.
CHURCH: I mean, given that, how risky is this upcoming face-to-face meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump? Because even though Mr. Trump insists the U.S. is not giving up anything, the fact that the U.S. president is sitting down with Kim Jong-un is a coupe in itself for Kim, is it not?
RIPLEY: Yes, and I think a lot of -- I think a lot of analysts would say that the greater risk is being carried by President Trump at this point because North Korea doesn't really have a whole lot to lose here. They're already the most heavily sanctioned country on the planet.
And right now, the moves that they have taken is really symbolic. Yes, they say they are going to shut down the nuclear test site of Punggye- ri. They could reopen it or another nuclear test site. They say they're going to scale back their missile program but they could start missile testing again with relatively little difficulty.
And so until they agree to take variable steps like destroying nuclear weapons, you know, agreeing to international inspections and those are big asks that are going to require a big price. Because back in 1994, when the agreed framework was negotiated with the Clinton administration North Korea's nuclear program was in its infancy.
At that time they wanted light water reactors which were never built, they wanted heavy fuel shipments from the U.S. which are often late, and of course we now know at the same time they were enriching uranium secretly.
This time around they have a nuclear arsenal, we don't know how large it is, we don't know where the stock piles are hidden. And so the price tag and let's say it's going to be significantly higher and it is still unclear if international inspections would fully be able to verify any commitments that North Korea makes. And so they can make agreements that are broad in principle, but the devil is really in the details.
And as far as right now, Kim Jong-un has already come away with this getting something that the two previous North Korean leaders could never do, which was a face-to-face sit down with the leader of the free world, the president of the United States. He has world leaders lining up to meet with him now, it wasn't the case just a few months ago.
President Trump on the other hand, could walk out of this with a whole lot of egg on his face if things go south.
CHURCH: It is extraordinary. No location, no time at this point for that face-to-face meeting. But we know, Will, you will continue to follow this. Will Ripley joining us there live from Seoul in South Korea, nearly 4.15 in the afternoon. Many thanks.
We'll take a short break here, but still to come, a Toronto man accused of running down pedestrians make his first court appearance. What investigators are saying now about his motive.
Plus, a popular religious leader in India is waiting for a verdict in his rape trial and should find out any moment now. We are live in New Delhi with the very latest.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: A 25-year-old man accused of running down pedestrians with a rental van in Toronto has made his first experience in court.
But as CNN's Alex Marquardt reports, investigators are no closer to figuring out why he did it.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Authorities here in Toronto are providing more information about this horrific attack right here on Yonge Street in the heart of downtown Toronto that claimed the lives of some 10 people.
They say they are revising the counts of attempted murder against Alek Minassian, the allege attacker to 14. That's up from 13. He is also accused of 10 counts of first degree murder. The authorities say they are waiting to release the names of those killed because they want to let the next of kin, the family know first.
But we are beginning to learn some of the identities. Among them one Jordanian father who is here in Toronto visiting his daughter, there was also one Canadian citizen, as well as two South Koreans among the dead.
The authorities are also appealing not just for more eyewitness accounts and videos but for more time to determine the motive behind Minassian's alleged attack. So far they have just said they do not believe that it was terror inspired. They do not believe that it was a national security incident. They did not raise the terror threat level.
But there is one element. Just before this attack was carried out that they say could prove to be rather instructive in terms of determining the motive. Take a listen to the police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM GIBSON, DETECTIVE SERGEANT, TORONTO POLICE SERVICE: As has been reported in the media, the accused is alleged to have posted a cryptic message on Facebook minutes before he began driving the rented van, and he drove in southbound on Yonge Street and onto the crowded sidewalks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Now that Facebook post that Detective Sergeant Graham Gibson was referring to is one in which Minassian allegedly writes in part "all hail the supreme gentleman Elliot Rodger." Now Elliot Rodger was a 22-year-old who carried out a shooting and ramming attack in early 2014 near the campus of campus of U.C. Santa Barbara. He left some six people dead, so investigators are now looking into whether Minassian might have been inspired by Rodger.
