Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic Public Health Emergency; Catalan Leader Calls Off Elections In Independence Bid; Protest Overshadow Kenya's Election Day; At Least One Dead In Kenya Election Violence; Catalan Leader Calls Off Elections In Independence Bid; U.S. Defense Secretary Travels To DMZ. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 27, 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.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Donald Trump declares the opioid epidemic a national health emergency. The critics of the U.S. president say that does not go far enough.

VAUSE: Of the clashes between police and protesters, the Kenyan election do-over may need a do-over. Voters are staying home and there are claims, not a single vote was cast at one voting station.

SESAY: And later, from the killer clown in Steven King's "IT" to the critically claimed "Get Out", why this could be the biggest year in horror movie history?

VAUSE: Great to have you with us, everybody! I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump has declared a public health emergency to deal with America's opioid epidemic, but that announcement may be more symbolic than substantive.

SESAY: Because right now, the Public Health Emergency Fund is short on funds. So, until Congress can pass a bill to provide that necessary cash, not much has actually changed. Still, Mr. Trump tried to give an inspiring message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue. It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge of drug addiction -- never been this way. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic, we can do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining us now, Howard Samuels and Reef Karim, both Addiction Treatment Specialist who will be directly impacted by the president's announcement. So, Reef, first to you. In general sense, the administration gets credit for taking this action, but fall way short simply because there's no money.

REEF KARIM, ADDICTION TREATMENT SPECIALIST: Yes, this -- I am so deeply concerned about this. I really don't think this administration understands what this problem is or what to do about it. They don't respect the nature of 60,000 people dying in a year. They just don't get it. And so, what they're doing is they're underfunding; it's all talk, it is all bluster. And when you're looking for federal grant money as opposed to natural disaster money, that's a problem.

And I'm also concerned about this war on drugs motive. This concept of going back to the old ways of doing things. It looks like more and more are -- our administration is going to go that direction and focus on law and order, instead of enhancing treatment and enhancing insurance coverage. Doing so many other things that they can do to improve the opioid crisis as opposed to just the same old same old.

SESAY: And Howard to you, I mean, that's the point that was made by many critics of the president's announcement, then he said lots of great things about intentions and about advertising and the like, that he didn't talk about expansions of medical treatment.

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION TREATMENT SPECIALIST: Well, exactly, and I have to agree with Reef. I mean, this administration knows nothing about what's going on in the frontlines. You know, there is, you know, insignificant treatment, the insurance companies are not asserting enough in-patient days, the government insurance is only three or four days of in-patient. I mean, there is no clue as to really how to deal with this. I mean, it's about treatment. And I've said it before, law enforcement and treatment have to go together to put the addicts that are arrested or that are OD-ed and come out of it alive, and treat in government-sponsored treatment centers run by addicts with certifications for at least a year in order to really turn the tide and help these people.

VAUSE: Apart of the strategy that the president announced will involve an advertising campaign which will be (INAUDIBLE) young people for (INAUDIBLE).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If we can teach young people and people generally, not to start, it's real, really easy not to take. And I think that's going to end up being our most important thing. Really tough, really big, really great advertising, so we get to people before they start. So, they don't have to go through the problems of what people are going through.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, Reef, this is all part of stop and flow. There is the problem of the current stock of opioid users who have the addiction, at the same time you've got to stop the flow of the next generation of users. That is complicated, that is difficult, it is challenging. It's not impossible, but, again, you can't really do that successfully if you don't have the right amount of resources. KARIM: I'm sorry. That clip just made me laugh. I mean, "just say

no." Like, that's essentially what he's saying. I mean, we played this game. This is a broken record. Enough of the "Just Say No." Enough of, hey, if we have a really good commercial or a really good reality show, maybe the kids won't use drugs. That's crazy. This is all about treatment. All of it is about treatment. It's about giving people Narcan when they get an opioid prescription. It's about building a national registry so we can track abusable medications across state lines from a federal perspective.

[01:05:27] It's about our relationship to pain -- emotional pain and physical pain. It's about tracking pharma companies' distribution of these pills. You know, it's even about cannabis. That the fact that is opioids and cannabis have similar effects on sleep anxiety and pain. It's something that you can't ignore. And the fact that we're getting closer and closer to cannabis legalization, means we need to look really carefully at the effects of CBD oil and cannabis in regard to the opioid crisis. Because by improving our ability to use cannabis in some ways, in regulated ways, we are going to diminish the potential for opioid crisis.

SESAY: Howard, I do want to ask you whether you agree with Tom Coderre, he's the former Senior Official in Obama's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Health and Human Services. He said that the one upside of going this route, that the president has, of calling this a public health emergency is that you can marshal public support and that that is important in this fight. How much value do you attach to that?

