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North Korea Watch; 2016 Trump Tower Meeting; Royal Wedding Party Revealed; Senate Transcripts Suggest Trump, Jr., Was Willing to Collude With Russians; Atletico Win Europa League Title; Golden Knights Exceed Expectations Of An Expansion Team; Gianluigi Buffon To Announce Retirement. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 17, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour: U.S. president Donald Trump takes a wait and see approach to the upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un.

Could his national security advisor have (INAUDIBLE) time (INAUDIBLE)?

Also ahead, new details of the infamous Trump Tower between campaign staffers and Russians linked to the Kremlin.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus anticipation is growing as the royal wedding gets closer. We'll look at preparations for Harry and Meghan's big day.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Isha Sesay in Windsor, England.

VAUSE (voice-over): It's all getting exciting. I'm John Vause in Los Angeles. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A..

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VAUSE: Senior U.S. officials, including national security advisor John Bolton still hopeful next month's summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will go ahead. President Trump is taking a wait-and-see approach.

On Wednesday he was pushing for complete denuclearization of North Korea. That demand, along with joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea have prompted Pyongyang to threaten to cancel the summit.

President Trump says only time will tell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll have to see.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We haven't seen anything. We haven't heard anything. We will see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: CNN's Paula Hancocks is live this hour in Seoul, South Korea.

Paula, what's in a word?

It seems a lot when that word is denuclearization. As many had predicted, what the Americans, what the North Koreans actually think that word means could be what brings this summit undone.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. This has been talked about for some time but there was a general assumption that the two would get to the summit before they realized that their terminology was very different at what denuclearization means to the North Koreans, a very different thing to the U.S. as we saw in that KCNA article.

The member of the foreign ministry saying that it's not going to be a unilateral nuclear abandonment. If it is, then there's no point having these talks between U.S. president and the North Korean leader.

We did hear, though, from John Bolton, the national security adviser, speaking to FOX News Radio saying that he had spoken to his South Korean counterpart, the South Koreans are quite puzzled as to why the North Koreans are threatening to pull out at this point as well.

The timing is unusual but also saying that he does believe it will go ahead and other diplomats as well, including the Dutch ambassador to the U.N., saying that this isn't necessarily completely unexpected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything who has had anything to do with DPRK in the past 20-30-40 years has seen that engaging in a political contact with DPRK is complex. And to say it very simply, the road ahead will have bumps. And I think we're hitting one of the bumps at the moment.

But we are hopeful that the road will lead to a solution we all hope for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS: So what we're hearing from U.S. officials at this point is that plans are still being made. They're still ongoing with the summit plans for June 12th in Singapore. We heard also that they are trying to figure out exactly what was behind this decision by North Korea, whether it's a power play, whether it's a prenegotiation or what is before they allow the U.S. president Donald Trump to give a full response -- John.

VAUSE: And Paula, very quickly, what about the fate of that meeting between North Korea and South Korean officials which Pyongyang also put on indefinite hold because of those military drills between the U.S. and South Korea?

HANCOCKS: South Korea is still pushing for that to go ahead. They say that they were very surprised that this happened, especially considering that these military drills were annual. They say defensive, the North Koreans would've known about them.

But from the North Korean point of view, they said that those military drills were against the Panmunjom declaration, this agreement between the two leaders, which says that there won't be any hostilities between the two sides.

So there again you have this fundamental difference in opinion between the North and the South and the U.S. when it comes to these military drills. The North sees them as offensive. But the U.S. and the South Koreans say that is just necessary for these two militaries, for the two air forces to be training together -- John.

VAUSE: Paula, thank you, Paula Hancocks live for us in Seoul, South Korea.

Paul Carroll is a senior adviser at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Group N Square. He joins us now from Minneapolis in Minnesota.

Paul, good to see you. Let's start with that question of denuclearization. Assuming the summit does go ahead -- and that still seems likely -- if the U.S. --

[02:05:00]

VAUSE: -- president is willing to accept something short of complete and total denuclearization, does he stand a chance of making a worthwhile deal as opposed to demanding everything and most likely getting nothing?

PAUL CARROLL, N SQUARE: Well, thanks for having me, John. I think I would disagree a little bit with the sentiment that there are two different understandings of what the word "denuclearization" means. Many in the American sort of Korea watchers and many in this administration understand that North Korea means something broader.

It means not just their nuclear weapons and their nuclear infrastructure, it means no nuclear weapons on the peninsula. So no redeployments of U.S. nuclear weapons, no sorties of B-52s and so on. That -- that's a very important element here.

But it's not the only thing. What Pyongyang is responding to in the last 24 hours has more to do with the daylight they see between national security advisor John Bolton, drawing parallels to a quote- unquote "Libyan model of disarmament."

And we all know where Moammar Gadhafi ended up after giving up his nascent nuclear program, and North Korea saying, not so fast. We're not going there. We're talking about phased, step-by-step rollback of the sanctions from the United States while we begin to give up some of our nuclear capacity. What's happening is the U.S. is throwing everything else on the

Christmas tree. And North Korea -- I wouldn't say they're threatening not to have the summit. They're saying, hold on, guys. This isn't what we talked about.