The authorities were asked whether Minassian is mentally unstable. They did not respond. All they have said in terms of his motive so far the reasons behind this alleged attack are that they do not believe that Minassian was inspired by terrorism.
Of course, when we see an attack like this take place all one can really think of are those horrific car ramming attack that we've seen sweep across Europe over the past few years as well as the one that took place in New York City on Halloween Day just last year.
Alex Marquardt, CNN, Toronto.
CHURCH: A judge has revoked bond for the suspect in a shooting in the southern U.S., which has renewed the conversation on gun control and mental health.
Travis Reinking is accused of killing four people with an assault- style rifle at a waffle house diner near Nashville, Tennessee. He was known to police and had appeared to be mentally unstable.
According to the Chicago Tribune reports from a sheriff's office in Illinois show Reinking's father had taken his son's guns away at least three times then gave them back. CNN has only been able to confirm one time where this happened. The motive for the diner attack is still unclear.
A popular Indian religious leader who claims he has millions of followers around the world is waiting for a verdict in his rape trial. Asaram Bapu is accused of raping a 16-year-old school girl at one of his ashrams in 2013. He has denied any wrongdoing.
New Delhi bureau chief Nikhil Kumar joins us now with more on this. So, Nikhil, the self-star god man Asaram Bapu is on trial accused of raping the 16-year-old girl in his ashram in 2013. What's been happening since then and what will likely happen if he's found guilty? Is that thought to be the likely outcome here?
[03:20:05] NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: So that's right, Rosemary. The case dates back to 2013, which is when he was arrested and charged with raping the 16-year-old who was in one of his ashrams, her family herself were all devotees of the self-style god man who as you said claims millions of followers not just in India but beyond. And the context I think is quite important to remember as well, 2013 is of course just a few months after at the end of 2012 that horrific Delhi gang rape which turned a very harsh spotlight on the problem of sexual violence in India. And this god man was in fact reported -- was quoted in local reports as saying at the time that the victim in the 2012 case was partly to blame for what happened to her.
And then months later, he is accused of raping one of his followers. He is then arrested, and the case has been -- has been sort of the trial has been unfolding ever since. He's filed multiple applications all the way up to India's Supreme Court to get bail. The verdict is today due any moment at a court that is in fact situated inside a jail. And this is because there's been concern about violence from his followers, how they might react if he is indeed found guilty.
He faces a minimum term of term of 10 years after life if he's found guilty in this case, which has -- which is really not just caught his -- not just had his followers paying attention to what's happening in the city of Jodhpur but all of India and all of the authorities.
Last year we had a god man in north India, another one who was convicted and then sentenced for raping two women. That particular case that trial sparked violent demonstrators and protests. Thirty six died.
And so in Jodhpur the authorities are taking no -- had left, you know, taking no risks. The city is under heavy security blanket. Provisions of the law stopping more than a few people from gathering in one place have been enforced since before this, and will be enforced after the verdict is out and known to everyone. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And we will await that verdict and of course bring it to our viewers across the world. It has to be said how brave that 16-year-old girl would have had to be to press these charges. Nikhil Kumar joining us from New Delhi, and we will get that verdict very soon. We appreciate that.
Well, in a few hours from now a verdict is expected in the trial of a brutal murder which shocked Denmark. Inventor Peter Madsen is accused of mutilating and killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Madsen has pleaded not guilty but did confess to dismembering her body.
The details now from Atika Shubert.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The brutality of this real life Scandinavian warm mystery has kept Denmark in the global spotlight since the mutilated torso of Swedish journalist Kim Wall washed ashore in August of last year.
Now more than eight months after her body was found and 36 witnesses later, the trial against accused murderer and well-known Danish inventor and adventurer Peter Madsen also known as rocket Madsen is finally at its end.
