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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump White House; Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 25, 2017 - 00:00   ET

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


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour:

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Building the border wall. Will President Trump really shut down the government to get it done?

And will U.S. taxpayers end up paying for it?

VAUSE (voice-over): Judgment Day in Seoul. A head of Samsung awaits judgment on corruption changes, a verdict which could also rattle South Korea's family-owned conglomerate.

SESAY (voice-over): And renovations are finished at the White House. We get a look at the Trump-approved changes inside the West Wing.

VAUSE (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.

SESAY (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

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VAUSE: If it was possible -- no one thought it but Donald Trump's relationship with congressional Republicans appears to be getting worse just when he needs them the most.

The president wants funding for his border wall and if he doesn't get it, he is warning of a possible government shutdown.

SESAY: Mr. Trump seems spoiling for a fight Thursday morning as he went after both the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker on Twitter. (INAUDIBLE) that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan tied the debt ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. bill, was just passed for easy approval. They didn't do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up as usual on debt ceiling approval. Could have been so easy. Now a mess.

VAUSE: So easy.

Despite the angry tweets, the White House spokesperson told reporters on Thursday everything is just fine. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I think the relationships are fine. Certainly there are going to be some policy differences but there are also a lot of shared goals and that's what we're focused on. We're disappointed that ObamaCare, they failed to get it repealed and replaced. But at the same time President Trump has worked with Leader McConnell to reach out to other members and to work on those shared goals. And we're going to continue to do that when the Senate comes back from recess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Joining us now, Democratic strategist Matt Littman and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter John Phillips.

VAUSE: Also with us here in Los Angeles, CNN's senior reporter for media and politics Dylan Byers.

And, Dylan, first to you: a government shutdown over a popular issue, that is one thing. But poll after poll after poll has shown that American voters, in a increasingly number and in a majority, don't want this wall.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, that's absolutely right. And look like you said, it's what -- even when you try and force the government shutdown over a popular issue, that is still an extraordinarily controversial move to make to do it over initiative the majority of Americans opposed to do it well you are sort of insulting or at least worsening your relationship with Congress.

And then on top of that, to have all of this come in the wake of an election, in which you promised, time and again, that you would get Mexico to pay for that wall and now you're threatening a government shutdown to get funding from the government for that wall, none of this looks terribly good for the president.

And I would just say you go back to those tweets you showed against the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader, it really speaks to how isolated Donald Trump has become in Washington. Why he is trying to antagonize the people who might be able to help him in this process solely -- it seems to pass the buck of responsibility.

You know I think there are probably a lot of people in the White House tonight who are wishing that Trump hadn't written those tweets.

SESAY: Matt, to bring you in here, are you taking him seriously here?

(INAUDIBLE) this is just bluster, (INAUDIBLE) crazy like a fox. (INAUDIBLE) --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Dylan said that there are a lot of people in the White House wishing he wouldn't say that, those tweets, we could have said that every day for the last eight months, right?

The problem is that a lot of Trump supporters don't care if he gets any legislation passed. They like the professional wrestling aspect of this. They just want to see Donald Trump pick a fight. That -- Donald Trump is now down to in his support the base of the base. That's where it is.

Isn't it like 33 percent support and that's really who he is trying to appeal to at this point. The chances of him -- tax reform we're supposed to be doing now, right. They have no tax reform plan. They're putting out tax reform plan. They said that they would. How are we even going to do tax reform which is the biggest thing that they said they would do this year.

VAUSE: The head one written on the back our napkin.

LITTMAN: That's actually true.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Dylan brought up the fact that this is raced over and over again during the campaign. Let's remind ourselves before we come to John about exactly --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: -- what the president said. Roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to build a great border wall.

We will build a great, great wall.

We're going to build the wall don't worry about it. (INAUDIBLE).

We will --

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TRUMP: -- build the wall 100 percent.

I promise we will build the wall.

And who's going to pay for the wall?

Who's going to pay for the wall?

Who?

It'll be a great wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall.

Mexico is going to pay for the wall.

