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"The New York Times" Obtains Mueller's Questions for Trump; Netanyahu on Iran; Trump Suggests DMZ for North Korea Meeting; Cardinal Pell on Trial; Ten Journalists among 31 Killed in Afghanistan; Mueller Has Dozens of Questions For Trump In Russia Probe: New York Times; Backlash Over Comedian's Raunchy Routine; Injured Children Get Prosthetic Arms And Legs. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 1, 2018 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thanks for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ahead this hour, new insights into the mind of Robert Mueller. The questions the special counsel wants to ask President Donald Trump are leaked to the media.

VAUSE (voice-over): Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Iran of lying "big time" over its nuclear program claiming that proof Iran was secretly working to develop atomic weapons.

SESAY (voice-over): And Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will stand trial for alleged historical sexual abuse.

VAUSE (voice-over): Hello, everybody to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us for number 3. I'm John Vause.

SESAY (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.


VAUSE: The special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election has more than 4 dozen questions for Donald Trump. According to "The New York Times," they focus on whether the president may have obstructed justice.

SESAY: The report says Robert Mueller is interested in the Trump campaign's ties to Russia and Mr. Trump's business dealings in Moscow. The special counsel also wants to ask about former national security adviser Michael Flynn and why the president fired FBI director James Comey.

CNN legal analyst Areva Martin is here with us in L.A.

Areva, always good to see you. First, your initial thoughts on these questions and the specific areas of focus. AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they confirm, Isha, what we've always known, which is that Mueller is hyper focused on an obstruction of justice case. These questions also confirmed that he's talked to a lot of people.

The witnesses that we know who have gone to speak and have given interviews to the special counsel apparently have given him a lot of information because these questions appear to be the kinds of questions you would ask if you already know the answers.

A lot of questions that focus on intent; we know that in order to prove an obstruction of justice case, the prosecutors will have to prove criminal intent and so a lot of questions about what Trump was thinking, why he did certain things, how he reacted to certain events and occurrences.

And I think what's shocking the most about these questions is that so much of what Mueller is asking about has to do with tweets, public statements that Trump made himself --


MARTIN: -- questions that he answered on air to certain media outlets. So he dug himself into what appears to be a very big hole.

SESAY: I want to run through some of these questions, as we mentioned the specific areas focus, there's Flynn, there's Jeff Sessions but also there's the firing of FBI director James Comey, which, of course, triggered the whole special counsel investigation.

Here are some of the questions about Comey. Let's put some of them up on screen.

What was the purpose of your January 27th, 2017, dinner with Mr. Comey and what was said?

It goes on with more questions along this line.

Regarding the decision to fire Mr. Comey, when was it made, why, who played a role?

Areva, again, to your point, when you look at the questions about Comey, these are all pretty much open-ended, giving the president the opportunity to speak at large.

MARTIN: Not only that, Isha, these questions, these are just the initial questions. If you're deposing someone or interviewing someone, these are categories. So you may start with what happened at that dinner on that particular day.

But that question itself may create 40, 50, 60, an untold number of follow-up questions. And as to the question about why he fired James Comey, we know that the answer to that has been all over the board, from this was about the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation to -- from that extreme to the extreme -- the answer to Lester Holt, I fired him because of the Russia investigation. So he's going to have to commit, if he does agree to sit down with

Mueller and to answer these questions, he will have to commit to an answer. He won't be able to be all over the board, which has been the case to date.

SESAY: Well, that's the big question, if he sits down with Mueller. Of course, Rudy Giuliani, his long-time pal, is now on the legal team.

What does that mean for the chances of the president sitting down with Mueller?

MARTIN: Well, we're hearing two things. We know that Trump has said repeatedly, I will sit down with Mueller; I have no problem. I'm anxious to do it. I'm raring to do it. But we also know that his legal team, Dowd, who left the team, was the one who was vehemently opposed to Trump sitting down because he knows Donald Trump. He knows that Donald Trump has a difficult time telling the truth. He knows that he has a difficult time staying on a point, that he often rambles, that he gives inconsistent statements.

And any lawyer would be concerned about having his client talk to federal prosecutors, given the history --


MARTIN: -- of this particular president, because if you lie to a federal investigator, if you lied to the Department of Justice during one of these interviews, that is a crime in and of itself.

So I don't think honestly that Trump is ever going to sit down on his own with special counsel Mueller. But let's not forget there is the subpoena power. And the special counsel has the ability to subpoena Trump and to force him to answer those questions and to give truthful answers.

And his only recourse, if he is subpoenaed, would be to take the Fifth Amendment, which would be a shocking turn of events for the sitting president, a sitting president, who is supposed to be our leader in terms of enforcing the law.

To refuse to answer questions, when the American public deserves to have honest and accurate information on all of these questions that we see in this long and very shocking and stunning list.

SESAY: Indeed, and the president has said a great deal about people who plead the Fifth.

But that's for another time. Areva Martin, we appreciate it. Thank you.

MARTIN: Thank you, Isha.

VAUSE: Joining us now for a lot more on this here in Los Angeles, California talk radio host Ethan Bearman and California Republican national committee member Shawn Steel and thank you both for being here. Good to see you. No mat this time so good to see you. OK. Here's a little more about the Mueller questions from the reporting in "The New York Times." The majority related to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia's election meddling grew to include an examination of the president's conduct in office.