The prosecution has painted a picture of Madsen as a man motivated by dangerous sexual motives. He acknowledges moving on the fringes of SNM societies and had interest in snuff films and the torture and killing of women. He is accused of intentionally killing and torturing Kim Wall on his submarine when she joined him to do a story and then cutting her up and tossing her body parts into the ocean, even weighing her body down.
The charge reads murder, also indecent handling of a corpse, as well as sexual relations other than intercourse of a particular dangerous nature. That's because of the multiple wounds inside and around Kim Wall's genital area.
Whether or not prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen has presented enough evidence to prove it remains the big question.
Madsen has consistently denied both the murder and sexual assault. He said he lied earlier to protect lost family from hearing, quote, "the gruesome tale." But in court he testified that Kim Wall died by accident from carbon monoxide poisoning and that he dismembered her body and toss it into the sea in a state of panic. And as his defense lawyer maintains should give a maximum of six months in prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETINA HALD ENGMARK, DEFENSE LAWYER (through translator): He admits two of the charges but not the rest. He admits indecent handling of a corpse and he also admits violating the law regarding safety at sea but not the rest of the charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:24:54] SHUBERT: Madsen himself said in court, "As I see it I am now at fault in a serious crime. I expect to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, and I expect to go to prison for a long time."
The decision is now up to a judge and a two-person jury who will read their verdict at the city court of Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Atika Shubert, CNN.
CHURCH: Well, hundreds of migrants escaping violence and poverty in Central America plan to turn themselves into U.S. authorities and ask for asylum. Some have been traveling for weeks in difficult conditions and have now arrived in Tijuana on the U.S. border.
But as Leyla Santiago reports, President Trump does not want them to cross.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A wave of the Central American migrants with the caravan has just arrived in Tijuana, just got off of one of two buses here, and you can actually see that many of them are taking the few belongings that they have brought with them from Guatemala, El Salvador, as well as Honduras, many of them from Honduras.
Now, they are expected to be here for a few days meeting with illegal experts who will help them with their asylum case. We have been following one family. This is Gabriela and her two children. They came from Honduras. I'm going to ask her how she's feeling.
She said she's very tired. You really hear it in her voice. I'm asking her what it's been like since they left Guadalajara.
SANTIAGO: She says it's been very difficult for herself as well as her two kids. She is also pregnant, and she said it's been very difficult but somebody provided for them some buses to continue their journey north. They've also been staying in churches along the way.
And she talks about the train, what's called La Bestia, the beast. Many of these migrants actually had to travel on top of a train, on top of scrap metal and trash to arrive here.
SANTIAGO: I'm asking her if she thinks she'll be able to get into the United States.
SANTIAGO: She says she's hopeful that will.
SANTIAGO: I'm asking her about what President Trump said, that they don't plan to let anybody in if it's illegal.
SANTIAGO: And she's talking about how the organizing group Pueblo Sin Fronteras has organized another march of people going to meet them at the border, where they're right now in Los Angeles. And she's hoping that that will be enough support to help them get to it United States to claim asylum, to seek asylum. Something that they are doing legally going to a port of entry to ask for help, seek asylum. What will happen there is the big question.
Leyla Santiago, CNN, Tijuana.
CHURCH: And let's take a short break here. But still to come, they have bragged about their special relationship but they don't agree on everything. A look at what the French president has achieved during his state visit so far.
We're back with that in just a moment.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back to "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour. With historic talks possibly on the horizon, President Trump is now praising North Korea dictator, Kim Jong-un, as being very honorable though he refused to explain why. The White House is still tampering expectations for their potential summit and President Trump insists, he wants Kim to get rid of all of his nuclear weapons.
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is alert and talking, but remains in intensive care. The 93-year-old was admitted to hospital the day after the funeral of his wife Barbara of 73 years. He contracted an infection, which spread to his blood, but he is said to be responding to treatment.
