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Trump White House; Russia Investigation; The Royal Wedding; Mideast Tensions; Sudan Rape Case; Sex Abuse Victims To Get Settlement; Wrongly Jailed For Murder; Trump On North Korea Summit, We Will Have To See; Russian Meddling In U.S. Election; New Interest In The Monarchy; Markle Sparks New Interest In The Royal Family; Bolo And Beautiful Hats At Royal Wedding; Legendary Blood Donor, The Man With A Golden Arm. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 17, 2018 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Despite North Korea's threats to pull out of next month's summit with the U.S., some in the White House remain confident the talks will proceed, but Donald Trump is taking a wait and see approach.

And we are getting a detailed account of what happened at that now infamous meeting between top members of the Trump campaign and several Russians just months before the 2016 election.

Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church of CNN Center.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Isha Sesay in Windsor, England where royal wedding mania is in full swing. We got it all covered for you. "CNN Newsroom" starts right now.

CHURCH: Top U.S. officials including National Security Advisor John Bolton say they still believe next month's summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will happen. But President Trump seems a little less certain. He indicated Wednesday he still wants the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

That demand along with joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea have prompted North Korea to threaten to cancel the summit. State media called the drills extremely provocative and ill- boding. 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.

Whatever it is, it is.


CHURCH: We'll see what happens. And CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now live from Seoul, South Korea. So Paula, it was coming from U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton that apparently angered North Korea when he proposed the Libya model of denuclearization for Pyongyang. That didn't end well as we all know. The White House is now walking back those comments. How likely is it that this will be enough perhaps to save the summit between the two leaders or is the damage done?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, when that comment was first made by the national security advisor back in April, there were a lot of raised eyebrows here, as North Korea has used the Libya model as a reason for not giving up their nuclear weapons. They have consistently said that they need nuclear weapons for survival, for a security insurance policy against what they call a U.S. policy which is hostile towards them. They've cited Libya, they cited Iraq as reasons why they wouldn't give up their nuclear weapons. So there was a tremendous amount of surprise as to why John Bolton would bring that up as a possibility. Now as you said, it has been walked back by the White House. But with this case in an article on Wednesday citing that particular comment, then certainly the damage has to a certain extent been done. There's also some choice words for John Bolton as well. He is not a man who is liked by Pyongyang certainly. But what we're also hearing from John Bolton, he was talking to Fox Radio saying he has spoken with the South Korean counterpart here, Chung Eui-yong, and has said that they are trying to figure out what exactly the North Koreans are saying when they are threatening to not go to the summit if this unilateral nuclear disarmament is called for. He said the South Koreans are also confused as to why this would happen now. But he does say that the odds are that the summit will go ahead. That is the premise that he is working on, but saying it would be fairly short meeting if in fact the North Korean leader didn't agree to complete denuclearization. But for many diplomats around the world including the Dutch ambassador to the U.N., this sort of hiccup is not a surprise. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREL VAN OOSTEROM, NETHERLANDS AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Anyone who has had anything to do with DPRK in the past 20, 30, 40 years has seen that engaging in political contact with DPRK is complex. And to say it very simply, the road ahead will have bumps, and I think we are hitting one of the bumps at the moment. We are hopeful that the road will lead to the solution we all hope for. (END VIDEO CLIP) HANCOCKS: The U.S. officials also saying that they're using their diplomatic and intelligence channels they've nurtured over recent months with increased renewed relations between the U.S. and North Korea. And they're trying to find out exactly what the North Koreans want at this point. Is this posturing? Is this pre-negotiation before the summit? Or is it something more serious? They say they want to find that out before U.S. President Donald Trump gives an official response. CHURCH: All right. Paula Hancocks bringing us up-to-date on the latest developments there from Seoul in South Korea. Appreciate that. [03:05:00] Thursday marks one year since special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into Russian election meddling. President Trump's new attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has been among the most vocal in defending Mr. Trump against any possible wrongdoing.

He even says Mueller' team has decided to follow Justice Department guidelines and not seek to indict a sitting president. Here's what Giuliani said on Fox News.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We are going to see what kind of legal remedies are available to us, including if they subpoena us, challenge the subpoena. The same reason they can't indict on constitutional --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which Mueller agreed today. He is going to abide by no indictment of the president.

GIULIANI: Right. But I don't think they agree to the process question, which is the same reason they can't indict him, they can't issue a subpoena to him. And remember Clinton opposed a subpoena and then he voluntarily complied.


