Return to Transcripts main page
Recognition of Trump's Role in North Korean Talks; Child Labor in Cobalt Mines; Uber Drivers Accused of Sexual Assault or Abuse; "Avengers: Infinity War" has Biggest Opening Ever; Questions for President Trump in the New York Times; Iran Nuclear Deal Deadline Approaching; Journalists Killed in Afghanistan Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 1, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:10] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, questioning the president, we're learning specifics of what Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask Donald Trump.
SESAY: Plus, childish and ridiculous, Iran is fighting back after the Israeli president says Tehran was lying about its controversial nuclear program.
VAUSE: Sexual assault in the backseat of an Uber, more than 100 U.S. drivers are accused of abusing passengers.
SESAY: Hello, and thank you for joining us, I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Now, into the second hour of Newsroom L.A.
SESAY: We're getting our first glimpse of the questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller has for Donald Trump in the Russia investigation. They show a keen interest in Mr. Trump's business ties and his campaigns ties to Russia.
VAUSE: According to the New York Times, the president's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and the National Security Advisor Michael Flynn are also a focus of Mueller's questions.
SESAY: Well, CNN legal analyst Areva Martin is here with us in L.A. So, Areva, as you look through these questions and there are so many of them, and they cover a range of different areas. To you, does it say that this whole question of obstruction of justice? Investigation of that particular point is still very much front and center of this investigation.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely, Isha, what's shocking, I think, about the questions that were revealed tonight is when you think about this investigation, this investigation was supposed to be about Russian collusion and activities of the Trump administration before he was the sitting President of the United States.
But, when you look at over two-thirds of the questions that were released, most of them have to do with this obstruction question and activities that have occurred since Trump has been in the White House.
Also, what's shocking about the questions is so many of the questions have to do with things that Donald Trump himself has either Tweeted, or said in some kind of public comment, some rally, and even questions that he's answered during media interviews.
SESAY: So, let me put up one of these Tweets that the president put out that is now the subject of a question from Special Counsel Mueller. This was a question put to the president, as we understand by the New York Times, "What was the purpose of your May 12, 2017, Tweet?" That is the question that is asked of the president. (END VIDEOTAPE)
And, I want to remind our viewers of the Tweet the president actually put out, he said, "James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press". Of course, this is all going back to when he fired him, and then the back-and- forth between the president and Comey about this pledge of loyalty.
Again, back to your point, Areva, that the president's own words, and he's uttered and Tweeted a lot of them, are coming back to haunt him.
MARTIN: Absolutely, that's why we've heard so much about the lawyers and why Trump has had a difficult time retaining lawyers on his legal team, because he's the worst client that a lawyer can have. If you know you are under investigation, I think these questions make it pretty clear that Trump is not just a witness. He's not just a third party that saw something and Mueller is interested in what he may have observed.
It's pretty clear that he's a subject, which means he could be, himself, the subject of an indictment if Mueller were to decide that a sitting president could be indicted. But, when you have a client that is under investigation, the last thing you want that client to do is to make public statements.
It's to make the kinds of statements that Trump routinely makes, because a smart prosecutor - - we know Robert Mueller is a smart prosecutor, is going to use every comment, every statement that's issued by Donald Trump as a part of his investigation, and that's what we see in these questions.
SESAY: And, the thing is it doesn't end, because he continues to Tweet and he continues to talk, so he continues to add more questions.
MARTIN: Yes. Absolutely, and as we know, these aren't the totality of the questions. And, let's be clear, it appears from the reporting that Robert Mueller sat down with some lawyers on the Trump team and said these are the topics, these are the categories that we want to ask the president about if he were to submit to an interview, which we know he said repeatedly that he would do, although he hasn't done it.
These, though, are not all of the questions. One of those questions alone may prompt 30-40 additional follow-up questions. It's very clear that Mueller has a - - a - - a plan, there's a roadmap in place and if followed Donald Trump could find himself in very serious trouble.
SESAY: So, I guess my question is why did someone leak these questions? My understanding is that someone, not necessarily on the Trump team, but close to the team - - I mean, it wasn't Mueller, basically, that leaked them.
[01:05] What do you think is the end game?
MARTIN: Yes, that's a good question and listen to the New York Times reporter that broke the story. They said, of course they would not reveal their sources, but they said it was someone outside of Trump's legal team. So, that means someone very close to Trump that would have, you know, access to this information, but not one of his lawyers, because the reporter said it's not someone on the legal team.
Perhaps, it was leaked for us, the American public, if trump decides he will not sit down for that investigation - - for those questions to be asked. If Mueller decides not to issue a subpoena, maybe this is that person's way of letting the American people know these are the questions, these are the issues that special counsel is considering as he investigates not only the possibility of collusion, but the possibility of obstruction of justice.
So, maybe it was for us to know, you know, where the special counsel is, what is thought process is and the fact that this obstruction issue is front and center.
SESAY: Well, we can be assured that we'll keep on learning more details as we have done the whole time.
Areva Martin, always good to speak to you. Thank you.
MARTIN: Thank you, Isha.
VAUSE: (inaudible) on this topic, joining us here in Los Angeles, California talk radio host, Ethan Bearman, California Republican National committee member, Shawn Steel.
