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U.S. Lawmakers Attend Briefings on Confidential Source; Harvey Weinstein Expected to Face Race Charges in NY; Investigators: Malaysia Airliner Downed by Russian Missile; Facebook and Others Sued for Allegedly Violating New Law. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 25, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong- un falls apart, leaving many wondering what's next in this nuclear standoff.

Plus, he was once perhaps the most powerful man in Hollywood, in just a few hours Harvey Weinstein is expected to be charged with rape.

And, Europe moves to protect online data with the world's toughest privacy laws ever and the impact will be felt far beyond the continent.


VAUSE: Hello everybody, great to have you with us, I'm John Vause and this is hour number two of Newsroom L.A.

The Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un might be off, but Pyongyang says it's willing to meet the U.S. at any time to work towards peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.


VAUSE: And the reason for President Trump cancelling the summit, the tremendous anger and open hostility which he says has been coming from the North. Even so, Donald Trump left the door open for the possibility of talks.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Based on the recent statement of North Korea, I've decided to terminate the planned summit in Singapore on June 12th.

I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world.


VAUSE: North Korea says it's willing to prove its peaceful intentions and so, it invited international journalists to its main nuclear testing site on Thursday for this display.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) While the North claims to have destroyed at least three tunnels,

observation buildings and living quarters at the test site, no weapons inspectors or nuclear experts were there. But, CNN's Will Ripley was and we'll have his report ahead this hour.


VAUSE: In the meantime, joining me now from San Francisco, we have Philip Yun, the Executive Director and COO of the Ploughshares Fund, and Markos Kounalakis, is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Here in Los Angeles, former city councilwoman, Wendy Greuel, also conservative commentator and radio host, Joe Messina.

So, Markos, we haven't seen you for a while, so the first goes to you. Both sides say they're still willing to meet up, but it's up to the other one to make it happen. The reality is the chances of a summit any time soon are remote to none, which means this White House is now effectively dealing with not one nuclear crisis, but two.


You know, will it happen now? Well, earlier this week we thought there was a 99.9 percent chance, now there seems to be no chance that it'll happen by June 12th, but I think that this is just one more stage of the negotiation.

I mean, Donald Trump wrote the book and even though it's not available on Amazon in Pyongyang, I'm sure that the Kim family, and his colleagues and his advisors, read this book and recognize that they have a fair amount of leverage with nuclear weapons in their territory.

So, the negotiation in now ongoing, it's the next step. The president stepping away from this summit is just another negotiating point. It is, of course, one of the most risky negotiations that's being held, but this is just another manifestation of how he is conducting the negotiation.

VAUSE: It does have a high drama of a reality TV show, you know, this one lasted 10 weeks - - the summit.


Here's part of an opinion piece from New York Magazine, "Many foreign policy analysts endorse the idea of bilateral talks between the leaders in North Korea and the United States. The problem is this particular leader of the United States and his belief that seat-of- the-pants temperamental spontaneity is the best approach to the problem of avoiding nuclear war."

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Joe, I guess you go into high stakes nuclear negotiations with

the president you have, not the one you would like. But maybe, this was the right strategy, wrong president?

JOE MESSINA, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Why? I mean, this guy's made deals all over the world and in some pretty bad situations. Just because it's a nuclear deal, I mean we all get all crazy about that, but the reality is it's the basic behind a deal, the basis behind the deal are the same.

When you look at "The Art of the Deal", you always ask for more than what you want and you already lay out what you're willing to give up. If you have to give up more than that, the deal is done, it's over, it is time to come back. I don't know why we're having a problem with it.

VAUSE: I mean, Wendy, I would disagree with that, because in the sense that you know, you could walk away from a real estate deal and no one dies, and there's not a nuclear war at the end of it. I mean, and you're not dealing with who are interested in money and making a profit.

I mean, in North Korea security is their number one issue.


WENDY GREUEL, FORMER LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCILWOMAN: Economics, it's all of those things and it's also about the position of Kim Jong-un and how he you know, his presence in the world. This is a very serious issue, where it is not just about, as you say, a real estate deal.

It is about the future of this world and nuclear power, and you cannot - - you cannot say that the way they went about this was a diplomatic way to deal with it, because unfortunately, they set expectations so far that's not "The Art of the Deal." You set your expectations lower and you go up from that.

[01:05] He set it to a point where most people thought it was ever going to be realistic and I think that's part of the reason that they pulled out because they're not ready to make that kind of deal.

VAUSE: And, the White House says overall cancelling the summit means the status quo still holds. There are tough sanctions and they're applying maximum pressure to Pyongyang. Listen to the secretary of state before Congress.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There has been an incredibly effective global campaign to create pressure on the North Korean regime, so that we could resolve the issue of - - of - - of Chairman Kim's regime threatening the United States of America that existed yesterday, it exists today, it's likely to exist tomorrow and so, our process remains the same.


VAUSE: Philip, to you, do you see Beijing holding the line here? There is some indications that maybe they're starting to ease up on the sanctions and there's been a lot of talk that the maximum pressure strategy is over.

PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Well, I'm a little skeptical about that, as well. I think the Chinese - - it's sort of a new ballgame right now. What we have is Donald Trump effectively - - North Koreans have been very good in certain ways, in terms of maneuvering this, but this was going to break down it was going to be because of Donald Trump.