SAMUELS: I mean, those are words -- I mean it is a joke. I mean, public support? You know, families are having their young ones die on a daily basis. I mean, unfortunately, I know so many dead addicts. I mean, in the last year, I've had 10 people died that I've been associated with. I mean, this is a serious issue now granted. The families have to be educated, so they can have the danger signs and the warning signs about what is happening in the family. But it has to be interventions. But you have to understand look what's happening in America: Marijuana is being legalized in all these states because America wants to get loaded. There is a movement not towards recovery but towards getting high legally. And that's -- that there's a spiritual component; there is something wrong in this country where it's that's the motivation instead of getting high on life.

VAUSE: Reef, you know that everyone says, oh, this will bring much- needed attention to this epidemic. Really? I mean, this was the surprise issue during last year's presidential election campaign. Seems, it doesn't a lot more attention to it, does it?

KARIN: No, it doesn't need attention from the country when 60,000 people in the country a year are dying from this, and their families are affected, and their neighborhoods are affected. What these needs are action. This needs implementations. I would ask Congress to talk to people like myself and Howard and get the scoop on what to do. We know what to do. It's just a matter of getting Congress and getting our president educated enough to really know what he should be doing in this case. I mean, it is crazy how big the chasm is between the people in the frontlines that are really doing good work in researching what to do versus our politicians that, in some ways, a lot of them are corrupt in regards to lobbying with the pharmaceutical companies.

SESAY: I mean, Howard, even if you were to have that one on one, that would be you and Reef included with both the Health and Human Services with the president himself, you know, for want of this idea. If you'd have that one on one and you guys are to tell them what needs to be done, I mean, do still think -- do think they would do it? I mean, is there even the will to do what is the right thing?

SAMUELS: No, I don't think they'll do it because they're politicians. Because they won't do the steps, the really difficult steps in order to build government-funded treatment programs. I mean, think about it, private insurance in this country, and I've said it before, is only giving 15 to 20 in-patient days. Medicare is only giving three to four in-patient days. I mean, what that is telling you somebody who is having an addiction for years is going to get cleaned in three days or 20 days, and then they have to go home and learn how to do life without drugs and alcohol that they haven't done for years? I mean, it's a joke!

SESAY: Not a funny one, though.

VAUSE: Yes, obviously --

SAMUELS: Exactly.

VAUSE: -- people are expecting a lot more -- many people are expecting a lot more. I guess it still remains to be seen if the president will go back to Congress; will make that request for extra funding.

SESAY: And how much money he would get.

VAUSE: And will go to states on how much will be spent.

SESAY: Yes.

VAUSE: But, Reef and Howard, thank you so much.

SESAY: Thank you. We really appreciate it.

KARIM: Thank you.

SAMUELS: You are welcome. Thank you.

[01:10:11] VAUSE: Well, the president personalized his anti-drug message with the rare mention of his late brother who was an alcoholic, who struggled with addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I learned myself. I had a brother Fred, a great guy, best- looking guy, best personality, much better than mine.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: But he had a problem; he had a problem with alcohol. And he would tell me don't drink, don't drink. He was substantially older and I listened to him and I respected, but he would constantly tell me, don't drink. He'd also add don't smoke, but he would say it over, and over, and over again. And to this day, I've never had a drink. And I have no longing for it. I have no interest in it. To this say, I've never had a cigarette. Don't worry, those are only two of my good things, I don't want to tell you about the bad things.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: There are plenty of bad things too, but he really helped me. I had somebody that guided me -- and he had a very, very, very tough life because of alcohol, believe me. Very, very tough, tough life. He was a strong guy but it was tough, the tough thing that he was going through. But I learned because of Fred, I learned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. For more former Los Angeles Councilwoman, Wendy Greuel is with is; so too CNN Political Commentator and Trump Support, John Phillips. OK. So, John, explain why you think the president stopped short of declaring a national emergency, which is what he said he would be, back in August -- which would've meant, you know, the automatic release of additional funds. Especially when you considering right now, according to U.S. (INAUDIBLE) one and 10 Americans who were struggling with addiction are getting special treatment, and that treatment is, you know, as we just heard from Howard and Reef, that's what's needed and that's what's expensive.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND TRUMP SUPPORTER: Right. It's very expensive and their failure rate is very high. Now, what he did today was largely symbolic, it's largely a public relations campaign, and I think that that's good because the government is not going to solve this problem. The government could spend; they could double the money that they're spending right now, they could triple, they could make it grow exponentially, it's never going to happen. They have drug problems -- and all countries and all over the globe. We've had it since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, it's just a failing of humans: we like alter our reality.

SESAY: But not at this rate. I mean, that's the difference --

VAUSE: This isn't happening anywhere else around the world.

SESAY: This isn't happening anywhere else. This is a uniquely American problem.

PHILLIPS: Government is not going to fix this. It's going to be families, it's going to be doctors, and I heard it mentioned in the previous segment that they want government intuitions to pay for people to go in there for a year to kick them off this habit? I think if you'd have to tie off a vein and believe that that's actually possible. SESAY: But you talk that there's no benefit to rehabilitating these

people, and bringing them back to society. There is an up-shock to society if you do that.

PHILLIP: We could take Jared Lee Loughner off the street and put him in an institution. How are we going to do it for people who are --

SESAY: Did you even try it? I mean, that's the question, but where is the will? Where is the will?