Okay, so the backstory about these questions, according to the New York Times, it's all part of the negotiations between the Mueller team and Trump's legal team for a presidential interview by the Mueller investigation. So, here's what the New York Times has reported.
"When Mr. Mueller's team relayed the questions, their tone and detailed nature cemented Mr. Dowd's view that the president should not sit for an interview", that's John Dowd, the president's lead attorney at the time. "Despite Mr. Dowd's misgivings, Mr. Trump remained firm in his insistence that he meet with Mr. Mueller. About a week and a half after receiving the questions, Mr. Dowd resigned, concluding that his client was ignoring his advice."
So, Shawn, if you look at the list of the questions, is the president capable of answering those questions? Assuming that these are accurate, but just in general, is Donald Trump capable of answering these questions and not committing perjury?
SHAWN STEEL, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER: No, actually it's foolish for the president to even think about meeting with Mueller. Mueller's on a particular legal expedition to bring him down, it's all politically charged, his entire staff is hardcore Democrat's many of them big Clinton donors.
I've never liked special prosecutors, including the one that went against Bill Clinton. Special prosecutors are dangerous in American (inaudible) history, they have no control, very few checks, they have an unlimited budget, but more than that, sadly, the story comes in the New York Times.
More sad than that, is Michael Schmidt is the one that actually wrote the story. You do Michael Schmidt fake news and you're going to see - - what he said is the source that he got these questions was outside the Trump legal team. That could be Ethan Bearman's the one that gave up - - it could mean anything.
I thought he'd think the questions . . .
VAUSE: There's been so much reporting out of there that's been proven true over the course of time.
STEEL: Not with him. Give me a better source. I'll trust you, but not him.
VAUSE: This is a president who struggles with the truth. So, I'll ask you the question . . .
STEEL: And reporters.
VAUSE: . . . without committing perjury?
ETHAN BEARMAN, CALIFORNIA TALK RADIO HOST: I actually don't think so and I think the hubris of President Trump will get the best of him, should he choose to actually meet with Mueller's team. It's a dangerous precedent.
Look, I actually - - oddly, partially agree with my friend, Shawn, here, when he says that special counsels have a lot of leeway, which can be problematic, but in this case what it's doing is ultimately the spider webs are all those little lines that reach out are circling back to President Trump now, for as much as he's calling it an expedition.
VAUSE: And, in some ways, one of sort of the real danger point here for the president could be not the stuff about Russia and obstruction of justice, but maybe his prior business dealing, Ethan, because on that he can't claim executive privilege.
BEARMAN: That's right, this is huge, by the way, where are those tax returns again that we were supposed to get?
VAUSE: Yes, exactly.
BEARMAN: But the business dealings are severely problematic and that's what ties in with Manafort's money laundering issues, could tie right back to the president and how some of those loans were done from places like Russia. This is dangerous territory for President Trump.
STEEL: I'm - - I'm - - I'm pretty sure that everybody at this table, if you are investigated by Mueller and find serious problems that some tax form . . .
But, the rest of you guys I worry about a lot because ultimately when you have a spotlight on you and your entire history - - entire record, you're going to go to jail when the Feds are after you.
VAUSE: I didn't run for president, but I think I'd be okay.
The U.S. President's facing a deadline in the coming days. He has to waive, or not waive, the sanctions on Iran. If he chooses not to waive those sanctions, then the nuclear deal is in fact dead.
So, let's go now live to Jerusalem, Ian Lee is standing by there. And, Ian, it seems the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to influence that decision on Monday.
[01:10:18] IAN LEE, CNN REPORTER: That's right, John, you just look at when he delivered his speech. It was prime time here, so you know he's talking his domestic audience, but we look at how he delivered this presentation.
It was in English. Who's his audience? Obviously, the Americans, as well as President Trump, those two have been going against the Iran nuclear deal for some time and that's not a secret.
He comes out with this presentation where he claims that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon that's five times more powerful than Hiroshima. Also, talking about delivery capabilities, their missile program and how this is a covert action. He praised this as the pinnacle of Israeli intelligence gathering.
But, reading the experts who've gone through his points, they say a lot of this isn't new. That the International Atomic Energy Agency knew about this information a long time ago. So, the prime minister trying to present this new information, which he says is new information.
He says he's going to take it to other countries that signed on to the nuclear deal, including Germany, the U.K., France, Russia and China. And, it's going to be up to these countries - - these are the ones that signed the deal, these are the ones that are going to uphold the deal, to go through that information to see, really, is this new? Or, is this old information that they already knew?
But, you know, when it comes to the messaging in all of this - - you know, the prime minister really just has, you know, the President of the United States. He wants Donald Trump to back out of that Iran nuclear deal.
Something, though, that even Israeli officials have warned against, 26 former Israeli intelligence agents, as well as security officials, have come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal. Even Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said that this is a deal that is working so far.
So, will this be enough for the president? French President Emmanuel Macron already said that President Trump has made up his mind. So, this is unlikely that this will really tip the scale any further, but it really is going to be the other countries.
The international community, are they going to look at what the Prime Minister of Israel said, and say, "Yes, this is new. Yes, this is damning information". Or, are they going say, "Nothing is new here", and that the nuclear deal is working. John.
VAUSE: Ian, thank you for that.
We've already heard from the European Union foreign minister, he said on first look of the intelligence presented by Benjamin Netanyahu, there is nothing there which was not known at the time of the deal.
