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Trump And Putin Meet Again At G20; Woman Detained Following Social Media Video; Kushner's Security Clearance Under Scrutiny; Senate Republican Plan Lacks Votes For Passage; Trump Surprised At Republican Plan Collapse; Obamacare Repeal Vote Next Week Expected To Fail; Sydney Holds Vigil For Victim Of Police Shooting; Report: 500+ Boys Abused At Catholic Choir School; Saudi Skirt Outrage; Russia Investigation; Celebrity Defector Returns to North Korea; Radiohead to Play in Israel Despite Calls to Cancel; The Teenager behind the Hijab Emoji. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired July 19, 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.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, was it just a casual after- dinner chat, or something more? We're just learning about the second encounter between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at this month's G20.
VAUSE: Plus, after the Republican health care plan collapse, the U.S. President has a Plan B: let Obamacare fail.
SOARES: Also, why a six-second-long social media video has gotten this woman in trouble with Saudi Police.
VAUSE: Hello, everybody! Thanks for being with us. I'm John Vause.
SOARES: And I am Isa Soares, this is NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: The White House says it never tried to hide the second conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Germany earlier this month. An aide says the men spoke for about an hour at the end of an official dinner for leaders and their spouses.
SOARES: Well, Mr. Trump calls reports about the meeting "sick and fake news." Well, the dinner conversation came after more than about two-hour meeting between the U.S., as well as Russian President earlier, if you remember that same day.
VAUSE: Joining us now here in Los Angeles: Democratic Strategist Robin Swanson; and CNN Political Commentator, Trump Supporter, and Talk Radio Host, John Phillips. Good to have you both here. Maybe not much of a surprise, but there are conflicting accounts, exactly what happened at this second encounter between Presidents Trump and Putin. This is what Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, was told.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: I just heard about it this morning from a source that suggested: not only did he get up and go all the way over the dinner to sit down and talk to Putin, but he did so for a very long period of time. Didn't do so with other heads of state, and didn't bring an American translator. He relied on Putin's translator for the understanding of what the conversation was, a basic failure in terms of National Security Protocol. So, that there was someone who could help him understand from an American perspective what was being said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. A similar account too from Ian Bremmer, from the Eurasia Group, he actually broke this story in a newsletter to his clients. He wrote: "The meeting began halfway into the meal and lasted roughly an hour." And John, I guess we get down to this question: who do we believe? Do we give the President the benefit of the doubt? Or are the questions that need to be answered here much like all the other meetings that we've heard about, and all the other encounters?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND TRUMP SUPPORTER: I hope I'm able to mask my shock that Chris Coons is out of the loop because I know it. Look, they spoke to one another over dinner at the G20 Summit. That's what these world leaders do. I love that it was described as an encounter. An encounter is something that Hugh Grant has on Hollywood Boulevard.
PHILLIPS: A conversation with one another, which is why they fly across the world to meet. I don't think anyone is surprised that he talked to him. There was another video that was going around on him and the Canadian Prime Minister speaking to one another there, too. Off to the side. I don't think it's any big deal.
SOARES: Well, President Trump has been tweeting about this, if we can bring the tweet up so you can see it. And he said: "Fake news story, a secret dinner with Putin is fake," he says. "All G20 leaders and spouses were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!" This is what he said. But I mean, he is kind of distorting what is being reported, isn't he, Robin? Because it isn't about having a secret dinner, it's about the fact that there's undisclosed meeting. And this just really underscores, does it not, the extent to which perhaps he tried to try to eager, to kind of cultivate that relationship with President Putin.
ROBIN SWANSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. Clearly, he's had a bromance with Putin for a very long time. And though, John is trying to normalize it, and I appreciate that. But it's actually not the case. The previous G20 Summits, Putin was off in the corner and marginalized. This elevated Putin to a situation where he was talking to the leader of the free world and dominating his time. You know, he wasn't passing the salt. And this was about perception, right? This is about the perception that this is somebody that is worth spending an hour of that summit, of that time with. And I just -- it really questions -- it brings the question: where is his judgment?
VAUSE: It's worth to note, it's so unexpected it happened, John. The concern is that it was Putin, Trump, and the translator from Russia, and that was it. You know, there's no U.S. official there. There's no official record kept. The press weren't told about it. And given all of the focus on Russia, and the meeting earlier that day, it was a widely anticipated meeting of world leaders, you know, since Reagan and Khrushchev -- Brezhnev, whatever, you know, this was huge. And you know, given that context, this seems to be suspicious.
[01:05:03] PHILLIPS: I think this is more about the Democrats and the media's obsession with Russia than anything else. This is two world leaders meeting. This is something that happens all the time, particularly at these sorts of events. I just don't see what the big deal is here.
