Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Breaks His Silence on Porn Star "Hush" Agreement; FMR. S. Korea President Gets 24-Year Prison Sentence; Deadly Spate Of London Gang Violence; Facebook Changes Its Rules For Political Issue Ads; McGregor Allegedly Threw Something At A Bus; U.K. Sugar Tax Will Lead To Some Higher Prices; U.S. Sanctions Russian Oligarchs And Companies; Sergei Skripal's Niece, Victoria, Denied U.K. Visa; Sanctioned Russian Bank President: I Did Nothing Wrong To America; Dow Falls 700 Points As Trump Proposes New Tariffs; U.N.: 130,000 Left Eastern Ghouta In Past Month; CNN On The Ground Inside Eastern Ghouta. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 6, 2018 - 15:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Meanwhile, in Salisbury, a big improvement in the health of Sergei Skripal, we'll have all surprising


And we're keeping a close eye on the Dow Jones. This is a live shot of the big board in the final hour trading. President Trump's grade report is

making markets jittery. We'll be live in New York.

Now relations between the U.S. and Russia are getting a whole lot worse today just as the poisoned former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal is getting

better. We are tracking developments in both of those stories.

First to Washington, the Trump administration is slapping new sanctions on individual Russians. It's hit more than a dozen senior government

officials and several very wealthy citizens with ties to President Vladimir Putin so-called oligarchs.

This is payback for, among other things, interfering with the 2016 U.S. election. Here in England, the hospital treating Sergei Skripal says he is

no longer critical and he is doing well responding to treatment and improving rapidly.

And all the while this is happening in the backdrop of another development, which is that the U.K. is denying a visa to Skripal's niece, Victoria, on

grounds that her application did not comply with immigration rules.

You'll remember Victoria is the one who provided the audio recording of the phone call she says she had with Yulia Skripal who's in those photos,

though, the authenticity of that call has not been determined.

A lot to unpack here, let's get to all this now. Elise Labott is live for us from Washington. Matthew Chance is standing by in Russia.

I want to start with you, Matthew, and you've actually had some contact with one of the oligarchs, who is being targeted by sanctions, Oleg

Deripaska, they tried to get him to answer to a few questions when he was in Vietnam a few months ago.

We are talking about seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a Russian weapons

trading company. Talk to us about the significance of the individuals targeted.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think first of all, they are all very close to Vladimir Putin, the Russian

president. So, the U.S. Treasury has been very careful to identify individuals, who were really part of that inner circle and Oleg Deripaska

is perhaps Putin's favorite business leader, Putin's favorite oligarch.

You're right. They are attempting to ask him about his relationship with Paul Manafort. He was the chairman for some months of Trump's election

campaign and it's understood that he -- Paul Manafort owes Deripaska millions of dollars and offered him private briefings on the state of the

Trump campaign in part perhaps to alleviate some of that debt.

But there are other names as well on the list including a figure called Keriel Shamalof (ph), who is believed to be the son-in-law of Vladimir

Putin. So, people again were very, very close to that Putin in a circle.

But I mean, I think it is fair to say, Hala, that of all the individuals that were named and there were seven oligarchs, (inaudible) of other people

as well. It is Oleg Deripaska that was targeted most precisely by the U.S. Treasury list.

Because not only is he personally sanctioned, but of the 12 companies that are owned by oligarchs that were also sanctioned on this Treasury list,

eight of them are controlled or owned by Oleg Deripaska. So, he was singled out for special attention in all of this.

GORANI: All right, let us bring up this graphic here that shows a selection of the individuals targeted and I wonder, Elise Labott, in

Washington, why the escalation now against Russia from the Trump administration? Where is it coming from?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, I mean, I think, you know, what was kind of grabbing everyone's attention was the

idea that these people might have involved in election meddling and you as Matthew mentioned Deripaska's tied to -- has ties to Paul Manafort, who is

under investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

And also, Mueller's investigators have been, you know, questioning oligarchs as they come in to the United States about whether Russian money

was funneled to the Trump campaign or Trump's inauguration. So, I think that there is this effort obviously by the administration to show that

President Trump is not laying down.

Even though on this issue, even though he does not speak publicly about it. But if you listen to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today in laying out

these sanctions, they are talking about the totality of Russian behavior.

So, we are not only talking about election meddling, but that they dimension cyber hacking. They mentioned actions in Crimea, Ukraine, and

support for the Assad government.

And I think what the administration is trying to do is go after the riches individuals in Russia with ties to President Putin that are profiting from

this, you know, aggressive behavior worldwide.

[15:05:05] And that is why they are talking about the totality of Russian behavior in an effort because, you know, Putin get so much support from

these oligarchs in an effort to make sure that he changes the behavior if it's making him weaker by going after his cronies.

GORANI: And Matthew Chance, I was telling our viewers just a few minutes ago that Victoria Skripal, who is the cousin of Yulia Skripal, whose voice

we heard on an audio recording of a phone conversation she says she had with Yulia.

