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Facebook Removes Suspected Russia-Linked Accounts; Neil Diamond Surprises Firefighters with Concert; Actor Alan Alda Reveals He Has Parkinson's Disease; Trump Declares Victory Over Honest Abe Again. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 1, 2018 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, (inaudible) same as the first, despite all the outrage and worldwide attention, it seems the Russians are trying to interfere in the next U.S. election less than a hundred days away using the same tactics, same playbook, and same social media platform.

The first day of the first trial borne under Mueller investigation, the former Trump campaign chairman heads to court facing dozens of charges of financial crimes in a case which has nothing to do with Russia, but at the same time everything to do with Russia.

Two legends of entertainment and one diseased, Neil Diamond and now Alan Alba among 10 million people worldwide diagnosed with Parkinson's.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Facebook has shut down dozens of pages and accounts which could be linked to Russia and may influence hundreds of thousands of followers. The social media giant identified a new and coordinated efforts to interfere in U.S. politics and mislead American voters ahead of November's congressional elections. We get more now from CNN's Drew Griffin.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facebook calls it in authentic behavior and though Facebook can't be sure, it sure looks like Russia again. Thirty-two pages with names including Black Elevation, Resistors, S Flynn Warriors being followed by 290,000 accounts.

The fake accounts also setting up and promoting real events and protests aimed at further polarizing U.S. political discourse. Many of the events did occur including this one last year in New York City attended by actual Americans, who likely had no idea that the Resistors Facebook page was probably run by Russians.

Another event by the same group was supposed to take place in a couple of weeks Resistors set up a counter protest against white supremacist at the White House August 10th. Five other real groups signed on to participate.

As Facebook was announcing its crackdown on these potential Russian sites, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security was at a cyber security conference saying there's no doubt Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

And Russian actors may be added again comparing the upcoming midterm elections to a looming storm.

KIRSTJEN NEILSEN, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Today, I believe the next major time is more likely to reach online and on an airplane. We are in a crisis mode. A Cat 5 hurricane has been forecast and now we must prepare.

GRIFFIN: Facebook says these current pages all shut down at the hallmarks of the activities the Russians did around the presidential election. Thought there are some differences, this time the pages didn't lead back to Russian IP addresses, and they used third-party services to buy ads to boost their posts and encourage people to follow the pages.

(on camera): As part of its new transparency policy, not only is Facebook announcing this publicly that it's shut down these 32 suspected Russian sites, it is going to contact all 290,000 accounts that were in contact with these sites to let them know these were obviously fake Facebook accounts. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


VAUSE: Joining me now from Tucson, Arizona, CNN national security analyst and retired CIA chief of Russia Operation, Steve Hall. Thanks for being with us, Steve. I guess, if nothing else, I guess the Russians should get credit for the sheer audacity and persistence despite all the outrage and the world's attention, they just keep on doing what they've been doing, I guess what because there's no incentive to stop.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it works very well for them last time, John, and in addition to audacity and just, you know, trying again and again, they've obviously learned a bit as Waller decided to employ a bit more tradecraft than they did last time making it harder to trace back to the IP addresses, those technical addresses that they use or can be used to find out where they are coming from.

Using what we refer to as cutouts third parties to actually, you know, purchase internet connections for them, trying to cover their tracks a little bit better this time, but yes, given that it worked so well last time, I think they'll probably go for it again in the midterm elections here in the United States. VAUSE: Yes, there are some pretty basic stuff in those tweets they made like paying for everything not in rubles but in U.S. and Canadian dollars. That seemed like a no brainer. We should say the Russians haven't been greatly linked to these 30, 32 pages which were pulled.

[00:05:06] But language patterns indicate non-English speakers, the tactics, the contents, all similar to that Russian troll farm, which operated between 2014 and 2017. So, if it looks like brownbag, bites like one, and chances are (inaudible), it's a bear, right?

HALL: Yes, and again, you have to ask, you know, who would have the most interested in doing this. There might be somewhat off so that, you know, sort of copycats, which is sometimes get another type of criminal activity, but yes, this is clearly the Russian government doing what it does best.

To be clear, you know, this is not a -- Vladimir Putin, of course, who is the intellectual author of these things is not a Republican and he's not a Democrat. And he's clearly anti-Americans.

So, this is it's not surprising to see that the attacks are really across the political spectrum. The goal here is anti-American. The goal is not anti-any particular candidate or any particular race.

