Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Kim Jong-nam's Final Moments; Trump Proposes $54 Billion Defense Spending Hike; Growing Fears Russian Investigation Won't Be Impartial; Trump: "Nothing To Love" In Obamacare; White House Checks Staff Phones In Leak Crackdown Shooting Of Indian Tech Workers In U.S. Stuns India. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 28, 2017 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, billions more for the U.S. military; billions less for Foreign Aid. We're going to break down Donald Trump's budget plans.

VAUSE: Plus, Kim Jong-nam's final moments. We'll take you inside the airport with the half-brother of North Korea's leader was murdered.

WALKER: And later, finger pointing mean tweets. Even the President of the United States can't help weighing in on the surprise twist at the end of the Academy Awards.

VAUSE: Had to happen sooner or later. Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

WALKER: And I'm Amara Walker. This is NEWSROOM L.A. Is that where I am?

VAUSE: That's where you are. NEWSROOM L.A.

WALKER: Just wanted to make sure.

VAUSE: Did you see the open? NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

WALKER: OK, I'll remember that. NEWSROOM L.A. We bring to you the U.S. President Donald Trump preparing for his first speech to a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday.

VAUSE: He's expected to outline his case for a huge increase in military spending, pay for by cuts elsewhere possibly, the foreign aid, the State Department, even the Environmental Protection Agency. More details now from Senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's message to Washington: "Get ready for the budget axe."

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We're going to do more with less. We're going to the more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people.

ACOSTA: In a preview of the Trump administration's first budget; White House officials say the President plans to ask for a staggering $54 billion increase in defense spending. Offset by massive cuts in nondefense programs, as well as foreign aid. The budget boost for the Pentagon is so big, it eclipses what the federal government spends at the State Department and EPA.

MICK MULVANEY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR: We are taking his words, and turning them into policies and dollars.

ACOSTA: The peak at the President's budget comes as the White House is still grappling with questions about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia before the election. Over the weekend, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, a Trump supporter suggested a special prosecutor may be necessary to put matter to rest.

DARRELL ISSA, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: You're right, that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who was an appointee. You're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute.

ACOSTA: The White House response to that.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I guess my question will be, A special prosecutor for what? How many people have to say that there's nothing there before you realize there is nothing there?

ACOSTA: Spicer also defended the White House decision to enlist the two GOP; Intelligence Committee Chairman and Congress, as well as the CIA Director, to talk to reporters about the Russia controversy.

SPICER: All we sought to do was to actually get an accurate report out.

ACOSTA: House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, was careful to says he's yet to see proof of any wrong doing.

DEVIN NUNES, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: We still have not seen any evidence of anyone that's from the Trump campaign, or in any other campaign for that matter, that's communicated with the Russian government.

ACOSTA: When asked about the prospect of a special prosecutor the President gave this curious reply. That's odd, considering Mr. Trump just spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for an hour a few weeks ago, not to mention, his own trip to Russia in 2013 to promote his Miss Universe pageant there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin -- A conversational relationship? Or anything that you feel you have sway, or influence over his government?

TRUMP: I do have a relationship. And I can tell you that he's very interested in what we're doing here today. He's probably very interested in what you and I are saying today, and I'm sure he's going to be seeing it in some form. But I do have a relationship with him, and I think it's very interesting to see what's happened.

ACOSTA: The White House cautions: the full budget proposal from the President won't be out until May. Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Joining us now, Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; and Republican Consultant, John Thomas. OK. Guys, so let's start with the budget blueprint. This is how the Director of the Office of Management and Budget explained the math.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: The top line defense discretionary number is $3.6 billion, that's a $54 billion increase, it's one of the largest increases in history. It's also the number that allows the President to keep his promise to undue the military sequester. The top line nondefense number will be $462 billion, that's a $54 billion savings. It's the largest proposed reductions since the early years of the Reagan administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. So, Dave, first to you, $54 billion in cuts to essentially nondefense spending. Firstly, can that get through Congress? And can you have a $54 billion increase in military spending and not touch, you know, corporate with security benefit?

[01:04:50] DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the question is, can it get through Congress with the whole bunch of deficit hawks? Who are cognoscenti of our increasing debt. Number one, number two, OK, so he says he's going to cut funding from EPA: probably that $2 billion. OK, he's going to cut from foreign aid, that's about one percent of the overall budget, maybe it's about $8 billion or so. Where's he going to get the rest of the money? I mean, National Security and having a strong robust military is a bi-partisan issue. Democrats support that, Republican support that, but both parties don't want to see the deficit grow exponentially with this gigantic number. So, those are real questions that ought to be asked.