And, she also says this in a statement, "Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran's compliance with the JCPOA commitments, meaning post-2015 nuclear commitments. The JCPOA, the nuclear agreement, is not based on assumptions of good faith or trust, it is based on concrete commitment, verification mechanisms and a strict monitoring of facts done by the IAEA. The IAEA has published 10 reports, certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments."
(END VIDEOTAPE) She also, then goes on to say that if Iran is in fact in breach of those commitments, there is a mechanism within this agreement to resolve it. So, Shawn, there is already a mechanism there which does not require the agreement to be scrapped.
So, if Benjamin Netanyahu is correct, and if there is non-compliance there and if the deal is not working, there is a mechanism - - that essentially Donald Trump wants to scrap this deal.
STEEL: We don't know that yet, do we?
VAUSE: Oh, come on.
STEEL: He suggested that very strongly. He suggested a lot of things and we'll see. I think the good thing is that there's a spotlight put on one of the worst deals ever made in American foreign policy history . . .
VAUSE: What was so bad about it?
STEEL: The fact that we're having one of the most renegade, most corrupt - - one of the most terrorist reigned regimes on earth and - - and - - and giving them a blind (ph) test having nuclear weapons by the middle and 10 years from now, is a pretty dangerous thing.
Particularly, with the kind of people that want to destroy, which is half of western civilization. Besides that little detail, it's good to spotlight and see what this deal is about, because most people have ignored it, and now Trump is bringing it about.
He's raising the issues and there's allies, there's Jordan, Saudi Arabia, there's a new set of allies in the Middle East that Obama could never create.
VAUSE: Ethan, five weeks ago the head of the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, said the agreement was doing what it was meant to do, which was preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapon capability, you know, by pushing it down the road 5-10 years.
Now, you may not like the deal, but that's what was agreed to and it is working, and it was better to have them, you know, push this down the road, than have Iran go nuclear within, what one or two years, at the time?
BEARMAN: Yes, I mean, I agree. I was not necessarily the biggest fan of the deal, either, in terms of the cash transfers. I didn't like that, because of their terrorist connections, but we have the deal. We have the pieces in place.
[01:14:56] We have the European allies and the United States together. We're working on this with Iran. I really do believe that French President Macron, last week here in the United States, had the right idea, which is you don't scrap it, we just make it better, we make it stronger.
There are areas that can be negotiated with Iran. Let's do this sitting at the table and do it as an organized coalition working together. What a concept, instead of just being cowboys running around and you know, spinning our six-shooters, hoping whatever lands works out. I don't agree with that approach.
VAUSE: Given the fact, Shawn, that this deal took - - what, how many years to put together? It was long time to get everybody on board with this deal. Is there obligation for the U.S. President, if he decides that there were no sanctions way come May 12th, to come up with a better deal that everybody likes?
VAUSE: Let's see it.
STEEL: You - - you - - you can't walk away from a deal without having some kind of a substitute mechanism, and I suspect that this is a typical Trump approach by taking a big issue taking a fairly extreme position, that's (inaudible). He did this with NATO and he really upset all the allies that said they weren't paying enough, well, they wound up paying a lot more.
So, Trump takes a certain position, but he always kind of comes back to the center. He'll do that in this case and I'm probably the only one on this panel that's going to say that right now. He's probably is not going to walk out on it. He's going to criticize a lot and he's negotiating now, that's what he does.
VAUSE: Well, Shawn, despite you know you're prediction here, that you know it seems that there is a general assumption out there that this deal is dead, that it will scrapped by the president come May 12th, which is what? 12 days from now?
And, if that happens, it will come weeks, maybe days before the North Koreans meet with the U.S. over their illicit nuclear and missile program. The president was asked about that connection on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I want to ask if you have made up your mind to pull out of that deal?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, I think it sends the right message. You know, in seven years that deal will have expired and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons. That's not acceptable. Seven years is tomorrow. That's not acceptable. So, no, if anything it's proven right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Live now to Alexandra Field in Seoul. So, Alex, how closely are they watching this Iran decision? Not just I guess in North Korea, but also South Korea and the rest of the region.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course, they're going to be watching this closely in North Korea. Certainly no secret there, you won't hear a lot about the thinking inside of North Korea, but obviously is something that North Korea needs to follow from their perspective, to determine how trustworthy the U.S. is in terms of maintaining its commitments.
The flipside, of course, is the one that your hearing from the White House, which is that walking away would still send a strong message by telling North Korea that the U.S. is not willing to deal with untrustworthy partners. And, of course, trust is the issue at the center of this.
All the right things have been said in terms of laying the groundwork for this historic summit that will take place between North Korea and the United States. But anyone who is going to watch this closely knows that progress here will really come down to what happens when these two leaders are in the room together.
Again, the right things have been said, when you talk about a goal of denuclearization, but none of the finer points have been hammered out here. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, of course, was the one who traveled to Pyongyang himself, just last month over the Easter holiday.
That was his opportunity to meet with Korean officials and try and assess the situation on the ground there. He is the one that who has repeatedly pointed out that North Korea has proven itself to of course be an untrustworthy partner in the past. He said it was his goal to go there and see if an opportunity exists, and he said that he believes that it does.
Btu, of course, we do know that you really can't predict anything until Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are sitting face-to-face, John.
