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Trump Still Insists On North Korean Denuclearization; Bolton: U.S. Should Follow Libya Model On North Korea; Trump Jr: I Was Interested To Hear Dirt On Clinton; Trump Has Criticized FBI And Justice Department; Royal Wedding Preview. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired May 17, 2018 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, President Trump takes a wait and see approach as North Korea threatens to pull out of next month's summit but does his new national security advisor cost him a chance of winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

New details of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. The Trump team's surprising reaction at the time finally revealed.

And it's rehearsal day in the U.K. as we continue the countdown to the royal wedding.

Hello. Welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is first hour of NEWSROOM L.A.

Senior U.S. officials including National Security Adviser John Bolton are still expecting next month's summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to go ahead. But President Trump seems a little less (inaudible).

On Wednesday, he was still pushing for complete denuclearization of North Korea, that demand along with joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea prompted Pyongyang to threaten to cancel the summit.

State media called drills extremely provocative and ill-boning. As for the summit, President Trump says only time will tell.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We haven't been notified at all. We'll have to see. We haven't seen anything. We haven't heard anything. We will see what happens.


VAUSE: We got coverage live in Seoul with CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula, ordinarily it seems the issue which could end this summit before it even begins is what so many had predicted would be a sticking point. That definition of denuclearization is ambiguous word at best it means one thing to the Americans and something else to the North Koreans.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. What we've heard from the North Koreans now is that if the U.S. believes its unilateral nuclear disarmaments on the North Korean side then it's simply not acceptable and it's not something that they even feel the need to have discussions about.

Now clearly, that is what Washington is hoping for. They want this complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization of North Korea. But it has taken some people by surprise the fact that this has become a sticking point before they even sit down at the summit.

There was an assumption certainly here in the region that they would at least get to this summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, but then there may be a bit of a surprise as to the realization that that word means a completely different thing to the two sides.

So, what we are hearing from U.S. officials at this point is that they are trying to figure out exactly what the North Koreans mean by this. Is it posturing ahead of this summit? Is threatening something more than it says within this article?

Now one of the individual involved in the planning said that they are cautiously optimistic. They are still continuing with planning for this summit, but they are working their new intelligence channels and diplomatic channels that they've nurtured over the recent months to try and figure out exactly what Pyongyang wants from this.

VAUSE: What does Pyongyang want? A question that so many people are asking. Paula, thank you. Paula Hancocks live there in Seoul.

Paul Carroll is a senior advisor at the nuclear nonproliferation group, N Square. He joins us now from Minneapolis in Minnesota. OK, Paul, good to see you. Let's start with that question of denuclearization. Assuming the summit does go ahead, and it still seems likely.

If the U.S. president is willing to accept something short of complete and total denuclearization, does he stand a chance of making a worthwhile deal as opposed to demanding everything and most likely getting nothing?

PAUL CARROLL, SENIOR ADVISOR, N SQUARE: Well, thanks for having me, John. I think I would disagree a little bit with the sentiment that there are two different understandings of what the word denuclearization means.

Many in the American sort of Korea watchers and many in this administration understand that North Korea means something broader. It means not just their nuclear weapons and their nuclear infrastructure.

It means no nuclear weapons on the peninsula. So, no redeployments of U.S. nuclear weapons, no sorties of B-52s and so on. That's a very important element here, but it's not the only thing.

What Pyongyang is responding to in the last 24 hours has more to do with the daylight they see between National Security Advisor John Bolton drawing parallels to a quote/unquote, "Libyan" model of disarmament and we all know Moammar Gadhafi ended up after giving up his nascent nuclear program.

[00:05:03] And North Korea is saying not so fast we are not going there. We are talking about phased step-by-step rollback of the sanctions from the United States while we begin to give up some of our nuclear capacity.

What's happening is the U.S. is throwing everything else on the Christmas tree and North Korea -- I wouldn't say they are threatening not to have the summit. They're saying hold on guys this isn't what we talked about.

VAUSE: I guess, it's a question of timing and how -- the process and how all this takes place. It's notable the North Koreans called out the national security advisor, John Bolton. The comment you referred to, he made last weekend, this is it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But is it a requirement that Kim Jong-un agree to give away those weapons before you give any kind of concession.

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that is right. I think we are looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004.


VAUSE: The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, he talked similar terms while doing the Sunday talk shows. So, why is it the North Koreans are hanging all of this on Bolton?