WALKER: Yes, John, what do you think about that that, you know, this massive budget increase when it comes to military spending, is going to come at the expense of the EPA, and also the State Department. There was 120 retired Generals and Admirals who send a letter to the White House, opposing these cuts --

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: True.

WALKER: Saying look, this is going to hurt National Security, and diplomacy is crucial to keeping this nation safe.

THOMAS: Well, many of those Generals, including General Petraeus, now also work for private consulting companies that specifically work on international business ventures. So, they might have a bit of a conflict of interest that perhaps, issue of State Department, to help lobby, I think they're a little conflicted out. But I think Trump is trying to come -- make good on campaign promises. He said he had to rebuild the military, and I think also where the U.S. might save money is Trump believes in peace through strength. That perhaps, if we have a more robust military, that we won't have to go to war. That -- and also, pull us out of the areas that we have entanglements that are costing us now.

VAUSE: OK. This is how Democrats are already responding to these proposed budget cuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM NEW YORK: He broke his promise to working Americans, when after vowing not to cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. During the campaign, he proposes to cut Medicaid and chooses Cabinet Secretaries who spent their careers trying to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Dave, a little preview of 2018 there?

JACOBSON: Yes, precisely. Look, I mean, Donald Trump's going to have to deal with Paul Ryan, the architect of the plan who is going to gut Medicare, as we know it. And at the end of the day, Paul Ryan is going to have his fingerprints all over the next budget bill, and Donald Trump's going to have to come to the negotiating table with him. And I were a betting man, I would bet that Paul Ryan's going to try to manipulate Medicare and cut funding where he can.

THOMAS: I even -- Chuck Schumer knew it was a bunch of bologna, when he was scratching his head like -- the fact is, he is not attacking Social Security, he's not attacking Medicare.

VAUSE: I think he can't do both. I mean, this is the thing he can't have -- he can't have, you know, cuts in part to these programs and pay for the military at the same time.

THOMAS: Without having deficit spending. Yes, you're right.

WALKER: So, you think the conservatives are going to rally behind this?

THOMAS: I think yes, and no. They're going to have to compromise on some things but it's so -- it's such a political win for the Trump base. That I think, look, these Republicans are going to be looking at the mid-terms, and they're going to be four years from now, and this is feeding red meat to the base.

JACOBSON: If I to jump in really quick, we saw the poll that came out yesterday between the Wall Street Journal and NBC that at a 48 percent. This approval rating, 44 percent approval rating -- the gigantic swing that made Donald Trump underwater was independents. Republicans increasingly or have a solid support base for the President, Democrats obviously are an opposition to him, but it's independents who are swinging away from the President -- they are giving him that underwater thresholds. And I think a lot of the GOP Members in Congress are going to look at those independents, as we increasingly look towards 18, you've got this cuts coming up.

VAUSE: I also think turnout will be crucial in 2018.

THOMAS: Right, which --

VAUSE: And these people like this cuts, people will get Democrats to --

THOMAS: Well, or spending on defense that feeds the base.

VAUSE: OK. The President also facing some head winds in his effort to try and replace Obamacare. Again, this is how Donald Trump addressed what is essentially a surge in support for the Affordable Care Act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: People hate it, but now they see that the end is coming. And they're saying, oh, maybe we love it. There's nothing to love. It's a disaster, folks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Dave, what I think the President is trying to say is that there is a certain unnatural fear of the unknown. And so, that's why many people are clinging to the Affordable Care Act because they know what's in it, they know how it works, and they're worried, and they're concerned about what might come next.

JACOBSON: Well, they're also hearing extremists within the GOP basically say that, look, at the end of the day, we're going to have to cut some coverage; not everyone can have coverage. And I think that's a glaring example of the fact that people are scared, they're anxious, they don't want to lose their healthcare, I mean these are cancer patients, these are who depend on the Affordable Care Act. And so, I think it's going to be a real challenge for him, number one. Number two, he also said in that press conference that the health care issue is a little bit more complex than he actually anticipated.

VAUSE: Eventually he did realize that is it's very complex.

WALKER: Yes, exactly.

THOMAS: Right. But the GOP voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act over 60 times. And so, clearly, folks in Congress know that it's a complex issue. Otherwise, wouldn't have voted to repeal it.

WALKER: Yes. The quote here was, "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." Do you think that President Trump is just realizing that now? Because I think most Americans know this is a fact. I mean, we have seen decades of, you know, Presidents and Congress trying to get healthcare -- universal healthcare passed. Obviously, not an easy subject, and President Trump sounded surprised by this.