CHURCH: Now despite Giuliani's claim that a sitting president cannot be indicted, the issue is not so cut and dry. CNN legal analyst Laura Coates puts it in context.


LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Simply because there may be a case that you could not indict a sitting president, which frankly there's a lot of controversy and disagreement about whether that's in fact true.

But if you really cannot indict a sitting president, well, that has nothing to do with whether you can subpoena somebody to testify in a case. If the only way you could subpoena somebody to a grand jury was if that person could ultimately be indicted, you would never have a grand jury for any reason.

Most of the time, if not 99.99 percent of the time, you would never actually have a defendant testifying in a grand jury setting. So if that's the case, everybody else who would be a witness before a grand jury would not be somebody who would ultimately indicted in that case, but they can still provide testimony.

And that whole concept of above the law and who is above the law, the basis the Supreme Court saying is that a president cannot evade due process of law and can simply not thumb his nose at service to process for things like subpoenas. It's a completely an inept argument.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Laura Coates there. Meanwhile, the Senate investigation into Russian election meddling is offering new insights into that infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between several Russians and members of the Trump campaign.

With the release of testimony from Donald Trump Jr., we are now getting a clearer picture of exactly what happened before, during, and after that meeting. We get the details now from CNN's Sara Murray.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Senate Judiciary Committee releasing approximately 2,000 pages of interviews, shedding light on the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.

In his testimony, Donald Trump, Jr. says he was interested in listening to information but claimed he didn't know it came from the Russian government, saying, I had no way of assessing where it came from, but I was willing to listen.

He testified that he told campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the meeting, but says he didn't tell his father about it, or the offer of incriminating information on Clinton. I wouldn't bring in anything that is unsubstantiated especially from a guy like Rob before I knew what it was actually about myself, Trump Jr. testified.

Rob Goldstone, the British music publicist, who arranged the meeting testified that he expected something big, perhaps a smoking gun. "I'm setting up a meeting for someone that is going to bring you damaging information about somebody who is running to become the president of the United States. I thought that was worthy of the words smoking gun."

Instead, the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, began talking about Russian adoptions. After the meeting, Goldstone says he immediately called Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star who would ask Goldstone to set up the meeting. Goldstone's message, this was the most embarrassing thing you've ever asked me to do. I just sat in a meeting about adoption.

Trump Jr. testified that Goldstone apologized to him for wasting our time. Trump Jr. said he never told his father about the meeting. But on June 6, shortly after the meeting was arranged, Trump Jr. made an 11-minute phone call to a blocked number. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified to House members that the president's primary resident has a blocked number.

When the meeting first came to light more than a year later in a July 2017 New York Times story, the Trump team was left flailing for a response. Ultimately they crafted a misleading one, aboard Air Force One as the president returned from the G-20 summit in Germany, saying the meeting focused primarily on adoption.

There was no mention of Hillary Clinton, the reason Trump Jr. accepted the meeting. As the special counsel probes the meeting and the statement that followed, it's still unclear how involved the president was in crafting it. Trump Jr. testified his father may have commented through Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, casting it as a collaborative effort with attorney.

[03:10:02] He said he did not request his father's assistance, saying Hicks asked if I wanted to actually speak to him and I chose not to because I didn't want to bring him into something that he had nothing to do with.

(on camera): Now in a statement on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. described his testimony as candid and forthright but not everyone believes that. There are a number of Senate Democrats who say they have a lot more questions for Donald Trump Jr.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


SESAY: Well, about three hours from now here in Windsor, 250 members of the U.K.'s armed forces will begin lining the procession route getting ready to rehearse for the royal wedding. After Saturday's ceremony, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will travel to Windsor in an Ascot Landau carriage and the palace announced the bridal party will have six young bridesmaids and four page boys.

The oldest is just seven years old and the youngest is just two. Prince Harry's niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George are among them.

Well, let's bring in our royal commentator, Richard Fitzwilliams. Richard, good to see you once again. As we talk about this rehearsal, which will get underway in a few hours from now, it really drives home the history, the ceremony, and the protocol of this event.

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. What's so unique -- I mean this is an event that is historic. Meghan is our first American princess. Well, you know, she's so proud to be biracial. She is a divorcee which would have caused problems in previous decades, a former actress which she made it really big as a TV star.