She applied for a visa to visit her family. Her visa was denied. Is there any reaction in Russia to this?

CHANCE: Yes, I mean, the Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized that decision. They have asked for an explanation as to the reasons why

Victoria Skripal was not given a visa to visit the United Kingdom and they've said that on humanitarian grounds.

Victoria Skripal, the cousin all of Yulia should be allowed to access her cousin in Britain. I think that that touches on one of the concerns of the

British authorities is that Victoria Skripal has been used by the Russian authorities to say, look, this is a human catastrophe.

This is -- even the family members of the Skripals are not being permitted to see their loved ones in that hospital/prison that the Russians claim

that the Skripals are being kept in. And so, I think the British appeared to be reluctant to fuel that and to allow Victoria Skripal access to the

United Kingdom at the moment.

GORANI: Right. And we do not know if Yulia Skripal or her father, Sergei Skripal, who is said to be doing better, if they said they were -- you

know, they wanted to be -- that they were interested in visiting with their cousin at this stage. There so many questions still. Matthew Chance,

thanks very much live in Moscow and Elise Labott in Washington.

I want to bring in Michael Carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia. He's now a senior director at the Biden Center for

Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and he's in Washington. Thanks for being with us.

What do you make now then of this escalation against Russia with these increased sanctions targeting specific individuals, some of them very close

to Vladimir Putin?


going to have a huge hit on the Russian economy, the way some of the (inaudible) sanctions did that were applied during the Obama administration

against the defense, energy and financial sectors.

But have no doubt about it, this is a very strong move to target people who are very close as you said to Putin. I mean, these are his key enablers.

The oligarchs who do his bidding. The folks who protect and who do his dirty work for him.

Guys like Victor Zolatoft (ph), who is the head of what you might call Putin's praetorian guard, the National Guard, a large paramilitary force of

some 350,000 troops. These are guys that that are close to the president and so he's going to react. He's going to see this as a hostile act.

GORANI: OK, so -- but why the escalation now because some of the things that the U.S. says it is punishing Russia for have been ongoing for years,

the annexation of Crimea, the other Russian involvement in Syria, which the U.S. really appeared quite comfortable allowing Russia to fill a certain

vacuum there in the Syrian conflict, for instance. So, why at this moment in time in your opinion?

CARPENTER: Well, it's a great question, you know. It's unclear why exactly now. As you said, the rationale for this ranges from Russia's

invasion of Ukraine to its military intervention in Syria to some of the other moves that's taken. It does not appear to be primarily motivated by

Russia's interference in our election however.

So Senator TorSion (ph) is on the list and he is reported to have ties to the NRA and there are stories about whether there was perhaps money flowing

from Russia to the NRA that could have potentially been used in super PACs and influence the election campaign, but aside from Torsion and Deripaska,

who, of course, had a strong relationship to Paul Manafort.

It does not appear that that was the primary motivation for these set -- for this set of designations.

GORANI: I wonder what do you -- and before we get to what you think Vladimir Putin's reaction will be, we have a clip from an interview that my

colleague, Richard Quest, conducted with Andrey Koslin (ph), who is the head of the VTB Bank about these sanctions. Listen to what he had to say.


ANDREY KOSLIN, CHAIRMAN, VTB BANK: I do not view the sanctions as personal ones because I did nothing wrong to America, to American interest, that I

was always trying to promote good business relationship with American banks, with American investors. So, I'm punished the because the American

administration consider that the Russian government conducting the wrong policy is very unfortunate.


[15:10:03] GORANI: All right. So, there you have, you know, major business banking and corporate heads saying it's unfortunate, they are

misunderstanding Russia's intention.

CARPENTER: Well, that's a nice set of talking points. There are stories that VTB Bank along with other Russians banks have expropriated

entrepreneurs and business folks inside Russia. There's a case of a particular individual who had a mining and timber company in Northwest

Russia, who has expropriated and then these banks went after him, and the Russian intelligence services did as well.

So, the point here is that all of the individuals and entities designated were close in some way to the Putin regime whether they were oligarchs,

whether they were security officials, ex-KGB friends of Putin's.

And by the way, there were also a few kids of Putin's friends who were also designated like Igor Rotenberg, who is a friend, a very close -- who is the

son of a very close friend of Putin's.

So, that seems to be the common denominator is that there is a close link to Putin in almost all these cases.

GORANI: And it's interesting because this is an escalation, an obvious major escalation, by the way, the Russian Embassy in Washington has called

this an erroneous step. Now that erroneous step is how they characterize it, erroneous step. All right. So that is what they've issued. How do

you think Putin will react to all of this?

CARPENTER: Well, I think there's no doubt we'll see this is a personal affront and so, I do not expect him to react symmetrically at all because,

of course, Russia does not have the option of freezing assets for American officials.

Very few do business or travel to Russia, but I expect there will be a response of some sort and we'll have to see. It will probably come in an

entirely different domain at a time of His choosing, but that does not mean that this was not the right step.