And in an essence, the way he has handled this, not consulting with South Koreans you know hitting them completely out of the blue on this and I think that he's clearly - - you know, he owns this thing. And so, I think the Chinese, if they want to, have an excuse really to start easing on the sanctions.

Particularly with what was a very conciliatory statement in response to Donald Trump's rejection by the North Koreans. I want people to understand the context, that's pretty unusual what they said, that they're open anytime, anyplace to have a meeting and there was perhaps a misunderstanding. That's the gist of the statement by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan.

VAUSE: Marcus, to you, I'd like to get your thoughts on the impact this will have on U.S. allies.


The Washington Post is reporting that, "Trump's move caught South Korea and other allies off guard - - in part by design, aides said. The president feared the news would leak out if foreign counterparts were alerted, though some in the White House were concerned about insulting the allies."


VAUSE: So, what you see will be the impact both short-term, long- term?

KOUNALAKIS: Well, I think he has to recognize that allies are already a part of this negotiation, right? We talk about it being the United States and North Korea, that's what the summit would have been, but the negotiation is a multi-party negotiation.

We already know that the Chinese are involved. We know that the South Koreans are engaged, that the Japanese are engaged. So, those allies that you are asking bout need to be engaged and they need to be a part of this in some fashion.

So, when they feel cut out, that is not exactly the best way to engage them and to incorporate their interests, their national interests, their security concerns. You really have to reach out and make sure that we've got that negotiation going and maybe that's part of what's going on behind the scenes.

It's very difficult for us to know when we see so much public spectacle going on what's going on privately, whether it's in a second track negotiation or whether it's the new secretary of state holding negotiations and meeting with representatives of these other countries.

But, John, what you say is important. You have to keep your allies, and your friends, on your side and informed.

VAUSE: Well, let's got to Paula Hancocks now, she's live in Seoul.

Because, Paula, this decision to scrap the summit is likely to be felt most acutely where you are. President Moon Jae-in has staked his political future on brokering some kind of deal with the North.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right John. I mean this has really got South Korean officials reeling, they had no heads up about this, which is quite a surprise. The U.S. saying that they only told South Korea and Japan about it after the letter went public.


So, they effectively found out when we found out. Now we know there was a national security council meeting at midnight overnight, that the president and the ministers involved were meeting to try and discuss what was going on. They issued a photo of the meeting, as well, and there are some very stony faced ministers and president there.

So clearly, this is something they weren't expecting. Mr. Moon has only just got back from Washington, D.C., where he was sitting next to the U.S. President, Donald Trump, discussing the possible topics of discussion at the summit.

And the assumption was - - we heard from the national security advisor on the way over there, 99.9 percent chance of this summit going ahead. Clearly, something that he will regret saying that. But, this is fairly humiliating for the South Koreans. The fact that they were among the last to know about this.

Though, we also have some exclusive footage I wanted to show you, John, of the Max Thunder drills. This is the U.S.-South Korean Air Force drill and these are the drills that North Korea had quoted just 10 days ago, saying that that is the reason that the relationship between North and South Korea turned sour.

That's when the North Koreans cancelled those high level talks and said that potentially this summit was not worth it, when talking about the North Korean and U.S. summit.

[01:10:06] So clearly, they have been angered by these drills. Now whether, or not, it was these drills that really did force Pyongyang to change its tune when it came to warming relations with the South Koreans, we simply don't know. But, President Moon said he thought that once these drills were over then things would get better. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS: But of course, things have changed in the past 24 hours.


VAUSE: Yes, Paula, that's right. There had been these warming relations and we had a situation where President Trump made this announcement just hours after the North Koreans had actually set off explosives at their nuclear testing site.


They said they were shutting it down as a good will gesture. Will Ripley was one of a handful of international journalists who were there at the time.

He actually conveyed the news that the summit you know, had been scrapped to the North Korean officials who were with him at the time.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were sitting around the table and I got the phone call, and read out the letter from President Trump and I can tell you there was just a real sense of shock amongst the people that I was setting with, the North Korea officials.

They didn't give any official comment, but immediately they got up and left, and I hear now on the phone relaying the news to the top. And, imagine how they're feeling at this moment, given the fact that they just blew up their nuclear site today as a sign, they say, of their willingness to denuclearize.



VAUSE: Joe, just a few days ago anybody at the White House would say that you know the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un - - you know, he was a changed man, he was open, he was honorable. You know, he was committed, he was sincere about you know disarming, and getting rid of the nukes, and that kind of stuff.

You know, this was a genuine good will gesture that should be you know praised and now they're saying, well maybe, the site was non- operational anyway, it had collapsed - - which we don't know for certain, you know, you can't trust the guy. I mean, the tune has changed very, very quickly.

MESSINA: We've never been able to trust the North Koreans and you know that, but from day one when he jumped into this - - when you think about everything we got before we even opened our mouths, he gave us back, as you put, our hostages, right? He stopped the music blasting over the border.

There were a whole bunch of things that he started to do and I think he was moving too fast. His attitude changed tremendously, as some of the others can tell you, when he went to China. And, every time he's had a meeting in China now, his attitude has changed. I think the Chinese want a bigger role in this.