President Trump suggests there may be progress in talks with European negotiators about the Iran nuclear deal. French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to convince Mr. Trump to remain in the agreement. The U.S. and Europe have agreed on supplemental issues like Iran's missile program, nuclear inspections and its activities in the region.
Philip Crowther joins me now from Washington for more on the partnership between the French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump. He is a White House correspondent for France 24. Good to have you with us.
PHILIP CROWTHER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Thank you very much for having me.
CHURCH: Now, of course, as we all watched this relationship grow between President Trump and President Macron, some described it as bromance. Others see it more as a game of alpha male one-upmanship (ph), one trying to outdo the other. Let's just watch the video where Mr. Trump lets the whole world know that Mr. Macron has a problem dandruff. Let us roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do have a very special relationship, in fact I will get that little piece of dandruff off. Little piece, we have to make him profit and he is profit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: What would Macron have thought about that? He certainly dealt with it graciously in the front of the cameras, and of course you were there at the time. What would he be thinking behind closed doors?
CROWTHER: Emmanuel Macron has been pretty stoic throughout this state visit because there have been moments where he was faced with the harsh reality of Donald Trump when he for example, India will offer sitting right next to the French president, criticizes the Iran nuclear deal at length, the precise main reason why the French President is actually in Washington to convince Donald Trump of the goodness of that nuclear deal.
I still can't quite believe that I saw that, the dandruff moment, if you will. Again Emmanuel Macron was quite stoic. He did manage to laugh about it, but he is had some difficult moments, because as you say it is a very improbable relationship. They are very, very different personality wise when it comes to their politics as well.
But look at their body language, of course, you have to. They've been touching each other a lot, they had been hugging each other, and there had been some kisses on the cheeks. The personal relationship is actually good, I think we can pretty confidently state that over the last two days we've seen that these two do get along, despite all the political differences.
CHURCH: Yes, I mean, the whole time we've been watching these two leaders. We've seen Mr. Trump tugging Mr. Macron towards him for hugs and handshakes, an effort for each man to get their hand on top. Is it a case, though, of one man trying to out-do the other with love and friendship, or you seem to think this is genuine friendship certainly when you compare it to how Mr. Trump feels about Angela Merkel? But over -- what did the French people think?
CROWTHER: Well, in France, the U.S. president is a very, very unpopular man. This is something that doesn't necessarily go down well in France. It is something that people will laugh about, the way these two have been acting in public and it is maybe also seen as something that is necessary. Because as a French President, you're pretty much forced to get along with the U.S. President.
Certainly, the French people and people in the French government will have you believe that this is much better than the relationship that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who you just mentioned has with the U.S. President.
[03:35:06] It is a strange one and there, of course, has to be some kind of an end result. That is why there was quite a bit of pressure on the French president to have, what one calls a deliverable, something to bring home with him to France. It might be some kind of a willingness from the U.S. president to remain in nuclear deal with Iran or sign-up for another one. It's not really clear what is going on there. But the pressure on the French President was pretty big. This can't just be a three-day visit of that kind of a bromance as you say between the two without any kind of clear end result.
CHURCH: Yes, because that was his goal, wasn't it? President Macron went -- came to the United States and his main goal was to get President Trump on board with the Iran nuclear deal. It turns out the U.S. president is open with this new arrangement with European allies that would preserve the Iran nuclear deal. So, was that -- that will be proceed as a win for Macron, presumably and a face saving approach for Mr. Trump in a way, perhaps to remove Barack Obama from the equation.
CROWTHER: Yes, he is never far away, is he? The U.S. President, this one does like to do the exact contrary of what his predecessor did. You are not wrong to mention him. The deal this two seem to have come up with is a bit of a strange one. I can tell you the French government is trying to really sell this as a success story, that the French president is going home with something pretty good that he got out of the U.S. president.
