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Dad Rescues Son Over Controversy; White House Staff Breaking Record; Russia Retaliates on Sanctions. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 1, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ISHA SESAY, HOST, CNN: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.

JOHN VAUSE, HOST, CNN: And I'm John Vause. We're live in Los Angeles. It is just gone past midnight here on the West Coast. Thanks for being with us. We will begin this hour with new development and that now infamous meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin.

The Washington Post is reporting President Trump personally dictated a misleading statement claiming the meeting was only about adoptions. Trump Jr. later released e-mail showing the meeting was set up to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton which was provided from the Russian government.

SESAY: Well, the Post said, quote, The strategy the advisors agreed should for Donald Trump, Jr. to release statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful so their account couldn't be repudiated later if the full details emerged.

But within hours at the president's direction the plan changed.

VAUSE: Joining us down here in Los Angeles CNN's senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers, and former L.A. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter, John Phillips. We love to have you all with us.

SESAY: Welcome to you all.

VAUSE: OK. So, I think it's important to go back to that original statement that came out in response to the New York Times. This is on July 9. They are asking exactly what that meeting was about and this is a statement that came from Donald Trump, Jr. why he was meeting with that Kremlin-linked lawyer.

"It was a short introductory meeting, I asked Jared. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was ended by the Russian government but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up."

OK. So, Dylan, to you, we learn within days that statement from Donald Junior was deliberately misleading. And this report from the Washington Post is in fact correct. We know why he did it because his father told him to.

DYLAN BYERS, SENIOR MEDIA AND POLITICS REPORTER, CNN: That's absolutely right. And the Washington Post reports, I mean, by all accounts it looks to be true citing multiple sources. You have to think about the sources who would know that such -- that the president would have been behind such s statement. Obviously there would have had have been present withim or around him when that happened.

Look, it's this sort of how many things does this White House and does this president want to sort of cover up, you know, knowing that in the modern media culture that information is going to come out? And at the end of the day is it shifts the focus from Donald Trump's son onto the president himself.

It creates more question that once again throws the Russia scandal back into the forefront of the news cycle at a time when there's been plenty of other things for the media to focus on, not at least which is the palace intrigue with Anthony Scaramucci that you just talked about.

I mean, you know, look, there are enough headaches to go around for this administration and yet it keeps finding ways to create more.

SESAY: John, to bring you in here we need to take a listen to Tom Hamburger one of the Washington Post journalists who broke the story speaking to our own Jake Tapper just a short time ago.



TOM HAMBURGER, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Senior advisers to White House advisers and advisers to the president's inner circle recommended in the early going what they described to us as a more wholesome disclosure of what that meeting was like.

In other words, it wouldn't, it wasn't just to be described initially as a meeting about adoption of Russian children in the United States, it would, in fact, be more of a disclosure of what that meeting was actually about.


[03:05:01] SESAY: John, to pick up on what Dylan what just saying this report raises a whole new set of questions, does it not?

PHILLIPS: But it looks like a lot of other reports we've seen in the past that have been these huge bomb shells that we thought would dominate the presidency where you have anonymous sources and you have stories that use the word potential a lot.

In the first paragraph of this story it said it had political and potentially legal peril and the word potential was showing up all throughout the rest of this copy. I think it's just more of the same. And it's also indicative of what happens when you have an outsider who comes into the White House and they don't have the typical cadre of politic professionals around them. They wing it and they do things that they probably shouldn't do that probably aren't in their political best interest.


SESAY: Now isn't the truth the truth?

PHILLIPS: This is -- this is what General Kelly...

SESAY: No, John, back to that question. Isn't the truth the truth?

PHILLIPS: Wherever you have something like this go out you have different iterations of it and this is something that probably if the story is true that Trump should have stayed out of. But this is what General Kelly is going to really the task at hand for him is to professionalize these sorts of operations so u don't have situations like this popping up.

VAUSE: So Wendy, does that mean that General Kelly will be able to make this administration essentially transparent and honest and open and admit everything and put it out all there and upright, you know, which I think rule White House because, you know, the old White House has a level of, you know, intrigue too. But more like a typical White House.