Mexico will pay for the wall. And Mexico's going to pay for the wall and they understand that.

Mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me, 100 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Who was going to pay for the wall?

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The only thing bigger than his promise to build the wall are his hands.

(LAUGHTER)

VAUSE: Seriously. And this was a too far. This wasn't like we're going to build the wall, Mexico's going to pay for it. But if we can't get them to pay for it, well, then I'll shut down the --

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PHILLIPS: I have to pay for all kinds of crap I hate from the government. I have to pay for this bullet train to nowhere that Jerry Brown is obsessed with. At least with the wall, that's something tangible that I want. And illegal immigration has fallen off a cliff since he's been elected. But 20 years from now, when Skippy Bush III gets elected and decides to open up all the borders, we need something there.

And last week was a bad week for Trump. You look at the polling numbers in swing states, it was not good.

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PHILLIPS: However, there was something happened that was very important that everyone in the country should pay attention to and that is if you look at "The Cook Political Report," which tracks all the U.S. Senate races, they moved five different races one way or the other. Four of the five moved in the direction of the Republicans.

All of them happened in red states. All of them happened in places where they want the wall. They want the wall with great vigor. And I'm absolutely in favor of him tying this to a government shutdown. Force Claire McCaskill to vote against the wall. Force Heidi Heitkamp to vote against the wall. Force Joe Manchin to do it.

I think it's good politics.

SESAY: All right.

Dylan, to bring you in here before you respond to whether or not it is good politics, listen to what Huckabee Sanders said during the White House press briefing when she was asked about Mexico paying for the wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: We're committed to making sure the American people are protected and we're going to continue to push forward and make sure that the wall gets built.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is he threatening a shutdown over paying for it?

I mean, again, he said over and over again, he talked about the campaign over and over again. He said Mexico's going to pay for the wall. He asked people, these crowds chanted back at him, Mexico's going to pay for it.

And how he's pushing -- threatening a shutdown of the government.

SANDERS: Once again, the president's committed to making sure this happens and we're going to push forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Dylan, is the estimation on the part of the president and this administration, that they are in a stronger position with Republicans and those in Congress so they can push this issue of shutting down the government because ultimately the president's going to come out looking better than them?

BYERS: Well, I think that's part of it. And I think the other part of it goes back to what Matthew was saying, which is he's appealing to the base of the base.

What was curious to me and it is the same question that we ask so many times on this show and that everyone in the media I think has been asking for so many months is, at what point does that base start to care that the narrative has consistently changed?

At what point do the promises that were made during the campaign not seem to matters so much now that he's President of the United States?

And then again, just to return to this issue, how is it in the interest of the American people to force the government shutdown to do something that the majority of them don't want?

Remind me how that is good for the American people because I don't know.

VAUSE: We just want to do a quick fact-check on saying that Huckabee Sanders said in the briefing about the Democrats who supported this. Budget director Mick Mulvaney first brought up that claim, saying Democrats had voted for a border wall; PolitiFact says that's a half- truth because they wall they voted for was 700 miles long; nothing the president wants. That was, what, about 10 years ago.

And Donald Trump actually said that was not a wall.

But, Matt, as far as the Democrats are concerned, Donald Trump seems to have let them off the hook completely by putting all the blame on the --

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LITTMAN: -- is a winning issue for the Democrats (INAUDIBLE) Donald Trump shuts down the government over a wall that nobody wants, that he said that Mexico's going to pay for, then Democrats in that case win.

I mean, I don't -- I'm not sure exactly what poll and -- is in some of those states. But the Democrats in some of these swing states actually seem to be doing pretty well.

But to shut down the government Donald Trump was supposed to be talking about -- where's infrastructure, right?

Where's tax reform?

They don't even have any plans for these things. They're not -- Donald Trump doesn't go out -- he gives these big speeches in Phoenix and all these other places. He doesn't push for anything for the government to do except to list his own grievances toward newspapers and toward Mitch McConnell and toward the senator, Jeff Flake from Arizona.

None of it is about actual legislation and getting anything done.