I mean, the U.S. clearly needs to send a signal to the kremlin that there are consequences for his actions even if they come late. There was the --

GORANI: But I guess, Michael Carpenter, what's surprising -- sorry to jump in, is that since he took office, President Trump has been seen as really

unwilling to be critical of Vladimir Putin personally, and unwilling also to acknowledge, even though intelligence agencies in the U.S. have

determined that this is the case that Russia meddled in the U.S. election in 2016. So, it is against that backdrop that this decision is surprising.

CARPENTER: Indeed, and there has been mixed messaging from The White House, it's sort of a good cop, bad cop routine, where Trump has just been

absolutely reluctant to criticize Putin about anything but where administration officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley

and others, who have been very, very sharp in their criticism of the Russian regime.

I think that sort of dual track approach is now dead. I do not think there is any way that Trump can get away from the fact that he has personally

approved sanctions that go after folks very close to Vladimir Putin.

And I think will see it that way and this sort of dual track approach is just simply not to going to work.

GORANI: All right. We will see what reaction we get from the Kremlin and will see what else comes out of both the U.S. and of course, the U.K.,

where I am, where the U.K. authorities here have pointed the finger at Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Thanks very

much, Michael Carpenter. Really appreciate your time this evening on CNN.

A lot more reaction to decisions made in the Trump White House, a trade war or not. Investors are seriously concerned about the dispute between the

U.S. and China. We're in the last hour of trading. We're down almost 700 points as you can see there almost 3 percent lower.

It is the tit-for-tat between the world's two biggest economies that could escalate further that is worrying everybody after U.S. President Trump said

he is planning another round of tariffs on Chinese imports, this time worth a hundred billion U.S. dollars.

Richard Quests is with us from New York. So, obviously these tariffs have not gone into effect, but the possibility that they might is worrying

investors in a major way. We've seen it all week.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST": And it's not just the possibility. Once you bring in the question of tariffs in the future that is always the

possibility is the messages coming from the administration. You have the president's last night releasing this idea that there could be a hundred

billion more.

Bu he's national economic advisor, (inaudible) know about it. You had come to this morning talking about how it is just -- there are negotiations that

timescale, (inaudible), and then you have Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary this afternoon coming out and saying no, it is not a negotiating

ploy that these all the tariffs that will go into effect.

If there is negotiation, which seems to be saying both the same things out the same time. Look, we know what they are saying here. We know what

they're saying, the problem is the market is confused. And this uncertainty in this market at this time with so much at risk, it is a sell


[15:15:04] GORANI: All right, the order by what would it take for this market to regain confidence because it's the mixed messages I think that

have people confused as well here.

QUEST: We must start from an understanding this market wants to rally. Corporate profits are good. The economy is very strong. The job numbers

were OK. Today's numbers were a bit off, but there was rogue set.

By and large, everything is smooth sailing for the U.S. economy. It is this trade issue that is now got the market well and truly spooked because

there is no rationality to it. I understand what President Trump is trying to do, don't get me wrong. I know exactly what he's going --

GORANI: What is he trying to do?

QUEST: Well, he's trying to level the playing field, but it is a --

GORANI: But the strategy is confusing because of the mixed messages, because one day it's a threat, another day, it's a poker tariffs. Then the

next day they are definitely going into effect. I mean, I guess investors need to know, at least, at the very least, which way the United States is

going strategy wise.

QUEST: The U.S. is negotiating to the public through the media. The nearest -- I mean, just this morning, just look at the number of times

(inaudible). The problem is (inaudible) is the filer.

He's being sent out to put out the fires, but the present seems to be the arsonist. He's starting more first than Kudlow can put out and there is a

question of whether the two even agree on these issues.

I mean, it is -- trade, you know as well as I do, from years of covering this issue, there is no -- with the exception of foreign-exchange, there is

no issue more sensitive than that of trade because it's the backbone of the global economy.

And what the U.S. is doing is becoming a bull in a China shop and literally and figuratively and you can arguably say that is what -- we're down

600,700, and who knows what today will end, who knows what traders want to go into the weekend, long or short. My guess is that we hold about this

maybe just a little bit on the down side.

GORANI: All right, we'll see how we end the hour and then we'll see you at the top of the hour as well with more analysis on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

Let's get political reaction now, Jeremy Diamond is at the White House with more. And politicians within the president's own party, Senator Ben Sasse,

for instance, had this to say about the decision to threaten China with more trade tariffs. Listen.

Sorry, I'm actually going to read it because I have his statement, "Hopefully, the president is just blowing off steam again, but if he's even

half serious, this is nuts. This is the dumbest way possible to do this." Obviously, not everyone in the Republican Party, or in fact in Washington

thinks this is a good idea.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. that is absolutely right. You know, the president has faced serious headwinds in Washington for the

way that he is going about his trade policy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned just a couple days ago that this is a slippery slope for

the United States to embark on.

