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North Korea to Release Three American Detainees; Trump Legal Team Sees Another Shakeup; Decision Day Looms on Iran Nuclear Agreement; CNN Exposes Child Labor in Cobalt Mines; Cambridge Analytica to Shut Down; Trump Hints at Likely Release of 3 Americans Held In North Korea; Abuse Victim: Pope Said "I Was Part Of The Problem"; Venezuela's Economic Crisis Creates Humanitarian Disaster; Climate Change Group Plans Trump Iceberg. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired May 3, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): On the verge of freedom: CNN has learned that North Korea plans to release three Americans it has been holding.
Plus a new revelation from one of President Trump's lawyers on the hush money paid to a porn star.
And the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela. The pharmacy shelves are empty. Now the desperate are getting their medicine from pet shops.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
CHURCH: It appears North Korea will soon release three American detainees. That is according to an official with knowledge of the negotiations, who says their release is imminent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (voice-over): Now here are the three men, Kim Dong-chul, held since October 2015; Tony Kim, held now for more than a year and Kim Hak-song, who has been in prison since last May.
The announcement comes just weeks before a potentially historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump. Now, earlier Mr. Trump actually teased this news on Twitter. And I'm quoting here. This is what he said.
"As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!"
For perspective, I want you to keep in mind, Tony Kim and Kim Hak- song were detained after President Trump was inaugurated last year.
Let's turn now to our Alexandra Field, who joins us live from Seoul in South Korea.
So Alex, there's no timeline for the release of these three American detainees.
But what all do we know about how we got to this point?
And what happens next?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And when you're talking about it, Rosemary, certainly we know we will not understand these detainees have been released until you actually see them stepping off the plane.
The son of one of the detainees has been speaking out, saying he's been given no indication of a release.
But U.S. officials, including the president himself, have made no secret of the fact that they're fighting for the release of these hostages and this has been the subject of conversations back and forth between North Korea and the U.S. for some time now, especially considering this climate that we're seeing right now, leading up to this summit between North Korea and the United States.
You do have additionally one source telling CNN's Will Ripley, who has some knowledge of the negotiations, that the release is something that was discussed some two months ago, when the North Korean foreign minister traveled to Sweden.
At that time, it seems this discussion was brought up. It was also made clear that the U.S. officials felt the release of these hostages could not in any way be tied to the bigger plan here, the bigger topic of the denuclearization of the peninsula.
You've had President Trump saying stay tuned when he talks about the possible release of these three men. He's also said publicly that his administration is fighting for this and that things have improved between the U.S. and North Korea.
You've also had the national security advisor talking about that this would be an opportune time for North Korea to release the hostages, saying it's something that they should consider strongly.
And we know from secretary of state Mike Pompeo himself, that these three men did come up in the conversation that he had with Kim Jong-un when he traveled to Pyongyang over Easter weekend. So certainly it does seem like a right time for these kinds of diplomatic efforts -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, it represents goodwill certainly in advance of these face-to-face talks between the two leaders. The United States gets these three American detainees released.
What does North Korea get in exchange? FIELD: Certainly, this is an opportunity for North Korea to make a good faith effort. And you have seen them make a couple of these gestures in the run-up to a possible sit-down with the U.S. president.
And consider the fact that we are talking about the idea of Kim Jong- un sitting down with the U.S. president. There's really nothing that North Korea would want more than that at this stage.
So they are taking a few steps to project this atmosphere wherein the president has agreed to a sit-down with Kim Jong-un. You have seen Kim Jong-un talk about shutting down the nuclear test site in North Korea, also making some smaller steps, like turning off the propaganda that would blast from the DMZ into South Korea.
So this is all about certain steps that can be taken in the run-up to a sit-down that certainly the whole world will be watching and that's when really the high stakes topics will be discussed. It is at that point.
Certainly U.S. officials have made it clear they want these men to be released from their detainment. They've also made clear that this is not tied to denuclearization in any way, that is the issue they're after. That's the deal they're seeking -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Many thanks to our --
CHURCH: -- Alexandra Field, joining us from Seoul, South Korea, where it's just after 3:00 in the afternoon.
Well, another shakeup on Donald Trump's legal team. And it could signal a more aggressive approach in fighting back against the special counsel's Russia probe. Now this comes as the president is staring down a possible face-to-face interview with Robert Mueller's investigators. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It could be the most ominous departure on the Trump's legal team yet. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer, who had counseled the president for months to stop attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, is out.
Cobb told CNN, "I've done what I came to do in terms of managing the White House response to the special counsel's requests. I'm extremely grateful to the president and chief of staff John Kelly for the opportunity to serve my country."