[01:09:47] THOMAS: Well, I'm sure until you get in there, and take a look under the hood: it's more complicated once you get there, it looks like the President's recognized that. But here's the deal, 30 percent of Americans -- only 30 percent of Americans want to keep Obamacare as is. Most, even though they don't to completely repeal it, they want it changed. And so, Trump has to figure out what's that fine line to people who have lost coverage, or demoted their coverage because of increase premium cost, he has to find that line. Looks like he's kind of figured that out.

VAUSE: He's saying to these Democrats, fix and don't repeal it. OK. The other big story of the day, how much longer can this White House resist appointing a special prosecutor for the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia?

THOMAS: A long time.

VAUSE: Yes?

THOMAS: Because -- until a smoking gun comes out. I think the way the Trump administration is looking at it is, we don't want to create a witch hunt here where there is none. Looks, there's a lot of smoke, but there's no fire. And until that smoking gun or that fire is revealed, let's let Congress do an investigation and see where it goes from there.

WALKER: But if Congress is involved like a stack, you have partisan interest there --

THOMAS: Yes, true.

WALKER: Which could feed into a witch hunt hence, an independent investigation might be the best answer. I'm assuming that's how you think?

JACOBSON: Well, look, Darrell Issa seems to think a Congressman who's ally and sound supporter of the President seems to think that we need a special prosecutor, so does George W. Bush, potentially. He didn't rule it out, he said that we all want to know, we want to get to the bottom of this earlier today on the Today's Show. So, I mean, those are Republicans who were saying that.

VAUSE: Issa did put a caveat after the Friday statement basically saying, if there is evidence of criminal wrong doing.

THOMAS: Which there isn't yet.

VAUSE: OK. Well, right now, the administration here is a lot more concerned about trying to find out who is leaking information to the press, as supposed to what that information actually is. Donald Trump, putting the blame for the leaks at the feet of former President Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it. And some of the leaks, possibly come from that group, you know, some of the leaks which are very serious leaks, because they're very bad in terms of National Security. But, I also understand that's politics. And in terms of him being behind things, that's politics and it will probably continue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, John, how realistic, you know, is that statement by President Trump? And listening to how he sorts of was speaking he seemed relaxed about it all. He's like, yes, well, that's how it is.

THOMAS: He's right, the leaks are never going to stop. Leaks are as old as time in every industry not just politics, but he does have reason to be concerned. I mean, you had -- he had to fire his Attorney General who was, you know, an Obama appointee. This is not unusual and I wouldn't be surprised if they were linked to the last administration. So, it's something he's going to have to deal with. I think he is right to try to smoke it out to the highest levels, but at the end of the day, you just got to run a tight ship and hope it settles out.

WALKER: Dave, how unusual is it for the President of the United States to sign off on his Press Secretary, checking his aide's personal cell phones to make sure that no one is, you know, actually leaking this information to the press?

JACOBSON: It is jaw dropping. As if they don't even acknowledge that there's a fourth amendment that ensures privacy rights. I mean, look, at the end of the day, Donald Trump thrives off chaos and dysfunction and he's created this mess. I mean, these are individuals who were working at the pleasure of the President in the White House, they're working for him, he hired them that are promoting these leaks.

VAUSE: John, many of these leaks would not be happening if they've had the transition properly, if they had those jobs to be filled by, you know, Trump appointees.

THOMAS: That's a fair point, but as we know, this election wasn't exactly a stable, predictable outcome.

VAUSE: Steve Bannon told me he knew he was going to win from day one. Dave and John, again, thanks so much.

WALKER: Thank you.

VAUSE: OK. A short break. When we come back, Spokesman Sean Spicer of the White House has become a lightning rod to criticism, just ahead. We'll take a closer look at his contentious relationship with the media.

[01:13:38] WALKER: Plus, the next go-to tourist destination could be the moon. SpaceX plans to send two ordinary Joes into outer space, coming up, or Janes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:15:59] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Don Riddell with your CNN WORLD SPORT Headlines. On Monday night, it was a new beginning for the defending Premier League champions, Leicester City, who remember, fired their manager Claudio Ranieri last week. Leicester were sitting in the relegation zone going into Monday's game against Liverpool but the Foxes showed flashes of last season with two goals from Jamie Vardy in a 3-1 win. The three-point game moved them out of the relegation zone and up to 15th for now.

In medical news, less than two years since becoming Germany's World Cup hero, by scoring the winning goal in the final, Mario Gotze, has been sidelined with an unusual medical condition. Borussia Dortmund say that the 24-year-old has been suffering from muscular issues after an investigation revealed metabolic disturbances and so he was rested immediately. It's not clear when he'll return. Gotze told Dortmund's official website, quote, "I'm currently undergoing treatment and will do everything in my power to be back in training."