And as a humanitarian activist, she already had a remarkable -- remember she began at 11 when she protested against the sexist (INAUDIBLE) World Vision Canada (INAUDIBLE), United Nations spokesperson on general equality. And these are campaigns that she can continue now. This is senior member of one of the world's most high profile families. The most high profile royal family in the world, in fact.

SESAY: How much has the day been blighted by all the hoopla (ph) surrounding the Markle family? What do you feel about it?

FITZWILLIAMS: I think that she must be deeply distressed. I think she is concerned about her father, Thomas's health. Obviously she wants him to walk her down the aisle if possible. If not, probably her mother or a member of the royal family will be a substitute. But I think (INAUDIBLE) --

SESAY: You do think that?

FITZWILLIAMS: I do think that because there were all sorts of problems. A highly controversial marriage as well in this case. There is a lot of negative publicity at the moment and the focus is on her family. But perhaps after the wedding, the focus will be increasingly on what she intends to do and the threat that she and Harry inspired by then intend to do good work.

But also high profile, Meghan is tremendously articulate and what she hopes to achieve in various fields, general equality, LGBT rights. And also in fact, the bishop, Michael Curry, is a controversial pastor. He has championed in gay rights. And I think Meghan and Harry will continue to do so.

SESAY: We are almost out of time. But I do want to bring up Princess Diana, as you mentioned her, Harris's mother. How will she be remembered or show up so to speak in the ceremony on Saturday?

FITZWILLIAMS: We know that Lady Jane Fellowes who is the eldest sister of Princess Diana, will be reading. That will be one tribute. At every opportunity, Harry has paid tribute indeed at the 20th anniversary, commemoration of Diana's death. Harry emphasized that soul (ph) how problematic the last 20 years have been for him, how he sought counseling. And in Meghan, he has found a soulmate which I think is so wonderful and important.

SESAY: Yeah, it is. Our viewers watching around the world, you know, they hear all this talk about Meghan and how she's going to shake things up and how will she change this family, and to what extent can she change this family?

FITZWILLIAMS: Look, it's important to stress that Harry is sixth in line to the throne. For example, William is our future king, Kate is our future queen. They have different roles. And I believe they will complement William and Kate. Because Harry and Meghan will tend to become charitable activists. Harry has done so much already at the Invictus Games (INAUDIBLE).

[03:15:02] And Meghan has supporters she supports. They will choose to do more for the royal foundation. So you'll have in fact four senior royals, extremely popular, not only nationally but internationally. Nobody can lobby like a member of the British royal family. Look at Harry and the Obamas.

SESAY: Yes, indeed. Richard Fitzwilliams, it's always such a joy to speak to you, and it's going to be a very beautiful and exciting day. I know you're going to be jumping out of your skin. I can tell already.

FITZWILLIAMS: Right, you are.


SESAY: Richard Fitzwilliams, thank you. We appreciate it. Thank you. Rosemary, I'm going to send it back to you in Atlanta. But I will be back a little later for a conversation about what Meghan Markle's entry to the royal family means to people of color. We'll have that conversation in just a few moments. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. We look forward to that, Isha. Thank you so much. We will take a very short break here. But still to come, days after the deadliest clashes Gaza has seen in years, Palestinians are turning their anger towards President Trump, saying the U.S. has betrayed them. That's just ahead.

Plus, the heartbreaking plight of a young bride sentenced to death for killing the man she claims raped her and the worldwide appeals for clemency.

And an emotional day in court for a man wrongly convicted of murder 27 years ago. We're back in a moment.


CHURCH: Israel says its fighter jets struck several Hamas terrorist targets in Northern Gaza on Wednesday including a military compound and a weapons facility in response to numerous attacks targeting Israeli soldiers throughout the day.

Meantime, a senior member of Hamas says 50 of the people killed by Israeli forces in Monday's Gaza clashes were members of the group. The Israelis say that supports what they've claimed all along, that Hamas orchestrated the violent demonstrations.

Meantime, many Palestinians are turning their anger toward President Trump, saying he and other world leaders have turned their backs on the people of Gaza. Our Ben Wedeman reports.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The finishing touches go up on Gaza's latest mural, portraying the struggle against today's perceived villains.

"Since Trump declared he was moving the embassy to Jerusalem, everything turned upside down," says artist Waseyed (ph).

[03:20:04] Since March, Israeli troops have killed more than 100 Palestinian protesters. Journalists and medical staff among those killed and injured, along the fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

Unlike in the past, the U.S. hasn't issued the usual calls for Israel to exercise restraint, while Arab leaders have put out mild denunciations, going through the motions of indignation. Shoppers in Gaza City's main market on the eve of Ramadan suspect the Arab regimes have turned their backs.

