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Trump Accuses China of Trying to Meddle in Midterms; U.S.-North Korea Relations; Brexit Not a Rejection of Global Cooperation; Legendary Cherokee Studios Back for an Encore. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 27, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, ahead this hour. Perhaps now we know why Donald Trump has held only two solo press conferences since becoming President. He's rambling at times incoherent defenses at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they've done more harm than good.

And then there's a serious but unfounded accusations he made about China saying Beijing was trying to interfere with November's midterm elections. And later, Beatles producer George Martin once said it was the Abbey Road of America. We go inside the newly reopened Cherokee Studios, my interview with music great Bruce Robb, Henry Rollins, and David Lynch.

Hello everybody, great to have you with us, I'm John Vause, this is a second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.

While the scene is now set for dramatic showdown over President Trump's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, in just a few hours Senators will hear from the first woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault 36 years ago. Christine Blasey Ford is one of three women to go public. The latest Julie Swetnick says back in high school, Kavanagh was drunk and sexually aggressive at parties where women were drugged and gang-raped. Kavanaugh denies all of the claims including two other anonymous allegations from 1985 and 1998 and calls it a coordinated smear campaign.

In a bizarre news conference earlier, the U.S. President tried to defend Kavanaugh insisting the nominee was telling the truth and almost as an afterthought added he might change his mind after Thursday's a Senate hearing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And this is beyond Supreme Court. There's nothing beyond Supreme Court. This is beyond Supreme Court. This is everything to do with our country. When you are guilty until proven innocent, it's just not supposed to be that way. Always I heard you're innocent until proven guilty. I've heard this for so long and it's such a beautiful phrase. In this case, you're guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.


VAUSE: Joining me now here in Los Angeles CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Dave Jacobson, Republican Strategist and Media Consultant Luis Alvarado and former Deputy U.S. Attorney and Criminal Defense Attorney David Katz. Thank you guys for being with us. Let's start just in general about what your takeaway was about the President's demeanor, his tone, he seem jump from topic to topic. He didn't finish his sentences. He often don't make sense. He kind of seemed on edge. He didn't really focus a lot. So Dave, firstly, what was your takeaway?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was baffling. It was Trump being Trump. I mean, it was more of a rant and a ramble and you know, there wasn't a coherent message or strategy behind it. I think, look, if you look through the President's lens, you know, he -- there's been report after report that he's frustrated with Kavanaugh's defense. He didn't really think the Kavanaugh did a -- you know, was very compelling in yesterday's Fox interview so he wanted to take matters into his own hands perhaps to potentially create a I guess, from Trump's perspective, from -- pulled some political momentum for Kavanaugh to go into tomorrow's you know, hearing.

And I think -- I think it somewhat backfired. And I think the biggest issue is because Donald Trump use his own past experiences with women, you know, threatening him with women making accusations about you know, sexual harassment among other issues. And I think the challenge is Donald Trump looks like a hypocrite, right? Because there are documents that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former attorney for over ten years put forward in court underscoring the fact that the President actually paid you know, obviously stormy Daniels among others to silence them for his alleged affairs. And so, he -- the hypocrisy here is extraordinary.

VAUSE: Yes, that's something we hear a lot when it comes to this administration. But Luis, you're a media consultant. You know, what would be your advice to Donald Trump? Not that he would take, not that he would listen to it, but what would your advice be to the President after that news conference?

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, there is no question of style and the structure of the press conference was something that left many baffled. And certainly many professors for years to come will probably use u that as an example of what not to do that prepares not to have a disaster. That being said, the question still always is who's your audience? And when it comes to Donald Trump, he has a sect -- a select audience, you know, we call it the base. And to the base, everything he says actually hits as a homerun.

VAUSE: Everything, even that?

ALVARADO: Everything he said hits a homerun. The only question is the Independents. But we're talking about the electorate. At the end of the day what was being discussed is a proceeding in the Senate for a confirmation which doesn't have the rigor to require evidence in as it -- you would need in a courtroom. So that being said, the only one who probably has to be worried is Mitch McConnell because he's the one that's whipping votes for the selection process. And I don't think that what the president did, did sufficiently to damage that process. You can argue --

VAUSE: You don't think Susan Collins and Murkowski --

ALVARADO: -- you can argue what the political process, you can argue about disenfranchising with women, we can argue that the international community being concerned, you can argue all those points and probably have -- be effective in that, but when it comes to the process of selecting the next Justice of the Supreme Court, I don't think it was much of a damage.

[01:05:46] VAUSE: David, let's just stress that that you know, in the coming hours, it's a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is not a courtroom. There are different standards, there are different rules which apply. But one of the implications when the President of the United States uses you know, his position in the bully pulpit to go after you know, the women accusing Brett Kavanaugh and he says it's basically a big fat con job.