But a source familiar with Cobb's departure tells CNN the White House lawyer was uncomfortable with the president's tweets hammering Mueller and wanted no part of a mudslinging campaign, making it clear he can't go down that path.
Replacing Cobb, attorney Emmet Flood, who joins a legal team that has changed dramatically in recent weeks, adding former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and losing both Cobb and outside attorney John Dowd.
Flood had worked on the legal team defending former president Bill Clinton against impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It depends upon what the meaning of the word "is" is.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Democrats are counting on the latest chaos in Trump world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: Nobody can stay around Donald Trump long who has a conscience and who has character and who believes in ethics. I think that's probably why Dowd left. That's why Ty Cobb left and that's why Mr. Flood's time is limited.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president's latest tweets on the Mueller probe are a sign his legal team is getting more aggressive, hinting he could shut down the investigation, Mr. Trump tweeted, "At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the presidency and get involved."
The president is escalating his attacks on the Justice Department after Mueller warned earlier this year he may subpoena Mr. Trump to force his testimony. Democrats argue a subpoena may be necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D): Do I want to see it?
No. But if it's necessary it should be done.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What would make it necessary?
NADLER: If he refuses to answer questions that the special counsel deems necessary to be answered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): DAG Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe, told CNN's Laura Jarrett his investigators are not backing down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There are people who have making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time. And I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): That puts even more pressure on the president, who has told reporters repeatedly he wants to cooperate with Mueller's team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, would you still like to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller, sir?
TRUMP: Thank you. Sure, I would like to. I would like to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would do it under oath?
TRUMP: Oh, I would do it under oath.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Robert Mueller will be fair to you in this larger investigation?
TRUMP: We're going to find out because here's what we'll say -- and everybody says -- no collusion. There's no collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: This latest shakeup comes after the president tweeted just last month that he was happy with his legal team, calling Ty Cobb his, quote, "special counsel." All the indications now are pointing to the president's legal team becoming much more combative with the Russia investigation.
As one source told CNN, playing nice hasn't gotten them anywhere -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: Let's get some perspective on all this from CNN legal analyst, Michael Zeldin, who was Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the Justice Department.
Good to have you with us.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: Now one of the additions to the Trump legal team is Rudy Giuliani. And he dropped a bombshell Wednesday in an interview on FOX News, when he told Sean Hannity that Donald Trump paid back $130,000 to longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, money that Cohen had paid out of his own personal funds as hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Let's just listen to a portion of that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX HOST: They funneled it through a law firm. RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NYC: They funneled it through a law firm and the president repaid it.
HANNITY: Oh, I didn't know. He did.
HANNITY: There's no campaign finance law?
GIULIANI: Zero. Just like every -- Sean, Sean
HANNITY: But you know the president didn't know about this?
I believe that's what --
GIULIANI: He didn't know about the specifics of it as far as I know. But he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So, Michael Zeldin, a lot to break down here. So first, Giuliani insisting this proves this does not violate campaign funding laws.
Is that the case?
ZELDIN: Well, it depends on the timing and some of the facts that we don't know. So for example, if Cohen made this payment of $130,000 of his own accord with no expectation of being repaid, given the timing of the payment, so close to the election, I believe it was a campaign reportable offense and that Cohen would --
ZELDIN: -- have exceeded the amount that an individual is allowed to pay. If alternatively the president knew that Cohen was going to pay this and that he intended to repay it, then it's a loan to the campaign and it has to be reported as a loan. And to our knowledge, it was not reported as a loan.
So if, in the sense that Giuliani said they funneled this through the law firm and then it was to be repaid, if that implies that "they" is the campaign and that the campaign fully intended to repay this, then it's a loan that was unreported. And that is a campaign violation.
Giuliani said, I'm going to tell you a fact, no campaign law violated, that's not a fact. That's a conclusion of law and that depends on the facts that we just were talking about.
CHURCH: So Rudy Giuliani is doing Mr. Trump no favors in actually saying this. And, of course, we have to keep this in the context that Michael Cohen himself has said he was never paid back. ZELDIN: Well, that's right. And the president said he knew nothing about it. So in the best case scenario -- and I think that when Rudy Giuliani gets to the office in the morning, they're going to say, really, that's what you said?
We got to now walk this back in some way or create a new narrative. The best narrative potentially is that the president or then candidate Trump knew nothing about this. Cohen paid it all on his own, thereby violating the campaign limits. But that's all on Cohen.