VAUSE: I guess it is a question of timing and how -- and the process and how all this takes place. It is notable the North Koreans called out the national security advisor John Bolton. The comment you referred to, he made last weekend. This is it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But is it a requirement that Kim Jong-un agree to give away those weapons before you give any kind of concession?

JOHN BOLTON, TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that's right. I think we're looking at the Libya model of 2003 2004.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: But the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, he talked in similar terms (INAUDIBLE) the Sunday talk shows.

So why is it the North Koreans are hanging all of this on Bolton?

CARROLL: I think they understand the dynamics of the U.S. government and, in particular, the Trump administration. They have watched carefully as President Trump has had a revolving door, a merry-go- round of senior advisors, not only on national security issues but domestic issues.

They see that President Trump wants to make a deal. He has a political motivation to make a deal with them. They see John Bolton as a strident ideologue and, in fact, a regime changer. And when he begins to add things like getting rid of their missiles, getting rid of their biological weapons program, they realize that that is out of bounds.

So they -- and since Bolton said it, they were able to say, that's not going to be something that we -- that we discussed. That's a precondition.

VAUSE: OK, Paul, good to see you. Thank you.

CARROLL: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: It's one of the most critical moments of the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling. That infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between senior members of the Trump campaign and a number of Russians linked to the Kremlin.

We now have the most detailed version of what happened before, during and after that meeting from newly released transcripts. CNN's Jim Sciutto has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senate Judiciary Committee transcripts make clear that at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., was expecting the Russians to supply dirt on Hillary Clinton.

This is despite President Trump, his son and others repeatedly claiming otherwise. A Russian lobbyist present for the meeting told senators that Donald Trump Jr., quote, "was definitely in charge," and after some small talk, began by saying something to the effect of, "So you have some information for us."

In his own testimony, Donald Trump Jr. admitted that he was, quote, "interested in listening to information about Hillary Clinton," adding, quote, "I had no way of assessing where it came from but I was willing to listen."

This is a direct contradiction of the blatantly misleading story put out by the White House and Donald Trump Jr., claiming the meeting was about adoptions. Those interviewed say, however, that the Russians did not deliver the promised dirt and instead focused on their interest in removing U.S. sanctions on some Russians.

Rob Goldstone, a British publicist, who was in the room and helped arrange the meeting, said the discussion began to, quote, "infuriate Jared Kushner because it was so unfocused.

"After a few minutes of this labored presentation," Goldstone said, "Jared Kushner, who was sitting next to me, appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, 'I really have no idea what you're talking about.'"

Don Jr. testified the meeting lasted 20 to 30 minutes and at the conclusion Goldstone apologized to him, quote, "for what he believed was wasting our time."

Donald --

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SCIUTTO (voice-over): -- Jr. said he believed there to be a, quote, "pretty substantial delta between the meeting's original purpose and what actually took place."

Asked if he informed his father about the meeting and the Russians' offer to supply dirt on Clinton, Don Jr. repeatedly said he did not, explaining that he quote, "wouldn't bring in anything that's unsubstantiated, especially from a guy like Rob, before I knew what it was actually about myself."

However, shortly after arranging the meeting, Don Jr. made an 11- minute phone call to a blocked number. Asked if he remembers who that call was with, Trump Jr. said, "I don't."

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: My name is Corey Lewandowski.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): Democrats note, however, the former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski testified before House members that candidate Trump's primary residence has a blocked number.

A full year later, after "The New York Times" first broke the existence of the meeting, the White House initially claimed the meeting was primarily about adoptions, an explanation disproved when an email surfaced, showing that Don Jr. accepted the meeting on the premise that the Russians were bringing the expected dirt on Clinton.

In his testimony, Don Jr. said he did not know that his father was involved in drafting the initial misleading statement.

"I never spoke to my father about it," he said, but the White House has acknowledged that the president himself took part in crafting the misleading response.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president weighed in, as any father would.

SCIUTTO: That 2016 Trump Tower meeting is of interest to the special counsel Robert Mueller for two possible reasons: one, does it show evidence of a possible conspiracy between Trump aides and Russians to influence the election but also on the question of obstruction of justice, that misleading statement about the true intention of the meeting, could that be evidence of obstruction?

A question again for the special counsel -- Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin, joins me now.

Nice to see you. Thanks for coming in. I'm all by myself so I'm glad you're here.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm glad to be with you.

VAUSE: One thing really stands out about Don Jr.'s testimony, he has a really, really bad memory.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: I don't know if it's a bad memory or selective memory.

VAUSE: But "The Washington Post" has listed 54 substandard issues which Don Jr. just can't recall. Don Jr. does have a selective bad memory.

What are the legal implications?

