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Trump-Putin Meeting; Let Obamacare Fail; U.S. Sanctions Iran after Recertifying Nuclear Deal; Experts Concerned about Brexit Impact on U.K. Economy; Australian Killed in U.S.; Tropical Storms Hilary versus Don. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 19, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:05] ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Another undisclosed Russian meeting, only this time it was Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Just a casual chat up at dinner, says the White House; an hour-long private discussion, say others.

SOARES: Well, if you think Washington is a mess, you can put the Brexit negotiations in the same box -- unpreparedness, political infighting and concerns on the streets of the U.K.

VAUSE: And Australia's prime minister now demanding answers of the fatal police shooting of an Australian woman in the U.S.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

VAUSE: The White House, again on the defensive about another undisclosed Russian meeting but this was between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at a dinner during the G-20 summit earlier this month.

Video from that dinner on July 7 shows the Russian President seated next to the U.S. first lady, Melania Trump.

SOARES: Well, an aide says Mr. Trump spoke with Mr. Putin for nearly an hour that night but officially the White House called it a brief conversation and rejects any notion it tried to hide that very meeting.

VAUSE: Well, joining us now here in Los Angeles Democratic strategist Robin Swanson and CNN political commentator, Trump supporter and talk radio host over KABC John Phillips. A good day everybody for this.


VAUSE: Ok. This second undisclosed meeting between Presidents Putin and Trump, it was first reported by Ian Bremmer with Eurasia Group.

Here's what he said.


IAN BREMMER, EURASIA GROUP: He has a meeting with a lot of people not in it, only Tillerson, the translators, Lavrov the foreign minister -- Russian foreign minister and Putin. It lasts over two hours, don't have a clear read-out on exactly what was said from either side.

Then on top of that you have an hour that evening that no one's even heard of.

The first thing I thought of when I heard it was, you know, the fact that when Sessions was having these meetings with Kislyak that weren't meetings right because they were in broader meetings but they're pull- asides, you don't really need to talk about it but it turns out that's where they're conducting business. That's kind of what this sounds like.


VAUSE: Now according to Bremmer's newsletter which he sends out to his clients, the meeting began halfway into the meal and lasted roughly an hour.

All of this seems to contradict the statement coming from the White House which read, "There was no second meeting between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to hide a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd."

Robin -- it's Russia, Russia, Russia. Who do you believe? Who's got the credibility here? Do you give the President, the benefit of the doubt or have they run out of credibility?

SWANSON: Well, I generally don't give this President the benefit of the doubt and certainly if it's, you know, an hour-long conversation, he's not asking how the prime rib was at dinner.

VAUSE: Not asking about the grandkids or golf?

SWANSON: Well -- and honestly we don't know because there's no record of what happened there. So the only people that know are Donald Trump, Putin and the translator. Not --

VAUSE: The Russian translator.

SWANSON: -- that's right. The Russian translator.

VAUSE: In other words, from the Russian government, yes.

SWANSON: So we have no public record of a conversation that happened between the President of the United States and Vladimir Putin. And the bigger question, I think, is what message did that send the rest of the world that was sitting there at the very same dinner? Perhaps he should have struck up a conversation with Angela Merkel or any one of our allies about things that we care about, like fighting terrorism.

So the fact that he gives Putin that kind of credibility and spends an hour with him, this is a man who murders journalists. This is a man who should be an enemy of the United States of America.

So I think it's troubling on a lot of levels and he certainly doesn't tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because we've missed a key conversation here.

SOARES: But John -- it's not -- I mean people probably will be scratching their heads. They're screaming at the TV at the start saying look, these are leaders of the G-20, of course he mingles, he talks to everyone. But this goes to the very heart of credibility of transparency. So at what point does this begin to do damage to his credibility, to his presidency, but also his capacity to lead.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think this is why he went to the G-20 summit to meet with other world leaders. He didn't go to Europe to try the schnitzel, he went there to talk to these people and to get to know them.

My assumption would be, as a newly-elected leader, this is one of the first times he ever got a chance to dine with them and chat with them, one on one. And I assume that's exactly what was going on here.

Now, knowing what we know about Trump, I'm sure the conversation started with the food is much better at Mar-A-Lago.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, the President did push back on Twitter a short time ago in a very Donald Trump kind of way.

