Return to Transcripts main page


Zimbabwe's Leader Urges Calm After Deadly Protests; California Fires Consume Area The Size of Los Angeles; Royal Jewel Thieves Escape on Motorboat in Sweden; Trump Claims You Need Picture I.D. To Buy Groceries. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired August 2, 2018 - 00:00   ET


JOHN VAUSE, INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR, CNN: This is "CNN Newsroom" live from Los Angeles, ahead this hour, was it obstruction of justice in plain sight or just one man's opinion? The stunning tweet from the US President calling on his Attorney General to stop the Russia investigation.

Zimbabwe's election was meant to mark a new dawn, but had a day of violence linked to the election very much like the days of the past. Officials say results will be released soon amid allegations of vote rigging and corruption.

And nothing more than a glorified smash and grab the heist, which made off with Sweden's priceless crown jewels.

Hello, welcome to our viewers all around the world, I'm John Vause, "Newsroom LA" starts right now.

Donald Trump is launching his most blatant and reckless act yet on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Russian investigation. On Wednesday, the President tweeted the Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further. This is now official White House language for describing a law enforcement investigation approved by the President's own Justice Department and defended by his own FBI Director as not being a witch hunt.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the President is not obstructing justice, he's just fighting back.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: It's ridiculous that all of the corruption and dishonesty that's gone on with the launching of the witch-hunt. The entire investigation is based off of a dirty discredited dossier.


VAUSE: And that last part of her comment was in fact a lie, but let's bring in our panel now. Political commentator and host of the Mo'Kelly show, Mo'Kelly; Republican strategist Charles Moran and criminal defense attorney David Katz. Thank you all for being here. David, I'd like to start with you. Let's put aside for a moment, Sarah Sanders and Trump's lawyer, Rudy

Giuliani and everybody else who are trying to argue that that tweet is just the President's own personal opinion. Is that tweet evidence of a crime? Did the US President in plain sight do exactly what President Nixon did in private, allegedly using the power of the office to try and shut down a Federal investigation into his White House?

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that tweet and its contents could very much be the evidence of a Federal crime because the Federal crime is attempted obstruction of justice. It's not so much the effect. I found that out as a prosecutor prosecuting people for obstruction of justice, it's the intent. It's the corrupt intent with which the statement or the action is taken and there were people who said, "Well, how can I be a person who obstructed justice, I'm here in court being prosecuted in Federal court."

And the answer is, because you attempted to, you've committed acts and you made statements that were indicative of you having a corrupt intent to try to obstruct justice.

VAUSE: Okay, here's the world's greatest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani trying to explain why there is nothing wrong with that tweet.


RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: He's established a clear sort of practice now that he expresses his opinions on Twitter. He used the word should and used the word must and there was no presidential directive that follow.


VAUSE: Okay, the problem here is that the Supreme Court seems to disagree with Giuliani. All nine justices agreed that Trump's tweets were to be considered official statements and not the venting of an ordinary citizen. This was in upholding Trump's travel ban. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "The President of the United States possesses an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf," and Charles, if you're going to peg your defense and your argument of the difference between the words "should" and "must," it seems like you're in big trouble.

CHARLES MORAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, again, the situation here is that the President was expressing his dissatisfaction, his frustration as many Americans are about the speed and the depth and the meandering nature of this investigation. The President has a right to be unhappy with the direction, but he did not issue an order for this to stop.

He has consistently said that he wants to see this investigation conclude. We need to wrap this thing up, and part of what we saw today was again the President expressing that he wants to see not Jeff Sessions just blatantly pull the plug on it, but we need to wrap this thing up. Mr. Mueller has issued a number of subpoenas, he has indicted several people with the influence to American elections. It's time to get to the point.

VAUSE: But Charles, I mean, they've gone through it for four years, why would we wait for six? He said the Attorney General should this big witch hunt, and Mo, this is coming from the President of the United States. He can vent, he can have a temper tantrum, he can say whatever he wants on Twitter, it's still official White House statement.

MO'KELLY, HOST, MO'KELLY SHOW: It's official White House statement and he's not an impartial observer. He is what I would say the subject of this investigation and he has asking someone who is a direct report to him, someone that he has appointed and also has recused himself, he can't necessarily stop the investigation.


MO'KELLY: But Jeff Sessions can be fired and then someone can be hired who can fire Rod Rosenstein and effectively end the investigation. My greatest concern is this President doesn't understand that his words, his voice have a considerable amount of weight that the average individual does not.