VAUSE: Wendy?

GREUEL: I think it's not as simple as that, that its' just the Chinese. I think this is about the fact that he led an effort, you know initially Tweeting and telling people this was going to happen and doing it in a way that was unorthodox, and was not a way in which you design some type of a negotiation in going forward.

And, as you mentioned, it's not only you know one day they're screaming at each other and the next day calling them honorable. I think he set expectations way too high - - getting the Nobel Peace Prize that they were talking about.

It really is, this is reality, having negotiations and doing this is difficult and not easy.

VAUSE: Reality, as opposed to reality TV?


VAUSE: Phil, I'd like to get your take, because I think you know you have the feeling that maybe this is just a bump in the road - - a very big bump, I guess, if you like, but you know this could all be resolved. But, if this is the end of you know the summit and it's pretty much gone, the chance of these two countries meeting - - these two leaders meeting.

Where do point the cause at?

YUN: Well, I think there's going to be another couple turns of the wheel here. Meaning that I think this thing is going to be salvageable. I think there's an element of gamesmanship here.

I think you know, Donald Trump in his book apparently said you never want to be at a position where you want the deal more than they do, and I think there was a perception, perhaps, that he wanted the deal more. So, there's some possible gamesmanship here.

I also think there's a misreading. I think that if you take them at their word, that because the North Koreans didn't show up to a Singapore meeting and they had bad words, they don't know their North Koreans.

I was involved in negotiations with them the first time I was with them, I think it was the second day, they didn't show up either and then the next day, they showed up three hours late. That's what happens and you've got to put that into your calculus.

But, I also think that they may have gotten spooked where they realize, well you know maybe they don't have a solid clad deal, as they think they do, which is causing them to step back a little bit. Giving all that's going on with Donald Trump, with Iran, what's going on with the Russia investigation, he cannot afford a big loss in this one and this one is going to be a big loss if it goes the way it seems to be going.

So, I think there's a lot of incentive for this to actually happen. I don't know when it will be, but I've got a feeling it will happen.

VAUSE: Okay. Well, one of the reasons why the North Koreans were spooked recently, it's being blamed on the National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and his talk about a Libya style deal for the North Koreans. This is what he said.


JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003-2004. There are obviously differences, the Libyan program was much smaller, but that was basically the agreement that we made.


[01:15] VAUSE: So, to Paula in Seoul, explain the significance here of the Libya deal and what it actually means to the North Koreans? And, why this is such a big deal?

HANCOCKS: Well John, this is something that North Korea has quoted for years, saying that they do not want to be another Libya, they don't want to be another Iraq. Now, John Bolton talking about the Libya deal, as in there would be denuclearization in return for easing of sanctions.

But, what North Korea hears when they hear the Libya deal is that Libya agreed to give up its nuclear weapons program in line with what Washington wanted.

And then several years later, Muammar Gaddafi, the leader was killed by rebels backed by Washington. So, we have heard time and time again from North Korean officials that the reason they need this nuclear program, and this missile program, is exactly what happened in Libya.

They don't want to be another Libya and they need the missile and nuclear program as an insurance policy. So there were a lot of raised eyebrows here in the region when John Bolton mentioned that, then the U.S. President mentioned it again, and then the U.S. Vice President mentioned it.

So, this does sound alarms across Pyongyang when they hear about the Libya deal. They consistently say they won't be Libya, they won't be Iraq.


VAUSE: And Wendy, to you, of all the people in the Trump administration, John Bolton would know the Libya deal is like a cross to a vampire, you know? And when Donald Trump tried to correct the record and clean up what his national security advisor had said, he got confused between the 2003-2004 disarmament deal and the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, which didn't help matters.

GREUEL: No. And look, when you're dealing - - and there are experts out there too, that will say to you, no deal is the same. And, to compare when you are negotiating like this to a previous deal is again not the way.

You want to start with we're going to deal with you on your level, we're going to deal with the issues that are important to you, economic, nuclear power, all of that, and be able to set down and to that. We all hoped that this peace process would go forward, that some kind of deal could be made.

But, they continue to stumble, trip over themselves, and the right and the left hand don't know what the other's doing, and I think you see this in this conversation.

VAUSE: Let's go back to Markos, because I'm wondering if - - Markos, if Bolton didn't sabotage this summit, and there's a lot of suggestions that maybe he did, at the very least he got his way?

KOUNALAKIS: Yes, it seems that when you're playing good cop, bad cop and Bolton is clearly the bad cop in this scenario, Bolton got his way in this round. But may I just say one thing, John? Because when we keep talking about this Libya deal, I think if I were Kim Jong-un, I would be more concerned about the Ukraine model.

Which was at the end of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had nuclear weapons. They gave them up under an agreement to the former Soviet Union - - to Russia and suddenly they were without nuclear weapons and became in essence, a vassal state to Russia.

So, I think if I were Kim Jong-un I would worry as much about a Ukraine style deal with China next door, as I would about the Libya problem.

VAUSE: You know, if we don't have a summit, then we still have the commemorative coin, at least.



VAUSE: And, the good news is it's dated just 2018. There's no day, no month, just the year.

So, Philip, there's still the rest of the year for a summit to take place. What are the chances?