CARROLL: Well, I think they understand the dynamics of the U.S. government and in particular the Trump administration. They have watched carefully as President Trump has had a revolving door, a merry-go-round of senior advisors not only on national security issues but domestic issues.

They see that President Trump wants to make a deal. He has a political motivation to make a deal with them. They see John Bolton as a strident ideologue and in fact a regime changer, and when he begins to add things like getting rid of their missiles, getting rid of their biological weapons program, they realize that that is out of bounds.

So, they -- and since Bolton said it, they were able to say that's not going to be something that we were that we discussed. That's a pre- condition and the whole point of this summit is to not have preconditions.

VAUSE: So, with that in mind, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, was pretty quick to throw Bolton under the bus on Wednesday. Here she is.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I haven't seen that as part of any discussions. So, I'm not aware that that's a model that we are using. I haven't seen that that's like a specific thing. I know that that comment was made. This is the President Trump model. He's going to run this the way he sees fit.


VAUSE: The (inaudible) plan the North Koreans have was bout the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises. They (inaudible) not happy about the possibility that B-52 bombers would be used. The Pentagon says there was never an intention for B-52s to take part. But is this all fitting into a perception that maybe the Trump administration here has blinked already making concessions to Pyongyang?

CAROLL: On the exercises, I would actually say that's more about South Korea. These are joint exercises and I think Kim Jong-un and Pyongyang see in President Moon of South Korea someone who similarly that President Trump not quite in the same way are very eager for (inaudible) with the North, to find a beginning of a new relationship.

And because they are OK (inaudible) the Republic of Korea forces participate in this joint exercise, I think that was their version of saying, hey, we are not so happy about this anymore either.

I wouldn't tend too much on the response about the exercises. I do think it's unfortunate that they canceled the next meeting between the North and South. However, I also look at the calendar and I think we still got nearly a month.

There's going to be some ups and downs and so we need to be ready for this. We need to have some tolerance for some give-and-take.

VAUSE: On the other hand, they could have (inaudible) before announcing the summit and it would be a problem the old fashion way? But I guess that's not how this White House does business, but Paul, good to see you. Thank you.

CAROLL: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Well, it's one of those critical moments of the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling. That infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between senior members of the Trump campaign and a number of Russians.

We now have the most detailed version of what happened before, during and after that meeting from newly released transcripts. CNN's Jim Sciutto has details.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senate Judiciary Committee transcripts make clear that in the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. was expecting the Russians to supply dirt on Hillary Clinton.

This is despite President Trump, his son and others repeatedly claiming otherwise. A Russian lobbyist present for the meeting told senators that Donald Trump Jr., quote, "was definitely in charge" and after some small talk began by saying something to the effect of, "so you have some information for us."

In his own testimony, Donald Trump Jr. admitted that he was, quote, "interested in listening to information about Hillary Clinton," adding quote, "I had no way of assessing where it came from, but I was willing to listen."

This is in direct contradiction of the blatantly misleading story put out by the White House and Donald Trump Jr. claiming the meeting was about adoptions.

[00:10:05] Those interviewed say however that the Russians did not deliver the promised dirt and instead focused on their interest in removing U.S. sanctions on some Russians. Rob Goldstone, a British publicist, who was is in the room and helped arrange the meeting, says the discussion began to, quote, "infuriate" Jared Kushner because it was so unfocused.

After a few minutes of this labored presentation Goldstone said, Jared Kushner who was sitting next to me appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, "I really have no idea what you're talking about."

Don Jr. testified the meeting lasted 20 to 30 minutes and at the conclusion Goldstone apologized to him, quote, "for what he believed was wasting our time." Donald Jr. said he believed there to be a, quote, "pretty substantial delta between the meeting's original purpose and what actually took place."

Asked did he informed his father about the meeting and the Russians offered to supply dirt on Clinton, Don Jr. repeatedly said he did not, explaining that he, quote, "wouldn't bring in anything that's unsubstantiated especially from a guy like Rob before I knew what it was actually about myself."

However, shortly after arranging the meeting Don Jr. made an 11-minute phone call to a blocked number, asked if he remembers who that call was with, Trump Jr. said I don't.

Democrats note however that former Trump campaign aid, Corey Lewandowski, testified before House members that Candidate Trump's primary residence has a blocked number. A full year later after the "New York Times" first broke the existence of the meeting, the White House initially claimed the meeting was primarily about adoptions.

And explanation disproved when an e-mail surfaced showing that Don Jr. accepted the meeting on the premise the Russians were bringing the expected dirt on Clinton. In his testimony, Don Jr. said he did not know that his father was involved in drafting the initial misleading statement.

I never spoke to my father about it, he said, but the White House has acknowledged that the president himself took part in crafting the misleading response.

SANDERS: The president weighed in as any father would.


SCIUTTO: That 2016 Trump Tower meeting is of interest to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller for two possible reasons. One, does it show evidence of a possible conspiracy between Trump aids and Russians to influence the election but also on the question of obstruction of justice.

That misleading statement about the true intention of the meeting, could that be evidence of obstruction, a question again for the special counsel. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

VAUSE: CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin joins me now. Nice to see you. Thanks for coming in. One thing really stands out about Don Jr.'s testimony, he has a really, really bad memory. But the "Washington Post" has listed 54 substantive issues which Don Jr. just can't recall. It does have a selective bad memory. What are the legal implications?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's not really clear. The big issue here is Don Jr. and his dad have denied any involvement, interaction, meetings et cetara, with Russian officials, and then we learned of this meeting, this meeting where in fact he was meeting with someone affiliated with the Russian government to find out this so-called dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And we've seen this story shift from the meeting didn't happen to the meeting was about adoption to finally, yes, maybe there was something in there about Hillary Clinton, but we really didn't learn anything about it and after all Jared Kushner left the meeting halfway through because the meeting was so unimportant.

So, the shifting statements I think are obviously problematic, and what we learned from the transcripts is that they really hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

VAUSE: You know, to be fair, people forget lots of stuff. When Hillary Clinton was questioned by the FBI, she could not recall details of e-mails which have been sent years earlier. Don Jr., for example, can't remember who he spoke to on the phone after meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower.

The mystery person was using a cell phone with a private or blocked number. Don Jr. was actually then asked does your father use a blocked number on his cellphone or any phones that you called him on?

He replied, I don't know. So, you don't know whether this might have been your father. I don't. But it seems also incredible about this, this Republican-controlled committee could have simply subpoenaed the phone records and found out who owned that blocked number, but they didn't.

MARTIN: They chose not to. Let's go back to the first statement about I don't know if my father uses a block number. To me that's a really different kind of statement than Hillary Clinton saying I can't remember thousands of emails when she was a secretary of state.

You know if your father uses a block number. You know that, I know that, any son knows that that has the kind of communication he had with Donald Trump. And I will give him the benefit of the doubt perhaps he doesn't know who he spoke to that day.

But there's no excuse for that committee to have not subpoenaed those records and it would've been an easy thing to do to find out who that phone call was actually placed to.

[00:15:10] VAUSE: Now you touched on this, this is the Trump Tower meeting which at first Jr. lied it never happened then it was Russian adoption, and the Russian adoption sort of became the basis of that misleading statement, which is put out by the White House.

So that in mind, the lawmakers asked this to Don Jr., to the best of your knowledge, did the president provide any evidence to the statement or other input. Don Jr., he may have commented through Hope Hicks. And do you know if his comments provided through Hope Hicks were incorporated into the final statement? I believe some may have been, but this was an effort through lots of people mostly counsel.

So apart from appearing to confirm that the president was directly involved in drafting what was a blatantly untrue response, what else is -- are the legal implications here knowing that Trump seemed directly involved?

MARTIN: The whole thing was -- we know what Robert Mueller is looking at in terms of Russian interference with the election now has evolved into obstruction of justice or whether there was obstruction of justice with respect to the firing of James Comey and also with regards to this entire investigation.

So, if Trump is himself involved in fabricating the statement about a meeting with the members of the Russian government then that raises the question of was he interfering with the investigation that is being conducted by the special counsel.

And again, I think the Senate has an obligation to get to the bottom of that. We need to know who Donald Trump called.

VAUSE: OK. One last legal question while we have you, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lead lawyer right now, he says that he's been told that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will abide by the Department of Justice guidelines and will not indict President Trump regardless of the outcome of the Russia investigation.

So, assuming that it's true, does that mean, at the end of the day, if the president is implicated that it's now simply up to Congress and possible impeachment if there is a finding of wrong doing?

MARTIN: First thing we should note, John, is that there is a difference of opinions about whether the Justice Department can indict a sitting president and although there is a memo some argue that that memo was written in the 70s and that is no longer applicable in 2018.

And because we don't have a Supreme Court decision ultimately making, you know, a final pronouncement on whether the president can be indicted or not, some people will question whether special counsel should follow that if indeed he plans.

But, yes, if he does plan to follow that memo, then he would be writing a report and providing that report to Congress and then it will be up to Congress to decide whether they wanted to initiate any kind of impeachment hearings. And we know ultimately starts in Congress and then there be a trial in the Senate.

VAUSE: And then, of course, this also has a lot of implications for whether or not the president will be subpoena and testify to Robert Mueller, a whole lot of issues --

MARTIN: And we know that has yet to be decided according to Rudy Giuliani because the president is too busy -- to submit to, you know, any kind of meeting with the special counsel.

VAUSE: Areva, as always, thank you.

MARTIN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Well, still to come here, we'll have more on Don Jr. and those transcripts and the possible political fallout for the Trump White House.



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. We have more on the political fallout for those transcripts about Don Jr.'s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about that now infamous 2016 meeting in the Trump Tower.

And with us, we have CNN political commentators, Democratic strategist, Dave Jacobson, and Republican consultant, John Thomas. OK. Here's part of the transcripts where Don Jr. was specifically asked about his response to an email offering up possible Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, which he had replied to the now famous, "I love it."

The question what was that you loved it in that email. Potential information Don Jr. says about an opponent. Political incriminating information on Hillary Clinton, yes, and what about the thing that says it is part of Russia and his government support for Mr. Trump, did you also love that?

Jr. says I don't know, I don't recall. Question, do you understand that that would be problematic. He answered, I don't think that listening to someone with information relevant to the fitness and character of a presidential candidate would be an issue? No.

OK. So, John, apart from the fact just how relaxed Don Jr. seems throughout all of it, it seems that this is someone who actually had no problem, no scruples, no qualms about receiving help from a foreign adversarial government.

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think whatever information was presented to him he wanted to take if it had to do with dirt on an opponent, it seems like that's pretty clear. Now did he actually get any? It looks he didn't.

VAUSE: Right.

THOMAS: So, other than being open to receiving opposition research from almost any source, I don't see the problem there.

VAUSE: Dave, would you like to explain to John why that would be a problem?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look A -- this is like mid- summer in 2016. It looked like Hillary Clinton was on a trajectory to win. So, A, this was an act of pure desperate -- political desperation. B, it was act of what I would call political amateur, and C, I'm not an attorney, but it looks like it was an attempt to commit to defraud the United States.

I mean, the fact of the matter is Russia is a known adversary of the United States, and moreover, I've never seen -- and this word is overused, but this is unprecedented. The amount of connections and ties that one country has to a U.S. presidential campaign is unheard of.

VAUSE: There's also the issue that, you know, even though it was so successful it doesn't make it legal. There is still a conspiracy to commit a crime and whether that's receiving benefit from a foreign government, which are not allowed to receive in an election campaign.

So, I mean, that's what is the Mueller (inaudible) is all about. And John, the Republican-controlled committee really want to find out what happened at that Trump Tower meeting.

Why don't they call the campaign chairman at that time, Paul Manafort? Why do they ask him a bunch of questions? Why don't they call in Jared Kusher who was also in that meeting to appear before them? These two were never called in, why?

THOMAS: I can't answer that, but I do know they feel like they've exhausted all the all the avenues they needed to exhaust and furthermore, there's been no criminal allegations against Don Jr. at this point from Mueller or anybody else. So, if it were such a slamdunk, something so easy to find, you'd think it would have been announced by now.

VAUSE: Dave, we have find out from these transcripts is just how eager and excited and determined Don Jr. and Jared Kushner were at the prospect of finding some kind of Russian bombshell on Hillary Clinton.

JACOBSON: Yes. I think it was political malpractice for the Senate on a bipartisan level not to subpoena Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, have them come before the committee and answer the tough questions.

And so, I think that's a big issue and I think the Democrats have -- Dianne Feinstein, in particular among others have been, you know, trying to move forward on that front and request that those subpoenas get executed on (inaudible).

But at the end of the day, this is going to be up to Bob Mueller -- bottom line right, and so, this is a function of whether or not he feels that he can in a very compelling way can prosecute a conspiracy.

That the big issue, and so Bob Mueller clearly knows a whole lot more than we know. So, who knows?

VAUSE: OK. Well, the president has repeatedly attacked the FBI over the Russia investigation. You know, most recently, most notable, I guess, the explosive outburst on "Fox and Friends" last month. Have a listen.


[00:25:07] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (via telephone): They have a witch-hunt against the president of the United States going on. It's all lies and it's a horrible thing that's going on, a horrible thing.

I'm very disappointed in my Justice Department, but because of the fact that it's going on and I think you'll understand this, I have decided that I won't be involve. I may change my mind at some point because what's going on is a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace.


VAUSE: But a new survey in the "New York Times" details the FBI went through extraordinary length to prevent leaks about their investigation of the Trump campaign, which began long before election day because of the damage it could have done to Donald Trump in the election.

Here's part of it, "Fearful of leaks, they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department. Peter Strzok, the senior FBI agent explained in the text that Justice Department officials find it too tasty to resist sharing. I'm not worried our side," he wrote.

John, that's the same Peter Strzok, who has been consistently attacked by the president, president's allies, Fox News Channel, because of a bunch of texts he said to a woman he was having an affair with, which are critical of President Trump.

THOMAS: And there are a lot of holes. It's the same -- yes, it's the same Peter Strzok that was blatantly partisan in his texts. I believe there is a "New York Times" story that said a hundred days before the election, Comey sent Strzok went to Europe to go meet with meet somebody from Australia to get dirt on Trump. I mean, this is a guy who wanted personally to take down the president so, look -- VAUSE: (Inaudible) contact with George Papadopoulos who was talking

about having e-mails from Hillary Clinton before anybody knew that Hillary Clinton's e-mails have been hacked by the Russians. So that seems like a legitimate --

THOMAS: We just learned today that the leaks about Michael Cohen's bank accounts came from within the FBI in an attempt or I guess to blow the whistle. I mean, look, there at every turn. We are year into this Mueller investigation and other than some low-level process crimes, there's been no findings of collusion.

JACOBSON: But the investigation is still going on.

THOMAS: But how many years? Five years, ten years, at what point. If you are Donald Trump, you'd be frustrated this keeps going on and on --

JACOBSON: Donald Trump won't be frustrated if he didn't potentially collude with the Russians -- number two, the fact of the matter is there was a tremendous double standard when it came to Hillary Clinton and those emails --

VAUSE: That is a good point because (inaudible) which goes to that point because they are incredibly worried about the fallout from the way James Comey had handled the Hillary Clinton investigation.

So, the "Times" goes on to report the facts had they surfaced might have devastated the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump's future national security advisor was under investigation as was his campaign chairman.

One advisor appeared to have Russian intelligence contacts. Another was suspected of being a Russian agent himself. And this is the FBI which went to great lengths to protect Donald Trump from any exposure to this unlike what they did to Hillary Clinton.

JACOBSON: It's totally baffling is a double standard in Hillary Clinton could potentially have lost the election because James Comey came out just days before just a couple days before the election to talk about Anthony Weiner's emails, not Hillary Clinton's emails.

Former congressman, disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner's emails. Bottom line, you got this investigation going on for 100 days before the election and there's no leak, no information. I mean, I think that this was a huge disservice to the American people who should have been somewhat informed before they cast a ballot for one candidate or the other.

VAUSE: Very quickly, John, at the very least, is this reporting from the "New York Times," does it make the president's attacks sort of mute?

THOMAS: Not really. I mean, I think half the country thinks that this thing is a witch hunt. It's been going on a year too long --

VAUSE: These people are out of their way to ensure that --

THOMAS: But half the country is already convinced of that and I don't think this --

VAUSE: What is it, 30 percent of this country believe in angels, you know --

THOMAS: This is going to change with those opinions, it's not --

VAUSE: It doesn't make those attacks on the FBI irrelevant because, you know, it's just not true what the president is saying.

JACOBSON: And that's why you're also seeing polling right that shows consistently more Americans believe Bob Mueller and support the Russia probe than they do Donald Trump's response (inaudible) his handling of the Russian probe and there's about a 20-point gap between Mueller and Donald Trump and poll and poll after that we've seen.

VAUSE: We are out of time. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

OK, two days ago in final preparations are now under way. Security is tight. Crowds are gathering at Windsor. Ahead, we'll have the very latest on the royal wedding.




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Las Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. Donald Trump says he's still pushing for the denuclearization of North Korea. As for his summit with Kim Jong-un, the U.S. President says, we'll have to see.

North Korea has threatened to cancel the meeting over U.S. military drills with South Korea and demands for Pyongyang to immediately dismantle its nuclear program. New details of how Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with a Russian loyal linked to the Kremlin. This happened at the Trump Tower.

The Senate judiciary committee reads transcripts of the interviews with Don Jr. They show the President's son and top members of the Trump campaign were eager for dirt on Hillary Clinton, and then frustrated that they didn't get the bombshell they were hoping for.

Outrage is growing around the world over a horrific case in Sudan. A young woman faces execution by hanging for killing her husband, a man she says raped her as her relatives held her down. She was forced to marry him at 15 and the U.N.'s Office of Human Rights has appealed to suing (ph) these officials for clemency.

In just a few hours, about 250 members of the U.K.'s armed forces will rehearse the royal wedding procession. After the ceremony Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will travel through Windsor in an ascot carriage. In the mean time, the palace announced the bridal body will have six bridesmaids, all of them, children, and four page-boys. Prince Harry's niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George are included. That is so cute. OK, joining us now, former Royal Correspondent, Sandro Monetti, with his special (ph) mug, look at that. OK.

SANDRO MONETTI, FORMER ROYAL CORRESPONDANT: Welcome to the circus, John. It's the royal wedding.

VAUSE: OK, so, with Meghan's dad out of the picture. The attention now turns to who will walk Meghan down the aisle. Her mother is apparently, most likely, according to many.

But the Daily Mail reports that royal fans have called on Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle on Saturday just as he did for Princess Diana's goddaughter. The royal is no stranger to stepping into the father of the bride's shoes after giving away family friend, Alexandra Knatchbull at her wedding to Thomas Hooper in 2016 as her father looked on.

OK, so, if Prince Charles was to fill in. Do they think there's some way to maybe smoothing over this controversy with Thomas Markle? Would it be a sign for the royal family, perhaps, that all is forgiven and Markle is part of the family, Meghan is part of family, providing, she keeps the crazy in-laws away.

MONETTI: Absolutely not. It would be an appeal for control. Now, the Meghan Markle story has been described as a fairy tale, very accurately. Because we've got the wicked step sister and endless plot twists. And - and I think having Prince Charles walk her down the aisle is - it's not a very - it, surely, has to be her mother, at this point, the only close relative not to sell her out.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) you're right. It's pretty amazing what's been going on, you know, the Markles make the Middletons look right proper. And it's not just the Markle clan cashing in on the big day. There's this hotel in Kenya which is now charging 10 grand a pop to watch the event on television.

It also includes a two night stay and a helicopter ride and what they call the royal experience, god knows what that is. The only problem is that, you know, the event is being held at the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club, which is in Nairobi, which is a long way from Windsor Castle.

MONETTI: It's the ultimate pay-per-view (inaudible). And it is pay a lot per view in this case. But the eyes of the world will be on the wedding, and I think everybody will remember where they were, because as we know in defense (ph) --

VAUSE: Really?

MONETTI: -- over -- oh, yes. As we know over the events of the last few days, this wedding is going to be one you always remember.

VAUSE: For all the wrong reasons.

MONETTI: Well I mean what on Earth is going to happen next? You couldn't make up the script.

VAUSE: Very true. Just (ph) what we always hear from the tabloids though is that, you know, huge boost to U.K. economy with the royal wedding and all that kind of stuff. But the reality is their not expecting an uptick in tourism, there's no boost expected to the economy, because there is nothing like this happened during Kate and William's wedding.

However notably, there will be an increase in beer drinking up by an expected eight percent because the pubs will be open for two hours longer over the weekend.

MONETTI: Well us Brits, you know, we love a national celebration. You know, and if it's the World Cup or the royal wedding, the pubs stay open all night, you know, and there's special cocktails being served like the Markle sparkle (ph) and the -- the bloody Harry.

And so any excuse for a boozer (ph) and a drinking game is (inaudible) as well.

VAUSE: Well you know, finally it hasn't been an entirely awful week for the -- to be -- (inaudible) royal couple. Here are the Spice Girls.




So apparently what Harry and Meghan don't really, really want are the Spice Girls at the wedding, because Mel B apparently had told Page Six or something that a reunion for the royal wedding was on, there was going to be a performance by the Spice Girls.

Not going to happen because she wasn't invited, nor was Mel C, I don't know the difference between a Mel B and a Mel C, but they weren't invited. So again, you know, not an entirely awful week for Meghan and Harry.

MONETTI: Well I think there was enough spice surrounding this wedding already, you know, without needing a performance by them as well, quite frankly.

VAUSE: But we still have Victoria and -- and David Beckham was there. They're -- they're quite the socialites, they were (ph) Kate -- Kate and William's.

MONETTI: They've got friends in high places, they certainly have, yes.

VAUSE: (Inaudible).


VAUSE: OK, so no Spice Girls, and we're still waiting to find out who will walk Meghan down the aisle.

MONETTI: Maybe it will be George Clooney, because he and Amal are going.

VAUSE: (Inaudible).

MONETTI: That would look good in the pictures, that would boost the tourism.

VAUSE: We'll wait and see. All the excitement's building.

MONETTI: Thank you. See you soon.

VAUSE: OK, it would not be a royal wedding without ladies wearing fancy hats. Our (ph) sneak peek of what guests might be wearing for the big day, that's next.


VAUSE: It's all spelled out right there on the invitation to the royal wedding, ladies are to wear a day dress with a hat. And those hats are fashion statements all of their own. One designer has made more than 50 hats for guests attending Meghan and Harry's wedding.

Now Isa Soares is not one of them, but she likes the hat anyway. Here she is.


ISA SOARES, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hats, headpieces, fascinators, the headwear of the traditional British wedding can be a conundrum to the untrained outsider. Milliner to the stars Vivienne Sheriff has made more than 50 hats for guests attending Saturday's royal wedding.

And she knows a thing or two about finding the perfect piece.

VIVIEN SHERIFF, DESIGNER: More of a traditional hat, this piece, would be very good for more of a mature person at the wedding.

SOARES: So more kind of mother of the bride?

SHERIFF: More mother of the bride, exactly.

SOARES: OK, having this tilt too basically means that when you greet your guest you could just (inaudible).

SHERIFF: So on the day of the wedding, of course you're so happy you can see all your long lost relatives, you know, you want to embrace your friends and relations, you're not going to knock your hat flying.

This is a very useful wedding guest piece, so it works very well in other colors.

SOARES: It is a pheasant (ph) of the (ph) feathers right (inaudible).

SHERIFF: Yes, they're also -- this is a cinema (ph) base, so it's a blocked base and then the feathers have been added and with the Swarovski crystal just gives it that absolutely beautiful glint.

This is a disk, as in like a saucer, and it's very easy to wear and this is a headpiece. You put this on, you don't feel like you're wearing anything dramatic do you?


SHERIFF: You don't feel like you're overwhelmed, even though this is a really dramatic piece.

SOARES: So this one is fabulous in terms of the colors, it's really vibrant.

SHERIFF: This is a beret shape and it's -- so that's (ph) a lot -- a myriad of beautiful feathers and color and it (ph) --

SOARES: Vivienne Sheriff has been making hats for celebrities and members of the royal family for over a decade. From Helena Bonham- Carter to Paris Hilton to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and even the Duchess of Cambridge herself.

Every piece is handcrafted in Sheriff's studio near Salisbury.

SHERIFF: The process takes about six weeks from start to finish, so we'll cut the cinema (ph), the straw, whatever (ph) the pieces are made out of. We fit in it, we flock it into shape and then it's trimmed with (ph) the feathers, silk, just a touch of straws and finished with Swarovski crystals.

I'm actually quite delighted to help people understand how you wear hats to British weddings and it's something that's (ph) -- often that the rest of the world really don't understand.

A lot of women really know what suits them, dress wise, but perhaps their not familiar with what hat suits them.

SOARES: Expect hats of all shapes and sizes at Windsor Castle this Saturday. For those guests, Vivienne has one last piece of advice.

SHERIFF: The British wedding is also about being understated, so one has to be elegant but not too show off-y.


VAUSE: Good advice if you're ever invited to a royal wedding. But if you're not actually invited to the wedding itself (ph) well we'll give you a front row seat to Harry and Meghan's big day.

Please join us for our special coverage of the royal wedding, it begins on Saturday right here on CNN. Thank you for watching "CNN Newsroom" live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause, stay with us.

World Sport with Patrick Snell, a man who does look good in a hat, he's next. You're watching CNN.