"They agreed with Trump under the table," says Moktara Abu Hamad (ph). "Their condemnations are just for show."

For years, it's been difficult for Palestinians to leave Gaza and for outsiders to enter. Already isolated, it now feels

abandoned by Arab leaders who once paid lip service to the Palestinian cause.

"It's as if they never heard of a place called Gaza," says Selma (ph). "They condemn what's going on but nothing comes of it." Says bookstore owner Salim Harayas (ph), "I feel the Palestinian people are alone. No one supports us as they did in the past.

On a visit to Chile in the days leading up to Monday's bloodshed, even Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, didn't let the storm gathering back home break his stride. The strong men and the weaker ones are flexing their muscles for Gaza.

Damas Marher (ph), a worker at an electricity company, "there is Sisi, there is Mohammad bil Salman, they are all the same," he says. "Watching as Gaza goes by."

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Gaza City.


CHURCH: The horrific case of a young woman in Sudan sentenced to death for killing her abusive husband is raising an outcry in her country and around the world. Nineteen-year-old Noura Hussein faces death by hanging after she killed her husband she was forced to marry at age 15. She says his relatives held her down as he raped her.

Sudan's government in Khartoum is now facing escalating appeals for clemency from world leaders as well as women's and human rights advocates. As Nima Elbagir reports, Noura's supporters in Sudan are raising their voices too, holding out hope that her sentence will be overturned.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the international interest in Noura Hussein's case has ratcheted up, so we are told as the campaign of intimidation by Sudan's State Security Forces. Sources tell us that today in spite of the fact that Noura's legal team had scheduled a press conference, State Security Forces raided her lawyer's office, canceling the press conference.

Many of those activists that we had been speaking to in Sudan have also increasingly beg to ask that we don't name them. The sense is that Sudan is trying to clamp down on all this international outcry.

YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: It's difficult for people on the ground in Sudan at the moment. There's a lot of intimidation from security forces from government and so it's actually more incumbent on the international community to try put pressure.

And that includes raising awareness, which I think there's been really good grassroots sort of upswell around that. But it's also includes looking at what can our governments do diplomatically. ELBAGIR: Because what has been extraordinary is how much this has been taken up within Sudan itself. This isn't one of those instances where people feel that this was kind of imposed externally upon Sudanese. This was Sudanese themselves rallying around this woman, rallying around her course.

ABDEL-MAGIED: There are all sorts of movements. But often their positions didn't like let's save these women or let's save this particular person. Whereas the justice for Noura campaign really did come from people in Sudan, talking about it on their social platforms.

That's actually how I heard about it. And then people in the diaspora amplifying it and beyond that being picked up by also to people, CNN, Naomi Campbell, Amnesty International.

ELBAGIR: And it's government perhaps like the U.S. who are key collaborators with Sudan in counter terror operations in the Horn of Africa, sharing crucial information, but also looking to open the door in terms of a permanent lifting of financial sanctions, countries like the U.K. who have huge historic relationships and across the world.

Activists are hoping that they will bring those relationships and that leverage to bear to save Noura's life.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


CHURCH: And we have been reaching out to various countries and organizations about this case. The U.N. secretary general is among those leading the charge with appeals for clemency for the 19-year- old.

[03:25:04] In a statement issued on his behalf, Antonio Guterres says he opposes the death penalty on principle and is against the death penalty ruling that was handed down in this case.

The U.S. State Department says it's closely following Noura's case, quote, we echo the statements of many in the international community and within Sudan, condemning early and forced marriage and violence against women and girls. We have raised this case with the government of Sudan, and note that it is still going through a judicial process. We look forward to an appropriate resolution of her case, consistent with Sudan's internal human rights obligations.

Michigan State University will pay $500 million settlement to hundreds of sex abuse victims. Former university doctor, Larry Nassar, admitted in court to using his position to sexually abuse young girls and women who came to him for care.

He was employed at the university for nearly two decades and also worked for USA gymnastics. Nassar was sentenced in January to more than 140 years in prison.

And man who was wrongly convicted of murder almost three decades ago in New York has been formally exonerated by a judge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BUNN, WRONGLY CONVICTED OF MURDER: Thank you, your honor. For 27 years, I've been fighting for my life.


