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High Court Justices Appear to Back Trump; Interview with Douglas Chin; Arrest in Golden State Killer Case; Madam Tussaud's Introduces a Melania Wax Double. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 26, 2018 - 01:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, HOST, NEWSROOM: You're watching CNN" Newsroom" live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour.

JOHN VAUSE, HOST, NEWSROOM: Putting on the final touches, the leaders of North and South Korea now just hours away from their historic summit.

SESAY: President Trump's controversial travel ban goes before the US Supreme Court where conservative justices could give him a big legal victory.

VAUSE: President Trump's controversial travel ban goes before the US Supreme Court where conservative justices could give him a big legal victory, a former cop now accused of a series of rapes, assaults and a dozen murders during the 1970s and '80s.

SESAY: Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause, we're into the second hour now of "Newsroom LA."

Set your clocks. We are now less than 24 hours away from a historic moment on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's Kim Jong-un will walk across the Military Demarcation Line and into South Korea for unprecedented face-to-face talks with President Moon Jae-in making Kim the first North Korean leader to visit the South.

SESAY: The two sides have been rehearsing every little detail in the border village of Panmunjom. The main meeting room in the Peace House has even undergone over a makeover specifically for the summit.

VAUSE: CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now close to the DMZ. Paula, clearly nothing is being left to chance, perhaps because more than anyone else, South Korea's President knows what led to the failures of previous negotiations with the North Koreans.

PAULA HANCOCKS: Well, that's right, John. I spoke to an official very close to President Moon and he said that the President really feels like he has the world's pressure on his shoulders.

At this point, he truly appreciates just how important this moment is and the key obviously is to try to hammer out exactly what the word denuclearization means to North Korea and to South Korea for this even to have a chance of working. the South Koreans also saying they appreciate that this time around, compared to the previous summits, they need the United States with them every step of the way.

It was powerful image. The leader of two countries that tore each other apart 50 years earlier embracing and smiling. The 2000 summit between North Korea's Kim Jong-il and South Korea's Kim Dae-jung made history.

But Kim Dae-jung's son said it was a massive gamble for South Korea.

KIM HONG GUL, SON OF KIM DAE-JUNG: (Foreign language).

HANCOCKS: Unlike other summits, he says, where you work out the agenda in advance, there were no pre-talks. The north said, "Just come, everything will be fine." My father said Kim Jong-il did not want to concede anything. He had to really convince him, even joking, saying, "I'm much older than you and I came all the way to Pyongyang. If iI return empty-handed, I will lose face."

The summit ended with the June 15th declaration signed by both leaders, pushing for humanitarian and economic cooperation. A visit later that year by the then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright intended to lay the groundwork for a visit by US President Bill Clinton, which never came.

If Clinton had a little more time, if he had visited North Korea, Kim says, it would have had a huge impact on peace in this region. My father really regretted it never happened.

One lesson learned, President Moon Jae-in is starting early, meeting Kim Jong-un within the first year of his presidency. His goal, his office says, is to complete the whole denuclearize process within his five-year term.

2007, the second inter Korean summit, this time Kim Jong-il met Roh Moo-hyun, President Roh walking across the border. Another historic first. A further agreement signed with Kim Jong-il pledging to work towards a permanent peace.

One top diplomat who met Kim Jong-il before the second summit says that his son Kim Jong-un is in a far stronger position, having developed his nuclear and missile programs and that feeling of security could help.

CHUNG DONG-YOUNG, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN MINISTER OF UNIFICATION: The third inter-Korean summit meeting would be a historic turning point that led the two Koreas from hatred and confrontation to reconciliation and cooperation.

HANCOCKS: One source of optimism for supporters of the first two summits is US President Donald Trump agreeing to meet Kim Jong-un ensuring some kind of momentum, but some more conservative elements question whether the lesson to be learned is if you can trust North Korea.


HANCOCKS: Now, what we have now, John and Isha, is the exact schedule for what we should expect tomorrow. We understand that Kim Jong-un will approach the Military Demarcation Line, the MDL, at about 9:30 in the morning. That's about 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea will meet him there and Kim Jong- un wild then step across the MDL into the South Korean side of the DMZ, the first time that a North Korean leader has ever done that.

Now, then the traditional South Korean guards will greet Kim Jong-un. Certainly, a significant moment for...


HANCOCKS: ... a North Korean leader to be surrounded by South Korean military. They will then go and have an official welcoming ceremony. We understand that Kim Jong-un, for example, will sign the guest book. They'll have a reception and then the hard work begins. The summit begins.

Lunchtime will be separate. But then after lunch, we're told that they will -- they'll actually have a planting of a tree, a tree from 1953, the year the Korean War ended. They will use soil from both countries, from both territories, South Korea and North Korea. They'll use water to water the tree from rivers in North Korea and South Korea as well. A huge amount of symbolism within this summit.

And then at the end, there will be an agreement and potentially announcements. We're being told that it really depends on what the leaders want to do on the day. So, we could hear from Kim Jong-un. We're not certain at this point, followed by that banquet, where Kim Jong-un's wife may attend as well. John, Isha, back to you.