Among them, are queries on any discussions Mr. Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr. Mueller himself and what the president knew about the possible pardon offers to Mr. Flynn.

So, Shawn, it seems the president and this administration, if they've been open and transparent on this issue of what Russia did and what the connections were with the Russians from the very beginning, they would not be facing these problems now.

Which then gets to the other question, why do they cover it up?

What are they hiding that is so big that they're willing to go down this road.

SHAWN STEEL, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I'm going to have to tell you and your viewers that this is such a comic relief after little things like North Korea and Iran, let's talk about Mueller again.

This is the most comical thing. Michael Schmidt wrote the article, as you well know, from "The New York Times.' He's been twice rebuked for reporting false news by "The New York Times" himself. He goes to these anonymous sources. We don't know if this is from Mueller or not.

He hasn't acknowledged that. We don't know if he wrote the questions or not. He has lied on the record before. He's not a well-known and not a highly regarded journalist, number one.

Number two, assuming these -- he got this pilfered from the FBI, which in itself, from Mueller's investigating, is probably a federal crime in itself. Somebody, if they leaked it from Mueller, Mueller would probably want that person probably prosecuted. If he received it, he might have problems himself.

But looking at these questions, I don't buy it. It is another piece of fake news. But keep -- but let's go further. This is the liberal's wet dream and it's not happening, not a single person is being prosecuted for any --


ETHAN BEARMAN, TALK SHOW RADIO HOST: -- beside the fact that Shawn has it all wrong --

VAUSE: Yes, he does.

BEARMAN: -- these questions were apparently sourced from Trump's legal team, not from Mueller, and that's --


VAUSE: -- outside of the legal team --


BEARMAN: -- somebody on Trump's legal team that wrote this up --


BEARMAN: -- after the --

VAUSE: This is all part of the negotiations are having for the president --

BEARMAN: -- so President Trump is shocked that Shawn didn't jump on the leaks, the leaks, where are these leaks happening?

So that's normally the refrain. These are serious questions. There are real connections now being made between people like Paul Manafort and Russia that were not alleged before, at least not to this degree that you would want to get -- have this conversation with the president --


STEEL: You call them allegations because there's no facts behind --


VAUSE: -- OK, let's assume that this list is real. If you look at the questions --


VAUSE: -- do you think these questions are being drafted in such a way, assuming of course that they -- this is accurate, are they being drafted in a way to specifically trip up the president?

STEEL: Look, I don't know how legitimate any of these questions are. But there's clearly a very expensive investigation to bring down the president by, unfortunately --

VAUSE: By the Republicans --


VAUSE: -- the Republicans and the FBI --


STEEL: -- every single prosecutor -- let me -- every single prosecutor is a is a hard-core Democrat. Half of them have given money to Hillary. Not a single Republican are on the prosecutorial --

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: -- Trump has given more money than these people --

STEEL: -- it's a partisan --


STEEL: -- that's out to get Trump. And everybody --


BEARMAN: I don't know if these are necessarily formulated to catch President Trump. What I think they are is to get into the intent, right, the mens rea. And I think that's really important that we're going down the path with these questions now because that means were coming to a head with this investigation.

And I'm looking forward to Robert Mueller, the Republican, the decorated Vietnam War hero --


BEARMAN: -- coming --


BEARMAN: -- so we can maybe come to the conclusion of all of this and find out really what they have.

VAUSE: OK, Ethan, on hold.

And Shawn, stay with us because there is another big story, which actually was --


VAUSE: - this story broke in "The New York Times," there's another big headlines, comes from Israel, where the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on national television to claim that Iran has been cheating on the nuclear deal.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Tonight, I'm going to tell you one thing: Iran lied. Big time.


VAUSE: Ian Lee is live in Jerusalem this hour.

And, Ian, Netanyahu called it one of the greatest achievements in the history of Israeli intelligence. The only problem, it seems, (INAUDIBLE), none of it is new and it was known to the diplomats at the time they were negotiating the deal.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. You know, everyone knows that Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as President Trump do not like the Iran nuclear deal. They have said it from day one and they've worked hard against it.

And last night Prime Minister Netanyahu probably gave his most damning speech yet of the Iran nuclear deal. He was talking about weapons schematics; he was talking about delivery systems, missiles as well as a covert plan.

But like you said, a lot of experts say none of this is new. They say that the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, knew about all this information and that, so far, the IAEA has said that Iran has upheld its side of the Iran nuclear deal.

So with all this new information that the prime minister says he has, he said he is going to take it to the other countries that signed onto that nuclear deal. You have Germany, you have the U.K., France, Russia and China.

He is going to make his case to them. Also he's going to give this information to the IAEA and really, John, it's going to be up to them to decide because they are the experts. They have the experts --


LEE: -- the talk last night given to Netanyahu, by Netanyahu was delivered for mass consumption. It was done in English. It was done in prime time here in Israel. But it is going to be up to the experts to verify, in fact, that this information is damning or if it's not new at all and that they have known about this.

So really right now, we will be watching is those other countries as well as the IAEA to see what they make of this new information.

VAUSE: Absolutely. And I would argue it was not for mass consumption; it was for an audience of one. But we'll get into that -- not right now -- with Shawn and Ethan (INAUDIBLE).

Ian, thank you.

OK, so clearly the U.S. president liked what he heard coming from Benjamin Netanyahu. Listen to this.