And that he could leave United States to a trade war, a trade war that the president, of course, and his administration insists is not happening, is

not afoot, but clearly there are these concerns.

And we have seen Larry Kudlow, the president's chief economic advisor, come out repeatedly signal that this is really a negotiating tactic. He is

warning that these tariffs will go into effect if China does not change his behavior.

But he is also making clear that as of now there are no tariffs in place and that it will take two to three months for those tariffs to actually

kick in. So, they are looking for changes from China and putting a little bit of meat on the bone, as far as that negotiating tactic.

Larry Kudlow told me and a few other reporters at the White House today that the United States may provide a list of suggestions to China for way

they can change its behavior to avoid these tariffs taking effect.

It's unclear if the administration will actually go forward with that, but Larry Kudlow did make clear that that is an idea under discussion right


GORANI: Well, we know that the president has in the past boasted about the performance of the stock market as an indicator for how well he is managing

the economy, as well as for how many jobs the U.S. economy is creating.

On both of those fronts this week, we had bad news. The Dow Jones is losing ground and job creation numbers were very disappointing. I wonder

if it continues to go in that direction, could we see some pull back on these tariff threats?

DIAMOND: Yes, it's certainly possible. You know, the midterms are on everybody's minds right now here in Washington coming up in November, which

will be here probably in the blink of an eye if we continue going at this pace. So, the economy, and it remaining strong is obviously going to be

important to Republicans prospects in November.

The White House, though today, continuing to underline the fact that the foundation of the economy remains strong. They believe that it will

continue to remain strong, but at the same time, the president did warn this morning in a radio interview that there could be some short-term pain

associated with these tariff actions.

But clearly, the president feel that this is the right time to go after China and try and get it to change its behavior particularly as it relates

to this issue of intellectual property and access for U.S. companies to the Chinese market.

[15:20:12] GORANI: Well, it was a campaign promise, but if it starts hurting ordinary Americans, we'll see how things change. Thanks very much,

Jeremy Diamond at the White House.

Still to come, thick black smoke from burning tires hangs over Gaza on this (inaudible) Friday at mass protests. More deaths on the Gaza-Israel border

today. We'll bring you that.

And as hundreds of thousands evacuate, CNN goes in. We are on the ground in Syria with the report from the besiege Eastern Ghouta district. We'll

be right back.


GORANI: The death toll is rising in Gaza as Israel's military uses force once again to contain mass protests near the border fence. Israeli troops

are firing live bullets across the border into the crowd as well as using what they call riot dispersal means saying some Palestinian demonstrators

attempted to violently breach the fence or damage it under cover of smoke from burning tires.

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least five people were killed including a teenager. Eight hundred others were wounded. Palestinians say they are

protesting to demand a right of return to their ancestral homes.

Staying in the Middle East, it has been described as hell on earth. The besieged Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta has been hit again and again in

the last few months under bombardment from its own government.

One thousand five hundred people killed. On Friday alone, 32 people were killed when the Syrian government launched an air and ground offensive on

the last rebel enclave in the area, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

And the United Nations says in the last month alone around 130,000 people have left Eastern Ghouta. Today, CNN went in to see for ourselves. Our

Fred Pleitgen was there on the ground. He's back in Damascus now where he joins me alive. What did you see today in Ghouta, Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. It's been an exceptionally violent day here in the Syrian capital and its

surroundings. We actually witnessed some of those airstrikes that happen there on that last enclave that the rebels still hold in Ghouta.

I think we saw about three or four big plumes of smoke over that area. We also when we got back here witnessed the big strike that appeared to be a

rebel rocket landing near our position. The government, of courses, says four people were killed on the government side by rebel shelling.

But yes, we went inside the Ghouta area, in a place that was besieged for several years and then saw that horrible violence over the past couple of

months, what we saw was a devastated wasteland. Here's what it looked like.


PLEITGEN: A drive into the wasteland that used to be the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. Years of siege and fighting had laid waste to what was

once a thriving business district.

[15:25:08] Amid the ruins, some are trying to return praying like Sahel Alkalish (ph) that businesses like his tomato sauce factory will come back

to life. God willing, he says, we will try and rebuild this factory in a fairly short time and then start producing again.

Eastern Ghouta, an area with nearly 400,000 inhabitants was under Islamist rebel control for around six years. After a fierce offensive, Syrian

government forces managed to take back most of the territory, displacing tens of thousands of civilians.

(on camera): Much of the Eastern Ghouta looks exactly like this, buildings either completely flattened or at least badly damaged, but even in this

situation, people are trying to come back and bring back some semblance of life.

(Voice-over): In almost impossible task as fighting continues in areas nearby. Yasser Alhaj (ph) says he is lucky his apartment is still somewhat

intact. Life was difficult beyond description, he says, but we had to adapt to it. For instance, we had inedible barley, we had to eat anyway.