PHILLIPS: The courts wouldn't allow it. The courts would not allow us to take schizophrenics.

WENDY GREUEL, FORMER COUNCILWOMAN FOR LOS ANGELES: You can't just throw your hands on and say that there's nothing that we can do. This is just how our country is; that's not the case. I mean, I think that enough has been said and demonstrated that how many people are dying every single day, and it has to be a multi-faceted approach by the federal government.

VAUSE: John, you say this isn't the government driven solution here, but this is an administration which doesn't have a permanent head of the Health and Human Services Department. The president's choice for drug czar was -- he withdrew his nomination amid controversy. And for the past year -- most of this year, rather, this administration has been mowing back Obamacare, which has mandated treatments for drug addiction, and that's what's being taken away from the states that need it. So, you know, you say this announcement today was public relations, some say it's Kabuki theater.

PHILLIPS: Well, look, I mean, I am firmly of the belief and I do have the libertarian strings -- my political ideology that government is not going to fix this problem. We tried it in the 1970s with the Rockefeller Drug Laws where the government was very activist in fighting illegal drug use; it didn't work. We tried the "Just Say No" campaign in the 1980s that got information out there, so people could make better choices. Families could be informed if they had a problem in their community and their family. And doctors, of course, have to stop writing prescriptions for people who don't need it.

VAUSE: So, is that a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted approach.

GREUEL: And I can't just be: we want to solve this problem but there's no money attached to it. Or that what we're proposing in Congress is going to cut Medicare, that could be part of the funding that's going to provide the service that is necessary.

SESAY: But John, I find it is interesting that you're saying that take this position of, you know, the government can't fix this, and in a way, I don't know whether you think the government should even try. Because that's --

PHILLIPS: No, I'm saying the government should provide information. And I think what he did today is a step in the right direction of letting people that this is a crisis, particularly in middle America in those (INAUDIBLE).

SESAY: OK.

PHILLIPS: People who voted for him.

SESAY: And that's my point. Those people voted for him, is that good enough to them to get his vote again, you know, giving them information?

[01:15:12] PHILLIPS: He's a president, he does not have a magic wand. We're talking about --

SESAY: Well, he said he was going to fix the problem; he didn't say he was going to give them information.

PHILLIPS: I mean, he's pushing the ball in the right direction. He's not going to be able to fix this problem, I'm telling you. This is not something that a man can do.

VAUSE: You know what he did say that'll help fix the problem? The wall on the border.

PHILLIPS: He's right about that.

VAUSE: This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: An astonishing 90 percent of the heroine in America comes from south of the border where we will be building a wall which will greatly help in this problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Really, 90 percent? Well, let's go and ask the current acting drug czar who has a different assessment because a lot of the drugs are coming from China by U.S. post

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to this issue again about the wall and border security versus mail, is it the one that worries you more?

RICHARD BAUM, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY: You know, they're both important. So, I mean, I look at the whole supply challenge, at just doing a better job at tightening our security. We want to reduce the drug supply that's coming into the country. And right now, Fentanyl coming through in small packages in the mail is a huge threat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: John, the problem that I think a lot of people have is that there's no money for people who are dying of drug addiction and opioid abuse, yet there are -- there are billions of dollars which the president is willing to do anything for to build a wall which is a solution in search of problem.

PHILLIPS: Well, I think the president's right that the cartels are moving in the direction of our drugs, because of the legalization of Marijuana in so many states and the fact that it's so easy to get it now. The cartels are out of that business. They've moved away from Marijuana; it cost a lot of money to ship it across the border. They've moved to human-trafficking and they've moved to hard drugs. So, if you do have more hard drugs coming from south of the border, they do it before.

SESAY: I mean, I think it's the doctors sitting in offices that --

VAUSE: writing the prescription.

SESAY: That are writing the prescription is a bigger issue than the wall, Wendy.

GREUEL: I think what the president was suggesting was really a hollow promise. And as you mentioned, there are people who voted for him when he said I'm going to help solve this opioid problem; I'm going to have a special task force, a commission, and I'm going to act on it immediately -- and it's been months since that happened. And now, it's only an action for 90 days, and then they have to push it forward again. We need real solutions that are going to be multi-faceted in every singled department in this House.

VAUSE: Sorry. Before we go, while we still have time. We do have the other big story that the JFK files have been released -- almost all of the JFK files.

SESAY: Some of them.

VAUSE: Thousands release; 300 (INAUDIBLE). I don't know if everybody has seen it but was it Ted Cruz's makes it all part of the bloc?

PHILLIPS: We'll find the smoking gun.

SESAY: 2,800 pages. Still, a lot to get through.

VAUSE: What do we make of this? I mean, it's just -- I mean, this hasn't been anything major --

SESAY: I mean, yes, basically, Larry Sabato who's written books on Kennedy and he says right now in these 2800 pages that many are just gossip. But I guess my question is why are Americans still fascinated by this moment in history? Why are they still convinced it was a conspiracy? John Phillips, I'm looking at you.