And finally, for the first time since he claimed his 18th Grand Slam title of the Australian Open, Roger Federer is back in action and the time off seems to have served him well. He made a quick work of the Frenchman, Benoit Paire, in just 54 minutes, 6-1; 6-3 advancing to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Federer is looking to win this for an eighth time. That is a quick look at your Sports Headlines, I'm Don Riddell.

VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. The White House is pushing back on calls for further investigation into the Trump's campaign contacts with Russia. Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday there is nothing there.

WALKER: Spicer is also answering questions about the administration's aggressive push to plug White House leaks. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The job of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer increasingly includes being President Trump's enforcer. He's leading a crackdown on leaks inside the White House, going as far as launching a random check of staffer's phones during an emergency meeting last week to see if they were sharing information by text or e-mail or using encrypted apps to do so. The White House Councils Office, authorized these checks and CNN has learned President Trump directly signed off on the move, eager to send a signal across the Administration, that he is furious at leaks during his first five weeks in office. Spicer also had the President's blessing last week, CNN has learned, from blocking reporters from several news organizations from a White House news briefing.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to discuss what we did internally.

ZELENY: At his briefing today, Spicer would not directly say whether he asked the Director of the CIA to help push back on news reports about alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Intelligence operatives.

SPICER: Respectfully, I have -- I think it's interesting that I'm being asked what's appropriate when what we're doing is actually urging reporters to engage with subject matter experts who can corroborate whether or not something's accurate or not.

ZELENY: But the White House did enlist the Republican Chairman of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to talk to reporters, urging them to speak out against these accounts of reported Russia links.

SPICER: I think we did our job very effectively. It was about the accuracy of the reporting and the claims that were made in there.

ZELENY: The extraordinary moves have added tension to an already combustible environment in the West Wing. From the moment he stepped into the briefing room on the second day of Trump's presidency, Spicer has been a lightning rod.

SPICER: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period.

ZELENY: He soon became an easy caricature On Saturday Night Live with comedian Melissa McCarthy amplifying Spicer's anger.

MELISSA MCCARTHY, COMEDIAN: You know what that was? That was me blowing away their dishonesty.

ZELENY: He's become one of the leading faces of the Trump White House, which can be tricky terrain, serving under a president who has long managed his own press. Republicans close to the White House says Spicer is trying to prove his loyalty to the president.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: Now, White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, says the president did not sign off on this witch hunt looking if you will, looking into people's leaks. But we are still told by multiple sources he did and the president is deadly serious about finding the people who are leaking in his administration. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.

[01:20:34] VAUSE: Joining us here in Los Angeles, L.A. Times Media Writer, Lorraine Ali. So Lorraine, thank you for being with us again.

LORRAINE ALI, NEWSWEEK CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Thank you.

VAUSE: Even if the President did not sign off on Sean Spicer looking at everyone's cellphones, apart from the fact that it's probably illegal, was that an attempt simply to intimidate and to scare, you know, people, within the White House? It was, you know, an effort in intimidation essentially because they didn't find anything. It was on luck they're going to find anything.

ALI: Right, right. I mean, it does seem that way like it's an intimidation tactic with White House staffers, you know, don't leak to the press. But I mean, really dumping cellphones on a table and essentially looking through them, you know, how far is that really going to go? So yes, it's probably an intimidation tactic. If they really wanted to get to the bottom of that, wouldn't it be seizing computers with newbies, you know. VAUSE: And there are mechanisms that, you know, legal mechanisms, you

know, that you can actually pursue if you want to find someone who might be leaking.

ALI: Right, right. Yes. I mean, this seems much more like a dramatic display.

WALKER: What did you think about this approach, though? I mean, Dave Jacobson earlier was saying this was jaw dropping to see the White House take this, you know, strategy to say, "Hey, you guys need to show me everything you've got in your phones." I mean --

ALI: Right.

WALKER: Is this concerning to you? This very kind of approach?

ALI: Yes. I mean, you know, we say jaw-dropping to this but, I mean, there's been so many things leading up to this. I mean, I'm with the L.A. Times, we were banned from, you know, the --

VAUSE: Join the club press.

ALI: The press briefing, you know, last week so that was jaw- dropping. You know, many of the press conferences before that just the sort of confrontational, you know, moments between Spicer and the press. So, yes, it's jaw-dropping but there's been so many things leading up to this. It's almost like, well, this almost seems like part of that trajectory.

VAUSE: So, you mentioned Sean Spicer and his relationship with the White House Press Corps. Here's a moment from last week's White House press briefing on Thursday with Mr. Spicer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPICER: Shannon, Shannon. Glenn, this is not a TV Program. Shannon, OK -- you don't get to just yell out questions. We're going to raise our hand like big boys and girls because it's not your job to just yell out questions. Shannon, please go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Yes, I played that because that was nice Mr. Sean Spicer as opposed to angry head-about-to-explode Mr. Sean Spicer. But, you know, when you listen to him, you know, there just seems to be this utter contempt for the people he has to deal with.