[00:05:00] "Fake news story of secret dinner with Putin is sick. All G-20 leaders and spouses were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press view: the fake news is becoming more and more dishonest. Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister."

John -- it seems though the problem here is that the press didn't know about this meeting. There's no official readout from what was said. No one knows exactly what was said. This was not a secret meeting. It was reported as being undisclosed.

And you know, right now, given all the multiple investigations which are under way involving Russia, at the very least, you know, this looks highly suspect. It smells fishier than a three day old (inaudible) fish.

PHILLIPS: Well, he certainly has an antagonistic relationship with the press. And the press has an antagonistic relationship with the --

VAUSE: But there's protocol here.


VAUSE: You get on with the press -- it's protocol. PHILLIPS: Again, I think it's implied that when he's at these meetings, he's going to meet with world leaders. I don't think it's incumbent upon him enumerate where he is every minute of the day.

SOARES: Ok. I mean, of course but there's the whole question of transparency and why didn't you reveal it from the get-go.

But let me ask you -- let me ask you this -- Robin because it's clear we're getting this drip, drip -- drip, drip, drip of information every single day. And it seems -- it's rubbing some people off the wrong way.

I want to show you an editorial from the "Wall Street Journal" that really struck me. This is like a bastion of conservativism. If we can bring it up for our viewers to read so they can see it.

"Everything that is potentially damaging to the Trumps will come out one way or another -- everything. The best chance of saving his presidency is what they call radical transparency. Release everything to the public ahead of the inevitable leak.

I mean this is the editorial board. This is what they have to say. Does this actually hurt him in any way, the fact that the bastion of conservativism now had said I've had enough.

SWANSON: Well, with his voters maybe not. You know, there's just loyal Trump voters -- they may not care. But I think with most America, at this point we have an expectation that he's going to be presidential at some point and show some leadership. And at the very least all of this shows extraordinarily poor judgment.

And I would like the leader of the free world to exercise some judgment about who it is he's talking to. What decision he's making. Theoretically he only has so many hours in the day and why is it that he's spending an entire hour after already having spent two hours with Vladimir Putin.

VAUSE: And John -- to the "Wall Street Journal", you know, radical transparency here, laying it all out. That's what Trump's lawyers want, you know, detail every meeting with every Russian, you know, every time he'd even had (inaudible) soup, you know. List it.

But there seems to be pushback. The President doesn't want to do it.

PHILLIPS: Well, I'm not surprised it's coming from the "Wall Street Journal". The "Wall Street Journal" is the open borders journal. They're not Trump kind of Republicans. They disagree with him --


VAUSE: Just bring the transparency out there. Why is there such reluctance within the White House, do you think?

PHILLIPS: I think Maggie Haberman said he's the most accessible president she's ever covered. From the "New York Times" --


PHILLIPS: People can get him on the phone. They can just call him up at 10:00 at night. Hello -- it's not a problem.

VAUSE: But do you believe what he's telling you? I mean are you being told the truth. I mean I think it's been demonstrated, you know, on a number of occasions that the President doesn't tell the truth.

PHILLIPS: What -- with the "Wall Street Journal" -- the "Wall Street Journal" is not a Trump type of Republican. The "Wall Street Journal" is an establishment sort of Republican brand that never supported him in the primaries. They never supported him certainly in the general election. I don't believe they endorsed him.

So the fact that they're still going after him in their editorials isn't surprising. And it doesn't show any defections in the Trump camp.

Trump voters, Trump supporters are still very happy with what he's doing.


SOARES: Are they happy about what we've seen the last 24 hours when it comes to the health care, the failed Republican health care bill? Now it seems we have Plan A; now it seems we have Plan B?

Take a listen to this sound bite.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let Obamacare fail. It will be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.

We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats, they're going to come to us and they're going to say how do we fix it? How do we fix it? Or how do we come up with a new plan?


SOARES: You know, listening to this, if I were in London, many people will be scratching their hands and rethink, did he just say that. This was one of his main campaign promises. How can he sleep at night knowing that there is no other option? He's going to let it die. There's no backup plan.

PHILLIPS: We've got to get to it because Obamacare is imploding. People don't like. Republicans won three national elections essentially running against Obama, 2010, 2014, 2016. They have to come up with something.

But it's yet another reminder that Congress is run by people with spines made of linguini. They look at the poll numbers. The poll numbers are not good for this health care bill because the Democrats have been spending and their enablers in the media have been spending months and months and months saying that this will kill more people than a Michael Bay movie and so they believe it.