PHILLIPS: Because a lot of people have a hard believing: the leader of the free world can be taken out by one nut with a gun and book depository. It's the same reason that so many people have a hard time believing that 16 fanatics with boxcutters could take down four airplanes and bring them the west to their knees. So, people fill in the gaps, people fill in the blanks with whatever fantasy they want to come up because they just can't accept the reality that sometimes a really motivated bad person can do a lot of bad things. VAUSE: OK. We'll leave it at that.

SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Wendy and John, thank you so much.

SESAY: We always appreciate it, thank you.

GREUEL: Thank you.

SESAY: A quick break here. Next, on NEWSROOM L.A., Kenya's presidential election turns violent in some parts as some protesters are met with tear gas and bullets.

[01:19:03] VAUSE: Also with no snap election and Madrid preparing to suspend its autonomy. Catalonia leaders plan their next move.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Well, leaders from Catalonia and Madrid are facing a pivotal day as the political crisis deepens. The leader of the wealthy Spanish region rejected the idea of a snap election. Carles Puigdemont said parliament would have to decide on Catalan independence and explains its decision Thursday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLES PUIGDEMONT, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA (through translator): You know that I was prepared to call this election on the sole condition that we were given guarantees that they would be held in an absolutely normal manner. There are no such guarantees that would justify calling these regional elections today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Spain's Senate will vote on Friday whether to take control of the autonomous region. Both these sides have been in a political deadlock since Catalonia held an independence vote earlier this month.

SESAY: Well, in Kenya's presidential election, clashes between police and opposition protesters have left at least one person dead and several others wounded.

VAUSE: But across most of the country, voting was peaceful. Final election results are expected within seven days. Farai Sevenzo has more now on this deeply disputed vote.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 92- year-old, Josephine Wambos says she has voted in every presidential election since independence. And dressed in her Sunday's best, she says this Election Day is no different, but it's her duty to have a say. But not everyone is as enthusiastic or convinced their vote even matters, and it shows the numbers. At this polling station in Kibera, an opposition stronghold, one election official told CNN not one vote was cast, not one.

Nearby, used in the area clashes police throughout the day. People here say that listen to Opposition Leader Raila Odinga's cause to boycott the vote, he says is illegal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our voters (INAUDIBLE) several times. You vote, there's no change. And the only possible move we have is Opposition Leader Odinga.

SEVENZO: It was a different picture, entirely, in areas where support for the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, is strong. CNN witnessed peaceful scenes like these in Kiambu County, north of Nairobi where thousands gather to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a very good feeling about this day. It's a very special day for Kenyans, and mostly from this area. We know that you're going to get the best from these votings.

SEVENZO: Because the opposition boycotted this election, it is widely expected that victory will be handed, President Uhuru Kenyatta. But as expected low-voter turn-out would likely bring with it changes and dispute about the legality of the vote.

LINUS KAKAI, CHAIRMAN, KENYA EDITORS' GUILD: Legitimacy is will be a very, very big question of the President Uhuru Kenyatta will be contended with. And also, of course, the issue of healing a nation, because it goes together.

SEVENZO: Healing a nation, so bitterly divided after tumultuous and contentious election season will be no small feat. President Kenyatta must unite the nation, and likely, he will face new legal challenges. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Well, joining me now is Maina Kiai, a Leader of Kenyan Civil Society Coalition and former U.N. Special Rapporteur. He joins me from Nairobi. Maina, thank you so much for being with us once again. So, as you well know, several polling stations will attempt a second do-over, due to the fact that the vote was boycotted in those particular areas -- and they're going to try and do this again on Saturday. What's the -- what's your sense as to whether the outcome will be any different? Will those who boycotted the first do-over turn up on Saturday?

MAINA KIAI, LEADER, KENYAN CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION AND FORMER U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR (via Skype): I don't think so, Isha. I think there's no doubt that those are the strongholds of Mr. Odinga, and there's no doubt that they will keep away. You may have a few people going in, but I think what you will see much more is a security presence, which is also quite -- which intimidates people quite a lot as well. But I think it will also be contentious because, as you know -- because of that -- parts of that region are Seventh Day Adventists, so they don't do work on something -- they believe in Sabbath.

It's (INAUDIBLE) and they can't touch. So, it will be interesting to see what happens. But I don't -- it doesn't change the number of votes. It doesn't change the fact that this, this, this, this election (INAUDIBLE), has been a sham, has been a flop, and it has actually -- and has been illegitimate, and does not give Kenyatta any credibility or whatsoever.

[01:25:37] SESAY: OK. So, to the way you put it. Legitimacy compromise, you know, as many analysts have said, mandate greatly reduced, you know, if this results as expected, as confirmed, then Uhuru Kenyatta remains in power. What is your sense of his next move, though, because clearly, tensions are peaking, people are unhappy, what does he do next? Does he reach out to Raila Odinga?