The vast majority of Eastern Ghouta's residents remain displaced in shelters around Syria, while those who have been able to come back faced a

long and tough road trying to rebuild their district and their lives.


PLEITGEN: And of course, many of them, Hala, have no idea how they are going to rebuild other areas and also, of course, where they are going to

get the money to do that from. So, a huge task that lies in front of this nation in really very limited resources try and achieve that.

Of course, also, Hala, we are going to be keeping an eye on the situation there in that last rebel enclave that is still held in Eastern Ghouta as

right now as I'm speaking to you, we are still hearing planes circling overhead -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Fred Pleitgen live in Damascus, thanks so much.

Still to come tonight, the attorney for porn star, Stormy Daniels, has her case against Donald Trump just got better. Find out why after this.


GORANI: There is half an hour of trading left at the New York Stock Exchange. It has been a bad day for the Dow, let's another look, and we

are down 666 points, two and three quarters percent lower.

And this is, of course, as a result of jittery investors worried about a trade war with China and other as well economic headlines that have of kind

of knocks their confidence somewhat just in the last few days.


Donald Trump may have complicated his legal battle with a porn star with just one simple word, "No." That was the U.S. president's response when he

was asked if he knew about so called "hush money" paid to Stormy Daniels. Daniels is suing for the right to talk about their alleged affair. Listen

to Mr. Trump's exchange with reporters on Air Force One.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did Michael Cohen make it, if there was no truth to the allegations?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?



GORANI: Well, it didn't take long for Daniels' attorney to gleefully respond on Twitter saying Mr. Trump had just exponentially helped his

client's case, adding #nodiscipline.

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson.

What difference does it make that the president himself said he wasn't aware of any hush money paid to Stormy Daniels?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to see you, Hala. Well, here's the significance. I think it has legal significance and it has practical

significance. Let's talk about the legal. If you're talking about a contract, Hala, a contract is really a meeting of the minds between two

people. It's an offer that I make to you if you accept it we have that meeting, right? So if the president is saying he had no such knowledge,

then who is the contract between if he were not a party to the contract, there would be no such meeting of the minds. It would defeat the whole

notion of offer acceptance and therefore, it would go by the wayside.

Now, there is an argument to that. It doesn't end the inquiry, because I think at the end of the day, the argument that will be made by the Trump

people is that trump was a third party beneficiary. So, what does that mean in English, Hala? What it means is, I purchased a car for my son,

right? The contract is between myself and the dealership. My car -- my son knows nothing about it, right? In the event that the car gets

delivered or say it doesn't get delivered. Guess what, he has a right to sue, because it benefits him. So they'll argue he's a third party

beneficiary. But what Michael Avenatti is arguing to the issue of, no, I knew nothing about it is, if you don't know anything about it, then there

could be a contract.

GORANI: Then you're not a party.

JACKSON: Exactly.

GORANI: This is what Michael Avenatti said, by the way, about this following the president's statement that he was not, at all, aware of any

nondisclosure agreement or hush money being paid to Stormy Daniels. This is how he responded to that.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY OF STORMY DANIELS: It's like Christmas in Hanukkah all rolled into one. You can't have an agreement, if one party

claims they knew nothing about one of the principle terms of the agreement. So the president has just shot himself in the foot, thrown his attorney,

basically, on Michael Cohen, under the bus in the process.


GORANI: I mean, it makes sense to me. I'm not a lawyer, but it does make sense to me. Is he right?

JACKSON: Well, yes and no. I mean, I get his point, I think from a practical perspective which is the second prong of it, no one on earth

believes, right? That Trump just had no knowledge of it and it happened 11 days before the election when he was under siege by various claims and what

he was doing with women and one of these had been the straw that broke the camel's back, so people like, really? Did he not know about it? But I do

think the retort to Mr. Avenatti's statement about you can't be a party to agreement if you don't know about it is the one I just told you. If I

purchase that car, right? My son is the third party beneficiary. The contract benefits him, though he's not a party. And people enter into

third party beneficiary contracts all the time, particularly if Michael Cohen, the president's lawyer if --

GORANI: So this is really just about interpretation, Joey, right? I mean, it's just about how a judge might see it at this stage. Because you could

argue both cases here.

JACKSON: You really could. And, you know, it's interesting because the law have this so much gray area. To your point, whether it's a judge who

has to make a determination or a jury, right? Reasonable minds can agree or disagree as to whether there was a contract or not a contract, could

have been a contract. So if it gets before people of the jury in the event that it goes to trial, that's a question they'll have to answer. And

briefly, Hala, in order for that to happen is this process called discovery and that's where you find out information about the case. When was the

contract made? How was it made? Where did the money come from? Who knew? What they knew.

GORANI: Basically, Joey, the Trump side is going to try to avoid any court case here or sue or anything like that, because then they have to share --

they have to share what the other party, information, details, and the other party can also come out with whatever they want, text messages, if

they exist, photos, if they exist. They want to avoid this at all cost, right? I mean, the Michael Avenatti, the Stormy Daniels side say they will

refile a motion to depose President Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen on Monday. Thus, what the president said on Air Force One changed, it was

rejected in the past. But could they now be successful?