ALI: Right. And to be addressing a room full of reporters and saying boys and girls and, you know, this is what the story is, the last thing you want to do is tell a room full of reporters, you know, this is what the story is. They are there to figure out what the story is and they will tell that story. So, I mean, there is this sort of contempt for it and it is something that we haven't seen before. But what is really interesting is, I think the sort of unintended consequence of this is subscription bases have gone up, there is a new, you know, sort of elevated interest in what the media is doing now, and within journalism, there is this kind of invigoration that there hasn't been for a while.

WALKER: Would you say that media is still grappling with how to cover the White House or, you know, have they become accustomed to the way Sean Spicer, the White House has been criticizing the media and attacking them as fake news, they've just -- are taking it day by day and figuring things out as it comes?

ALI: I think it's the day by day thing because, you know, the -- it seems to be changing by -- not even by the week, but by the day. I mean, the fake news, it's sort of they're taken back by that. If calling these mainstream outlets fake news, you know, trying to get past that. And it seems like it is a day by day thing. I think there is more solid footing now with the media. I think they're kind of getting an idea of, all right, we cannot operate on normal rules anymore. That is clear.

VAUSE: It's interesting you bring up fake news because, you know, a classic example of fake news happened last week it seems on Fox News. A guy called Nils Bildt appeared on the O'Reilly show. It was a segment essentially to back up President Trump's claim that asylum seekers in Sweden were responsible for huge surge in violence and violent crime and claim but listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL THE O'REILLY FACTOR HOST: Today at the Wall Street Journal, two Swedish politicians that led a move to crack down on the refugee situation which the government did, warned America to take note. Joining us now from Watched In, Nils Bildt, or Nils Bildt, I should say, a Swedish Defense and National Security Adviser.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So it turns out that no one in the Swedish Government has ever heard of Nils Bildt. And if you ask, go ahead and call up from Bill O'Reilly. Here we go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:25:08] O'REILLY: Mr. Bildt does consulting work on terrorism, that's true, but we should have clarified that he had no direct role with the Swedish Government. To be fair, the information we gave you in the segment was accurate. But at hindsight, a more relevant guest should have been used on the anti-immigrant sought.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Did it go far enough?

ALI: No, that did not go far enough. I mean, to say somebody is actually part of the government or, you know, part of --

VAUSE: To imply that.

ALI: To imply that, correct. You know, and then have, well, no, not exactly. He's much more -- he's kind of an independent consultant, or whatever it is. That is, you know, completely misleading. And when you're talking about, you know, this scrutiny on fake news on sources, on, you know, vetting sources, this is a really good example of that not happening. This clearly was not vetted.

WALKER: And ironically, you know, with President Trump calling a lot of the mainstream media outlets fake news, you have this happening. He's praised Fox News many times, then actually quotes Fox News, or refers Fox News when he is speaking out in the public.

ALI: Truth. And when, you know, he had -- Trump had made that comment about, you know, look what's happening in Sweden, and people have made fun of him and it has been a, you know, late night show staple now for the last couple days, that came from Fox News. And when he's pulling his news off of that -- this information off of that, well then, who is fake news?

VAUSE: Raises a lot of questions.

ALI: Right.

VAUSE: Lorraine, good to see you. Thanks so much.

ALI: Thank you.

WALKER: Thanks for coming out here. Well, South Korean officials say they have proof of who ordered Kim Jong-nam's death. Coming up, the latest on the investigation.

VAUSE: Also, a concern and fear within the Indian community in the United States after an Indian engineer is fatally shot. We'll have reaction from New Delhi in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:14] AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Amara Walker.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Vause.

We'll check the headlines this hour.

(HEADLINES)

WALKER: Meantime, South Korea is accusing Kim Jong-Un of ordering his half-brother's murder. Intelligence officials told lawmakers that two North Korean ministries recruited two suspects in Kim Jong-Nam's assassination. Pyongyang denied any involvement and accuses Seoul of publishing a false report.

VAUSE: The assassination was especially shocking for how public it was.

Matt Rivers walks us through what happened at Kuala Lumpur's International Airport, and he has some of the questions that are still being asked. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: This is the spot where Kim Jong-Nam was poisoned. He was here waiting to check in for a flight to Macau, when you can see in incredible CCTV footage, a woman walks up behind him and police say she then puts VX nerve agent on his face, one of the world's most deadly chemicals. She leaves the scene and he immediately becomes uncomfortable. He starts walking this way and ending up at this information desk right here. He goes up, cuts several people in line to ask for help and says he is feeling dizzy.