VAUSE: It's an interesting dynamic two men who are considered to be very unpredictable, coming together in the very near future. Alex, thank you.
If it comes - - you know, this issue of trust, there is already there this deficit of trust between the North Koreans and the Americans, and the rest of the world, if you like. And, if the Iran deal is scrapped - - despite what Shawn believes, then that deficit just grows, doesn't it?
BEARMAN: It does, although really, I mean regardless of President Trump in this scenario, in this equation, we have decades of North Korea being an unreliable partner where they don't follow through in their promises.
I'll never forget when President Bill Clinton negotiated the deal with North Korea, it seemed like it was a great deal at the time, and everything was going to work out, they never fulfilled their end of the obligation. They didn't under President Bush, either. President Obama didn't really have any new deals with North Korea.
I - - I - - I really - - the idea of what we put in place with the Iran deal, those concrete mechanisms that can be followed up on are what absolutely matter, if there is a deal to be reached with North Korea. VAUSE: It is also about being true to your word. You know, Shawn, we have a situation now where you know, John Bolton is the new National Security Advisor. We have Mike Pompeo, who's the new Secretary of State.
Both men are very hawkish on Iran, they replaced two men who were considered to be moderates on Iran, and they now have, what, 12 days, basically to sort of trigger the president's worst impulses. You know, undoing everything that Macron, the French President, and the German Chancellor has done last week.
[01:20] STEEL: I disagree. I think John Bolton's a very silver realistic person. Pompeo, I know, is a friend of mine.
VAUSE: John Bolton described (inaudible)
STEEL: No. Quite so, he's a very effective secretary for the United Nations, or our Ambassador to the U.N. He was an intelligent spokesman, a lot better than Obama ever had.
I think what you have is real world politicians that are looking at this and saying it, and I think what you're seeing in Iran is exactly what the North Koreans are going to be looking at. I don't think there's going to be a walk out.
I think there's going to be some changes when it comes to Iran, but I think all of this drama is leading up to what happens in Korea. And Trump, understand - - this is a smoldering history, this is a Ronald Regan approach to dealing with the old Soviet Union.
He appreciates it, he understands it, but he's not going think that it's going to happen overnight, because Kim himself is unreliable. It looks like that Trump has found all the pressure points that is making the North Koreans change their behavior. That's something no other president's ever done.
VAUSE: Okay. Their changing their behavior, maybe because of the Tweets and the sanctions. They've had sanctions for years. These are tough sanctions.
The fact is that they've tested enough missiles so that they know what they need to know right now. The nuclear test site is basically no longer operational.
So, yes, Kim Jong-un is at a disadvantage (inaudible), but Ethan, you know, the situation now with Donald Trump and it's very possible that they have the photo op - - shakes Kim Jong-un's hand, they chat for a bit, they walk across the DMZ and that's a success, and there's nothing else that comes out of it. At least, maybe they're talking.
BEARMAN: Well, I mean, to Shawn's point, since he just compared President Trump to President Regan, which is one of the most ridiculous comparisons ever.
VAUSE: How can you even do that under Republican law?
BEARMAN: President Regan, by the way, also very loudly denounced white supremacists when he was president, unlike this president.
But, to your point, that is a real danger here, that President Trump is so focused on the images - - it's the apprentice in the White House. Let's have a reality show and see who wins the battles. He just wants to have the good picture chance.
I don't know how serious President Trump is about getting a North Korean deal done, but I do know he wants that picture.
VAUSE: He wants that picture on the front page of the New York Times.
Shawn and Ethan, thanks so much.
BEARMAN: Thank, John.
SESAY: Quick break here. News outlets are paying tribute to the 10 journalists killed in the series of attacks in Afghanistan.
Many were caught off-guard, killed by a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman. More details next.
SESAY: On Monday, it was one of the deadliest days on record for journalists in Afghanistan. A series of attacks killed 31 people, including 10 journalists.
Among those killed, a well-known photographer for Agence France Presse, here on the left, and a BBC reporter.
VAUSE: In one instance a journalist covering the aftermath of the suicide bombing, were attacked by another suicide bomber disguised as a TV cameraman.
[01:25:06] ISIS claimed responsibility for both of the attacks in the Afghan capital.
SESAY: Well, journalist Ali Latifi, joins us now, from Kabul. Ali, thank you for being with us.
You know, as we take this in - - this large number of journalists who lost their lives in that massive double suicide bombing in Kabul. Can you first of all, just share with us the feeling among people like yourself, people who are in the business, how you guys are doing at this time?
ALI LATIFI, JOURNALIST: Sure. It's on odd time, because you know, unfortunately this isn't the first attack against journalists and if we have to be frank, it probably won't be the last one. But, I think what hurts the most about this one is that these were, you know, people who were just doing their jobs.
This is something that, unfortunately, for a photo journalist or video journalist, is literally part of their job. They have to go to these attack sites and they have to get footage, and they have to get pictures because that's how they make their living. And, kind of like I've been saying all day, it's one of those things when you go to these sites, in the back of your mind you do think, "Okay, this could be the time that it's unsafe. What happens if something like this happens?"
This is exactly the kind of thing you're worried about, but you find ways in the back of your mind to try and kind of like silence that, and reason it out. Unfortunately, this is an example of when you can't reason out.
SESAY: No, there's no ignoring this or pretending it didn't happen.