WENDY GREUEL, FORMER L.A. CITY COUNCILWOMAN: This story is never going to go away. I mean, this is something when you are trying to cover up exactly happened and that I think it's very clear because the statements that occurred from day one about it was only about adoptions and then acknowledge that it really was about the campaign are going to come back to haunt you.

It's always the cover up that causes more problems. And Kelly is only going to be successful if he's able to control the President of the United States who tweets every single day of something new.

VAUSE: And Dylan, just to bring you, the key here, though, is the involvement of the president. We know the statement was misleading. We know that New York Times reporter, I think it was July 11, a few days after they initially broke the story that the president signed off on Donald Trump, Jr.'s initial response. This reporting now says he was intimately involved in misleading the public and putting out a misleading statement. That's the big clipper here right?

BYERS: Yes, absolutely. And look, just to take issue with what John said and I said this with all due respect. You know, this effort to sort of trying to cast doubt on the media any time anything negative comes about Trump to suggest that because it's anonymous sources we shouldn't trust veteran reporters at the Washington Post. To suggest that somehow the issue here is sort of the ambiguity of the reporting.

Forget about legality. Forget potential what have you. The president of the United States was intimately involved in trying to mislead the American people about a meeting his son had which involved a foreign government trying to influence the presidential election in the United States. I don't think that you can cover that up. I think that seems pretty

clear-cut to me. I think if you can put aside your partisan hat for a while like that's obviously troubling. And I think certainly you would find it troubling if it came from a democrat.

So yes it is an issue. Look, I'm a media reporter. Every so-called bombed shell report has a way of fizzling out in a matter of days. But big picture this Russia story isn't going away. And again even when we're focused on other things whether it's palace whether it's healthcare this Russia story has a way of rearing its head.

SESAY: Speaking big picture let's just remind everyone of the denials that we got just weeks ago from Trump's lawyer about all of this. Jay Sekulow. Take a listen.


JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all, nor was the president. I'm assuming that was between Mr. Donald Trump, Jr., between Don Jr. and his lawyer. I'm sure his lawyer was involved. That's how you do it.


SESAY: John, when they, again, the question is how do you square that with the Washington Post reporting?

GREUEL: I mean, I think it's very clear. This is going to be a problem for the President of the United States because what it says there is that they lied. He was involved. I mean, this story today has legs. It's not something that is going to go away and it is going to be, you know, looked at by Mueller. Every time that some other story comes up he is still going to be looking at the Russian story. And I think the president was misleading the public and that's a scary thought for this country.

PHILLIPS: I think three days from now we're going to be moving on to something else not remembering this story. If it is true if he did do participate in this it's not what he should be spending his time on.

VAUSE: We should say it's not illegal in and of itself to lie to the press.



VAUSE: They do it politicians do it all the time. But they are obviously which is...


GREUEL: Lying to the public.

VAUSE: Lying to the public. Yes, exactly. There are questions of cover up obstruction of justice. Here's a little bit more of the reporting from the Washington Post.

[03:09:56] Trump they say is increasingly acting as his own lawyer, strategists, and publicists. Often disregarding the recommendations of the professionals he has hired. He refuses to sit still the presidential advisor said. He doesn't think he's in any legal jeopardy so he really view this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.

Robert Mueller the special counsel of the White House preserved all documents relating to that meeting last year and that includes any decisions he made regarding the recent disclosures about the June 2016 meeting. So again, to you, Dylan, either there is 1000 or so coincidence out there involving Russia or there are some serious legal questions which is seem to be developing here.

BYERS: Yes. Well, and of course there are serious legal questions developing here but that is up to Mueller to do his leg work and do the work it takes to do the time it takes to do it. And until that's done, you know, like John says these stories will sort of come up and then they will fizzle out.

But you know, I think the larger point there about the president sort of not trusting his advisors not trusting anyone but himself we have seen that time and time and time again. And in fact, that is why Kelly has been brought is as chief of staff. There is some hope here that finally order will be imposed on this administration not only on the staff but perhaps on the president himself.

Obviously that's a tall order given this president's reluctance to listen to anyone but, you know, what's going on his own head when he happens to be watching cable news late at night tweeting out, you know, his errant thought.