YUN: Well, I - - I - - I'd say there's a pretty good chance that something is going to happen. Look, I mean let's say you know, I think the summit has got to happen in some way, because in the end it's going to rest with Donald Trump and it's going to rest with Kim Jong-un. You know, I used to have this line where Dennis Rodman was the only American to have met with Kim Jong-un, now we've got Mike Pompeo. But, you know we still don't know what this guy wants.

So, here's an opportunity to really say are you willing to give these up? If so, you know, what's the timeframe? How much is it going to cost? And then we can ask ourselves, are we willing to pay that?

And so, all of this is knowable and fro us to fall back on old stereotypes and the past in certain days, when we have new leader in place, I think is folly, especially when the stakes are as high as they are, which is a possible war in the Korean Peninsula. This is knowable, so we got to find out what it is.

VAUSE: Absolutely. It's a good note to finish on, the stakes are incredibly high, Philip, so thank you.

Philip, Markos, and we have Joe and Wendy, and also Paula there, all the way over there in Seoul, South Korea. So, thanks to you all. It was a very good discussion.

We're following breaking news right now out of Ontario, Canada.


Where police have said, in a Tweet, they're searching for two men who detonated an improvised explosive device at an Indian restaurant in suburban Toronto. The blast wounded 15 people, three of them critically. They've been taken to area hospitals, as well as a trauma center.

We're told the attackers fled the scene. We'll have more information on this breaking news as soon as we get it.


[01:20] VAUSE: In the meantime, a short break. When we come back, North Korea claims it's destroyed its nuclear test site.


We'll have a report from one of the few journalists who witnessed the explosion first hand. That would be CNN's Will Ripley, who now lives in Pyongyang.

Also ahead, investigators release new details about who may be connected to the missile which shot down a Malaysia airlines flight in 2014.



VAUSE: Just hours before President Trump announced the summit was scrapped, North Korea blew up tunnels and observation buildings at its nuclear test site. Destroying the site, they say was meant to be a good will gesture, but no weapons inspectors, no one from a nuclear watchdog group were allowed actually to see the explosions.

But, a small group of international journalists, including CNN's Will Ripley, was there.


RIPLEY: I'm here at North Korea's nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, a place that foreign journalists have never been allowed before. And we are here, the North Korean government says, to witness the destruction of this site. They say it will never be able to be used again.

With each powerful explosion the earth shakes. We travel around 15 hours to get here. First, by bus through the coastal city of Wonsan. Compartment seven, here we are, then some 12 hours by train. This is one of those moments where you blink and realize I'm having dinner on a train going through North Korea. A luxury ride by North Korean standards.

They just came through and they closed all the blinds, and told us that for the entire train ride, we can't film anything out the windows. We pull into Punggye-ri station, then begin the nearly two hour drive to the test site. Once again, no filming along the way.

We pass through a number of what looked like small farming villages. There was no sign of life, completely empty except for the handful of soldiers at the guard posts along the way.

We get a briefing from the deputy director of North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Institute, he won't tell us his name. Then, we're allowed to inspect the tunnels. North Korea says they could have easily conducted more nuclear tests here. They say two tunnels have never been used.

[01:25:07] So, they say by rigging it with explosives and blowing it up, that's a meaningful step towards denuclearization. No nuclear weapons experts in our small group, only journalists.

It's actually quite beautiful here. The North Koreans say that the ecosystem hasn't been damaged by all of these nuclear tests for more than a decade. They say no radiation has seeped out. Journalists aren't allowed to carry radiation detectors ourselves, they were taken away at the airport. So, we have to take their word for it.


UNIDENTIFIED, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS INSTITUTE: The dismantling of the nuclear test ground conducted with high level of transparency has clearly attested once again the proactive and peace-loving efforts of the government of the DPRK.


RIPLEY: You really do get the sense that you're witnessing history here, which is why we're documenting every single building on this site because by the end of the day it'll all be gone.

We hiked to an observation post built just for us and watched Punggye- ri go up in smoke.

Will Ripley, CNN, the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, North Korea.


VAUSE: Well, next on Newsroom L.A.


Beyond inappropriate, the president's personal lawyer turns up unannounced at a classified briefing on the Russia investigation.


VAUSE: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


Police in Ontario, Canada, say they're searching for two men who set off an improvised explosive device wounding 15 people, three of them critically, in an Indian restaurant in suburban Toronto. The attackers fled the scene after the blast.

The victims have been taken to area hospitals, as well as a trauma center and police are asking for help in trying to identify the suspects.

North Korea says it's still willing to meet with the United States, even after Donald Trump called off the summit with Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang says it's keeping an open mind. President Trump cancelled the meeting siting tremendous anger and open hostility from the North.

U.S. Justice Department officials met with lawmakers Thursday for two briefings focused on a confidential intelligence source in the Russia investigation. White House attorney, Emmett Flood, and Chief of Staff, John Kelly, also attended the start of the meetings to deliver brief remarks, a move a senior Democrat called inappropriate.


VAUSE: We should point out here that Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, says neither Flood, nor Kelly actually attended the two briefings, they left after making a few remarks.

For more let's bring in Wendy Greuel and Joe Messina.

