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Aired April 17, 2018 - 01:00 ET
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[01:00:26] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
Ahead this hour, beware the Russian cyber hackers. The U.S. and U.K. issue a joint alert warning the Kremlin is trying to control the flow of Internet traffic.
Plus, no-go zone. Eleven days after a suspected chemical weapons attack inside Syria, international inspectors are still blocked from the scene.
And outrage in India over the rape and murder of young girls. The protest could have legal and political consequences.
Hello and thanks for being with us. I'm John Vause. You're into the second hour now of NEWSROOM L.A.
Well, for the first time, the United States and United Kingdom have issued a joint alert on Russian hacking, warning they are trying to gain access to routers which control the flow of Internet traffic.
And this is why that's important -- if you control the traffic, you control everything in it, including private information like passwords. Every person, place, or thing connected to the Internet has information that passes through a router.
The joint warning puts it like this -- the current state of the U.S. and U.K. network devices, coupled with the Russian government campaign to exploit these devices, threatens our respective safety, security, and economic well-being.
For more of this, we're joined now by Jacob Ward. He's a fellow at Stanford University and former editor-in-chief of "Popular Mechanics."
Jacob, always good to have you with us. You know, when this warning came out, there were actually no examples given of the systems which have been hacked. Officials could not say how many routers and how many firewalls have been compromised and to what extent.
There's a whole lot in here which seemed really kind of squishy. I don't know about you, but I got the feeling that it was all kind of just a bit vague.
JACOB WARD, CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDY IN THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Sure, yes, John, extremely vague -- it is a very specific technical alert, that's what they call it -- when it comes to the implementation that, I think, companies and cybersecurity experts were supposed to basically follow through with from this document.
It's a very technical document, but you're right, the scope of it is very vague. And that is, I think, in part, a sort of geopolitical problem.
This is a -- you know, the technical alert blames Russia and state- sponsored actors in Russia for this. And so I don't think they want to give them either the satisfaction or the strategic advantage of understanding how many places have been infected, how successful this has been in this technical alert. Instead, they're just trying to get people the warning that they need to try and shore up defenses.
VAUSE: OK. Well, this report was also coming from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. It warns that the attacks enable espionage and intellectual property theft --
VAUSE: -- that supports the Russian Federation's national security and economic goals. Isn't that exactly what the U.S. and U.K. have been doing to other countries all around the world?
WARD: Well, that is exactly right. I'm so glad you brought that up. I was going to mention this as well if you hadn't.
The -- you know, if you were the first person to -- if you were to read about this today for the first time, you could be very -- you know, I wouldn't blame you for thinking, oh, this is a thing that the Russians have invented, and, you know, they're doing it to the United States for the first time.
Absolutely not. You're absolutely correct. Since at least 2011, we have been doing exactly this to Russia, China, and other, you know, antagonists on the world stage.
In 2013, the Edward Snowden leaks revealed the existence of a $652 million black budget operation called GENIE. That was an NSA program to basically do exactly this.
At that point, the cybersecurity espionage people had decided, well, never mind laptops and PCs. We don't need the individual information of individuals. We need, instead, the network routers.
And so that program, GENIE, went after routers. It's exactly what they did. And when you're just -- when you see the leaked documents about it, it says all the same stuff that is now being done to us.
If you control the router, you control the information on it. The NSA was working up systems to be able to inject disinformation into the information that flows across the network routers.
So you got a bunch of e-mails going through? You can pop a few extra ones in there. Or if there's communications going on between, you know, let's say, two machines in a plant or a water utility, you can mess with those, right?
All of that stuff is exactly the same stuff that we are under threat now. So this is very much a sort of tit-for-tat in the ongoing, kind of low-grade, you know, cyber warfare that is going on between the U.S. and our antagonists around the world.
VAUSE: You know, you did mention this low-grade cyber warfare.
[01:04:58] VAUSE: And that point seems to come -- excuse me, especially relevant when you look at the advice which the U.S. is getting out here when it comes to defending yourself from these kinds of attacks. It's not exactly rocket scientist.
They say the Russian hackers are looking for weaknesses, like easy to get passwords and expired antivirus software.
WARD: Yes, that's right. I mean, you know, and routers are a great way to go with this. I mean, you and I, even though we may not be technical geniuses, John, you know, we at least have, you know, passwords on our laptops that we change periodically and antivirus software.
Your average router that comes off the shelf doesn't really have that stuff built into it or at least not in any way that is updated regularly. And so the NSA program back in 2013 developed a bunch of off-the-shelf templates by which the CIA and the NSA could attack any off-the-shelf router from Cisco or Jupiter or any of the systems that you might, you know, get bundled with your cable package.
Well, this is exactly the same thing. The T.A. -- the technical alert that came out today talks about off-the-shelf, you know, ways of attacking. You know, these are preconceived ways of attacking off- the-shelf routers that we might be using.
And so, that's exactly right. There is this sort of -- a very easy sort of hacking that's going on here. But it turns out that if you can get at that easy dumb router that you and I just, you know, throw into our living room, connect to the wall, and forget about, if you can get at that router and you can get at the routers like that at companies and utilities and other places, you get all the data. And that's really what they're after here.