And the question is, what will be the lasting impact here? I mean, how will it impact the industry in Afghanistan?
LATIFI: I can't say that in certain, because one thing that, if you notice, if you look at the pictures and the footage from that bombing, a lot of those guys weren't wearing safety vests, right? They weren't wearing like Kevlar --
LATIFI: . . . like bulletproof vests, things like that and there's a couple of reasons for that. One, is that especially you know, some local outlets don't have the money for those kinds of vests and don't have the training - - the proper training needed for it.
The other thing is that, you know, I, myself have felt this way at times and I think other people have to, that in certain instances that can make you more of a target. So, I think what really needs to happen is an investment in security and in training of journalists from all of the outlets in this country, because that's the one thing - - if you look at the victims of this attack, you know, it's from every kind of outlet in the country.
SESAY: Yes. (END VIDEOTAPE)
LATIFI: From you know, local outlets, international outlets, you know, they're all being affected by it.
SESAY: Well, Ali Latifi, from one journalist to another, you know our hearts are with you. My heart's with you, it's a tough day. Thank you for joining us.
LATIFI: Thank you for having me.
VAUSE: Yes. I mean, there are reporters who - - next time the reporters are criticized over White House correspondents and silly things like that, think of those guys.
SESAY: Well, the next time someone says fake news, think about those people who are out there, who lose their lives to bring you the facts.
VAUSE: The real news.
Okay, with that, we'll take a short break. A lot more after this.
SESAY: Please stay with us.
[01:31:04] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has nearly 50 questions for President Donald Trump in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. "The New York Times" obtained a list of the questions. Among the issues they cover -- the Trump campaign ties to Moscow and the firing of FBI director James Comey.
VAUSE: The New York Justice Department has charged 11 suspected caravan members for allegedly entering the U.S. illegally; about 100 Central American migrants is seeking asylum in the U.S. and they're now filling the immigration center right on the border. They're planning to stay until they all make it across to file claims.
SESAY: Well, the Vatican treasure, Cardinal George Powell has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of historical sexual abuse. In Melbourne, Australia a magistrate ruled the 76-year-old will stand trial and the process gets started Wednesday.
VAUSE: The ruling follows a month-long hearing during which dozens of witnesses gave evidence. The judge dismissed half of the original charges against Powell. The cardinal has repeatedly and strenuously denied all of the allegations. So could the U.S. President win the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in trying to end the nuclear threat from North Korea as well as bringing the two Koreas together? More unlikely things have happened, you know, like Donald Trump actually winning the presidential election. But make no mistake the momentum is now building for a Trump Nobel prize.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel, Nobel --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's very nice. Thank you. That's very nice. Nobel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Don't be fooled by the humble, modest Donald Trump on stage at Saturday's rally in Michigan. When it comes to accolades and recognition, this U.S. President is like a dog with a bone.
On Monday the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, fresh off the historic summit with Kim Jong-un told a meeting of high-ranking South Korean officials, "President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace."
And a Republican congressman plans to nominate Trump with the award which has been given to people like Albert Schweitzer, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LUKE MESSER (R), INDIANA: If North Korea actually ends its nuclear program and you bring peace to this peninsula after 70 years, Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.
The only reason that the evil North Korean dictator is coming to the table is because there's a new sheriff in town. And President Trump's Twitter diplomacy is working. His tough talk is making a difference. It's bringing both North and South Korea to the table, and China, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Among those who believe the U.S. president should win a Nobel Peace Prize is Daniel McCarthy, editor at large for the "American Conservative Magazine". He is with us now from Washington. Daniel -- thank you for coming in.
DANIEL MCCARTHY, EDITOR AT LARGE, "AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MAGAZINE": Thanks -- John.
VAUSE: Ok. So you wrote an op-ed about this. It's getting a little bit of circulation out there, read at multiple places. I would like to challenge your argument, the structure here a little bit. So stay with me.
MCCARTHY: Ok. VAUSE: You start with what seems to be a fairly standard conditional clause -- "If President Trump succeeds in negotiating an end to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's nuclear provocation."
Ok. Fair enough.
About halfway through you reach the point that peace on the Korean Peninsula is all but a done deal. And here you write, "What Trump is poised to accomplish", and then you bring this argument home with this declaration of success, mission accomplished if you like. "To make peace demands a new approach. President Trump has found one."
Ok. Well, it's true the President may have the secret sauce here for peace in our time. It is far from a done deal. There's a lot of opportunity here for things to go badly. Everyone talks about if this happens, it should go ahead this way, you know, if it works out. So you know, everyone is hedging their bets.
MCCARTHY: True. But I think you have to keep in mind that there are several potential things to be achieved here.
[01:34:58] One is a total condition of peace where you have an agreement between North Korea and South Korea and you have denuclearization, you know, completely going through in North Korea.
Alternatively however, you can simply have an end to these missile tests and these provocations which Kim has been undertaking over the past 18 months or so. And I think that too would be quite sufficient to show that Donald Trump's diplomacy has been an overwhelming success.
So you know, there are several ways in which Donald Trump could actually vindicate his approach to foreign policy and to show himself worthy of the Nobel Prize here. There certainly is a maximum that he could achieve but I think even the minimum would be very, very significant indeed.