TRUMP: That is just not an acceptable situation. And I've been saying that's happening. They're not sitting back idly. They're setting off missiles, which they say are for television purposes. I don't think so.

We'll see what happens. I'm not telling you what I'm doing but a lot of people think they know. On or before the 12th, we'll make a decision.


VAUSE: Well, is it fair thing to say that what Donald Trump and other critics don't like about the Iran nuclear deal is that, on the one hand, Tehran gets economic relief from sanctions but yet, on the other hand, there's nothing in that deal to prevent the Iranian from testing missiles and essentially causing trouble in the region, in places like Syria?

STEEL: I suspect most people, most observers and experts believe that the Iranians are not a group that you can trust. They're run by a theocracy, religious zealots, people that believe in the end of the world and Israel must be destroyed and all Jews killed.

When you're dealing with people like that, it's hard to have a rational discussion. I think the Israeli Defense forces have come up with something serious that needs to be investigated, that needs to be balanced.

But it is something you just don't take for granted. Just because the Europeans made a foolish deal and Obama went along with it, With $150 billion in barrels of raw cash doesn't mean --


STEEL: -- a rational choice. In this case don't underestimate Trump. If they did on North Korea -- and he's liable to get a Nobel Peace Prize --

VAUSE: Well, we'll see.

Ethan, I want to (INAUDIBLE) because essentially the deal that Trump and the critics hate with Iran is exactly the same deal they're offering the North Koreans. Give up your nukes; stop the missile testing and there will be economic sanctions relief. That other stuff, the human rights, the trouble in the region, the terrorism, killing your families in other countries, we'll worry for later on.

BEARMAN: Absolutely true. Couple of key points here. One, it was the Republicans -- since you brought up North Korea -- hypocritically claim that Barack Obama did the wrong thing when he was president to want to meet with Ahmadinejad and what just happened here with President Trump is going to meet with Kim Jong-un.

But more importantly, the deal is done. You can't go back and change history. The money has already --


BEARMAN: -- been transferred --


VAUSE: -- had been signed.

BEARMAN: See, it's all -- look, President Emmanuel Macron from France, last week here in the United States, I thought gave the right speech, which is you don't just give up on the deal as it sits now. You get a better deal --


VAUSE: Mend it, don't end it.

BEARMAN: That's right, exactly -- I thought that was the right approach.

VAUSE: Yes, OK, stay with us because with that, we will go live to Seoul and Alexandra Field.

And, Alex, it seems to U.S. and North Korea may have actually agreed to where these talks will actually take place.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, John, not exactly a done deal yet by any stretch. But certainly this is an idea that we've heard before and it is gaining traction.

Now the idea that these two leaders would meet at the DMZ, that heavily fortified area between North Korea and South Korea, and, of course, the same site as the inter-Korean summit that happened just days ago.

John, millions of people watched that historic moment, when you saw Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in meeting, stepping over that line of demarcation. Apparently President Trump himself liked what he saw, the handshakes, the pomp and circumstance, the ceremony of it all.

And this is now the first venue that he has publicly suggested for this summit that could take place sometime this month. He has said publicly that he finds the idea intriguing. He has tweeted about it. He has said that if things were to work out, to go well in this meeting with Kim Jong-un that it would be a fitting place for a celebration, perhaps more fitting than any third-party country.

Of course, other countries have been talked about; specifically there been suggestions that the summit could take place in Singapore or Mongolia, a more neutral place, of course, than the DMZ but certainly less of a symbolic choice.

Skeptics in the U.S. worry that a trip from President Trump to the DMZ could perhaps appear too conciliatory to North Korea, to Kim Jong-un himself. Of course, from the North Korean perspective, the DMZ would certainly be a welcomed location. This is an easy trip for Kim Jong- un to make. There would be the historical opportunity potentially for President Trump to cross into the Northern Territory of the DMZ.

Also the logistics here have to be considered for Kim Jong-un to travel to a summit location. The DMZ would certainly make sense. There are concerns about the aging fleet of aircraft within North Korea and exactly how far Kim Jong-un can go.

We know that his father preferred to travel by armored trains. So certainly this is a location that is being heavily and publicly considered by both sides and we know that really it's the kind of made-for-TV image that President Trump would seemingly appreciate having.

VAUSE: He does like those made-for-TV images and Kim Jong-un can take the train. It seems like it might just work out. Alex, thank you. OK, Shawn, let's face it, Donald Trump saw a great photo op last week on Friday and he wants the same thing and (INAUDIBLE) a focus from this president on the fluff, you know, or the photo ops than the handshaking and the cameras and the detail on the substance, maybe not so much.

STEEL: We don't know. You're right. I think there could very well be a lot of unhappy gestures and maybe people badly disappointed. But when CNN political journalists and just about the entire spectrum says this is really exciting, maybe Trump has something going along after all.

Maybe the bluster has actually been working. But let's face it. Today, we've see more from North Korea with its relationship with the South and the utterances than we've ever seen in 60 years. And no other president has gone this far.

Will it mean peace in our time? I don't know. But it's much better than Obama and Bush did together.

VAUSE: Look, you can argue over how much influence Trump had over the inter-Korean summit. I don't think a lot because that was Moon Jae- in, the South Korean president.

But Ethan, he said that you touched community Israeli prime minister, a broken clock is right twice a day.