VAUSE: Yes. I guess change your password often, and free phone is not free. I guess that's the lesson here.
WARD: Nothing is free in this world, I'm afraid.
VAUSE: Nothing is free. OK, Jacob, good to see you. Thank you. WARD: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: Well, Russia is denying accusations put out by the United States and the U.K. that they're actually blocking international chemical weapons investigators from getting inside Douma, Syria and is possibly tampering with evidence there at the site of that suspected poison gas attack which is believed to have killed dozens of people, including children earlier this month.
The inspectors arrived in Damascus on Saturday. But so far, they have not been able to visit Douma. Russian officials blame the delay on the United Nations and say the team will be allowed inside the town on Wednesday.
The suspected chemical attack prompted Saturday's airstrikes on Syrian targets by the U.S., Britain, and France.
British Prime Minister Theresa May faced lawmakers on Monday, defending her decision to join in those strikes without consulting lawmakers first.
More now from CNN's Phil Black reporting in from London.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are members of the British Parliament who believes Theresa May has done this all the wrong round by bombing the Syrian regime first and only then coming to Parliament to explain why.
In doing so, she has broken a political convention set here from the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ever since then, British Prime Ministers have come to Parliament to ask for permission before launching any substantial military operation.
Theresa May said that wasn't practical in this case. She couldn't share much of the intelligence she was being guided by. And she needed to act quickly, she said, to ensure the operational security of British military personnel.
She insisted these strikes were necessary, legal, and proportionate.
Necessary, she said, because persistent Russian vetoes at the U.N. Security Council have made diplomacy a dead end in dealing with the fact the Syrian regime has proven to be a serial chemical weapons offender and one that could very well offend again.
Legal, she said, because it meets the criteria of humanitarian intervention. And proportionate because the strikes were only aimed at dealing with serious chemical weapons capability, not toppling the regime or interfering in the broader Syrian civil conflicts.
Theresa May also rejected, very strongly, any suggestion that she was simply acting on the orders of U.S. President Donald Trump.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Let me be absolutely clear. We have acted because it is in our national interest.
MAY: It is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used.
BLACK: The leader of the main opposition, Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said the legal justification provided by the government was questionable. And he said he did not believe the government had pursued all nonmilitary options to deal with this problem.
He has suggested that Britain now needs new laws to ensure prime ministers cannot take military action without Parliament's approval first. The government's rejected this.
Prime Minister May says that she accepts Parliament must hold her accountable for tough decisions like this. But as Prime Minister, it's her job to make those decisions.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
VAUSE: Welcome all. Joining us now, CNN National Security Analyst Gayle Tzemach- Lemmon, and CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas.
Good to see you, guys, again. OK. So the chemical weapons inspectors, they're saying, maybe Wednesday, they'll gain access to the site. It's been 11 days since the initial gas attack.
[01:09:59] Gayle, why are the Russians saying nyet? Why are they in charge here? Why are they the ones who say no?
And also, 11 days. That's a lot of time to -- you know. You know, the Americans have accused them of tampering with evidence, and they've had a lot of time to do it.
GAYLE TZEMACH- LEMMON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I mean, it's 11 days --
VAUSE: If that's true, yes.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: Right. It's 11 days or seven years, depending on how you measure, where there's been an exchange of words between Moscow and the international capitals, London, Washington, arguing over whose facts are correct, right?
From the U.N., yesterday, they said we are not the source of delay, right? Russia is.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: And then Russia starts going back and forth. But the reality is, we've seen years of delay and obfuscation. And the international community has had the entire notion of an international community tested by the Syrian civil war.
VAUSE: Because there are different versions of this game every time something else happens, right?
VAUSE: But why is it that the Russians are there on the ground, saying -- well, even if they deny it, but they're the ones saying, you can't come in.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: They say it's because of security, right?
TZEMACH-LEMMON: They talk to folks on the ground, and they say it's because they don't want us to -- well, they don't want them to see what's actually happened. And what you see now is this continuing volley of words following the volley of strikes where they are really trying to redefine the narrative on the ground.
In 2016, Russia reshaped facts on the ground with the Aleppo campaign. And no one stopped them, right?
And so now you see this international community trying to sort of rouse itself and respond to chemical weapons usage. And Russia is sort of playing this game of we'll take what you want, we'll give you the inspection, but when it comes to facts on the ground, we still control them.
VAUSE: It's interesting because you have the Russians very good at turning everything on its head. We heard from the Russian ambassador to the chemical weapons charter and basically, you know, questioning why the West even wants to carry out this investigation at Douma. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER SHULGIN, RUSSIA FEDERATION PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS (through translator): It looks like the Western countries led by the United States do not need any investigation. They have made their decisions for themselves.
Or maybe they are afraid that the experts, after conducting their work on the ground, will refute the false version which served as the reason for the airstrikes carried out by the United States, Britain, and France against defenseless Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And, Dominic, you know, to a tough point, that, in some ways, echoes some of the criticism, at least, facing Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of Britain, that, you know, they moved maybe a little bit too quickly.
They didn't get the Parliamentary approval they needed. They didn't get the vote from lawmakers. Maybe they didn't have quite the amount of evidence which they should have had.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, there are three things, really.