It's to try to create discord and confusion and creates some sort of moral equivalency between another way Vladimir Putin runs his country and the way the United States and other Western countries are run in a democratic fashion.

VAUSE: And one of the details here is that these guys write about 150 adds and the price tag on that was $11,000 attacking democracy seems pretty cheap these days.

HALL: Yes, that's chump change and the resources that the Russians will throw at this is truly amazing. You know, it's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we've been able to see from Facebook.

There is other social media platforms and there's other ways to go about this. It's not just through social media. You know, you've got cases like the Maria Butina (ph) case where you've got, you know, somebody else in the Russian government attacking the right-hand side of the American political spectrum.

You're going to have other types of information and persuasion, propaganda operations that are going to be undertaken. Those things can cost a little bit more money, but it doesn't matter to Vladimir Putin. He's got a unity of government. He can do whatever he wants. He has the resources to do it.

VAUSE: You know, this is pretty much a do-over, as you said, of how they worked in 2016 and that kind of reminds me that old, you know, saying from President George W. Bush. Listen to this.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There's an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, boom, shame on -- shame on you. You can get fooled again.


VAUSE: You know, after everything that has been written, said, tweeted, posted and talked about, there are still some Americans out there who are ready to fall for the same scam.

HALL: Yes. This is -- you know, this is a really for me extremely frustrating thing and it's not so much -- I'm not frustrated so much with, you know, my fellow Americans or really anybody in western country. The problem is that Putin and his intelligence services have become expert in a very, very unique skill set.

And that is taking advantage of open societies, which is extremely ironic because, of course, they don't live in an open society themselves. But you know, in a society that so many people are on social media, so many people have relatively short attention spans these days, myself included.

You know, scanning your Twitter feed, you just don't have that much time to focus and Putin knows how to leverage all of these things, hit the hot button topics. Hit them quickly, not a lot of detail, confuse people.

This is something that is very, very easy to do in open democracies where we put a great deal of value on free speech and the ability to communicate basically however we want. The Russians know how to use that and they are going to do it again.

VAUSE: We're out of time, but I also have basic questions, this is what Facebook has found. Can you imagine what they've missed? Steve, good to talk with you. Thank you.

HALL: My pleasure.

VAUSE: Well, the U.S. vice president, Mike Pence, says the proper administration is working tirelessly to prevent hacking and interference in U.S. elections. Pence was the keynote speaker on Tuesday in the National Cyber Summit in New York.

He blamed Russia for the attack on the 2016 vote, but also managed to lay fault with the Obama administration for failing to act.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Previous administrations have let the American people down when it came to cyber defense. The outset of this administration it became clear from early on, in very real sense, we inherited a cyber crisis. The last administration all but neglected cyber security even though the digital threats were growing more numerous and more dangerous by the day.


VAUSE: Joining me now in Los Angeles, Ron Brownstein, CNN's senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic." Ron, it's been a while. Good to see you.

OK. So, it's all Obama's fault, which does beg the question that when the "New York Times" reported on May 15, the White House eliminated the position of cyber security coordinator on the National Security Council doing away the post central to developing policy to defend against increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and the use of offensive cyber weapons.

The question is why would the administration do that in the midst of what the vice president says is a cyber crisis?

[00:10:12] RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I mean, there are so many things to say about this. First, I mean, there are Democrats who feel that the Obama administration did not do enough to respond particularly to ring the alarm bell publicly about the threat that Russia was posing in the 2016 election.

But it is important and really critical to remember that at the decisive meeting when they asked Capitol Hill for a unified front against Russia, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader said no.

You know, said that he would, you know, essentially view this as a partisan act and certainly, for Mike Pence now to say this, imagine Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, if the Obama administration had come out and said that Russia was trying to help him Trump win the election, which is request for the intelligence agencies concluded after.

Imagine what his response would have been, both parties' response would have been, and whatever else, you know, I can sit here and say I know everything the administration is doing or not doing behind the scenes in terms of the technical defense of various U.S. systems against cyberattack.

But they are clearly not doing the single -- that they have not utilize the single most powerful weapon they have to deter Russia, which is publicly sending a clear message to Vladimir Putin, and of course, the president did exactly the opposite in Helsinki.

VAUSE: What I'm wondering, though, is what would be the Republican reaction if all of a sudden sort of been, you know, reversed. If the Russians intervened trying to get Hillary Clinton elected and there is a whole lot of evidence about that, and she won the election and Donald Trump have lost, what would be the reaction there?

BROWNSTEIN: You know, we would have Devin Nunez, you know, subpoenaing from the other direction. It would be at Category 5 hurricane as the Homeland Security secretary says. It would have been completely the opposite, but you know, the fact is that the Russian attempt to build influence at the American political system has tilted more toward the right and the left.

I mean, there are elements where Steve Bannon gave a famous speech, you know, before this administration talking about how he understood elements of the appeal of Vladimir Putin, who has talked about the same kind of ethno-nationalism as many of the populist movements of the right both in Europe and the U.S., who has kind led with the social conservative argument.

Very similar, kind of blood and soil politics in many ways and you saw in the case of the NRA and the National Prayer Breakfast and all of these other efforts to kind of find sympathetic in roads on the road.

VAUSE: Look, I'm just curious, though, you have a U.S. president, who for the first time last Friday, in the national security, basically for a discussion about securing the midterm elections from Russian interference and just interference in general.

That meeting with the National Security Council lasted 30 minutes. Donald Trump met one on one with Russia and Putin, the guy, who probably ordered the attacks in the first place for almost two hours in Helsinki. What does that set?

BROWNSTEIN: It speaks volumes and look, as I said, the single most powerful deterrent I think the U.S. has is to make unequivocally clear that we know what you have been doing, we know what you are trying to do now, and there will be consequences if you continue. The president said precisely the opposite message in Helsinki. Not only where there no consequences, but he said, well, what can I do? He said he denied it.

VAUSE: I'm just the president of the United States.

BROWNSTEIN: And the fact is that Putin believes that -- and has every reason to believe this has been enormously successful. Not only in the sense that as he said at the Helsinki press conference, he referred Donald Trump to win.

But also, in the sheer amount of division, the cloudy is put over American election results. The possibility that however this election turns out in November, there will be people, who will question the results.

This is having a deeply corrosive impact and clearly, it requires a more forceful response in the Trump administration and the president personally above all has been willing to provide.

VAUSE: The first trial from the Russia investigation is now underway in a courtroom in Alexandra (inaudible). Prosecutors are urging the jury to follow the money in the financial crimes trial of former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who is facing more than 300 years in prison if convicted. CNN's Jessica Schneider has details.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, prosecutors are off to a fiery start in their case against Paul Manafort calling him a shrewd liar, who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars. Lawyers for the special counsel told the jury Manafort earned millions in secret income from the, quote, "Cash spigot" that came from working for the, quote, "golden goose" in Ukraine, former pro-Putin president, Victor Yanikovich (ph). But Manafort's lawyers pushed back blaming it on the Russian oligarchs, who Manafort worked for saying they required him to pay through secret bank accounts as the defense team entered the courthouse earlier in the day, they remained resolute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any chance that he may decide to flip and cooperate?


[00:15:06] SCHNEIDER: Paul Manafort face the six men and six women jury, who will decide whether he could spend the rest of his life in prison. The president's former campaign chairman appeared calm, wearing a dark suit as lawyers made their opening statements and the prosecution called its first witness.

Paul Manafort's was the first indictment secured by the special counsel's team last October. His former codefendant and deputy, Rick Gates, has already pleaded guilty and is cooperating.

In a bold move, Manafort's teams told the jury, his defense will revolve around discrediting Gates, who is expected to be called as one of the government's 35 witnesses. Defense Attorney Thomas Zentley (ph) claimed it was Gates who, stole money and lied and embezzled millions from Manafort.

Zentley aid generally said it was Gates, who, quote, "had his hands in the cookie jar." This trial is a key test for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Judge T.S. Ellis has banned any mention of President Trump, Russia, or collusion from the courtroom, but the case still looms over the White House.

Since the charges against Manafort stemmed from the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The White House now trying to downplay the trial and Manafort's role on the Trump campaign even though Manafort was the campaign chairman for three months.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign. I think that even Mr. Manafort as I read it had requested that there be no mention of brief tenure at the Trump campaign several years ago. This has nothing to do with collision, Russia, nothing to do with the Trump campaign.