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's ineffective. I don't think it's going to work with the audience that they need. The audience they need is the suburban women, people like Senator Collins, Murkowski, the other swing Senators. There's two or three more that they must have in order to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And I think it was very ineffective at trying to reach those potential voters and those moderate senators.

But having said that, it's very important that people remember that you do have a right to be found you know, not -- to be found not guilty unless it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But this is not a criminal proceeding, it's not even a civil proceeding with a preponderance standard.

VAUSE: It's a job interview.

KATZ: He has no right to get this post on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next 30 years, and the President has every right to pull him back and to put in somebody who would be a more suitable, more confirmable candidate. And I think right now with this drip, drip, drip, I really think it's about done.

VAUSE: OK. He's a little more for the President when he was asked what message is he sending to young men around the country when he is questioning the honesty and the motive of the women who is sexually inappropriate behavior by Brett Kavanaugh.


TRUMP: It's a very dangerous period in our country and it's being perpetrated by some very evil people. This is just a game that they're playing. It's a con game.


VAUSE: So Dave, exactly what is that message that the President was fired -- put out there. Explain that answer if you can.

JACOBSON: I mean, he's basically telling men that this is -- this kind of behavior is OK. Let's not forget, John. This is the president who backed Roy Moore, the Senate a Senate candidate from Alabama --

VAUSE: And Rob Porter who is also a domestic abusers, who's also you know, the Wind Casino guy. It was also sexual harassment.

JACOBSON: Donald Trump is long sided with the man and not the women who are accusing men of these egregious activities. But you know, I go back to hypocrisy note, I mean the man is extraordinarily disingenuous. If you were called during the 2016 campaign, when Donald Trump strolled up to the last debate against Hillary Clinton with all of Bill Clinton's accusers, he believed the women then but not now.

And I think, look, optically, this is a big issue for Republicans. You've got eleven GOP senators during the Judiciary Committee who are going to be going up and asking questions of Dr. Ford and of course Judge Kavanaugh. You don't have any women on the Republican side. That's a big issue.

VAUSE: Which is why they brought this attorney in from Arizona to ask the questions.

JACOBSON: Precisely. Yes. But then it's going to be so awkward, right, because you're going to have all these Senators sitting there letting someone else do the questioning. You know, their facial expressions, obviously, you're going to have an impact of this. Are they going to actually engage in the dialogue? That's a big issue. But what's also telling, John, is that there's a poll that came out today with Politico and Morning Consult that showed Republican women crippling and falling apart from the Trump coalition and base.

You've got 49 percent of Republican women who actually support Kavanaugh, 15 percent oppose. This is Donald Trump who has long had a history of having 88, 90 percent of Republicans support, you know, throughout the course of his administration. So you're seeing this ripple effect with Republican Women. And I think that is telling us we go into the November election.

VAUSE: OK, well, actually we've been reporting another woman came forward on Wednesday accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. In her affidavit, she says, "during the years 1981 to 82, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh, and others to spike the punch at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say no." She goes on to raise allegations of gang rape carried out by Kavanaugh and others who again has denied that. But here's the President when he was asked about Julie Swetnick's accusations. Here he is.


TRUMP: I don't know about today's person that came forward. I do know about the lawyer and you don't get much worse bad reputation to take a look at his past. So as far as the other women are concerned, I'm going to see what happens tomorrow. I'm going to be watching. You know, believe it or not, I'm going to see what's there. It's possible that they will be convincing.


[01:10:21] VAUSE: Luis, it's possible like I mean, well, there's one testifying on Thursday anyway and it's Christine Blasey Ford. But you know, when it comes to hiring dodgy lawyers, Donald Trump knows a thing or two about that.

ALVARADO: Yes. He hired one himself enlisting. At the end of the day, I would not want Donald Trump defending me if I'm being accused of anything. You know, the President the United States is not very eloquent. He's not very prepared when it comes to forming an argument. He certainly is very emotional when he delivers his arguments and that stumbles his messaging.

And it's very unfortunate because at some of the things that he said he does have a point with you know, what we were discussing about you know having somebody's word being sufficient to derail somebody's career of 36 years who has never had an issue up until the moment it became a political fight. And that's one of -- that's a fact. And those facts cannot be turned away.

It's a political fight. It's the Democrats versus the Republican. It's about who's going to win the election in November -- who's going to take control of the Hill on November 6th. And that's the ultimate battle that we're witnessing today. The man has a stellar career. He's had his liberal professors from Yale testifying on his behalf in this character. And we're not talking about a monster here. We're not talking about somebody who had -- who had --

VAUSE: Well we don't know. With all due respect, I mean, we just don't know what is in this guy's background because you know, the FBI misses stuff and there's no new FBI investigation. I mean, I don't think -- you know, I do think he's a -- I don't know. I mean, we don't know -- we don't know if Ford is telling the truth. We don't know, you know, if Kavanaugh is telling the truth. But because they weren't even calling Mark Judge as a witness, we -- I guess we'll never find out.