The evidence, I think, is really secondary. The evidence has been there for years and this is a new recurrence, and we know what's going on. It's happened before. It's been documented. And the time has come to respond once and for all to the situation.
The criticism in the U.K. and in France is more along the lines of, why now and why with such haste? Why not come together in a determined fashion and find a way of dealing with this once and for all?
We have a new president in France who has been talking about the red line since he came to office a year ago, following in the heels of Francois Hollande who proved to be completely ineffective on this question.
David Cameron lost the vote in the British Parliament, and Barack Obama did not cross that line when the time had come. So we have, clearly, here an attempt and the will to do something differently.
The criticism is, why not greater consultation? Why not enlisting more European Union leaders and why not wait for the United Nations to act in a more decisive manner? And that's really where this comes.
VAUSE: You know, you talked about Emmanuel Macron, you know, maybe leading this sort of new push against Syria. But even, again, you hear from Macron, this question of evidence is crucial. It's very important because he spoke about it again on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): This intervention took place within a legitimate framework and is in no way an attack on the Syrian regime or its allies but an attack which resulted from evidence on the ground that chemical weapons have been used against the civilian population by Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Within that context, this operation changes nothing of our collective strategy in Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Dominic, how important is it for Macron, for Theresa May, and even Donald Trump, to say, look, there is a significant body of evidence that says, look, you did it, and to get other countries on board?
THOMAS: Right. Well, for them, it's the moral justification for a responsiveness. It's further evidence that Assad is not following up on promises that he has made with regards to the use of these weapons.
And it provides them with a kind of legitimacy and an urgency, particularly given the fact that this is -- you know, in terms of sort of media coverage of these things, is a particularly egregious violation.
And recourse to chemical weapons, in the broader context of the European discussion, is highly problematic. So it's the justificatory note of this.
[01:15:00] The difference, really, between May and Macron was that Macron has a political majority. He could have gone to Parliament and consulted. Theresa May is in a much more precarious position.
And in many ways, this comes on the heels of the poison attacks on Skripal in the U.K., and she's riding that wave. And it's a distraction from Brexit and a distraction from a whole range of domestic problems that she faces.
VAUSE: OK. Very quickly, we did hear from the former U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta. He gave this assessment for the coalition airstrikes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It was a very effective strike in coordinating the efforts of both the United States and our allies to go after a specific set of targets. It was done well. It was done precisely. And hopefully, it was done effectively.
I think the bigger issue, though, is whether or not this strike is really tied to any long-range strategy in dealing with Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So, Gayle, you know, there isn't a long-term strategy. And it seems that the leaders in the U.S. and across Europe, they don't want a long-term strategy when it comes to Syria.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: And the --
VAUSE: It's too hard.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: All along, there has been this mismatch of wills where you had Syria and regime, Russia and Iran, all in.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: And the international community doing all it could to stay out. And so you see this mismatch really play out in the lack of strategy. In this, I would say that the U.S. has largely seen Syria as a strategy-free zone since 2011.
This is not new nor is it anything novel under this administration versus the last. The question now is, will this Trans-Atlantic conversation of U.S., France, U.K., will this go forward? Will France convince the U.S., as there's been discussion, to keep troops in northern Syria?
There are real gains on the ground. I was there in February, and you see them in terms of progress, in terms of security and stability that you feel when you walk around.
Will this U.K./U.S./France trio actually be able to make a difference in convincing one another that, yes, they're not going intervene in the Syrian civil war, but they can help get to Geneva, which is where this is all, eventually, headed.
VAUSE: Very quickly, did you see the report on "Wall Street Journal" a few hours ago --
VAUSE: -- that they're getting this Arab Army to replace U.S. troops?
VAUSE: What do you think?
TZEMACH-LEMMON: Well, I think this is a discussion that the Trump administration has been trying to have --
VAUSE: Absolutely, yes.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: -- which is don't make this just about the U.S., right?
TZEMACH-LEMMON: And the truth is there aren't very many. When you go around northern Syria, you don't see huge numbers of U.S. troops, right?
VAUSE: You can actually count them, yes.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: They're special operation forces and they have very light footprint, and what you see are Syrian Democratic Forces.
So if you could have Arab forces, you know -- this is the argument from the Trump administration -- assisting in this, why wouldn't you broaden this so it's not just the United States? And what about France sending troops too as they said they would in March when no one was paying attention, right?
VAUSE: Yes, that's true.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: And Kurdish media picked it up but almost no one else did.
VAUSE: Right, yes. OK, good points for this one. Gayle, thank you.
TZEMACH-LEMMON: Thank you.
VAUSE: Dominic Thomas, thank you very much as well.
OK. Still to come here, Donald Trump's personal lawyer has spent the day in court, and he has revealed the surprising identity of one of his other three clients. Who is it and why Michael Cohen wanted to keep it all secret, that's just ahead.
And public outrage in India. The growing response to a series of attacks against young women and girls.
[01:20:14] VAUSE: Well, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, will be allowed to review materials seized during an FBI raid on his home office and hotel. But there's still a huge question about what potential evidence prosecutors will be allowed to use in their criminal case against Cohen and what is covered by attorney-client privilege.