SESAY: I mean, what about that point that the president has this repeated tendency to weigh into issues that he could live well alone?

PHILLIPS: They made a fatal mistake at the beginning of the administration when they thought that they could bring establishment republicans into the White House and would all be one big happy family. And the fact of the matter is as he passed over a lot of people who are loyal to him during the campaign who had been loyal to him for long periods of time and instead he brought in people like Reince Priebus.

He brought in people like Sean Spicer whose loyalties were not to Donald Trump, whose loyalties were to the RNC they came from a completely separate organization. And I think because of that you've seen a lot of leaks you've seen a lot of people who have damaged the president who have damage the White House to try to further their own gains.

And because of that he doesn't trust a lot of people who work for him. And they are going to have to make some personnel changes. They've already made a bunch and...

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: There are more on the way.

SESAY: Just a few.

VAUSE: Because he also brought in Anthony Scaramucci. And if he brought milk on the same day that is Scaramucci to find it would still be fresh. The guy lasted what, 11 days.

SESAY: Eleven days.

VAUSE: Wendy, this is not going to do a lot to sort of calm the turmoil in the White House getting Anthony Scaramucci.

GREUEL: No. I mean, it is, even though he tweeted today White House not in chaos, in fact, it is. And the American people believe that. Politico did even last week before all of this happened thought that it was in chaos. So just imagine today if they polled they would see there were some chaos.

Now Kelly has made some strong today in his first day getting rid of the mooch and doing some other things. But until we see that he actually has control it's going to be a very hard job for him. And you know, they say everyone will report to him.

Imagine you are Ivanka and Jared it's Thanksgiving dinner, you know. They are still going to talk to him. They are still going to be able to go around Kelly. So I think it's going to be an interesting task and challenge.

SESAY: John, (Inaudible).

PHILLIPS: I think -- I think Trump's point is right. I think that as political junkies all of us care about the palace intrigue. I think the man on the street doesn't care. I think t man on the street wants to look at his pension fund and see that the 401K's are doing well with the stock market high.

They want to make sure that the border is secured. They want to make sure that real estate prices are holding. They want to make sure that unemployment is low. Of those things are doing just fine right now and Donald Trump is the president.

SESAY: But let me ask you this to that point. If the man on the street doesn't see any movement in the president's legislative agenda does he not at some point correlate what is happening in the White House with the lack of action on Capitol Hill?

PHILLIPS: They need to get healthcare reform through. They need to get tax reform through but just the standard metrics that we judge every president on the stock market I believe border security is something that we should judge all of them on. In this particular case illegal immigration is fallen off the cliff, unemployment is low. I think the man on the street is happy with their life right now.

GREUEL: I would disagree. I mean, you know, the Middle America still unemployed. There's a number of people who have not gotten this brand new jobs that the president promised them. They also were concerned enough to stand up and say we don't want that healthcare reform. We want to be able to still have the ACA Obamacare in some form or fashion.

And it was clear that there were enough republicans and the people on the street who said I don't want to lose my healthcare. That 22 million individuals.

VAUSE: So, Dylan, you know, Anthony Scaramucci he serve 11 days, that is a record we believe the shortest serving White House communication. Maybe someone in the Reagan administration served a little shorter but that's being disputed right now.

[03:15:00] National security advisor Michael Flynn he was fired after 23 days. Reince Priebus the shortest serving -- I'm sorry, Flynn was the shortest serving national security adviser. Priebus was the shortest serving chief of staff, 190 days. And then Sean Spicer was the 6th shortest serving White House spokesman.

So, you know, there is obviously turmoil within this White House. They obviously can't get their act together and that is manifesting itself in so many different ways each and every day.

BYERS: Yes and this is really where the palace intrigue and the policy go hand in hand because you can't be an effective president of the United States if you can't keep your own house in order, if you can't keep your own West Wing in order.

Part of the reason that all of these shakeups matter so much there are so many worrying factions in the White House. They have so many different agendas this constant stream of leaks that everyone in the White House complaining about. Those happened because Trump enjoys having his own deputies go head to head with each other. He enjoys that fight.