VAUSE: And John, what about that point,

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SESAY: -- that this just comes off to many as just about his ego.

What about those other elements as a part of his agenda?

PHILLIPS: No, this is issue number one, two and three for Donald Trump ,the issue of --

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SESAY: It was an issue --

PHILLIPS: -- illegal immigration --

SESAY: -- pay for.

PHILLIPS: -- the reason that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and the reason that Donald Trump won the general election and won so many of those Rust Belt states that Mitt Romney and John McCain lost is because he took on the elite consensus in Washington, D.C., on any number of subjects, immigration being the first one but also foreign trade and foreign wars.

And those are the three issues and, you know, with what he is doing right now in Afghanistan, the jury is still out as to which direction he's going to go in now that Stephen Bannon isn't at the White House anymore. But he's got to come through with this position on trade. He's got to

come through with this position on immigration. If he doesn't, he's toast. This is my "read my lips" moment or his "read my lips" moment. He can't go back on this. He's got to put the wall up.

VAUSE: But, Dylan, if we take John's point that this is good politics, that this is about Donald Trump appealing to the base of the base of the base, he's done this as well when it comes to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, appealing to the white nationalists, violence "on both sides," not very good for the country but it may be good politics. Shutting down the government would cause economic turmoil around the globe and a whole bunch of problems. But it may be good politics.

BYERS: Right, and again it goes back to this appeal to the base of the base strategy and John is absolutely right, that this is a moment where the president has to follow through on this promise; otherwise, what does he have left?

I guess what I question are two things: first, how much is he following through on his promise if he's not actually going to have Mexico pay for the wall?

How much is he setting himself up to look like a failure if he can't push this through, even with government funding and is passing the buck of responsibility to Congress?

And then secondly, again, like when does that moment happen, that the President of the United States thinks, maybe it would behoove me to act on behalf of the interests of the American people?

Maybe it would even behoove my own reelection prospects if he even does want to run for reelection at this point.

So much of what he's doing, it's not just that it's driven by ego because ego would suggest that he wants to cement his place in history as perhaps a halfway decent president. A lot of it seems to be driven by this sort of narcissistic, petty grievances that he can't, you know, he can't go more than a day or an hour without sending a nasty tweet in someone's direction to offload responsibility for his own ineptitude and pass it on to someone else.

And it's pretty staggering to watch that happen even on the principle issue that, like John said, that he ran on, which was the border wall.

SESAY: So, Matt, what do Democrats do?

I mean, obviously the blame has been shifted to Republicans in the waiting game set up right now with the president.

But what do they do?

Do they just get deck chairs and cigars and just watch this play out?

LITTMAN: That does sound good. I might like to reporter with this Trump bell zone which he's forgotten everything but the grievances. Listen, they need Democrats to get this debt ceiling -- there's a budget fight that's about to happen. They need the debt ceiling to go through. They need eight Democrats on their side --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: And those things are sort of --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: -- which is why it's such --

LITTMAN: -- exactly right. And then tax reform has to come out of the budget process. And right now none of it looks like it's going to happen. And Donald Trump isn't trying to appeal to the Democrats by trying to work with the Democrats.

I would just say this, though, about Donald Trump and his poor relationship with Mitch McConnell, I think if it were up to -- like if Donald Trump really wanted to, he gets along with Chuck Schumer much better than he does Mitch McConnell. I don't think -- I really don't think he likes Mitch McConnell at all. He is forced to work with McConnell.

In a sense, he's right in terms of the fact that McConnell did promise for seven years to get health care reform through and he was unable to.

But let's remember that Donald Trump didn't fight for health care reform. He is not fighting for infrastructure reform. That infrastructure is not fighting for tax reform. He's not fighting for many of the issues that people elected him on, especially one that John left out: jobs. Wage growth is not high. It's lower than it was under Obama. Job growth, not high; lowered than it was under Obama.

VAUSE: We're almost out of time but let's get to the tweet of the day, the tweet du jour.

It was the retweet.

SESAY: Yes, it was a retweet. President Trump on Thursday retweeting a meme of the best eclipse ever. Let's put it up. It's peaches and montage of four photos that show Trump, as you say there, blocking former President Obama. As you say, the best eclipse ever.

But did I mention that this was a meme that was shared by YouTube personality Jerry Trevone (ph), who previously shared an extremely anti-Semitic tweet on Sunday, John?

PHILLIPS: I that photo's hilarious. However, my favorite of the memes is the one where Chris Christie is sitting in the beach chair and just comes in right over the sun and that's what I call a total eclipse.

(CROSSTALK) LITTMAN: But the guy who --

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LITTMAN: -- tweeted this, he also said to tweet out, saying he wants to get rid of all the Jewish --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: -- anti-Semite, he's a misogynist, he's a total --

LITTMAN: But here's the question, how you know that the drivers are Jewish?

How does he know?

Are we gesticulating?

Are we saying, "I'm schvitzing,", you know, the -- how does he actually know who the Jewish drivers are?

VAUSE: But just, Dylan, what is the -- on a serious side -- what is the responsibility of the president here?

Because this happens a lot.

Should he be aware of the background of the person that he's retweeting here?

BYERS: Yes. Well, what I'm reminded of is when, very early on in the presidency, people were accusing the president of doing all manner of things that were, quote, "unpresidential."

And she said, well, he is the president so it is presidential.

He's the President of the United States. He sets the tone now and going forward of what is acceptable behavior by the President of the United States. The problem is that it's embarrassing frankly for America on the world stage.

It's embarrass I think for many of the citizens to have the President of the United States retweeting a dumb meme from a guy who clearly has anti-Semitic tendencies. And it goes back for me about the character of Donald Trump and this question of how do you take on the greatest office in the land?

How you assume the responsibility of commander in chief and leader of the free world?

And how does that not impress itself upon you and force you to rise to the occasion and be better than retweeting an anti-Semite's dumb meme?

I think it's embarrassing. So, look, it is presidential because he's the president but it's a sad day for the office of the American presidency. VAUSE: We're out of time but the other thing, too, is that when those retweets were put out there, it emboldens those hate groups. They think it's great that they're being retweeted by the president. But we'll leave it at that.

Dylan, John and Matt, thank you so much.

SESAY: Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

VAUSE: OK. After the break, quitting a job and dressing down the boss. How one scientist really spelled it out for President Trump in his resignation letter.

SESAY: And many people along the U.S. Gulf Coast are packing up and heading out on what could be the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade wash toward shore.

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SESAY: A science envoy to the U.S. State Department resigned over President Trump's remarks on white supremacist violence in Charlottesville. UC Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen listed some other reasons, too, like leaving the Paris climate accord and undermining environmental research.

VAUSE: But it's the way he wrote his resignation letter that has attracted so much attention. He spelled out the word impeach with the first letter of each paragraph. A not so subtle nod at what he thinks could be coming for Mr. Trump.

SESAY: Daniel Kammen joins us now live from Berkeley, California.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Let me start by asking you this --

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SESAY: -- given the focus of your work, it might strike some as odd that you didn't resign as science envoy when President Trump pulled out of -- pulled the U.S. out rather on the Paris climate accord but rather you took the step after the president's response to the events in Charlottesville.

Why was this the moment you felt you could no longer stay?

DANIEL KAMMEN, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SCIENCE ENVOY: Well, I really wanted to give the president and his team the benefit of the doubt. I was very much opposed to pulling out of the Paris climate accord; after all, U.S. was a big part of why it was so successful.

And when the president did it, he did say that he wanted a better deal for the United States. And I was quite frankly curious to see what the effort would be to get a better deal.

I actually think we had a great deal to begin with, producing jobs, protecting the environment, protecting women, communities around the world. And I waited and waited and that was clearly just words. There was no action behind it. There was no effort to work with the other countries.

And that was the first big sign because the Paris climate accord was exactly what I worked on.

But then we got to the bans on -- efforts to ban immigration, the real horrific events in terms of a lack of appropriate response after what happened in Virginia; the president's speech in Arizona.

And those things made it very clear to me that the direction he was taking was exactly opposite of the reason why I was brought on to be a science envoy, to bring science as a tool for partnerships between countries, United States, Middle East and Africa.

SESAY: I want to read part of your letter, which you also posted on Twitter and it has now gone viral, as you know, with tens of thousands of likes.

You wrote this, "Particularly troubling to me is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with the broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet.

"Examples of this destructive pattern have consequences on my duties as science envoy."

So I want to ask you this, in your experience, in this role what have been the consequences?

What have you seen that has changed in terms of your interactions with other countries and individuals as a result of the actions and statements of this president?

KAMMEN: Well, Paris was a real high water mark for international cooperation. Countries, very different perspectives came together to find ways to invest in a cleaner planet but also to create jobs, to create more equitable societies, to really work together.

And everything in my opinion we have seen out of this president has worked against that. It has been a politics of division. It has been blaming both sides in events like the Virginia attacks, where the Left was blamed, where this was clearly an event that was driven very much by hate politics of the Right.

So those are all events that demonstrated a pattern. And that pattern was not of cohesion, of even trying to build bridges. It was of taking advantage of differences to belittle some, to marginalize others; in particular, disadvantaged people around the planet.

SESAY: Eight months into this administration and by now you know this president is no stranger to controversy. Let me remind our viewers a total 127 tech companies joined the fight against the president's travel ban back in February and most recently, with his response to Charlottesville, 13 business leaders publicly distanced themselves from the president and ultimately he had to fold his two business councils.

So, Professor, you are part of a long list of people expressing their disapproval.

Do you believe this president actually wants to unite this country?

KAMMEN: Well, I really cannot speak to what he wants to do. I can look at the actions and the words and the words demonstrate, at least so far, there is very little interest to take advantage of what I think makes America great, which is really an opportunity to make an inclusive society, to build bridges. I do not see that.

And I think this even goes one step further and that is that we used to be a country that really valued science and whether science uncovered troubling things like pollution or discovered new technologies, it was seen as a positive. And I have not seen any evidence, politics aside, that science and innovation and making the quality of life better for, particularly the poor, is of any interest.

And that troubles me further. And, again, it works exactly against the reason why I was brought on as a science envoy, which is why, at least from my perspective, we parted -- we parted ways in terms of this presidency.

SESAY: (INAUDIBLE) headlines also for the clever use of words, the first letter of each of the paragraphs spells out IMPEACH.

I want you to tell us where that idea came from and also is that your hope or fear of how this presidency will end up?

KAMMEN: So it -- the reason why I did it was because I certainly am very concerned about the direction we're going but I also wanted to pay tribute to the President's --

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KAMMEN: -- Council on the Arts that last week did a similar thing and embedded other words resist in their mass resignation letter. And so I do not know if I hope or fear what will happen. What I do know is that everyone has an opportunity to change and to see the value of science and to see the value of partnerships and to see the better side of human nature.

And I would like to think that anyone can take those signs and say, hey, I was wrong on this or that and it is time to start a new alliance, a new path. And that's really my hope, much more than the ugly road of impeachment for anybody.

SESAY: Well, a scientist who's also an optimist.

(LAUGHTER)

SESAY: I didn't think I'd hear that. Professor Kammen, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

KAMMEN: It's a pleasure. Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, they're hunkering down or they're on the move in Texas ahead of one of the worst storms in years. Hurricane Harvey is coming in from the Gulf of Mexico bringing high winds and heavy flooding.

A U.S. government plane flew past the eye of the storm on Tuesday trying to gauge just how big of a punch Harvey is packing.

SESAY: Harvey's set to make landfall in Texas Friday or Saturday but other states are also feeling its impact. The best waterspout was spotted off Florida's Anna Maria Island and Louisiana has already declared a state of emergency.

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SESAY: Time for a quick break now. Within the next hour or so, a South Korean court is expected to rule on corruption charges against the head of Samsung in a bribery scandal that already took down the country's president.

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VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:

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SESAY: We're waiting for verdict in what's been called South Korea's trial of the century. A court is set to decide a string of corruption changes against Jay Y. Lee, the de facto head of the powerful Samsung group.

Lee says he's is innocent but could end up spending 12 years in prison if prosecutors get their way.

VAUSE: Lee's case has gripped the country for months and has come to embody South Koreans' widespread discontent over the close ties between big business and government.

SESAY: Let's go live to Seoul now and join CNN's Paula Hancocks there.

Paula, I understand that hundreds ended the -- hundreds applied, I should say, for the 30 seats in the public gallery to witness the verdict being handed down, which will come shortly. Just tell us a little bit more why this trial has gripped South Korea in the way it has. PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha, this man, Jay Y. Lee, as he's known in the West, is a very powerful figure in South Korea, if not one of the most powerful. He is one of the richest. He is the de facto head of the most powerful company in South Korea, a company which really does drive the South Korean economy, it's that significant.

So you couldn't imagine a more significant trial and this is why here in South Korea. It has been dubbed the trial of the century. You have protester outside as well on both sides, those that are supporting, the court case against the Samsung chief, those who are fed up with seeing this very cozy relationship between government and business and want that to end, and then on the other side, you do have some protesters as well, who are supporting Samsung by default because they're supporting the former president, Park Geun-hye, who was impeached and imprisoned. She is intricately linked to the Samsung chief when it comes to these court cases.

So there really isn't going to many people in this country that are not going to be watching and listening and finding out exactly what happened. It is a very significant case for South Korea.

SESAY: And, quickly, Paula, how much public pressure on the prosecutors to get a guilty verdict here?

HANCOCKS: There certain is pressure because the temperature of the country at this point, you'll remember just a few months ago, there were millions coming out onto the streets over consecutive Saturdays, candlelight vigils, as they were called, calling not only for the impeachment of the former president but also for the -- calling for the heads of these so-called chables (ph), these very large family-run businesses because they said they had had enough of corruption, they had had enough of this very close link between business and these -- the government and that they wanted to make sure that those in these big businesses were not above the law.

That's the crux of what we're seeing here -- Isha.

SESAY: All right, Paula Hancocks joining us there from Seoul, South Korea, where we are awaiting this verdict. Paula, we appreciate it. We'll check in with you soon. Thank you.

VAUSE: Thailand's supreme court is issuing an arrest warrant for a former prime minister, Yima Chinawat (ph), after she failed to appear in court for a verdict.

SESAY: She faces up to 10 years in prison, accused of mismanaging a controversial rice subsidy program that cost the country billions of dollars. The court set a new date for her verdict scheduled for next month.

Let's take a quick break now. And the Oval Office got a new occupant at the end of January but when President Trump was out of town earlier this month, well, the whole West Wing got a whole new look. A peek at the renovations ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.

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VAUSE: The White House has had a makeover with the president said to be personally involved in many of the decorating decisions. Donald Trump was on a working vacation in New Jersey, more than 200 workers moved in. The renovations continued 24 hours a day for 17 days, replacing the heating and air system, refreshing the flooring and changing the decor.

SESAY: The renovations reportedly cost nearly $3.5 million and all materials used were made in America.

VAUSE: Let's get a professional opinion on how it all played out. Joining us now is --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: -- an interior designer.

Jarrett, thank you for coming in.

JARRETT HILL, INTERIOR DESIGNER: No pressure.

VAUSE: OK. Let's start with the wallpaper in the Oval Office, personally chosen by the president. We're looking at a creamy gray, sort of look there -- there it is. It replaces the yellow candy stripe of the Obama era.

There's also new carpet, which features a floral motif, has been described by a critic at "The Guardian" newspaper, who said it, "looks like it has been lifted straight from a midrange chain hotel. It's clearly a look" --

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: Go figure.

VAUSE: -- "hotelier Trump is comfortable with, a surface of ornament but ultimately bland, forgettable and good for hiding stains."

How do you see it?

HILL: So OK. The new rug I actually really hate and the --

(CROSSTALK)