ALVARADO: I guess we will not.

VAUSE: OK, and which is how they want it.


VAUSE: You know, there's also been some questions about Swetnick and Avenatti over the lack of detail in that affidavit. Here's Avenatti basically explaining you know, the credibility of the affidavit if you like, a little early on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER: This is a detailed statement. It is a sworn statement under penalty of perjury and these facts if alleged in a criminal context to start a criminal investigation would be more than sufficient for the process to begin. And again, we're at the beginning stages. We're not at the end stages.

VAUSE: David, your legal opinion, do you agree with Mr. Avenatti.

KATZ: Well, you've raised some excellent points and I think he has too there that this is a pretty compelling statement. And a declaration like this under penalty of perjury is an awfully strong basis to go forward. Now, as a criminal charge, this might have a problem with the criminal statute of limitations because we have them both in the federal courts and almost all the states would bar this particular claim, but apparently not Maryland.


KATZ: Let me throw this in. It's pretty rich for them to say that this is a political thrust because Gorsuch went to Georgetown Prep. Nobody made these allegations about him and being drunken or doing anything like that. We just had Gorsuch come through in the last year, no such allegations were made against him. None were made against Alito, none were made against Chief Justice Roberts. This fellow seems to have a drinking problem. And the Federal Bureau of Investigation should have investigated it before, and if they didn't before, they should investigate it now.

And I don't see how the Republicans can say there should not be an investigation. That's basic. You have to have an investigation first, and then you have the hearing later.

VAUSE: There are no allegations against Harvey Weinstein until (INAUDIBLE) so no allegations here. I guess you know, a whole -- a whole long list of high profile men who basically have been fired and disgraced from high-profile positions. But in case anyone is -- was curious as to why the U.S. President is so quick to defend men who are accused of sexually inappropriate behavior from pedophilia to sexual harassment, even domestic abuse, here's why.


TRUMP: I've had a lot of false charges made against me, really false charges. I know friends that have had false charges. People want fame, they want money, they want whatever. So when I see it, I've view it differently. It's happened to me many times.


VAUSE: So Dave, the way the President sees it is that all those women are liars.

JACOBSON: It's horrifying. It's really horrifying because the President of the United States is supposed to be a role model to children, to you know, working families across this country. And here you have somebody who you know, time it again sides with the male over the accuser and particularly at the time you -- as you so eloquently pointed out in the post-Harvey Weinstein era when you know, the question is being raised like do you believe the woman? The answer is yes.

[01:15:03] VAUSE: Yes. And then, you investigate and find out what happened.

JACOBSON: Yes, exactly.

VAUSE: You take it seriously, you listen to the allegations. You know, keep in mind this is a president who has consistently had a problem as you said, with women voters and it's getting worse. His support among -- you know, women even though he said that basically, he won them overwhelmingly in 2016, he didn't.

You know, here's a sort of a clip of little mash-up of how he treated women reporters during that news conference.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- just to follow --

TRUMP: One more question, yes. She says I would like to ask about three questions. It's not really fair to everyone else. Should I let her ask another question? Go ahead, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I could just actually ask my question, Mr. Trump. You didn't let me ask my question.

TRUMP: But you've been asking a question for 10 minutes. So, please sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you at all concerned at the message that is being sent it -- being sent to the women who are watching this when you use language like con job in relation -- allegation of sexual assault?

TRUMP: Oh, I've used much worse language in my life than con job.

The people that have complained to me about it the most, about what's happening, are women. Women are very angry. You know, I got 52 percent with women, everyone said this couldn't happen. 52 percent. Women are so angry.


VAUSE: You know, Luis, on that last exchange with the Sky News reporter, you know it was like that -- you know, wouldn't hit the Irish reporter never offers them. It was all a bit awkward and flirty, and -- you know, entirely inappropriate.

But again, you know, this is a president who -- I imagine he's been told that this is not the sort of behavior don't talk about women that -- you know, show them the respect that he would show their male colleagues, but no more no less. But yes, he doesn't. ALVARADO: If he was a president of news network, I'm certain he would have lost his job by now with the kind of language and attitude he has. And how he directs his comments with regards to the female associates that work inside that White House. And I'm talking about the reporters mainly.

And it's very unfortunate, but that's who we elected president, but that's who he is.

VAUSE: You're the Republican (INAUDIBLE).

ALVARADO: That -- and -- but that's the persona he is, you know. And many Republicans are not happy with how he behaves, how he communicates through Twitter. He doesn't listen to anybody and that's a concern from a risk management perspective of who's managing our country.

VAUSE: Right.

ALVARADO: But that being said, he is in the White House. Our Constitution allows him protections and allows him powers.


