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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

U.S.-China Trade War Escalates; Rainy Forecast Raises Stakes For Rescuers; Rescuers Search For Evacuation Options; U.K. Prime Minister Meets Cabinet To Decide On Brexit Plan; New Footage Of Poisoned U.K. Couple In Salisbury Store; President Donald Trump's U.K. Visit; Gov't Could Seek Extension On Reunification Deadlines; Trump Mocks #MeToo Movement At Montana Rally; David Sedaris Finds The Funny In Getting Old; Belgium Reach Semifinal After Beating Brazil. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 6, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:44]

ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Coming to you live from CNN in New York. I'm Zain Asher in for colleague, Hala Gorania.

Tonight, the biggest trade war in economic history. That is what China is calling the United States' move to slap billions of dollars on goods. We

are live for you at this hour at the New York Stock Exchange.

Also, tonight, the dangers of rescuing the Thai football team are brought into sharp reality, as a Thai rescue diver dies delivering oxygen to the

boys.

And we now know one of the teams in the World Cup semifinals, as France powers past Uruguay. But will it be Brazil or Belgium joining them? That

game is on right now. My producers tell me that Belgium is in the lead, 2- 0.

All right. I want to begin with some economic news as a trade war continues to escalate with the U.S. and China on the front lines. The

world's top two economies struck out at each other with tariffs on Friday hitting $34 billion worth of each other's exports.

China says it is the beginning of the biggest trade war in history. By the way, as the tit-for-tat continues, it could grow a lot bigger. On

Thursday, President Donald Trump said he could respond to the retaliation from Beijing with an even larger wave of tariffs on almost $500 billion

worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Let's break all of this down with our Alison Kosik joining us live now from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. So, Alison, here's the thing,

when you think about $34 billion worth of tariffs, not necessarily that much in the grand scheme of things, but it's the beginning of this tit-for-

tat that investors are worried about.

Just walk us through how hard it is to really quantify how damaging a trade war would be between the world's two largest economies, especially when

there are so many variables.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly the first salvo. It is not the biggest salvo. You mentioned what could be the biggest salvo

if there was in fact that $500 billion worth of goods -- tariffs placed on $500 billion worth of goods from China. So, that would be as much as the

U.S. imported from China last year.

That would be an even bigger salvo. This one not so much. Part of the reason you're seeing green arrows across the board, the Dow up over 100

points, with about an hour left in the trading day, it's because Wall Street expected this.

Fears of a trade war have been simmering for months here on Wall Street. We have seen investors reprice a lot of stuff. A lot of companies that

have direct exposure to China to get ready for what was to come, and that is a trade war on today.

Now you are seeing investors kind of just shrug it off, and kind of wait to see what's going to happen because many actually believe that there could

be a compromise reached between China and the U.S.

But the impact, no doubt, does still exist with the tariffs coming from China. A real economic impact on the U.S., on American exports. These are

high-value American exports like cars, crude oil, cash crops like soybeans, poultry, and the list goes on and on.

Because the reality is if demand drops for these American products that are sold in China, that, in turn, can affect U.S. companies. It can affect

their profits, it can affect their jobs, their business spending. That could be the near-term impact of this first salvo that we're talking about

today -- Zain.

ASHER: You know, Alison, every single sort of, you know, economist that I've interviewed really has the same line to say, and that is that there

are no winners in a trade war. Nobody wins when you have a trade war, but my question to you, which side, out of the U.S. and China, which side

actually has the most to lose in all of this, do you think?

KOSIK: I think definitely China has the most to lose. They use more of our products and I think the U.S. obviously is a stronger economy. So, I

think if you're placing bets, I think you're placing bets on the U.S. to win -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Alison Kosik live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

KOSIK: Sure.

ASHER: So, time may be running short for the increasingly desperate effort to rescue 12 boys and their football coach from a cave in Thailand. This

is an extremely sad story. They've been trapped in this cave for about two weeks or so now.

Forecasters are actually expecting heavy rainfall this weekend, increasing the very real possibility that that cave could end up being flooded. The

danger has reemphasized. We got some news about 12 hours or so ago about the death of a diver --

(VIDEO STOPPED)

[15:05:55]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT voice-over): -- SEAL died after taking critical oxygen to the boys. He ran out of his own air,

paying the ultimate price. Gunan's death underling how hard it will be to get the tired, hungry, and inexperienced boys through the underwater

tunnels. This diving is far more challenging.

MIKKO PAASI, SPECIALIST DIVER: Definitely you can feel it. It has an effect. We are moving on. Everybody is a professional so we're trying to

put it away and -- and avoid it never happening again.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Everyone is focusing on getting these boys out?