[15:35:23] JACKSON: Well, I think -- just to be clear, the judge initially denied the motion. But it was a procedure ruling. The judge said, we're

not ready for that yet because Avenatti's original motion said, your honor, I anticipate that the other side will file a motion. You don't decide

issues in court based on what is anticipated. You file them based on what's before you. But now that this is out there, I think that he's right

to have this discovery. And if there is discovery, there are those text messages you were talking about that will be demanded and there also be

that disposition which means you sit down, you have to answer question and that's bad news for the president, because if he does not tell the truth.

There was another president of this United States 20 years ago who was impeached for doing that, serve that his term was acquitted by the senate,

but he was impeached for lying and a deposition, his name was Bill Clinton and we've learned lessons from our history that it's not good to lie under

oath. You break the law, it's called perjury and you could be prosecuted accordingly.

GORANI: Avoided that position, avoided disposition, I guess that I should say. Joey Jackson, thanks so much. As always, a pleasure having you on

the program.

JACKSON: Thank you so much.

GORANI: I want to turn now to disturbing of violence here in London. We've been covering it over the last several days. On Thursday, there were

six stabbings in the space of an hour and a half in this city. No one has died in these attacks, but they come as the number of killings in the

British capitol have surged past 50 since the start of the year. What is behind this? Erin McLaughlin have the details.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what gang warfare looks like in London. Kids hide their face with balaclavas and show off their

weapons, set the music composed to provoke rival gangers. Nana Agyeman runs Access UK. He specializes in gang intervention.

MCLAUGHLIN: You're shaking your head.



AGYEMAN: Because this is what (INAUDIBLE) played out all the time on social media. When I see the video and if you could come down here

(INAUDIBLE) kind of taunting (INAUDIBLE) and they've got platform now which is a phone record and just said, oh, they saw. It's very easy to do these


MCLAUGHLIN: Is this a recruitment tool as well?

AGYEMAN: Possibly, because apparently there's people that actually are competing on who's got the most dangerous ends or area, who's got the most

goons as it were in the particular area. So that fuels the whole -- it's almost like a sport.

MCLAUGHLIN: It's a deadly game. This year alone, over 55 murder investigation launched in London. Many of them gang-related. Mostly knife

attacks, but there's gun violence as well. Compared to 10 years ago, Agyeman says the terrain has changed. The gangs are getting younger.

Recruits is young as 14 years old. Agyeman says that's because they're less likely to be scrutinized by police. And not all of their victims are

gangsters. 17-year-old Tanisha Melbourne was killed Monday.

A local say that Tanisha was hanging out with her friends on this street, 9:30 p.m. when she was shot and killed. Local say she was an innocent

bystander and what is escalating gang warfare in this neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She wasn't the type of person that to being problems that she wasn't that (INAUDIBLE) she was fun with everyone. I didn't know

why girls are being involved in this (INAUDIBLE) they're shooting a spot. Some people would just -- I don't know. I have no idea. I don't know

what's going on.

MCLAUGHLIN: Not far away in Walton two hours after a knife attack, an argument breaks out. A sign of simmering tension.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me just pass.

MCLAUGHLIN: People here say they're frustrated and afraid.

AGYEMAN: This is a hardcore contingent that are used to acclimate these crimes, not just they're all going well.

MCLAUGHLIN: How worried are you about this?

AGYEMAN: I am worried. I am worried, because I know that this is a long term. It's not a short fix and people (INAUDIBLE) a magic wand that's

going to miraculously change this overnight. So for me, I think it will get worse before it gets better.

MCLAUGHLIN: Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


GORANI: Former South Korean president, Park Geun-hye is expected to file an appeal after she was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 24 years

in prison. Paula Hancocks is in Seoul with more.


[15:40:08] PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tears (INAUDIBLE) president. Supporters of Park Geun-hye rail against the

judge's decision to sentence her to 24 years in prison. A South Korean court Friday found Park guilty of multiple times of abusive power, bribery,

coercion. Park refused to attend the sentencing. She's pleaded innocence throughout.

The team protested the judge's decision to televise the sentencing live due to national interest. The first broadcast of its kind.

Summing up, the judge said the president abused the power which was given to her by the people. The verdict follows a year-long trial after Park was

removed from office last March. Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans are taking to the streets in candlelight vigils calling for her ouster before

that and calling for an end to corruption in that country. For many, this sentence will be a sign of justice being done. But not for her supporters

who believes she's innocent.

It's a ridiculous ruling, this woman said. We knew they would do this, so it doesn't matter if its 30 years or life sentence, it is ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no justice in Korea. Since her impeachment, there is no justice in Korea. Nothing is fair in Korea.