VAUSE: Hard to see where they'll find times for any extra serious negotiations, but I guess they will.

Paula, thank you. Paula Hancocks will be covering all of that and more over the coming day or so. Thank you.

Philip Yun is Executive Director of the Ploughshares Fund, a former adviser on North Korea during the President Clinton administration. Philip, thanks for being with us. What is striking about this, this incredible amount of detail, the attention to all of the specifics here from, you know, the color of the carpet at the Peace House. You know, it' a blue color to represent a new beginning to the shape of the negotiation table, which is oval, not rectangular, with "The Washington Post" reporting this, "Inside the newly renovated Peace House building, they will sit exactly 2,018 millimeters apart, highlighting the historic 2018 inter-Korean summit. The South Korean presidential Blue House said."

How important is all of this stuff?

PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Well, O mean, it's -- it represents a lot of hard work. We know that both South Korean representatives and North Korean representatives have been working around the clock to make this happen, and there are so many details related, both in terms of appearance but also the substance of the negotiations. There are high stakes here. As was said earlier, this whole thing

revolves around what denuclearization is going to mean if the United States is really going to play on in this. And so, they've got to get something related to that. I think what's really important is the next step and I think we've got to make sure, among other things, that he summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un actually happens. If it doesn't, that's going to be a huge blow all the way around.

So, there's a lot to be done and you know, we're all really interested to see what's going to happen. I think it's going to be quite interesting and probably some surprises.

VAUSE: Yes, and it will be broadcast live on television, which is also a first, very symbolic as well. The last failed summit was more than a decade ago. The South Korean President was involved in those talks, and the preparation. He also involved in the talks and the summit before that which also failed.

If nothing else, he knows what worked, I guess, and more importantly, what did not work, and he's had a long time to think about it.

YU: Yes, I think there is a really good point that what's different about this summit and the prior ones, is that the last -- the prior summits were actually done relatively late in the term of the South Korean president and so therefore, you know, there is only one five- year term, so if you wait too long, you become a lame duck.

Moon Jae-in has done this very early in his term, and so there is some leeway that he is going to have. And also, I was involved -- I was with Madeleine Albright when she was there in 2000 but I think it's actually right, the North Koreans miscalculated to a certain degree. They took a while to respond to the US and South Korean overtures, as time did eventually run out.

And so, I think that's something that they learned as well and that's why perhaps Kim Jong-un is more open to moving on this a little bit faster.

VAUSE: I will read part of an op-ed from Nicholas Eberstadt from the "American Enterprise Institute," he argues North Korea really has no interest in a peace agreement with Seoul. "For North Korea to end its war on the South and accept the South as a legitimate co-equal government on the peninsula would mean abandoning the quest that has legitimized the Kim family's rule for three generations. The decision will call into question why exactly North Korea should hold power at all. It will be system threatening a mistake on the scale of a string of blunders by the President Mikhail Gorbachev that doomed the Soviet Union." Does he have a point?

YU: Well, you know, I disagree pretty strongly with that assessment. The point is, is that we really don't know what the North Koreans want and what they are willing to do. I think that what we have here is, you know, we're talking about legal issues here. If there is political will to move forward, all these legal issues will step aside. And so, if we want legal issues to be an impediment, yes, they will

be, but I do think that if there is a political will to move forward, this is something...


YU: ... that I don't think is going to be a problem at all.

VAUSE: We're almost out of time. So last question, is it a concern human rights are not on the agenda?

YU: Yes, I think so. I think that human rights is sort of a wild card here. The Trump administration hasn't made a big priority on that, but I do think that as things start to move forward in a way related to these other issues that people here in the United States are going to raise these issues along with South Korea, and so I think this is something that we have to -- that both sides have to plan for.

And if I were them, I'd start thinking about how to integrate that at the beginning of the process and not as an afterthought.

VAUSE: Philip, there are a few people who have your knowledge and experience, so it's great to have you with us. Thank you.

YU: Thank you.

SESAY: Well, the day after US President Donald Trump signaled possible progress in talks on the Iran nuclear deal, French President Emmanuel Macron said he thinks Mr. Trump won't do much to preserve the agreement.

Mr. Macron also took direct aim at Mr. Trump's positions on other key issues in the speech before the US Congress. Later, he spoke to reporters.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: (Through a translator). I have no inside information on what Trump might be deciding for the Iranian nuclear deal, just like you do, I listen to what President Trump is saying and it seems to me, he is not much eager to defend it.

Do I take it personally? No. I believe that it is just a campaign commitment and I do not know what the American decision will be. The comments by Trump as it seems to me won't do much to preserve the JCPOA.


SESAY: Well, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will press the case for the Iran Deal in talks with Mr. Trump Friday in Washington. British Prime Minister Theresa is also expected to speak with him by phone.

Joining us now here in LA, CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. Dominic, good to have you with us once again. So, we saw the flattery. We saw the shrewd calculation, Emmanuel

Macron doing an interview on Fox because he knows President Trump watches Fox, tweeting out his thanks. We saw the "bon ami," the bromance -- all of that, but when we get to the end of this trip, what did Macron actually gain?