VAUSE: Ok. So well, the South Korean president was pushing for diplomacy with the North despite the repeated missile test by Kim Jong-un. This is what the U.S. president was saying, in this instance, it's to the United Nations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ok. Because David, what I wanted to hear is separate the two events because you've got the U.S.-North Korea talks which is yet to happen and no doubt Donald Trump gets the credit for that as would any president who decided to go ahead with those negotiations, they just decided not to because the presidential summit was seen as rewarding bad behavior.
Then we had the inter-Korean summit last week. And you know, it seems that that was the result of the work by the South Korean President who was persistently pursuing diplomacy when Donald Trump was, you know, threatening all out nuclear war and the destruction of the North Koreans.
Also you talked about the end to the missile tests and the nuclear test. There's a lot of evidence out there that would suggest the missile tests are done with because they don't need to test anymore and that the nuclear testing site might actually collapse because, you know, the ongoing explosions there weakened the site so considerably.
So, you know, there's a little bit of hazy or grey area going on here.
MCCARTHY: No, I don't know that I really agree with you. I think the fact that President Moon himself has said that Donald Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize is a very good indication that he sees Trump's role in this whole procedure as having been instrumental and having been indispensable.
Donald Trump really has -- you need to have both carrots and sticks here. You need to have sort of good cops and bad cops as it were. And it's the combination of President Moon and President Trump together that has brought Kim to the negotiating table and starting to resolve this crisis.
VAUSE: You don't think the South Korean president, you know, knowing all too well Donald Trump's weakness if you like or desire for flattery and compliments, he was essentially sucking up.
MCCARTHY: No, I don't think so. I think that, you know, Donald Trump really has changed the diplomatic calculus of the region. And the fact that we've had, you know, so many U.S. presidents who wanted to get these kinds of gains from the North Koreans and have failed to do so.
Look, this is only the third time that the leader of South Korea and the leader of North Korea have come together and had negotiations in person. I think that's a very remarkable achievement and I think the South Koreans agree with me.
VAUSE: Ok. Alfred Nobel was clear in his last will. The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded each year to those who "have done the most or the best work for the fraternity nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
And without mentioning Barack Obama in your answer, so far has this U.S. president met that criteria?
MCCARTHY: I think he certainly has with respect to peace congresses, absolutely. I mean this is very reminiscent in a way of the first Nobel Peace Prize won by a U.S. President which was Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Roosevelt got the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing together the Russians and the Japanese to negotiate an end to the Russo- Japanese war.
And what Donald Trump is doing here is he helps negotiate an end to the Korean War which legally speaking has been going on since the 1950s for over 65 years. That will be an achievement that outstrips even what Theodore Roosevelt achieved in 1906.
VAUSE: Ok. There are (INAUDIBLE) up here with the former leader of the far right UKIP party in Britain, Nigel Farage. He's now actively campaigning for Donald Trump to win this Nobel Prize and he argues why not. After all Obama won it for doing nothing. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER LEADER OF BRITISH UKIP PARTY: Years later, it was said that actually the Nobel committee said to themselves, they made a mistake in giving this award to President Obama. Well, I'm going to suggest now that actually what needs to happen is that President Trump needs to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for managing to get, you know, talks going with North Korea -- something that no U.S. president has ever, ever managed to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I mean at least you wait until the second paragraph in your op-ed before making this Obama argument. But why is he obsessing (ph) here among conservatives about Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. Even he admitted, he didn't really deserve it.
[01:39:58] MCCARTHY: Well that's right. I mean it was really an act of political correctness on the part of the Nobel Committee. And I think that's dangerous because it sends a signal that symbolism as opposed to actual substance and achievement in foreign affairs is what counts most when it comes to judging who's worthy of a Nobel Prize. It really is a substitution of symbolism for the actual realities of peace.
VAUSE: Ok. Daniel we'll leave it there. Great to see you. Thanks so much.
MCCARTHY: Thank you.
SESAY: Well, if you own a battery-powered car or plan to own one, you may want to pay very close attention to this. You may not know the dark side of where this green energy comes from.
In a CNN exclusive, Nima Elbagir takes us to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she discovers children working in cobalt mines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the start of a supply chain leading all the way from this make-shift mine to your luxury battery-powered car. The sacks are full of cobalt ore, a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries set to power the coming green energy revolution. But at what cost?
There is growing evidence that the cobalt supply chain uses hard labor. Although we've been given permission to film here, as soon as they see us, officials begin to scare the children away. Not all of them though are fast enough.
We've now witnessed for ourselves that children are working here, that they are involved with the production of cobalt. And we've seen the products of that child. They've been loaded on to a variety of different vehicles.
I'm going to jump into this car that ferries to one of the main public selling public depots.
Join us Tuesday for our exclusive look inside cobalt mines right here on CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, a CNN investigation has uncovered at least 100 cases of Uber drivers accused of sexually assaulting or abusing female passengers. You're going their frightening stories, next.
SESAY: Uber advertises itself as a safe way to get a ride home but CNN has uncovered at least 100 cases of Uber drivers accused of sexually assaulting or abusing female passengers in the last four years.
VAUSE: And the transportation giant has gone to great lengths to keep the accusations quiet.