SWANSON: It's crazy for me to hear a Republican say, what's the big deal about Russia? I mean, I think about back to the Cold War. We grew up in a time where Russia was the enemy. When Ronald Reagan, you know, that there was a cold war brewing, and now we have to explain to Republicans why Russians are -- why Russia is bad. Why that government is bad.
PHILLIPS: Ronald Reagan flew to Iceland to meet with the Russians.
VAUSE: And it was documented. And it was official; the security adviser was there.
PHILLIPS: And he has been with lots of heads of state. They talked to them and had drinks with them.
SOARES: But it does call into question the whole transparency, and that, you know, that needs to be had from the White House. But the White House had actually put out a statement; if we can bring that quote up, so people can see it. It basically said it called false malicious and absurd. I mean, at the end of the day, "There was no second meeting between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of the dinner. The insinuation the White House tried to hide," it says, "the second meeting is false, malicious, and absurd." And the reality of it in many ways, you know, would we be having this discussion if this was President Obama meeting, having a natural conversation with President Putin, isn't? I mean, don't they have a point: is my question.
PHILLIPS: President Obama did have a conversation with -- it wasn't Putin, Medvedev, where he said, oh, just wait until I get re-elected and we'll be able to have a lot more --
VAUSE: Well, he said, I'll have more flexibility in my second term. Vice Presidents do have more flexibility in their second term.
PHILLIPS: But when Trump does something like this, where he has an off-the-record conversation, and we don't even know that something like that was said. It's described in some sinister tones.
VAUSE: No, it's not.
PHILLIPS: I get the impression that if Trump walked on water, the media would be attacking him for not being able to swim. SWANSON: Well, I think it's (INAUDIBLE 06:55) grotesque too much.
What is it that you were trying to hide? I mean, why push back so hard? Why not just to explain what happened? What did he talk about?
VAUSE: OK. So, let's just assume that this is a little bit more than, you know, a quick, "privet vsem," which is "hi there," in Russian.
VAUSE: This is the New York Times reporter if you have to go. Russian Specialists said such an encounter even on an and for basis at a social event raised concern because of its length, which suggests a substantive exchange, and because there was no American interpreter or National Security or Foreign Policy Aide present. So, you know, Robin, this is what we're trying to get to, which John is ducking and weaving like a Russian acrobat to try to avoid the point.
SWANSON: Yes. I mean, I think we want to know what they said. And there's no way that we're going to know what they said. And the fact is, Vladimir Putin is a master manipulator, and we've heard things come out of Trump's mouth like all of the sudden they were going to work and attack, you know, cyber-crimes together. Well -- and then, that was taken back hours later. But I think Putin knows how to get into Donald Trump's head. And it's pretty obvious when he does because then the President tweets about it. So, it's a really easy manipulation game that he's playing.
SOARES: I know you want to jump in on this, but I want to get your thoughts on this. Because -- I mean, Wall Street Journal is basically calling for radical transparency. And the reason the media keeps talks about this is because we're getting drip, drip, drip information, and we're not getting the full disclosure when it comes to this. And then The Wall Street Journal has basically said release everything to the public ahead of the release. Isn't this just distracting President Trump from actually getting the job done?
PHILLIPS: I think he's actually moving forward with much of his agenda. Again, we have Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, illegal immigration has fallen off the cliff, he pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords. Eventually, hopefully, they'll be able to get something through the U.S. Senate in terms of the health care. So, I think the media just focused on Russia, and I think the Democrats have focused on Russia, but very quietly he's pushed through a lot of his agenda items that his people care about. His people care about those things. Maybe Democrats don't; maybe people that didn't vote for him don't, but people who voted for him, an electoral majority, want him to go through with that agenda.
SWANSON: I think you absolutely have a point. Because, you know, eye on the prize here, the number one thing he promised on the campaign trail was to repeal and replace Obamacare. And perhaps, he hadn't been having his little shenanigans over in the corner with Vladimir Putin, he could've been working on, I don't know, actually, promoting a health care plan. VAUSE: We will get that to a minute, but let's just very quick, the
other meeting involving a Trump, and Russians, Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a lawyer with links to the Kremlin, a Russian counterintelligence agency, a Russian translator, and now apparently a Russian real estate agent; a lot of Russians. The President's son-in- law, the White House Advisor, Jared Kushner, was also at that meeting. For some reason, the Democrats say he should have his security clearance revoked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: If the Flynn standard still holds, then frankly, I think there's a question as to why Jared Kushner is still in the White House. But there certainly is a more immediate question about whether it's appropriate for him to have security clearance.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: If it were anyone but Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of the President, he would be fired. But also, clearly, his security clearance revoked and I think it should be.