DOMINIC THOMAS, EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR, CNN: Well, this is so interesting. I mean, it felt at the beginning that one was sort of watching an intimate and family gathering where everyone was happy to sort of together again and enjoy meals.

The press conference was now staggering in terms of the vocabulary. They talked about collaboration, cooperation, the deep historical relationship. And you even heard President Trump talking about the need for greater flexibility in politics and so on.

And so, of course, if we're going to sort of look at the immediate outcomes, did they agree on the Iran deal? No. Did President Trump change his position on the environment? No. Yes, inroads were made on sort of thinking about trade and restrictions and so on, but then, I think it's too early to really tell because what happened then at the end of this family gathering when the tensions came out was precisely Emmanuel Macron's speech to the Joint Session of Congress in which he systematically dismantled essentially Donald Trump's policies, agendas and political positions, and offered a diametrically opposed view of the world that also seemed to be received very warmly by those in attendance.

So, before we can determine where this is going to go, I think we have to wait and see how President Trump is going to respond to that. Now, traditionally he would take to Twitter, but after having spent two days praising the French President and hugging him and kissing him, it's even more sort of unexpected as to where, really, this could go here.

SESAY: And to give our viewers a taste of Emmanuel Macron's speech there in front of Congress and how he didn't hold back, let's run the sound as he talks about the Iran nuclear deal.


MACRON: There is an existing framework called the JCPOA to control the nuclear activity of Iran. We signed it at the initiative of the United States. We signed it, both the United States and France. That is why we cannot say we should get rid of it like that.


SESAY: All right, so he makes clear France is not stepping out of it, and to your point, we don't know how Trump is going to react in the days ahead. So, it's hard to say what the state of their relationship will be, you know, in the days that follow. But my question to you is, having seen all that hugging and kissing, how does that play back home in France? Does it carry domestic risks for him?

THOMAS: Well, I think the whole trip carried certain risks that there was a tremendous fascination with the interpersonal...


THOMAS: ... dynamics. This is what the French media were really focusing on the early days, but at the end of this trip, Emmanuel Macron has to go back to France and to Europe, and let's not forget that his election in the second round was against a far-right leader that Donald Trump had spoken of favorably, whose vision of the world is really much closer to President Trump than Emmanuel Macron's.

And so, unless he's able to deliver on this, some of the criticism is going to be around the sort of whether or not he is granted a kind of legitimacy to Donald Trump by engaging with him in way the way that he did and one has to think about that sort of that dynamic.

SESAY: We're almost out of time, but as we talk about how one engages with President Trump, Angela Merkel is on her way.

THOMAS: Right.

SESAY: We expect a very different dynamic, but she, too, comes with very much the same goals as macron, right, when it comes to the Iran deal and trade.

THOMAS: Right, but trade, which is absolutely crucial for both of them in terms of jobs, growth, wages. This is absolutely key. The United States is a major partner. The last thing they want is to get into a trade war, and one can hope that that's something that came out of this sort of friendship is a realization of the importance of being allies and sort of getting President Trump to understand just what a privileged relationship that relationship is with Europe.

But, of course Angela Merkel comes in a highly unfavorable climate...


THOMAS: ... in an aftermath of Emmanuel Macron's visit...

SESAY: No hugging and kissing.

THOMAS: No hugging and kissing...


SESAY: If you went in the Oval Office, we saw the last time, he wouldn't even shake her hand. THOMAS: Absolutely. So, this puts her in a very difficult position, and also, one has to wait to see this sort of time bomb of what will happen with Donald Trump's reaction to this speech that Emmanuel Macron gives today, which had to be deeply embarrassing and humiliating for the President.

SESAY: The question is, does Angela Merkel pay the price?

THOMAS: Right, and most likely, she will. SESAY: Most likely, she will. Dominic, always good to speak to you.

Thank you so much. We look forward to discussing the Merkel meeting. Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, new serious accusations could sink Donald Trump's latest Cabinet nominee. Just ahead, Dr. Ronny Jackson responding to allegations he crashed a government car while intoxicated.

SESAY: Plus, the President's fixer pleads the Fifth. Why Michael Cohen is invoking his right against self-incrimination.

VAUSE: It seems the longer Dr. Ronny Jackson stays in contention to run the Department of Veteran Affairs, the more skeletons are found in his closet. "The New York Times" is reporting Jackson, who is currently the US President's personal doctor, crashed a government car while drunk part of a list of alleged scandals compiled by Senate Democrats which includes claims Jackson drank on the job, was abusive to colleagues and handed out prescription medication like candy.

White House officials apparently are now preparing...


VAUSE: ... for Jackson to step aside.


RONNY JACKSON, NOMINEE AS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: No, I have not wrecked a car. So, I can tell you that. That's easy to deduct. Thanks, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you move forward?

JACKSON: We're moving ahead as planned. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're still moving ahead?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you tell the President that, sir?

JACKSON: Thanks, guys.


VAUSE: Joining us now is CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas.