[00:10:00] But guess what, the alternative is worse. The alternative is Democrats coming back and saying no, we need more taxes. We need more money to make Obamacare work. Or what the House of Representatives wants where a majority of Democrats in the House now want single-payer health care.

Both alternatives are worse. They need to get a bill through. If it doesn't happen this time, they better do it fast.

SWANSON: No, here's what worse is when millions of people lose their health care. I mean I think that's actually quite tragic. And I think there's a couple of disturbing trends (ph) and the first is that the buck does not stop with President Trump.

And I -- you know, Harry Truman sort of set that gold standard for presidential leadership. And, you know, Donald Trump is happy to pass the buck despite having a Republican House or a Republican Senate, a Republican in the White House and then still trying to blame Democrats for their problem, the fact that they couldn't get all the Republican Senators to vote for their very own bill.

And now he's asking people to take this leap of faith that they're going to jump over the cliff with no net and we watched them crash and burn far too many times to do that again.

VAUSE: Well, you mentioned all the campaign promises that candidate Trump made during last year's campaign. Let's just listen to them again.


TRUMP: You're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost. And it's going to be so easy.

Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.

Obamacare is dead. It's going to be repealed. It's going to be replaced.

We're going to do it simultaneously. It will be just fine.

We're not going to have like a two-day period. We're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. It will be repealed and replaced.

Obamacare repeal and replace -- I've been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare now for almost two years.

It's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And that last bit's my favorite. No fun (inaudible).

John -- a tiny fraction of the cost. It was going to be amazing. It's also easy to do. We're going to immediately do repeal and replace. You know, is this kind of like Donald Trump the businessman over-promising and then, you know, making promises or contracts and then not coming through and not paying and, you know, not keeping his word.

PHILLIPS: How many times did it take Bill Clinton to get welfare reform through -- what three times? Four times -- somewhere around there?

This will eventually get through. As a Trump supporter, I couldn't be happier with what we've been getting out of them. We got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. We pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords. Illegal immigration has fallen off the cliff.

His people are happy. He hasn't over the people that hated him during the campaign. But I think we live in a very polarized country where that's just not possible.

SWANSON: Well, he hasn't won over the majority of Americans. The majority of Americans disapprove of --


VAUSE: 36 percent --

SOARES: And the reality is that Republicans don't have a single major piece of legislation to actually show since he's been in power.

PHILLIPS: We got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. That will shape law for a generation.

SWANSON: It's just a trail of broken promises.

VAUSE: But don't worry. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, he is a master legislator. He's got a plan.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: It's pretty clear that there are not 50 Republicans at the moment to vote for a replacement for Obamacare. Consequently some time in the near future, we'll have a vote on repealing Obamacare, essentially the same vote that we had in 2015.


VAUSE: Only that plan lasted about two hours before they realized the didn't have the vote for that as well.

John -- at the end of the day, if Republicans want to do something about health care, are they going to have to work with the Democrats and is that going to be so awful?

PHILLIPS: If the Democrats want to come to the table, I'd do it. But just think about all of this debate in the context of the upcoming midterm elections.

Where is the playing field? The playing field is in places like North Dakota, West Virginia, Indiana where Democrats will be representing states that -- or are running for reelection in states that Donald Trump won and in many cases won handily, largely with rural populations.

Look at the places where health care costs have gone through the roof and where people have no options under Obamacare, it's in rural America.

They have to come through on this subject. There's just no other alternative.

SOARES: But going to John's point, it's not about scoring political points. We're talking about people's health here.

SWANSON: That is right.

SOARES: Surely you need to get past that.

SWANSON: And there's a new poll out that actually shows in these Trump counties, they oppose -- only 12 percent in these Trump counties support the Trump health care plan which is nothing.


SWANSON: So, I think there's a big problem and there's the bigger problem is for those who have to get reelected whose names aren't Donald Trump and do have an R by their name.

VAUSE: Well, if nothing else, Donald Trump and his health care plan has united Americans like never before.

[00:15:01] Robin and John -- good to see you both. Thank you.

Well, the Trump administration has slapped new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and its quote, "malign activities in the Middle East". The news comes yesterday after the U.S. reluctantly recertified Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

SOARES: But the White House and President Trump still think the deal is a bad one and doesn't believe the Iranians have been fully compliant. Iran says it will retaliate with its own sanctions against U.S. interests.