MARTIN: It is not really clear. The big issue here is Don Jr. and his dad have denied any involvement, interaction, meetings, et cetera, with Russian officials. And then we learned of this meeting, this meeting where, in fact, he was meeting with someone affiliated with the Russian government to find out this so-called dirt on Hillary Clinton. And we've seen this story shift from the meeting didn't happen to the

meeting was about adoption to finally, oh, yes, maybe there was something in there about Hillary Clinton. But we didn't really learn anything about it.

And after all, Jared Kushner left the meeting halfway through because the meeting was so unimportant.

So the shifting statements, I think, are obviously problematic and what we learn from the transcripts is that they were really hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

VAUSE: To be fair, people forget lots of stuff. When Hillary Clinton was questioned by the FBI, as she could not recall details of emails which had been sent years earlier, Don Jr. for example, can't remember who he spoke to on the phone after meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower, the mystery person was using a cell phone with a private or a blocked number.

Don Jr. was actually then asked, "Does your father use a blocked number on his cell phone or any phones that you called him on?"

He replied, "I don't know."

So (INAUDIBLE) might have been your father?

I don't.

It seems all so incredible about this, this Republican-controlled committee could have simply subpoenaed the phone records and found out who owned that blocked number but they didn't.

MARTIN: They chose not of the.

Let's go back to the first statement about I don't know if my father uses a blocked number. But to me, that's a really different kind of statement than Hillary Clinton saying I can't remember thousands of emails when she was secretary of state.

You know if your father uses a blocked number. You know that, I know that, any son knows that that has the kind of communication he had with Donald Trump.

And I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he doesn't know who he spoke to that day. But there's no excuse for that committee to have not subpoenaed those records. And it would've been an easy thing to do, to find out who that phone call was actually placed to.

VAUSE: You touched on this. This is a Trump Tower meeting which at first Jr. lied about, said it never happened and it was about Russian adoption and the Russian adoption story became the basis of that misleading statement which was put out by the White House.

So with that in mind, lawmakers asked this to Don Jr., "To the best of your knowledge, did the president provide any edits to the statement or other input?" Don Jr.: "He may have commented through Hope Hicks."

"And do you know if comments provided through Hope Hicks were incorporated into the final statement?"

"I believe some may have been but this was an effort through lots of people, mostly counsel."

So apart from --

[02:15:00]

VAUSE: -- appearing to confirm that the president was directly involved in drafting what was a blatantly untrue response, what else are the legal implications here, knowing that Trump Sr. was directly involved?

MARTIN: The whole thing was we know what Robert Mueller was looking at in terms of Russian interference with the election now has evolved into obstruction of justice or whether there was obstruction of justice with respect to the firing of James Comey and also with regards to this entire investigation.

So if Trump is himself involved in fabricating a statement about a meeting with members of the Russian government, then that raises the question of was he interfering with the investigation that is being conducted by the special counsel?

And again, I think the Senate has an obligation to get to the bottom of that. We need to know who Donald Trump called.

VAUSE: OK, one last legal question while we have you. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lead lawyer right now, he says he's been told that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, will abide by Department of Justice guidelines and will not indict President Trump regardless of the outcome of the Russia investigation.

So assuming that it's true, does that mean at the end of the day if the president is implicated that it's now going to be up to Congress and possible impeachment if there is a finding of wrongdoing?

MARTIN: First thing we should note, John, is that there is a difference of opinion about whether the Justice Department can indict a sitting president. And although there is a memo, some argue that that memo was written in the '70s and that is no longer applicable in 2018.

And because we don't have a Supreme Court decision, ultimately making a final pronouncement on whether the president can be indicted or not, some people question whether special counsel should follow that, if indeed he plans to.

But, yes, if he does plan to follow that memo, then he would be writing a report and providing that report to Congress and then it will be up to Congress to decide whether they wanted to initiate any kind of impeachment hearings. And we know ultimately starts in Congress and then there would be a

trial in the Senate.

VAUSE: And then of course this also has a lot of implications for whether or not the president can be subpoenaed and testify. Robert Mueller, a whole lot of issues --

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: And we know that that has yet to be decided, according to Rudy Giuliani, because the president's too busy to --

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: -- to submit to any kind of meeting with the special counsel.

VAUSE: Areva, as always, thank you.

MARTIN: Thanks, John.

SESAY: Well, the hours are ticking down ahead of the royal wedding here in Windsor. More details of the ceremony are emerging. But one key question remains. Stay with us.

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SESAY: Hello, everyone. We are two days away from the royal wedding and the military rehearsal for the wedding procession will start in just a few hours. After days of announcements, then reversals. It appears Meghan Markle's father will not attend the wedding. We still don't know, though, who will walk her down the aisle.

What we do know is that --

[02:20:00]

SESAY: -- there will be six young bridesmaids and four pageboys, with Harry's nephew and niece, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are among them.

Let's bring in our guest, Richard Fitzwilliams is a royal commentator and Elizabeth Emanuel is the co-designer of Princess Diana's wedding dress.

Welcome to you both. So great to have you with us on this beautiful morning in Windsor.

Richard, let me start with you. So this issue of who will walk Meghan down the aisle, what does your gut say to you about who that person will be?