PAASI: Everybody is focusing on getting them out. Keeping them alive or getting them out.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But they're trying to find another way. In this exclusive video, CNN joined rangers from the Thai National Parks heading

into the jungle searching for sinkholes or chimneys that could lead down to the boys, so they can pull them out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far, no success.

MCKENZEI: With the team, foreign cavers and climbers from Southern Thailand, who usually collect birds' nests. Through this hole they get

deep inside the mountain, but it's a dead end.

(on camera): The water is already falling on my head. The window is closing. Waters falling on my head. This might be their best hope yet.

They've put in more pumps overnight pulling millions of liters out of this cave system. If they can get just enough out, perhaps the boys will get

out safely.

(voice-over): Thai officials say that if the monsoon begins in earnest they may have no other choice but to pull the boys out from this hell.

David McKenzie, CNN, Chiang Rai, Thailand.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Gosh, my heart was just really on edge listening to that piece. I want to bring in our reporter, Jonathan Miller, live at the scene. He's

been covering this story from the beginning.

So, Johnathan, here's the thing, I don't know a single person whose heart didn't break when they heard that news overnight our time about the death

of that rescuer as he was attempting to reach the boys.

It underscores how meticulous, how meticulous this operation has to be especially when you think about the fact that it is really much better to

wait and get this right than to rush and have things go wrong.

JONATHAN MILLER, ASIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely, Zain. I think they're wanting to push it to the limit in terms of waiting until the

monsoon rains really torrent down before they go in a get the boys out through these dangerous subterranean flooded passageways.

The death of that diver has focused minds on how incredibly difficult and dangerous it is. He was a trained former Navy SEAL diver, so how much more

difficult will it be getting 12 young boys out of those tunnels.

They've been trained on using oxygen, masks. They're being given as much help as they can, and they will certainly be assisted by Navy SEALs coming

out, but it's incredibly difficult and dangerous down there.

Earlier today I spoke to a Thai diver who works for the government. He was in the same chamber yesterday as the Thai Navy SEAL, who died, doing

exactly the same mission. This is how he described to me what it was like down there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's zero visibility down there. You can't even see the face of your diving buddy. You can only do hand

signals, gestures like are you still OK? In the dark and water, it's difficult for the divers to communicate with the children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: So, not only do we have the dangers of coming out through those subterranean passageways, but, you know, the oxygen levels down there have

plummeted. They're down at 15 percent. Normal air that we breathe is about 21 percent oxygen. It's down to 15 percent there.

If it drops lower than that, you are in danger of getting hypoxia, which is like altitude sickness. These boys already spent two weeks down there.

They're exhausted. You know, if you keep them down there longer, they'll be possibly more weakened and in a worse psychological state.

[15:10:05] Although they're being fed up, so it's balancing all these things, you know, they're being fed these high protein drinks and foods.

Just when the perfect moment to bring them out, nobody knows.

The commander of the Thai Navy SEALs said today we just cannot afford to wait for the perfect moment because there won't be a perfect moment. But

sometime soon they will have to make this crunch decision, unbelievably unpalatable decision, and it probably will have to come right from the top.

ASHER: As you're speaking, Jonathan, I'm looking at the video we're playing on the air. It's incredible to see the boys' resilience. Some of

them are even smiling at the camera. It's difficult to comprehend that they've been in this position for two weeks, given what they've gone

through, they are still smiling.

I feel for the boys. I honestly feel for their parents. The parents are outside of the area, just waiting. It's a waiting game for them. I

understand some parents have written letters to the children in there. How are families right now being reassured?

MILLER: The governor just said a couple hours ago in a news conference that he's in daily contact with the families, and he seemed to suggest he

had their full faith in whatever decision was made about how to get them out.

You are right about the stoicism. It's quite a Thai thing, perhaps the Buddhism, or the nature of the people in this country, but the boys have

been remarkably calm. The question, of course, is whether they can hold it together should they be required to make this incredible journey out. And

this whole nation, not just the parents, are on tenterhooks.

ASHER: Yes. So much to consider, but you know, they're right. There will never be the perfect moment. Obviously, there will be risked with this

operation. At one point, you have to say go for it. Of course, the entire word is watching very closely. Jonathan Miller live for us there, thank

you so much. Appreciate that.

So, I want to take you to some news out of Europe. After two years, it's been two years, possibly it's been two years since Brexit, June 23rd, 2016,

of course, two years, countless meetings, finally British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to reveal her government's plans for Brexit.

But first she has to bring her warring cabinet together. Today, she's been meeting with ministers at the prime minister's traditional country house,

Checkers. Whatever her plan is, it will be a tough sell for half of them.