Then when the president later learned of Cohen having done this, he said that's not fair to Michael; I'm going to repay him and that's what he did, but it doesn't seem to jive with exactly what Giuliani said about funneling it through a law firm.
But I think we might start seeing facts changing to somehow make sure that the president is acting out of his own sort of generosity in respect of a loan that he didn't know anything about at the time it was made.
CHURCH: Right, and we heard there also Giuliani saying Mr. Trump knew about the general arrangement regarding this payment to Stormy Daniels, but didn't know about the specifics.
Where does that leave Mr. Trump legally?
ZELDIN: Well, again, it puts him in this no man's land of if he knew generally that Cohen was making payments to people who had bad things to say about the president, Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels, whomever else, the president knew about that in general terms and he understood that Cohen would take care of it as an initial matter and that he then would repay Cohen because of the proximity of the payment to Stormy Daniels so close to the election, I don't see there being any way of not concluding this was a payment that had to be reported.
So if the president knew generally that these payments were being made and that it was in relationship to the campaign and silencing a negative voice, then I think that he may have implicated some campaign finance law violations for himself.
CHURCH: And just very quickly, I wanted to ask you what does the departure from the Trump legal team of Ty Cobb and the addition of Emmet Flood, along with Rudy Giuliani, signal to you in terms of the way President Trump and his team plan to respond to the special counsel's investigation?
ZELDIN: I think that's unknowable at this point. Honestly, if I had my voice to be heard in the president's inner circle, I would say bring in Flood, keep Ty Cobb and Martin and Jane Raskin and Jay Sekulow and then you have a good, solid, working class team of lawyers.
I don't think you need Rudy Giuliani for the reason that we just saw this evening. So, unfortunately, Ty is gone. And we'll have to see what that means in terms of if it changes the strategy of the president vis-a-vis Mueller and the interview. I just don't think at this point it's noble nor do I think it's safe
to conclude that it signals something at this point.
CHURCH: Yes, and we shall see in 24 hours whether Rudy Giuliani is still on the team, as you point out. Michael Zeldin, thank you so much for your legal analysis. We always appreciate it.
ZELDIN: My pleasure.
CHURCH: And just to follow on from there, "The Washington Post" reporter Robert Costa tweeted this just a short time ago.
"Giuliani tells me he just spoke with the President of the United States tonight by phone. President very pleased, Giuliani says," that, of course, referring to his interview on FOX.
"He says they discussed his revelation of his reimbursements long in advance, does not expect to be fired and says his remarks on FOX News channel --
CHURCH: -- "were approved by Trump."
So of course, we will see in just a few hours whether that's the case.
President Trump is just over a week away from a deadline to decide whether to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal. European leaders have been pressing him not to withdraw.
But Iran's ambassador to the U.K. says they shouldn't appease Mr. Trump. In an exclusive interview with our Christiane Amanpour, he had this blunt warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMID BAEIDINEJAD, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED KINGDOM: When the United States is out of the deal, it means that there is no deal left. The consequence would be that Iran, in fact, would be ready to go back to the previous situation.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Well, that means enriching uranium at a vast speed and capacity?
BAEIDINEJAD: It could be enriching uranium. It could be redefining or cooperation with the agency and some other activities that are under consideration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: By May 12th, President Trump must decide whether to continue waiving sanctions on Iran or effectively pull out of the agreement. Iran's ambassador says it is working and must be honored.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BAEIDINEJAD: The modalities that are suggested, totally unacceptable to us because there is some kind of conditionality that, if we want to continue the implementation of the JCPOA, there should be agreement on other elements, which is totally unacceptable.
JCPOA was negotiated on its own merit. And still it's working and it should be continued to be in force, if there are other issues which the parties, all parties reach, to a conclusion that they can have dialogue and understanding. Certainly, that's a possibility for the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Iran's ambassador to the U.K., talking to our Christiane Amanpour.
We'll take a short break here. But still to come, CNN discovers children mining cobalt, a key element in car batteries and now big name automakers say they're taking action to stop it.
Also ahead, the data firm at the center of the Facebook scandal says it has lost all of its customers and will go out of business. We'll have more on that when we come back.
CHURCH: Just hours after CNN exposed child labor in the cobalt mines of Congo, the industries that use those minerals are taking action. Carmaker Daimler has announced a major order of its supply chains after CNN found the cobalt used to power electric car batteries is often being mined by children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We arrive at the Musonoi River mine where the cobalt ore is washed to grind it down. 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. Some work on.
One young boy staggers under his load. His friend sees the camera and he drops his sack. They've clearly been warned.