We saw him do it on the apprentice on NBC. We're seeing him do it now in the White House. That becomes very problematic later down the line when some of those voters that base of 35, 38 percent of Americans are saying wait a second, what happened to healthcare? What happened to tax reform? What happened even to perhaps building the wall with Mexico?

I mean, you know, if you're an ineffective leader I think that begins, that point begins to be driven home. John is right when he says that, you know, voters care about their jobs their wages the economy and they care about things like that. But over time if you appear to be ineffective both at running your own shop and pushing through any effective legislation that is really going to wear on your reputation even with your base.

SESAY: It would seem that all the pressure now is on General Kelly to rein the White House and to bring order to what has been widely described as chaos. Well, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had some advice for him. Take a listen.


General Kelly is try - is not try to change Donald Trump. Chuck, as you know I've said you have to let Trump be Trump. That was has made his successful over the last 30 years. That is what the American people voted for. And anybody thinks they're going to change Donald Trump doesn't know Donald Trump.

SESAY: Wendy, is that the right way this General Kelly bear in mind the Washington Post reporting was also...


GREUEL: Well, I think he's probably right in what he said. But I think General Kelly believes he can change things that he can change the way in which the White House operates. And I think it's a tall order a tall task and the first thing that really will demonstrate that he has made a difference is to not see tweets by Donald Trump every single day. And we can take bets on that whether that's going to actually happen.

VAUSE: And very quickly, John, should General Kelly hang onto that flight jacket? He had a flight jacket on because clearly that was a walk in the park.

PHILLIPS: You know, Jerry Brown once said governing the state of California is like swimming in a canoe or riding in a canoe where you got a little to the left to the primary, a little but to the right in the general you end up in the middle.

With Donald Trump letting Trump be Trump works and then when he goes a little bit too far they push him to the other side he does the script and speeches then he gets bored with that, he goes back the other way. And you know what? He's cruised in that canoe the victory in the primaries. He cruise to victory in the general and he's cruised the victory in the special elections we had so far this year, I think it might be the secret sauce.


SESAY: All right.

VAUSE: Let Trump be trump the secret sauce. There you go. And you mark the opportunity. Dylan, thank you so much. And of course John and Wendy, thank you so much.

GREUEL: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

VAUSE: Well next on Newsroom L.A. Vice President Mike Pence warning Russia do not test the U.S. but Moscow is striking back at likely new sanctions.

SESAY: And pushback from China what to do about North Korea's latest missile launch.

[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is putting Vladimir Putin on notice warning the Trump administration will not tolerate aggression by Russia towards its neighbors.

SESAY: In a statement Monday, Pence said Russia is trying to redraw international borders by force and he warned the U.S won't accept that.

VAUSE: He referred to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and said the U.S. will not stand by if Russia uses force, threatens or try to intimidate the Baltic States.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And no threat looms larger in the Baltic state than the specter of aggression from your unpredictable neighbor to the east. At this very moment Russia continues to seek to redraw international borders by force undermine democracies of sovereign nations and divide the free nations of Europe one against another.


SESAY: Well, let's get the view from Moscow in all of this. CNN's Clare Sebastian is in the Russian capital. Clare, good to see you. Clare, did these comments by the vice president effective signal that the Trump administration has given up on any kind of reset of U.S.- Russia relations?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, actually there is no doubt these are very strong comments from Mike Pence. And given the added sting of being delivered in Estonia a NATO country on Russia's western border and he what flanked by the leaders of Baltic countries while he delivered them.

But in a sense this is really nothing Russia hasn't heard before. I think, you know, over the last six months the number of members of the Trump administration be it Mike Pence be it U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have delivered much stronger stances against Russia than perhaps President Trump himself has.

I think, you know, the real damage to the relationship was done with this passage through Congress of that sanctions bill. I think that was concrete evidence to Russia of just how many people in Washington favor a tougher stance. You know, one Russian newspaper headline over the past week had a caption that read, you know, President Trump is a stranger among his own people.

So, yes, these are extremely strong comments. Yes they will be seen as provocative here in Moscow but I think the damage was already done.

SESAY: Clare Sebastian joining us there from Moscow. Claire, I appreciate it. Thank you.

VAUSE: To London now we bring Steven Erlanger, he is the New York Times London bureau chief.