The cabinet is split down the middle when it comes to what they want for Britain, in terms of the type of Brexit they want. Jonathan Philip Hammond

leaves the charge for a softer Brexit, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is calling for a clean break from the E.U. The nature of the clash

over Brexit is so severe that some are expecting that some ministers could indeed end up resigning.

To break down all of this and what it means, I want to bring in Quentin Peel of Chatham House. He joins us live now. So, Quinton, what do you do

when you are in Theresa May's position. When you have to make a decision and it's absolutely utterly impossible to make everybody happy. What do

you do in a situation like that?

QUENTIN PEEL, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE EUROPE PROGRAMME: Well, up until now, she's gone on kicking the can down the road. Basically, fudging

it constantly to keep everybody on board. Today sounds like "d" day. It's the moment at which she set it all up, that she will come down on one side

or the other and basically try and call the bluff of those who don't like it.

I think the way it looks is that she's going to go down the route of Philip Hammond who wants to keep as close an economic relationship with Europe as

possible, while leaving the European Union.

That is going to infuriate those who want a hardline Brexit, who want to quit, like Boris Johnson, David Davis, the chief negotiator. Now, can she

actually get to a situation where she can call their bluff? I think she might.

The reason is this, I think those who want Brexit want above all else the certainty that we will leave the European Union at the end of March next

year. They don't really care the basis on which we do that. So, they're prepared to keep compromising just to get out. I think that is what

Theresa May is gambling on.

ASHER: So, you really think that she can call their bluff? I mean, even people like Boris Johnson, there's been so much talk of him resigning,

David Cameron trying to intervene, persuading him to stay. Do you anticipate resignations as a result of what they come up with?

PEEL: There might be. I think there might be. I think Boris Johnson could go as somebody said earlier today.

[15:15:07] I'm not sure Theresa May would miss him very much, but it's a very difficult situation. And it's one where actually if she plays her

cards badly, her government could fall. She could lose her job.

So, she's got a very difficult hand to play. And it certainly -- we're not going to know until we see the white smoke, the black smoke, no smoke at

all in about two hours' time.

ASHER: You know, and I guess the most difficult thing out of all this, it doesn't really -- whatever comes out of this, whatever is agreed upon,

there's no guarantee that the E.U. will be on board. That Michel Barnier and the likes of those guys will be on board as well.

PEEL: Yes. Absolutely. That is in a way the craziness of this whole situation. I mean, the proposal we think that Theresa May is putting on

the table is essentially that we'll stay in a customs arrangement with the European Union, and we'll stay in the European single market for trade in

goods, but not for trade and services.

That immediately runs foul of what the European Union says which is you can't cherry pick. You can't pick and choose which bits of the single

market you want to stay in. You either stay in the single market, which means you accept freedom of movement, the one thing the government is

determined to stop, or you leave it all.

Then you only have a free trade deal like Canada has, then you have a further nightmare scenario which is that you will probably get a border

across the republic (inaudible) between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which could be really destabilizing in that island.

ASHER: And Quintin, obviously, you know, you're based in the U.K., based in London. I'm sure you've been watching Brexit closely over the past two

years. I can't say the same for our viewers around the world.

So, I think one question that people have internationally, I can't believe I'm saying this, it's been two years since Britain voted to leave the E.U.

We know that from the beginning there's been so much division within the conservative party about the right way to go about it. How much actual

real progress has been made in that time in terms of bringing the divide between the different warring factions in the party?

PEEL: Very little.

ASHER: Isn't that remarkable?

PEEL: Yes. These two sides both in the conservative party and in the opposition Labour Party are almost as far apart today as they were two

years ago. They simply don't agree. I would put the split like this at the heart of the government, one half of the conservative party says we

must do what's right by the economy. The other half says, no we must have control whatever the effect of the economy. They cannot agree. That's a

huge dilemma for Theresa May.

ASHER: All right. Quintin Peel, appreciate your expertise. Thank you so much.

PEEL: Thank you.

ASHER: Quintin Peel saying the two sides are about as far away today as they were two years ago. Obviously, you have the soft Brexiters and the

people who want a clean break like, for example, Boris Johnson.

Despite Brexit being a point of contention for years now, passions have not dimmed as the divided British public spar over the future of their country.