A mining ministry official spots this boy carrying cobalt has been captured by our cameras. His response is brutal. Later we ask him why he struck the child. He refused to answer.
ELBAGIR: 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 labor loaded on to a variety of different vehicles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, Daimler says it has explicitly forbidden child labor for years but admits it's difficult to verify the source of its cobalt. The company says it will work with 1,500 suppliers worldwide to stop any violations.
The head of supply quality at Mercedes, which is owned by Daimler, says, "We actively create transparency in the supply chain, right down to the mine, if necessary."
Earlier, my colleague, Paula Newton, talked to our correspondent, Nima Elbagir, about Daimler's efforts to crack down on child labor violations. And Nima says it's tough to tell if the company really wants it to end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: Well, it's hard to take it 100 percent openheartedly in terms of the companies' sincerity given that this information regarding the opacity and the potential of contamination in the supply chain was something that the companies have been aware of for years now.
And it literally was only when we started looking through the financial filings, looking through their SEC filings, that we saw that companies like Tesla and Mercedes-Benz and Fiat Chrysler had acknowledged this to the federal government and, yet, were not making it public to the consumer.
But saying that, this is, of course, it is a huge move on the Daimler- Benz's part because they know how difficult it is. And that's part of the reason why there has been so little supply chain transparency in the past. And they say, if they have to, they will take it to the mine.
From what we see, Paula, that is something that they will probably really have to try and do because, at every single instance in which that supply chain begins to diverge, there is potential for contamination.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Yes, and you know as well as I do that those who were involved in this very lucrative trade will continue to try and have that child labor on site, so it is very complicated, much more complicated than it would seem.
What do you think is their best defense to make sure that those children do not end up doing this for -- you know, most people want to feel good about driving electric cars, that's why a lot of people are switching.
When you see that video, you're thinking to yourself, did we get wrong this entire time?
ELBAGIR: Well, they have suggested that there will be regular audits undertaken by experts because other companies have said, Tesla, for instance, that they rely on certificates and audits.
But what we saw was that the same entities from the Congolese government, that were involved with slapping that child, with hiding the presence of child labor, were the same entities that were signing off on the certificates and audits.
It's going to take money and it's also going to take a great deal of investment of manpower and time. They need to have people sitting down there at that mine, making sure that there is no child labor in that supply chain because, if not, it's very hard to see how else they can do it without a constant presence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And I will talk live with Nima next hour. You can find out more about our investigation into cobalt mining Congo. It's one of our many reports on modern-day slavery on cnn.com/freedom.
Well, Cambridge Analytica, the data company at the heart of the Facebook scandal, is calling it quits. The Trump presidential campaign had been among its clients but the firm says business dried up after Facebook accused it of misusing the personal information of millions of its users. CNN's Brian Stelter reports.
BRIAN STELTER, CNNMONEY SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The shadowy political consulting firm --
STELTER: -- Cambridge Analytica, is shutting down. The company says it can no longer operate because its customer base has dried up.
This comes in the wake of "The New York Times," "The Guardian" and Channel 4 News investigations into the company's use or misuse of data to target voters and other members of the public in incredibly sophisticated ways.
You'll recall that Facebook kicked Cambridge Analytica off the platform back in March when those stories were about to come. Facebook says the company had essentially misused data from tens of millions of users.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg then went to Capitol Hill to testify on the matter and vowed to make changes. Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica has essentially defended itself and said it's been innocent of these charges.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company reaffirmed that it always acted ethically with people's data. Here's a part of the statement.
The company says, "Despite Cambridge Analytica's unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all the company's customers and suppliers. "As a result, it's been determined that it's no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the company into administration."
Now staffers in New York and London and elsewhere were told to pack up and go home on Wednesday. They apparently will still receive severance, et cetera. The company is also still under investigation in at least two countries (ph).
They know that British lawmakers and British investigators are probing the company's practices and so are some lawmakers here in the United States.
Now the company was creating these detailed psychographic profiles of voters. It worked for the Trump campaign and other campaigns as well. There's been a lot of debate about just how effective the company's practices are.
Now what remains to be seen is whether Cambridge Analytica will reemerge in some new form or some new name. But this practice of targeting voters, of trying to get as much data as possible and then reaching individuals on a one-to-one basis, it seems likely that's going to continue in various forms.
And in fact it will get more sophisticated with every passing election. But Cambridge Analytica, the company, the name, that is shutting down -- Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Let's take another short break. Still to come, fears of a trade war hang over the U.S. and China. Now a high-level delegation from the United States has gone to China to see what agreements might be worked out. And we will go live to Beijing for a report after this break.