ALVARADO: And it's up to us to create an atmosphere that's going to send a message back to him that will create controls that will hopefully change the behavior that he has exhibited so far.

VAUSE: I want a very quickly finish with the moment when the 45th President of the United States smeared the reputation of the first President of the United States.


TRUMP: Look, if we brought George Washington here and we said, we have George Washington, the Democrats would vote against him. Just so you understand. And he may have had a bad past, who knows, you know? He may have had some -- I think accusations made. Didn't he have a couple of things in his past?


VAUSE: David, you know that's the art of a smear, right? I mean, this is just innuendo with you know, George Washington?

KATZ: Well this whole minimization of these allegations. I mean, the main point is that these women have come forward with these allegations. In the Avenatti case, there's a declaration to say that well, a person should be judged by their lawyer.

After all, Donald Trump's lawyer for over a decade was Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty and pleaded guilty to having committed a federal crime at the direction of President Trump.

So, you have all that and turning to Dr. Ford whose testimony is going to be tomorrow and I think it's going be just a compelling, epic showdown. And I think, she's going to be believed.

She's issued a statement, her polygrapher has explained the polygraph. They've shown a photograph of that. She's had psychiatrist notes from six years ago where she explained to this psychiatrist something which is consistent with what she's saying now against Judge Kavanaugh.

I think it's going to be a very compelling showing. And I think after that drip, drip, drip, I don't think they're going to go ahead. I'm not a political expert like these fellows.

VAUSE: Right.

KATZ: But I don't think they're going to go ahead with that vote on Friday to confirm him. I think that's a bluff.

VAUSE: Right. Very quickly, Dave. We are out of time but how low do you have to go to go after George Washington? I don't believe this guy. It was just really bizarre.

JACOBSON: Hey, he's like beyond the gutter. I mean, that was just totally preposterous.

VAUSE: I cannot go alive. I did touch down the cherry tree George Washington in here, right? This is a (INAUDIBLE).

JACOBSON: Unbelievable.

VAUSE: OK. OK, guys. Thank you so much for a great panel for this discussion. Appreciate it.

KATZ: Thanks for the invite.

ALVARADO: Thank you.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: Thank you. Please stay with CNN for extensive live coverage of the U.S. Senate hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Starts Thursday, 1:30 in the afternoon in London, that's 8:30 if you're watching from Hong Kong.

So, if you're wondering what could possibly top 81 minutes of Donald Trump unplugged taking questions from reporters, wait, there is more. After the break, one of the serious and as of yet unfounded accusations he level at China.


[01:22:36] VAUSE: At China, on Wednesday news conference, President Donald Trump spent a lot of time defending his Supreme Court nominee who's facing at least five accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Earlier though, he chaired his first meeting of the U.N. Security Council which was meant to focus on nuclear non-proliferation. But then, suddenly without offering any evidence, Donald Trump accused China of interfering in November's midterm elections. The charge which Beijing immediately rejected.


TRUMP: They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade. And we are winning on trade. We are winning at every level. We don't want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election.


VAUSE: Well, joining us now, Yvonne Chiu, she's a visiting scholar at the University of California in Berkeley. She's on the line, so, Yvonne, thank you for taking the time to be with us. What do you make it a recipe that claim from the U.S. president in China is basically out to get it because he's been so tough on issues like trade and he's winning?

I think we have a few technical problems right now with Yvonne. We got a little bit of feedback thereon, on the line because we're trying to work that out.

So, we're trying it back to Yvonne, because there's some important issues here which Donald Trump raised when it came to China and interference. He did offer some proof in a tweet but it doesn't seem very substantive to say the least. But there are some serious issues to discuss with China.

We're talking back to Yvonne. In the meantime, Wednesday, Bill Cosby spent his first full day in prison as a convicted criminal. The disgraced comedian was sentenced to 3-10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in the Philadelphia area home, 14 years ago.

Now, Cosby's life will be radically different from the privileged one he's live for decades. Details now from CNN's Jean Casarez.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a maximum-security prison that Bill Cosby is housed at, SCI Phoenix. It's been a busy Wednesday for Bill Cosby. Inmates are up at 6 a.m. They are at attention, they're standing, that is a roll call, and when they are counted.

Today has been a day of the classification process for Bill Cosby. General medical screening, general psychological screening, going through records. Bill Cosby is in his own cell. He is actually located at this point next to the infirmary, prison officials tell us. And the hope is that in time he can go into the general population.

Now, when inmates arrive here, they're given a number of items. They are given a uniform, they're given toiletries, they're given towels, they're also given state-issued boots. And we were able to see the actual type of boot that Bill Cosby and everyone else was given upon entry. It is a leather boot. They are actually made by the inmates themselves right here at this facility.