KIAI: You know, quite a lot of us have been trying to seek, to ask him and push him to reach out to Raila Odinga from a long time ago. And he's been refusing consistently. Yesterday, he mentioned as he went to vote but once it's all over he may have reached out. It's almost as though he's reaching as a favor, and he's doing so reluctantly. This country needs sober minds at this point, it needs people to talk. These people should dialogue.

And what we are concerned about our civil society actually is that, that any dialogue that happened isn't just between the two of them and just making arrangements for the two of them. There's really deep- seated problems this country has got which were not resolved within the Constitution, have not been resolved since then. So, we've got some problems that need resolving. And it should not just be between two people discussing.

So, there's a whole to call (INAUDIBLE) people's convention that we can discuss the issues around exclusion, we can discuss issues around marginalization, we can discuss issues around the winner take all system that we have and we've had since independence. That electoral system is really big -- one of the big issues at stake in the country. And so, there's a lot of things to discuss, and I hope that, that there will be discussions.

I think the opposition has begun to dig in; I think they have been saying that we've been trying to talk. They've said they want to talk even before this re-run we've had. Kenyatta said, no, I'll talk to Raila after the elections. So, I think his game plan has been to make sure he's sworn in and then he can negotiate for an oppositional spin. That's not what he wants of this time in this country.

SESAY: Raila Odinga, as what he promised to challenge this vote. He's already made that very clear. Is there a legal path to him overturning the result?

KIAI: Oh, yes. In fact, there is. In fact, just before Thursday, on Wednesday, there was a case that was going to be heard that was seeking to stop the election. A master case where two -- where two only judges out of seven of the Supreme Court turned up to those (INAUDIBLE). And the grounds whether the election was actually illegal. This contention about part of the law that we use to have this election, and the impact of Mr. Odinga's withdrawal on October 10th. So, those are the questions that the court needs to decide. And there are many people who argue quite strongly that it was illegal from the beginning.

And then now, with what's going on -- (INAUDIBLE) people on the ground across the country are giving us figures of time out that of, really, around 20 percent, 18 percent, 19 percent, and can have stronghold of this seeing about 40, 50 percent, which I know in -- one of the things about Kenya is that Kenyans' vote. And in August, Mr. Kenyatta's strongholds were registering around 80 to 90 percent turnout, not it's about 40 or 55. So, it's -- there's a real voting with your feet that's happened this time.

SESAY: Maina Kiai, we appreciate you joining us and giving us the perspective from civil society and just your view of what could happen next here. We'll keep talking. Thank you so much.

KIAI: It's going to be a rough road ahead for us, though.

SESAY: We're hoping it's peaceful. That is the hope.

KIAI: That's what we want. Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you, Maina.

[01:29:11] VAUSE: Well, still to come here on NEWSROOM L.A., are sanctions on North Korea having any effect? We have a report from our reporter on the ground in Pyongyang -- that would be Will Ripley.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:00] 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 setting to Kenya, in country's highly controversial presidential election. Clashes between police and opposition protesters left at least one person dead and several others wounded on Thursday. But across most of the country voting is peaceful, final results are expected within seven days.

VAUSE: The crisis in Catalonia is taking a huge turn. The leader of the wealthy Spanish region is now backing away from a plan to cause snap election and will put the decision to his parliament. This comes to as Spain Senate is set to vote on Friday whether to suspend Catalonia's autonomy.9

SESAY: U.S. President Donald Trump has declared a public health emergency of America's opioid crisis but that designation alone doesn't free up any significant federal fund. It's up to Congress now to process funding bill to address the epidemic.

VAUSE: U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is staring down North Korea literally. He arrived at a demilitarized zone on Friday for a briefing with South Korean military officials. The visit comes as tensions continue to rise with the North and just days before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to the region.

Let's head now to CNN's Paula standing by live in Seoul. And Paula Hancocks, the message from the Defense Secretary, Washington is looking for a diplomatic solution to the standoff with North Koreans which does seem to put him at odds with the U.S. President who will be there next week.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right John. You could even go on further and say that matter is actually quoted his colleague the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as saying our goal is not war. We're looking for a diplomatic solution. So he was really saying myself and the Secretary of State believe that diplomacy is the way forward. So it's what we've seen many times before. Two voices agreeing Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense but then you get a very different view from the U.S. President Donald Trump. There was also an interesting moment along the DMZ as Secretary Mattis was looking across the heavily fortified border into North Korea. He asked the South Korean Defense Minister, how many artillery units are over there. And the -- Song Young-moo, the Defense Minister said, in my opinion, defensive operation against this many is unfeasible, saying that they had to look for other concepts.

Now, the two Ministers knew that they were being closely monitored, they knew there were microphones in everywhere. So really, hammering home the point that the North Korean artillery unit along the DMZ could be devastating to South Korea should there be some kind of military option that the U.S. was going to take. He then also spoke to the troops saying to the U.S. military, obviously, diplomacy is our first choice but we need the strong backup from the military to be able to give strength to our diplomats. Now, just a little later this afternoon you will also be meeting with other South Korean officials including the South Korean President Moon Jae-in. John?