SCHNEIDER: Manafort's Virginia case centers around his past lobbying work for the pro-Putin, Ukrainian government, for which prosecutors say he received $60 million. The government alleges Manafort hid millions and failed to pay taxes while still spending the money on real estate and luxury purchases including homes in Manhattan, Virginia, and the Hamptons, expensive suits and baseball tickets.

And prosecutors will present hundreds of emails, photos, and financial records to prove it. In opening statements, the government even promised evidence of a $15,000 jacket made from an ostrich. Prosecutors say Manafort also lied the banks about his income to secure more than $20 million in loans.

The president has repeatedly tried to downplay Manafort's ties to the campaign even though he proved a key player as President Trump seized the nomination.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign, but I feel so -- I tell you I feel a little bad about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago? You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for many other Republicans. He worked for me what 49 days or something, a very short period of time.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): This trial expected to last three weeks and it isn't the only trial that Paul Manafort faces, he's charged with seven counts in federal court in Washington, D.C. That trial is set to start in September and until then it looks like Manafort will remain behind bars.

That's because a D.C. appeals court just rejected his request to overturn the lower court's decision that sent him to jail for alleged witness tampering until his trial. Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Back now with Ron Brownstein, so now that this trial is under way, how likely or unlikely is that Manafort will flip and cut a deal with Mueller, the special counsel, investigating new Russian interference because otherwise if he doesn't, it seems his two options are either a pardon or prison?

BROWNSTEIN: All indications are he is going to quote the book about Richard Callan's be the man who kept the secrets, you know, there is no indication yet that he is now whether we get to the end of trial and you are convicted and you are facing, you know --

VAUSE: Three hundred years in jail.

BROWNSTEIN: Three hundred years in jail, maybe that concentrates the mind, but right now I think there has not been any of this has been striking. There's been no indication at all. If you are the White House, that you can say, and I think you can say, look, this involves behavior that occurred before Manafort was actually was the campaign chairman at a crucial moment for Donald Trump.

Leading that aside, there is a little bit of shock and awe I think coming for the White House in the sense of we are going to see the capacity of the Mueller team for forensic accounting.

I mean, their ability to reconstruct complex financial arrangements and complex financial deals I think is going to be possibly very eye- opening for the administration. And the Trump lawyers who recognize that one of the strains of investigation they are following are the complex Trump financial relations possibly with Russians and others.

VAUSE: And with that in mind, there's 500 pieces of evidence and -- it seems the prosecutors painting this picture of Manafort's extravagant lifestyle, more than 30 bank accounts in three countries, seven homes, $500,000 in luxurious clothes, $12,000 watch, and of course, $15,000 ostrich jacket.

Then somehow, you know, Manafort lost his fortune and he was in desperate straits and even though this doesn't have anything to do with Russia, it seems almost heading down this road, here is a man, who was presented with an opportunity, suddenly unpaid head, a chairman of the Trump campaign with access.

[00:20:10] And he was already dealing here with known Russian operatives, it seems that, well, it hasn't a lot to do with Russia, it has everything to do with Russia.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. At some level, listen to what the opening statements from the prosecutors today. It does kind of follow that classic financial fraud kind of positioning or framing for the jury. Here's someone who lied, simple direct message in order to finance a lavish lifestyle, in parentheses, that you don't have.

That is a very common kind of prosecutorial way of framing these kinds of cases, but yes, look, I mean, the chairman of the campaign was someone, who was deeply involved with pro-Putin politicians, had assorted connections including in his own company to people linked to Russian intelligence. There is probably a lot that he can tell, but right now he's not talking.

VAUSE: It makes you wonder who is more afraid of, Donald Trump or those oligarchs or maybe he's got nothing to say at all. Ron, thank you. Good to see you.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, crews are making gains against those deadly wildfires ravaging California, but harsh weather conditions are still causing problems.

Also, a terrifying plane crash in Mexico, but reports say everyone on board survived.


VAUSE: Some terrifying moments for passengers and crew on board Airmexico Flight 2431. These are images of the smoldering wreckage of the airline. Forty nine people were taken to hospital after the plane went down shortly after takeoff from Durango.

The pilot and one passenger are in critical condition. The flight with 101 people on board was heading to Mexico City, but ended in a field not far from the runway. Hail and heavy rain were reported in the area, but it's not known if the bad weather was a factor in the crash.