Standing here this is a really public place. It's big and open. And it's bizarre to think an alleged assassination of such a public figure could happen in a place like this. And yet, here we are.

He then heads down to the clinic where the Malaysian health minister says he later fainted. From the time he was poisoned to the time he died en route to the hospital was only 20 minutes.

One officials confirmed that VX nerve agent was used, they finally sent in a hazmat team to check if there were chemicals left over. They didn't find anything but what took so long to send in the team? Why didn't they send them in earlier?

And that's not the only question here. The two female suspects told investigators they were part of a prank show and they didn't know they were doing anything wrong. But Malaysian police say they specifically trained for this attack. So which version is correct? And furthermore, police said they had VX nerve agent on their hands. Why didn't either get sick?

The fact is, we have learned a lot in the past two weeks since this alleged assassination took place, but there are many questions that still remain in this most public murder of Kim Jong-Nam.

Matt Rivers, CNN inside terminal two at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALKER: A man accused of fatally shooting an Indian engineer in Kansas made his first court appearance Monday.

VAUSE: Witnesses say Adam Purinton shouted "Get out of my country," before opening fire at a bar last week. Two others, including another Indian tech worker, were wounded.

CNN's Ravi Agrawal joining us now from New Delhi.

Ravi, what has been the reaction to the story, this horrible murder?

RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INDIA BUREAU CHIEF: Amara, the body of Srinivas Kuchibhotla arrived in his hometown of Monday night. Today, Tuesday -- it's about midday there -- his family is about to cremate his body according to Hindu traditions. When CNN spoke with the family, they expressed deep sorrow. This is a blow to them. Their son was 32. They described him as caring, loving, passionate, loved America.

But while that's the story there, this is also a story that has implications for both India and America. Listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(SINGING)

(on camera): In Olathe, Kansas, an emotional display of unity. It's a call that mirrored half a world away in Calcutta, India. As Indians come to terms with the news from American that a gunman opened fire on their two own. Srinivas Kuchibhotla was a 32-year-old engineer. He was killed. His colleague, Alok Madasani, survived.

Witnesses told local media the shooter, a man named Adam Purinton, yelled out "Get out of my country," before he opened fire in a bar in Olathe. Those words are now reverberating across Indian, even as authorities try to verify the statements and determine whether this was a hate crime.

There are currently 166,000 Indian students studying in the United States. There are many more on work visas. At Delhi's famous Indian Institute of Technology, many would-be engineers aspire to move to America. Now added to their concerns about a clampdown on immigration are new worries about safety.

[01:35:30] UNIDENTIFEID MALE: There are opportunities over there, much better facilities. We would not like to sacrifice our own wellbeing for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all attracted to the U.S. and the research they have got there. The thing is that we have to look into our own progress. I would still like to go there no matter how much incidents like these happen.

AGRAWAL: The worries were mirrored on national TV news in India and on social media.

The foreign minister tweeted saying, "I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas," to which a popular Indian actor responded, "Don't be shocked, be angry. Trump is spreading hate. This is a hate crime."

Meantime, Kuchibhotla's body arrived in his hometown on Monday night. It was a community in mourning as they questioned whether it's safe to send their sons and daughters to America.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

In their moment of deep sorrow, the Kuchibhotla family, when they were reached by CNN, they said they would still send their daughters and sons to America because they love America. One family member pointed out while one American shot two Indians in Kansas, it took another American to try to save their lives. There is a sense of realism and also the bigger picture in India today.

WALKER: Ravi Agrawal. with the view from New Delhi, thank you very much.

VAUSE: After the break, new details on what is being called the biggest Oscar flub in history. We'll tell you who is apologizing and, more importantly, who is getting blamed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:40:10] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Well, first came the Oscar flub.

WALKER: And now a new apology and blame going around, of course.

CNN's Jeanne Moos has more on Envelopegate.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Warren Beatty --

WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR: And the Academy Award --

MOOS: -- paused for five seconds it was a giveaway that the Oscar --

BEATTY: -- for best picture --

MOOS: -- would go to the wrong picture.

FAY DUNAWAY, ACTRESS: Come on. "La La Land."

(CHEERING)

MOOS: Soon a staffer wearing a headset crashed the stage, checking the envelope. There was headshaking and mouths gaping. Meryl Streep didn't have to act to look like this.

Cue the tweets. For instance, "We rob Oscars with a still from 'Bonnie and Collide'."

UNIDENTIFIED PRODUCER: There's a mistake. "Moonlight" you won best picture.