VAUSE: That an interesting anecdote about the message may be coming from the two defense leaders. Obviously, as they say, if you find a trouble on its back on the fence post, it didn't get there by accident. Paula, good to see you thank you.

[01:35:01] SESAY: Is that what they say?

VAUSE: That's what they say.

SESAY: When did they that? Hanging over the nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the long string of sanctions against the North. And the question, are they having any impact? CNN's Will Ripley is in North Korea. He checked in on how those sanctions are affecting the country's textile industry and found one unifying factor, the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: From the moment we arrived at this Pyongyang textile mill, anti-American propaganda greets us at nearly every turn. Outside, missiles are blowing up the U.S. Capital. Inside, a personal attack on North Korea's public enemy number one.

This propaganda banner says that the workers are motivated by their burning hatred for the United States. And in fact, it reads, "Let's tear apart the mentally deranged U.S. President Donald Trump." The spin doesn't stop there. If the looms weren't so loud, you'd hear

the patriotic music blaring over loudspeakers, rousing around 8,000 workers at this sprawling model factory. U.N. sanctions added textiles to the long list of banned North Korean exports, cutting off $700 million in annual revenue for the regime, a huge blow to the economy but only a minor inconvenience, says the factory's chief engineer. He says sanctions will only make them try harder. The worker we're here to interview has been carefully chosen by our government guides. Mun Gang-sun is considered a labor heroine.

What do you think about Americans and the United States, in general?

"Only hatred, it makes me shudder," she says, "After hearing the absurd remarks from Trump, saying he'll destroy our country, it makes me think you are also part of them."

Mun grew up in dormitories like this, seven women share each room, sleeping, bathing, and eating together. They live collectively until they get married. This new facility, a model for the rest of the country. It's clear not all North Korean workers live like this.

We're taken to Mun's spacious three-bedroom apartment in Pyongyang. She lives here with her husband and two children. Here, we learn why she was chosen to speak with us. Mun is a ranking member of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea. She was even a delegate at leader Kim Jong-un's party Congress. Only the most loyal, dedicated North Koreans ever reach such a prestigious post. They're rewarded with the good life by Pyongyang standards. Mun met her husband at the factory. (INAUDIBLE) served 10 years in the Korean People's Army. They hope their 4-year-old son will grow into a loyal soldier. Their 14-month- old daughter, a model worker, just like mom. They tell me they want their children to live in peace but say they are not afraid of war. Echoing the propaganda at their factory, they say North Korea will fiercely defend its right to exist at any cost. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, coming up next here on NEWSROOM L.A., a professional code of conduct has kept psychiatrist on the sidelines as debate swirls over the mental health of the U.S. President, but now a growing number believe they have a duty to speak out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:40:36] SESAY: well, one of the first woman to publicly accuse movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment isn't done speaking out. In her first television interview since she went public, Actress Ashley Judd says it's been a tremensely moving public weeks. She told ABC's Diane Sawyer how she tricked Weinstein into letting her go when he confronted her years ago, but the experience still troubled her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: And finally, I just said, when I win an Oscar in one of your movies, OK? And he was like, yes, when you get nominated. I said, no, when I win an Oscar. And then I just fled. And then I just fled. Which I think, you know, am I -- am I proud of that? I'm of two minds. The part that shames myself says no, the part of me that understands the way shame works says, that was absolutely brilliant, good job kid, you got out of there, well done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein filed suit on Thursday against the company he co-founded, the studio which has already fired him. He's asking the Weinstein Company to turn over all of his company e-mails and his personnel file. Weinstein's lawsuit claims that with the information, he'd be able to help the company defend itself against harassment claims. The company has allowed Weinstein access to its code of conduct.

VAUSE: At first, it was mostly just plainly old name calling and insults suggesting Donald Trump was a lunatic, a delusional narcissist. This is all driven by a race to the bottom during last year's presidential election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The world has become a very dangerous place. There is a lunatic in North Korea with nuclear weapons, and some would say a lunatic trying to get a hold of nuclear weapon in America but that's different.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference between truth or lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he had a pattern that I think has straight out of a psychology textbook.

JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I'm not a psychologist or a psychiatrist but the guy needs therapy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And since then, political commentators, critics, and opponents have labeled the President fatty, a nut job, deranged, unhinged. But more recently, the conversation about the President's mental state has taken a more serious tone. Could Donald Trump be unfit for office? This is just speculation right now, and to be sure, is not without a good degree of political motivation. And while almost everyone seems to have an opinion there has barely been a word from the one profession whose opinion would actually matter. For the most part, psychiatrist and psychologists have stuck to the Goldwater rule, named after Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Nominee for President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARRY GOLDWATER, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I will remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: In September that year, Fact Magazine published this cover story. 1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater Is Psychologically Unfit To Be President. The misleading headline given, that more than 12,000 psychiatrists who are asked for their opinion, and 80 percent did not reply. Goldwater was diagnosed even so as megalomaniac, paranoid, psychotic, the list went on, and he went on to lose to Democrat Lyndon Johnson in a landslide. And so, after that came the Goldwater Rule which says, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

But now, more than half a century later, in the age of Trump, a growing number of mental health professionals are questioning if that rule is not only appropriate but whether or not there is a responsibility to speak out, like Leonard Glass who joins us now from Boston. Doctor Glass is a Psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Doctor Glass, thank you for being us. I should also --

LEONARD GLASS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: It's good to be here, John.