[01:10:09] SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: As more information rolls in from Jared Kushner's activities, you just cannot make a logical case that he should keep the security clearance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Jared Kushner loses his security clearance, in fact, also his jobs. But then, why should he keep it?
PHILLIPS: Why did Dick Blumenthal earn his clearance from the service in Vietnam? And we should all thank him for that.
VAUSE: That was harsh.
PHILLIPS: I've said this many times on this program and other programs on CNN, I don't think Trump should hire his kids. I don't believe in nepotism. He's not Eva Parone. You should only hire people that you can fire. I think part of the reason that what happened with this attorney happen is because he is the candidate's son. Now, that being said, I absolutely think the campaign would be derelict in their duty if they didn't meet with this attorney because when you're running a campaign, you read everything, you talk to everyone, you listen to everything that you can. That being said, you can't show up and you can't promise them anything in return. As long as they didn't do that, I have no problem with it. But it shouldn't have been the candidate's son.
SOARES: But this is always how he's always run business with his family, and that's not going to change, surely.
SWANSON: It does feel like a little bit like a monarchy, right? When you have Ivanka Trump, two-feet away from him, and Jared Kushner, neither of whom is qualified to govern. So, you know, yes, I think he shouldn't be having, you know, top security clearance, but neither of them is qualified to be there in the first place. And I think that nepotism that he has shown in his business; it's very different than when you're governing a country.
VAUSE: OK. Stay with us, because many Republican lawmakers believe this Russia controversy has at least been a very big distraction for the President and the White House; one of the reasons why the health care bill failed and failed to replace Obamacare. Here's Jason Carroll with the details. And we'll talk to you on the other side.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't like to say no, but I'm certainly disappointed.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of President Trump's signature campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, sidelined. But the President is defiant, saying let Obamacare collapse and not to blame him or his party.
TRUMP: Well, just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. 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 are going to come to us, and they say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan?
CARROLL: The administration defending the President's position to essentially allow the health care system to fail which could leave a countless number of people struggling to find insurance.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Democrats have refused to join in fixing the health care problems that have plagued our health care systems. And hopefully, with the collapse of the program that they put in place, they'll be more willing to come to the table and help clean up the mess.
CARROLL: The Vice President who took the leading role to work with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, said lawmakers need to do more.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job. And Congress needs to do their job now.
CARROLL: The President is blasting Democrats for the collapse of this Senate bill, which they had no part in crafting.
TRUMP: It would be nice to have Democrat support, but really, they're obstructionists. They have no ideas. They have no thought process. All they want to do is obstruct. So, the way I look at it is, in '18, we're going to have to get some more people elected. We have to go out and we have to get more people elected that are Republican.
CARROLL: Even with Republican Majorities in both the House and Senate, Republican efforts to replace Obamacare have stalled. A health care failure is a stunning blow to the President's agenda, who just two months ago celebrated the passage of the House bill in what can only be described as a victory lap.
TRUMP: We're going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident.
CARROLL: So, in one breath you have the President, saying, basically, that he's washing his hands of this, that he is not responsible for the failure of the Senate health care bill. But now, it has been learned on Wednesday, GOP Senators will be here at the White House for a lunch with the President to discuss a number of topics, including health care. Jason Carroll, CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: You know, John, if Republicans can't repeal Obamacare, which is like the Maharaja chant for the last few years as everyone calls it, you know, and that's the one thing they all agree on. Does that mean the rest of the legislative agenda is dead? How about the tax reform?
PHILLIPS: I don't think so. I think that they definitely blew it on this one. And more pressure needs to be put on them. I wouldn't leave it here; I'd come back to it. And it reminds me of a conversation I had with Pete Wilson, the former Governor of California. I was talking to him about some tough budget votes he had in Sacramento. And I said did you have to twist some arms to get those budgets through? And he said, no, I had to break them. And that's what Donald Trump, and that's what Mitch McConnell needs to do. They need to start breaking arms.
[01:15:00] VAUSE: Don't take a knife to a gun fight.
SWANSON: I don't think it really questions whether he wanted it passed?
VAUSE: If he invested in.
SWANSON: Yes. I mean, he didn't -- he tweeted about it. He didn't hold town halls like President Obama did. He didn't visit editorial boards, he didn't make the phone calls, he didn't make the phone calls, he didn't lobby Congress, he didn't put his name and moniker out there behind this plan. So I think he wanted it to fail.
[01:25:22] SOARES: He said on that note that he doesn't own -- he won't own the failure. But when you have the republicans in charge of the senate, in charge of the house, and of the White House, Congress, what does it say about GOP unity, or lack of unity?