John, there is a longer interview there. That sound bite with Ronny Jackson goes on a little bit longer. He's asked about crashing the car. He said that didn't happen. That's easy to prove. He is also asked about another part of that "New York Times" report about handing out large supplies of Percocet, which is an opioid causing a great deal of alarm. That question was asked. There was no response from Ronny Jackson to that. Possible he didn't hear it. It is also possible there could be some truth to it. JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, remarkable because here is a

guy who served as the official doctor to multiple presidents.

VAUSE: Yes, Bush, Obama and Trump.

THOMAS: Who is held in high regard even when partisan attacks were being lobbed at Trump when he said Trump was fit and in good health. People like David Axelrod came to Ronny's defense.

But now that he's popped up in a different position, it looks like the guy is not going to get confirmed because you're seeing Republicans are even saying, we're not voting for this guy.

VAUSE: Dave, I want to talk about the Percocet issue there because, again, it is an allegation. He didn't respond to it. This is a country in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic. If these allegations about handing out Percocet, which is an opioid in large amounts were made against a doctor at a country hospital, that doctor would be immediately suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. Why isn't the same thing happening here with this guy?

DAVE JACOBSON, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Because there is a double standard with everything in the Trump White House, right? I mean, look, I think it's clear with these revelations coming out that this doctor lacks coherent judgment and is totally unqualified and unfit to be Secretary of the VA, an expansive Federal bureaucracy that cares for our most vulnerable people who have sacrificed their lives to keep us safe.

But at the end of the day, I think this evidence that has come out, if these allegations are true, should be enough for Donald Trump to kick him out of the White House.

He should be fired. it's totally unacceptable.

VAUSE: Donald Trump always talks about the veterans and the military and his respect for the veterans and wants to do the best by them. Did he do the best by the veterans by nominating this guy without looking at his past, without vetting him, without thinking it through?

THOMAS: Well, the White House doesn't do an effective job at vetting a lot of their nominees. But I think in the President's world, he goes, "Look, I like the guy personally. He's been good to me," and he's been around for so long, clearly the guy's been vetted. He's been part of this government institution and he hadn't been.

I mean, look, the White House needs to do a better job at vetting because when you go through the confirmation process, it's brutal, even if you've done nothing wrong.

VAUSE: If you're squeaky clean, yes.

JACOBSON: And let's not forget like Donald Trump's top priority when he's picking people for his Cabinet or his administration is the loyalty factor. It's Donald Trump, right, exactly. And so clearly, he scored points on that front. VAUSE: Okay, these latest allegations from "The New York Times"

emerged after the White House briefing. That's when the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the possibility of further vetting of Jackson.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the White House is doing any sort of additional looking into Dr. Jackson's background in light of all of the allegations.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's been, again, a pretty thorough vetting process done by the FBI as well as three other independent investigations, but that's part of what the nomination process of Congress should do and what it's supposed to look like, and why they should move forward with a hearing.


VAUSE: John, that's not how the process is meant to look like. All the vetting for the nominee is meant to be done by the administration before the name is put forward. That's how the process is meant to work, not what Sarah Sanders is talking about.

THOMAS: Well, and then it's a double belt and suspenders to have Congress go through and apply pressure and try to smoke things out.

Look, it's clear that the White House is sticking to their talking points today. I suspect that Ronny ends up taking a leave of -- permanent leave of absence after this because there is no votes to get confirmed. Why would he want to go through the scrutiny and then potentially that -- who did he prescribe these pills to? How are they doing now?

VAUSE: Just talk on anyway, just on this issue, though, the vetting process is twofold, it is to find the right person for the job, but also to avoid political embarrassment for the President. That's assuming the President has an element of shame.

This president seems to have no shame when it comes to these issues. So, he's not worried about this, he's leaving it up to Jackson.

JACOBSON: Right, precisely. Look, veterans deserve better than this and bottom line, I totally agree with John wholeheartedly, like I don't think he's going to move through the process. There are so many unknowns and so many questions that he needs to answer and I think it's just emblematic of another failure from this White House.

They can't seem to get it together. They can't -- I mean, there is an unparalleled amount of Cabinet picks who haven't been able to get confirmation, let alone those who have been confirmed, the amount of scandals that have come out from them.


VAUSE: And with that in mind, the White House is trying to establish this sort of narrative here about Jackson and others, it's all part of the nasty Washington politics. The Democrats are causing all the problems. Again, here is Sarah Sanders when she appeared on the Trump-friendly Fox News Channel.


SANDERS: I think that you have to look back at how history has operated in the past. You had votes for people like John Kerry. I mean, when you have people that voting for John Kerry, both Republicans and Democrats, yet they question Mike Pompeo, I think that tells you that there is something broken in this system. That this isn't just about President Trump, but it's about political politics of the worst kind.


THOMAS: Well, she's not totally wrong here.

VAUSE: Well, here's the thing about Pompeo. Let me go, because Pompeo has a history of homophobia and of making anti-Muslim comments, comparing him to John Kerry, who the "Nation" magazine described as one of the most influential Secretaries of States in last 50 years who came to the job with a very impressive resume in diplomacy and foreign affairs. I mean, that's just...