CHURCH: Forty-one-year-old John Bunn was just 14 years old when he was jailed for the murder of an off-duty correction officer. He served 17 years in prison before he was freed on parole in 2009. And two years ago, he won the right to a new trial.

This week, the judge placed much of the blame in Bunn's case on a former detective who has been accused of framing suspects during his career. The judge also criticized how the justice system handled the case.


SHAWNDAYA SIMPSON, NY STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: In one day, they took the jury, they had opening, they had witnesses and conclusion on murder trial, which I don't consider justice at all.


CHURCH: In court, Bunn lashed out at those responsible for putting him behind bars for so many years.


BUNN: You all convicted and had a wrong man in prison. And now you all still have somebody that's on the loose right now that killed someone in that family, out there running free. And I didn't deserve any of that stuff you all did to me. They won't say I'm an innocent man, but I'm an innocent man, your honor. And I have always been an innocent man, your honor.


CHURCH: A police received an anonymous tip that led them to Bunn and his co-defendant back in 1991. That man's conviction was also thrown out and he won't be re-tried.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate break with their colleagues in the House. What they are saying about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Plus, new insight into why Vladimir Putin may have ordered that election meddling. That's next on "CNN Newsroom." We're back in just a moment.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: A very warm welcome back. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. Donald Trump says, he still wants the denuclearization of North Korea

and after his summit with Kim Jong-un the U.S. president say, we will have to see. North Korea has threatened to cancel the meeting over U.S. military drills and demands that Pyeongyang immediately dismantle its nuclear program.

President Trump's latest financial disclosure form shows he repaid more than $100,000 last year to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The reason for the payment was not specified, but Cohen has acknowledged paying $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

New details are out on Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin. The Senate judiciary Committee released transcripts of the interviews of Don Jr. They show the President's son and senior members of the Trump campaign were eager for dirt on Hillary Clinton and then frustrated when they didn't get the bombshell they were hoping for.

Well, Republicans on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee are breaking ranks with their colleagues in the House. They're agreeing with the 2017 assessment of the intelligence community that Russia meddled in the U.S. elections to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Committee, Chairman Richard Burr, says there is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 election. Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, trade craft and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions. Senator Mark Warner, is the top Democrat on the committee.


SEN MARK WARNER, (D) VIRGINIA: Bottom line is leaders of the intelligence community during the last administration still stand by the assessments of the ICA. And while we've got more work to do before we get out on actual document, I've heard nothing to contradict anything from the ICA particularly in terms of the fact that Russians massively intervened in our elections to the purpose of helping Mr. Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.

They also used social media in ways that were unprecedented and scanned or intervened in our electoral systems. And this needs to be a higher priority of both the White House and this Congress to make sure that it doesn't happen again.


CHURCH: Special Counsel, Robert Mueller's team is preparing to turn over a huge amount of data in its case against a Russia company, accused in the election meddling. Prosecutors say they have between 1.5 and 2 terabytes of social media data and mostly in Russian. The company connected to a Russian oligarch known as Putin chef has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges. Russia's plans to interfere in the U.S. elections dates back several years. And U.S. sanctions over Vladimir Putin annexation of Crimea. CNN's Brian Todd has the details.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin has other men slide over in the front seats as he takes the wheel. Putin leads a convoy of orange dump trucks adorned with Russian flags across the brand new bridge. A nearly 12 mile long span connects Russia to Crimea which once belonged to Ukraine.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): Since the time of the Czars, people were dreaming to build this bridge.

TODD: As he dedicates the bridge, Putin's embassy in the U.S. tweets Washington is not happy with that but Crimea is Russia. Not according to the U.S. which has never recognize Putin's 2014 annexation of Crimea and leveled crippling sanctions because of it. Now, analysts are drawing a clear lines between sanctions against Russia. In the 2016 Trump Tower meeting that attracted so much scrutiny for Donald Trump Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Putin haven't been chafing at all these sanctions, would that meeting have ever occurred?

[03:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, and it is very likely that -- without Putin's chafing at the sanctions, he wouldn't have tried to get involved in the Presidential elections in 2016, but this was a primary bone of contention for him, that that meeting, all the Russian involvement, trying to manipulate our politics is really an effort to get United States to back off sanctions.