SWANSON: I'll go with lack of unity there because if they can't get it done, it's like they're bowling with the bumpers on and they're going to blame it when they can't get the ball down the alley, they're going to blame it on the person next door. It just doesn't work.
VAUSE: We have a President who is neither loved nor feared, there's nothing you can do with a rebellious Republican Party. PHILLIPS: There are two parts of Obamacare, do you want to repeal
Obamacare and they voted for years and years to repeal it. Question number two is, what do you want to replace it with? The Republican Party is a diverse party with people from the Northeast, like Susan Collins, people who are more conservative from Kansas, and they have different ideas in terms of what the replacement should be. This is where Mitch McConnell, this is where, I would argue with Ted Cruz, a guy who's certainly from the right side of the Republican Party, but also says that he's smart enough to craft these deals and get these deals through. This is where someone like Ted Cruz needs to step up and try to get the votes in line.
VAUSE: This is kind of a moment of irony. Anyway --
SWANSON: It's always really easy to tear things down. It's always really easy to say, no, I'm not going to vote for that. But it's hard to build things up and come up with a legitimate policy and I think that's where they failed.
SOARES: And health care is very complicated. In the U.K., it's a hot potato, too. It's not easy. Assuming it would be a walk in the park, has many people thinking why did he think that in the first place.
SOARES: John, thank you. Thank you to both of you.
SWANSON: Thanks for having us.
VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, next on NEWSROOM L.A., a month before her wedding, an Australian woman living in the U.S. was shot by police. Now Australia's Prime Minister is calling for answers.
SOARES: Plus, a crop top and a short skirt have landed this woman in trouble with police. We'll tell you why this video has become so controversial.
SOARES: Australia is remembering a young woman who was killed this past weekend in the U.S. Many tried to say goodbye to Justine Ruszczyk at this beachside vigil. She was supposed to get married next month.
VAUSE: She was shot and killed by police after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her Minnesota home. Many Australians are stunned how this could happen and that includes the Prime Minister.
[01:20:32] SOARES: One of the officers involved in the shooting says he was startled by a loud sound near the police car when they arrived near Ruszczyk's home. The other officer then fired his home hitting Ruszczyk in the abdomen. Our Ryan Young has the details.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery shooting death of Ruszczyk the focus of international outrage. Saturday night just before midnight when the 40-year-old Australian woman called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in an alley near her Minneapolis home. What happened after police arrived remains a mystery. Officials had given few details with Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting that Ruszczyk was unarmed only in her pajamas. Multiple sources tell the Star Tribune that Ruszczyk was talking to the driver when the officer in the passenger seat shot across his partner, striking Ruszczyk in the abdomen, killing her. There is no video; neither officer activated the dash cam or their body cams. Ruszczyk who had dual U.S. and Australian citizenship was engaged to be married next month, a life coach and yoga instructor.
DON DAMON, VICTIM'S FIANCE: She touched so many people. She had a loving and generous heart. She was a teacher to so many, and living a life of openness, love, and kindness.
YOUNG (voice-over): The deadly shooting splashed across newspapers overseas. One headline calling it an American nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now know the identity of the U.S. police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman.
YOUNG: Second-year officer Mohamed Noor shot Ruszczyk. Noor's attorney extended condolences saying officer Noor is a caring person with a family he loves and he empathizes with the loss others are experiencing. A makeshift memorial has sprung up at the site of Ruszczyk's shooting. A card saying, why did you shoot our neighbor and friend. Ryan Young, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
VAUSE: An investigation in Germany has uncovered hundreds of cases of physical and sexual abuse spanning decades.
SOARES: Forty-nine people are blamed for the abuse that started in 1945 and believed to have ended two years ago. They acknowledge mistakes were made. Well, the allegations began to surface back in 2010. The school's member's tour all over the world to perform.
VAUSE: Police in Saudi Arabia have detained a woman accusing her of offensive clothing.
SOARES: She's seen wearing a short skirt and crop top which violates Saudi Arabia's strict dress code. Becky Anderson has this report.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: This video lasting just six seconds sparking massive outrage. It looks normal enough. This young woman wearing a short skirt and crop top, strolling through the empty hot streets of an historic town. The town, though, is in Saudi Arabia. The ultra-conservative school of Islamic thought. Saudi women have to wear loose-fitting clothing and to cover their hair. The authorities then snapping into action, tracking the woman down and taking her in for questioning. This statement, she admitted to visiting the site in question with a male guardian. The viral videos were published by an account attributed to her without her knowledge, end quote. The clip sparked a heated debate on social media. One twitter writer saying, people who don't respect the kingdom's rule don't deserve to live in it, others jumping to the young woman's defense writing, if she were from the West, people would be falling head over heels for her.