MORAN: I disagree. He is not the subject of the investigation. The subject of the investigation is ...

MO'KELLY: I didn't say target, I said subject.

MORAN: ... he is not the subject of the investigation. The subject of the investigation is the interference of Russians in the American political system and everything that we have seen as a result ...


VAUSE: ... easy target ...

KATZ: I think, so far, Trump would have to be called the subject, but he's obviously someone as his family members and associates who could become a target.

VAUSE: Okay, you mentioned the Attorney General has recused himself from the Russia investigations, so technically, he has transferred off to his deputy Rosenstein, although the President could stop it he wanted to, but that is the question in which it is put to the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it is corrupt, why doesn't the President just end it, or use the powers he has to end it.

SANDERS: Once again, the President has allowed this ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he believes that, why doesn't he follow through on it?

SANDERS: Once again, the President has allowed this process to play out, but he thinks it's time for it to come to an end.


VAUSE: Okay, so then, David, explain how all of this again goes into the possibility of obstruction of justice?

KATZ: Well, the possibility of an obstruction of justice by the President or those close to him is that the President is the boss of Sessions. He has the power to fire Sessions. There might be political turmoil, but the reality is, he could fire Sessions and it seems like an effort to cow people under the President's direct supervision and authority, which a Cabinet officer certainly is.

VAUSE: Okay, here is one factor which may have sparked the tweet coming from the President. CNN is reporting on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, Trump's lawyers updated him by phone of the latest developments of the Russia investigation. One person familiar with the matter told CNN that included Special Counsel Robert Mueller's latest proposal to secure an interview with Trump, which was delivered on Tuesday. Trump tweeted at Sessions hours after being updated by his legal team.

Charles, it's also a day or two before the Manafort trial, the former chairman of Trump's campaign facing a dozen charges relating to financial crimes, essentially before the campaign, but it does seem that maybe all of this, the President is now feeling the heat.

MORAN: I am not playing to connect the dots regarding this. If you look at ...

VAUSE: Yes, big dots.

MORAN: Paul Manafort's trial, if you're looking at everything they're doing, we're essentially looking at is tax evasion, it's failing to register as a foreign agent when you're representing a foreign government. It's hiding your money in offshore accounts and not disclosing that. I mean, this is the stuff that people like Al Capone were brought up on. It's that Al Capone killed people.

Paul Manafort is being brought up on a routine charge, and he's being given a lot of undue - a lot of scrutiny because of it. He has a lot of money. It's a lot of money, it's a lot of charges. Typical charges for something like this. This is for about a year, but I don't see a lot of other people who are also going through this tax evasion cases in Federal court being subjected to this type of legal scrutiny and there is no connection whatsoever or the discussion about what's happening in this court case with Donald Trump. This is all about just not paying your taxes or registering as a lobbyist for a foreign country. That's it.

KELLY: Let's not forget the mandate of Bob Mueller. He was supposed to examine the relationship between the members of the Trump campaign and also Russian officials. Now, it just so happens that Paul Manafort has a long history with Russian officials and this also - he's supposed to investigate any crimes which may be unearthed or may arise during his investigation. We don't need to start and end with only if it relates to the election and Russia meddling.

VAUSE: Okay, you mentioned Capone, the President tweeted about that, an official statement, in fact saying about Paul Manafort, "Looking back on history, he was treated worse. Alfonse ..." spelled incorrectly, " ... Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and "Public Enemy Number One" or Paul Manafort, political operative and Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement - although of nothing. Where is the Russian collusion?"

David, at least, we got to see Capone's taxes, which is one difference here, but you know, to Mo's point, while this trial going forward in Virginia has absolutely nothing really technically to do with Russia because they are not going to mention collusion, it does in a way also have everything to do with Russia because they're looking at Manafort and how he operated as a political consultant.

KATZ: Well, there's a couple of things. First of all, he was the President's campaign chairman, it's really extraordinary that the President Trump's campaign chairman is on trial. That is a remarkable trial, a remarkable situation and he's not facing one year in jail. He is at an age, Manafort, where he is probably going to spend the rest of his life in jail if he gets convicted of these charges.

Having said that, he seems to maybe holding out for a pardon if not holding out to try to be acquitted because he is in a really ridiculous situation. Most people in his case, if they were not thinking about a pardon would make a deal with Mueller.

VAUSE: Okay, very quickly, that rally on Tuesday night on Florida. Here is how the President supporters greeted journalists, in particular, CNN's Jim Acosta.



CROWD: CNN sucks. CNN sucks. CNN sucks.


VAUSE: Okay, there was a very rare White House briefing on Wednesday, Sarah Sanders essentially said, what we all know about the President that he supports this kind of behavior.


SANDERS: This is a two-way street, we certainly support a free press. We certainly condemn violence against anybody, but we also ask that people act responsibly and report accurately and fairly.


VAUSE: Charles, isn't the guy in the Oval Office meant to be the leader of the moral compass of the country, not the guy encouraging that sort of stuff? MORAN: You know, the mainstream media has been toll tailing in a

direction for the last couple of years. I remember being at the floor of the RNC convention in 2008 where Sarah Palin in her speech started to evoke the same language and people turned around on the floor and started also pointing and holding the news media there accountable.

What we saw at that rally, I have seen repeated. I have seen - it's just part of more of the red meat and part of the conversation about people taking out their frustrations on what they consider to be biased reporting by Mr. Acosta, and I think ...


VAUSE: Let's get back about - let's go back 500 years, remember that day on Inauguration Day when Donald J. Trump stood up there and put his hand on the Bible and was sworn in as the 45th President, and this was part of the oath he made.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Donald John Trump do solemnly swear ...

JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT: That I will faithfully execute ...

TRUMP: That I will faithfully execute ...

ROBERTS: The office of President of the United States.

TRUMP: The office of President of the United States.

ROBERTS: And will to the best of my ability ...

TRUMP: And will to the best of my ability ...

ROBERTS: Preserve, protect and defend ...

TRUMP: Preserve, protect and defend ...

ROBERTS: ... the Constitution of the United States.

TRUMP: ... the Constitution of the United States.


VAUSE: Okay, well, here is part of the Constitution of the United States. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Now, where is the asterisk that says, so long as reporters say nice things about the administration?

KELLY: Well, I mean, if you can't handle criticism in the press, you shouldn't be President. I've said this many times and I'll say it again. He is not the President of the United States. He just wants to be the President of his base, and I would say maybe a larger portion of the Republican Party who likes him. He is not interested in defending or condemning that which is abhorrent.

VAUSE: Okay, we're out of time, but come back next time because we have a lot more to get to with all of this. It's been a big day in politics, a big day with the Paul Manafort trial and a whole lot of other stuff, so thank you, guys for being with us. We appreciate it.

We will move on now to Zimbabwe and the President there is urging calm after deadly protests broke out following Monday's election.

Police say at least three people were killed in clashes with the military. Protests erupted after it was announced the governing party won a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The result of the presidential vote has not been announced. International observers are calling for the outcome to be made public as soon as possible.

Protesters fear the election was rigged to favor the incumbent President.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to protect our vote here. We are years protecting our votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are sick and tired of the situation in Zimbabwe. What do we want is just this bench.


VAUSE: Zimbabwe's electoral commission has until this Saturday to announce the final results. CNN's Farai Sevenzo is in Zimbabwe's capital with the very latest.


FARAI SEVENZO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: After Zimbabwe's peaceful vote on Monday, Zimbabweans woke up on Wednesday to unprecedented scenes of violence in their capital, Harare.

A few hundred protesters gathered outside Harbors (ph) House in Nelson Mandela Avenue opposite the party headquarters - that is the MDC alliance party headquarters, to say that their votes had been stolen. Bear in mind the full scale of the voting has not yet been announced.

But we know for certain that Mr. Mnangagwa, the incumbent president, has the majority of parliamentarians in the Zimbabwean parliament.

So as the protesters protested, they had to be restrained somehow. And what happened next was completely unexpected. It was not the police who went onto the streets to stop the protesters, it was soldiers in uniform, in camouflage.

We heard gunshots in the center of Harare and several people were beaten up and even those who were not protesters were assaulted by the soldiers. Human Rights Watch told CNN through their director, Dewa Mavhinga that they have seen scores of people with very, very serious injury like broken arms and suffering from gunshot wounds. There are reports of certain deaths that have happened this Wednesday

afternoon. But this throws the entire Zimbabwean election before the full scale of the result has been announced into confusion.

And at the moment, Harare is in gridlock. People are circling the city to avoid the center of town.