[03:25:00] Steve, thank you for getting up early and being with us. You know, we saw the U.S. vice president. He actually has addressed Russia's retaliation its response to the U.S sanctions. This is what Vice President Pence had to say.


PENCE: We hope for better days for better relations with Russia. The recent diplomatic action taken by Moscow will not deter the commitment of the United States of America to our security, the security of our allies and the security of freedom-loving nations around the world.


VAUSE: We've seen this a lot. U.S. officials overseas they talk tough. Does it matter that those words have actually not come directly from President Trump himself who has remained silent about the sanctions -- the response from...


STEVEN ERLANGER, LONDON BUREAU CHIEF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think it matters enormously. I think all American allies want to hear these words from Donald Trump. He had an opportunity at NATO to say them. He was supposed to say them. He didn't say them. He sort of said it later but the kind of language coming from Pence is traditional republican language.

It's what the republicans in the Senate what John McCain believed. It doesn't seem to be what the president believes. I think the president in some part of himself thinks Vladimir Putin was justified in expelling different diplomats from Moscow in retaliation to sanctions that originally had been put on by President Obama.

The Senate has inflicted these new sanctions on Trump who must sign the bill or if he vetoes it he'll be overridden. But he's clearly reluctant. So, I think you're right. It matters tremendously that these words come from underlings but not from the commander in chief.

VAUSE: Steve, on Monday we saw another shakeup at the White House the communications director out after what, 10, 11 days. At the same time General Kelly he takes over as chief of staff. Would European leaders be looking at those events would they be reassured by what happened or do they just see more chaos in the Oval Office?

ERLANGER: Well, I think they hope it's the end to a degree of chaos. I mean, John Kelly obviously insisted on being the disciplinarian. He insisted on being chief of staff. He insisted that Scaramucci who had his own line to the president be fired.

So I think most people, you know, no one wants a White House that fails. No one wants a presidency that fails and it looked like the White House was on its way to failing. Now the question is can General Kelly who is a very straightforward tough guy from Boston, can he impose discipline presumably on the White House. It's less clear he can impose discipline on the President of the United States. And what he really needs to do besides that is repair relations with Republican Party because if he doesn't, if Trump doesn't Trump's not going to get anything through the Senate.

VAUSE: How confident are European leaders right now that the U.S. administration has the ability to deal with a crisis not of its own making, for example, the threat coming from North Korea?

ERLANGER: Well, I don't think anyone is very confident. Anyone can be dealing with that very well. I mean, Trump has put a lot of his money on Xi Jinping controlling North Korea. That's a hard thing partly because Xi Jinping doesn't actually care that much and the last thing he wants is a failed North Korea with millions of refugees pouring into China.

I think the military responses to North Korea seem quite thin. It does seem North Korea is sending messages that it would like to have direct talks with the United States and Trump has said certainly in his campaign he had no objection to talks with Kim Jong-un but they would have to be very carefully prepared and there would have to be some pre-conditions. So I don't think just relying on China and yelling about North Korea on Twitter is going to do the trick.

VAUSE: OK. Steve, I guess it's a little questions about how this administration would deal with, you know, a crisis, especially like North Korea which is looming larger every day. But thank you for being with us, Steve. Good to talk to you.

ERLANGER: Thanks, John.

SESAY: Well, coming up after the break we'll have more on the search for the next step on North Korea. The U.S. president makes a promise after Friday's missile launch.


[03:38:08] ISHA SESAY, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Hello everyone you are watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles, I am Isha Sesay.

JOHN VAUSE, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: I am John Vause, 12:33 here on the west Coast it is time to check the headline. The White House once again looking for a communications Director and his garbage he was forced out on Monday just 11 days in the job. He made headlines with a profanity laced interview last week. One source said the new White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly told Scaramucci was undisciplined and had burn his credibility.

SESAY: On the Washington Post reports Donald Trump personally dictated his son's initial statement about the meeting with Russian lawyer in June last year, the response show to be misleading. The meeting had been ways to provide them the information of Hillary Clinton on the Russian government.