Just take a look at this exchange on CNN talk that happened just this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. How do you think people will react if Brexit is abandoned which is what we're about to get? I have so many people call

into my show every day who say if she doesn't go with the 17.4 million people, either we will never vote conservative again or we will never vote

again. In the middle of the 19th Century, the Tory Party was split (inaudible) repeal the Corn (ph) laws for protectionist Spain and that the

Torys were out of power for a generation. If they get this wrong, the same thing will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are talking about the party interest rather than the national interest. Brexit is the biggest political decision this

country has taken since going to war in the Second World War.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a huge thing. You shouldn't look in terms of how is this going to affect the conservative party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've just said that the conservatives could be out for generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is a fact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This country could be on its knees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: You ca really feel the heat in that interview on CNN talk just this morning.

All right. Still to come here, a video exclusive, CNN gives a glimpse of the last few hours before poisoned British couple fell critically ill.

We'll have the details and the timeline of events.

[15:20:00] And also ahead, two decades after the deadly Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, seven members of the cult responsible have faced their final

consequence. That story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: All right. Let's turn our attention now back to the U.K. CNN has obtained exclusive new footage of the British couple poisoned by the

Russian nerve agent, Novichok. This is in Salisbury, England a day before they fell critically ill. That's a town where a former Russian spy and his

daughter were poisoned with the exact the same type of nerve agent just four months ago. Here's our Erin McLaughlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the last time we see Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley before they fell ill, exposed to a deadly nerve

agent. CNN exclusively obtained this footage of the couple arriving at a corner shop near Sturgess's home in Salisbury.

It's timestamped Friday, June 29th, 9:54 p.m. You see Sturgess walking in. Her boyfriend Rowley waits outside drinking from a bottle. She picks up

four cans of beer and two bottles of wine, pays the cashier and then leaves with Rowley.

(on camera): This is the shop where the couple bought alcohol before continuing into the night. Just over that way, the street where dawn

Sturgess lives currently cordoned off by police. It's unclear where the couple went next exactly, but footage shows them walking in this direction,

towards the center of town, where four months ago two others were poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent.

(voice-over): Authorities confirmed the couple was exposed to the same substance listed as a weapons of mass destruction by the U.N. The leading

line of inquiry that they handled the contaminated item somehow connected to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, though, authorities

have yet to establish a direct link.

Most concerning right now, authorities have not located the contaminated item, retracing Rowley and Sturgess' steps from that Friday are critical to

the investigation. A friend told local media earlier they visited stores in Salisbury, bought some food and purchased a blanket from a local charity

shop.

Midday surveillance footage captured Sturgess making an alcohol run in the center of town before the couple and their friend enjoyed the evening

drinking at a park in Salisbury that is now cordoned off.

They spent the night at Rowley's home in Amesbury. By 11:00 a.m. the next morning, Sturgess was critically ill. By 3:30 p.m., Rowley was in a

similar state. Forensic experts moved in to scour Rowley's home looking for clues to solve this mystery, even a small trace of this nerve agent can

be deadly.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Let's go to Erin McLaughlin, who is joining us from the town of Amesbury. That is where the couple fell ill on Saturday. So, Erin, we

know that police are searching for the object that was the source of contamination.

[15:25:04] As I'm watching your piece, I'm actually wondering why that shop, that corner shop is still open if everybody now knows that the couple

did actually go in there.

MCLAUGHLIN: That's a very good question. It's a question that we put to Public Health England. They have yet to get back to us. But it's

interesting, Public Health England has not changed its advice to the people that anyone in the vicinity of any area now cordoned off after 10:00 p.m.

on the Friday should wash their clothes and other items.

And that is 5 minutes after the couple was seen in the shop on that last booze run. We have heard tonight from the Metropolitan Police saying that

this is going to be a detailed, very painstaking investigation. They say they have over 1,000 hours of surveillance footage to go through. They're

looking at that footage for clues. They say this could take weeks and months to solve this mystery.

ASHER: Erin, and what is the decontamination process actually like? Obviously, the advice of people who were exposed, wash your clothes, but

when it comes to decontaminating an entire area that may have been exposed to a substance like Novichok, what is that process like?

MCLAUGHLIN: We have yet to hear from authorities on that regarding this particular poisoning. What we've seen them do so far is move in with

forensic tents, some hazmat teams to the area. You see just behind me, that's where Dawn Sturgess lives. They evacuated her social housing unit.

We also saw them today at Rowley's moment move in with hazmat suits as well as tents, forensic experts moving in there. In terms of the actual

decontamination, what we have to go on now is what happened four months here in Salisbury, in which they brought in the military personnel to help

remove some of the larger items that may have been contaminated. They're not at that stage right now. They're still trying to assess what exactly

happened.