THOMAS: Okay, well Ric Grenell who is openly gay and is nominated the Ambassador to Germany and cannot get confirmed because they're just blocking the confirmation. I think her point is partisan politics is at play in this confirmation process. Potentially more brutally than ever.

JACOBSON: And that's just the nature of Congress. Congress is partisan.

THOMAS: Well, but it's getting worse than ever, when you can't even confirm Mike Pompeo or an Ambassador to Germany. That's brutal.

VAUSE: Okay, we'll move on because the President's personal attorney who is under criminal investigation shocked no one on Wednesday when he decided to take the Fifth to avoid testifying in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit against the President. "Based upon the advice of counsel, I will assert my Fifth Amendment Rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and US Attorney for the southern district of New York."

John, there is nothing, you know, untoward or unusual about someone involved in a civil process and a criminal litigation to take the Fifth, is there?

THOMAS: I think it's clear, it's complicated and he does not see any value into whatever slap on the wrist that he might get from some SEC violation of making hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

VAUSE: He's not hiding anything, is he? THOMAS: Look, I don't know, but I know that it's complicated when

you're looking -- being looked at by the state of New York and you're being looked at by Bob Mueller. Stormy Daniels looks like a gnat that you don't want to get involved with because you don't know where else Mueller is going.

Remember, he was willing to raid your office. This is serious.

VAUSE: Just because there is always a tweet for that, here is Donald Trump back in 2014. "I'm not a fan of Bill Cosby, but nevertheless, some free advice. If you are innocent, do not remain silent, you look guilty as hell."

JACOBSON: And let's not forget Donald Trump's comments from the 2016 election where he said...

VAUSE: The mob takes the Fifth...


JACOBSON: The mob, yes, right, exactly. Like if you're innocent, why would you take the Fifth? Donald Trump reeks of hypocrisy by this action by his fixer or his attorney, Michael Cohen.

VAUSE: His bagman, isn't it?

JACOBSON: Yes, right.

VAUSE: Whatever his job is. But seriously, I mean, this to me, John, indicates, you know, there is stormy weather ahead for Donald Trump when it comes to Michael Cohen.

THOMAS: Yes, we don't know -- I mean, potentially Mueller could be looking at Donald Trump's business dealings and the Trump organization going back forever.


THOMAS: And that's a scary thing.

JACOBSON: It's possible that Michael Cohen knows not only how many bodies are buried but where they're buried.

VAUSE: Okay, we're going to finish up here with some exclusive reporting from CNN. We're told by a number of officials that among the 60 Russian diplomats who were expelled from the United States last month, dozens were spies who are tracking Russian defectors and their families who have resettled in the US. It's raising concerns they may have been potential criminal targets.

We'll get the details from Evan Perez and come back to you in a minute.


expelled by the Trump administration in recent weeks were suspected spies who were thought to be tracking Russian defectors and their families in the United States.

Sources tell us that in at least one instance, suspected Russian spies were thought to be trying to case someone who was part of a CIA program that provides new identities to protect resettled Russians.

This raised concerns among FBI counterintelligence investigators that the Russians were preparing to possibly targets emigrates that the Kremlin considers to be traitors or enemies.

Those concerns have increased after the poison attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter living in the United Kingdom.

British and US officials have blamed the Russians for the attack using a nerve agent. The Russian embassy didn't respond to our request for a comment for the story. The CIA and the White House declined to comment.

The US officials say that the Russian government appears emboldened to attack critics in western countries, and that's changing how the US and other countries protect sources who the Kremlin might be trying to target. Even Perez, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Dave?

JACOBSON: I just think it's totally abhorrent that we waited this long to expel these folks. I mean, this should have been done six months ago or a year ago, two years ago. As soon as we had this information we should have kicked these folks out.

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I wonder if this is the tip of the iceberg and if there are more to come.

VAUSE: Ok. But these were the guys that Donald Trump was upset that too many had been expelled compared with other countries -- Concerns, no?

JACOBSON: Yes, absolutely. We've long known that Donald Trump loves the Russians and loves Vladimir Putin. So I'm not surprised that it took this long.

VAUSE: Ok, guys. Thank you so much.


VAUSE: Appreciate it.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Ok. Quick break here.

Still to come, hear arguments from inside the U.S. Supreme Court over the Trump travel ban. Will the President's own words on the campaign trail doom one of his most divisive policies?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay.

The headlines this hour.

Less than 24 hours from now, Kim Jong-un will walk across the military demarcation line into South Korea. He'll be met by President Moon Jae-in for an unprecedented summit. Kim will be the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South

VAUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron believes he made some progress in changing Donald Trump's thinking on the Iran nuclear agreement, but he does not believe the President will actually keep that deal. A key goal of Macron's visit to Washington was to convince Trump to stay in the nuclear deal.

SESAY: Dr. Ronny Jackson denies he once wrecked a government car while he was drunk. That's just the latest allegation against Donald Trump's pick to lead the Veteran Affairs Department. Whistle-blowers claim Jackson drank on the job and handed out prescription drugs like candy. >

VAUSE: The U.S. President Donald Trump may be heading towards a big win on his controversial travel ban at America's highest court. Conservative justices and swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed to support the President's case during oral arguments on Wednesday. The ban restricts visitors from five Muslim majority countries plus North Korea and Venezuela.