BEARMAN: Yes, well --


BEARMAN: -- it -- this is very interesting because clearly we want there to be peace on the Korean Peninsula. And so if President Trump is able to work something out with Kim Jong-un, obviously I celebrate that.

The question becomes -- I had a conversation with Secretary Madeleine Albright about this the other day -- how much credit can you really give?

You have to give credit to the period of time leading up to this. And to your point, South Korea is a bigger partner in this than Donald Trump is. China is more important in this than Donald Trump is.

By the way, the failed and destroyed test center underground is probably more to do with this than Donald Trump.

VAUSE: And the fact they've tested the missiles and they've got to the point where they don't need to test them anymore. But look, you know, (INAUDIBLE) credit. He tweets a lot.

Shawn and Ethan, thank you so much.


VAUSE: Tweet, tweet. SESAY: High praise.

VAUSE: Lots of tweets.

SESAY: Quick break. The U.S. handpicked by Pope Francis to become a top Vatican adviser but now Cardinal George Pell is facing trial for allegations he calls abhorrent. Details next.

VAUSE: Also ahead, a deadly attack on journalists in Afghanistan and their killer was described -- or disguised rather -- as one of their own.





I'll to be sure the debate is about high bracelets which great promises to become the top in the by now, how is facing file navigation all the important details of the described.




SESAY: Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of historical sexual abuse. In Northern Australia, a magistrate ruled the 76-year old will stand trial and the process gets started Wednesday.

VAUSE: The ruling follows a month-long hearing, during which witnesses gave evidence after the original charges against Pell were dismissed. The cardinal, though, has repeatedly and strenuously denied all the allegations. Journalist Lucie Morris-Marr joins us now from Melbourne.

Lucie, there's still pretrial hearings to come, some results in procedural issues but it is not entirely clear when the criminal trial itself actually begins.

LUCIE MORRIS-MARR, JOURNALIST; That's right. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am the cardinal is required to (INAUDIBLE) over the road county court here in Melbourne for the first direction hearing. Now this is mainly legal that the administration and even though things appear to be moving gas, things in Australia legal (INAUDIBLE) system (INAUDIBLE) tend to move that quickly at all.

It's likely a trial won't be for several months. There will be lots of legal argument before that. And actually this morning in court, his defense barrister suggested he would be applying for split trials due to the multiple allegations and the number of accusers involved in the case.

So this could go for quite some time. There could then be appeals if there's a guilty verdict. So whatever happens, it looks like Cardinal Pell will be in his native country for quite some time to come.

VAUSE: You have to stress, this is Cardinal Pell is the third highest ranking official with the church. So has there been any reaction at this point from Rome?

And in particular has they actually moved to force Pell to step down as the Vatican's finance chief, now that this criminal trial is set to be underway at this time?

MORRIS-MARR: Well, the attitude from the pope when he was charged in June last year was very pragmatic and pretty fair considering the circumstances. He thought that Cardinal Pell deserved a fair justice system, a fair trial, if that was to happen.

And he said he would comment once the justice system had commented itself. And so we are not expecting him to resign or be slapped from his post. He's currently on leave so his standing as Vatican treasurer still stands today.

But what is remarkable and extraordinary about this case is this whole subject of historical sexual abuse (INAUDIBLE) the heart of the Holy See.

This is now a very difficult and embarrassing and awkward situation for the pope. He'll have to do lots of trouble (INAUDIBLE) regarding this subject with a very emotive among survivors and people around the world.

And so now it's at the heart of his own Holy See. It's a very, very, difficult and interesting situation in months to come.

VAUSE: Lucie, very quickly, during this hearing, this pretrial hearing, the lawyers for Pell said there was voluminous evidence to prove all the allegations were actually impossible. Have they indicated what that evidence could be?

MORRIS-MARR: There was lots of attacks on the credibility of the accusers because what we have, which is common in trials, especially with historic natures of accusations, that go back up to 30 and 40 years, is it's their word against his, which for prima facie evidence in a sense.

And so what they were doing was --


MORRIS-MARR: -- attacking the reliability of the evidence that either they were very strong, they got quite brutal at times. He accused the alleged victims of actually lying, of using Cardinal Pell as some kind of scapegoat, for the reaction of the Catholic Church as a global problem of historic sexual abuse. And so it got very, very tense and harsh at times. But of course, (INAUDIBLE) this is the whole future of Cardinal Pell and his reputation at stake.

VAUSE: Yes, a case of (INAUDIBLE) the victims too, as well were in play during the trial.

Lucie, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

SESAY: Journalists were the target of the latest attacks in Afghanistan; 31 people were killed on Monday. Among them, this photographer for Agence France Presse and eight others, who'd rushed to the scene of an earlier blast in the Afghan capital.

They were killed by a bomber disguised at a TV camera man. Journalist Ali Latifi joins us now from Kabul.

Ali, why do you think journalists were targeted in this way?

ALI LATIFI, JOURNALIST: I think they were targeted because, you know, we have to remember that this is the second attack claimed by the so- called Islamic State in the capital in about a week's time. So I think it's their way of showing that, A, they have strength in the city and they have a presence in the city and inciting fear in people because that's the thing that's really upsetting people, is the fact that journalists were targeted.

People are wondering why it's journalists that are targeted and kit is really interesting because people, you know, from here, people who have been here for years, they're really taken aback by this more than any other attack because of the fact it was journalists.