SCI Phoenix has a manufacturing plant that manufactures boots just like these for inmates all over the Commonwealth. But Bill Cosby will wear these boots as he walks around the prison and to his normal -- more normal duties which may include at some point, jobs.

The inmates actually have jobs at the prison but that is something through the classification process. They will decide what job is right for him.

And if you're wondering what the food is like. Well, we saw a menu and for lunch, it was actually Italian sausage and vegetable, fruit, and beverage. And Wednesday night for dinner, it is poultry tetrazzini, carrots, bread, and an apple. From SCI Phoenix prison in Pennsylvania, I'm Jean Casarez.

[01:26:33] VAUSE: When we come back, the U.S. president praising his relationship with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. He says the letter he received is extraordinary. Detail in a moment.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause, with the headlines this hour.

Donald Trump, says he'll watch Thursday's Senate hearing to listen to the testimony from a woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. President Trump, says he believes the allegations are false but he may change his mind. (INAUDIBLE) third woman has now accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Also, the U.N. Security Council, Donald Trump accused China of trying to meddle in the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. He says it was because China wanted to hurt him politically because he's been so hard on Beijing during that trade war. China's top diplomat at the U.N. denied the accusations.

[01:29:51] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, joining us now is Yvonne Chu (ph). She's a visiting scholar at the University of California Berkeley for more on the accusations Donald Trump has made against China. Ivan -- thank you for sticking with us.


VAUSE: First question, what do you make -- what do you make of the veracity of that claim from Donald Trump that, you know, China out to get him because he's actually been so tough with Beijing on issues like trade.

CHU: Right. Well, so he certainly has been tough on issues like trade and China is reacting. Whether it constitutes election interference defends on how you want to define election interference. They are trying to influence voters. They're trying to influence, you know, the pressure that voters put on some of the politicians that include (INAUDIBLE). This is not the same -- this is not the same kind of election interference as say Russia is engaging in.

So we can call them both election interference but they're very different and (INAUDIBLE) to really understand what the differences are and why they really matter. VAUSE: Ok. Well, this is interesting because you know, during that

news conference, the President was pushed what is the evidence to back up the claim. He said he had it but he wasn't ready to go public. But a few hours later though came this tweet "Proof that China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines register and other papers made to look like news. That's because we are beating them on trade, opening markets and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over."

You know, it's pretty common for foreign countries to buy newspaper space and promote trade and tourism. This one was clearly labeled as such. And you know, seriously -- the "Des Moines Register"?

CHU: Right. Yes. So that in and of itself does not constitute election interference in any kind of normal understanding. It doesn't have to influence voters but it takes place within the normal democratic and public processes.

When we think of election interference we do think of things that are hidden under the table like hacking voter registries, disseminating false information, you know, things that really cut to the heart of how a democracy operates.

But this -- all of this, you know, targeting tariffs, taking out ads that are clearly labeled is influence, it's not interference per se.

VAUSE: And countries all around the world spend millions and millions of dollars every year on lobbyists in Washington to try and push their case, you know, whatever that may be and try and get Congress to approve it.

But there is another issue here because on Tuesday, the U.S. intelligence chief described China's cyber activity as unprecedented in scale and said Beijing was trying to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. So there are serious concerns out there, just not what the President was talking about.

CHU: Right. Yes. I mean there are concerns about espionage, cyber warfare but they so far what the Chinese, as far as we know, we're not entirely sure about the extent that there could be. They seem to be targeting security -- various security issues. This is different from election interference.

Election interference is all about influencing the way voters choose when they go to the polls. So China -- I think there's no question that China is interfering in U.S. activities but not the election per se in the way that we normally think of elections.

VAUSE: Not in a sort of -- in a nefarious way like Russia is accused of doing.

CHU: Right.

VAUSE: Also the President made this claim about the economies of both China and the United States. I want you to listen to what Donald Trump said. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were being caught by China. Now it's going the other way. People can't believe it. People have never seen this situation with China. Everything has always been -- for 20 years oh, China is so great. China is so great.

You don't hear that so much anymore. I love China. I think they're great. But you don't this so much anymore. You know what's great now. We're great now.


VAUSE: You know, I think this -- you know, fact check of some context which is important here. China's economy was always expected to slow at some point as it matures. It can't continue to grow at 8 percent or 9 percent or 10 percent.

At the same time, the U.S. is surging, mostly because of a trillion dollar tax cut funded by debt. So you know, to make that claim seems to be very short on facts.

CHU: Right. I mean these are parts of normal economic cycles. It is true that -- there are big questions about how much exactly China has grown in the past 20 years. The numbers are not -- there's reason to believe the numbers are not entirely accurate.

But it's true they've grown at breakneck (ph) pace. They're also hitting a point in their economy where it's inevitably going to slow down because they've kind of reached the limit of their growth underneath this second (INAUDIBLE).