Jessica Schneider has more now from Washington.


CROWD: No hate, no fear -- refugees are welcome here.

JESSICA SCHNEIDR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's travel ban is finally being judged by the nine justices on the nation's highest court after nearly a year and a half of different versions winding their way through the lower courts. In the initial chaos, the justices are considering whether the President has the authority to issue that travel ban. Arguments opened with questions and hypotheticals about how much the President's words matter.

[01:34:56] JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's say in some future time, a president gets elected who is a vehement anti-Semite. What emerges is a proclamation that says no one shall enter from Israel. This is an out of the box kind of president, in my hypothetical and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have those, your honor.

KAGAN: -- and, you know, he thinks that there are good diplomatic reasons. And there might -- who knows what the future holds.

SCHNEIDER: Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued the President's comments on the campaign trail --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

SCHNEIDER: -- should be dismissed since they came from a private citizen. And that while the President lashed out when his first two bans were struck down by lower courts --

TRUMP: We're going to fight this terrible ruling. 3 SCHNEIDER: -- Francisco said the President never intended this latest ban to be a Muslim ban.

NOEL FRANCISCO, U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: He has made it crystal clear that Muslims in this country are great Americans and there are many, many Muslim countries who love this country. And he has praised Islam.

SCJMEODER: That it's crystal clear is still a question. The President only tweeted this following his third and final ban in September. "We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet." The government argued the current travel ban underwent a lengthy security review and that the President has the authority to implement immigration restrictions to safeguard national security.

And while Justice Kennedy early in the arguments probed the President's words, in the end, he also acknowledged protecting the country is well within the President's purview.

JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: The statute says -- 1182, for such a period as he deems necessary, and he can have continuing supervision over whether it's still necessary.


VAUSE: If the tone and substance of the questions from the nine justices is any indication, then the court appears to be divided along ideological lines. Five conservative judges leading towards the President's right to impose a travel ban, four liberal judges opposed.

That said, reading tea leaves from oral arguments can often be a fool errand. A ruling in Trump versus Hawaii is expected towards at the end of the June.

In the meantime, to help read some tea leaves, the lieutenant governor of the Aloha State, Douglas Chin joins us now from Washington. Congratulations -- Lieutenant Governor. Last time we spoke, you were the attorney general.

DOUGLAS CHIN (D), LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF HAWAII: That's right. That's just how it goes.

VAUSE: Well, we're talking to you now in Washington because you were there for this legal hearing today before the Supreme Court.

CHIN: Yes.

VAUSE: Oral argument is one factor here, but there is also the fact that the Supreme Court tends to lean more favorably towards the executive when compared to rulings from lower courts. And then there's the five-justice conservative majority.

Put it all together, the safest option seems to be this is looking good for the President and his travel ban; maybe not so good for Hawaii.

CHIN: There has never been any question that the U.S. Supreme Court, and actually federal courts in general pay a lot of deference to a President under normal circumstances. Our argument from the very beginning has been that what has occurred in this case has been so extraordinary that it really has flouted constitutional norms, as well as the allows that were put in place by congress.

And so we believe that even though there obviously were some questions that came from the justices that indicated that they were going to be split I don't know if I would be so quick to throw in the towel on this one. I think that there were some good questions that were being asked on both sides.

VAUSE: Ok. What seemed almost beyond belief, though, was the government's version of the process and the circumstances leading up to the President's executive order, which implemented that travel ban, keeping in mind this was the government's third attempt.

Listen to this.


FRANCISCO: After a worldwide multi-agency review, the President's acting Homeland Security Secretary recommended that he adopt entry restrictions on countries that failed to provide the minimum baseline of information needed to vet their nationals. The proclamation adopts those recommendations.


VAUSE: You know, it seems all so deliberate, so measured, so reasonable --

CHIN: Right.

VAUSE: -- so rational; almost as if Donald Trump was sort of sitting back waiting for this advice to come to him. It just doesn't match reality.

CHIN: Right, that is correct. I mean that's a lot of lawyers' words to what essentially amounts to a report that actually Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsberg pointed out is a report that we've never seen. It has never been made available to any of the courts or to any of the parties that have asked for it. And so essentially what we do have instead is we have statements from people like Rudy Giuliani and the President's surrogates that had said that the President had said to them, I want a Muslim ban. Find a way for me to do that.

And that was actually something that was brought up during the arguments to point out, really, what was going on behind this executive order.

[01:40:03] VAUSE: You mentioned, you know, sort of the tone and the rhetoric of what was said by the President and those around him during the campaign and then after the campaign --

CHIN: Yes.

VAUSE: But, you know, during the campaign the lower courts believed that the rhetoric used by the President, his anti-Muslim comments and his tweets during that election campaign, it was relevant, it was to be considered in their rulings against the travel ban.

Right now, though, it seems the Supreme Court is heading in a different direction.

CHIN: Well, the Hawaii federal district court Judge Derek Watson had actually written these very brave words where he said, the court is not going to crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed and pretend it has not seen what it has seen.