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYALTY COMMENTATOR: Well, of course, we don't know. But his mind was changed three times in 24 hours. But the state of Thomas Markle and his health must be a source of very considerable concern to Meghan. And I think that it appears he's definitely not coming, given the broadcasts and given the (INAUDIBLE).

On the other hand, we just don't know yet. We know however that Meghan's beloved mother, Doria, may be a substitute. It is even possible a member of the royal family could substitute themselves.

But I will point out that if Doria were to walk Meghan down the aisle, she would following in the illustrious footsteps of Queen Victoria, who took two --

(CROSSTALK)

FITZWILLIAMS: -- in fact, it has happened before this -- after Albert's death, of course.

SESAY: I must say my mother walked me down the aisle. So I'm a big fan of that.

Elizabeth, want you to talk about the dress of course and we're so pleased we could have you here, given your input into a wonderful wedding of the past.

What is your gut saying to you about what Meghan will see on the big day?

ELIZABETH EMANUEL, DRESS DESIGNER: I think she's going to look very elegant, very stylish. I doubt there's going to be all the big puffy sleeves and everything as with Princess Diana's dress.

But I think there's going to be a wow factor there. I think the traditions of the last few years has been to go classic and very beautiful, very traditional.

SESAY: How similar or different from Kate's?

EMANUEL: I think it's going to be different. I think it's going to be very different. And she's going to try to make it a bit of a statement. That's what I'm looking forward to, anyway.

SESAY: Speaking of statements, Richard, they are doing the rehearsal today and the carriages and the mounted footmen and the rest. Talk to me about what we shall see in Windsor in the hours ahead.

FITZWILLIAMS: What we'll see is a rehearsal which is part and parcel of the glories of a royal wedding, the ceremonial, there will be 250 military taking part Saturday. Mind you that it's less than William and Kate's wedding, where there were 1,200. And in 1981, when Charles married Diana, there were some 2,000.

But the important thing -- and this goes with the scene that we've been looking at -- that is all of them will have a relevance because there will be a special link with Harry, various regiments that he served with or has an honorary link with. And also we've got the carriages. This is always a spectacular -- (CROSSTALK)

FITZWILLIAMS: -- but it is a tremendously exciting occasion. This is an absolutely historic wedding. It utterly shows the royal family is more inclusive, which I think is absolutely pivotal these days.

But also you do have the color of it. You do have royal traditions whether it's a sprig of myrtle in the bridal bouquet --

(CROSSTALK)

FITZWILLIAMS: -- laid at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey or ring or rings. We don't yet know whether or not Prince Harry will have a wedding ring himself made of Clogau gold.

These traditions are all of them so spectacular and very exciting. Will Kate wear a tiara? What uniform it appears captain general of the royal --

(CROSSTALK)

FITZWILLIAMS: -- Harry will wear?

SESAY: Well, he's clearly excited.

Elizabeth, to bring you back in, as someone who was part of the countdown to Princess Diana's big day, Harry's mother, talk to me about these final days and what it is because you obviously saw the bride. You also were involved in the dress.

Take us back. Take us inside those days.

EMANUEL: Well, in the beginning you're so busy, so tied up with the actual making of the dress you don't have time to think about anything else. But as you get closer to finishing the dress, it starts to dawn on you, oh, my goodness, this is a big one. We'd better hope we've got it right, you know.

So there's a lot of nerves probably coming in now. The dress is never finished.

SESAY: It's never finished?

EMANUEL: It just never is. It's like in a fashion show. You always see something and you've got to fix it at the last moment. So there's all of that going on. And then of course delivering it --

(CROSSTALK)

[02:25:00]

SESAY: How do you keep it secret?

All these pieces you tell us we don't know about, the rings, the tiara, the dress, how do you keep it secret?

EMANUEL: Well, it was a bit easier then --

(LAUGHTER)

EMANUEL: -- there was no Internet or Google or social media. But it was still -- we were being hounded a bit, really. We had journalists moving in across the road to us. They had the cameras. We had to put down shutters and things on the windows.

We laid false trails in our rubbish bins because they went through the rubbish to see if they could find out what kind of a dress it was going to be. It was hard but we had a fantastic workroom staff. They were so loyal and it wasn't going to come out from us --

(CROSSTALK)

EMANUEL: -- and then we did a spare dress just in case. We thought, we kept thinking, what if?

What if it gets discovered?

What if somebody breaks in?

So we had a spare dress all ready to go just in case.

SESAY: I never knew that.

EMANUEL: Yes. We also had security guards.

SESAY: You had the whole works. You didn't leave anything to chance.

EMANUEL: No, nothing.

SESAY: Such wonderful stories you're sharing there.

Richard, final word to you, as I have to let you go, what does this wedding, what does this moment mean to Windsor?