VAUSE: The Vice President Mike Pence warning Russia against trying to redraw borders and its neighbors by force. And on Monday he said the U.S would not tolerate that, meantime Russia is slashing star at U.S. diplomatic missions to retaliation through likely new U.S. sanctions. But it says Washington will be the last to decide who has to go home.

SESAY: While there is building concern over the North Korea missile capability after Friday's launch, but little agreement on to what to do about it.

VAUSE: The U.S. president lashed out at China on Saturday saying Beijing could easily solve the problem by Monday. He said the US would deal with it. That he opened the specifics.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will handle that for you. We would be able to handle it. It will be handled, we handle everything. Thank you very much.


SESAY: Experts say Friday's missile had a flatter trajectory. It could have threatened U.S. city.

VAUSE: Clayton Dube, he is the Director of the University, Southern California's US-China Institute. Thanks for coming in. To what the president said last Monday, we will handle it, did you read that is US sanctions on China the fourth Beijing to deal with the old gang to headline is a president is talking about here?

[03:35:09] CLAYTON DUBE, US-CHINA INSTITUTE: It was not at all clear what the President means by, we will handle it the administration has not spoken with one voice on North Korea. You got the CIA Director who suggested that some sort surgical strike might separate the leadership from the system, and you got others recognized the complexity of any kind of military option.

If the President means were going to further pressure Beijing to do something, I think is going to be disappointed.

VAUSE: And that actually could come maybe this week when reports was interesting is because there will be highlighted within the Trump administration and they want to get much tougher on China not just with North Korea but they also want role in the issue of trade and that will be putting tariffs on Chinese steel and missing it all into the one issue. What do you see other problems that could race away?

DUBE: Well, it is not possible to deal with all of China, all of the US China relationship in one package. These things have to be separated out, because they affect different constituencies both here in the United States and in China. You can just lump it all together. The expectation that Donald Trump had was that China enjoys a trade a good trade relationship with the United States if they want to continue to have that they will close the door on North Korea, but that overestimates the capacity Beijing has to do just that Beijing is limited. It is hard to understand this, but Beijing is limited in North Korea. VAUSE: It is also limited in the sense that it does not really want

to change the status quo is available. So why do you do the bidding of United States?

DUBE: Now this is quite the point is the United States interested North Korea and Chinese interest in North Korea are not the same and so we should not expect that Beijing would want to act in a way that would benefit our interest potentially damaging their own idea.

VAUSE: This assessment from US Senator Dianne Feinstein accident of the threat posed by North Korea for the latest missile launch so she said.


present danger to the United States. I spent time on the intelligence and at the briefings and done as much reading as I possibly could. And I am convinced that North Korea is never moved at the speed that this leader has to develop an ICBM.


VAUSE: If United States is facing a clear and present danger there is no any reason to doubt that if Feinstein, should United States be outsourcing this poll to China in the first place?

DUBE: No and we tried that we try we asked Beijing to handle it and they demonstrated that they were not able or not willing to do so in a way that we wanted. It is a clear and present danger not just the United States but to South Korea to Japan and to these others and they have to be involved in any attempt at a solution.

VAUSE: And we hope this will do this for Monday as well. Also we can transfer the changing, he address troops on the date of this year was different. They held this great big parade in a Mongolia, 12,000 troops, and first time ever in Mogul. You can see president Xi Jinping there in army fatigues. They are saying it is the first time he has ever been wearing the Army fatigues. I was having in the midst of the North Korea nuclear crisis, President Xi, sending a message with all of this, not just to United States but to into the rest of the region and the world?

DUBE: Oh, absolutely. Although the first message in China is always forged. The Chinese people, it is important to recognize that she is first and most important position is to be chair of this Communist Party's Central military commission, the Party controls the gun so that is message number one this is the parties Army message number two is that when China was not so physical when China's military was not so robust China was preyed upon by others, and the message of the party to the people is we do not let that happen anymore.

VAUSE: Ability to realize that the military in China adds to the communist party, it is loyal to the communist party not to the nation.

DUBE: That is correct.

VAUSE: Thank you very much for coming in.

DUBE: My pleasure.

SESAY: When we come back, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro defying against new U.S. sanctions, what the sanctions will actually make a difference, we will ask our experts next.