[01:25:17] NAJAH AKITAIBI, SAUDI JOURNALIST: Women feel more empowered. They feel that they want to voice their demands, they want to take actions. I think this is because they feel that the new government and the new leadership is inspiring them because in the last few years, the government, they made a progressive steps to empower women.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Under the young Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia is undergoing major change, introducing an ambitious plan to social, economic and cultural reform called Saudi Vision 2030. The government rolled back some of the powers of the religious beliefs, not letting them detain people they think have broken extremely strict moral conduct but by conservative segments in Saudi Arabia, they say will take longer to change.
AKITAIBI: The officials, they talk about reform openly. A lot of women, they feel empowered to make an action and to help themselves but of course, I think also the government, they have to be consistent if they want to make a change.
ANDERSON (voice-over): In a country where the leadership is spending billions and years working towards the future, all it seems to take is six seconds to press reset. Becky Anderson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
SOARES: Now, let's take a closer look at this. Melody Moezzi, thank you very much for being here on the show. You know what struck me when I was watching this video, if we can show the viewers again; here we have a young woman in a short skirt and crop top, pretty much in summer clothes visiting one of the most pretty conservative areas of Saudi Arabia. To me, it screams a little bit like a deliberate protest against Saudi Arabia's rules. How did you interpret it?
MELODY MOEZZI, ACTIVIST: You know, unclear whether it's deliberate or not and to be saying that for her or not. Obviously, I don't think it would be beneficial for her. But I saw it as a brave act by a woman who is an in an incredibly hot environment. According to the rules of Islam, not just the rules of whatever government she's under, Islam does not preach compulsion in any respect. So this government, the Saudi government is not particularly Wahabi version of Islam, it is a perversion of Islam. And I think that's the message that we need to be sending, that this is not representative of Islam in any way, that someone would -- that the government of Saudi Arabia is not at all representative of what Islam is about because it's not about that.
SOARES: Yes. And many people have come, of course, to her defense on twitter, pointing out that First Lady Melania Trump did not wear veils when they visited the country in May. There was little public outcry there. Saudi women's rights, activists, you know her very well tweeted this. I'll translate what she says. If she were Western, they would have praised her waist and enchanting eyes but because she's Saudi, they call for her to be tried. Does she have a point here?
MOEZZI: Absolutely. The hypocrisy of allowing foreign women to dress differently, giving more leniencies to foreign women is absurd and that any law should apply to anyone within that country makes sense, right? So the law in and of itself is already, all of them -- the morality laws are not just inhumane and against basic human rights, but against Islam. That is something I think maybe people don't realize.
SOARES: Yes. And the Crown Prince and Becky made that point in her piece, the Crown Prince has a strategy for the future or as he calls it a Vision 2030. And some basically suggesting that accepting infringement of dress code will attract more tourists may be a wise move. From what you've seen from the 2030 Vision, is there any room for women's rights here, Melody?
MOEZZI:: Absolutely not.
SOARES: That is a huge concern. I mean, more than half of the population of Saudi Arabia is under 25. Now Saudi Arabia is also at the U.N., you know women's councils. This is the irony of it all.
MOEZZI:: Right, absolutely. The fact that a country where women can't even drive is not only at the U.N., having a seat at the table there, but also has a seat at the table in foreign policy as well, right? So, I'm here in the United States where we are strong allies in the United States with the Saudi government.
[01:30:12] And to think that we have clean hands in all of this, that the U.S. is not complicit in the oppression of Saudi women, is absurd.
Because absolutely the U.S. government and all of the weapons we ship, all of the funding to the Saudi government, recently over $100 billion in weapons sent to Saudi Arabia, weapons that we have seen historically get into the hands of terrorists, that we keep sending those weapons, that is part of sort of encouraging this patriarchal regime and this oppressive regime against women and against all people.
Currently have 14 men who are imminently facing execution in Saudi Arabia for taking part in protests, right?
Taking part in protests. That's it. And they are facing execution imminently. And I think -- and they're all Shia members of the religious minority. And these things are repeated. You can't oppress one group of people and think that a lot of people are going to be oppressed as a result of it.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Melody Moezzi, thank you very much, fascinating.
MOEZZI: Thank you.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Next here, a closer look at the investigation into Donald Trump's data operation during the campaign and Russia will follow the data and try to join the dots.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares. These are the headlines for you this hour.
VAUSE: We now know the identity of the eighth person at that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin last year, where the Trump campaign was promised incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.
SOARES: We know he's a Russian-born real estate developer who works for a Russian oligarch. CNN's Pamela Brown has all the details.