Details now from Drew Griffin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anxiety and depression.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Like many victims she feels shame, hasn't told her children, is trying to protect her own privacy --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
GRIFFIN: -- but still wants every woman to know what she says happened to her when she began feeling intoxicated at a Miami area bar, sought a safe ride home and used the convenient Uber app to summon a ride.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I don't remember anything until the next morning.
GRIFFIN: And the next morning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's when I knew. I woke up and both my pants and my underwear were on the floor.
[01:45:01] GRIFFIN: Evidence pointed to assault. Her Uber driver, Nemar Abdullah (ph) is charged with felony sexual battery, has pled not guilty and is awaiting trial. She is suing the company that promises a safe ride home.
A CNN investigation has uncovered dozens of cases like hers, none of the information comes from Uber, which did not provide CNN numbers on how many of its drivers have been accused of sexual assaults, the company saying they are working through their data.
Instead CNN scoured public records, police reports, civil and criminal court cases and talked with a dozen attorneys representing victims. The results -- CNN has documented at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. who've been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years.
At least 31 of those drivers had been convicted on charges ranging from battery to rape. Dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.
Uber is by far the largest ride-share company with 15 million rides per day world wide. And while hard to compare directly, the smaller ride share company Lyft with one million rides per day in the U.S. and Canada is also dealing with sexual assaults by its drivers.
A similar CNN review found 18 cases of Lyft drivers accused. Four drivers had been convicted. A dozen criminal and civil cases are pending.
Lyft told CNN, "The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority". And their company says it has worked hard to design policies and features that protect our community.
Many of the cases fit a pattern like this one when this woman was escorted out of a bar in Long Beach, California and got into the back seat of an Uber.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I fell asleep.
GRIFFIN: Drunk, young, alone. What should have been a 10-minute Uber drive home turned into three hours.
You were in the backseat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GRIFFIN: You were, I assume, passed out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He would have woke me if he had to. He was already penetrating me and then I remember having possibly (ph) oral sex. And then after that I don't really remember.
GRIFFIN: She awoke the next day with severe pain. Like the victim in Miami, she went to a hospital and called police. Her driver, a 47- year-old man, was found carrying her cell phone at a car wash and arrested. He had been charged with a prior sexual crime but never convicted which allowed him to pass Uber's background check.
Charges against him in this case eventually dismissed. The Uber driver insisted the sex in the backseat of his car was consensual. She is now suing Uber.
Were you able to fight back, tell him no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was too inebriated.
GRIFFIN: The individual reports from across the country are horrific. In San Diego an Uber driver pled guilty to raping one passenger and sexually assaulting at least nine other women in a serial rape case that sent him to prison for 80 years.
In northern Ohio, an Uber driver pled guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, forcing a young passenger to perform a sex act on him.
In Fort Worth, Texas an Uber driver allegedly kidnapped an elderly passenger, driving her to a wooded area where according to the police report he raped and beat her. He has not entered a plea.
Victims kidnapped, raped, trapped in cars with electronic locks. One victim told police she was forced to drink her driver's urine.
And multiple experts from police to lawyers to prosecutors tell CNN the actual number of Uber drivers accused is much higher than the 103 we found. Either the crimes aren't reported, there isn't enough evidence to prosecute, or Uber quietly settles the matter before a civil case can even be filed.
Uber first agreed to and then cancelled an interview with CNN about this story. And instead gave us a statement about safety updates the company has made since CNN first started asking about the pattern of sexual assaults months ago including an emergency button, driver screening improvements and the addition of the former secretary of Homeland Security to head up Uber's safety advisory board.
The company insists it's putting "safety at the core of everything we do".
JEANNE CHRISTIANSEN, ATTORNEY: Uber has done a miraculous job of keeping the stories quiet.
GRIFFIN: Attorney Jeanne Christiansen has been suing Uber on behalf of victims since 2015. Uber, she says, settles cases and demands silence from all parties -- non-disclosure agreements in exchange for a settlement.
How many cases have you and your firm handled?
CHRISTIANSEN: I can't go on record and say there. There's confidentiality, sorry. GRIFFIN: Multiple attorneys across the country have told CNN the
[01:49:59] Like other major corporations any settlement offer from Uber comes first with a confidentiality agreement to be signed by the sexual assault victim.
In fact, eight attorneys told CNN they couldn't even discuss their Uber cases.
CHRISTIANSEN: It's one reason why our firm decided to file a class action at this time. We're not simply filing cases so that Uber pays women money and their lawyers to be quiet about it any more. And that was a conscious decision that we made.
GRIFFIN: In addition to money, Christiansen's class action lawsuit against Uber seeks more thorough screening of drivers.
You can become a driver for Uber completely online. Uber does its own background checks and has fought requiring background checks that involve fingerprints. Critics including government regulators say the company needs to do much more to make sure its riders are safe.
After CNN began asking question about all these sexual assaults, Uber announced the company is implementing new changes like re-running background checks for its drivers, at least once a year.
Drew Griffin, CNN.
SESAY: Utterly terrifying.
VAUSE: It's a story for a lot of people especially, you know, young children who use Uber like teenagers and such --
VAUSE: -- obviously very concerned about that.
A lot more news when we come back after a very short break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH BROLIN, ACTOR: In time, you will know what it's like to lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, "The Avengers" are not losing at the box office. "Infinity War" shattered records on opening weekend -- get this -- making over $640 million world wide --
SESAY: You can buy a lot of shoes with that.