Ok. And what was in those classified reports? Was this the big revelation that we find out the deep state about the spy ring? About, you know, all of the President's allegations? Well, let's listen to the Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR: Is there -- were you surprised with what you learned? SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Nothing particularly surprising but again it was classified. So there's nothing -- no real report I can give to you.


VAUSE: Joe -- if there was anything at all, no matter how small, a tidbit, wouldn't Republicans be yelling it from the rooftops?

JOE MESSINA, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No I'm proud of him, right. It's supposed to be a secret meeting -- well not a secret meeting but it's confidential information.

VAUSE: When has that ever stopped them before?

MESSINA: It doesn't matter. It's about time somebody kept their mouths shut. We seem to -- we call that up as being a hero now whenever you leak anything that comes out of the White House. It's wrong. It's flat out wrong. I'm glad he gave the answer he did.

WENDY GREUEL, FORMER LOS ANGELES COUNCILWOMAN: I am still flabbergasted by the fact that, you know, Emmett Flood and John Kelly were there. I think look, I think there wasn't anything means there was nothing juicy or different than what they've anticipated which was the FBI did what they were supposed to do when they have a threat, a potential of damaging our electoral system that they went in and tried to figure out what was happening.

VAUSE: Ok. And Joe -- the reality is as of now, there is still no public evidence to support the claims made by the President and his surrogates and Fox News Channel that the FBI planted a spy or spies or an entire spy network or Mata Hari or whoever into the Trump campaign as part of a politically motivated attempt directed by President Obama.

MESSINA: Well, were you expecting them to say yes, it was a politically motivated event.

VAUSE: Well, that's what the --

MESSINA: Clapper said that, you know --

VAUSE: That's what we're here to find out.

MESSINA: Well, Clapper said, you know, we should be having a spy in there because now we're there we can tell him that the Russians were trying to infiltrate them.


MESSINA: Why would he make a comment like that if there wasn't one in there? And not only that, you know, Comey kind of went around -- well, probably a spy. We were doing surveillance work. We were watching what was going on.

We would never allow that to happen to anybody else especially the last administration. They would be calling us all kinds of names, wouldn't they? They should have stayed away from him. There was no reason for them to be there. Absolutely not.

VAUSE: So you have evidence long before the source goes out to speak to George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. George Papadopoulos is the coordinator (ph) on the FBI's radar for their contact with Russians.


VAUSE: So they have all these information and they have this concern that the Russians have infiltrated the Trump campaign and it finds out that the, you know, the chairman of the campaign is under investigation. The would-be security adviser is under investigation. George Papadopoulos is linked to Russians. Carter Page is believe to be a Russian agent and this is all known so they send somebody out there to speak to these campaign aides to find out what the ties are to Russia. That doesn't sound believable to you?

MESSINA: I know we don't have time for dual standards here but it's amazing how everybody connected with Trump, anybody with him is a Russian (INAUDIBLE) -- all of a sudden they're under investigation. I just find this amazing. You're talking about really looking for something.

GREUEL: They're smoking. There's fire. And I think in this instance, all of those people have some connections. And the FBI's not going to sit back and say the Russians are coming after our democracy and say hands' off. It's starting in the top political team.

VAUSE: And Joe if you were, you know, looking to be the Republican nominee or you were the Republican nominee rather or coming out to be the Republican nominee for president, if you found out that there was information that you received that, you know, the Russians have infiltrated your campaign or the Chinese or who ever, wouldn't you want the FBI there to try and find out what was going on?

MESSINA: Of course, I would. I'd want that --


MESSINA: But I think, you know, it's the same the thing. You just said we're making all these assumptions and when he came out and said look, I was tapped, I was wiretapped. They were listening to our calls, everybody pooh-poohed it. Well, what did we find out? What did we all do -- they were wiretapping inside Trump

VAUSE: There was a FISA warrant which was issued for Michael Flynn. The FISA warrant was issued by a court. What Trump was saying was that President Obama tapped my phones and wiretapped Trump Tower --

GREUEL: Personally did, yes.

VAUSE: Exactly.

And did it with some kind of Nixonian, politically-motivated campaign. What it was, is that there was enough evidence presented to a Republican judge who oversees the FISA court that Flynn --


VAUSE: -- had done something wrong which he is now being charged with and is cooperating with the special investigator. And you know, so -- there was a reason why --


VAUSE: -- was being monitored.

MESSINA: But this fire hose of information was coming down -- which was true, which wasn't. They admitted themselves they didn't have time to vet everything that came down in that information hose, water hose.

I just find it interesting that every piece of every accusation made towards Trump is true and right, needs to be investigated.

If you're on the other side of the aisle none of the accusations were ever true.


GREUEL: Clinton -- it was everything was looked at every single, you know.

MESSINA: And who did they -- Benghazi who did they not interview. I mean --


VAUSE: There was not an investigation into Benghazi.

[01:35:00] MESSINA: You go through the e-mail. You know, anybody else who specifically got rid of 32,000 e-mails after they were told not would be -- now would be having to give their testimony from a jail cell.


VAUSE: Wendy -- last word on this because I want to move on to --

GREUEL: It's just -- you know, I think -- so untrue and it has been proven untrue. But what you have here is fact after fact that the campaign of Donald Trump had people who were interacting with the Russians. And we have a special investigator who is looking into this.