Firefighters are slowly making progress against the deadly wildfires ravaging California, but the weather is doing them no favors. Extreme heat and strong winds forecast through this week could spread the flames even further. The largest of the fires is so called Carr fire is now the seventh most destructive in California's state history. It's 30 percent contained. At least six people have died in that fire. Four others remain missing.

Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, joins us now with more. Thirty percent is progress, but I guess, there's still one way to go.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And the heat certainly is not done just yet. I think there is some better changes in the forecast the next couple of days, John, but initially, you're going to be dealing with quite a bit of heat across this region.

And really incredible is just look at how explosive this particular fire was because at one point in the past couple of days here, it was consuming 11 hectares per minute equivalent to a size of a football field being consumed every 3 seconds across this region as the Carr fires.

So, really going to put that in perspective of what we were dealing with as far as how the rapid growth was, but the heat is still in place. Of course, we know tremendous daytime heating at the surface.

[00:25:10] A lot of thermals, rising air here and a lot of localized gusty winds that still remains in the forecast at least the next three days. In fact, conditions so right for wildfires that we've seen it increase and spike in it in the western U.S. going from 90 yesterday up to 98 large active wildfires right now around the western United States, a couple more around portions of Northern California that we had as well.

And in Redding, temps look as such, noticed the next several days, very little change in the forecast, about 39 Celsius, which is 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Still above average but look what happens here as we go in from Saturday until Sunday.

The ridge that have been in place almost the entire month of July changes, shift here as we go into August. So, as we go on to the say, 3rd, 4th, and 5th of August, early next week, tremendous change in the forecast, much cooler temperatures, a marine influence.

And then also, of course, humidity is gone. There is not much rain in the forecast but going to see that change for the better as early as Saturday and Sunday and certainly going to be felt by Monday and Tuesdays.

So, I think firefighters certainly looking forward to this as well to see the changes in the forecast. I want to bring in someone here that's been on the ground experiencing exactly what has been happening.

Ken Pimlott is the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Kim, thanks for joining us. He is live on the phone in Sacramento. Ken, it seems like you guys can't catch a break, right? You've got more blazes popping up right now across your state. In fact, there is an evacuation order at Mendocino County because of the new fire there in Northern California. What more can you tell about this fire to us?

KEN PIMLOTT, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION (via telephone): Absolutely. You're right. This doesn't seem like we can catch a break here or this last month. Right now, tonight, in Mendocino County, brand-new fire, it's call the Eel fire. It's burning east of Coholo (ph), which is an area north east of the city Ukiah.

Tonight, it's 865 acres and zero percent contained. It's spotting and you know, causing new spot fires (inaudible) just like you describe the dry fuel conditions are so receptive to new starts. This is just an example of so many of the fires that are really growing at exponential rates.

JAVAHERI: It is really is incredible. And Ken, we understand that parts of Yosemite National Park have been closed for the last several weeks and of course, it's the peak summer travel season. They are expected to remain close over the weekend because of the Ferguson fire. What are the conditions like right now at the park?

PIMLOTT: So, yes, we anticipated the park being closed through the weekend hopefully they'll have an opportunity to reevaluate and get it back open, but certainly smoke conditions have been a challenge there.

The fire, the Ferguson fire is about 58,000 acres and 33 percent contained. Firefighters have been doing a great job there. Not a lot of new growth, but that area on that site of the fire that's adjacent to the park certainly remains to be a critical area of potential growth with fires. They don't want to take any chances.

JAVAHERI: Ken, I want to ask about, of course, the deadly Carr fire as well, what more will it take here from firefighters to be able to finally knock this thing down. As I mentioned, the forecast over the next seven days, at least still ways away. Looks to improve, but what is it going to take in your mind to be able to finally get those down to a good containment number?

PIMLOTT: Progress was made along areas where it burned into the city of Redding and so we really diminished to that threat, but this fire is so large over 112,000 acres. There's miles of fire line that have to be mopped up and bulldozer and hand crews got to put lines around all of that. It's burning in fairly rugged areas. It will be weeks before they can get, you know, a line fully around this.

JAVAHERI: Kim, we send you the best of (inaudible) and thanks for everything you guys do. That's Kim Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. John, let's send it back to you in Los Angeles.

VAUSE: Pedram, we appreciate that. Thank you.

A quick note here, many in California have lost everything. To find out how you can help the victims of this fire, please go to

Well, another celebrity reveals a battle with Parkinson's. Alan Alba says he's been living with the disease for more three years. Coming up, his story and the latest developments in research.