So I think in that sense, it a kind of works to their propaganda aim.

SESAY: When we talk about the threat journalists are facing in Afghanistan, when we spoke last hour, you said it's a reality that a lot of you, you've just kind of factored into the job.

But do you think it will cause some people to rethink, to pull back from certain stories, certainly to respond to bombings in a different way?

LATIFI: Like I said previously, this isn't the first attack against journalists and this is isn't necessarily the first time that journalists have been attacked and killed on the job. I think hopefully it will lead to some kind of a change but I don't know if it can because, you know, we have to remember that these are people doing their job. These are people trying to make money.

These are people that are very committed, that's the one thing that I really appreciate about the journalist community here amongst ivon (ph) journalists, is that they are very committed to their job and they really take it very seriously and in a very deep, important way.

So I think it will be interesting to see if people start making these calculations again. You know, what story is worth it and what isn't. And whether it's worth going immediately to these sorts of scenes.

SESAY: Yes. It is worth pointing out, there's another attack in Afghanistan, where children were killed, women were killed. These groups are terrorizing all segments of the population. But on this particular day, where so many journalists lost their lives, our hearts go out to you there in Afghanistan.

Thank you, Ali.

LATIFI: Thank you. Thank you.

VAUSE: Oh, boy.

OK, well, the meeting has not even happened, the time, date and location has not been announced and then there's that small detail of the endless possibilities it could all go so badly wrong.

Plus, already the campaign is on for Donald Trump to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the diplomatic thaw on the Korean Peninsula.


[02:31:03] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, if you just joined us, you've missed the best two and a half hours of television in a long time. You're watching CNN NEWSROON live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And really was that good. And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has nearly 50 questions for President Donald Trump in his investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The New York Times obtained the list of the questions. Among the issues that it covered the Trump campaign side to Moscow and the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

VAUSE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims he has proof Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program despite public claims they didn't have. Tehran calls the allegations childish and laughable, but President Trump says it shows he was 100 percent right to criticize the nuclear agreement.

SESAY: Well, Cardinal George Pell has pleaded not guilty of multiple charges of historical sexual abuse. In Melbourne, Australia, a magistrate ruled that 23-year-old Vatican Treasurer will stand trial. This holds as a hearing which witnesses gave evidence. The magistrate dismissed half of the original charges. Pell has denied all the allegations.

VAUSE: Could the U.S. President win the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in trying to end the nuclear threat from North Korea as well as brining the two Koreas together? More unlikely things have happened, you know, like Donald Trump actually winning the presidential election. But make no mistake, the momentum is now building for Trump Nobel Prize.


Thank you. That's very nice. Nobel.


VAUSE: Don't be fooled by the humble modest Donald Trump on stage at Saturday's rally in Michigan. When it comes to accolades and recognition, this U.S. President is like a dog with a bone. On Monday, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in fresh off the historic summit with Kim Jong-un told a meeting of high ranking South Korean officials, President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace. And a Republican Congressman plans to nominate Trump for the award which is being given to people like Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela.


REP. LUKE MESSER (R), INDIANA: If North Korea actually (INAUDIBLE) nuclear program and you bring peace to this peninsula after 70 years, Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. The only reason that the evil North Korean dictator is coming to the table is because there's a new sheriff in town and President Trump's Twitter diplomacy is working. His tough talk is making a difference. It's brining both North and South Korea to the table and China too.


VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) believe the U.S. President should win the Nobel Peace Prize as Daniel McCarthy, editor at large for The American Conservative Magazine. He is with us now from Washington. Daniel, thank you for coming in.


VAUSE: OK. So you wrote an op-ed about this. It's getting a little bit of circulation out there or printed on lots of places. I would like to challenge your argument the structure here a little bit. So stay with me. OK. You start with what seems to be a fairly stated condition clause. If President Trumps succeeds in negotiating an end to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's nuclear provocations. OK. Fair enough. About halfway through, you reached the point that peace on the Korean Peninsula, it's all but a done deal.

Here you write, what Trump is poised to accomplish and then you bring this argument home with this declaration of success. Mission accomplished if you like. To make peace demands a new approach and President Trump has found one. OK. Well, it's true. The president may have the secret sauce here for peace in our time. It is far from a done deal. There's a lot of opportunity here for things to go badly (INAUDIBLE) if this happens should go ahead (INAUDIBLE) you know, if ever works out, so, you know, everyone seems to be hitting their bets.

MCCARTHY: Sure. But I think you have to keep in mind that there are several potential things to be achieved here. One is a total condition of peace where you have an agreement between North Korea and South Korea, and you have denuclearization, you know, completely going through in North Korea.

[02:35:04] Alternatively, however, you can simply have an end to these missile tests, some of these provocations which Kim has been undertaking over the past 18 months or so. I think that too would be quite sufficient to show that Donald Trump's diplomacy has been an overwhelming success. So, you know, there are several ways in which Donald Trump could actually vindicate his approach to foreign policy and would show himself worthy of the Nobel Prize here. There certainly is a maximum that he could achieve. But I think even the minimum would be very, very significant indeed.

VAUSE: OK. So while the South Korean President was pushing for diplomacy with the North despite the repeated missile tests by Kim Jong-un, this is what the U.S. President was saying in this instance it's to the United Nations.


TRUMP: No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is force to defend itself for its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission from self and for his regime.