VAUSE: And they weren't just having borscht for lunch.

Ok. There was plenty of outrage over Emmett Flood, the President's personal lawyer turning up at that meeting. Adam Schiff the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee -- he tweeted this.

"Emmett Flood's presence and statement at the outset of both meetings today was completely inappropriate and I told him so. It only underscores what Rudy Giuliani said the President's legal team expects to improperly obtain and use such information for their defense."

A Republican congressional staffer told CNN quote, "It's the craziest blip I've ever heard."

Ok. Joe -- let's give the White House the benefit of the doubt, we tend to do that a lot. Let's say Flood had every intention to turn up, just deliver those remarks on behalf of the President urging transparency and whatever else it was and then leave. Why even do that? Why even create the impression that there's something dodgy going on here when there are so many other (INAUDIBLE) this white House has to put out?

MESSINA: Why is it something dodgy? Again, I'm going to take it from the other side and say he went to lay out the fact that hey, the President wants you to be true. We want you to be transparent. We don't want you to hide anything.


VAUSE: Well, there's a bunch of people screaming saying this isn't right.

MESSINA: What's that?

VAUSE: There's a bunch of people screaming, saying this isn't right? You know, like the lawyer for Pablo Escobar turning up at the DEA. I mean --

MESSINA: Well --

GREUEL: It's unprecedented that they were in the room there when they're being investigated. And there was no need for that to happen. And you have to remember that, you know, at one moment Adam Schiff was invited to the meeting and then he was disinvited and then he was invited again. Why is that? And what was happening between there? Why didn't they want the Democrats to be there which was what they were supposed to have which is protocol.

VAUSE: Yes. I was going to -- I'm not -- you know, I'm not saying that anything was -- that there was any wrongdoing here. But this is a White House which, you know, every day is stunning and it's another controversial scandal whatever. And you know, you blame it on the media or the Democrats or whatever. But they're there.

Why antagonize the situation with something like this? Just doing remarks --

MESSINA: Well, we'd be here all the time, right. He's not presidential. I mean he's got a different way of --

VAUSE: No, not presidential but he's getting bad advice.

MESSINA: And maybe he's getting bad advice but maybe he went to his people -- just maybe went to his people and said I want you to go there and I want you to let them know no one's going to hide anything. I don't want you to sugarcoat anything. I want the information out.

You know, I say over and over again on my radio show. Let's do it to both sides. Anything that's kind of dark and dirty and nasty -- let's do an investigation. Let' just get Washington go with all these investigations. Get them over with. Instead of having this go back and forth.

Well, there must be something wrong because we smelled smoke. Didn't see it, we smelled it. So let's go ahead and dig into it.

VAUSE: But what President Obama had said -- it was in a similar situation and sent somebody to this, you know, classified briefing. And he was -- he was never the focus of an investigation. But let's say he was. Would you have a problem with that?

MESSINA: If he was --

VAUSE: If he was under investigation and he said something to a meeting without reviewing the classified information pertinent to that investigation.

MESSINA: If he sent his people to make a statement -- and you know, I've got seven years worth of shows that can prove it. If he sent somebody to make a statement and then left, didn't stay for the briefing I wouldn't have a problem with it.

VAUSE: Right.

GREUEL: Look, you could release a statement in writing and tweet it, whatever you want to say. I believe in transparency. I want everything to be on the table from the President of the United States of the United States himself and not send those two people into that room. That's the way I think if he wanted that statement to be made.

VAUSE: And then you wouldn't have anybody say anything. Ok.

GREUEL: Wouldn't be challenging it.

MESSINA: And you wouldn't be talking about him anymore.

VAUSE: There you go.


VAUSE: Wendy -- you guys are great. Thank you.

Ok. We'll take a short break. Next here n NEWSROOM L.A. He once called the shots in Hollywood. Now he's facing felony charges -- the latest in Harvey Weinstein's fall from grace.

And also "MeToo" rising.


VAUSE: Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to New York police on Friday. The disgraced former film producer will face charges of rape and other sex crimes. He's also under investigation for alleged criminal sexual conduct in Los Angeles and London.

Last year dozens of women publicly accused Weinstein of sexual abuse, rape or misconduct and that sparked the "MeToo" Movement where women around the world came forward against being sexually harassed by powerful men.

Well for more on all of this criminal defense attorney and former sex crimes prosecutor Ambrosio Rodriguez, he's here in studio. Thank you for coming in.


VAUSE: Ok. So let's start with Weinstein turning himself in to the NYPD. One of the charges is that he raped one woman, forced another to perform oral sex. What else do we know about these specific allegations?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, these are the allegations that came out in "The New Yorker" that sparked the whole MeToo Movement. I mean it really is how the mighty have fallen, right.

Both of these charges kind of back each other up. In a sex crimes case, in a prosecution a D.A. needs corroboration. It's never enough to just have the accusation of one woman without having physical evidence or biological evidence and that's actually kind of rare because late reporting is very common because of the issues of shame and power that go with it.

But now you have two separate women that tell similar stories that don't know each other. And have -- at least the D.A. believes -- to have credible stories. I want to also keep in mind that the D.A. of Manhattan Cyrus Vance has actually got into a lot of controversy --


RODRIGUEZ: -- because this information -- the cops that Vance --

VAUSE: Ran (ph) this for a while.