ASHER: All right. Erin McLaughlin live for us there, thank you so much. I have to say, based on what was said, the idea of that corner shop still

being open is certainly not very reassuring. Investigators are still assessing the situation.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in North Korea for denuclearization talks, and he's trying to set the framework for negotiations. Pompeo has

the odds stacked against him for progress. Pyongyang is slow to appoint someone to head their negotiation team.

Pompeo's department is plagued by understaffing and intelligence leaks. U.S. President Trump is pressuring him by claiming everything is going well

with North Korea and Pompeo is facing opposition at home from National Security Adviser John Bolton. He and Pompeo have conflicting views on how

to handle North Korea.

Still to come, she hugged her daughter tightly and sobbed forgive me, forgive me for leaving you all alone. What you're looking here is a

Guatemalan asylum seeker being reunited with her little girl, her daughter, after being separated for almost two months in the United States.

Then get this, the president of the United States mocking, making fun of the "Me Too Movement." We'll see what Donald Trump said that sparked a

storm of criticism around the world. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:20] ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The food is being prepared and the palace silverware is being polished as the U.K. is preparing for

its first visit by U.S. President Donald Trump. Let's take a look at what is exactly planned for the American president's visit. He is set to arrive

on Thursday, the 12th of July. Not long now. Less than a week, in fact. And first up is a gala dinner at Blenheim Palace at the ancestral home of

Winston Churchill.

Next will be hoping for a lucky Friday the 13th as he spends the morning in bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, before meeting

with Queen Elizabeth II. He will be the 12th president she has met since she ascended the throne back in the 1950s. Then the president will relax,

wind down a bit, visiting the Trump Turnberry golf course in Scotland for the last two days of his trip

All right. So for thousands of migrant families who remain separated in the United States, today is actually supposed to bring some degree of

relief from all of that anxiety. Under a court order every separated parent should now have a way to technically contact their child. The

government is expected to seek an extension for that deadline as well as deadlines to reunite those families. We've seen only a handful, before you

love them actually on CNN with a video. Of anything a handful of reunions. Every single reunion is just really a reminder of the trauma that a lot of

these parents go through when they see their children basically taken from them. Their children no longer being with them. And not knowing where

their children are. CNN witnessed the emotional moment a Guatemala asylum seeker held her daughter again for the first time in nearly two months.

Here's our polo Sandoval with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been nearly two months since this little girl has seen her mother, Angelica Gonzalez Garcia. The Guatemalan

family was separated after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Arizona. Today, they were reunited in a Boston airport.

The mother and daughter were separated May 11th and taken to shelters in different states.

She says it was a moment when I thought I would never see her again because of what they told me when they took her. And I would get on my knees every

morning and pray to God, while I too was detained and I would pray with all my heart. Gonzalez-Garcia filed an asylum claim and was released on bond

on June 19th. But still hadn't seen her daughter in weeks. The ACLU helped her filed a lawsuit and describes, unmitigated cruelty. Saying an

officer told her happy mother's day after saying her daughter would be taken away and she would never see her again. Later on the phone she says,

her daughter described being hurt by another child and getting sick while still in the custody of the U.S. government.

I would spend time thinking about how long it would be, she says. I wanted to go where she was, even just to see her from a distance. Amid tears of

joy, a belated birthday gift from mom. The little girl turned eight while in a Texas shelter.

She is the reason I'm here, Gonzalez-Garcia says, looking for a better life for herself and myself. Gonzalez-Garcia lives in Massachusetts where she

says she's built a support system for her and her little girl. A belated birthday party is planned for tomorrow, a chance for mother and daughter to

get their minds off the long and uncertain road to securing asylum.

[15:35:04] SANDOVAL: Gonzalez-Garcia was never charged for illegally entry, as far as the president's zero tolerance policy. Her legal team

certainly hoping that this will help them as they continue to try to secure asylum for her and her 8-year-old little girl.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

ASHER: All right. And aside from separating children from their parents, the president of the United States is also coming under fire for other

reasons as well. This time, in particular, for remarks that he made at a campaign style rally as he appeared to make fun of the Me Too movement. He

attacked Democrats and moderate Republicans alike on Thursday night, singling out liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren with especially a harsh

scorn. He has repeatedly -- last night was no exception, repeatedly questioned her claims to have Native American heritage, repeating an

insulting nickname that I'm not going to say on air, and saying that she should take a DNA test. I want you to listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, right? I promise you, I'll do this. I will -- you know those

little kits they sell on television for $2? Learn your heritage. We will take that little kit and say -- but we have to do it gently, because we're

in the Me Too generation, so we have to be very gentle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: Just to recap to our audience, not that I'm sure you need reminding, but of course the Me Too movement grew out of a series of very

powerful stories over the course of six or seven months or so about powerful men sexually harassing women, particularly in the workplace. More

than a dozen women, I should know, have actually leveled a wide range of accusations against the president himself. From lewd behavior to sexual

assault. Accusations that he has strongly denied. I want to bring in CNN Sarah Westwood.