HANCOCKS: The confidant, Choi Soon-sil is serving 20 years in prison guilty of abuse of power, coercion, and bribery. The massive influence

peddling case shook the nation, bringing down a number of businessmen connected to Park.

HANCOCKS: This has been a very polarizing case for South Korea, but it's not the end. Park Geun-hye does have the chance to appeal in the high

court and in the Supreme Court, but for her supporters here, they say that they will never accept this verdict.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


GORANI: Well, Park isn't the only former president caught up in the court. South Africa's Jacob Zuma made his first appearance. Zuma was forced to

resign, the South African president, earlier this year. He is accused of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with a 1990's

arms deal. He said he hasn't done anything wrong.

And it's not over. There's the third one. IN Brazil, the deadline for former president Lula da Silva to report to police is less than 20 minutes

away. He's been ordered to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence, but there's no word on whether he's turned himself in yet. His lawyers filed a

last minute appeal in an effort to keep him out of jail.

Check out our Facebook page for more at And check us out on Twitter, @HalaGorani.

Still to come tonight, a UFC superstar charged with assault. We'll discuss the latest and possibly biggest controversy are on this man, Conor

McGregor. We'll be right back.


[15:45:56] GORANI: Reacting to month of stinging criticism, Facebook says it will require its political advertisers to be more transparent. Starting

later this spring, it says, political ads and issue ads will include labels identifying the advertiser and they will be linked to a searchable database

with information about how much was paid and who was being targeted.

Now, this announcement comes as Facebook's chief operating officer continues to make what some are calling an apology tour.


SHERYL SANDBERG, COO, FACEBOOK: We were very focused for the last 10 years on building social experiences and those were important, that is why your

friends know it's your birthday while you can share playlist, but we were not focused enough on the possible misuses of data. We know that we did

not do a good enough job protecting people's data. And I'm really sorry for that and Mark's really sorry for that. What we weren't focused enough

on was protecting. I think we were very idealistic and not rigorous enough and then there's the possible misuse.


GORANI: Sheryl Sandberg there. Now, Facebook says information from as many as 87 million users was shared with Cambridge Analytica, that

controversial data mining organization that advises political campaign and not 50 million, as we've been previously told.

Now, even for someone known for regularly causing controversy, this is something else. Conor McGregor, and these are live court images coming to

us from New York. Conor McGregor, the star of Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC has been charged with assault. You can see him of

handcuffs, initially you could, right here, you can't. He is appearing in court right now as we speak. And this follows some pretty shocking video

of him hurling a trolley at a tour bus. Jason Carroll is in New York with the details. So, what happened exactly that led him to this spot? Because

this is a very rich and very famous athlete and he's, you know, in a world of trouble here.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Most definitely and he's definitely in a lot of trouble here and he's definitely living it up to his name as well.

And all throughout the day, Hala, there's been a number of questions in the sports community about whether or not this was some sort of publicity stunt

that was set up in some ways to dram up publicity. But regardless, Conor McGregor has now found himself in a world of trouble. He's now facing a

number of charges, much of what happened, caught on cellphone video. All of this happening last night. You're looking at some of the video there

and police say McGregor threw trash cans and a dolly at a bus. And they say it ended up hurting at least two fighters who were on that bus, UFC

fighter Michael Chiesa was hurt with head and facial lacerations. And also ray Borg, UFC fighter Ray Borg was injured with corneal abrasions, both had

to be pulled from fights tomorrow.

The question being why? Why did McGregor seem to take part in all of this? Well, there seems to be bad blood between McGregor's camp and a Russian

fighter scheduled to fight for McGregor's lightweight title. That Russian fighter, by the way, says he is now laughing inside about the incident.

Clearly, the UFC president not laughing about what happened. He spoke to McGregor about what happened and he said that there's no excuse for

McGregor's behavior. McGregor, as you see there, still in court. The judge is addressing him. He's facing charges of three counts of assault

and one count of criminal mischief. The district attorney says McGregor is not expected to enter a plea there in Brooklyn criminal court, but we are

awaiting still to see what happens. But publicity stunt or not, McGregor now has found himself in a world of trouble. Hala.

GORANI: Right. I was going to say, he's known for this type of stunt, this type of behavior. But this is a criminal matter, right? What does he risk


CARROLL: Well, look, at the very least, one would say that he risk as having to post high bail at this point and possibly having to do -- look,

there's a question in terms of whether or not he'll do jail time for something like this, you know, most law experts would say, what you'd be

looking at, most likely, someone in his position would be community service. But when you look at sort of like the outside of this, when

you're looking at endorsements and other key items that the sports guys like this look at in terms of getting lucrative contrast going forward,

this is something that could be very damaging for him.

GORANI: Although it's his image, so you never know anymore, in case. Thanks very much, Jason Carroll and we'll keep following that court case to

see what happens to Conor McGregor.

More to come, including new rules could be better medicine for those of us in the U.K. as the new sugar tax rolls out across the country. It's been

tried before. If you tax sugary drinks, do people drink less of them? We'll be right back.