RODRIGUEZ: Right. And they had it on tape -- remember.


RODRIGUEZ: So a lot of this has to do With kind of political pressure that was --

VAUSE: So you mention this sort of the cooperation here and other victims. There's two victims here. But what we saw on Cosby, there was one victim but others were allowed to testify --


VAUSE: -- which, you know, essentially established that pattern of behavior. Will there be a similar situation here?

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. New York is just like California. It allows what's called uncharged acts, that is, other women who -- the crime that is -- they accused Harvey of having committed is not being charged in the indictment. So the women from New York, from London that have made reports can come in to New York and make a statement in front of the jury.

VAUSE: Weinstein apparently negotiated a bail package in advance. How do you do that? And does it actually mean he won't spend any time in jail, at least initially?

RODRIGUEZ: You do that when you have an army of lawyers.


RODRIGUEZ: Right. I mean that's -- bail is usually set by schedule. And a bail schedule is based on the maximum amount of time a person can spend in prison if guilty.

What probably happened was he was told ahead of time what the charges would be, the bail is -- bail was set. And he paid for that bail probably as a cash bond and it was already set up. He's still, under New York law, has to be booked. So he will be fingerprinted. There will be a mug shot.

VAUSE: There will be a perp walk?

RODRIGUEZ: I'm sure there will be.

VAUSE: Ok. Ok -- so you mentioned an army of lawyers. If you're doing this case would you try and fight it? Would you go for a plea deal? What do you think they'll do?

[01:44:53] RODRIGUEZ: He's not going to take a plea. It's going to go to trial. I mean there is a legitimate -- look this is the defense that Harvey Weinstein --- Weinstein should use which is -- it has to be -- it's kind of a radical defense but it has to be, given the facts of the case, which is trading sex for jobs in Hollywood is common.

VAUSE: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: It is the coin of the realm. There are lots and lots of women that have had sex with me in order to get decisions or to get roles. These two women who are making the accusation were doing the same thing. They just have buyers' remorse or they're not happy they didn't get the part or I didn't give them a part or things just didn't work out. But Hollywood is a dirty business.

VAUSE: Is that the best you've got?

RODRIGUEZ: I don't see why it wouldn't work.

VAUSE: Yes. Oh, really?


VAUSE: That (INAUDIBLE) worked a number of years ago -- how does that work now in the era of MeToo? RODRIGUEZ: Because just because we have an era of MeToo in the media, in the "New Yorker", and a certain -- a certain part of the new United States doesn't mean that everyone has bought into MeToo. Right.

We talk about MeToo so much that it has become kind of -- we've kind of become lazy to think that everyone agrees with MeToo.

VAUSE: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: Well that's not necessarily true.

VAUSE: I just thought that there is now much more of a willingness to accept the word of women when they come forward and they detail these stories whereas before it always seemed like there was the bias towards the person being accused as opposed to the accuser.

Now it seems that's shifted. And so I'm just wondering how good that defense is in that kind of atmosphere?

RODRIGUEZ: That shifted in the media --

VAUSE: Right.

RODRIGUEZ: -- but that doesn't mean it shifted with everyone else. There's what 350 million people. There's about 12 million of those living in New York. I don't believe that everyone has bought into it. Men are acquitted of rape every day in this country.

VAUSE: Right.

So this will be a jury trial.

RODRIGUEZ: This will be a jury trial and it will be a hell of a trial.

VAUSE: Will we see more charges or is this it?

RODRIGUEZ: There'll be -- I think that now Los Angeles is under more pressure to press charges and they're running towards the end of the statute of limitations. They have to make a decision.

VAUSE: Right. Ok.

This is obviously just the beginning and there's a lot yet to play out.

Ambrosio -- thanks so much for coming in.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you so much for having me.

VAUSE: Cheers. And congratulations to the new baby girl.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: OK. A CNN investigation has uncovered a pattern of alleged inappropriate behavior by the legendary actor Morgan Freeman on set and at his production company Revelations Entertainment. Eight women told us they were the victims of what some called harassment, others call inappropriate behavior.

Freeman has issued a statement saying, quote, "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I'm not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected. That was never my intent."

A short break. When we come back here on NEWSROOM L.A. new information about the missile which shot down a Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine. Investigators know who made the missile but not who launched it.


VAUSE: Investigators say the missile which downed a Malaysia Airlines flight back in 2014 was fired from a launcher belonging to a Russian military unit. And they're asking members of the public to help identify anyone involved in the attack.

Almost 300 people were killed Flight MH 17 was brought down in eastern Ukraine. Russia continues to deny any involvement.

CNN's Phil Black has more now on the investigation.


[01:50:04] PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The challenges for anyone trying to work out what happened to MH 17 were enormous. At the scene we found a vast unsecured debris field in the middle of a war zone.

Wreckage, evidence, victims, their personal belongings -- all left lying in the fields of eastern Ukraine. The remains of its crew and passengers are everywhere and yet there is no one here trying to work out what happened; no one here to take responsibility for this.

Over the following weeks the victims were recovered. Four months later the wreckage was finally removed. This is part of the operation. And you can see it's not a delicate one to collect the scattered debris of the aircraft.