FITZWILLIAMS: This moment for Windsor, which is so quintessentially British, so synonymous with (INAUDIBLE) fact that in 1917, during the First World War, the royal family changed their German name from Saxe- Coburg to Windsor, it put it as the showcase of the country, where, after all, Windsor Castle dating back from the Normans, the first royal wedding here was in the 12th century when Henry I, who made Windsor Castle a palace, married 1122 Adeliza of Louvain.

Subsequent to that, royal weddings have occurred here since the 19th century. And in 1863, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, married Prince Alexandra of Denmark in a spectacular ceremony. Windsor is on the map. It's also one of the queen's favorite residences, as it was of Queen Victoria.

Her beloved Albert died here. She was known as the widow of Windsor. There's little doubt that I think that this will be the beginning of what will be a -- Shakespeare said, "The marriage of true minds" between Harry and Meghan will be a dynamic duo for charitable purposes, not only needing nationally but internationally. SESAY: You get it all here on CNN NEWSROOM. You have a little Shakespeare, you get a little bit of fashion. Richard Fitzwilliams, Elizabeth Emanuel, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your deep knowledge of this special occasion. Thank you.

So, John, there you go. Giving you some Shakespeare on a Thursday.

You're welcome.

VAUSE: Yes, it was awesome.

(LAUGHTER)

VAUSE: I really appreciate that. Lovely having you there. It's such a special day coming up.

SESAY: It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful day. We're all very excited here in Windsor.

VAUSE: As we are here in Los Angeles, all aquiver. Thank you. See you in a bit.

Take a short break. When we come back here on CNN NEWSROOM, we'll have more on Donald Trump Jr.'s transcripts and the possible fallout for the White House.

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[02:30:42] VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Our main story this hour, new details are out on Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin. The Senate Judiciary Committee released transcripts of the interviews with Don Jr.

They show the present son and senior members of the Trump campaign were eager for dirt on Hillary Clinton and then frustrated and angry when they didn't get the bombshell they were hoping for. And with us, we have CNN Political Commentator Democratic Strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican Consultant John Thomas. OK. Here's part of the transcripts where Don Jr. was specifically ask about his response to an e-mail offering up possible Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton which he had replied and are famous, I love it. OK.

The question, what was that you love it in that e-mail? Potential information, Don Jr. says about an opponent. Political incriminating information on Hillary Clinton? Yes. And what about the thing that says it is part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump, did you also love that? Jr. says, I don't know. I don't recall.

Question, do you understand that that would be problematic? He answer, I didn't think that listening to someone with information relevant to the fitness and character of a presidential candidate would be an issue, no. OK. So John, aside from the fact that just how relax Don Jr. seems throughout all of it, it seems that this is someone who actually had no problem, no scruples, no qualms about receiving help from a foreign adversarial government.

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I think whatever information was presented to him, he wanted to take it if it had to do with dirt on an opponent. It seems like that's pretty clear. Now, did he actually get any? It looks like he didn't. So I -- so other than being open to receiving opposition research from almost any source, I don't see the problem there.

VAUSE: Dave, would you like to explain to John why that would be a problem?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, A, I think --

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBSON: Sure. This is like mid-summer in 2016. It looked like Hillary Clinton was on a trajectory to win. So A, this was an act of pure desperate political desperation. B, it was an act of what I would call political amateur. And C, I'm not an attorney but it looks like it was an attempt to commit to defraud the United States. I mean the fact of the matter is Russia is a known adversary of the United State and moreover I've never seen and this word is overused. But this is unprecedented. The amount of connection entice that one country has to a U.S. presidential campaign. It's unheard of.

VAUSE: There's also the issue that, you know, even though that it was not successful, it doesn't make it legal, so there is still a conspiracy here to, you know, commit a crime and whether it's receiving, you know, benefit from a foreign government. It shall not allow to receive in an election campaign. So I mean that's what the Mueller inquiry I guess is all about.

And John, Republican control committee really wanted to find out what happened at that Trump Tower meeting, why did they call the campaign chairman at the time Paul Manafort? You know, why did they ask him a bunch of questions? Why didn't call in Jared Kushner who was also at that meeting to appear before the - these two were never called in, why?

THOMAS: I can't answer that. But I do know they feel like they exhauster all the evidence they needed to exhaust. And furthermore, there's been no criminal allegations against Don Jr. at this point from Mueller or anybody else. So if it was such a slam dunk something so easy to find, you think it would have been an announced by now.

VAUSE: But they hope they have find out from these transcripts is just how eager and excited and determined Don Jr. and Jared Kushner were at the prospect of finding some kind of Russian bombshell on Hillary Clinton.

JACOBSON: Yes. Look, I think it was political malpractice for the senate on a bipartisan level not to subpoena Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort have them come before the committee and answer with the tough questions. And so I think that's a big issue and I think the Democrats, Dianne Feinstein in particular among others have been, you know, trying to move forward on that front and request for those subpoenas get executed onto them. But at the end of the day, this is going to be up to Bob Mueller and bottom line, right? And so this is a function of whether or not he feels that he can in a very compelling way can prosecute conspiracy in the United States. That's the big issue. And so, Bob Mueller clearly knows a whole lot more than we know, so who knows.