MOOS: Which got Billy Crystal, tweeting, "Amazing ending. Wish that was Election Day."

Someone asked, "Is there an envelope somewhere that reads Hillary Clinton."

And while "La La Land's" producer held up the correct winner--

UNIDENTIFIED PRODUCER: "Moonlight", best picture.

MOOS: -- the name swapping began featuring everything from Hillary's popular vote tally to the fast-food chain, What-A-Burger promoting itself.

One of President Trump's executive orders was rechristened "La La Moon."

(on camera): There were jokes about how Warren Beatty just done handed the grenade to Fay Dunaway, how he done her in.

(voice-over): He knew something was amiss, even looked for another card before letting Fay proclaim.

DUNAWAY: "La La Land."

(CHEERING)

MOOS: Some invoked Steve Harvey --

STEVE HARVEY, TV HOST: Please don't hold it against the lady.

MOOS: -- when he mistakenly named Miss Colombia as Miss Universe and then they had to snatch the crown off her head.

HARVEY: I can get Warren through this. Call me, Warren Beatty.

MOOS: The accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, apologized saying the presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope.

(on camera): Right before the mistake, the presenter's eyes met.

(voice-over): Eerily similar to the last moments of "Bonnie and Clyde."

(GUNFIRE)

MOOS: No point in shooting the messenger.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALKER: Entertainment journalist, Segun Oduolowu, joining us now.

You had so much fun you had to come back.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: You are a pop culture contributor for "Access Hollywood Live."

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURANLIST: Yeah.

VAUSE: Yeah.

ODUOLOWU: AHL, "Access Hollywood Live."

VAUSE: We booked someone from PriceWaterhouse to come in during "A.C. 360" but they cancelled. But we have a statement from PriceWaterhouse saying essentially, that "PWC partner, Brian Cullinan, mistakenly handed the backup envelope for actress in a leading role instead of the envelope for best picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Fay Dunaway. Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner."

What protocols?

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, they threw this dude under the bus. If I'm Mr. Cullinan, I'm like, I thought we were a team here. He was backstage taking selfies. He was tweeting.

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: But it's the Oscars. He has worked the Oscars four years. They make it seem like he was a rookie caught up in the moment. We all make mistakes. What PriceWaterhouseCoopers did was to cover their rear ends and throw this guy under the bus.

WALKER: It's not that difficult to hand over an envelope. But there is some kind of mix up.

We were talking about how we feel so bad about "Moonlight" not being in the spotlight because of the craziness.

I want to show you some memes about people saying who should have won. This one from John Lewis, "Has anyone done this yet?" And you can see there lemonade. Beyonce not winning.

VAUSE: Right.

WALKER: And also, Seth MacFarlane tweeting this, "You know what the problem is, millions of Academy members voted illegally."

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: We know who is referring to. The day after, we're not talking about the surprise win of the night. It's been overshadowed about what happened.

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: But it's fine. If I asked you who won last year or the year before, like, it takes you a moment. You'll never forget now. So if I'm the guys from "Moonlight," my magic moment might be a little tarnished but I will be remembered in history.

And, John, you said it for a move shot on a shoe string budget if it drives more people into the theaters -- which is what I said -- that is better for the movie and that is a big deal. Movies like this need to get made and seen.

WALKER: I want to remember who won last year.

VAUSE: "The Revenant," wasn't it?

[01:45:14] ODUOLOWU: Was it "The Revenant?"

(CROSSTALK) ODUOLOWU: It's already out of my mind. Because I didn't think that "Revenant" was that good.

Love you, Leo.

VAUSE: Last night, we were wondering, why hasn't Donald Trump responded to the Jimmy Kimmel insults. He was silent on Twitter. He was goaded all night. But it was just a matter of time.

ODUOLOWU: No. He's like a sleepy orange bear.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Mr. Trump gave an interview to "Breitbart." And he said, "I think they focused so hard on politics, they didn't get the act together at the end. It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. I have been to the Oscars there was something special missing and then for it to end that way was sad."

It's amazing how the president has managed turned this Oscar flub into something about a hit about himself, but he didn't lash out at Jimmy Kimmel.

ODUOLOWU: But Kimmel's jabs weren't like haymakers. They were subtle pokes with a tweet. Are you up? They were jokes. But Trump has circled the wagons and everything flows back to him. And I just find it disingenuous that here's a guy that has degraded and downplayed the importance of the arts. To say that the Oscars is sad and to say I've been to them and when I went to them they were glamorous but this is a sad and horrible thing with the pointy fingers, it bothers me he gets to get away with this. Those are hardworking people.

Think what you want about Hollywood but it employs millions of people the world over. To discredit the arts and the people that are involved in the arts, the artists themselves, it's poor form.