So, Sarah, The Me Too movement started because you had a very powerful Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein who was accused of sexual misconduct,

sexual abuse and of course rape. Is the president making fun of victims of sexual abuse?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what his critics are saying after those controversial comments at that Montana campaign rally

last night that president Trump was making light of a movement that has brought to light the claims of thousands of victims across the world.

President Trump in one breath making fun of Elizabeth Warren's heritage and making light of this very serious movement. Obviously, Elizabeth Warren

has weathered criticisms from conservatives for years who have claimed without evidence that she invented some of her Native American heritage.

Again, there's no evidence that she has done so. But nonetheless, President Trump, he used that as an attack line against her last night.

And we should note that this comes against the backdrop of criticism of President Trump's decision to hire an executive from Fox News, Bill Shine,

as a deputy chief of staff. Shine had been accused of enabling the sexual abuse that was rampant at that network for years. That came to life over

the past year or so. Shine was ousted along with some other powerful Fox News personalities, including Roger Ailes, and now he works alongside

President Trump in the White House. So obviously, President Trump's history with the Me Too movement is very checkered. Hala.

ASHER: Yes. And also, you know, he sided with Bill O'Reilly at times. He had the words of support for Bill O'Reilly as well. This is a potentially

risky move making fun of the Me Too movement for the president. Just because it worked in 2016, the whole idea of throwing political correctness

out of the window doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work in 2020 or, of course, the midterms either.

WESTWOOD: That's right. And President Trump is not drawing from a foundation of goodwill when he's speaking about the Me Too movement because

he already has a lot of problems when it comes to supporters of Me Too. Obviously, we've mentioned the few of them. President Trump earlier in the

day sided with Republican congressman, Jim Jordan who is facing allegations that he knew about sexual abuse at Ohio State University where he was a

wrestling coach but did nothing to stop it. President Trump, as you mentioned, has a history of siding with people who are facing these

accusations. Has long denied the accusations against himself even though he nearly saw his own campaign derailed by recorded remarks of him

threatening to sexually assault a woman essentially. So President Trump going way back what this movement having a lot of problems. And now, the

fact that he made light of this at a campaign is forcing everyone to talk about his problematic past with Me Too once again. It's given his critics

an opening to bring this up again.

ASHER: He has absolutely no problem in terms of siding with people who are in trouble. We saw just yesterday when Scott Pruitt resigned, the

administrator of the EPA, the president actually did seem to be a bit saddened by that. He seemed to sort of not want Scott Pruitt to go.

[15:40:04] Sarah Westwood, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.

All right. Still to come tonight, amidst the doom and gloom, a man who's made a living of turning sadness into comedy. The interview with the

humorist David Sedaris. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: All right. Our next interview is with one of the best loved sure the rest in our generation. Grammy-nominated David Sedaris writes

regularly for The New Yorker. His best-selling book have been published in more than 25 languages. My colleague Hala Gorani discovered that he's just

as funny in person when sat down with him to discuss his new book "Calypso." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID SEDARIS, AMERICAN HUMORIST: One thing that has always worked on my favor, I think is that I'm small, and I'm kind of nondescript. So you can

always claimed of spy on the world without getting any attention put on you. And then when you get old, like once you had a few gray hairs in you

really invisible. So it's like I'm the invisible man now. I can just walk through the world and pull out my notebook and make notes right in front of

people that never even see me.

HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: That's something that, yes, the older I get, the more invisible I get, too. It's something where -- does the world belong

to the 20-somethings?

SEDARIS: Yes, completely, it belongs to them. If I were to rob a bank right now, and they would say, what did he look like? He had gray hair and

that would be it. That would be it. If I were to rob a bank, where 20- somethings worked, at least, that's all they would see.

GORANI: Leviathan, this is one of your essays. You talk about being -- and I love this, because this is for anyone who goes back to where they

vacation as a kid. It really resonated with me. If you don't mind, this is the paragraph that I really like. If you don't mind reading it from

here to there.

SEDARIS: All these hail silver-haired seniors walking or jogging or cycling past the house. Later in the day when the heat cranks up they purr

by in golf carts wearing visors, their noses streaked with sunblock. If you were a teenager, you likely wouldn't give it much thought. But to my

sisters and me, people in their mid to late 50s, it is chilling. That will be us in, like, eight years we think. How can that be when only yesterday

on this very same beach we were children?