As investigators piece together what remained of MH-17 they found among the wreckage and within the bodies of the crew pieces of a Buk missile. They were compared to unfired missiles of the same type. One was detonated to study the force and nature of the blast.

Investigators were in no doubt about what brought down the aircraft but tracing its origins required meticulous forensic work. They studied data from local phone towers, recordings of intercepted calls made and received by people traveling with the weapon, videos and photos posted online, witness accounts and satellite images.

In 2016 the investigators said all of that allowed them to accurately plot the course of the convoy carrying the Buk missile system which shot down MH-17. WILBERT PAULISSEN, HEAD OF THE DUTCH NATIONAL DETECTIVES (through translator): This Buk was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation territory.

BLACK: Now the investigators have revealed the specific Russian military unit they believe the missile launch vehicle originated from -- the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade.

Again using online videos they say they identified unique markings on the suspect launcher and tracked its journey in a convoy from an area near the Russian city of Kursk, home of the 53rd brigade.

Investigators still haven't openly accused Russian military personnel but they say they know a lot more than they're revealing about the roles played by specific individuals.

Now they're appealing to hear from people who can answer questions about the 53rd brigade and the suspect launcher.

PAULISSEN: Who was part of the crew? What was the instruction given to them? Who was responsible for the operation of deployment of this Buk trailer on 17 July 2014?

BLACK: Russian has again has denied any involvement but investigators say they're getting close to identifying who was responsible for killing 298 innocent people and their inquiries are leading in only one direct -- deep into Russian territory.

Phil Black, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Europe's sweeping data protection regulation goes into effect Friday and CNN has learned separate lawsuits have already been filed against Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Instagram alleging the companies are failing to comply. Testifying in front of E.U. leaders on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insisted his company would follow the new rules but as Samuel Burke reports legal experts believe Facebook is already in violation.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Austrian lawyer Max Schrems has been fighting Facebook in court over data privacy for nearly a decade. And today he wasted little time, his NGO suing Facebook for allegedly violating the E.U.'s new data protection law called GDPR the day it came into force.

MAX SCHREMS, AUSTRIAN LAWYER: We were looking for big companies that really willfully (AUDIO GAP) the law and try to ignore it (AUDIO GAP) with it.

BURKE: Schrems who helped write the regulation says he's taking legal action because big tech isn't complying with the law. SCHREMS: (INAUDIBLE) said Europe, we don't want this, we think it's

stupid so we don't want to comply with it. And there are obvious business interests. There are certain things you simply can't do with data anymore that give a profit.

BURKE: The new law was supposed to stop companies from hovering (ph) up your sensitive data like political opinions, religious beliefs, ethnicity, and sexuality for advertising purposes without your consent.

According to legal experts CNN spoke with Facebook is skirting this requirement.

On your Facebook profile, you can put in things like sexuality, religion or political beliefs. And if you put that on, you don't have any choice but for Facebook to use it to personalize content to review advertising and so on.

SCHREMS: There's only an "I accept" button.

BURKE: Exactly.

SCHREMS: There's not an "I don't accept" button.

BURKE: Exactly -- you got it.

[01:54:55] (INAUDIBLE) says even if you completely remove sensitive (AUDIO GAP) from your profile, Facebook can still glean information such as your sexual orientation by analyzing your behavior on the platform and on other Web sites too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Facebook can infer things from the great amount of data is has about you across the Web and also across your mobile devices and apps that also send data to Facebook.

BURKE: As you understand the law does it prevent Facebook from making these inferences that they make about us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that law forbids Facebook from making these inferences without explicit consent.

BURKE: Failure to comply could be costly for a big company like Facebook. European data regulators can impose a fine of up to 4 percent of its global annual revenue. Based on 2017 figures, that means Facebook could face a penalty topping $1.6 billion each time it runs afoul of the new law.

In a statement to CNN Facebook's chief privacy officer said the company has quote "introduced better tools for people to access, download and delete their information". The company also says it's building a new tool that will allow users to stop Facebook from storing information about them, it collects from other Web sites and apps.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: We do expect to be fully compliant. On May 25. BURKE: Lawyer Max Schrems believes the new rules are tough enough to prevent the kind of data scraping that companies like Cambridge Analytica have engaged in.

SCHREMS: If we enforce them properly we can actually get a balance in this digitalized age. In the end you as a customer have the possibility to use let's say Facebook without worrying 24/7 about your data.

BURKE: However reports (ph) come down on the tech giants, Europe's new data regulations are already redrawing the line between profit and privacy.

Samuel Burke, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Please join us on Twitter at CNN NEWSROOM L.A. There you'll find highlights and clips from all our shows -- all three hours of them. But don't go there just yet because I will be back after the break with a lot more news.


VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour -- the historic North Korea-U.S. summit has been scrapped amid heated angry rhetoric sparking concerns, words might turn into action.

Donald Trump's lawyer representing him in the Russia investigation allowed at a classified intelligence briefing. One lawmaker called it the craziest bleep he's ever seen.

[02:00:00] Plus disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein set to turn himself in to police on Friday. He will be formally charged with rape.

Hello -- everybody. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is hour number three of NEWSROOM L.A.