But when you look at the details here, are we really looking at Donald Trump remaining in the nuclear deal with Iran, or will he sign-up for a completely new one that has some additional elements to it? It seems almost like part of this was discussed today in the Oval Office and the cabinet room and in that precise moment, they came up with this halfway solution, if you will.
Because we know that the British, the Germans and the French have been working diligently behind the scenes with the State Department to try to come up with a new deal, if you will, that lets the U.S. President say, he kept his campaign promise, but he somehow still manages to remain in that nuclear deal with Iran.
They might have found something here, but it will be very difficult for them to really get this sorted out in just a few weeks' time, after all, because remember, it's the 12th of May when the U.S. president has to decide, and he has threatened that he will decide to leave that nuclear deal with Iran.
I'm not also sure that what the French got out of this is good enough for that actual original deal to survive. Maybe a new one has to be there in place. All of this is awfully complex, because neither of them have really asked Iran so far whether that country is onboard with this new deal that seems to be being constructed. That is a big stumbling block after all.
CHURCH: Yes. Certainly. Philip Crowther, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
CROWTHER: You are very welcome.
CHURCH: Fascinating pictures there. And a lot of work went into planning and hosting that White House State Dinner, Tuesday night. First lady Melania Trump was in charge of the whole thing. And White House reporter, Kate Bennett, has more on that.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Last night's state dinner at the White House was a chance for the Trump administration to host French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. Of course, the first lady, Melania Trump, had spent months planning the dinner, taking care of details from the seat cushions to the menu, to the gold China that was used on the table settings. The first lady did wear a sparkly silver Chanel Couture gown, and not, of course, to the esteem French fashion house.
Earlier in the day, all eyes were also on Melania Trump as she wore a white suit with a white hat that got everyone talking. Brigitte Macron and the first lady toured the National Gallery of Art together both in their white suits cozying up in a friendship that seems to expand since last year, when the Macron hosted the Trump in Paris. Kate Bennett, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: All right. Let us take a short break here, but still to come, new trouble for President Trump's pick to head the Veteran's Administration, why one Senator says Dr. Ronny Jackson was nicknamed the candy man.
Plus, an Israeli border police officer accused of killing this 17- year-old Palestinian boy, we will soon learn his fate. We will be back with that.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are awaiting the verdict of an
Israeli border police officer charged in a Palestinian teenager's killing. Ben Deri, is accused of shooting the 17-year-old during clashes in the West Bank in 2014. A CNN crew was there filming the clashes and caught the exact moment the teen was killed. We're not showing it here, but that footage was admitted as evidence in the case.
Well, the problems are piling up for Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. At least 20 people have come forward accusing Dr. Ronny Jackson of being drunk on the job, handing out prescription drugs like candy to White House staff and creating a toxic work environment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The word is that on overseas trips in particular that admiral would go down the aisle of the airplane and say, all right, who wants to go to sleep and hand out the prescriptions drugs like they were candy.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Like an ambient type.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that is exactly right. And put them to sleep and give them the drugs to wake them back up again. That sort of reports we've got from the people that -- 20 some people who got a hold of us and said we got a problem, and this doctor has a problem, because he hands out prescriptions like candy, in fact in the White House they call him the candy man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And President Trump says it is up to Jackson if he wants to go to a contentious confirmation process, but forces say, sources I should say, say Jackson has no plans to withdraw at this time.
Meanwhile sources say senior White House officials are debating whether the head of the environmental protection agency should remain in his post. Scott Pruitt is the subject of four separate investigations by the EPA inspector general. Even members of the President's own party are demanding answers to ethics questions surrounding Pruitt. He is expected to face a grilling when he appears before two House Committees on Thursday.
Well, multiple sources say President Trump is relying more on his personal cellphone recently to talk with outside advisers. The move is an effort to bypass his Chief of Staff, John Kelly. And it's raising concerns about security experts. CNN's Brian Todd reports.