PAMELA BROWN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This exclusive video obtained by CNN appears to show Ike Kaveladze in the background right next to Donald Trump in Las Vegas in June of 2013.
Kaveladze has now been thrust into the spotlight as the mystery eighth person at the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and top advisor Jared Kushner.
His attorney says he was there acting as a representative of Aras and Emin Don Jr., along with their publicist, Rob Goldstone, who had promised in an e-mail to Don Jr. before the meeting, quote, "Some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."
In an interview for a Russian web portal in 2016, Kaveladze said he has a long history of working for the Agalarov family and the real estate company Krokus International.
IKE KAVELADZE, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER (through translator): I have been working with this company since 1989 when I was just a little boy doing my fifth year at Moscow Finance Institute. I arrived and since then I've worked there.
BROWN: Kavaladze's personal website says he, quote, "holds responsibility for multiple elements of the company's Russian development project, including a Russian 24-hour superstore."
In 2000, he was linked to U.S. bank accounts that came under congressional investigation for possible money laundering tied to Russian brokers. At the time he denied any wrongdoing, calling it a witch hunt.
His Facebook page says he was born in the Soviet Union, studied in Moscow before receiving an MBA from the University of New Haven. His attorney says he is now a U.S. citizen and works in the United States.
KAVALADZE (through translator): We actively representative Krokus' interests in the USA, a lot of goods, construction equipment was purchased in the U.S.
BROWN: Kavaladze attended the meeting with Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and translator Anatoli Samachornov, along with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. That meeting now under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Kavaladze's attorney says his client is fully cooperating with investigators who have already reached out and he said his client has never had anything to do with the Russian government.
An attorney for Kavaladze, Scott Balber, said that his client didn't really know much about the meeting at Trump Tower beforehand. That he thought it was about adoption.
He said that he went to the meeting because he thought he would be need as a translator for the Russian attorney. He said he didn't find out that he wouldn't be needed as a translator until he arrived at that meeting. All of this according to his attorney -- Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: The first six months of the Trump administration have seen a growing number of scandals, met with belligerent and adamant denials, an investigation by a special prosecutor and a president at war with the media.
All the while, talk of impeachment gets louder amid comparisons to Richard Nixon and Watergate. The 1976 film, "All the President's Men," tells the story of how "The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the news of the Watergate scandal.
And in one iconic scene came the movie's most memorable line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAL HOLBROOK, ACTOR, "DEEP THROAT": Follow the money.
ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR, "BOB WOODWARD": What do you mean?
"DEEP THROAT": Oh, I can't tell you that.
"WOODWARD": You could tell me.
"DEEP THROAT": No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can but that's all. Just follow the money. (END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: "Follow the money." Actor Hal Holbrook as "Deep Throat" delivered that line with raspy conviction. "Follow the money," it cuts through the lies and deception. In reality, though, though that scene actually never happened. Even so, fast forward to 2017. If there was a Deep Throat in the Trump-Russia scandal, you might say follow the data.
Investigators are taking a closer look at possible cooperation between Russia and its flood of fake news, which targeted Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign's data operation, headed up by the president's son- in-law, Jared Kushner.
Joining us on the phone from Denver, Colorado, to help follow the data, Internet security analyst Hemu Nigam. He's also founder of online safety firm SSP Blue.
Hemu, good to see you -- or hear from you at least. In broad strokes here, explain what is known about the data operation which is run by the Trump campaign and Kushner and microtargeting?
HEMU NIGAM, SSP BLUE: Well, and I'll tell you, I'm sorry I'm not there in person tonight but the reality of this is, it really is taking that movie and putting it into the 21st digital century when you say follow the data.
What we have here is Mr. Kushner's --
NIGAM: -- operation that he was overseeing, has apparently been collecting tons of online data on different opinions and information about different voters around the country.
And the allegation that's being made or the investigation that's being sparked is, was that information being fed to Russian operatives, who were then pushing out bots of fake news -- bots, I say bots as a technical term.
But the bottom line, pushing out fake news to those areas that needed to be impacted in order for Mr. Trump to become the president.
VAUSE: So right now, investigators are looking at what -- if there is any connection between Kushner and Russia.
What would that connection look like?
NIGAM: Well, the connection I think would look like -- and this is all hypothetical right now that we're hearing -- would be, OK, we've identified a particular location in a particular state that the -- there's a weakness here.
And if you capitalize on it right now, hey, Russians, push out your fake news right into that area. Do it now, because that will impact the voting results that's about to happen. Right? That's the allegation that's being made.
VAUSE: OK. So on the one hand, you've got Kushner with his microtargeting of voters; on the other you've got the Russian operation with fake news looking for an audience, no hard evidence to link the two.