We learned on Monday that one of Cohen's clients is Fox News host Sean Hannity, a vocal supporter of the President. Hannity denies he was ever represented by Cohen.
And if that wasn't enough, Stormy Daniels, the porn star, showed up at the courtroom but not for any needed legal reason that we knew of. And she says she won't give up on her defamation suit against Michael Cohen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STORMY DANIELS, PLAINTIFF IN DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST DONALD TRUMP: For years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law. He has considered himself and openly referred to himself as Mr. Trump's fixer.
He has played by a different set of rules or, shall we say, no rules at all. He has never thought that the little man or especially women -- and even more, women like me -- matter. That ends now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a professor of law and governance at Loyola Law School and Michael Genovese is president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. Thank you for coming back.
Michael, if nothing else, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, he knows how to put on a show. He knows how to keep their story at the headlines. It seems Donald Trump, who himself is the ultimate reality T.V. showman, has he met his match with Avenatti?
MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Well, in a way, it takes a showman to beat a showman. And you've got two people who are carnival barkers, who know how to attract a crowd, who shout over the audience, who basically try to be magnets to television. Both do a very good job of it.
And I think that's one of the things missing in what they call the resistance to Donald Trump, is that maybe it takes a Donald Trump to beat a Donald Trump.
And you've seen it with the constant barrage of stories that Michael Avenatti just keeps one day after another after another. And it just is endless. Like Trump, it's every day, it's a new shiny object to look to.
VAUSE: Yes, these two competing sort of solar systems or stars who are trying to, you know, occupy the universe, I guess.
Michael Cohen, we should note, has not been charged. Prosecutors have not said what he is being investigated for. Many believe, though, that this could be the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency.
Here's part of a piece from "The New Yorker" over the weekend -- I'm aware of anybody -- I am unaware of anybody, the reporter wrote, who has been taken -- who has taken a serious look at Trump's business who doesn't believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality.
He had a small, sad operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab- backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign finance violations.
Jessica, is it too early to make this assumption, as Cohen goes, so too the presidency?
JESSICA LEVINSON, CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: I think it is. And I mean, frankly, look, it's all about framing.
When you read that, it doesn't sound so great. But there's another way of describing the Trump presidency, which is the businessman/entrepreneur, against all odds, becomes the most powerful person in the world because he trusted his own instincts and read the American public correctly.
So I think that, you know -- I think kind of politically, it's too early because, in part, we have seen so many things that I would have said -- Michael brought this up before. Two or three years ago, there is no world in which you would have X happen or the President of the United States do this.
But I also think that, legally speaking, there really is a question as to whether you can indict a sitting president, which means that if the President is ushered out, it's because of the political process. It's because of impeachment proceedings.
VAUSE: Wasn't that settled with the -- they dusted this off with the Paula Jones case. There was like a ruling back in 1998, I thought, with Clinton.
LEVINSON: So those rulings dealt with, basically, whether or not you could sue, whether or not you could depose.
VAUSE: Oh, OK, another dice.
LEVINSON: But in terms of whether or not you can actually indict a sitting president for criminal conduct, I think that it is an open question. Of course, you could have another academic on here that would say there is no world in which that's an academic question.
LEVINSON: But I think that's why, frankly, Mueller said that the President is a subject, not a target because a target means that you -- there could be an indictment at the end of the day.
And that's why, I think, Mueller is choosing his words carefully. But my point was, I think this is basically finished in the political system. And I don't have --
VAUSE: Not the court system.
LEVINSON: I don't have a ton of faith in the political system right now.
VAUSE: Right. Michael?
GENOVESE: Well, the question of whether or not a president can be indicted, a sitting president, was really argued during the Watergate era when Leon Jaworski asked his staff to come up with some material on this.
[01:24:57] The staff generally said, we think you can. It's still a question mark. We think you can. Jaworski was reluctant to do that because he wasn't certain. And so, remember, Richard Nixon was named an unindicted co-conspirator.
And so there still is, as Jessica said, a legal question out there. There's no certainty to it.
You suggested that you didn't think. I actually think you can indict a sitting president. But that's the dilemma, we don't know.
VAUSE: And this --
GENOVESE: There's no good precedent.
VAUSE: This is the discussion and the legal debate which, if it comes to, this country will have to have, which will be wrenching, I guess. Much more so than what already had taken place.
The big surprise on Monday, apart from Story Daniels showing up, was this revelation that Sean Hannity of Fox, the news channel, is one of the three clients represented by Cohen.
Here is Mr. Avenatti again outside the court on Monday. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY FOR STORMY DANIELS: I said last Friday and this weekend that Michael Cohen was radioactive and that anybody that was associated with him in the last 20 to 30 years should be very, very concerned. What we witnessed earlier in the hearing with the disclosure relating
to Sean Hannity proves my point exactly. He is radioactive. Anyone that had any contact with this man in the last 20 years should be very concerned about what secrets of theirs are within these documents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Jessica, how worried should Sean Hannity be right now, if not from a legal point of view, definitely from a perception point of view.