GORANI: It's really interesting to me to -- that particular paragraph resonated with me, because I go back to where I was a kid when I

vacationed. My brother, my cousins, everyone, we're all now in our 40s and 50s. And we remember those days when we were making sandcastles on the

beach.

SEDARIS: Give it 10, 20 years, and it'll be even worse. I know it.

GORANI: Yes.

SEDARIS: Again, that's the danger of going back to where you used to go. You can't escape. You see these kids on the beach, they're you. They're

no different. You thought you resented --

[15:45:06] GORANI: Because you feel the same way as you did. I -- in my head, I'm not 48. I'm 28. My body is 48. But the way I think and the way

I think about life hasn't really changed all that much.

SEDARIS: When I go out for a walk, I will have a fantasy that an airplane and a pilot has a heart attack, and then somebody needs to pilot this plane

to safety, and I say I'll do it. I've never driven a car. So I get behind the wheel and they taught me through it and I safely land the plane, and

then everyone in the world wants to talk to me, right? But I'm not into that, right? So I don't talk to anybody about it and then I just go home.

The press surrounds my house and I get so mad at them and then walk along. And I think, OK, I'm 61.

GORANI: It could still happen.

SEDARIS: Just embroidering -- no, but just embroidering pointless fantasies like that. And I think -- I think that's not what a 61-year-old

would think about. But I wager that that's what pretty much all 61 year olds think about.

GORANI: And why not?

SEDARIS: Escape and fantasy. What if that was me?

GORANI: How do you approach writing? I mean, it's a solitary activity. You've been asked this a million times before. But how do you decide what

to write about?

SEDARIS: Sometimes -- I have a list. And then sometimes things just happen and they just pop up. But in the absence of that -- I've been

keeping a diary forever. And so like I have a diary entry that I was reading out loud on my last tour. I was with my friend in St. Louis, and

we were taking the elevator to the parking deck at the airport. And the door start to close, and woman winds up says, wait. Two little girls run

into the elevator. And then the woman looks back, I guess at her husband, he's a good distance away and the doors start to close again. She says to

the girls, go to level three, wait for us there. Go to three and wait for us there. And as the doors closed, I said to her, they're our girls now.

You get such a nice reaction. And I thought that could be the beginning of an essay.

GORANI: How do you know if something is funny when you write it?

SEDARIS: Sometimes I laugh out loud. But if I laugh out loud that's no guarantee that other people are going to laugh out. No guarantee. Because

sometimes what I think is funny is just a word choice.

GORANI: You haven't figured out the formula. I mean, if I laugh out loud necessarily, it will resonate with my readers, not necessarily.

SEDARIS: No. No. And I don't know -- I mean, there are certain things that I've written that I thought, oh, that must work because it's based on

some form of chauvinism, right? Like I wrote something about Christmas in the Netherlands. And I remember the first time I read it, I literally saw

somebody fall out of her chair laughing so hard. And I thought wow, I had no idea it would work that well. But the reason why it worked is because

it was just about another culture's idea of what goes on at Christmas and what Christmas is all about. Whereas as an American, you'd say that's not

what happens. Santa comes down your chimney, dummy. He lives in the North Pole with elves. And it makes you realize how ridiculous your notions are.

How chauvinistic you are to think that the rest of the world should look at it through the same lens as you. But other than that, I don't have a clue.

GORANI: I know you are not a political analyst or a pundit, but you have written about the election at one of your essays. It's called a number of

reasons I've been depressed lately. One of the things you said, number 10, I held on to the most unreasonable hope the electoral college will come to

its senses and say we can't let this happen. Have you digested the election of Donald Trump now a year and a half later?

SEDARIS: I have to say, at the risk of making a lot of people incredibly happy, no, I can't believe that he's the president. I can't -- I say it.

I closed the story with The New Yorker and I put the president in there and they said, well, let's change it to President Trump. And I thought, oh my

God. I don't know that I can -- I don't want to ruin the essay. Like I don't want to make it ugly. But when you've talked to people who support

him -- I have a friend who used to have an Obama bumper sticker on his car, and he lived in Arizona. When he go to the grocery store, come out,

there'll be somebody standing next to his car always saying how is that working out for you, idiot? And Ted would say, great. It's the same thing

with Trump supporters. If you said, how is that working out for you? They'd be like, wonderful. I don't have any problem with it. So, you

know, sometimes and I just think OK. Well, it's my turn to be the loser, right? And it's not things that will come another day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:50:20] ASHER: What a riveting interview there with Hala Gorani and David Sedaris.