I guess one of the bigger questions here, though, is in this story, what does it say about our own personal data?
Who has it?
Who's using it?
And where's the oversight?
NIGAM: Well, you know, and I've got to tell you that there's a lot of overcomplication being made about this related to data and who's got it and how come they have access.
At the end of the day, if you watch -- and I'm not saying this as a joke, actually -- if you watch John King on CNN talking about, with his fancy map that tells you what's happening in the world, voters and possible voters, you could do that and still do the kind of targeting that the Russians have been accused of doing.
So in a strange way, we've taken data and overcomplicated it and made it this really kind of fancy kind of thing. But it's something we've all been doing for many, many years of understanding what voters think and people think.
And the real question becomes, how do the political leaders, who are running for office, react to that information?
And I think that's really where, if there was something that was identified that wasn't known and the Russians somehow figured out how to target that unknown thing that only Mr. Kushner knew, yes, absolutely, there's something to be investigated and I think that's what we're going to have to go in that direction and figure that out.
VAUSE: And we need to stress this is an investigation, these are allegations, there's nothing which has been proven so far. That's why they're having an investigation. Hemu, thanks for joining us.
NIGAM: Thanks a lot.
SOARES: Next on NEWSROOM L.A., a showbiz scoop of a very different kind. The North Korean celebrity who defected to the South, only to return home again. A look at her mysterious story -- next.
(MUSIC PLAYING) VAUSE: Escaping North Korea comes with incredible risk, it's not
easy; it can often lead to being caught and sent to a work camp. Families left back at home can be punished.
South Korean authorities, though, are a little puzzled about how a famous defector ended up back in North Korea. Over the weekend, Jeon Hye-Sung was shown in a propaganda video, released by Pyongyang, tearfully describing how hard her life had been in the South.
SOARES: So it is unclear how she got back to the North after defecting more than three years ago. David McKenzie has more now for us from Seoul.
David, she was a TV celebrity; she had an online fan club and seems to have adjusted pretty well to life in capitalist South.
What reason is she giving for leaving South Korea and traveling north?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, this is a very intriguing and disturbing story of how this celebrity here in South Korea, who had defected from the North, ended up back in North Korea.
She'd even changed her name when she came to the South. Now she's been in a propaganda video. And people in the South are outraged. Take a look.
LIM JI-HYUN, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR: (Speaking Korean).
MCKENZIE (voice-over): A North Korean celebrity confessing in a propaganda video on a government-sponsored website. She looks shell- shocked, even scared.
LIM (through translator): In South Korea, everything was about money. As a woman who defected, I betrayed my fatherland. I was only met with physical and mental pain.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): In fact, Lim Ji-hyun, as she was known in the South, appeared on reality TV and talk shows, telling what her life was like in the North. She defected in 2014.
Lim's many fans are shocked that she went back to the repressive country. Fellow guests on the show said she was happy and successful in the South.
"She didn't seem distressed at all," he says, "when I met her because she was doing well and she was becoming famous on television."
It's very rare for defectors to go back to North Korea, which is ruled with an iron fist. So Lim's friends and fans speculate that she was pressured to go or even abducted.
LIM (through translator): I told people around me that I wanted to return home. They said that I would be executed by a firing squad as soon as I set a foot there. But I wanted to return home and see my parents, even if it meant death.
MCKENZIE: South Korean authorities are now investigating the mystery of Lim Ji-Hyun.
MCKENZIE: To put it in perspective, Isa, tens of thousands of people over the last few years, maybe a decade or so, have come from North Korea, defected to the South. Just more than 20, according to the unification ministry here, have gone the other direction.
So it is a very rare occurrence. And many people here asking, is there more to the story, is there some other reason that she ended up back in Pyongyang, given the fact that people we speak to say that she seemed perfectly happy with living in the South? -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, no doubt her story is playing out for everyone to hear in Pyongyang in some sort of valuable propaganda. David McKenzie for us there, thanks very much, David.
Now the Palestinian Fatah Party is calling for a day of rage to protest new Israeli security measures in Jerusalem's Old City. Several Palestinians were injured on Tuesday in clashes with police, according, that is, to Palestinian medical officials.
VAUSE: Tensions have been high after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary. And just last week two policemen were shot dead by Arab Israeli gunmen.
Despite calls to cancel their performance, Radiohead is set to perform in Israel later on Wednesday.
SOARES: The band has defended its controversial decision to play in Tel Aviv, saying music should be about crossing borders, not building them. Our Ian Lee has more.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One could say Radiohead owes a lot to Israel. While their breakthrough song "Creep" initially struggled in the U.K. charts, it dominated in Israel.