So they're gong to go through a -- a difficult reform period if that is in fact what they're -- what they -- if they want to continue to grow their economy in the long run.

Whereas now the U.S. is reaching -- the U.S. is hitting this bump. There are lots of different things that might explain this recent crest but yes. So what you need -- so you can take any two economies at any given point in time, you know, you get the (INAUDIBLE) and compare them and say we're doing great, they're doing not.

[01:35:02] But it's more important to look at long-term trends, long- term economic structures and to see where that's going to lead us. And at this point, you know, there's still -- there are a lot of serious questions honestly about both economies, both the U.S. and Chinese economies.

VAUSE: Yes. And I guess the point here is that Donald Trump is a day trader -- long-term context not exactly his thing.

But Yvonne -- thank you for being with us. Thank you for putting up with the technical issues -- most appreciated

Ok. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly -- President Trump proudly showed reporters what he said was an extraordinary letter which he received from North Korea's Kim Jong-un. There it is.

And he also announced the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang to set the groundwork for another meeting between the two leaders.


TRUMP: We have a very good relationship. He likes me, I like him -- we get along. He wrote me two of the most beautiful letters.

When I showed one of the letters, just one to Prime Minister Abe he said this is actually a groundbreaking letter. This is an incredible -- this is a historic letter. And it is a historic letter. It's a beautiful -- it's a beautiful piece of art. And I think we're going to make a deal.


VAUSE: I like you. You like me.

Alexandra Field joins us now from Hong Kong.

I mean look, it's nice that there's a good relationship between these two leaders. I think that's important. But it also means in one sense that, you know, the U.S. President here is now backing away from a time table for North Korea to give up nukes. He says he doesn't want to get into that time game. You know, a time frame is something which is crucial when it comes to denuclearization.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that was almost on the back burner as he waxed on about this beautiful, groundbreaking letter, this work of art I'm blushing. But in seriousness, it is serious. This is a president who is highlighting his warm relationship with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and touting that to the world as a real success of his administration.

Look, in fairness he points to the fact over and over again that you have seen that North Korea ceased to conduct its missile tests, put an end to some of their nuclear tests. And objectively that's a good thing for a region that was really brought to the brink of tension just a year ago.

But it doesn't mean that North Korea is closer to the Trump administration's stated goal of denuclearization or any closer to (INAUDIBLE) commitment to denuclearize. That was the promise that Kim Jong-un made just three months ago in Singapore.

We haven't seen any concrete actions to that end or any agreement to take any concrete steps to that end. At the same time you've got a Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who has said that North Korea continues to produce fissile material for its nuclear weapons and that the regime there has not turned over a list of its arsenal of nuclear weapons or its nuclear facilities.

So no, you are not moving closer to denuclearization as yet. But you do have a president who's saying that the timeline is no longer important. He had said that this was something that would happen rapidly, as quickly as mechanically possible. That's how it put it after the Singapore summit.

Now changing his tune saying it could take two years, three years, five months to reach this kind of agreement for denuclearization. Let me just add that experts have said it could take a good decade for North Korea to actually achieve denuclearization.

But the President is simply saying that that is not the focus right now. He won't play the time game. Instead focusing on the fact that this warm relationship is growing; that there will be another summit with the North Korean leader and again underscoring the fact that you have seen an easing of tensions on the Peninsula.

But the reality here, John -- is that it does show that this is an administration that is struggling just like all the past administrations to make tangible progress when it comes to denuclearization talks with North Korea.

VAUSE: Yes. Dealing with the North Koreans has always been a challenge.

We also heard President Trump claiming that if he had not been elected, the U.S. and North Korea would have gone to war under President Obama. Here's what he said.

TRUMP: If I wasn't elected, you would have had a war. President Obama thought you had to go to war. Do you know how close he was to pressing the trigger for war? Millions of people with me -- nobody's talking about that. Nobody's talking about that.

Before I got here everybody in the room thought you are going to war. And then what happened, it was funny. They said he was terrible. He was so rough with -- with Chairman Kim -- Kim Jong-un. He was so rough. It's terrible. He's going to cause --

Well, I had a great meeting with President Putin.


VAUSE: Yes. Where that last part was going was a bit odd. But no one was talking about it because it is not true, right. You know, the Obama administration officials have denied it. Is there any evidence which actually backs up what Trump is saying?

FIELD: No. The longer answer here, John -- of course, it's a fact that we know that President Obama sat down with President Trump and warned him that North Korea would be perhaps his greatest foreign policy challenge. That doesn't seem like an overstatement at the time that that statement was made.