[15:50:26] GORANI: We're clear on the last -- here's a reminder of women in many parts of the world still extraordinary challenges. The Japanese

sumo association has apologized after female medics were told to leave a sumo ring when performing first aid. A local mayor was giving a speech in

the ring when he collapsed and several women rushed to help him, obviously, they're medical professionals. But then they were told off by the referee.

In the sumo tradition, women are barred from the ring, because they are considered "unclean." The story has cost major backlash in Japan and

beyond. The mayor though is expected to survive luckily.

For those of us in the U.K., you may have noticed some sugary drinks taste just a little bit different, more than half of the manufacturers have

changed their recipes to avoid a new sugar tax that rolls across the U.K. today. But the manufacturers who haven't, from today, it may come at a

cost to the consumer, all in the name of battling childhood obesity.

Joining me here in the studio is the chair of the National Obesity Forum, Tam Fry. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: Well, this make a difference because in some city, Mexico City is a good example, it worked beautifully and it actually reduced obesity rates

and others in the U.S., it didn't work so well.

FRY: Here, been deemed to success already.


FRY: Manufacturers have had two years to bring their sugar levels down. That is exactly what we wanted. So the majority of soft drinks now in this

country will be either sugar-free or very little sugar with the drinks sweetened by artificial or natural sweeteners.

GORANI: But artificial sweeteners -- I mean, I've read some experts say artificial sweeteners actually just perpetuate this taste for sugar and

keep this sugar addiction alive, if you will.

FRY: There's been a lot of arguments for the last 25 years on artificial sweeteners. My view is that in the quantity which they put in, there is no

problem at all. If there were problem, I don't think they would have done that.

GORANI: All right. Let's talk about what the dream scenario is here. What is this sugar tax going to achieve in a country like the United


FRY: Well, the dream scenario is that we should start to get rid of the Visa D (ph). This levy won't get rid of it by itself, but my view is that

it'll be before the barrel of other levies, other taxes on sweetened products, sweetened drinks and sweetened food. And maybe after about 10,

15 years, we will see a distinct lowering of Visa D. Because sugar is really un-nutritious. It's got a lot calories and then get it out of the

way. Water is the best drink.

GORANI: Absolutely. Here, I have a bottle of water. A bit of a cold. So here you go. But I did have a diet soda and I've been told time and time

again not to do that, but anyway, a little bit earlier in the day.

FRY: As a treat.

GORANI: As a treat, absolutely. As a treat.

Let me ask you a little bit about though other -- some drinks that are not covered by this. For instance, anything with milk in it, chocolate milk,

that kind of thing. That's an incredibly sweet drink and children love it. Should it be covered, do you think?

FRY: it's going to go.


FRY: We don't know how the same -- now, they've established that there is a legitimate way in which they can get the manufacturers to bring down

their sugar levels, certainly milkshakes and things like that will go and only, just recently, we've had chocolate with 30 percent less sugar in it.

So there's a great drive now to produce good, healthy food, chocolate is also healthy, but without the malcontent in it.

[15:55:03] GORANI: OK. Now, how much of a problem is obesity in a country like Britain? Because the perception is, it's an American problem and you

have some Middle East countries where obesity rates are very, very high. But here in Britain, how much of an issue is it?

FRY: Essentially, we have about 26 percent women, 27 percent men overweight. But the child obesity is a real problem, because we have now

about 25 percent of our children of age 4 either overweight or obese and then rises to 33.

GORANI: So a quarter. A quarter is age 4. Why is that? Why is it so high?

FRY: There are many, many reasons. But my particular bet is baby food. Baby food is stuffed with sugar and that is precisely the wrong the time to

teach children how to appreciate good food. And before they're given this junk food, they'll go on eating junk food and that is where the major

attack has to be.

GORANI: I didn't know that. So, what do you tell parents to say, well this is what's on offer, maybe food-wise. I don't really have a choice.

Is there a choice to get healthier baby food?

FRY: Well, yes, there is, and that is you have the same kind of direct approach from government on baby food manufacturers. You say you'll

produce a food with a minimum of sugar in it. And that is not being valid at the moment. There are huge number of things which we have to do

simultaneously to get rid of this problem.

GORANI: Another thing that I've been trying to pay attention to is in any kind of processed food. If you read the ingredients list, there's often a

lot of sugar there that's hidden that you need to be aware of that it's in there.

FRY: Yes, you have about 80 percent of all the food that you will find in the supermarket, has sugar in it to a varying degree. The real problem

about the label is that you don't know whether it's added sugar or natural sugar. So what we have got to do in this country, what the FDN America has

already approved, is to have two lines. So that you go in and you look at the variable and you see exactly how much and what kind of sugar there is

because, of course, fructose is metabolized differently from almost sugar.

GORANI: Thank you so much. We'll leave it there. Tam Fry, have a great weekend. I'm Hala Gorani, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is next.