TODD: One said the U.S. sanctions to Russians at that Trump Tower meeting where trying to roll back was the MagNitsky Act, a 2012 American law named after a Russian whistleblower, a law that sanctions individuals close to Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The premise of the MagNitsky act was that Putin was leading the government that abuse human rights that through its opponents in jail that murdered dissidents, that murdered journalists. That was the fundamental underpinning for the passage of the MagNitsky Act. And Putin resented it, and he wanted it abolished.

TODD: Putin hasn't been successful in removing those sanctions. In fact, he is even had more sanctions imposed on him. His anger over the sanctions may have motivated Putin to try to create political trouble in Washington. One casualty fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about speaking with the Russia ambassador about sanctions. Now experts warn Putin's got every insensitive to keep trying to undermine American politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: there is an argument that Putin has reached the point of no return. He has to keep probing, he has to keep seeking influence, because he is really outside of the politics of the west at this point.

TODD: Just how will Putin try to stir up more trouble with the Trump White House, analysts say look for him to meddle in the America's midterm elections later this year and to keep trying to drive wedges between President Trump and America's European allies, Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: Royal weddings are often seems like fairy tales come true, but Meghan Markle's marriage has added meaning for a lot of people that weren't interested in the monarchy before. We will have the details for you when we come back.



ISHA SESAY, NEWSROOM HOST, CNN: Well, to many people of color the royal wedding has added meaning. The fact that Meghan Markle is biracial has set a precedent as she enters the royal family. Some see it as a sign of changing time, others are now interested in the royals for the first time ever.

[03:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact of someone black being married into the royal family represents a widening and a diversity and inclusion that it's never had before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it brings a message that the royal family is not your typical royal family in terms of its one dimension, so it's about diversity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's never really happened before, so it's the first wedding of its kind, I guess. So it is definitely excited, it is definitely different.


SESAY: Well, I guess Ellen Barry, has reason about what Meghan Markle means to black Britain's in the New York Times, she is the Chief International Correspondent and joins us from London. Ellen, thanks so much for being with us, I know you talk to a lot of people, black Britain's, about Meghan and this big moment and chapter she is embarking on. As you speak to black Britain's, first of all, let me ask you how they view Meghan and whether there's a generational difference in their view of her.

ELLEN BARRY, CIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: So one thing that I heard repeatedly when I was doing this reporting was that, you know, for people who have never had any earthly interest in the royal family, that this is the first wedding that they would be watching, because sort of despite themselves they found themselves sort of drawn into the unusual spectacle of black people being part of a royal wedding party.

SESAY: So that -- why does that mean so much to the people you've spoken to?

BARRY: I think this is a part of society that has not necessarily felt included in the sort of by the British establishment. This is, you know, apart from the royal wedding this has been a rather -- this has been a tough period in terms of race relations in Britain, because black people in Britain are really affected by the anti-immigrant politics.

SESAY: So that being said, in terms of the realities for black people in this country especially in light of the issues we've seen and the controversies among and around the Windrush generation, do they see Meghan as being a conduit to actual change or as far as they concerned are the optics enough? I mean how much are they expecting of her?

BARRY: Well, there's no question that Meghan whether she decides to be modernizer in the monarchy or not is a modernizing factor simply by her existence. She is not an Aristocrat and you'll remember that with Kate Middleton, you know, it was considered to be quite a radical choice, because she was, you know, perceived to be middle class. So, Meghan Markle isn't British. She is American. Her approach is very American, she is quite emotionally open. She doesn't really have that reserve, and she is politically outspoken.

SESAY: Her take on Meghan Markle being biracial, what that means to young black Britain's and black Britain's as a whole. Thank you, thank you for that, we appreciate it.

BARRY: Thank you.

SESAY: I want to bring in our royal commentator Kate William. She joins me now here.


SESAY: Hi. What do you think of it in terms of how much this means to people of color here in the U.K. To see someone of Meghan's heritage, biracial, joining this family?

WILLIAMS: Yes, Meghan is biracial. And she is also spoke eloquently about how -- what it means to be biracial, her experience of racism both inside and out on the entertainment industry, talking about she was young, she is expected to fill in the identity survey black or white, and there was no box biracial and she felt -- and the teacher said just fill in white, because that is how you look. And she is talked so eloquently about it.

Do you think it is very meaningful because, Ellen was just talking so -- so brilliantly there by her take on Britain and it is a country with a lot of problems of racism? And many people of color in this country suffer discrimination. 5 percent of our judges, for example, are people of color. 30 percent of MP's. And traditionally the royal household and the royal family has been a very white institution. It is very much white people together.