VAUSE: OK. Well, the president had repeatedly attack the FBI over the Russia investigation, you know, mostly recently, the most notable I guess was, you know, the explosive outburst on "FOX & FRIENDS" last month. Here, have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[02:35:10] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have a witch hunt against the President of the United States going on. It's all lies and it's a horrible thing that's going on, a horrible thing. I'm very disappointed in my Justice Department. But because of the fact that it's going on and I think you'll understand this, I have decided that I won't be involved. I may change my mind at some point because what's going on is a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: But in this story as you know times details how the FBI went to extraordinary length to vent leaks about their investigation on the Trump campaign in which began long before election day because the damaged it could have done to Donald Trump in the election. Here's part of it.

Fearful of leaks, they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department, Peter Strzok, the senior FBI agent explained in a text that Justice Department officials would find it too tasty to resist sharing. I'm not worried about our side, he wrote. And John, that's the same Peter Strzok who's been consistently attack by the president, by the president's allies, by the "FOX NEWS CHANNEL" because of a bunch of texts he sent to a woman he was having an affair with, you know, which were critical of President Trump.

THOMAS: And there are a lot of holes. It's the same -- yes. It's the same Peter Strzok that was blatantly partisan in his text. I believe there's a New York Times story that said a hundred days before the election Comey sent Strzok, went to Europe to go meet with somebody from Australia to get dirt on Trump. I mean this is a guy who wanted personally to take down the president. So, look --

VAUSE: It wasn't actually Donald Trump (INAUDIBLE) who was in contact with George Papadopoulos who was talking about having e-mails from Hillary Clinton before anybody knew that Hillary Clinton's e-mails had been hack by the Russians, so that seems like illegitimate.

THOMAS: We just learned today that the leaks about Michael Cohen's bank accounts came from within the FBI in an attempt or guess will blow the whistle. I mean, look, there are in every turn we are year into this Mueller investigation and other than low level process crimes. There's been no finding of collusion.

JACOBSON: Of the investigation still going on. Here's the bigger --

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS: But how many years then, five years --

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS: If you're Donald Trump, you get frustrated. This keeps just going on and on --

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBSON: Donald Trump wouldn't be frustrated if he didn't potentially collude with the Russians --

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBSON: Number one. Number two, the fact to the matter is there was a tremendous double snare when it came to Hillary Clinton and those darn e-mails that --

VAUSE: Exactly. So hold on that thought because that's a good point because I want to pick up on the (INAUDIBLE) which goes to that point because they're incredibly worried about the fallout from the way James maybe handled the Hillary Clinton investigation. So the Times goes on to report, the facts had they surface might have devastated the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump's future National Security Advisor was under investigation, as well as his campaign chairman. One advisor appeared to have Russian intelligence contacts. Another was suspected of being a Russian agent himself. And this is the FBI which went to great lengths to protect Donald Trump from any exposure to this, unlike, what they did to Hillary Clinton.

JACOBSON: It's totally baffling. There's that double standard. I mean Hillary Clinton could potentially have lose the election because James Comey came out just days before, just a couple of days before the election to talk about Anthony Weiner's e-mails, not Hillary Clinton's e-mails, former congressman, disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner's e-mails. Bottom line, you've got this investigation going on for a hundred days before the election and there was no leak. There's no information. I mean I think that this was a huge disservice to the American people who should have been somewhat informed before they cast their ballot for one candidate or the other.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) at the very least, is this reporting from, you know, Times, you know, does it make the president's attacks sort of mute?

THOMAS: Not really. I mean I think half the country thinks that this thing is a witch hunt. It's been going on a year. Too long.

VAUSE: But it's not a witch hunt. You see, this people are having their way to ensure --

THOMAS: But half of the country is already convinced of that.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thanks.

VAUSE: Well, almost 2000 people have been invited to the Royal Wedding. If you're among the 7.5 billion, 999 million, 998,000 who weren't, don't feel sad because there's a lot of merchandise you can buy to help celebrate the big day and we'll take a look at all that in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:41:25] ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. Well, British Royal Wedding means all kinds of audible products on getting the legal treatment. Our Jeanne Moos reports of the royal marriage mania.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With Harry and Meghan about to say, I do, some are saying, I can't take it. Their faces are plastered in everything from creepy party mask to pest dispensers to a Harry air freshener mango scented. There have been costume contest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is going to London with us.

MOOS: And lookalike contest. The winners of the easyJet competition got free flights for a year and TV anchor seemed fascinated with wearing that half a hat, the fascinator.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I guess you look easy.

MOOS: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?

MOOS: Groovy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Groovy.

MOOS: It's going in my head. Eve Bari in New York's 57th Street is seeing a boom thanks to the royals. How much is this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sixty-two.

MOOS: And if you don't wear hats, how about a personalize swimsuit graced with Harry and Meghan. I hope the beard doesn't scratch. Naturally, the wedding brings out warmth and love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) with this wedding than you, is that Ms. Markle?