VAUSE: OK. Because, Daniel, what I want to do here is separate the two events (INAUDIBLE) U.S.-North Korea talks which is yet to happen and no doubt Donald Trump gets the credit for that as would any president who decide if they go ahead with those negotiations. They just decided not to because the presidential summit was seen as regarding bad behavior. Then we have the Inter-Korean Summit last year and, you know, it seems that was the result of the work by the South Korean President who was persistently pursuing diplomacy when Donald -- when Donald Trump was, you know, threatening all out nuclear war, the destruction of the North Koreans. Also, you talked about the end to the missile test and the nuclear test. There's a lot of evidence out there which suggest the missile test are done with because whether need to test anymore and the nuclear testing site now actually collapsed because, you know, the ongoing explosions weakened the sites considerably. So, you know, I think there's a little bit of hazing or grey area going on here.

MCCARTHY: No, I don't really agree with you. I think the fact that President Moon himself has said that Donald Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize is a very good indication that he sees Trump's role in this whole procedure as having been instrumental and having been indispensable. Donald Trump really has -- you need to have both carrots and sticks here. You need to have sort of good cops and bad cops as it where and it's the combination of President Moon and President Trump together that has brought Kim to the negotiating table and starting to resolve this crisis.

VAUSE: You know, I think the South Korean President, you know, knowing all too well Donald Trump's weakness if you like or desire for flattery and compliments he was essentially sucking up.

MCCARTHY: No, I don't think so. I think that, you know, Donald Trump really has change the diplomatic calculus of the region and the fact that we had, you know, so many U.S. Presidents who've wanted to get these kinds of gains from the North Koreans and have failed to do so. Look, this is only the third time that the leader of South Korea and the leader of North Korea have come together and had negotiations in person. I think that's a very remarkable achievement that I think the South Koreans agree with me.

VAUSE: OK. Alfred Nobel was clear in his last will, the Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded each year to those who have done the most or the best work for the fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. And without mentioning Barack Obama in your answer, so far has this U.S. President meet that criteria.

MCCARTHY: I think he certainly has with respect to peace congresses, absolutely. I mean this is very reminiscent in a way of the first Nobel Peace Prize won by a U.S. President which was Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Roosevelt got the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing together the Russians and the Japanese to negotiate an end to the Russo- Japanese War. And what Donald Trump is doing here if he helps negotiate an end to the Korean War which legally speaking has been going on since the 1950s for over 65 years, that will be an achievement that outstrips even what Theodore Roosevelt achieved in 1906.

VAUSE: OK. I'm going to play something with the former leader of the far-right U.K. Party in Britain, Nigel Farage. He's actively campaigning for Donald Trump to win this Nobel Prize and he argues why not after all Obama won it for doing nothing. Listen to this.


NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER LEADER, U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY: Years later it was said that actually the Nobel Committee said themselves they made a mistake in giving this award to President Obama. Well, I'm going to suggest now that actually what needs to happen is that President Trump needs to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for managing to get, you know, talk going with North Korea something that many U.S. President has ever, ever manage to do.


VAUSE: I mean at least you wait until the second paragraph in your op-ed before making this Obama argument. But why is the obsession here among conservatives about Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. Even he admitted (INAUDIBLE)

MCCARTHY: Well, that's right. I mean it was really an active political correctness on the part of the Nobel Committee and I think that's dangerous because it sends a signal that symbolism as opposed to actual substance and achievement in foreign affairs is what counts most when it comes to judging who's worthy of a Nobel Prize. It really is a substation of symbolism for the actual realities of peace. [02:40:11] VAUSE: OK. Daniel, we'll leave it there. Great to see

you. Thank you so much.

MCCARTHY: Thank you.

SESAY: You're a better man.

VAUSE: Yes. Yes.

SESAY: Would you like to --

VAUSE: What? Trump on the Nobel Prize?


VAUSE: Not a chance.

SESAY: Michelle Wolf goes too far next on NEWSROOM L.A., we'll get a comedians take on the White House Correspondent's Dinner and the brutal jabs that sparked the backlash, not a chance.


SESAY: Well, two days after the White House Correspondent's Dinner, Washington is still buzzing, bubbling, pressing about comedian Michelle Wolf's brutal jokes about President Donald Trump and his side.

VAUSE: And the president tweeted this, the Correspondent's Dinner is dead as we know it. He called it a terrible disaster and an embarrassment. He said fake news is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night.

SESAY: The head of the White House Correspondents' Association did not apologize for Wolf's act but did say the monologue wasn't in keeping with the group's mission. Part of the monologue were meet with a mixed of uncomfortable silence and laughter like when Wolf went after Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Watch this.


MICHELLE WOLF, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful like she burns that and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye like maybe she's burned with it, maybe its lies. Probably lie.


HAL SPARKS, AMERICAN ACTOR: OK. Let's bring in the comedian -- a real comedian with those --


VAUSE: Yes. That's true. Finally. OK.

SESAY: Yes. We've been waiting. VAUSE: We've been waiting a long time for this. All right. OK. I

want a little more on that with this statement from the President of the White House Correspondents' Association. Last nights' program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting, and scholarship winners not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer's monologue was not in the spirit of that mission. I thought the mission of the White House Correspondents' Association was about free speech and journalism. And, you know, I myself the dinner should be dead anyway but for very different reasons.