LEVINSON: Well, I mean, I think, from a perception point of view, that's exactly right. I mean, I can think of, you know, when would you want your name mentioned the least?
LEVINSON: Probably in this particular hearing when it's, who is the third client that we're talking about for Michael Cohen?
LEVINSON: And it is a problem for Sean -- excuse me, for Sean Hannity for so many reasons. One is that there's this huge journalistic ethics issue, and I think it undermines his credibility in terms of talking about Michael Cohen.
But I also think that, you know, it calls into question. Michael Cowan has been called in as a fixer, and Sean Hannity has said, well, I just needed some legal advice on real estate deals.
LEVINSON: So there's maybe a credibility problem there. But I have to say I think, if any -- we've learned anything from, you know, with recent events in the Trump administration, people who are predisposed to believe someone like Sean Hannity will probably continue to do so.
VAUSE: Yes. Yes, Hannity tried to clear the air on his Fox News show a few hours ago. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: My discussions with Michael Cohen never rose to any level that I needed to tell anyone that I was asking him questions.
And to be absolutely clear, they never involved any matter, any-- sorry to disappoint so many -- matter between me or third party, a third group, at all. And our -- my questions exclusively almost focused on real estate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Michael, does Hannity get to make the decision about what needs to be disclosed to his audience and what does not need to be disclosed to the audience?
GENOVESE: Well, he thinks he does.
GENOVESE: And given his audience, they're loyal followers. They'll follow him anywhere. He's the Pied Piper to them. But as for the larger audience to judge -- and that large audience would probably think his responses underwhelming and a little insincere.
And Michael Avenatti, who is on the attack, is a great attack dog to both Trump and to Comey -- oh, excuse me, to the -- both President Trump and to --
GENOVESE: I'm trying to --
VAUSE: Michael Cohen, yes.
GENOVESE: And he's a great attack dog. He is doing to Trump what Trump does to everyone else.
GENOVESE: And I think that's the kind of thing that's been lacking. And Hannity coming in at the last minute, at sort of the 11th hour, and saying, oh, you know, it was nothing to think of, it was a big deal. And it is a big deal.
LEVINSON: Sean Hannity also doesn't get to choose when an attorney- client relationship is for him.
LEVINSON: So what he is describing -- he is saying I didn't pay somebody and there wasn't a matter pending -- those aren't two dispositive factors to determine whether or not there's attorney- client relationship. So he says we should keep this information private, but I'm not one of the clients.
VAUSE: Yes. It doesn't make a -- it doesn't add up or hold up, you know, when you look at it from that point of view.
But Sean Hannity has been this defender of Donald Trump.
You know, went on his T.V. show and absolutely went after, you know, Robert Mueller and the Special Prosecutors and the raid on Michael Cohen's office at the time and -- without disclosing any of this, which is incredible when you think about -- when you look back at and knowing what we know now. LEVINSON: Well, I mean, I think that it must be journalistic ethics
101. Or, frankly, I mean, how could just any person think, would this be something that my audience might be interested in? Is this something where -- we have warning labels on everything.
LEVINSON: We have disclosures about -- and transparency about every product, every person. And that you wouldn't say, I have this relationship with Michael Cohen?
VAUSE: I just wonder whether the audience cares, or they just want to have the rallying cry to defend the President and that's why they watch.
VAUSE: Michael and Jessica, good to see. Thank you.
[01:29:55] Demonstrators are once again protesting across India. The new crimes uniting public anger six years after one notorious case in New Delhi. We'll have the very latest in just a moment.
[01:29:55] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Demonstrators are once again protesting across India. A new crime is igniting public anger six years after one notorious case in New Delhi. We'll have the very latest in just a moment.
VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
The U.S. and U.K. had issued a joint warning about Russia's cyber hacking. According to the alert, hackers are trying to gain access to devices which control the flow of Internet traffic. Experts warn once you control traffic, you control everything in it. Russia though denying any such hacking attempt.
Russia also denying allegations also by the United States and the U.K. that it's blocking international inspectors from entering Douma in Syria, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack earlier this month. Russian military officials say the fact-finding team which arrived in Damascus on Saturday will be allowed into Douma by Wednesday.
Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has also represented one of the President's most vocal supporters, Fox News host Sean Hannity. The revelation came from Cohen's lawyers as Cohen appeared in a New York courtroom. Hannity however says he quote, "never retained Cohen in the traditional sense." Prosecutors say they've been investigating Cohen for months for possible criminal conduct.
Well, there is renewed outrage in India over a series of brutal rapes. One case involves allegations against a ruling party politician. Mass demonstrations were held across the country on Sunday highlighting India's deep religious divisions and its long history of violence against women and children.
New Delhi bureau chief, Nikhil Kumar joins us now live with the detail.
So Nikhil -- what where these cases? What are the details of these cases that have caused so much outrage? There's one involving a 16- year-old, another involving an eight-year-old. What else do we know?
NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: That's right -- John. There are two cases that have really captured, excuse me, the national attention and led people to express this outrage and come out on the streets.
The case involving the eight-year-old occurred in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. And the atrocity occurred back in January. It really hit the headlines last week when charges became public.