[03:42:52] VAUSE: For the hour, report is coming from Venezuela two opposition leader who were under house arrest have been taken from their homes. Leopoldo Lopez, he serve time on prison after being sentenced to 14 years for inciting antigovernment protest, he was transferred to house arrest last month, because of health concerns.

SESAY: His wife just posted this video on Twitter, the footage the moment Lopez was taken away by government intelligence service and his wife says is quotes responsible thing happened.

VAUSE: Meantime President Maduro is lashing out after being slop with postal economic sanctions from the U.S. any assets he may have in the United States now frozen in America is about doing business with him. The U.S. is calling Maduro a dictator after a controversial vote. The White House says it was a (inaudible).

SESAY: Maduro supporters are expected to control a new assembly that could re-write the constitution. At least 125 people died in four- month of violent clashes. Now Mr. Maduro is attacking U.S. President Donald Trump.


NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: (TRANSLATOR) Why are they sanctioning me, because I can tell the truth persecution of Mexican and Latin American people by Donald Trump. The deportation, expulsions, abuse and torture of thousands of Latin American, please take note you are either with Trump or you are with Venezuela.


SESAY: We are joined by former foreign policy journalist, Peter Wilson, Peter welcome to the program. The Trump administration has describe Sunday's vote as an outrageous cease of power by Nicolas Maduro and critics had called this election a tipping point to world dictatorship. Do you agree with those assessments?

PETER WILSON, FORMER FOREIGN POLICY JOURNALIST: Yes I do. The whole election on Sunday was a farce the election itself was way was called the way was announced was it was by many experts called illegal. There is no constitutional justification for having such a referendum, especially as is not approved by the people is only called by -- called for by the President, so it was a farce. The government said 8.5 Venezuelans participated. It seems far less in the participative perhaps 2.5 -- [03:45:15] -- 2.6 million. The fact is this as regards personal

freedoms as regards political freedoms. The Freedom of press of expression protest all of those incurred so drastically, especially on Wednesday when the new constant -- constitutional assembly is that we will be sworn in. When that happens, the existing Parliament, the national assembly will effectively lose all of its powers and that body is controlled by the opposition.

SESAY: Maduro is one of the few have to state to be sanctioned by the U.S. government following the footsteps the Syrian President Assad, North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and of course, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, now here is the thing peter as we all know all those leaders that we see on our screen, those pre existing members of the bad boys of politics club if you will.

They have largely continued with business as usual and have not changed actions of policy ideas being functional things inviting me to go will somehow change in behavior change his actions because he is now being sanctioned by the U.S.?

WILSON: Of course not. President Maduro may not be the smartest Venezuelan President in history, but he is not stupid. I am sure that he has all of his assets in countries where funds cannot be touched. The idea is what U.S. did today or last leg was a very symbolic but ineffective move.

SESAY: Ok. Symbolic in effect, so let me ask you this, why stop short on the part of the U.S.? The last wide shot of targeting Venezuelan oil industry went in which many argue in a more effective, quicker way to force the hand of Maduro to actually rain back or roll back these dictatorial tendency.

WILSON: I think theoretically that makes sense for my very attractive to people looking for very short term solution. But as we saw on Cuba, economic sanctions do not really work in. They were very hundred years. There is no change in the regime. I think the same holds true to Venezuela, both Russia and China with Russian with financial support United States would target the oil industry such a move by the United States would have a very short term impact domestically in the U.S. are probably drive up gasoline prices and its impact after a month or so would be minimal on the Venezuelan oil industry. There is a flood of marketers the oil market is a glut of oil in the market, so it would be very easy for Venezuela to replace any crude (inaudible) by United States.

SESAY: Peter Wilson, great to speak to you, and thank you so much for the analysis.

WILSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: Ten minutes to the hour we shall take a break here on L.A. when we come back, family and friends of Princess Diana once again fighting for the privacy and protesting, a documentary about the 20th Anniversary.


watch, I am Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, a lot of different stories going on across the US were still looking at our newest tropical system to the East Coast of Florida now bringing some pretty torrential rain fall to southern Florida. We also have some scattered showers and thunderstorms stretching basically from New Mexico all the way over towards Pennsylvania. Some of those areas in the mid Atlantic in the Midwest are just coming off a big flooding event over the weekend. Adding more rain on to that will not be helpful. And even down the Southwest we are looking at the monsoon rains that are coming and actually had the potential to bring some decent rain even to places like Los Angeles, but first we start with Florida.