VAUSE: Joining me now is CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer. Bob -- good to see you.

At the State Department briefing on Tuesday, the administration laid out exactly what Iran had done to justify these sanctions. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HEATHER NAUERT, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Their full range of activities extends far beyond the nuclear threat. And I think we are all fully aware of that. Ballistic missile development, proliferation, support to terrorism and militancy. It's complicit in the Assad regime's atrocities against its own people, unrelenting hostility to Israel that continues and have continued for quite some time.

They have consistently threatened freedom of navigation especially in the Persian Gulf. Cyber attacks on the United States. And I can go on --


VAUSE: You know, clearly it would be better if Iran wasn't doing any of that. But all those issues were deliberately left out of the accord for a reason.

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, yes. I mean they're complying with the nuclear agreements.


BAER: There are some statutes, there are effective inspections. It stopped making a nuclear bomb. They've stopped their centrifuges and so on.

What's really truly worrying the Trump administration is the Iranian influence in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon and it's strong. I mean Hezbollah effectively runs -- that's an Iranian-backed group -- runs Lebanon. They're doing most of the fighting in Syria. You've got a Syrian president who obeys every order of Iran. And then in Iraq, Iranian-backed militias were a main force in taking Mosul.

So, you know, for the Sunni Arabs, our allies, Saudi Arabia -- they're looking at Iran as, you know, a hegemony in the Middle East. And yes, they are building missiles.

And what do you do about it now? I mean our sanctions aren't going to stop the Iranians. I think it's just like North Korea, the Trump administration doesn't have a clue what to do next.

VAUSE: Yes. I just -- I guess the point is that, you know, keeping these two things separate -- the nuclear deal and all the other bad activities -- seems that the Trump administration wants to link the two which some think counter productive.

Iran's foreign minister blasted the new U.S. sanctions, calling the move worthless and contemptible, warning in a statement that Iran will reciprocate that move by imposing sanctions on a number of American natural and legal persons who have taken steps against the Iranian people and other Muslim nations in the region. The names of these individuals will be announced soon.

That seems like a pretty broad approach there by Tehran and also at the same time, three American citizens are sitting in Iranian prisons.

BAER: Well, that's something else. That's Iran is, John -- is divided. The judiciary is hard core. This is an internal struggle between Rouhani the President and the judiciary. Frankly it's a struggle that we don't really understand the parameters of. But it's every important for Iran's stability.

But I'd like to go back and say one thing is the terrorism charge that the Trump administration has even, or even the cyber hacking, you know. Look at Russia. I mean clearly, they're the bad guys and the Trump administration's ignoring Russia while going after Iran. If there's any hacking it's minor or unimportant.

And terrorism, it's just a fact that they're not supporting it. They are -- it would not force a stability but they are not using asymmetrical terrorism to come after the west. That's an old charge.

And you know, by the way, John -- that's something we should watch because if this administration continues to drive that home, there's the possibility they're looking for justification for going after the Iranians with force.

You know, let's wait to see what happens.

VAUSE: You know, the U.S. President is among many who've never liked the nuclear deal to begin with. And you know, there's a lot of speculation that maybe he'll revisit it, maybe he'll rip it up.

One of the big criticisms though is that it simply gives Iran this ten-year respite and then after that it has sort of full license to head off and make some kind of nuclear bomb, some kind of nuclear weapon.

It's an allegation Iran's foreign minister has repeatedly denied. This is what he said to Fareed Zakaria.


MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Iran has had the capability but decided not to go in the direction of producing weapons of mass destruction because we believe that not only they are against our ideology but also they do not augment our security.

We believe that nuclear weapons would be a threat to our security rather than an asset for our security.


[00:20:01] VAUSE: Do you believe Javad Zarif?

BAER: I do. I mean what the Iranians don't want is to get into a nuclear arms race with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has the technology and the know-how to make a bomb in very quick order. If the Iranians were to move to get one, the Saudis would too. There would be an arms race in the Gulf. It would be extremely dangerous. And the Iranians, they are very smart. I've dealt with them over the years. They don't need a nuclear weapon. I don't think they're going to need one in ten years.

I mean the way I look at it, they won in Iraq. And you know, thanks to our invasion in 2003, they own that country and they don't need nuclear weapons.