TRUMP: Stupid question.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's freewheeling style of communicating presenting serious security challenges. Multiple sources inside and outside the White House tell CNN, the President has recently been using his personal cellphone, more and more often to contact outside advisers. One senior White House official says Trump is quote, talking to all sorts of people on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're just totally vulnerable. The President should not be using these.
TODD: Former intelligence operatives and other security experts tells CNN, the president's use of his personal cellphone carries enormous security risks. Spies are everywhere, they say. In Washington and wherever the President travels. And they know how to tap that phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can put malware in your phone. I can then bleed out your conversations. I can bleed out your e-mail. I can bleed out your texts. I can turn on room harmonics to listening to conversations around with you. Look, the entire drone program run by the CIA is based on these cellphones and computers. They're wide open, you might as well write your secrets on a bathroom wall in Penn Station.
[03:45:10] TODD: This from the President who openly called for Hillary Clinton to be jailed for not properly protecting her e-mail accounts.
TRUMP: She should be locked up. She should.
TODD: When President Obama wanted to use a blackberry, the NSA had to basically rebuild the device with encryptions. Just to keep it secure. To really protect it, what do you have to do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Essentially what you are doing is your reacting to outside forces. You're changing the programming, the algorithms, you are looking for vulnerabilities and patch. Those vulnerabilities are going back in and recoding the programming.
TODD: It's not clear whether any of those protections are in place on President Trump cellphone. Experts say even if President Trump isn't discussing top secret information on his cellphone, it is still a big security risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether it's him trying to get around John Kelly by using his cellphone, and someone can ask, what's Kelly going to think? And the response, well, it does not matter, he is at the Pentagon right now. That is not classified, but that can tell foreign intelligence agencies, the chief of staff of the White House is meeting with people at the Pentagon.
TODD: Experts believe America's rivals will have their spies target the president's phone for crucial intelligence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russians, to start with, the Chinese over trade over defense issues. North Koreans want to know what he is thinking about going into this meeting.
TODD: Experts say another drawback to the president using his private cellphone so much is that those phone conversations are not captured for historical purposes or for accountability. The White House didn't respond to the concerns of security professionals about the risk of the president using his private cellphone so much. Brian Todd, CNN Washington.
CHURCH: A week after it hit the shelves, former FBI Director, James Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty" has become an instant blockbuster selling more than 600,000 copies. And tomorrow Comey is taking questions from the public here on CNN. Anderson Cooper hosts Comey, truth, lies and leadership, Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Mexico City that is 8:00 a.m. Thursday for those watching from Hong Kong. Only here on CNN.
Well, Prince's family is suing an Illinois hospital and the Walgreens pharmacy alleging they both failed to adequately care for the singer after he suffered from a drug overdose in April 2016. Prince died six days later at his Minnesota home after overdosing a second time. News of the lawsuit comes just days after Minnesota official announced criminal charges would not be filed in Prince's death.
U.S. rapper Meek Mill has been released from prison after spending nearly five months incarcerated for violating probation. His case has renewed called to reform the U.S. justice system. The rapper says, he is blessed to have the resources to fight this I'm just situation, but many people of color don't have that luxury, he says. And here's more on his case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEEK MILL, U.S. RAPPER: It was always -- I thought in the back of my mind that ten years of probation would bring me back to prison. Don't show me pity, because this is my life, this is what've been going through, and I think god put me in this position to be able to do and show (inaudible) open up eyes for other young black men. I think god delivered me the job to helping people -- helping minorities that come from these situations like myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. But still to come a salute to our courageous CNN colleagues who were awarded one of journalism's top honors.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: We are proud to announce, CNN has won a Peabody Award for coverage of the fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Peabody board of jurors cited CNN correspondents across key datelines as well as the use of technology like drones. Here is a look of some of CNN's coverage of the fall of ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is like something supernatural or other world (inaudible) hit it. This destruction, absolutely breathtaking. And really a sign of the dust and bones that ISIS have left in their wake. When the old city Mosul, the damage knew the city is gone. And Mosul, the most free of ISIS.