VAUSE: -- $250 million -- you could, could you?
VAUSE: Knock yourself out.
SESAY: CNN film journalist Sandro Monetti is here.
SANDRO MONETTI, CNN FILM JOURNALIST: Wakanda forever.
SESAY: Wakanda forever.
SESAY: Wakanda forever. You still haven't seen the movie.
VAUSE: I have -- anyway.
SESAY: Anyway. So you saw "Avengers" apparently three times.
MONETTI: I was there for the very first press screening -- 10:00 in the morning at the El Capitan in Hollywood. When they opened those doors, it was like the Black Friday sales. We were all charging in to get the best seats.
And with a cynical press audience, it's very rare they're cheering before the movie even starts. And, you know we were laughing all the way through --
MONETTI: -- cheering at the end and it's just terrific. It really lives up to the hype.
SESAY: Really? I really different things -- you go.
VAUSE: I heard this is the movie that Marvel has been building to with the "Avengers" --
SESAY: Lots of news there.
MONETTI: Well, the very first movie was almost exactly ten years ago. May the 2nd, 2008 was the opening of "Iron Man". Nineteen movies later, we have "Infinity War". And it shows the business plan has been put in place creating all these characters and bringing them all --
VAUSE: You need a white board to keep up with all --
VAUSE: -- who's who and what they've done and what movie --
VAUSE: And what's included?
MONETTI: But you don't know because it's so much fun, you know --
SESAY: Well, to his point -- and you're saying it's a lot of fun but there are a hundred people at some point on screen -- do they all get their due?
MONETTI: They do actually and this is a great achievement of the writers and the Russo brothers, the directors because they very cleverly make-believe character -- the villain.
Because the strength of any franchise movie whether it's James Bond, Star Wars, Harry Potter is the villain. And this is Thanos, played by Josh Brolin who is a warlord, who wants to wipe out half the population and --
[01:55:04] SESAY: The usual thing.
MONETTI: -- yes, usual, usual, usual mad man. And you know, a great name. I think the royal baby should have been called Thanos.
SESAY: I said Lenny. I said Lenny. Nobody went with Lenny. It's Louie.
VAUSE: The criticism of Marvel movies past is that the villain has been pretty lame.
MONETTI: I would agree. That's a fair point.
MONETTI: But they've taken that on board. They've adjusted and great performance by Josh Brolin. It's hard to make a CG villain really sort of feasible and relatable. And like all the great villains, you know, he's mad.
But you kind of see his point --
VAUSE: That's some point.
SESAY: That's certainly. So you liked it. I mean I have heard though that -- I've seen some headlines that there's this big giant hole in the plot. That they just felt that, you know, it was --
SESAY: -- no but a lot of bang with part that really there's nothing new here.
MONETTI: I totally disagree with that. And the hole in the plot, it's not a chapter for Shakespeare for goodness sake.
MONETTI: Exactly. It's pop --
SESAY: I'm merely passing it on --
MONETTI: It is what it is and it delivers. We've seen so many blockbusters be disappointing. We all know these franchises which have let us down. But the MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe, just gets better and better and better.
As John said, they've learned from their mistakes, you know. And they've plugged most of those holes.
VAUSE: How long does this run for. What's the --
MONETTI: It's over two and a half hours.
MONETTI: It's very much like an opera. It's really long but it's kind of epic. And there are some genius moments in places.
VAUSE: The time passes quickly.
MONETTI: It does.
VAUSE: Did it feel like a three-hour almost?
MONETTI: Well, I heard it was two-forty.
SESAY: What will it spawn? What comes after --
MONETTI: I'll need two popcorns, you know. So, well --
SESAY: At least.
MONETTI: -- it will spawn a sequel to this, you know. You know I mean it sets a tough call for the next film. But each Marvel film spawns the next one. "Black Panther" was a huge success. This is like getting a sequel to "Black Panther" just a few weeks after you've seen the last one.
SESAY: I'm very excited.
VAUSE: It's no spoiler to know but what comes after Wakanda plays a large part in the movie --
MONETTI: But you don't get just those characters. You throw in Dr. Strange and Spider-Man and probably all of them.
VAUSE: The thing we talk a lot about is -- the one thing we talk about is we thought it was great -- it's that basically they misled everybody over the ending. No spoilers -- it was a big, big (INAUDIBLE) to everybody somehow.
SESAY: We're almost out of time but it's shot entirely with iMax cameras and I'm wondering what difference that makes.
MONETTI: Who cares about the technical stuff?
MONETTI: I mean I'm sure for people who are into this stuff that makes a big difference. But I'm looking at it, and thinking this is amazing. Every single element works from the visuals and especially the acting. Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr. together -- magic.
VAUSE: You know who cares about the technical stuff? The guys who do the technical stuff.
SESAY: And they're in the control room.
VAUSE: Yes. We love the technical stuff. They're geniuses.
SESAY: Sandro Monetti -- thank you.
MONETTI: Thank you.
SESAY: Right over left.
MONETTI: Right over left.
SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
I'm Isha Sesay -- I'll teach you later.
VAUSE: Ok. I'm John Vause. We're staying around. We've got a whole another hour after the break.
SESAY: Well worth it.
[01:57:05] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[02:05:05] VAUSE: Thanks for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
SESAY: Ahead this hour -- new insight into the mind of Robert Mueller.