And I heard the investigators tell that the allegations that eight Hindu men kidnapped, gang-raped and then murdered, brutally murdered an eight-year-old child who belonged to a community of nomads, Muslim nomads. And they did it to terrorize the small community that she came from.
[01:34:52] And there's the second case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh which dates back to last June -- excuse me. And the allegation there is that a 16-year-old was raped by a member of the ruling party -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatia Janata Party which controls the state government over there.
And the combination of these two stories and the narratives here brought people out on the streets. There were two things. One was of course, as you said, the continuing problem with violence against women and people's very strong feelings about that particularly in the aftermath of 2012 Delhi rape which captured global attention. And so people were asking, how is this happening again today.
And then there was the concern which has been growing in this country about the influence of Hindu nationalists, the Bharatia Janata Party and the Hindu Nationalist Party.
And in the case of the eight-year-old, when the investigators tried to initially go and file the charges against the eight Hindus, they were met with protests from Hindu nationalists who said, you know, we're trying to defend the accused apparently only because of their religion.
And so two concerns came together: the concern about violence against women and the concern about the growing influence of Hindu nationalism and what that means for India -- John.
VAUSE: And Nikhil -- Prime Minister Modi, he is facing reelection next year so could this actually impact the vote? I guess it all depends on how he reacts, what he says, you know, in the next couple of weeks, next couple of months. How much pressure is there for him to actually do something?
KUMAR: An immense amount -- John. Last week he faced quite a lot of criticism for not speaking out in these two cases initially. And then he did eventually and he publicly said that justice would be done and none of the -- nobody who perpetrated any of these crimes would be allowed to escape justice.
But this has turned a very harsh spotlight on the Bharatia Janata Party and the government. You know, the case of the 16-year-old where BJP -- a local BJP legislator is accused of attacking her last June, you know.
A lot of people have been asking well, how is it that that occurred last year and yet it took until last week amid growing public pressure for the law enforcement agencies to finally arrest him? The courts, in fact, called out the local state government for not doing enough. So it has turned a very harsh spotlight on the BJP -- John.
VAUSE: Ok. Nikhil -- thanks for the update there. We're keeping a close eye on, you know, the situation which clearly is not going to go away any time soon. So Nikhil -- thank you. Appreciate that.
In the years after World War II there was plenty of rebuilding to do in Britain and immigrants from the Caribbean arrived to help. The so- called Windrush generation built new lives for themselves and their families in the U.K. But now decades later their future is uncertain.
Isa Soares has this report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the arrival of more than 400 happy Jamaicans.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were the first group of immigrants to arrive in the U.K. at the request of the British government. And they came to help rebuild the country (INAUDIBLE).
This was June 22nd, 1948.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamaica.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you brought your children with you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five children.
SOARES: Over the next 20 plus years half a million commonwealth citizens built British lives, worked British jobs and paid British taxes beginning in the era of multiculturalism in Great Britain. Anthony Bryan was one of them. He came here from Jamaica in 1965 when he was just eight years of age. Recently he's been detained twice in an immigration removal center.
ANTONY BRYAN, WINDRUSH IMMIGRANT: Every time I go to (INAUDIBLE) they're going to hold me today. Am I going to be locked up somewhere and after (INAUDIBLE)?
SOARES: Like Anthony, many of the Windrush generation are now leaving with the threat of deportation. This after the British government recently tightened its migration rules leaving many scrambling for documents and paperwork to prove they are here legally.
GUY HEWITT, BARBADOS HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE U.K.: Some have been shut out of the system which means they're denied the right to work, access to government services and claiming health care that they have contributed to. Some have been detained and some are still in detention and others have been deported to countries that are no longer their home.
SOARES: It's an injustice that has David Lammy seething not just as a British member of Parliament but also as a proud son of a Windrush migrant.
DAVID LAMMY, MEMBER, BRITISH PARLIAMENT: We need a proper apology. We need a very, very clear amnesty today to all of those people. People who paid for lawyers need to be reimbursed and compensated for their loss.
We need to understand how many people have been deported. How many people have been detained? How many people have been denied access to the NHS in the United Kingdom that fall into this category?
[01:39:56] SOARES: Windrush Square was built to commemorate the first arrival of immigrants from the Caribbean to the U.K. back in 1948. Seventy years later, many of them are facing uncertainty and wondering whether this is still a place they can call home.
Isa Soares, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: Well, Donald Trump has not fired the man overseeing the Russia investigation but he has been floating a few reasons why he would be justified should he decide to terminate the deputy attorney general's employment. Just ahead, a former White House ethics czar calls those reasons bogus.
VAUSE: Well, a legal peril may be mounting for Donald Trump's personal attorney. Michael was in a New York courtroom on Monday where he fought to keep material seized during last week's FBI raids private. Cohen's legal team dropped a major bombshell during that hearing.
Details from Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael Cohen avoids reporters' questions as he leaves federal court. Under orders from a judge, Cohen reveals that Fox News host Sean Hannity is his third previously unnamed client.
Cohen is fighting to keep investigators from reviewing electronic devices and documents seized in an FBI raid of his office and other properties. He's arguing some of those records are protected by attorney-client privilege. And now Cohen's top client has jumped into the fray.