And here what we have is we have several justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that seem to be ready to pay a lot of deference or to give a high benefit of the doubt to the President and what has occurred since then.

I really hope that's not the case. We shouldn't forget, and I don't think many people in the American public or people in the world will forget the very stunning things that the President has said, as you mentioned, not just before he became president, but even after it. Even after the third travel ban was put in place, he was tweeting anti-Islamic videos that were false.

So I think there is a lot of evidence out there that cuts against that kind of thinking.

VAUSE: The reality is, though, there's five conservative judges, there's four liberal judges -- there is hope that maybe, you know, there will be a swing judge out there who sides with the -- the liberal judges, you know, as far as those who oppose the travel ban.

I guess the reality is that you know, it does appear to be an uphill battle for those opposed to the travel ban right now. So if Hawaii loses this court challenge, you're at the Supreme Court now. What comes next?

CHIN: Well, and before we start thinking about what comes next, I just want to point out that just last week Justice Gorsuch actually very surprisingly went against all predictions and went with the liberal judges on a deportation case.

So we'll actually see what happens. If Hawaii loses this case well then that's the U.S. Supreme Court that is speaking about something like that. And I think then we should be very concerned about what next steps the President might take.

And then I think we also might need to rely upon the other check and balance that exists within the U.S. government which is Congress. And I think that there are steps that Congress could be able to take to really make explicitly clear what they expect should be in our immigration laws.

Our constitution says it's Congress that has the prerogative to decide who gets entry and who does not get entry into the United States.

VAUSE: Lieutenant Governor -- great to see you. Thanks for being with us.

CHIN: Thank you.

SESAY: Quick break here.

Police say after 40 years, a notorious serial killer has been caught.

Next on NEWSROOM L.A. details on who the suspect -- who he was and he once wore a badge.


[01:45:03] SESAY: Well, after 40 years, 12 killings and dozens of rapes that sowed fear across much of the western United States police say the Golden State killer is under arrest.

VAUSE: The suspect is Joseph James DeAngelo. He's 72 years old and a former cop. His crime spree allegedly started in the 70s. Police believe the man known as the Golden State Killer is also the East Area Rapist and the original Night Stalker. He was taken into custody at his home near Sacramento, California.

And from there, Dan Simon has our report.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What a scene here in the neighborhood where police are going through the suspect's house, collecting the evidence. Now we know this arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo came about after authorities collected what they described as discarded DNA from the suspect.

Now, whether that was from the suspect's trash or by some other means, we don't know, but it was matching DNA that allowed police to say that they have, in fact, captured the Golden State Killer.

Now this is somebody who really terrorized much of the state beginning in 1976. And it lasted for a decade. He's accused of committing at least 12 murders, 45 rapes and more than a hundred robberies. Police aren't saying what ultimately led them to collect DeAngelo's DNA, but they say the case against him really developed over the last six days. And once they were ready to make an arrest, police staked out his home and got him as he was leaving the house. They say he seemed very surprised by the apprehension.

Now, DeAngelo himself was a police officer for two law enforcement agencies in the area, but he was fired from his last department in 1985 for shoplifting. How he was able to elude authorities for so long and whether his law enforcement background played a role, we do not know, but authorities ultimately said they were looking for a needle in the haystack, but they knew the needle was there.

Dan Simon, CNN -- Sacramento.


SESAY: Well, Steve Moore is a CNN law enforcement contributor and a retired FBI supervisory special agent. Steve -- thank you for being with us.

This is so very, very disturbing.


SESAY: This suspect caused so much havoc, sowed so much fear across the western United States. I want you to take a listen to Sheriff Scott Jones as he talks about getting their man.


SHERIFF SCOTT JONES, SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Over the last few days, as information started to point towards this individual, we started some surveillance. We were able to get some discarded DNA and we were able to confirm what we thought we already knew -- that we had our man.

And yesterday afternoon, in a perfectly executed arrest, my detectives arrested James Joseph DeAngelo -- 72 years old, living in Citrus Heights.


SESAY: Steve, the discarded DNA bit -- what does that tell you? What insight does that provide in terms of the way this investigation was conducted?

MOORE: Well, what it tells me is that this wasn't a case where they went back into the DNA database and suddenly had an accidental hit and said, ooh, we found him. This was somebody or multiple agencies working on this guy day and night until they had a suspect which is incredible after all of these years because evidence gets stale.


MOORE: And for them to identify him to the point where they were willing to go out on a limb and try to find discarded DNA, which is not easy, I can tell you --

SESAY: Would that have required a warrant? I mean --

MOORE: No. No. And that's the key thing. Discarded --


MOORE: If it is set at the -- when your garbage is set at the curb --


MOORE: -- the courts have ruled that you have abandoned it.

SESAY: I see. So with regards to the DNA, listen to Sacramento district attorney Anne Marie Sheckter (SIC) saying a little bit more about that.


ANNE MARIE SCHUBERT, SACRAMENTO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The answer was and always was going to be in the DNA. We knew we could and should solve it using the most innovative DNA technology available at this time.