[01:40:07] And certainly it is what preoccupied the first many months of the Trump administration. But these assertions that President Obama had his finger on the trigger essentially as President Trump was putting it, well that's something that top administration officials from the Obama administration are vehemently pushing back against. In fact the former spokesperson for the National Security Council talking about the fact that the administration always worked with the Department of Defense to have contingencies available as all administrations have when it comes to dealing with North Korea. But that the consistent belief of the Obama administration was that there could only be a diplomatic option; that anything beyond that would simply be too catastrophic.

Catastrophic, how? Well, President Trump pointed to that over and over again, talking about the possibility of (INAUDIBLE) millions of casualties should there be conflict on the Peninsula.

The world, John, if of course well aware of that potential fallout -- it's something that we often discussed in the first few months of the Trump administration when we saw tensions with North Korea ratcheting up, when we saw an unprecedented number of missile tests from North Korea and when you saw rhetoric exchange between the two leaders the likes of which the world had never seen.

Those threats of fire and fury and of course, who could forget the boasts of who had the biggest nuclear button -- John.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, I remember one time, a lot of talk, you know, at the beginning of last year about war and not a lot of talk of war during the Obama era. Anyway.

Alex -- thanks. Appreciate it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May insists the U.K. will not turn its back on the world because of Brexit telling the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, the decision to leave the E.U. does not mean Britain is abandoning its role in the international community.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And just as there is now single recipe for an inclusive society, so there is no single model for balancing the democratic demands of our public with the imperative to cooperate internationally.

The vote by the British people to leave the European Union was not a rejection of multilateralism or international cooperation. It was a clear demand for decisions and accountability to lie closer to home.


VAUSE: As for Mrs. May's proposed Brexit deal, the so-called Chequers Plan, it's hanging by a thread E.U. leaders have already rejected it and the opposition Labour Party says it will vote against it.


JEREMY CORBYN, LABOR PARTY LEADER: Let me say to the country as it stands Labour will vote against the Chequers plan or whatever is left of it and oppose leaving the E.U. with no deal. And it is inconceivable -- inconceivable that we could crash out of Europe with no deal. It would be a national disaster. That is why if parliament votes down a Tory deal or the government fails to reach any deal at all, we would press for a general election.


VAUSE: Jeremy Corbyn is offering Mrs. May an alternative. He says his party would actually support the deal if it includes, among other things, a customs union and no hard border in Ireland.

Well next up here on NEWSROOM L.A. Typhoon Trami looking dangerous and it is. The latest forecast with Derek Van Dam at the CNN International Weather Center when we come back.


VAUSE: Typhoon Trami taking aim at Okinawa in southern Japan bringing high winds -- high winds rather and some heavy rains. Let's go to Derek Van Dam our meteorologist at the CNN Weather Center. DVD -- what have you got?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey John -- you know, just 24 hours ago Typhoon Trami was a monster -- a saw tooth-shaped large cyclone churning in the western Pacific. But now it's moving so slowly that it's churned some of the colder ocean waters from below and it's helping disorganize and weaken the storm somewhat.

Look at the pinwheel eye just 24 hours ago -- good indicator of a strong Cat 5 equivalent hurricane. Well now it's been downgraded and weakened to equivalent to a Category 2 Atlantic hurricane, sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour.

What's interesting to note though, we do anticipate re-intensification as it reaches the Ryukyu Islands and eventually impacts the southern portions of mainland Japan as we head into Sunday morning, local time.

At this point a significant amount of tropical moisture is also getting caught up in a frontal boundary. So this is going to break off little waves of moisture and rainfall that's going to bring significant rainfall to places like Osaka and Kagoshima as we end off the weekend across this are.

Keep in mind this part of Japan is already extremely saturated from previous typhoons and also other rain events that have taken place across this are. So the potential for downed trees, downed power lines and localized flash flooding and landslides, certainly a possibility we're going to look out for this weekend as Trami comes closer to the mainland of Japan.

Another area we're monitoring, across the Mediterranean, this is something you don't see every day, a medi-cane -- that is a tropical- like cyclone developing in the Mediterranean. This is starting to form off the coast of Libya and is pulling in significant winds across Turkey and into mainland Greece. In fact Greece has high wind warnings through the course of today and into Friday that could gust over 100 kilometers per hour as the system nears -- John.

VAUSE: Medi-cane, you made that up. Doesn't sound like it's real.

VAN DAM: That is a real turn. Wikipedia check it out. We had to do it ourselves.


VAUSE: Yes. Wikipedia. Thanks.

Ok. We have this news just in. The Duchess of Sussex better known as Mrs. Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has closed the door of a car all by herself. No help, no assistance, she just; you know, closed it. This is apparently a big deal. Protocol dictates someone else should have closed the car door for a royal apparently for security reasons.

But you know maybe this was a statement or cry for independence. Maybe she's some kind of subversive. Maybe she's just a normal person, you know.

After the break, a decade after closing its doors the legendary recording studio Cherokee is back. The place where legends were born and classics were made ready for an encore.