Donald Trump's attorneys have made their own court filing in the case, calling the FBI raid "disquieting" and backing Cohen's attempt to prevent some of the records from being examined by investigators. Trump's lawyers want to do their own review of the seized Cohen records to screen out any confidential information.
A key question now, why has the President gotten involved.
SCOTT FREDERICKSEN, FORMER ASSOCIATE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: This is more akin to the bottom of the ninth play. The evidence that may be at stake here, the government has seized, a federal judge has allowed that so far could be absolutely toxic to Mr. Cohen and perhaps to Mr. Trump and that's why this is so critical.
TODD: Legal experts tell CNN, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York who's been investigating Cohen for months must have been confident of potential evidence against Cohen to order the raid.
The Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee vouched for the judge who signed off on the warrant.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: The most important thing we know is that a neutral, detached federal judge that has nothing to do with politics, signed off on this warrant.
TODD: Former federal prosecutors tell CNN the odds are against Cohen and Trump being able to prevent investigators from looking at Cohen's records.
JOSEPH MORENO, FORMER U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROSECUTOR: It's going to be an uphill battle to assert that the federal government is not allowed to look at the evidence seized from Michael Cohen's home and hotel room and safe deposit and electronic devices because we have processes in place to protect people's rights to privilege while at the same allowing prosecutors to obtain the evidence they need to further their case.
TODD: Another key question -- if Trump wanted to shut down the Cohen investigation, could he?
[01:44:59] FREDERICKSEN: This investigation is out of New York. His own appointee is the U.S. attorney there. The number two there is running this investigation. Unless you're going to fire the entire leadership you can't shut this down.
TODD: Cohen has denied any wrongdoing in this case. Trump has called the FBI raids an attack on the country. Former prosecutors tell us, they're waiting to see about the next big developments in the Cohen case. One, if Cohen is charged; two, whether there's any evidence of crucial communications between Cohen and Trump that might implicate the President; and three, whether Cohen might flip and turn on his boss -- something that those who know Cohen say is very unlikely.
Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.
VAUSE: And keep in mind it was the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the man who oversees the Russia investigation and the special counsel Robert Mueller who approved the search warrants for Michael Cohen's office, hotel room and apartment which once again raises that questions could this be the event which pushes an already enraged president to fire his deputy attorney general.
Speculation which is only fueled by answers like this from senior Trump aide, Kellyanne Conway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Do you think there's a chance that the President will remove Rod Rosenstein and/or Bob Mueller?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: The President has done everything that he and his team has been asked to do to comply with this investigation and you know it.
CUOMO: Why aren't you answering this question? All I want to hear is an answer to whether or not the President is considering moving on the man that you were just touting --
CONWAY: Sarah Sanders has answered. I just answered that. The President alone makes the personnel --
CUOMO: I know who makes it.
CUOMO: Is he safe -- yes or no?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And Kellyanne Conway never answered that question.
CNN contributor Norm Eisen was the Ethics czar for the Obama administration. He joins us now from Washington. Norm -- it's been a while. Good to see you. NORM EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Nice to see you -- John.
VAUSE: Ok. So you sat down, you've look at -- what five reasons that the President has floated out that would justify firing the deputy attorney general.
One of the arguments which seems to have picked up steam is this allegation that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest because he wrote the original letter justifying the firing of FBI director James Comey and so he's a witness here. At the very least, he should be recused of all things Comey.
Why doesn't that stack up? It seems to make some sense.
EISEN: John -- there are a set of rules about when prosecutors have to recuse but they do not require recusal this early in an investigation. We don't know yet if Rosenstein is going to testify. We don't even know if Mueller is going to find whether Trump has obstructed justice or not.
So when you have somebody as senior and as experienced as Rosenstein, when the attorney general Jeff Sessions has already recused because of his conflicts, you don't want to knock out the number two guy. The rules absolutely do not require it at this point.
VAUSE: Ok. There are other arguments out there claiming Rosenstein is a Democrat. He's not a Democrat. They say he's friends with Comey and this is all about revenge.
I mean essentially these arguments are asinine (ph) but what do they say about the President's motives here?
EISEN: Well John -- they tell us that the President's motives are not pure. He's already under investigation for obstruction of justice, reportedly because he tried to interfere with the Comey investigation culminating in the firing of Comey. Now, he's cooking up these spurious reasons to interfere with Rosenstein, possibly to fire him.
So it raises the question of corrupt intent, a bad motive.
And it's a pattern -- John. He did the same thing for a time with Mueller. It was one phony charge after another. Now, he's turned his eye on Rosenstein because he's an easier target. People don't know him as well. But John -- firing Rosenstein who's overseeing Mueller is the same thing as firing Mueller. It's just as serious.
VAUSE: Well, the "New York Times" editorial board looked at this over the weekend, the firing of Mueller or Rosenstein. This is what they wrote. "Make no mistake, if Mr. Trump takes such a drastic action, he will be striking at the foundation of the American government, attempting to send a precedent that a president alone among American citizens is above the law."