It's a key ally. Their intelligence service controls the Iraqi government. And it's very important for Iranian trade right now. It's, you know, we lost that war effectively.

VAUSE: Just very quickly. To sum it up -- you know, the nuclear deal I think in the opinion of most, it's working but yet Iran still behaves badly when it comes to building ballistic missiles and supporting terrorism and that needs to be addressed or possibly these things should not be linked.

BAER: Not terrorism. They're not involved in terrorism. Yes, they're building missiles. They're a threat to the Gulf. They're a threat to Saudi Arabia, to the oil facilities. But the terrorism charge -- there's just no evidence for it.

VAUSE: Ok. Bob -- good to speak to you. Thank you -- Bob Baer, former CIA operative. Thank you.

SOARES: Now British Prime Minister Theresa May, under fire over Brexit negotiations. In a few hours, she'll face questions from the man who wants the job -- that's the Labour leader, as you can see right now -- Jeremy Corbyn.

We'll have that story for you next.


SOARES: British Prime Minister Theresa May will probably be on the defensive when she faces questions in parliament in just a few hours. Opposition leaders Jeremy Corbyn will likely criticize Mrs. May over how her government is handling ongoing threats at negotiation.

VAUSE: Earlier the Prime Minister warned her cabinet to show unity and stop the leaks after reports of infighting over terms of the divorce from the European Union.

SOARES: Well, global business executive Ryan Patel joins us now from San Francisco. Ryan -- thank you very much for being here.

Look, we were in the second round now, second day of the latest round of -- we're losing track of all the rounds of these Brexit talks. And it seems really that negotiators are still looking pretty unprepared. How is all this uncertainty being felt would you say on the market?

RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: If you've heard of chess pieces, this is more than chess pieces. It is -- there are so many backups of plans from even like (inaudible) Citibank wanting to now start doing stuff with Frankfurt, Japan deal with Europe. The European Union getting stronger, and then Canada and the U.K. potentially doing side deals after the exit.

And on top of all that, what's really going on -- no one really knows about how hard the stance is going to be. I think that's where the confusion is happening.

[00:25:05] But what's different from this and maybe potentially the U.S. economy companies and international countries are actually having backup plans that, you know what, this is what we're going to go for and we're going to put these contingency plans kind of in advance.

And that's kind of -- if I'm in the U.K. right now, government you kind of don't want people to make decisions before you actually make the negotiation done.

SOARES: Absolutely. But when you don't have a plan it's always quite hard and you don't say what the plan is, it's quite hard for people to plan ahead.

And there seems to be no more really good news. I saw today from consultancy PWC really painting a really worrying scenario for the U.K. Economy, they say, will likely basically call the next two years; this, because of rising inflation, arising from that weak sterling, from the weak pound.

On top of all this, of course, there are signs of slowing consumer confidence, consumer spending, and increased reluctance, as you say, among businesses to invest. This is really troubling.

PATEL: No and it is. And you mentioned that report. There's multiple other reports also talking about why business not going the way it's supposed to. And I think that's kind of the confusion on there. And there are not really -- where do they make a stance?

And they've got to decide. And what's different about these reports are other -- again other companies are taking the initiative to go forward on, you know what, we're not going to wait. We think it's going to be the worst outcome. What's best for us?

And you know, even in the E.U., right -- Italy and Spain and even Germany. Germany right now is -- could be beneficial, you know, benefit from this. But also they would be also exposed to the outperforming quite a bit. So it's very interesting to see the implication also in Asia as well with Australia, New Zealand and even in Japan and China.

SOARES: Look going into these negotiations, you can almost understand why it would be so much inserting, so many questions, you know. No one's been there before.

But Brexit, let's remind viewers it was actually on June 23rd of 2016. That's more than a year ago. And still the cabinet looks like they're unprepared. They're divided.

I mean there's bickering within the conservative party. You've got leaks basically in, you know, going on. And in the meantime, if you're looking at this video right now, the rest of the world pretty much laughing as, you know, David Davis goes into the meeting looking unprepared with no papers.

This is a cartoon from the "Guardian" newspaper, portraying how basically this whole meeting has turned out. There is Europe waiting, (inaudible) on to the table, under the table with a lot of bickering.

This does -- what kind of image does it give to the rest of the world in terms of being open for business and being prepared for the next stage.