And you know, ever since Prince Harry has been born there were talks of who he should marry, and they were all very similar type of girls. They were British, they were Aristocratic, they had a castle or two and they were all white. And that is -- Prince Harry has chosen a woman who is completely different, self-made, biracial, determined woman and I think it is meaningful. And yes it is many people might say, she is just one person, but I think it really does show that the white culture -- the elites of Britain has to change, and people when they think of princess tends to draw them as white. And that is got to end. Now they are not.

[03:45:03] Princesses are not necessarily white. Meghan is biracial. She is self-made, she determined, she is a feminist, she is outspoken. That is what a princesses now.

SESAY: I'm going to push that I saw something that is something controversially, but which is strand of conversation that people of color are having. So, I am going to be blunt and say, when you say they're going to draw princesses and they won't be white, there are people of color, people of my complexion who would say and I am telling a conversation piece here, that would say, but she looks as if she is white, and that in and of itself maybe modifies the conversation. I mean what's your take on that?

WILLIAMS: Yes, I've had a similar conversation with academics who study race relations in Britain. They said, look, Kate, she does look white. She doesn't have an afro haircut and so, to many people -- I wrote this about for CNN, about Meghan's kind of princess and it goes a lot of responses. People will say, oh but, she looks white. Isn't she white? And so that is the point, but I think even though you might say she looks white, she is a woman of color.

SESAY: And she owned that, she embraced that.

WILLIAMS: She embraced it, she talked very openly about racism and in which she had suffered, incredible racism as most people, I think all people in this country -- people of color do. And I think it is so significant, her children, we expect the she and Harry will have them, will be in line to the throne, they will be seventh and eighth in line to the throne. Now, that is not near. But if a whole lot in front abdicate, which they might, we see that, strange things happen in history that would mean, that would be our first monarch of color on the throne. And that I think is significant this time. This country has to change in times of racism. It is still a racist country, and I hope she is a vanguard of changing it.

SESAY: Do you -- to say that Meghan will be impactful, you know, within this family and therefore through the culture suggests this country is still kind of top down? I guess what I'm asking is how impactful is this royal family really in terms of leading the culture or is this something we'll just say?

WILLIAMS: Yes you are right. Isha, I think we still have a top down country, we try to challenge the past system here, but it is still there. I mean, unfortunately simply the royal family have this huge platform and whatever Meghan chooses to say it'll be on the front pages of the newspapers tomorrow in a way that simply the newspapers, the media don't listen to ordinary people in this country. So she has that huge platform and if she can use that platform, she feels she wants to use that platform for race relations, for integration, for -- really challenging racism in this country, because there's still a lot of racism. And we see people of color, if you don't put photos on interview CV's people of color are more likely to get an interview, because over and over again, white people interview other white people. And I do think that Meghan and her being outspoken about it simply -- the fact that no one before ever thought that Prince Harry would marry a person of color and that in itself is racist, because why would that --

SESAY: Because the inherent the assumption is that their unworthy, in (inaudible) wouldn't marry someone with color.

WILLIAMS: We've just had a lady of color marry into the aristocratic royal family. It was a big picture on the top of the magazine. Britain's first black (inaudible), the great long elite country house. Before that most aristocrats of color, most aristocrats were not women of color. And we look at the House of Lords. It's mainly white. I think things are changing and I think that Britain is changing as a country, but we still have a long, long way to go. And we can't close the door on Meghan, absolutely not, but I think with her being there she is a very powerful symbol of the fact that we could have our first monarch of color. And that monarch of color will lead against a whole tradition of white kings and queens. This is multicultural country and we need to reflect that.

SESAY: Agreed. Kate, always great to speak to you.

WILLIAMS: Great to see you too, thank you.

SESAY: Well, great conversation. Let's talk about the wedding in more detail. It's spelled out on invitations to the royal wedding. Ladies to wear a day dress with hat. And those hats, well those are fashion statements all on their own. One hat maker has designed more than 50 of them for Meghan and Harry's guests. Our Isa Soares tried a few them on.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hats, headpieces, (inaudible). The headwear of the traditional British wedding can be a conundrum to the untrained outsider. Millionaire to this stance Vivien Sheriff has made more than 50 hats for guests attending Saturday's wedding. And she knows a thing or two about finding the perfect piece.

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

[03:50:00] SOARES: So more on mother of the bride.

SHERIFF: Mother of the bride, exactly.