This is where we have tropical depression, Emily. It is really the strongest of storms. The biggest concern is going to the amount of rainfall that it brings, because we already had rain even before tropical storm Emily even arrived. Now it has weaken down to a tropical depression at this point I really look like there is going to need much strengthening even know it expected to go back out over open water in favor over the next couple of days. He is going to the big story, especially out to the West for a lot of the West Coast City for the next several days.

We excessive heat watches warning and heat advisory, some of this cities including Portland, Oregon have the potential to break their all time high temperature record later on the week.

SESAY: The world has erupted over British (inaudible) plan to air a documentary about the late Princess Dianne Wales, 20 years after her death family and friends are out once again fighting for her privacy.

VAUSE: (Inaudible) says it will show the video of Princess Diana talking about the troubled marriage and her relationship with Queen. Exits from the tapes will showing in the U.S. a documentary back in 2004, but I had actually never been aired in Britain.

Sandro Monetti, an entertainment journalist joins us now from more on this. You were one of those reporters, one of the packs. I am not sure but a reporter who covered Princess Diana.

SANDRO MONETTI, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: That is right. I started my career covering Diana and I remember his entrance. She always wanted the true story to come out she felt very over overwhelms and I remember around that time her collaborations with Andrew and Martin Bashir documentary I mean she really threw a hand grenade on the on the royal family by exposing what was really going on.

VAUSE: So this is a physical disease politics and French authorities regarding states that legally tell for Britain is cleared to put this stuff to where, because what dead people don't have right to privacy, but what about their families?

MONETTI: This is the debate now and is also a debate going on in Britain. Why should channel 4 do this well from a media point of view, William and Harry collaborated with the two main networks in Britain, BBC and ITV under their own documentary speaking so movingly about that emotions about the death of the mother that is all channels and that opens the door for the child to scramble around and buy what they could what is out there and what channel 4 has got is this explosive tape of Diana talking about all sorts of things to her voice coach at the time, to public speaking talking about her sex life or lack of it with Prince Charles and lots of other juicy stuff is what we were up as Philip.

SESAY: That being said, as you mentioned and describe it as explosives was before I hear for the likes of Prince Charles and his wife (inaudible) the other lady in all of this.

MONETTI: Absolutely terrible, there is the revelation that the Diana claims that prayer when she confronted Charles about his having a mistress. He said to her, I refuse to be the first Prince of Wales ever and not allowed to have a mistress and this is the stuff that continues to be so fascinating about Diana is the truth of the most famous in the 20th century.

VAUSE: Princess Diana died 20 years ago. I just don't understand how this fascination has survived for such a long time. This is what I have given so much as been written so much has got in the television so much is revealed, why, can't they let it go?

[03:55:08] MONETTI: Biggest movie of this year, Beauty and the Beast, that whole Disney princess thing. Still today, as they have throughout history tells us the idea of the Princess and fascination.

VAUSE: That is a real life princess.

MONETTI: We live in a most minimal cynical and sarcastic age and she the perfect and I will happily is to be known, is already known for the most part to get to this documentary, most is that all.

SESAY: I guess we come back to whole thing, the JFK, the Elvis, fascination and jewel.

MONETTI: Exactly, it will never end it will go on forever because she is one of the few figures in human history that fascinates so many people, because of what she represents and what she was an issue.

VAUSE: This far on those of the family and the friends of Princess Diana deserves some respect after airing the film.

MONETTI: Absolutely, absolutely yes and they -- they took seemingly the right move, but they need better media management, and that has always been the folds in my opinion of Buckingham Palace they have not managed the press correctly. There was a way to avoid this and they didn't do it right.

SESAY: Well Scaramucci is.


VAUSE: Sandro thank you for coming in. Yes, yes he will not be in Buckingham Palace I am pretty sure on that.

SESAY: We are out too, you are watching from L.A. I am Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I am John Vause the news continues on CNN, but not with us. It will be someone on this show. See you tomorrow.