Plus: store shelves are empty in Venezuela. And people who need medicine are being forced into a desperate choice. We're back in a moment.
[02:30:04] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. The release of three Americans detained in North Korea is imminent. That is according to an official with knowledge of the negotiations. We are told North Korea's Foreign Minister proposed their release two months ago. But at the time, U.S. officials insisted the release should not be related to the issue of denuclearization.
Rudy Giuliani, a member of Donald Trump's legal team says the president reimbursed his attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money that Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels. Cohen has admitted paying the adult film star to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied the affair or any involvement with the payment.
The data firm Cambridge Analytica says it's shutting down after losing all its customers. The company which worked for the Trump campaign denies any wrongdoing but it's been accused of misusing the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users. The U.S. military says it's transferred an Al-Qaeda terrorist from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center to Saudi Arabia. He is the first detainee moved out of GTMO since President Trump took office. The detainee will serve the rest of his 13-year sentence in Saudi Arabia.
Well, U.S. President Donald Trump made his first visit to the U.S. State Department on Wednesday. He went there to celebrate the installation of Mike Pompeo as U.S. Secretary of State. Pompeo was officially sworn in a week ago but Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath a second time. Wednesday's ceremony allowed Pompeo to be seen with the president and the vice president at his side. Pompeo said the administration was committed to the diplomatic challenges ahead including denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We're committed to the permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea's weapons of mass destructions program and to do so without delay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: To another issue now, a team of senior U.S. officials has arrived in China for key trade talks. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other high level U.S. officials will hold two days of talks on Thursday and Friday. Now, their goal is to tamp down fears of a possible trade war. But the Chinese government is down-playing the meetings and warns not to expect any big agreements. CNN's Matt Rivers joins us now from Beijing with all the details on this. So Matt, what message is the U.S. delegation bringing to China in regards to trade?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, presumably they're going to be giving a message that the president himself has signed off on the president tweeted a little bit ago that the delegation is here in China which they are. They're going to go to meetings this afternoon with their Chinese counterparts. They said they want to create a more level playing field and that is the message that we heard from the leader of this delegation, the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary Mnuchin. He spoke to CNN briefly about the approach here before he took off for China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: They're not easy. And any negotiation isn't easy. We're going in to have frank discussions. It's not a question of whether it's easy or hard. We're going there to have frank discussion to look for meaningful progress on trade.
(END VIDEO CLIP) RIVERS: And look, when you're looking at the problem that the administration has with the current situation, there are numerous problems. They don't like intellectual property theft, so that they accuse Chinese companies of engaging in. They don't like the counterfeiting that goes on here. They don't like the forced transfer of technologies that U.S. companies often have to do to do business here in China. But perhaps s, the biggest problem of all, the one that the president talks about more than anything else is the trade deficit well over $350 billion at this point the largest that's ever been between the United States and China. So those are the issues that the trade delegation is going to bring up.
But in terms of exactly what they want the Chinese to do here, Rosemary, that's where the details become a little bit more scarce. Do they want Xi Jinping for example to give a more specific timeline on some of his recent pledges to further open market access here in China for U.S. firms? Do they want a firm commitment from the Chinese government, a substance of commitment to buy more American imports? That would lower the trade deficit. Those are a couple of the different options that analyst that we're spoken to a floated but in terms of exactly what this administration wants China to do to fix this so-called unleveled playing field when it comes to the trading relationship, that we're not sure yet.
CHURCH: Yes. Presumably the delegation won't go home completely empty-handed. What sort of concessions might China make if any of course?
[02:35:06] RIVERS: Yes. Well, I mean the Chinese would say that they've already made some concessions. They would point to the fact that Xi Jinping gave that speech several weeks ago talking about opening up market access. He also talked specifically about lowering imports -- excuse me, lower in tariffs on auto imports from the United States from 25 percent to a much lower figure at some point later on this year. We're not sure of the timeframe there. But you've heard the president himself say, look, that's not good enough. The president said that at a rally back in Michigan last week. And so, he's saying, that's not good enough.
And so then as a result, the United States will presumably rely on the threat of tariffs. You know, they threatened $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. That's going to be a tool in their negotiations to provide them leverage. That said, to this point the Chinese haven't backed down. They said that they're willing to respond to any tariffs in kind. They don't think the tariffs are a good idea, but they will go toe to toe with the U.S. Whether that changes after these negotiations, we'll have to just wait and see at that point. But the Chinese so far have not backed down to public pressure surrounding these tariffs by the United States.