PATEL: I hate to say this. This is actually showing how they don't have any leverage in this situation. And that the E.U. has more leverage to it. And it's sad to see this because obviously, there was a little bit of shock with it from June and you would think that you'd give them three or four months to get to this point.

And it's not like there's no new news that's happened. They've known that this is going to happen and move forward. And I feel like they're running out of positions on what to do. And while they continue to bicker, I hate to tell you this, other countries and the E.U. are getting stronger in their positions even though that I believe the U.K. has a lot to offer, obviously in other industries.

But you know, they all are at pause right now and that's the problem in the U.K. They've got some initiatives that are going from digital economy and to these other places. But they can't do anything just yet until in the home it gets decided.

SOARES: Yes. And the reality, Ryan, it's really hard to find a positive story on Brexit. I mean, I was looking at --

PATEL: That's right.

SOARES: -- what, any positive news coming out of Brexit when it comes to London. It's hard. I mean you're talking about some of the companies. But I did some digging, I mean, already had JPMorgan, UBS and Goldman Sachs have already said they'll move jobs and investments or both out of the U.K., so very troubling.

Important, of course, to get these negotiations under way and to get some clarity, very important. So let's see what comes out today of bringing the parliament, bickering no doubt.

Ryan Patel -- thanks very much. Wonderful to see you.

PATEL: Thank you -- likewise.

VAUSE: Bringing in parliament -- never heard of it.

Ok. Coming up, there is growing outrage in Australia after U.S. police shot and killed an Australian woman and the officer who pulled the trigger has declined to be interviewed by investigators.

SOARES: All that as people back home are mourning the woman's loss, as well as demanding answers. Some are even calling the U.S. a police state run by quote, "out of control officers".



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

And I'm Isa Soares. These are the headlines for you this hour.


VAUSE: There's still no access why police in Minneapolis shot and killed an Australian woman. Her family has complained they're getting very little information about what really happened after Justine Ruszczyk called police on Saturday night, reporting a possible sexual assault near her home.

Two officers responded to that call.

SOARES: They've been identified as Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor, who you are seeing here. Harrity told investigators he was startled by a loud sound near the police car. He says Ruszczyk approached them and Minneapolis authorities say Noor then fired his weapon, hitting her in the abdomen.

Noor has not spoken to investigators. Here's what the mayor of Minneapolis is saying about the tragedy.


BETSY HODGES, MAYOR OF MINNEAPOLIS: We do have more information now, although it's frustrating to have some of the picture though not all of it. We cannot compel Officer Noor to make a statement.

I wish he could. I wish he would make a statement, is what I want to say. We can't compel him by law. But I wish he would make that statement.


SOARES: Well, back home, Ruszczyk's death has come to a shock to Australia. She was supposed to get married next month. This vigil was set up in Sydney to remember her life and to help say goodbye.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) now Caroline Marcus reporter with Sky News Australia.

So, Caroline, the officer who fired that fatal shot, Mohamed Noor, declined to give an interview to investigates.

Is that just one of issues here which is fueling the anger and the outrage there?

CAROLINE MARCUS, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA: Well, I think, John, we have seen a lot of anger but more bewilderment here in term of this story. And I suppose the fact that you don't have to be compelled as an officer involved in a fatal shooting in the U.S. is something that's got people here asking a lot of questions.

Now we have heard more details obviously around this shooting that's come mainly from the BCA in the United States, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. But we are --


MARCUS: -- trying to find out more, as is the family both here and in the States. We know now about, of course, that loud noise that the other officer, Matthew Harrity, had reported hearing.

But what was the cause of the loud noise, we still don't know. According to the Budget Control Act, their squad car lights were off at the time they were looking for the suspect that Ms. Ruszczyk had reported hearing, apparent sexual assault in the alley behind their house.

But when they reached the alley in their squad car, they heard a loud noise. Harrity said. And that's when Ms. Ruszczyk appeared at his side window and Mohamed Noor discharged his weapon.

There has been some speculation about fireworks and that came from an audio recording in the car. The dispatcher, after the shooting, was heard telling the officers that it could have been aerial fireworks they heard in terms of that loud noise.

But because Mohamed Noor has not given evidence and, as we just heard from the mayor, he's not legally compelled to do so, we don't actually know the exact circumstances, of course because the body cameras that these officers were had not been activated at the time of the shooting and neither was the camera in the car.