But 25 years later as the band gears up for a concert in Tel Aviv, some are telling Radiohead they don't belong here. Leading that call, a Palestinian-led boycott movement known as BDS.
OMAR BARGHOUTI, FOUNDER, BDS: Radiohead in particular, they claim to be a progressive group. Indeed they have advocated human rights in the Tibet and many other causes.
Why not Palestinian rights?
It's the double standard that made us focus on Radiohead.
LEE (voice-over): BDS stands for --
LEE (voice-over): -- Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. The group aim to put pressure on Israel for Palestinian rights. Among the choir of voices, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who boycotts Israel and recently spoke about Radiohead on Facebook.
ROGER WATERS, MUSICIAN: We should observe the picket line. First, anybody who is tempted to do that, like our friends in Radiohead. If only they would actually educate themselves.
LEE: Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke rejects that call. At a concert in Glasgow, he appears to give fans waving Palestinian flags the middle finger, while repeating (INAUDIBLE).
Yorke expressed his frustration against the BDS controversy in a "Rolling Stone" interview, saying, "It's really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves."
Radiohead isn't without its support. R.E.M.'s frontman, Michael Stipe posted on Instagram. "I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform. Let's hope a dialogue continues, hoping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution."
CNN reached out to Israeli officials. They have yet to comment on the story. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on BDS in a 2014 speech.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: But the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It's about making Israel illegitimate. It presents a distorted and twisted picture of Israel to the naive and to the ignorant. BDS is nothing but a farce.
LEE: Netanyahu declared BDS defeated a year ago. But the movement insists they're on the right side of history.
BARGHOUTI: In one of the song, Radiohead songs, they have a lyric that says, "some things cost more than you realize."
I think this will cost Radiohead more than they realize.
LEE: That cost has yet to be seen by other acts targeted by BDS like Lady Gaga, Elton John and the Rolling Stones, all who ignored the call to boycott to little or no effect -- Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.
SOARES: Still to come right here on NEWSROOM L.A., the new Apple emojis include a woman wearing a headscarf. Next, you'll hear from the teenager who created the hijab emoji.
(MUSIC PLAYING) SOARES: Next time you text, you'll have even more emojis to express yourself.
VAUSE: Can't get enough emojis --
VAUSE: -- and one of them is a woman wearing a headscarf. Our Atika Shubert spoke with the teenage creator of the hijab emoji.
RAYOUF ALHUMEDHI, HEADSCARF EMOJI CREATOR: My name is Rayouf Alhumedhi. I'm 15 years old. I moved to Berlin five years ago and I'm from Saudi Arabia.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is this where you were when you had the idea?
ALHUMEDHI: Yes. It's like everything that I do is in this room. Like honestly, because it's just -- it's so much better being in your room.
My friends and I were creating a group chat in WhatsApp and we decided to name the group chat name emojis of ourselves. And I obviously had no emoji to represent me, which --
ALHUMEDHI: -- is what got me thinking.
I started questioning why there isn't one to represent me. I was like, I'll just create a proposal. It was a week before school start. You have nothing to lose. I just wanted to ask for an emoji, simple as that.
I really had no initial idea in my mind of how it was supposed to look like. I just wanted it to have, to be available in different skin tones because, you know, it's not just a brown skin color. Millions of women from different races do wear it.
APHEE MESSER, EMOJI DESIGNER: Hi.
ALHUMEDHI: How are you?
MESSER: How are you?
ALHUMEDHI: Good. Thank you.
MESSER: I think it's because, you know, we're visual people so communicating just through text is kind of hard to get across your emotion. So having little images, even though they are so small is actually really helpful when trying to communicate what you're feeling and thinking. SHUBERT: Do you have a favorite?
MESSER: Oh, definitely the hijab emoji.
ALHUMEDHI: Thank you.
MESSER: For sure.
ALHUMEDHI: Everybody uses them. My dad uses them. My mom. Like no matter what age you are, phones and digitalization have really encouraged our lives in every possible aspect.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dad told me when he found it -- like he found it on newspapers and he never buys German newspapers, but on the bottom, he saw my face and was like, oh, that's my daughter. That's my daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not only that, we called her Berlin --
ALHUMEDHI: It obviously won't change the world. No one will like say, go headscarves, yay. You know, it's not going to do that.
But like I said before, indirectly promote tolerance because, once people realize that, like women wearing headscarves are not just people on the news and once they begin to show up on our phones, that will establish that notion that we are normal people carrying our daily routines just like you.
I did that because I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me.
SOARES: Kudos to her.
VAUSE: Fantastic. I might use it.
SOARES: Yes, absolutely. Let's try and get it in.
VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares. We're back with more news right after this short break.