MOOS: Ms. Markle, the bride's half-sister.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're doing a book called The Diary of Princess Pushy Sister. You've been trashing it for two years, you little vulture. MOOS: They lose with royal trivia with one the names of horses that

will pull the royal carriage Storm and Tyrone, father and son, and then the names of guests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elton John has been invited and so have members of the Spice Girls.

MOOS: But maybe you haven't heard the name Crown Jewels Condoms promising a royal union of pleasure featuring patriotic music when you open the box. You can buy a life-sized royal cutout or bang ness drum. And soon the royal part, Markle sparkle marijuana marketed by a cannabis growing nephew of Meghan's and how about a bowl of cereal while watching the nuptials, Harry and Meghan's Wedding Rings Breakfast Cereal. Sip one of those on her finger Harry. Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Dear, oh, dear. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROON. Oh, no, no. That is not what I'm bringing back to you, John. You shall see very soon what I will bring you back.

VAUSE: That's why I can't have nice things.

SESAY: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM L.A. I'm Isha Sesay in England. Your present is coming.

VAUSE: OK. Good. I'm John Vause in Los Angeles. I'm getting a present. "WORLD SPORT" up next. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:53] PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT. Thank you for joining us, I'm Patrick Snell at CNN Center Atlanta. Now in the few moments, we'll get you caught up on all the very latest from both the NBA and NHL postseason playoffs. But we start with the Wednesday night Europa League triumph to Spain's Atletico Madrid. They're comfortable 3-0 victory of Olympic match say in Lyon.

Meaning, athletes Argentine head coach Diego Simeone has now won six trophies in his seven years of the club. Speculation continues to swirl over the future of price asset as star forward Antoine Griezmann, and it is no wonder. The 27 year old French man really stealing the show here. Scoring not ones by twice in this game. The first capitalizing on are really sloppy feet with defending to take full advantage and a full control form Andre Zambo Anguissa, for the opener.

You don't give up player of his (INAUDIBLE) that kind of chances second was a thing of beauty as well. Really, exquisite finish that's how 30 goals for the season for him it all camps, they wanted Barcelona a saw keen to reportedly signed. The skipper got it made it three. This is a familiar sight, isn't it? Atletico Madrid, Europa League Champions, once again. Also often Atletico I've had to play second fatal to city rivals, Real. But they really earnt the right to save at this moment, having also won the tournaments in 2010 and 12. They're also the runners-up to lost find trustable teams in the Champions League Finals of 2014 and 16. I thought the latest triumph now, meaning, that along with finals span with Sevilla, they've now won this tournament six, as to the last nine seasons.

Our partners at Copa90 win the game in Lyon. And earlier, Don Riddell spoke with their lead presenter Eli Mengem.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: You must have absolutely loved this game today, it was a terrific atmosphere, and a critical performance from Atletico. Marseille didn't get a look in, what is the key to their success do you think?

ELI MENGEM, LEAD PRESENTER, COPA90: Do I let it success? I think it's the team spirit, it's -- is that something that similarly seems correct in that club, on the pitch, off the pitch that kind of brotherhood, that kind of -- it just squad near of fighters -- fighter, and let you'll be releasing the support and let (INAUDIBLE).

And of course, that the stampede (INAUDIBLE) more or let it born raise the who. But the way he plays you feel lucky could be. They just seem to really play for the manager and the club like almost no one else in Europe and around the world, right now.

RIDDELL: Yes, despite the unusual for a major final to see, the manager not even on the touchline. Of course, Simeone, serving a touchline ban. So, he was at the back of the stand. But I guess they didn't need him on the touchline.

And, hey, look, another two goals from Griezmann today. Two more opportunities for introduce the elders from the very popular forth night video game. But this could the last time we see him in a big game friend Eli. What do you think? Is he really off to Barcelona?

MENGEM: I don't think its Barcelona. I think its a few options for him right now. It's another one because I don't see to woke up coming up. And France have seen a lot to Griezmann. I think he -- it's true and fall that there's rumors that were amongst be not to be forget he's going to stay.

He did say that he stayed -- the only reason he stayed was because they got a new stadium, I said, (INAUDIBLE) genuinely the best in the world. They kind of push that was the game not yet, remember? That's all -- I don't know his -- like Simeone state. And that's you 'also got to consider in this day and age of modern football is your sponsor, Puma.

Puma got the Arsenal contract, and Arsenal got a new coach. They're looking for a star. But for me, I hasn't shown as much everyone said. I don't think its Barcelona, we could see Griezmann going through. Obviously, winner on Barcelona will their man, they get their man they make sure what happens.

As we saw with (INAUDIBLE), as we saw with Suarez. And obviously, they -- you know, they're going to be -- going to have a few holes with any ask to living. Whether or not he goes, I really don't think anyone can say. I think I don't even -- in Griezmann knows right now. I think he's focus actually for we got at the World Cup. This is best chance, the best where his fight for a years to go all the way.