This is one man's intimate revealing view of the battle of Raqqa. Resilient filmmaker, Gabriel Shaun, followed Kurdish fighters for almost two months as they fought to take a strategically important hospital complex in the city's west. He shared the same risks, the fighter's company and friendship and their quieter reflected moments. Shaun left his helmet cam rolling through it all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been seeing in some drone footage exclusively obtained by CNN SDF already beginning to celebrate their victory, driving around one of Raqqa's main roundabout. This is the roundabout where some of ISIS's worst atrocities unfolded, those chilling beheadings, the horrific executions and crucifixions, but we also see in this images is just sheer, breathtaking scale of the destruction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the moment of (inaudible), he has been waiting months for, the moment he finally gets to meet Morjuan. Abdullah was responsible for helping smuggle Morjuan to safety. Morjuan is 11 years old. Three years ago when he was just 8 he says he was abducted by ISIS and forced to serve as a slave on their front lines. Since then he is been sold on 11 times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Incredible coverage there and recognized now. And our Michael Holmes spoke to our CNN's Director of third party global content about the use of new technology in war zones.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: The first point we talk about the drone video, Peabody citation in parts says, you know the network continued to invest on the dedication of the story is best significant as global conflicts simmer -- so this drone footage was fairly critical to how we covered this and tell us why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, on the independent Journalist end, on Gabriela Shane and the strong footage just to operate a drone in an active combat zone is incredibly risky. And it's incredibly difficult. It requires skill, persistence, patience, access to embed --
HOLMES: For months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, for months on. War zone experience. And most importantly avoiding getting the drone targeted and shot down by both sides.
HOLMES: What does this add to the coverage, this video? We're watching it here now. It's very -- its compelling stuff. What does it add to the coverage?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's very -- it is incredibly important for the coverage. It offered the viewers and us a bird's-eye view of the scale and the scope of the devastation and destruction that the fighting caused. It took us to areas that were liberated, but yet to be cleared, where we could see -- and I would like to warn the viewers here that some viewers might find this disturbing images.
[03:55:00] You could see ISIS fighter's bodies still on the ground. You can tell from that that it was just recently liberated, but not clear yet for us to go physically cover it and be present there. The drone footage allows us that view, allows us that kind of access.
HOLMES: And safety to a degree as well. I mean, speak about the risks that these independent journalists, freelancers, however we want to call them, how crucial they are as, you know, as a group?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That they are literally put their lives on the line covering the war zone for months on or weeks on. They risk facing sniper fire, IED's, car bomb, suicide bombers. All the unconventional tactics ISIS used in this war. There are critical, because they allow us to be across the story continuously. The news agenda shift to different stories and would take shots to Paris or the U.S., we could still stay across Syria and Iraq in the fight against ISIS.
HOLMES: But we can't be there all the time, we can't be there for months on end. So these guys really live it. And you know, it's really important, I think to say, you know, we have no shortage of fine and brave, courageous war correspondents and photographers and field producers who go out and do this type of work. And at the core of this award is their work, but these independents add another layer to it, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is right. Yes, and like you said especially this war, I mean it had different and several fronts. It could be Syria, it could be Iraq, and it could be Iraq in different areas of Mosul, West, and East. Even if we were present we couldn't be everywhere at all times. So that offered us access to the story in all of its stages really.
HOLMES: Yes. When I was there going in for the battle of Mosul, I mean, I think we had four or five crew there at one point. We invest people in this, but this is just another layer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this is testimony to CNN's investment and dedication to the story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the, you know, commitment to cover it from start to end.
HOLMES: Yes, which, we have done and we will continue to do. Welcome, thanks so much.
CHURCH: And we salute our colleague's for all they have done. Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues with Hannah Vaughn Jones in
London. Enjoy your day.