CHURCH: We'll see what they come back with and Matt Rivers bringing us that live report from Beijing. It's just after 2:30 in the afternoon. Many thanks. Well, more now on the latest shakeup of U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team. Rudy Giuliani joined the team just last month. And he's laying out his ground rules for a possible special counsel interview with Mr. Trump. But one thing he says nothing will happen before the president's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. He also wants any interview limited to two to three hours. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, LEGAL COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: I'm concerned about it because I know how when you're in the middle of the investigation you're going to lose some objectivity is are they objective about the president's interview? Meaning, do they have an open mind to the fact that he may be telling the truth and Comey may be lying? If they have an on mind to that then this is something we would consider. If they don't, then given all of the irregularities in this instigation we would be forced to have them be interviewed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Now, Donald Trump has given his share of depositions under oath as a private citizen. And as Randi Kaye reports he has a history of hyperbole.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: December 2007, Donald Trump under oath in a courtroom deposition. And if it was a test of honesty the future president didn't fare well. Even the simplest of questions turned tough to answer. Lawyers asked about Trump's boast regarding how much he was paid for a 2005 speech he gave New York City's Learning Annex. Trump, I was paid more than a million dollars. He'd said the same to Larry King back in 2005.
LARRY KING, AMERICAN TELEVISION HOST: You make appearances, you got a million dollars -- you got a million dollars for an appearance of The Learning Annex, right?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's true.
KAYE: But it wasn't. What Trump didn't reveal until he was pressed during a deposition was that more than half of the one million dollars he claimed he was paid for that speech was actually just his own estimate of the value of the publicity that came along with it. The lawyer asked how much of the payments were cash? Trump, slight, approximately $400,000. Trump was also exposed for not coming clean about his stake in a Manhattan real estate project which Trump had claimed for a 77-acre project was 50 percent. The lawyer asked, Mr. Trump, do you own 30 percent or 50 percent of a limited partnership? His answer, I own 30 percent. After a confusing explanation he was asked, are you saying the real estate community would interpret your interest to be 50 percent even though in limited partnership agreements it's 30 percent?
Smart people would. Trump responded, on the subject of his net worth, author Tim O'Brien wrote in his book that Trump was worth far less than the five to six billion dollars Trump has once claimed. Under oath, Trump was asked, have you ever not been truthful about your net worth? His response was noncommittal. My net worth fluctuates and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes, and with feelings. Even my own feelings but I try. It didn't stop there. In fact, The Washington Post found Donald Trump either lied, exaggerated, or told falsehoods 30 times during the deposition. 30 times. On the subject of the number of people working for him.
KING: How many people work for you?
TRUMP: Twenty-two thousand or so different businesses, over twenty- two thousand.
KAYE: In court, the lawyer asked, are all those people on your payroll? No, not directly, Trump said. It turns out he was factoring in employees of other companies that he'd subcontracted.
[02:40:01] KAYE: And on his claim he had zero borrowings from his father's estate, under oath, a different story. I think a small amount a long time ago. I think it was like in the nine million dollar range he told the court. And about those feeds that Trump's gold courses, Trump had said memberships had been going for $300,000. He was again proven to have stretch the truth when the lawyer questioning him provided an internal document showing the correct figure, $200,000 per membership. Trump was cornered. Correct, he conceded. Randi Kaye, CNN New York.
CHURCH: Nine members of Puerto Rico's Air National Guard are dead after their military plane nosedived and crashed shortly after takeoff near Savannah, Georgia. And you can see it in this shocking image of the plane as it dives straight down into the ground. The aircraft was on its last flight heading to Arizona where it was to be decommissioned. It was at least 50 years old. There are no injuries on the ground. A Southwest Airlines flight was force to make an unscheduled landing after a window cracked. The passenger on the plane sent this picture to her son. The flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey was diverted to Cleveland. The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the cause.
Well, two African-American men whose arrest at a Philadelphia Starbucks sparked protests over racial bias have been settled. They have a settlement now. The city agreed to give them what they asked for $1.00 each, but it must also fund a $200,000 grant to establish a program for high school students who want to be entrepreneurs. As for Starbucks, it reached a confidential finance settlement and will work with the men on its diversity effort. It also agreed to give them an opportunity to complete their college degrees for free. And we will take a short break here. Signs of desperation in Venezuela with pharmacy shelves empty. People are being forced to shop for medicine in the pet department. Plus, people in parts of the Eastern United States are sweltering. A heat wave is setting records. We'll have the forecast for you when we come back.