VAUSE: A studio with the sound, the mood and atmosphere like no other -- and its owner and founder Bruce Robb told me that's exactly how they plan to do it again.


BRUCE ROBB, FOUNDER, CHEROKEE STUDIOS: In the beginning of rock n roll, most studios were owned by, you know, record labels and there were very few private studios back then. And we couldn't get into their studios and so we though we'll build our own studio in the barn.

VAUSE: That's pretty big understatement, a bit like Steve Jobs saying he decided to build a computer in his garage. Bruce Robb and his brothers are the biggest names in the music industry you probably never heard of.

In the 60s, the Robbs toured the country as a supporting act to The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buffalo Springfield and more, even performing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Their fame and fortune though would not be made on stage but in the studio. Somehow they managed to bring out the best in the greats.


VAUSE: What is the sort of the secret source that makes Cherokee different than so many other places?

ROBB: First off, that room was magic. Just a great vibe -- a great vibe and a great sound, a killer sound, beautiful, smooth, great stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Know the room and you know how to mic something -- good mics, you've got a good record. And that's what these guys had.

DAVID LYNCH, PRODUCER: When you feel good in a place and you're getting a great sound you go to -- you know, you go to Cherokee, you see Bruce.

VAUSE: A sound and a place so unique, so special Beatles producer George Martin once called Cherokee the best studio in America. And for three decades it was like the (INAUDIBLE) for Icons and legends.

ROBB: One night Little Richard pulls up. Of course, he does. Walks up to the studio and wants to make a country record. I'm thinking that's a great idea.


ROBB: A friend of ours from Don Hill brought Steely Dan up, we did Pretzel Logic. And that kind of exploded. That was our first huge record.


ROBB: Cherokee became a giant, became a monster.

VAUSE: There's been no shortage of awards -- hundreds of gold and platinum records over the years but far more important it seems; the stories and memories of working with the biggest of the big names.

ROBB: We got a call and said David Bowie is up front. You know, we're a band, we go, oh wow. So we got -- David walks into the room. He walks and says (INAUDIBLE). It's great.


VAUSE: Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, George Clinton, the list goes on. Even the notoriously difficult Old Blue Eyes himself.

ROBB: Sinatra walks in and he opens the door and says so this is Cherokee. We're dead. He said you're a family. We said yes. He said I like families.

Joe, my brother, just he rolls in a bar cart. And he looks at it he's the only person we've ever seen that could really smile with his eyes. But so we make him a drink and he sits down in the control room. He was there for an hour, tells us road stories.


VAUSE: If those walls could talk, you know, what would they be saying?

HENRY ROLLINS, MUSICIAN: I got one. In the vocal booth, in the big room, on the ceiling there is someone took a spray can and drew an image. It's probably not family friendly. [01:54:59] And he's coming like, well, there's something on the ceiling. Oh, that's Rod Stewart. He puts one of those everywhere he works. And I spent so many times all through the 80s and 90s looking up at that ceiling going Rod Stewart has been here.


ROBB: We take it off and he'd do it again. So we've had --

VAUSE: Over the years Cherokee has done more than just record music. They've been midwives to entire new genres cutting the first ever disco song with Bob Crewe. Some of raps deepest roots are here, punk music as well. When a young Henry Rollins had something to say, Cherokee helped him say it.

ROLLINS: Punk Rock allows -- you don't have to be able to hit the note, it's more of what you're saying and how you're saying. And so I had to something to say and so suddenly I'd come from Washington, D.C. I find myself in Los Angeles singing for the notorious Black Flag.


ROLLINS: The Robbs would just leave the doors open and this could like could get weird, you all. I'd spend nights in there and you'd come out and it would be something like, want something to eat. I'm like you're still here. Like because you're still here, man.

And so you need maniacs around you. You know you need other fanatics around you to really make it happen. And that's why Cherokee lasted and that's why people kept coming back.

VAUSE: In 2008 Cherokee held its last supper. David Lynch, Henry Rollins and Bruce Robb were all there as the studio went down. Ten years later, they're together again for the first time for this interview.

And there's reason to celebrate, Cherokee is back in business, again recording the sound track of a generation. But in a way, back to the future using the same equipment from the studio famous for its signature sound. The (INAUDIBLE) analog board, 1961 Hammond B3 keyboard and Neumann microphones from the 1940s and 50s.

What do you want people to say years from now when they talk about Cherokee?

ROBB: Those guys made a lot of great records.

VAUSE: And Steve Jobs made a lot of good computers as well.


VAUSE: Many thanks to Bruce Robb, Henry Rollins and David Lynch -- all of them legends of the industry.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWROOM, live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause. Stay with us. The news continues here on CNN with Rosemary Church in Atlanta.


[02:00:09] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A marathon news conference ends a whirlwind day for President Donald Trump as he unleashes --