[00:15:13 ]

SEVENZO: There are stones and broken windows everywhere and, of course, a great deal of trepidation over what the future will hold for this so-called new Zimbabwe. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Harare.


VAUSE: Well, to Mexico now, what is being called a miracle, an Aeromexico jet crashed and burned shortly after takeoff, but somehow, all 103 people on board survived before fire engulfed the airline. CNN's Leyla Santiago spoke to a number of passengers about their experience and obtained cell phone video from a woman who recorded the moments just before and just after the crash.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Seconds after takeoff. Impact. Screams. Panic as passengers shifted into survival mode to escape the flames and the smoke of the fallen plane in Durango, Mexico. All 103 people aboard Aeromexico flight 2431, survived.


ASHLEY GARCIA, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: I've always been the type person that say never take your life for granted, life goes by too fast. But I've never -- I've never had a reason to say it until now.


SANTIAGO: Ashley Garcia was the one to capture it all on her cell phone. She was one of at least 65 US citizens on board. Garcia lives in Chicago and decided to get video of the plane taking after noting the rain and the clouds coming her way.


GARCIA: We were not even in the air for like, five seconds when the wind just pushed us right back down and we kind of we're just bouncing and hitting each other. And then as the plane - one of the wings hit the ground, that's when it caught on fire.

AL HERRERA, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: It was basically just mad dash for the door as people were trying to escape.


SANTIAGO: Al Herrera, a passenger who also lives in Chicago, immediately turned to those who needed help getting out including the elderly.


HERRERA: My injuries were very, very small compared to others with broken hands, and broken noses, there was a lot of blood everywhere. So yes, I'm very fortunate.


SANTIAGO: Once off the plane, he said he joined a priest who was on board in prayer. CNN talked to Father Esequiel Sanchez, Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Chicago just hours before surgery for his injured arm, he was still counting blessings and giving thanks. The idea that nobody died, he says.




SANTIAGO: State officials have pointed at bad weather as a possible factor, strong wind gust knocked the plane down. Images of the accident show the plane remained mostly intact. Investigators have recovered black boxes, recorders critical to understanding exactly what happened.

Mexico's government established a commission to investigate, but they've already acknowledged that it could take months before questions are answered. In the meantime, it is the voices of the survivors who are giving a better understanding. Ashley, who was there to celebrate a wedding, out to celebrate a baptism. Father Sanchez, his birthday. Now they all celebrate what they call a miracle. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Mexico City.


VAUSE: Well, it's getting hot out there. Up next, the alarming results of the annual checkup on the earth's climate. Also, a warning from the Governor of California on the brutal weather conditions fueling those devastating wild fires.


VAUSE: Wildfires in California have now burned 130,000 hectares, an area larger than the entire city of Los Angeles. At least eight people have died so far. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Thousands of firefighters are still battling the flames, all of this made worse by high temperatures, steep terrain and strong winds. And the state's governor warns this could be the new normal.


JERRY BROWN, GOVERNOR, CALIFORNIA: We're in a new normal. We are in a drought that will continue, now whether you technically call it a drought, this is a matter for the weather people, but I would suspect that we have more fires to come and more fires each year for a very long time.


VAUSE: And according to a new climate report, 2017 was one of the hottest years ever on record. The study found both poles now have record low levels of sea ice, also sea levels are at record highs and the hurricane season in the Atlantic was the most costliest ever.

Let's go to Pedram Javaheri, CNN meteorologist over at the CNN Center with more on Governor Brown's warning that you know, this climate report looks like we're going to see more and more extreme weather for a very long time to come.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and it's not surprising and at least not to me, John when I look at this because from the data that we have from the 1970s and to the 1980s then to the '90s and to the 2000s, we've seen an increase in wildfire activity by a pretty significant margin each and every single decade, so - but if you take a look at the things that played out in recent years, take 2017 for example, the hottest non-El Nino year on record, and keep in mind, all previous ones just about, were El Nino years that kind of corresponded where this leads to warmer temperatures globally speaking, but this was a non-El Nino year in 2017, we had the hottest year on record there for that pattern.

But look at this, in the last - the 10 hottest years, globally, since 2005, nine of them have occurred since that year, since 2005. Only 1998 coming in as an outlier and the pattern again persisted with a pretty significant marked increase there and we know data has suggested and studies have suggested by the year 2100, portions of the Persian Gulf will be unfit for human survival. Temperatures routinely could exceed 50 degrees Celsius as opposed to several times a year.

And then most recently, in the past couple of days, we've seen a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT have really seen this particular study saying by the year 2070, portions of the Chinese northern plain, includes Beijing, home to 400 million across that northern plain region also going to be unfit for human survival and a lot of that has to do actually with irrigation because it's such a fertile landscape, a lot of water being put into the soil and that is all evaporating making it very humid across that region in excess of course with big time heat.

I mean, take a look, 2017, North America, hottest year on record. South America's second hottest. We can kind of see the breakdown across the globe, so of course, the data again suggests that this pattern is going to continue, persist, and it's not going down and I want to bring you someone here, Scott Mclean from Cal Fire. He is the public information officer, Deputy Chief of Fire for Cal Fire, Scott, joining us from Chico, California.

Scott, I'm curious to get your take on Governor Brown's grim assessment of California's future when it comes to these massive fires like the ones of course that you guys are battling right now. SCOTT MCLEAN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, DEPUTY CHIEF OF FIRE, CAL

FIRE: We're living it, plain and simple. I mean, we started supposedly on this - apparently, the drought started in 2012, 2017 we had significant rainfall, so we figured that the drought was over, however, even with the snow pack that we had that year, look at what happened in October and December in our state, fires hit the ...

We roll over to 2018, we had a small bit of winter, no snow pack to speak of, and now we're starting well ahead of the game with 100- degree weather, winds, low humidity, the vegetation is just like two months ahead of its growing cycle right now. It is that dry.


JAVAHERI: Yes, Scott, of course, this progress being made right now on this deadly Carr fire and it's still burning, but with the weather hopefully improving in the next couple of days, are you starting to see more success than losses at this point on the Carr fire?

MCLEAN: On the Carr fire, it did increase to 121,000 acres this evening. However, we also had an increase in containment. So, you still have - when you go up in the northwest corner of this fire, we have a lot of terrain topography that is a situation and the type of fuel that we're dealing with makes it very difficult and challenging. The rest of the fires, we continue to work it and put out those hot spots, there will be an increase in containment.

JAVAHERI: Okay, last question, Scott, we have got a few new fires that of course popped up in Northern California today, this is of course taxing the already exhausted crew that you have there. What more can you tell us about these fires, the ones that are burning in El Dorado County in particular in the Sierra foothills?

MCLEAN: Right, we actually had four pop up there just this afternoon on both sides of the valley. Hopland area and Mendocino County, again, that's 45 acres, but I heard that's the first hat has been contained and in the El Dorado County, another for Omega, it really took up 80 acres, but it's only 10% contained. The evacuations are still in effect in that one.

Another fire called the Bumper fire, also handled by the El Dorado unit, 50 acres, 40% contained, but there is another fire just northwest of it called Roseville, which is down in the valley. It was all grass, but it burned a thousand acres in a matter of two hours and frankly, it's 50% containment and it was really quick. And lastly, the fire last night, same situation, out in the grass, but it's sheer heat, 1,200 acres in a matter of just a few hours.

So, we're dealing with light classic fuel there, I understand, but that is a good indicator of what we're dealing with this year.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely. Scott, thank you so much for your time. I know you're very busy these last few weeks. Scott Mclean, the Deputy Chief Fire of Cal Fire there in Chico. John, send it back to you in Los Angeles. VAUSE: Pedram, we thank you for that and thank you for the update.

Still to come here, how to steal the royal crown jewels. Smash, grab and run. It's that easy.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. The White House is defending President Trump after he tweeted Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, should end the Russia investigation.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says it's just his opinion and it's not an order, although, critics have called it another example of the President trying to obstruct justice in the investigation.

And Zimbabwe's president is urging calm after deadly protests broke out following Monday's election. Police say at least three people were killed in clashes with soldiers. Protests erupted after it was announced the governing Party at one of two-thirds majority in parliament. The result of the presidential vote has not been announced.

And California's governor says wildfires and the extreme heat fuelling them are the new normal and will be that way for many years to come. Sixteen of the biggest fires burning, right now, scorched an area larger than Los Angeles. Firefighters are making some progress, but hot, dry. windy conditions are forecast until the end of the week.

Iran is expected to begin a massive military excise in the Persian Gulf, promptly in the next 48 hours. U.S. says it could be an attempt to show Iran who shut down the Straits of Hormuz. The Pentagon says it's monitoring the situation but sees no signs of hostile intent.

(INAUDIBLE) continues this hour for the two thieves who pulled off an incredible heist in Sweden, stealing the royal jewels, two crowns and a golden orb was stolen from a cathedral on Tuesday. The thieves then fled in a speedboat. Anna Stewart reports now on what some are calling, the Swedish job.


ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a daring daytime heist that could've been written by Hollywood, priceless royal jewels stolen from a cathedral in regional Sweden. Two thieves making their getaway on a speedboat. While police have launched a massive manhunt for those responsible, so far, they have had no success.

Authorities are appealing for public help and have released this photo of the 17th century jewels, which originally belonged to former Swedish monarchs, Karl IX and Kristina. Police say the thieves smashed the security display case and made-off with the two crowns and one of the orbs. No one was hurt.

The cathedral had been open to the public from 10:00 a.m. in the morning. The robbery happened just before lunch. According to local press reports, one witness saw two people running away from the cathedral towards awaiting boat, prompting police to search both on land and sea to find the perpetrators. The dean of the parish says while the jewels are valuable, it's their

cultural significance to Sweden's history, which is important. The heist has echoes of a daring robbery in Venice, earlier this year, when thieves mingled with visitors to an exhibition before brazenly making off with gems from the cattery rule collection. In that case, the jewels were never recovered. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Scott Selby, joins me now, he's author of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History. Scott, it's been a while, thanks for coming back.


VAUSE: I don't get this, sort of, big jewel heist, all that often, although they're probably more common than people realize. So, let's start with this one. OK, this all went down on a weekday, around 12:00, broad daylight, two guys, presumably smashed over a glass display cabinet, setting off an alarm, and they sailed away in a speedboat, on a lake. This wasn't open water.

SELBY: Yes, on a lake.

VAUSE: This was a lake. So, just (INAUDIBLE) good day. So, at the end of the day, it sounds like a glorified smash and grab. Surely, it shouldn't be this easy to steal the royal jewels of Sweden.

SELBY: You're right, it really shouldn't. It's just that these were particular ones that were in this cathedral because a king and a queen were buried there 400 years ago, and they were later displayed there. So, the thieves took advantage of the fact that this cathedral happened to have these very valuable items there.

So, it's very strange. It's not like going to England where the crown jewels are in one place.

VAUSE: Right, OK. It does raise the old questions like did they have some inside help? Washington Post reports said in 2012, a friend of the royal family was convicted of stealing royal jewels, worth more than $120 grand, which he had purloined from a private apartment belonging to Princess Christina, the sister of the king.

So, in the past, you had situations where, you know, someone with access to the royal family, had decided to do a little bit of extra work on the side, could that be a similar situation here?

SELBY: It's always possible, but in this situation, I don't think the job was really that hard. It's just was that they took advantage of the fact that these items happened to be here. They just were in this cathedral, it's a beautiful cathedral.

There were some people there for a lunch event, they're just -- all you have to do is smash and grab them, as you said. They then took two stolen bicycles, went down to the lake and they took off in a motorboat.

Some people were saying that they might have been jet skis, which is even cooler. But that's all at the ball. The hard job, of course, is moving the goods afterwards.

VAUSE: Because you have a jet ski, so it made a really good scene in the movie, and if this was a movie, this is the end of (INAUDIBLE) these guys have got probably the hardest part to come and go try and sell the stuff. That's not easy.

Local media report back in 2013, a crown and sceptre used in a funeral of Sweden's king, Johan III, was stolen from some place I can't pronounce. They subsequently turned up in two large rubbish bags at the side of a highway following a tip-off to police.

[00:35: 11] OK, apart from being the easiest royal jewels in the world to steal, over there in Sweden, the point is, there's not a big market out there for someone who wants two gold crowns with precious stones and diamonds, and an orb, right? So, what are their options?

SELBY: That's a great question. So, there's a lot of theories about that. So right now, the police in-charge seemed to be thinking that this might have been a job to order. Liken some movie, where there's some, sort of, rich person somewhere that paid these thieves to do this particular --

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) play the King of Sweden or something.

SELBY: Exactly. But, I think it's much more likely that's a crime of opportunity. Somebody noticed, hey, we could get this thing very easily. And the big question is what they do with it, and that's when you get caught. The job itself is easy, it's moving the jewels that's hard.