[00:30:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause, with the headlines this hour. Facebook has shut down dozens of pages and accounts which could be linked to Russia, may have hundreds of thousands of followers.

The social media giant says they identified a new and coordinated effort to interfere in U.S. politics and mislead American voters ahead of November's congressional elections.

(INAUDIBLE) begun in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. Prosecutors say Paul Manafort funded his extravagant lifestyle by avoiding taxes on millions in secret income. Manafort's attorneys blame his former deputy with Gates, who is cooperating with prosecutors.

The deadly wildfires in California could get worse before they get better. Extreme heat and strong winds are forecast for much of the week. The largest of those fires are so-called Carr Fires, now the seventh most destructive in the state's history, over six people have died in that fire and four others remain missing.



VAUSE: Well, Neil Diamond surprised firefighters in Colorado, performing one of his all-time classics, Sweet Caroline. He lives in the area where fire has burned over 48 square kilometers. The music legend recently retired from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

And on Tuesday, actor Alan Alda, revealed he's been living with Parkinson's for more than three years. The 82-year-old went public because he noticed his hand was twitching and worried that a sad and depressing gloomy story was only a matter of time. And he says that's not what he wanted.


ALAN ALDA, ACTOR: To be immobilized by fear and think the worst thing has happened to you hasn't happened to you. You still have things you can do.


ALDA: I'm taking boxing lessons.

MASON: Three days a week, I read. ALDA: Three times a week. I do singles tennis, a couple of times a week. I march to Souza music because marching to march music is good for Parkinson's.


VAUSE: Well, joining us now with more of what we know about Parkinson's is Dr. Michele Tagliati, and you're going to say that for me one more time, he's the director of the Movement Disorders Program at the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Sorry, one more time?


VAUSE: Tagliati. Thank you. I knew I was going to get that wrong, so I apologize. OK, Alan Alda, he talked a lot about staying active, during that interview on CBS. On Twitter, he had this advice. I decided to let people know I have Parkinson's to encourage others to take action.

I was diagnosed 3-1/2 years ago, but my life is full. I act, I give talks, I do my podcast, which I love. If you get a diagnosis, keep moving!

The recent research would suggest that's pretty good advice.

TAGLIATI: Absolutely. That's a fantastic announcement that Alan Alda made for all patients with Parkinson's disease, celebrity that comes out, swinging with this positive, you know, message, which is actually true. This is what we tell our patients when they come to the clinic.

VAUSE: Because by staying active, actually delay the onset of the worst symptoms.

TAGLIATI: Correct. Exercise is the only remedy that we know, as of today that can slow down the progression of the disease.

[00:35:04] VAUSE: Alda said he actually had no symptoms when he went in to be tested, but he did have an episode of acting out a dream, which is why he was actually concerned in the first place. Listen to what he said on CBS.


ALDA: I asked for a scan because I thought I might have it. I read an article by Jane Brody in the New York Times that indicated that if you have -- if you act out your dreams, there's a good chance you might -- that might be a very early symptom that -- where nothing else shows.

And by acting out your dreams, I mean, I was having a dream that someone was attacking me and I threw a sack of potatoes at them. What I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife. I didn't have any symptoms. The doctor said why do you want a scan? You don't have any symptoms. And I said, I want to know if there's anything I can do, I want to do it before things start to show up.


VAUSE: Explain the link here. How is someone acting out their dream, linked as being a symptom of possibly having Parkinson's?

TAGLIATI: So, that's correct. And we are starting to recognize that there are certain symptoms like acting our dreams or losing your sense of smell, sometimes, constipation, that can anticipate, that can procure the typical symptoms of Parkinson's disease, the shaking, the stiffness.

And the reason is that we're starting to recognize the disease seems to progress through the brain. And part of the brain where the dream, sort of, controlled and formed, is very close to the part of the brain that controls the movements. And so there is, sort of, a step before, is where the dreams start to become unusual.

VAUSE: Well, it's fascinating how all of this is connected, how it all works together. Right now, there's no cure for Parkinson's, but, you know, there has been some progress and research. We have this clinical trial underway in Japan at Kyoto University.

Essentially, I may have this -- tell me if I've got this right, they plan on injecting stem cells into the brain to increase dopamine levels, because dopamine is a neurotransmitter. A lack of dopamine can impact motor skills, can cause all that shaking, that kind of stuff. We looked at that research and what they're doing. What's your opinion? How promising is that or not?

TAGLIATI: So, I mean, I'm a researcher, so every research is promising and stem cells, of course, evoke a lot of hope, you know, in many people. The stem cells promise to, sort of, regenerate this dying parts of the brain. And so, we look at that at research with a lot of respect.

We tend to use stem cells to study the disease. You can reproduce personalized parts of the brain and really study subject by subject. You know, Alan Alda said that today, everyone has a different, slightly different type of Parkinson's disease.

So, it becomes essential to be able to study your Parkinson's disease, his Parkinson's disease, her Parkinson's disease. And stem cells can do that.

VAUSE: What's interesting, though, you know, we hear a lot about Parkinson's when there's a celebrity, when there's Alan Alda, when there's Neil Diamond, when there's Michael J. Fox. It seems the disease is a lot more common than many people might realize when it's about 10 million people around the world.

One study expects the number of sufferers in the U.S. to double, what, by 2030? Well over, a million people. That is a lot of consequences, obviously, for the health care system. But also, what's driving those numbers? What's driving this increase?

TAGLIATI: In one word, aging.


TAGLIATI: The population is aging. We are eating better, we exercise, and we are arriving, as a population, older and older, ages in reasonable good shape. And that brings with them the risk of developing Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. So, it's -- as far as we understand, this is purely a consequence of the general aging of the population.

VAUSE: Very quickly, we got 30 seconds left.


VAUSE: For anyone who wants to know the best, sort of, lifestyle, the best thing they could do, is there anything you can do to try and help avoid this disease later in life?

TAGLIATI: Well, definitely, exercising. Obesity seems to be associated. We're finding some parallel between diabetes and Parkinson's disease, so, eat well, sleep well and exercise.

VAUSE: It's the old advice. It's the old advice for the good advice. Dr. Michele Tagliati?


VAUSE: Thank you so much.

TAGLIATI: My pleasure.

VAUSE: Appreciate it.

TAGLIATI: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: We'll take a quick break here. And then, it's Trump versus Lincoln, and the President claims he's got better poll numbers.


[00:40:00] VAUSE: Just a few hours ago at a rally in Florida, President Trump declared polls are fake, but that hasn't stopped him from making what is truly nutty claim that his poll numbers are actually better than Abraham Lincoln's. But, you know, there wasn't actually polling, like it is today, back then, when Lincoln was elected, you know, in 1860.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They just came out with a poll. Did you hear? The most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump. Can you believe this? So I said, does that include, Honest Abe Lincoln? You know he's pretty good, right?


VAUSE: CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on Trump versus Honest Abe.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump seems to have a touch of Lincoln envy.

TRUMP: The late great Abraham Lincoln. Most people don't even know he was a Republican, right? Does anyone know?

MOOS: Yes. But we didn't know this, President Trump tweeted, wow, highest poll numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. There must be something wrong, please recheck that poll!

Oh, there's something wrong, all right, false, on the PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter. Even Jimmy Kimmel sent someone out to do some research.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lincoln or Trump, better president?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who's the better president, Lincoln or Trump?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perfect. There's a woman in front of the hooters.

MOOS: There is one itty bitty problem with President Trump comparing his poll numbers to President Lincoln's. Abe Lincoln was dead before polls started. Read one exasperated tweet, Lincoln died 71 years before modern scientific polling started in 1936.

In Lincoln's time, there would've been only tiny local straw polls. President Trump does have an 87 percent approval rating among Republicans, but other presidents have topped that. What would Lincoln say? Conan once (INAUDIBLE) animatronic Abe, with the real Donald.

TRUMP: I mentioned food stamps and that guy who's seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy.

MOOS: Trump actually used Lincoln to score points against Clinton.

TRUMP: OK. Honest Abe, Honest Abe never lied. That's the good thing. That's the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That's a big, big difference. We're talking about some difference.

MOOS: Call me crazy, but I don't think honest Donald is the nickname history will bestow on President Trump. When it comes to stature, even when you're saluting him, Abe seems to turn everyone into the size of one of his shins. Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: Build that wall. Build that wall.

MOOS: New York.

TRUMP: build that wall. Build that wall.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.


[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)