So I think everyone in Australia as well as in Minneapolis would like to know what Mohamed Noor has to say. But, of course, over there, he's not legally compelled to do so.

VAUSE: OK, well, the demand for answers to how this shooting may have happened, now coming from Australia's prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Here's what he said.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: Our consul general is supporting the family and we are seeking answers to this. This is a shocking killing. It's inexplicable. Our hearts go out to her family.

I mean, how can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police be shot like that?

It is a shocking killing.


VAUSE: And here's a sample of how the story is actually being reported in Australia, front page news on Sydney's "Daily Telegraph," the headline, "American Nightmare."

Also this from the website, the most widely read website, "The midwestern U.S. city where an Australian bride-to-be was mysteriously shot dead by a cop is a 'police state,' run by 'out-of- control officers,' according to a community activist."

So it's that the perception there now that Justine Ruszczyk was the victim of gun-happy cops?

MARCUS: Well, I think there has always been a perception of a very lax gun control in the United States, certainly how it compares to Australia. We had our former prime minister, John Howard introduce really strict gun laws and had a gun buyback here back in the mid- 1990s and that after we had our own gun massacre here in Port Arthur in Tasmania.

And that really was seen widely as something that cleaned up the country of illegal firearms. In fact, right now we have another national amnesty, in which people with unregistered firearms are able to hand back in their weapons without facing any sort of punishment.

So it really bewilders a lot of people just generally how out-of- control the gun situation is in the United States. And obviously we do often hear the situation about how many people are also shot by cops. That gets a lot of coverage on our news here as well.

And we've had a piece that went up online recently in the last couple of hours on the Fairfax website here.

It said Justine Damond is the 541th person shot dead by the U.S. police this year. There are also reports that Ms. Ruszczyk had told friends rather prophetically that her fear of guns was her biggest reservation about moving to the United States in 2015 to be her fiance, Don Damond. So of course, that's a very sad revelation that ultimately her biggest fear was what ultimately killed her.

VAUSE: There are many sad and tragic aspects to that story, that not being the least of them. Caroline, thanks for being with us. We appreciate your time.

SOARES: Now still to come, what are the odds of this one?

Tropical Storm Don versus Tropical Storm Hilary.

VAUSE: Didn't we get that last year?

SOARES: You really can't make this up.

Question is, John, which one packs really the bigger punch?




SOARES: What are the odds of this one?

There is a tropical storm brewing and it's called Hilary.

VAUSE: But at the same time, another tropical storm named Don is fizzling.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hold onto your hot

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Tropical Storm Don.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is Tropical Storm Don. Pretty small.

MOOS (voice-over): Small?

Small and not organized?

Forecast to degenerate?

Is that any way to talk about Don?

People have been reading a lot into the Caribbean storm that shares the president's name. The actual storm has unleashed a tweet storm.

National Weather Service released this first picture of Tropical Storm Don, warning, "Tropical Storm Don has just turned into a category 1 covfefe."

MOOS: Of course, Don, the storm, has no connection to Donald, the president. It's all coincidental.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the World Meteorological Organization comes up with the names and these are decided years and years before these storms actually happen.

MOOS (voice-over): But when this Don coincided with this Donald, Trump critics flipped their wigs.

"Tropical Storm Don is expected to be the first storm in U.S. history to cause widespread damage in every state of the union."

"Actually, the storm's prognosis is poor. Will dissipate with 72 hours, low energy. sad."

But there's an even freakier coincidence in the forecast.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Tropical Storm Hilary. Hilary and Don.

MOOS (voice-over): We kid you not. While Tropical Storm Don is weakening in the Atlantic...

GRAY: Hilary is actually gaining a little bit of momentum in the Pacific.

MOOS (voice-over): The name is officially bestowed once the tropical depression becomes a tropical storm. Hilary was simply next on the official list of Pacific storms.

Tweeted one critic, "Well, the good news is that Tropical Storm Hilary has no chance of hitting the White House."

Who could have imagined these two would coincide, two forces of nature and a forecast of cloudy with a chance of collusion? -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: If I didn't know better, I'd say it's fake news.


SOARES: Absolutely, it's (INAUDIBLE) two forces of nature. Who could have made that up?

Thanks very much for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isa Soares.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN, the world news leader.