VAUSE: OK. So, if they can't sell the jewels as they are, I look at -- I've got three options, I can dump it, which means the entire exercise was pointless, they can melt it down, put down the gold, sell that off, sell off the other stones and the precious diamonds, that kind of stuff, or option three, they can ransom it, because the police has said that this is all about Sweden's national heritage.


VAUSE: These items are priceless.

SELBY: They truly are, and they're insured, but you can't really take care of something like that, so, it could be ransom. In the U.S., things have been used, sort of, to trade for a better deal if you get in trouble with something. I think the most likely is just to melt it down, but it's heartbreaking.

VAUSE: Could they've just robbed a jewelry store to get the same result with lot less risk?

SELBY: Honestly, it'd be a lot more risk --

VAUSE: Right.

SELBY: to rob a jewelry store. Jewelry store they're going to have all sorts of security to get in and out of there.

VAUSE: OK, this crime seemed so, kind of, 1950s and Ocean's 11 or something. But the big picture, it's big business in Europe, especially in France. We have a case, what, a year ago, that this, recovered, what, $5 million for the jewels in France, from that hotel heist which involved Kim Kardashian.

SELBY: Yes, there was a heist with Kim Kardashian and we talked about before, there's one at the Carlton Hotel, there's been a number of them, in Cannes that involves smash and grabs but with much higher level people, bringing, you know, cars, smashing in, getting things, getting out.

VAUSE: Why Europe, though? Why is it so common in Europe?

SELBY: Europe is really common because there's all these ancient things that are there, that are not well-guarded. You're not going to find crown jewels in America. They're also are very high in shops.

VAUSE: Right.

SELBY: And also, there are so many legal jurisdictions, so once you cross into another border, it's much harder to get caught.

VAUSE: So, basically, there's a lot of good stuff to steal in Europe.

SELBY: Oh, for sure, the best.

VAUSE: Good to know. Scott, thanks so much. Good to see you again.

SELBY: Thank you too.

VAUSE: Appreciate it. Up next, here, President Trump says he knows all of the best words, but apparently, he does not know how the grocery store actually works, clean-up on aisle one. That's next.


VAUSE: Well, the U.S. president's latest (INAUDIBLE) is a source of much merriment on the internet. It seems this self-described staple genius believes a picture is needed to buy groceries. Here's Jeanne Moos.


[00:40:06] JEANNE MOOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just as reporters were asking when was the last time President Trump went to a grocery store, these 2010 reality show clips surfaced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, have you ever used a coupon in your life?

DONALD TRUMP, THEN-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I've never even gone to a -- really, a food market with my wife, so --


MOOS: If you listen to the President, you'd think instead of just handing over coupons, you should be showing I.D.

TRUMP: You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture or a card, you need I.D.

MOOS: Says who? Did they ask for a picture ID when you're paying for your groceries?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not. No way, Jose, this is America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never, ever, ever.


MOOS: When you go out and buy groceries, you need photo I.D.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you don't. Where is it coming from?

MOOS: Donald Trump. Twitter rolled the ties as well. I've got to go grocery shopping today and I hope they don't ask me for an I.D. before I buy Rice-A-Roni.

It's, sort of, like Ellen asked another rich guy, Bill Gates, to guess the price of Rice-A-Roni.

BILL GATES: Five dollars.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST OF THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW: Oh, it's a dollar. Look, what a bargain.

GATES: I'll take five.


MOOS: President Trump's flub inspired a mock-up grocery shopping identification card. The late show Instagram new rules, sir, read the sign, no license, no cake mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a sandwich, a coke and a bagel with butter.

MOOS: And they didn't ask some picture I.D.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I think if I would've got some chocolate, they might have said, hey, buddy, that's a little much. Let's see some I.D. with that.

MOOS: At the White House, they tried to clean up the President's spill.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: If you go to a grocery store and you buy beer and wine, you're certainly going to show your I.D. MOOS: President Trump's (INAUDIBLE) reminded folks of the time

President George H.W. Bush seemed overly impressed with a grocery scanner.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You just cross this, and this opens the price.

MOOS: This woman recall the only time she was ever carded for groceries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They asked me for picture I.D. for when I was buying pork chops.

MOOS: Now, she has a bone to pick. Jeanne Moos, CNN --

Next thing you know they're going to want your birth certificate to get eggs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, this is America.

MOOS: New York.


VAUSE: This is America, indeed. 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.



VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, ahead this hour, opinion or order? Donald Trump --