SPARKS: Well, you know, I like that it's an institution. I think it's good that to some degree it is like bringing a bit of sport to the fact that we're dealing some very serious things on a very regular basis. The court gesture is not dead and it is an important aspect that we -- as divided as we are, we do have a peaceful transfer of power and there is a reminder every so often that you can make fun of the leaders and they can, you know, and you don't get --


SPARKS: Yes, exactly. It matters.


SESAY: What did you think of the monologue?

SPARKS: Well, I mean money morning quarterbacking anybody else's act is one thing --


SESAY: Did you watch it in real-time?


SESAY: So what did you think?

[02:44:58] SPARKS: I felt like I could see where she was going and that she allow the president to set the tone. Every word that she said that was untoward swear word wise were words that the president had said at a rally in front of men, women, and children in Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Michigan what have you. I felt, some of the stuff was -- you know, harshly pointed of your -- remember, Colbert's monologue a few years ago which was almost dead silence in how biting it was.



SPARKS: The only difference was effectively language, swearing. If you know, because Colbert didn't -- he did anything that allows that probably you can't let them find a pro-bar point.

SESAY: Yes. SPARKS: And when I think they used that against they're dubbing said, the Sander's stuff -- I've seen the most pushback against that she is somehow being cruel to Sarah Sanders or what have you. Let me -- lets me abundantly clear. The joke she made were not about Sarah Sanders' appearance. They were about how Sarah Sanders affect her own appearance. And that's a huge difference.

It's one thing to make fun of someone's nose which is something that cannot change without surgery. It is another thing entirely to make fun of the swan that dress, that Bjork wear. You know, it does not body shaming her. That's style shaming. And on effectively, that's been a big factor of Sarah Sanders.


VAUSE: We just -- we just estimated number five here because we turn at Sarah Sanders. She came in from all or of but Maggie Haberman of the New York Times came to her defense tweeting this. "That the Press Secretary sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth. Instead of walking out on national television was impressive." You know, but --

SPARKS: I like Maggie Haberman a lot, I really do. I respect her a lot that's stupid.


SPARKS: Because if she did not make fun of her appearance, she made fun of what she does with her appearance. And there's a very instinct difference on that.

VAUSE: You will like though.

SPARKS: You will like one of the immutable.

VAUSE: Three weeks before --


VAUSE: Her boss, Donald Trump, tweeted this and what happened then?

SPARKS: Right.

VAUSE: New York Times and a third-rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as Crooked H. Flunkie, who I don't speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy --

SPARKS: Right.

VAUSE: You know, OK, and just because his doing Trump's try to see it's --

SPARKS: Right, yes.


TRUMP: I don't know what I said. I don't remember --

Rossie O'Donnell is disgusting. I mean, both inside and out. You take a look at her she's a slob.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a war hero.

TRUMP: Five and a half years, he is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK? I hate to tell you.

Jeb Bush is a low energy person. For him, to get things done is hard.

Maxine Waters, a very low I.Q. individual.

We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.


VAUSE: OK. Look, so this is the mensuration where the (INAUDIBLE) for the president on doubt. He just let anyone to just stop that.


VAUSE: They just -- they going to glass you, they can't take you when it comes back at that.

SPARKS: Right. Well, the big difference to this one too, and I think this is indicative of the Trump's circumstance we find or something as he is not present. There is a huge difference when the person that you are spending most of your time addressing -- you know, talking truth to power, saying that the most powerful man in the world has to come and sit with all of us who report on it and then -- and take a joke.

And when he does it for two year straight, it creates this artificial idea that the person making the joke is somehow cruel, or --

SESAY: Is about bullying --

SPARKS: Because he's not present.


SPARKS: Which you cannot bullied the leader of the free world, it is not possible.

SESAY: Is the (INAUDIBLE) here, and I don't know that one proceed it to be that comedians would do this and Michelle Wolf was playing to the audience watching. Is it the whole fact that it's televised? I mean so that they already care about who is in the room.

VAUSE: Right.

SESAY: And is that -- you know the issue that in fact, those people who in the room who seem so offended it's because they need on a camera on them.


SPARKS: Yes, I think it's their -- they're going to -- I don't want to laugh at there --

SESAY: And you know, I mean that they don't want to be -- exactly. They don't want to be -- exactly, exactly. Because that's what I hold.

SPARKS: There's going to be shot of me laughing. That is absolutely. Yes, and there's also, we are in kind of a sensitivity policing era right now. It will -- it will eventually fade, it will go its own wave, but you will see a lot people there who are -- who are like drone policing jokes. Not because of what the content of the joke is --

SESAY: Absolutely.

SPARKS: But because of certain words used within the joke. And that's not -- that's unfair to the context, that's unfair to the performer, and it's also unfair to the -- the ability to joke about things that deserve to be ridiculed, the especially in the case, the president and staff.

SESAY: That's what -- that's was not avoided.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Hal, I want to just -- let's get next to some questions for you because I want to play the Kellyanne Conway gag because this was so -- listen to this.

SPARKS: Right, yes.


WOLF: You guys got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don't give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It's like that old saying if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I'm not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck.


VAUSE: In the free line judge we given, and then, she pulled the part at the end, Oh, I don't want to offend everyone -- yes.