SESAY: I should correct myself -- Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento district attorney.

I mean when it comes to technology, let's just be clear on something. I mean this is a case that was over four decades, right, over 40 years old. This technology, a lot of it has been around, has it not?

Talk to me about the advancements that have been made and just give me some insight into how the science and technology cracked this today versus say, five years ago.

MOORE: Well, I think what you're seeing is that they may be able to extract DNA out of samples that five years ago they may not have been able to successfully extract the DNA. You have to remember that it wasn't until after 1984 or late 1984 that the FBI had the first DNA introduced in trial.

[01:50:00] So we're talking -- his crime spree was all but ended by the time DNA came out. Meanwhile, the evidence people -- the detectives, the FBI, whoever had the evidence and these things, maintained everything so that in the future if you could extract DNA, because it was talked about then they kept it in a condition where DNA could be extracted from it and it's a fantastic piece of investigative work.

SESAY: Yes. It certainly is.

Very disturbing in all of this -- the fact that the suspect is an ex- police officer. Listen to the sheriff talk a little bit about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JONES: He is an ex-officer, a police officer in two different agencies. One in the Exeter Police Department, which is down in Visalia from approximately 1973 to 1976 -- that was roughly during the time as the Visalia Ransacker cases were occurring.

I can then say that he applied for and got a job with the Auburn Police Department and was employed there from roughly 1976 to 1979, until he was fired. Very possibly he was committing the crimes during the time he was employed as a police officer.


SESAY: Very possibly he was committing the crimes at the time he was police officer. Steve -- being a police officer, how might that have helped him cover his tracks and get away with this?

MOORE: That's the thing. Police officers know basically how the investigation is going to work. But on top of that, he was in Auburn. He was in Visalia. And when he says he quite possibly, well, if this is the guy, he was committing these atrocities while on evenings before he went to work or after he came home. So it is him.

And he can -- he can see -- he can find out what other departments are doing. During the time of the East Area -- we called it the East Side Rapist investigation, every department from Auburn to Stockton to Visalia were working these cases. And they're sending out briefings on the process and the progress of the investigation to all the locals.

Auburn's a stone's throw from Sacramento. It is impossible for me to believe that he wasn't getting at least some kind of updates on the investigation of him.

SESAY: Yes. I know that you know the story very, very well, you know --


SESAY: -- because when you were growing up, you know, it was -- when you were in college, I believe.

MOORE: Yes. It shows you how cold this case is. When I was in college, the year I joined my fraternity, this animal raped a woman a mile from my campus.


MOORE: We were highly attuned to this entire case. We were walking coeds home after dark to their dormitories because nobody felt safe. And, you know, I think the fact that he was a policeman in all of this should really actually increase the potential penalties.

SESAY: Yes. It is so very, very distressing and the number of people who have lived in fear for such a long time and the lives the suspect took.

Steve Moore -- thank you. Thanks for joining us.

MOORE: Thank you.

SESAY: Appreciate it.

VAUSE: Well, there is a new first lady in town and the wax one is so incredibly similar to the real life version from a distance, not holding hands with the President. It's almost impossible to tell them apart.


[01:55:02] VAUSE: Spicy is back. Sean Spicer, that is. The former White House press secretary has kept a low profile since resigning. He couldn't land a job on cable TV. And him on "Dancing with the Stars", that didn't happen. But on Wednesday, he helped unveil a wax figure of the U.S. first lady at Madame Tussaud's.

SESAY: That is a change. It was enough to make our Jeanne Moos get a bit touchy-feely. Take a look.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Question one -- which is the real Melania? Time's up. Question two -- which one of these three is flesh and blood?

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer helped unveil Madame Tussaud's latest wax figure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can touch her hair. You know, we encourage people to take selfies.

MOOS: Is it ok if I hold her hand?


MOOS: Unlike the real one.

Thus, I got to do what the President sometimes can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump tried to hold Melania's hand -- and, nope.

MOOS: Actually, she was holding his hand minutes earlier, just not while they posed for an official photo. We wonder --

Does she ever seem mad at the President?


As a spouse of 14 years, I've had my own awkward moments, but I think there is a genuine love and concern.

MOOS: Spicer was genuinely concerned with promoting his new book. Wax Melania is dressed in a replica of a blue dress she wore to a debate. Madame Tussaud's invites the public to give Melania a voice. You can compose a tweet on behalf of the wax first lady. Oh, never mind -- it's just a publicity stunt.

Melania will be moved from New York to Washington at the end of May. Until then, her neighbors include the Obamas, the Pope and the Queen along with Prince William and Kate.

I'm just going to hold her hand while we talk.


MOOS: At least wax Melania doesn't mind the jokes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like trying to arouse a dead trout.

MOOS: There is something fishy about these fingers, too.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VAUSE: What do you think? Similar?

SESAY: Similar --



You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: She didn't blink. I'm John Vause. We're back with a lot more news after a very short break.


VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

[02:00:02] SESAY: Ahead -- the meeting that will make history. We're hours away from a major summit between North and South Korea. Plus --


CROWD: No hate, no fear -- refugees are welcome here. No hate --