SOARES: Having this too, basically means when you greet your guest you can just --

SHERIFF: Absolutely. So, on the way of the wedding of course you're so happy to see your long last relatives. You know, you want to embrace real good. This is a very beautiful wedding guest piece. It works very well in other colors. These are feathers. Isao this are feather, right?

SHERIFF: This is black based and the feathers have been added with the Swarovski crystal. It just gives that absolutely beautiful glimpse.

SOARES: This is disk as in like a sorcerer and it is very easy to wear, this is the headpiece. You put this on and you don't feel you're wearing anything dramatic or overwhelmed even though it is really a dramatic piece.

SHERIFF: This one is fabulous, because of the colors is really vibrant.

SOARES: This is a pear shape and it is, that is a myriad of beautiful colors.

Vivien Sheriff has been making hats for celebrities and members of the royal families for over a decade, from (inaudible) to Paris Hilton, to Princess of Beatrice and (inaudible). And even the Duchess of Cambridge herself. Every piece is handcrafted in Sheriff's studio in Salisbury.

SHERIFF: The process takes about six from start to finish. So, we stiffen it, we block it into shape, and then it's trimmed to either with feathers, silks, different types of stones and finished with Swarovski's crystal. I am actually quite delighted to help people understand how you wear hats at a British wedding and it's something that often the rest of the world really don't understand. A lot of women really know what suits them dress wise, but perhaps they're not familiar with what hat suits them.

SOARES: Expect all hats of shapes and sizes at Windsor Castle this Saturday. For those guest Vivien 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.


SESAY: Elegant but not too show-offy. Can't wait to see all the hats at the royal wedding, be sure to tune in for CNN's special coverage so you can see all the hats, see the hats for yourself. It all starts Saturday right here on CNN. Time for a quick break, but stay with us. The news continues in 90 seconds.


CHURCH: Well, not many people on this planet can take credit for saving more than 2 million lives, but James Harrison of Australia can. His blood holds a rare antibody that is critical to fighting Rhesus disease often fatal to unborn children. After donating his plasma, almost every two weeks for 60 years he is considered a national hero in Australia. James Harrison has now made his final donation and he joins us now on the phone from his home in Umina Beach. James, wonderful to have you with us. Of course you are known as Australia's man with a golden arm, because your blood donations have saved the lives of more than 2 million babies, how does that make you feel knowing that?

JAMES HARRISON, MAN WITH A GOLDEN ARM: Now it's wonderful to know that we are saving these lives. And the goal comes from the fact I've had 1,663 out of the right arm and only ten out of the left arm.

[03:55:00] CHURCH: All right. And you have been doing this every two weeks since 1967, which is incredible in itself. But you just made your last blood donation on Friday. And that is because Australia prohibits blood donations from people past the age of 81. Will it feels strange to stop doing this after so many years.

HARRISON: It's quite sad actually, because I still feel that I can donate. But rules are rules and now I have to find something to do on Friday afternoon every fortnight.

CHURCH: Yes, I'm sure you'll be able to eventually fill that vacuum. And of course, only about 160 people in Australia have this same special antibody in their blood. And the Australian Red Cross blood service says it's unlikely they'll ever find another blood donor with your commitment. You had been awarded medal of the order Australian recognition of this. So you mentioned what you're likely to do. I mean, what plans do you have now going forward?

HARRISON: Once a fortnight it won't be hard to fill. I garden and I have caravan, and next week I'll go going to Queensland for a three- month warm weather trip. I don't like the cold weather, and it's getting colder every day down here in Sydney.

CHURCH: Absolutely. That is great. And it is a wonderful weather up there for sure. And before you go, I do want to mention to everyone that you have also helped your own daughter and your two grandchildren, which is extraordinary. How did that feel to have it so close to home, your donations helping the lives of your own grandkids?

HARRISON: It gave me a jolt to keep going. My first child is OK, there's no problem. Then she gets the injection to stop having a miscarriage for the second child, which was Scott. And Scott will be 23 on Monday. So, yeah, everything's fine and it's good to know why can't others, it'll cost me nothing to donate, and we get nothing in return except the satisfaction that we are saving lives.

CHURCH: Well, it is extraordinary. James Harrison, we thank you all of us, Australians and people across the globe for your service and your blood. Many thanks.

HARRISON: Thank you for having me, bye.

CHURCH: Bye-bye. And thank you for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, love to hear from you and the news continues with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. You are watching CNN. Have a great day.