Ok. So with that in mind, in the immediate aftermath of Rosenstein or Mueller being fired, people will still get out. They'll still go to work. The country won't shut down. There will still be Monday night football. Everything will pretty much go on or at least look like it has been pre firing.
So what are we talking about here. What would the long-term consequences here be on the Trump presidency?
EISEN: Well, the long-term consequences will be devastating because we have the idea that a president cannot dodge, any more than any other American can, investigations.
[01:50:06] And so if the President is able to sidestep, that will be upsetting a century's long American tradition.
And the short term consequences will be devastating. People won't be watching Monday night football, John, because they'll be out marching; 300,000 plus have already signed up to lead marches around the country in all 50 states.
Congress is going to take action. I think they're going to see dramatic action even among the Republicans in the House and in the Senate. So it won't be business as normal in the short or the long- term.
VAUSE: Ok. "The Times" editorial board also says that this nuclear option happens then it's up to Congress to affirm the rule of law. Ultimately that would be what -- impeachment and then a trial by the Senate.
If the President, a lot (INAUDIBLE), if he's found guilty and he is then ordered to be removed from office, here's the question. Who actually physically removes the President from office? Because if Donald Trump says, I'm not going anywhere, who actually takes him out of the White House? What does the Secret Service do?
EISEN: Well John -- we're a very long way away from that --
VAUSE: I know.
EISEN: They may not -- Congress, by the way, might censure him, you know. One of the great decisions in the Clinton impeachment was censure or impeach. There is not two-thirds in the Senate to impeach. But if it happens, he's no longer President, his position. He won't belong in the White House and Secret Service will evict him in favor of Mike Pence.
So once he's no longer lawfully President by order of Congress, by impeachment he's gone. And the Secret Service will show him out like any other trespasser or fence-jumper illegally on White House property. But that's a very long way away.
VAUSE: Very long way, I know. But it is an interesting hypothetical.
Finally, almost out of time, we now know Fox News host Sean Hannity and bestie of Donald Trump, he was the previously unnamed third client represented by Michael Cohen, who's also Donald Trump's personal lawyer.
So what do you make of all of this especially considering the lengths that Hannity has gone to defend the President on his show on Fox News?
EISEN: Well, no wonder he's gone to great lengths, not just to defend the President, John, but to hide his role as a Cohen client. It's an ethics violation. He's been broadcasting about Cohen and this hearing and this raid when he has a conflict of interest. And the codes for journalists, even so-called opinion journalists, he still has the name journalist in there -- all the ethics codes say when you have a conflict -- at a minimum you have to disclose and he should have disclosed his ties. It's one more reason to find his reporting illegitimate.
VAUSE: You know for some journalists, ethics is a shire outside of London. Norm -- good to see you as always. Thanks you.
EISEN: Thanks -- John. Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: Netflix is having a pretty good year so far and now wants to go off script with a big push into reality TV. Next, what to expect for your bingeing pleasure.
VAUSE: With all those new original shows on Netflix, is it paying off? The streaming service is reporting it added more new subscribers than expected, 50 percent more than last year.
[01:54:57] Netflix shares jumped on Monday and now the streaming giant wants to keep expanding into the world of reality TV.
Our Claire Sebastian has this report.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two hours on the clock. $10,000 on the line --
CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is binge-watching history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're very gooey.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's supposed to be.
SEBASTIAN: Netflix's "Bake Off" series nailed it. It's part of the streaming service's new push into reality programming, a segment still dominated by traditional TV and cable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean it's my sister. Of course, I want to know who she's hooking up with.
RICH GREENFIELD, MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: It's a natural progression for Netflix to move into categories like reality now that they've executed so well in dramas and comedies. They want to be HBO, AMC, Nickelodeon, ABC, Showtime -- they want to be everything.
And so if you want to be everything, you need a tremendous array of content, not just high-end dramas or comedies for families. You need reality TV programming. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he ready.
SEBASTIAN: (INAUDIBLE) joins the newly-rebooted "Queer Eye", the streaming king's most popular reality show. Along with daredevil extravaganzas of "The Grand Tour" they are the most watched original reality program in the stream right now, according to one industry group.
Thanks to these hits, viewership in the U.S. for reality shows has risen over 100 percent on streaming platform this part of the year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just getting started.
SEBASTIAN: But they don't yet have the popularity of scripted series like House of Cards. Netflix unscripted is just getting started. It just announced second seasons of five programs -- all of which are Netflix originals and it has new offerings like "Fastest Car" with the rest swiped (ph) at Amazon.
GREENFIELD: They know that I watch a documentary. They know that I watch reality TV shows. All of that type of data is used and aggregated to decide what they spend money on. So I think if the data bears that they should do more reality, they'll do more reality.
SEBASTIAN: Netflix is taking some heat for one of its new reality offerings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris is enmeshed in a web of lies.
SEBASTIAN: The premise of "The Push" is to see if an ordinary person can be driven to commit murder. Some critics call it disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's see who nails it and who fails it.
SEBASTIAN: Still if Netflix can nail the unscripted, it's taking in yet more value for (INAUDIBLE).
Clair Sebastian, CNN Money -- New York.
VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. And I will be back with a lot more news right after this.
[02:00:08] VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
Ahead this hour.