VAUSE: It's sad.

ODUOLOWU: For him, it's par for the course for him, and it is very sad.

WALKER: Is it sad that not many people are tuning in very much anymore? It was great drama TV last night. But it only drew 33 million viewers and the second lowest total since 1974. What is the deal? Why is no one tuning in?

ODUOLOWU: I go old man on the lawn and yell at Millennials. There are a wave of people who are like, I don't watch broadcast stuff and just stream it. I don't know how they track the streaming views as well as the Oscars --

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: I'm sure Trump supporters didn't watch. And you had Senators and governors. Huckabee saying I'm not going to watch it. Huckabee in Arkansas is talking about I'm not going to watch. You're not the target audience, maybe, and seriously, you're going to talk about not watching. Old man on the lawn, Millennials need to watch, get a subscription. It doesn't mean you are avant-garde. It means you are broke.

(LAUGHTER)

Get cable and DirecTV. What are we talking about here?

VAUSE: Segun, good to see you. Thank you for being with us last night. And just for the record, the winner last year was "Spotlight."

ODUOLOWU: "Spotlight."

WALKER: Oh, yeah.

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: Leo got his Oscar, everyone was happy.

WALKER: OK. You got me digressing.

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: Segun Oduolowu, thank you for coming in.

ODUOLOWU: Thank you for having me, Amara. It's a pleasure.

John, it is what it is.

VAUSE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

WALKER: Coming up on NEWSROOM L.A., going into deep space requires deep pockets. A couple of tourists sign up for an out-of-this-world adventure. Details on a place to send two high fliers to the moon. That's next.

(SINGING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WEATHER REPORT)

[01:52:41] WALKER: Two thrill seekers are planning an out-of-the- world vacation, SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, announced he will be sending two ordinary people to the moon and back at the end of next year.

VAUSE: Maybe they'll come back. Musk says they will circle the moon but won't land. The two passengers have put down two deposits for this.

WALKER: Apparently.

Retired NASA astronaut, Leroy Chiao, joining us from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Hi, there, Leroy.

It is exciting in theory. I don't know if I want to volunteer or pay for it. This is a trip that is not without some risks, right?

LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Any time you fly in space there are risks. But SpaceX has been developing the capability for several years now with NASA assistance. So they are on the books to launch NASA astronauts to the international space station aboard their spacecraft. This is just another step further about taking the spacecraft they are developing and modifying in appropriate ways and launching it aboard a falcon 9 heavy to be launched later this year. All in all very much doable.

VAUSE: Leroy, seems happy with all of this. NASA put out a statement that read, in part, "NASA commends it industry partners for reaching higher. For more than a decade, NASA has invested in private industry to develop the capabilities for the American people and seek commercial innovation for the future in space."

But what is the upside for NASA when it comes to space travel?

CHIAO: I was saying it is exciting that the current events happening and what has happened recently with the new administration that opens up the possibility for a government commercial collaboration for exploration and Elon Musk has said many times publicly that he created SpaceX because he wants to go to Mars. And to me, the moon was a logical steppingstone to do that. He wanted a place to go --

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: The last time the U.S. sent humans to the moon was in 1972. And --

(CROSSTALK)

CHIAO: Right.

WALKER: And this tourist trip is scheduled for the end of 2018. Is that an ambitious time line?

[01:55:05] CHIAO: I think it's realistic. The dragon capsule to carry astronauts has been under development for quite some time and scheduled to make its first flight in 2018. The Falcon Heavy has been in development for a while. It's three Falcon Nine cores linked together. That's supposed to fly later this year. So 2018, end of 2018 is aggressive but it's probably doable. It might into 2019 but it is not that much more of a stretch.

VAUSE: Very quickly, Musk did not put a price on the trip but he said it would cost the same as a crude mission to the space station. What sort of money are we looking at here?

CHIAO: You can see the planned price for a Falcon Heavy is less than $100 million. You know, we can conservatively estimate, $250 million for the mission and training. Altogether it could be somewhere in the $300 million range. I don't know for sure. I don't know their pricing. But for people who want to go around the moon, I mean, there has been talk for a number of years of people willing to pay that kind of price to go do that.

WALKER: If you have that pocket change --

VAUSE: Why not?

WALKER: -- a few hundred million dollars.

VAUSE: We didn't get to ask what you are doing in Alaska, but we'll leave it there.

Thanks for being with us. We appreciate it.

CHIAO: My pleasure.

WALKER: Thanks, Leroy.

VAUSE: $300 million.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Let's go to the moon.

You have been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

WALKER: I'm Amara Walker. We'll be back with more news after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)