We still have a lot more on the show including, obviously, World Cup action. After all in the tournament, all eyes are back on Russia for the

first of the World Cup quarterfinals. Brazil and Belgium are battling it out as I speak and we have details after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: OK. So right now, Brazil and Belgium are battling it out in the dying minutes. I'm hearing people in my newsroom right now screams. I'm

not sure what that means. I'm going to find out from our Don Riddell. But this is really one of the most highly anticipated quarterfinal matches of

the World Cup. I want to bring in Don Riddell, who has been following all the action. He's in Atlanta for us.

So, Don, when I came on the air, the score was two and zero to Belgium. I got on the air about halfway through me anchoring the show, I heard all the

men in the newsroom screaming, and my producers told me that meant that basically Brazil had scored a goal. But now, this is the end -- basically

the end of the match. What on earth happened? What happened to Brazil? This is supposed to be, pretty much, the best team in the world.

DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This game really is in the dying embers now. Literally just seconds remaining in injury time, Zain. And

Belgium are going through at the moment. They're beating the Brazilian side by two goals to one. It was Renato Augusto that came on as a

substitute and almost with his first touch of the game converted a brilliant Philippe Coutinho, I think he had been too give Brazil a fighting

chance. And ever since then, they've had some good opportunities, the Brazilians. But none of them have gone in. At this point their World Cup

is almost over. It's almost over.

In fact, I can tell you that Belgium have now won the game about two goals to one. So they're going to go through and play France in the semifinals,

Zain. This has been a loaded half of the draw. Some really, really big heavyweight teams in this half of the draw. France were deserving winners

against Uruguay earlier. Belgium. People talked about their golden generation. They are a team packed full of stars. Premier League fans

will recognize most of their players from Thibaut Courtois, all the way up through the field. When you consider the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden

Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne. Belgium have a terrific team. Those Belgian fans that you are seeing there, they are celebrating in Brussels now. They know

all about this team and they've been waiting years and years for them to perform like this at a major tournament. They're into the semifinals for

the first time since '86, 32 years. But Brazil's disappointment at the World Cup continues.

ASHER: You know what? I can't believe it. I thought this was going to be a shoo-in for Brazil. No trouble at all. I thought that it was going to

be, you know, maybe it would have been one-nail or two-one, but I guess you can't really -- you can't really be too sure of anything in this World Cup.

I just wrote down a list of all the teams that everybody thought would have won their games but lost. Brazil out, obviously, Portugal, Spain, Germany,

Argentina. What has happened? What has happened during this World Cup? This has been one of the most unpredictable World Cups I've ever seen

personally.

[15:55:56] RIDDELL: Yes, it's brilliant. It's been fantastic for the neutral fan. The big teams haven't really performed. Germany were the

defending champions, but they were overrated. Argentina really were not that good. They had Messi, but that was about it. Brazil have not exactly

set the tournament on fire and they ran into a Belgium team that is absolutely brilliant. They were the top scorers in the tournament coming

into this game. They scored a couple of goals again today. Granted the first was an own goal, but the second from Kevin De Bruyne was absolutely

brilliant. So I'm afraid I wouldn't have agreed with you. I wouldn't have had Brazil as a shoo-in before this game.

ASHER: Oh, OK. Listen, you know more than me. You know more than me. So Belgium obviously a lot better than I expected, apparently.

RIDDELL: Yes.

ASHER: So England is playing Sweden. You and I were both raised and born in London. So I would have thought, Don, that England would be winning

tomorrow. But I guess, you know, maybe I just don't know.

RIDDELL: Well, first of all, as an England fan, you shouldn't try to call and predict anything.

ASHER: Bad luck.

RIDDELL: Everybody knows that's how you get burned. And as you say with the way this tournament has gone or unraveled, making any kind of

prediction is a bit of a fool's error. But yes, if you look at the world rankings, if you look at the way the two teams play, you, I think, would

perhaps back England to win that game. But I really wouldn't try and predict anything. Certainly not if it's a team that you are fond of and

you want to see do well. But I'll tell you what the France/Belgium semifinal is going to be absolutely epic. You can see now by looking at

the six teams that are left, it is an all-European World Cup from this point on. And just a little footnote for you, five games were played in

Kazan. That was the last of them tonight. And it has become a graveyard for legends. That's where Germany went out. That's where they lost to

South Korea. That is where Argentina went out. And we've just seen Brazil go out there as well.

ASHER: All right. Don Riddell, you make a very good point. You can't guess this. You can't predict it. I'm not going to say anything about

England winning tomorrow. I'm just going to be quiet. I know. Thank you so much, Don. I'll be watching. Who knows what will happen.

OK. Thank you guys so much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:00:09]

END