[02:45:05] CHURCH: A victim of sexual abuse in Chile's Catholic Church says Pope Francis apologized for his handling of the crisis there. Pope Francis, met privately with three men who were victims of Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, the Vatican found Karadima guilty of abusing boys in the 1970s and '80s. Karadima denied the allegations, the pope appointed a Bishop Juan Barros in 2015. Despite allegations, he covered up the abuse by Karadima. Barros has said he was unaware of any wrongdoing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN CARLOS CRUZ, VICTIM OF SEXUAL ABUSE, CHILE: The Pope was truly sorry about what he told me. I felt also that he was hurting, which for me was very solemn. I don't know what word to use because it's not often that the pope really says sorry to you and apologizes to you for a something. He said, "I was part of the problem. I caused this, and I apologize to you." I believed that he was sincere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And in a letter to Chilean bishops last month, Pope Francis, said he made grave mistakes in handling that crisis.
Well, Venezuela's economy is in disaster. People are starving, they are sick and desperate. With pharmacy shelves empty, some are turning to veterinarians and pet stores to get the medicine they need. Rafael Romo, reports.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: In a country marred by a deep economic, political and humanitarian crisis, Venezuelans are scavenging for food in dumpsters and fleeing by the thousands. The economic crisis has also created a humanitarian one.
Aside from the lack of food, most of pharmacies nationwide lack basic medications such as antibiotics and painkillers according to the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation. Cristina Quintana, experienced the shortages first hand, after searching for antibiotics to treat an infection, a pharmacy manager suggests that she look for it in a pet shop.
CRISTINA QUINTANA, COMPANY DIRECTOR, VENEZUELA (through translator): Health comes first and unfortunately, we have to make do with what we have.
ROMO: And she's not the only one. More and more desperate Venezuelans are turning to veterinary clinics for medicine and other basic healthcare supplies. Quintana, says she was surprised after finding out that humans consuming pet medication had become an increasingly common occurrence in the medicine health. Jonathan Bello and his family also felt the crisis firsthand. The entire family suddenly started to suffer from itch symptoms.
JONATHAN BELLO, CAMERAMAN, VENEZUELA (through translator): I don't know why all that itching. I think it was in the water or soap because at the time there was no soap so we had to buy industrial soap.
ROMO: They too resorted to a pet shop for help. BELLO: I went in and asked. I was quite embarrassed since they have animal products. Then, I got a solution. They said it was scabies.
ROMO: Venezuela's collapsing economy has left the socialist government without enough money to buy medical supplies. The country also refuses to accept outside aid. In April, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. will provide $60 million dollars in aid to Venezuelans who have fled, and supports the neighboring countries taking them in.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: United States believes now is the time to do more, much more. Every free nation gathered here much take stronger action to isolate the Maduro regime. We must all stand with our brothers and sisters suffering in Venezuela.
ROMO: While desperate times have led many in the starving country to figure out creative solutions, the U.S., the United Nations, and many of Venezuela's own neighbor say, they stand ready to help as soon as the country is ready to receive it. Rafael Romo, CNN.
CHURCH: Well, millions of people in the Eastern United States are experiencing record heat. While people in the Central States are dealing with severe weather. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the International Weather Center. And, of course, these problems come after a rather cool spring. Now everything is changed.
[02:49:31] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Very well said. You know that's exactly what was that she going to lead with Rosemary, here. Because just a couple of days, ago you know, you look at these temperatures in the city. Boston, for example, it was nine degree Celsius, that's 48 Fahrenheit for a high temperature.
Within just a couple of days, so your transition to yesterday, Wednesday. The temp's shoot-up to thirty-two Celsius or 90 Fahrenheit. So, you go from essentially, what is winter like in places. Of course, it's not snowing a couple days ago. But going from nine to 32 in any period, especially, in a couple of days' time, it's pretty impressive. And some 18 cities set record temperatures on Wednesday across the North Eastern United States. The most densely corner, populated corner of the U.S. there.
And of course, we look at some of these numbers lower 30s in New York. Lower 30s across parts of Vermont, into the lower 30s as well in Washington, D.C. That record standing for nearly nine decades until Wednesday afternoon when temps shot up to 33 degrees.
So, that brought up respect. Three to six degrees above average in the Southern Tier of the U.S. upwards of 10 degrees Celsius above average in the North Eastern United States, but a really fascinating statistic. You take the city of Augusta, Maine, which is the city that on the latitude will mark, actually lines up with Geneva, Switzerland, compare to Augusta, Georgia, which on the same mark taken all the way across the Atlantic Ocean lines up with the Sahara Desert. Temps to the north there much warmer, a couple of degrees warmer than temps to the south, and much warmer that an average at least, for this time of year. So, that is what we're looking at and it and it continues for one more day. Widespread lower 30 is possible, including Baltimore, Maryland, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York record temperatures.