Whether or nowhere he goes, I'm going to think anyone's guess. Anyone pretend (INAUDIBLE) I don't think anyone knows except Griezmann and maybe his family.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:50:08] SNELL: All right, finally for that. By the way, this could be a really excellent Omen for the Spanish national team as well. Why? Because the last two occasions that a lucky triumph in the Europa League, Spain won the World Cup in 2010, and then, the European championships two years later. CNN WORLD SPORT will be right back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNELL: We're back now with the NBA postseason where LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have it all to do if they're to try and turn around their Eastern Conference finals series against the Boston Celtics, after losing the first two games.

Meantime, though, as for the best in the west on Wednesday night here in the U.S., it was all eyes on the Houston Rockets as they hope to level their series with the champions Golden State Warriors.

Now, remember, these series have been hugely anticipated, especially given the fact that Rockets had recorded a franchise-best 65 victories during the regular seasons. Sprang into action of the losing the series over the Houston, giving the home fans plenty to get excited about.

Rocket's star James Harden and Eric Gordon, as well. Both weighing in with 27 points on this night. You know, the host never trailed after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night.

In fact, the Warriors who have now lost in the second game of the playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals. Just had no ones were told to they relent as opponents to do now indeed level the Western Conference Finals winning this won 127 points to 105, ahead to Oakland game three on Sunday night.

Now, when it comes to the NHL, the performance just as season of the newly form Vegas Golden Knights really have had us all actually captivated. Expansion teams typically don't make the playoffs, never mind the Conference final, and then, there's a fact that this isn't a franchise remember that was forced to unite, not just with each other but with an entire community after that devastating shooting attack on the city late last year that claimed tragically over 50 lives. Well, this is free game show. Vegas style, the fan base here is just extraordinary and in full voice once again as their team went into game three of the Western Conference Finals against Canadian opponents, the Winnipeg Jets.

All tied up to won the beat, the host on the board within the first minutes. Thanks to Jonathan Marchessault. The jets would level, though, but the teams were only level -- would you believe for just 12 seconds.

Almost like the raucous fans almost demanding the host take the lead against James Neal. All too happy to oblige with 2-1. And then, the icing on the cake. Marchessault, scoring his second of the game was 4-2 Golden Knights. They lead the series now 2-1, and how about this? The Golden Knights were 500-1 to win the Stanley Cup. It seems now they're just two in shy of advancing to the final Game 4 is on Friday in Vegas. I say, brace yourself for more.

All right, later on, this Thursday, is looking creakingly likely, we'll going to be witnessing the end of an era for one of football's true greats. The legendary Juve goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon, preparing to call time on one illustrious career.

It's expected the 40 year old goalkeeper will announce his retirement at a news conference in Turin, just days after helping his team win a seventh straight Serie A crown and a four consecutive Coppa Italia. Saturday, that's going to be a poignant day because it's likely to mark his 640th and last appearance in the top flight of Italian football when the Bianconeri take on Hellas Verona.

[02:55:29] SNELL: During his time, at the top, Buffon, winning nine Scudetto, playing over 1,000 matches in total, while he never did win the Champions League, he can say he's a world cup winner, though, following Italy's 2006 triumph in Germany.

Less than one month to go now until next month FIFA World Cup in Russia. The first time ever the country is hosting the event. It's a nervous time too if you're a player waiting to hear if you been pick to learning, whether you have to .watch from home. England last won the tournament back in 1966 but for this current

generation, the staffer is the wait is over after the really refreshing way in which the squad was revealed and talk about fan engagement. Take a look at this.

Really, really creative the way they do that. The announcement made by young England supporters all over the country. Not say with those production values, the bar has now been set very high indeed for future squads.

Well, on the day that England were announcing their World Cup squads, Sam Allardyce is being shown the door y Premier League Everton. Now, he would have been the national team's manager for Russia, 2018 had he not left his post by mutual consent with the F.A. with just one match in charge.

Allardyce struggled to win over the Everton fans during his few months at the club. It's believed the former Watford head coach, Marco Silva, is in the frame now to replace him at Goodison.

Before we sent on -- sign off, we just have to show you the most precious young footballing talent from Brazil that we perhaps, shouldn't be too shocked once we tell you who his dad is. I'll take you inside the Real Madrid dressing room now. The eight year old boy Enzo Vieira, doing all the headers here in really impressive fashion. His the son of Los Blancos defender Marcelo.

I tell you what, this kid surely has a future in the game with skills like that. A skill bound to go viral only, and so, it would prove. Enzo plays in Madrid's junior team, and I can see why. And already, the world knows his name. You know, that clip has been viewed some million times. Quite a talent.

And coming up on later third editions of CNN WORLD SPORT. How about this, our exclusive access to the brand new surf ranch in California for the inaugural Founders' Cup. Incredible video as we show you a massive artificial wave machine that the surfers say is as good as the real thing. We'll be taking you up close and showing you how it all works.

Not to be mistake with this right through the day. Our also regular updates from the WORLD SPORTS team here in Atlanta. Thank you so much for watching us. Do stay with CNN. Bye for now.

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