SPARKS: Yes, right. You kind of can't go there. Plus, the idea is the like --

VAUSE: Does she is worried about obviously being -- you know, caught off on it, because she makes that she said to qualify --

[02:49:55] SPARKS: Sure. Well, I mean, while she's crafting it, I'm sure there's parts of her words, she's going, "If I stop here, I going to be invited from the secret service." As she is should to some degree. I mean, there's got to be a standard at some point, you know, which violence on anybody within the joke that's what makes it a joke. It's stopping short of that actual point. You know, a voice something like comedy is going 90 miles an hour down the road towards jerk and making a quick turn right at the end.

You know, I'm not actually getting there, and I think there was too many soft petals in that just covering mostly not even for her. Because you get the feeling that she would actually go further if allowed.

SESAY: Yes, that's why --

SPARKS: And then, the club you should be able too. Because not a club crowd, that's a bunch of people in tuxedo's, you're supposed to pick up everybody kind of relatively equally especially as the keynote speaker. When I do it, it will be a lot of -- it will be great.


VAUSE: It's an awesome, it will be.

SESAY: It's that, I think you missed your moment. Never --

SPARKS: Yes. Never, I'll be 75, I'll be hilarious. I'll do it now like a chair.

SESAY: We'll be A.I. for that boy.

SPARKS: That's right, yes. Just -- I'll do it hologram, like too hot.

VAUSE: Stay will be like present or just be the King Trump family.

SPARKS: Right, that's right. I'll support it to hologram, is that -- like a Hollywood, it's -- you know, of course of Myanmar.

VAUSE: Still looking good, thanks.

SPARKS: Thanks.

VAUSE: A short break. A lot more news when we come back.

SESAY: Yes. Stay with us.


VAUSE: Well, while the death toll in Syria, numbers in hundreds of thousands. Call this are those have been badly injured in this unrelenting violence including children. Many children who've also lean to say also lost hope.

But a college student here in the U.S. who grow up in Syria is now helping provide prosthetic arms, as well as legs.

SESAY: Well, joining us is the young woman responsible for it all, Haya Kallounji, joins us here in the studio. Hi, and welcome.


SESAY: At first, let me just say to wonderful thing that you're doing for people back in Syria.

KALLOUNJI: Thank you.

SESAY: I understand that these started as a project while you're a Girl Scout.

KALLOUNJI: Yes, yes.

SESAY: Talk to me about how this came to be.

KALLOUNJI: So, when I -- I'm always been a Girl Scout in my entire life. And so, when I moved here, I met with my Girl Scout troop leader, and she told me about this project, The Gold Award, which is the award a Girl Scout can earn. And so, it's a community service project and where we choose something to give out to the -- to our community.

And at first, I wanted to give something to the people who are already here. But I realize that they need things like insurance, homes, educations, things very hard to provide this as the Girl Scout project.

And so, I decided to do something for the people who are still there. And I thought that so many people are injured. Especially, an amputations, and I came with the idea of prosthetic --

SESAY: And when you said, when you came in, you are Syrian and you move here to the states.


SESAY: You been move here and been living here in California since about 2013, right?

KALLOUNJI: Yes, February 2013.

SESAY: February 2013. I mean, lots of people have thought about how to help those that left behind but involves money.


Talk to me about how you raise the money to make it more than a dream, make it a reality.

[02:54:51] KALLOUNJI: Yes. And so, when I was doing it for the Girl Scout, I used to make more handicraft to myself. And then, I was go to churches and present the project after mass. And then, have to put outside with the small little handicraft. And people give donations, and I would give them their souvenir -- the handicraft as a souvenir.

And then, when I was done with the project, and when I was looking by myself, I started doing fundraisers as well. And I did a recycling project, I basically collect -- I told everyone I know what to collect their recycling for the entire month. And then, I sold it to a recycling company.

SESAY: That's amazing.

KALLOUNJI: And another way was at Pasadena City College, the community college I went to. My sociology professor, she actually offers a project where we can fundraise money instead of writing a paper. And so --

SESAY: Now that's the come up move.


SESAY: And then, I want to ask you about the people you've helped, it's not just you, and also adult.


SESAY: Tell me about how it change their lives and what it means to have these legs.

KALLOUNJI: It can change one -- helping one person can change an entire family's life. One of the woman we've helped, she's a mother of six, she lost both her legs. Even though the prosthetics are very expensive, but I thought that helping her would help a family of seven people.

And other young man, he got back to work, after a -- after getting his prosthetic device, now, he's working in supporting his family, as well.

SESAY: It's amazing.


SESAY: It's actually amazing. And we'll also out of time, you're at UCLA, you are junior, you're specialized in the geological sciences. More service in your future? More of helping and giving back?

KALLOUNJI: Yes, I'm going to keep helping as many people as possible. As long as they needed, and even maybe go international one day. And it took their countries around Syria as well.

SESAY: We wishing you the very, very best.

KALLOUNJI: Thank you very much.

SESAY: With your something very special.

KALLOUNJI: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you Haya. A 20 years old.

VAUSE: We need more people like her.

SESAY: Yes, we do.

VAUSE: OK, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. You can be also join us on Twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA for highlights and clips from our shows. More news right after this with the one and only Rosemary Church.

VAUSE: Rosemary Church.

SESAY: In Atlanta.

VAUSE: See you tomorrow.


[02:59:58] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has more than a few dozen questions for U.S. President Donald Trump. The clues they give us about where his investigation is going just ahead.