And look how uniform those setup is because it's not just across the Eastern U.S. it, in fact, stretches back towards the Midwestern U.S., the Northern Tier of the U.S. where snow showers were prevalent a couple of weeks ago, and now, we're talking additional warmth. Plus, we're really pumping in that southerly flow.
The same reason through all the excessive heat is really inhibiting storms from moving out of the path of the Central United States, locking them in place. Plenty of environmental energy here for storm to be severe. And unfortunately, that was the case in the past several days and remains to be the case.
In fact, look at this. Upwards of 26 reports of tornados in the past, 48 hours, over 100 plus reports of wind damage and hail damage coming in across the Central United States. And plus, 30 million people in line for additional severe weather comes Thursday afternoon.
In fact, that Canada's that's upwards of parts of 20 States dealing with this. The bullseye near Kansas City, Missouri, Rosemary. So, a severe weather concerns certainly in place there. And again, to the east of it, we're talking July to August-like heat during the month of May. Pretty impressive setup.
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. A lot to be worried about there. Thank you so much, Pedram, appreciate, heads up.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, Donald Trump supporters have nominated him for prestigious honor. Still to come, why they say the U.S. president deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? We'll explain.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A finished climate change group wants to create a kind of mount rush more in ice called Project Trumpmore. The Melting Ice Association wants to sculpt the likeness of President Trump's face onto an arctic glacier. The world could then, watch it fade through a live webcam. The unmistakable commentary on President Trump's opposition to the Paris Climate Deal would rise 35 meters high and cost $500,000. A crowdfunding site is being set up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS PRIETO, CHAIRMAN, MELTING ICE ASSOCIATION: Our long-term aim is that the sculpture would work as a monument for an environmental revolution. Our idea is that the matters get behind the cause and would talk more about the environmental change, and that would resonate into decision making. Our leaders, our politicians and decision-makers all over the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:54:54] CHURCH: And the group says it is looking for a location for Project Trumpmore, in a place that shows the impact of climate change.
Well, meanwhile, the president's impact on the Korean Peninsula is the topic of some heated debate right now. Supporters in the U.S. Congress have officially nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. CNN's Jeanne Moos, reports.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump, Nobel Laureate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangle that Nobel Prize in front of him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has to be almost issuing for the Nobel peace prize.
TRUMP: -- Nobel Peace Prize?
MOOS: Who, me? Yes, him. Dana Carvey was already imagining the president's acceptance speech.
DANA CARVEY, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: I love prizes, I love crackerjacks.
MOOS: 18 Republican members of Congress signed the letter to the Novel Committee in Norway, formally nominating him. But his supporters had already chanted their nomination.
AMERICAN CROWD: Nobel! Nobel! Novel!
TRUMP: Nobel. That's very nice, thank you. Trump supporters chanting Nobel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like going to a monster truck rally and chanting Pulitzer.
MOOS: Critics con quite square the humanitarian prize with President Trump's tough tie tactics.
TRUMP: To totally destroy North Korea.
Little rocket man.
MOOS: He threatened to annihilate them.
TRUMP: With fire and fury.
MOOS: Hardly, peace prize material scoffed one tweet. The Nobel nominee has veered for modesty. TRUMP: I want to get peace.
MOOS: To grandiosity.
TRUMP: What do you think a President Trump had to do with it? I'll tell you what, like how about everything?
AMERICAN CROWD: Yes!
MOOS: But nothing is what critics of that other winner say he did to deserve it.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Did I did get the Nobel Peace Prize?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really, what was that for?
OBAMA: To be honest I still don't go.
MOOS: As for South Korea's president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He thinks Trump should win a Nobel Prize for peace. Herpes, he said --
MOOS: There is one tweet that takes the prize for promoting hair growth. Naming President Trump winner of the Nobel Propecia prize. If he wins, better put the acceptance speech on teleprompter.
CARVEY: If he'll be up there, I love -- I love the Nobelians. I love --
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.
MOOS: New York.
CHURCH: See what happens there, right? And thanks to your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church here at CNN Center. I'll have another hour of CNN NEWSROOM in just a moment. Do stick around.
[03:30:08] CHURCH: A source tells Kim -- tell CNN, Kim Jong-un, may have soon free three Americans detained in North Korea. Just ahead of the details on this decision with a live report.