VAUSE: You resigned from the American Psychiatric Association in protest of the Goldwater Rule. So what were your reasons?

[01:44:52] GLASS: Well, the Goldwater Rule essentially imposes a gag rule on psychiatrists and says that they're not -- they may not make any comment, even the comment saying that the public official does not have a mental wellness unless they've conducted an examination and as you have described. But that's on a mistaken basis because the person who is being spoken about is not a patient. And so, the obligation of having a full examination is really inappropriate. This is a public figure whose mental health and mental functioning is a broad concern and specialists in all medical field can comment on public figures and their health problems whether it's Hillary Clinton's fainting spill or star quarterback's high-ankle sprain. And everybody knows that they are not patients but they want the expert opinion of a medical specialist. And there's only one medical specialty that gags its members. And that's the psychiatric profession in the United States.

VAUSE: OK. Well, here are some statements which the President has made about himself, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I went to the Wharton School of Finance, I did great.

Guarantee, I have a vocabulary better than all of them. Certainly, most of them. I know I have an I.Q. better than all of them. I guarantee my I.Q. is much higher than any of these people (INAUDIBLE).

My uncle was one of the great professors at MIT. I mean, believe me, it's good genes, we believe in genes, right? We're allowed to say that.

Trust me, I'm like a smart person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. So, given that you are no longer bound by the Goldwater Rule, in general terms, what does that behavior indicate to you?

GLASS: Well, it's certainly self-grandiosing and it's protesting too much. It's kind of stoking of oneself up. A kind of reassurance against one's own insecurity. And a kind of inflation that, you know, if you're very intelligent, that should be obvious to the people who are listening to you. You shouldn't have to constantly announce your virtues and compare yourself favorably to everybody in the world. There's a certain transparent absurdity about it, and I was sort of forced to laugh as I listen to that string of repetition, and insistence. You know, and Macbeth, Lady Macbeth says, methinks he doth protest too much. Well, there's a reason why that line is remembered over the centuries.

VAUSE: OK. So, there's obviously a lot of politics involved in what -- in all of this, but if we put, you know, the politics in one side, mental illness, what you believe and has proven to be not a disqualifying factor for higher office. Abraham Lincoln many believed suffered from depression, for example.

GLASS: Right. And Winston Churchill mostly likely from by bipolar disorder. They are exemplary leaders. And it's not an issue of mental illness, it's an issue of functional impairment. In my opinion, Donald Trump, based on watching videotapes of his reactions in real time to think he is not someone who is able to process information, he's not able to collaborate, he's not able to sift through, to find out the heart of the matter. It's all about him, it's always about self-aggrandizement, it's always about making himself huffed up and look better than whoever it is. When there's no other person to be compared, he brings someone in, whether it's Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or I don't know who. Always trying to privilege his grand appearance over other people who are qualified and competent in their own right, but it always boils down to Donald Trump and his self-esteem being threatened by things that don't accord with his preferred outlook.

VAUSE: Doctor, I could go on, we could talk for a very lengthy time about this, but unfortunately, we don't have that luxury right now. But it has been a very interesting conversation. Thank you for being with us, Sir.

GLASS: Thank you, John.

SESAY: A quick break here. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., a Halloween tradition for those who like to be spooked. We'll dish out the latest horror movies slaying at the box office.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:51:10] VAUSE: Well, 2017 has been truly horrifying with the threat of a nuclear holocaust, monster killer storms and raging wildfires from the U.S. to Europe, but that is nothing compared to Hollywood with its creepy clowns and scary dolls and sadistic murders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can be the one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jigsaw.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: That was "Jigsaw," the eighth installment of the "SAW" franchise. It opens in North America on Friday, just in time for Halloween. And last weekend, the low-budget film "Happy Death Day" killed its opening weekend, earning more than $26 million. It centers on a woman who gets murdered on her birthday only to keep repeating that day over and over and over again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER DAVIS: The way I see it, you have unlimited amount of lives, unlimited opportunities to solve your own murder.

TREE GELBMAN: So I'm supposed to keep dying until I figure out who my killer is?

DAVIS: You want to live to see tomorrow, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Well, let's dive more into horror movies with Access Hollywood's film critic Scott Mantz. And Scott, thank you so much for joining us.

SCOTT MANTZ, FILM CRITIC, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: Thanks for having me.

SESAY: It has been a (INAUDIBLE) you know, in the movie industry for all these movies, these horror movies, which is kind of surprising because we thought the genre had kind of died (INAUDIBLE) only to see 2017 do so well.

VAUSE: Sort of, you know, rising up from the grave.

SESAY: Sometimes they're kind of (INAUDIBLE) their way in. Let's put up a stat and give people some view of how well we're talking. This year alone, $733 million has been spent on horror movies in North America alone. Your thoughts as to why.

MANTZ: OK. First of all, let's call it for what it is. It's not that horror movies are back, horror movies never went away. What we have this year, it's kind of a fluke because back in February, you have the movie "Get Out." This was a movie that cost just $5 million to make. It scored 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, that's pretty good.

SESAY: Yes.

MANTZ: But this was a horror thriller that was smart, it had something to say. It was a movie about racial stereotyping. And mark my words, it is going to get nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. SESAY: I've read this before and you think that. You're going to put your name to that?

MANTZ: Oh, absolutely. I'll put my reputation or whatever that may --

SESAY: OK. Someone write that down in here.

VAUSE: We'll hold you to it, but that doesn't mean anything. You know, the only thing more terrifying there right now in these horror movies is the summer box office right now, because that's down, what, 16 percent.

MANTZ: Horrible.

VAUSE: But these -- which makes these numbers look -- sort of a little better than they are, right?

MANTZ: Well, absolutely. Well, "Get Out" made about $252 million worldwide, $5 million budget, that's pretty good.

VAUSE: Studios love that.

MANTZ: Studios love that. You know what the studios love? You know what Warner Brothers love in September? "IT," based on the Stephen King novel, made $123 million domestically in its first three days, doubling expectations. It's up to $620 million worldwide.

VAUSE: Wow.

MANTZ: And that was a fluke. I mean, it really was, no one expected it to do that well.

SESAY: And the other thing movie studios like, are franchises. So, with that, what are we seeing, what does that mean for the genre, what does that mean for "IT" in terms of sequel? I mean --

MANTZ: What it means for "IT" is you're going to see a sequel to "IT", for sure.

SESAY: Again and again and again.

MANTZ: Yes. We'll see. Maybe. You're definitely going to get a second film. But this is a movie that did so well because of the Stephen King connection. Because you had the miniseries, the "IT" miniseries back in the 80s. But also, this was a film that drew a lot of inspiration from the T.V. series "Stranger Things."

SESAY: (INAUDIBLE)

MANTZ: The movie basically played out like "Stranger Things" no motion picture.

[01:54:57] VAUSE: There is a connection though between, you know, when life is scary and kind of uncertain right now that we're all living through, you know, we kind of joked about nuclear holocaust but you know, that's (INAUDIBLE)

So, you know -- so, there is this thing that when you can watch someone being hacked to death in a movie or eaten by a zombie, then, hey, your world just doesn't seem so bad.

MANTZ: Well, let's put it this way, I think more than any other genre, nothing benefits more from the -- from the experience of a shared experience going to the movies more than horror films. You can watch these superhero movies at home on Blue-ray, you can watch the independent movies, the rom-coms, the romantic comedies at home just fine. But when you're watching a horror movie in a theater with a bunch of people, and you're all screaming and shrieking and laughing together, nothing beats seeing a horror movie in theaters.

SESAY: And I want to be -- to our viewers at home, where, you know, the genre has matured if you will, as you make the point.

MANTZ: Sure.

SESAY: You know, we're not really just talking about slasher movies anymore, a man in a mask slashing his way through, you know, a teen party or prom.

VAUSE: Let's just take a look at what "The Exorcist" this is --

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: Absolutely. Good idea.

VAUSE: This is the classics, right?

MANTZ: Yes, of course.

VAUSE: Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the father and the Holy Spirit. Damien!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Oh, that freaked me out so much as a kid.

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: Now, that was a scary movie.

MANTZ: Is a scary movie. And "The Exorcist" came out 1973 --

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE)

MANTZ: Did you see that clip?

SESAY: Yes.

VAUSE: Gosh, it still haunt me. It's kind of funny.

(LAUGHTER)

SESAY: But it's not a slasher movie. Back to the point, it's these films, the more psychological if you will that's happened to something deeper. They get --

MANTZ: You know what's a great example of the horror -- of horror films or horror franchise that is done well, without all that blood and gore is "Paranormal Activity."

SESAY: That's right.

VAUSE: Yes.

MANTZ: Because it's what you don't see that scares you the most. What's under the bed? What's in the closet? Also, another horror series that's done really well is the "Conjuring". "Conjuring 1 and 2" were all very scary movies. The spinoff film, "Annabelle" was also very good, and they're not slasher movies.

VAUSE: We're out of time. I just want to say, my 13-year-old daughter, she sat down watched "The Shining" the other day. Oh, that's not scary. Oh, that was boring. I loved that.

SESAY: Give it a couple of years, she'll be crying home. Sir, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

MANTZ: Thank you so much. Sure.

SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Katie is going to kill me. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. Be sure to join us on Twitter, tell us your favorite movie or favorite scary movie @cnnnewsroomla for highlights and clips.

VAUSE: Thanks. We will reply.

SESAY: We'll be back with more news right after this.

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: I will reply, I will.

VAUSE: No, you won't.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --