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Aired February 20, 2019 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Drying in the Russia investigation is nothing more than a witch and fake news.

Then how to explain the extensive cover-up detailed in an investigative report by "The New York Times?"

And Karl Lagerfeld, he of the unique look and style, redefined not just fashion but the business of fashion. And his passing brings new questions about the future of Chanel, an iconic brand he saved more than three decades ago.


VAUSE: Bishops from around the world have been summoned to Rome for an unprecedented summit to confront a scandal that has dogged the church decades: clerical sexual abuse. But even before they arrive comes word of another scandal.

And the Vatican has acknowledged there are secret guidelines for priests who violate vows of celibacy and father children. A Vatican spokesperson said the priests are asked to leave and take on the parental responsibilities.

And then comes an astonishing admission from the top leadership of Catholic nuns and priests around the world, owning up to misplaced loyalty, errors in judgment and cover-ups in cases of sexual abuse of children.

Two weeks ago, Pope Francis acknowledged the rape and sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, describing some of the victims a enslaved. But now they're ending their silence. Melissa Bell spoke exclusively with a number of women about what they endured in a now notorious French order.


"LUCIE," SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: And it was automatic, you know. He wanted to go to the end, to ejaculation and I was just like an object for him and I had the feeling he did this a lot of times.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Lucie," not her real name, says she was abused by a priest. So do these women. None of their alleged abusers have ever faced trial. This is the story of the broken women of St. Jean.

The Order of the Contemplative Sisters of St. Jean was founded here at St. Jodard by Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who preached for the physical expression of affection.

BELL: It was long after his death that the order recognized that he'd been guilty of sexual abuse.

But for years there were rumors about other priests and other victims within the order.

BELL (voice-over): "Lucie" was 18 years old and preparing to become an oblate, a lay person, consecrated within the church when she says the abuse began.

"LUCIE": You can be 18 or 16 or 20. When you have not experienced sexuality and you have suddenly in front of you the sex of a man, it is just a shock.

BELL (voice-over): It took "Lucie" 15 years to be able to talk about it. She then says the church wouldn't listen. In the criminal courts, the statute of limitations had expired. The Vatican now says it is investigating allegations made by several women against "Lucie's" alleged abuser. He was removed from the community 10 years ago but, even now, it is the strength of her faith that makes it so hard to take in.

"LUCIE": He's a priest, he's a father, he's near God, he's like God. The Christ is living in him. He cannot do something like this. I think the worst was to talk. It broke me. It broke my body, in fact. I prefer to have been shot by a gun or if I have just a leg handicap, it's OK. I can live my life.

But here, it's a murder inside of your heart and in -- of your soul because it's about faith also. So it's like something is dead in me.

BELL (voice-over): Liene was a novice when she was abused. The Order of St. Jean says that her alleged abuser, Father Mario Lillet (ph), is now being investigated by the Vatican. She declined our request for comment. Liene only began to put a word on what had happened to her two years ago and by then it was too late to take to the criminal courts.

LIENE MOREAU, SEX ABUSE VICTIM (through translator): The psychological abuse was worse than the sexual abuse. It's my inner life. He took my dignity, my femininity, all that I was.

BELL (voice-over): Liene says the abuse went on for 15 years. In a letter she shows us, Father Mario Lillet (ph) suggests "discretion," adding that his "crazy love for her comes from Jesus."

CNN reached out to the Vatican. Its spokesperson wouldn't comment on any specific allegations but did confirm that several clerics belonging to the congregation of St. Jean were being investigated. Laurence is a former nun who now heads a victims' organization.

LAURENCE POUJADE, SENTINELLE VICTIMS GROUP (through translator): We are talking about victims who don't speak out.

But what about those who went straight to psychiatric hospitals?

What about those who mutilated themselves?

I know of one case, her parents called me to tell me that she had cut out her own tongue.

What can you say?

What happened for a victim to do that?

BELL: Not all of the abuse took place here but the order says that over the course of the last 45 years, five priests have been found guilty of sexual abuse in civil courts with three --


BELL: -- under investigation. Furthermore, two priests have been found guilty of abuse in church courts.

BELL (voice-over): French authorities wouldn't comment but the Order of St. Jean gave CNN a statement, saying that it accepted that errors had been made in the past in the handling of cases of sexual abuse because of a lack of awareness of the suffering caused to the women.

BELL: We did just try and ring the bell here at the Order of St. Jean but no one would speak to us on camera. What matters, though, now is that the order has recognized that there are victims other than those of the founder.

Now that acknowledgement came just after Pope Francis had lifted the lid on what he called sexual slavery within the Order of St. Jean.

So what did the pope's words mean for the victims?

"MARIE" Well, it was like a bomb.

MOREAU (through translator): It is a new beginning.

BELL (voice-over): The pontiff's recognition may come late but it does put words on a trauma that for so many had until been unspeakable -- Melissa Bell, CNN, St. Jodard.


VAUSE: It has always been the paradox at the heart of the denials by the U.S. president.

If he is completely innocent, why then has there been such an extensive cover-up the likes of which have never been seen before? Part of an extensive report by "The New York Times" claims Donald Trump asked former acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, to put a Trump ally in charge of the investigation into hush money payments made to two women before the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump denied the report ad by the report and went on to defend Whitaker on Tuesday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the current status of your relationship with Mr. Whitaker?

TRUMP: Very good. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Whitaker. I think he's done a great job. He is a very, very straight shooter. I watched him during the hearing, some of it. I thought he was exceptional. He's a very fine man and he should be given a lot of thanks by our nation.



VAUSE: Ron Brownstein is CNN's senior political analyst. He's also senior editor for "The Atlantic" and he joins us from Los Angeles.

Ron, good to have you with us.


This deep dive by "The New York Times," it brings up significant news, like that phone call the president is said to have made to his acting attorney general. If it's true, it's hard to see how it would not be an attempt to obstruct justice.

But much of "The Times' reporting information which is already public. Or does it pulls everything together and the obvious takeaway seems to be if these investigations are a witch hunt, a nothing burger, then why is the president and his supporters going to such extreme lengths to obstruct and cover up?

BROWNSTEIN: First off all, on Michael Cohen, we know it's not a nothing burger. There are criminal violations of campaign finance law and the president is essentially an unindicted coconspirator in the case at this point.

It was a great report by Mark Mazzetti and others, Mark who's now a CNN contributor as well. And not only the extraordinary phone call, which by itself, I think, you know, in ordinary times without everything else going on, would be enough to have some people on Capitol Hill talking about opening an impeachment inquiry.

Beyond that, I mean, the report really gives you the texture of how many congressional Republicans have essentially knitted themselves into the president's effort to defer and deter and deflect all of these investigations.

And, you know, it kind of underscores the extent to which, in the first two years of this presidency, there was a decision made to completely abandon -- not only abandon oversight but to actually work to frustrate these independent investigations in the service of trying to get their common agenda through.

VAUSE: This was the investigation into Michael Cohen and the hush money payments he paid out to the two women. It's not so much what Whitaker did, because he said he did nothing, the call in and of itself, if it's true and it can be proven, that's where the obstruction or attempted obstruction of justice has taken place, right?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. The idea that the -- first of all, it's a reflection of the extent to which the president views the Justice Department and the entire law enforcement apparatus of the federal government as an extension of his personal will.

We've really gotten inured to the extent to which these are extraordinary violations of traditional norms. I mean, this is just barreling through the barriers that have historically separated the White House from active criminal investigations of any kind.

But then to kind of add on top of that, we're talking about a criminal investigation of the president's fixer and attorney that ultimately touched on him and his own behavior.

And the thought that he is calling an attorney general -- and it says something that he is comfortable calling this acting attorney general to make this request -- to try to influence who was conducting that investigation is just so far -- if true, is just so far beyond the boundaries, that, again, you can't even see the shore anymore.

VAUSE: We have the former acting director of the FBI out doing the television rounds, promoting a new book, he's done a number of interviews and has repeated, you know, his belief that Donald Trump might in fact be a Russian asset. I want you to listen to the response to that claim from White House aide --


VAUSE: -- Kellyanne Conway.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: It's hardly worth dignifying with a response. He's a known liar and leaker and he's said to your colleague, Anderson Cooper, and earlier today on a different network, gee, it's possible but I can't say it's a fact.

Then why the heck are we talking about it?

It's completely ridiculous and he knows it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: For part of that answer I want you to listen to Andrew McCabe.


ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: It's extraordinary. I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like it. I'm not aware of a single other campaign that's been investigated or looked at for the same curious ties with Russia.

Numerous people in and around the president, in and around the campaign maintained contacts with individuals from Russia, people connected to the Russian intelligence services. You have a number who have been charged, a number who have been already convicted and pled guilty for all kinds of different offenses.


VAUSE: And, again, that reporting again from "The New York Times," which says the president has attacked or criticized the Russia investigation over 1,100 times. If nothing else, we think he doth protest too much.

BROWNSTEIN: It is a fair conclusion that the level of contact between this campaign that became the administration and Russia, is, at least in my experience of covering nine previous presidential campaigns, absolutely unprecedented. There's never been any foreign government, I think, that has been as intimately -- it seems to me -- intimate connections and contacts as we have seen with the Trump administration.

Now whether McCabe, given his own history, is the one that Americans are going to look to kind of reach that conclusion is another question. I think he's probably on stronger ground when he sticks to essentially kind of that "Dragnet," "Just the facts, ma'am," and reports what he encountered and experienced with the president.

For example, the extraordinary comments about not believing the intelligence agencies and believing Vladimir Putin instead over North Korea's missile capability. I don't know if ultimately he will be seen as the best, what, a judge of whether that label applies to the president.

Obviously Americans are going to be waiting to see what Bob Mueller decides, what he concludes.

VAUSE: Which is essentially what McCabe said. He said it'll be interesting to see where Mueller goes with this. That was of the FBI investigation into Trump being an asset. That's being implied it was an ongoing investigation.

I want go back to the president asking Whitaker to appoint a loyalist into the Cohen investigation because Donald Trump was asked specifically about that and this was his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker to change the leader into the investigation into your former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

TRUMP: No, not at all. There's a lot of fake news out there.


VAUSE: Not exactly a surprising answer from the president but I want you to listen to Whitaker's denial. He made this before Congress earlier that month and he stands by it today. This is what he said.


MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: At no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation.


VAUSE: Then there is a very specific choice of words I think from a legal point of view.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, that's a nondenial denial. I mean he is denying something that was not alleged in the story, right?

I mean -- and he is not denying what is alleged in the story. Now whether -- it's still open whether the House could consider that perjury because certainly it is misleading in the context of the new revelation, again, if the new revelation is true.

And I can't -- it would not surprise me if, at some point, they sought to ask him again under oath not whether he provided an ironclad commitment but whether he was asked specifically to change the leadership of that investigation.

VAUSE: Ron, as always, thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, John.


VAUSE: Venezuela has closed its aerial and maritime borders with the Dutch Antilles on the order of the siege of President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition moves are reportedly planning on bringing humanitarian aid into the country through the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. Self-declared interim president Juan Guaido has promised aid to be released this weekend. And the Maduro government has blocked aid from the United States, claiming it's been contaminated and, besides, there's no humanitarian crisis anyway so it's not needed.

For almost two weeks Haiti has been rocked by violent anti-government demonstrations. Amid that chaos came word of the arrests of eight foreigners, including five Americans, for illegal possession of firearms, which the prime minister now claims was part of a plot to attack the government. Miguel Marquez has the latest now from Port- au-Prince.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight men arrested in Haiti, five of them Americans. Police say they were heavily armed. The country's prime minister now calling them terrorists.

"These men were --


MARQUEZ (voice-over): -- "mercenaries," he says. "They were here to attack part of the executive branch of the government. I promise you we will know every detail of why they were here."

The arrests stirred worry and rumors nationwide as Haiti struggles through protests that shut down the entire country for over a week, the most serious threat the government here has faced in years.

MARQUEZ: How serious is this current situation?

BOCCHIT EDMOND, HAITIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: For me, it is very serious because we are talking about a democratically elected president that's under threat of being removed by some very, you know, radical groups.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In an exclusive interview, Haiti's foreign minister laid out what the Haitian government is now doing to head off further crises.

EDMOND: I believe the only way we can start feeling that it's over is, once we have decided to sit together, to sit down and talk between us. Because --

MARQUEZ: And that process is only beginning today or now.

EDMOND: It's already starting.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Several government ministers held a rare press conference, a show of unity. The message: the government is focused on addressing protester concerns.

"We are going to cut the government budget," he says, "and spend the money on programs to respond to the demands of the people on the street."

At a competing press conference, opposition leaders called for renewed efforts to protest the government.

"The president must go," he says. "This is a fight for our country."

Protesters in one Port-au-Prince neighborhood say they'll only settle for the president's resignation. David did not want his last name used.

"There will be a revolution," he says, "a new government and a new Haiti." The government says the last thing the country needs is more political

instability -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


VAUSE: We should note that CNN is trying to confirm more details including whether the men who were arrested have actually been charged. In a statement to CNN, the U.S. State Department said it is seeking consular access as soon as possible. It's unclear whether the men have legal representation.

Still to come, with the death of creative genius Karl Lagerfeld, what does the future now hold for Chanel, the fashion house?





VAUSE: Dozens of protesters have marched in cities across France, outraged by a recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks. One rally on Tuesday was the Republique Square in Paris and earlier this week about 80 graves in a cemetery near Strasbourg were desecrated with swastikas and other graffiti.

French president Emmanuel Macron says the vandals are not worthy of the republic and they'll be punished.

The man best known for remaking Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was appointed Chanel's creative director more than 30 years ago and the CEO called him a creative genius ahead of his time. Jim Bittermann has more now on one of the most remarkable men in the history of high fashion.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Karl Lagerfeld dead at the age of 85, although it's no certainty about that because he could never quite tell the same story twice about his age.

Someone who worked furiously through the fashion industry through the years, from 1952 until today almost. He said, if I ever stopped working, I will die. And he held to that pretty much.

His last fashion show was in January 22nd. He failed to show up for that showing. Immediately the fashion community began thinking that perhaps he was not in good health.

The last time he appeared publicly was right here on the Champs- Elysees before Christmas, when they had the Christmas lighting ceremony with the mayor of Paris, who presented him with a medal.

He was a well-known figure around Paris, an icon of the fashion industry, way ahead of everyone else in many, many ways, designing for the biggest houses and a career that spanned decades.

And in fact he always was able to stay in front and stay on top of the business -- Jim Bittermann, Paris.


VAUSE: Fashion designer Nick Verreos joins us now from Los Angeles.

Nick, thanks for being with us. I imagine this is a fairly a sad day for anyone associated with the fashion industry. Lagerfeld survived and he thrived in an industry not exactly known for rewarding longevity.

What was his secret?

How did he continue to reinvent himself for 70 years?

NICK VERREOS, FASHION DESIGNER: First of all, thank you, John. Good to be with you. He really proved he was a great among all greats. He was undisputedly the most prodigious fashion designer in this modern era.

He found a way to reinvent himself, to reinvent the fashion house of Chanel, especially the brand. When he was named fashion designer in 1983, it was really barely surviving. He almost performed a fashion emergency. It was barely surviving off of the perfume sales.

But he never looked back and he always looked forward. He found a way of magnificently reinventing the Chanel jacket in so many different ways and bringing in newness, freshness, youthfulness.

They said that the average age of the customer during his time designing went from the mid-50s to about the mid-30s and so he found way to make it fresh, make it new.

VAUSE: Talking about always looking forward, his favorite line. He had this incredibly dry wit, trendy at the last stage before tacky.


VAUSE: We talk about Chanel here. The company wasn't doing well before he came along. He kind of rebranded it not just in terms of design but also as a business model as well. Here's part of a report from Bloomberg.

"While very few could afford items such as the shopping basket bag he created for the 2014 couture show, far more could manage a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume and it didn't seem to matter that he felt free to insult his shoppers that fell afoul of his standards by wearing sweatpants, having children or being overweight.

"They still lusted after one of his lipsticks."

So in other words, he did what all good salesmen do. He sold dreams and aspirations. VERREOS: Exactly. I always say the sign of a fabulous undisputable fashion designer is when you get to put the fuchsia in the window and they go into the store and buy the black shift dress or buy the perfume or buy the sunglasses. And this is what made Karl Lagerfeld such a genius.

He put many, many fuchsias in the window. And by that I mean, a Chanel baseball cap, Chanel jeans, the double C's on everything. I remember, I was barely -- could afford rent but I had to buy my mother a pair of Chanel earrings to give her that status symbol. So he did that to people.

VAUSE: But others have tried it. They tried to go down that same road. Pierre Cardin, it went -- really destroyed the brand in a major way by trying to repeat what Lagerfeld did. But it was an absolute disaster.

VERREOS: Right, right. You have to have that -- it is that genie in the bottle. And I think that Karl Lagerfeld -- whet he knew is he knew how to capture the zeitgeist, the moment, what everybody was going to do, was going to think of doing. He just had that magic, magic --


VERREOS: -- touch and he just had that sensible touch and also the perfect team around him that knew what was going to be hot. He never looked back. He said, if a designer starts thinking about their past being so great, then, he said, they should stop. So he never did that. I think that's what really made him a genius, a god among all the gods and goddesses of the fashion world, including St. Laurent, Christian Dior, et cetera.

VAUSE: What is now the big question is the future of Chanel. It's privately owned by two brothers. They could take the company public. They could just sell it. It's valued at almost $60 billion U.S.

Is it still worth that sort of money without Lagerfeld?

VERREOS: You know, I think it is. I think it will carry on the legacy that Gabrielle Coco Chanel created and then Karl Lagerfeld continued. They announced that Virginie Villard will continue the legacy and she was actually Karl Lagerfeld's right arm. He even said, she's my right arm. She is the right-hand woman who will continue the legacy.

In fact, in his last haute couture show, she took the bow because he said he was too tired. And she was an intern since 1987. So I think they're in good hands. And I think the House of Chanel, the legacy, all of that will continue beyond Karl Lagerfeld.

VAUSE: I wonder if she wore the sunglasses and pulled her hair back in that same ponytail style, whether that will continue?

I guess not; that was unique. Nick, thank you.

VERREOS: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: We're going to take a short break. When we come back, rolling up the red carpet for the Saudi crown prince. But regional tensions might just upstage talks about business investment.




VAUSE: Welcome back to CNN, I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


[02:30:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is in New Delhi and is expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke with government protocol personally welcoming the prince at the airport. New Delhi Bureau Chief Nikhil Kumar is joining us now (INAUDIBLE) live from New Delhi.

So Nikhil, you know, this was quite the greeting from Narendra Modi and, you know, a very different welcome than Prince Salman has, you know, being receiving in other capitals of the world that he recently went to.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: That's right. Prime Minister Modi has formed here, John. You know, he has broken protocol. Numerous times he did so again and I have to say people weren't necessarily expecting it because the previous stop from Mohammad Bin Salman on this Asian tour, a tour widely seen as a way for the Saudi leadership to rehabilitate its image following the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

His previous stop was in Pakistan. Pakistan of course is the country that India blames for having a hand in the worst attack on Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region just last week on Thursday. So that was just days before Mohammad Bin Salman arrived in Pakistan. The way he announced $20 billion worth of deals with Pakistan. And now, he's here. And as you said, a warm welcome at the airport. There was a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi.

Earlier this morning where both the both prime minister and the president of India (INAUDIBLE) state welcomed the crown prince and the prime minister and the prince are currently engaged in talks and we're waiting to hear more about the investment deals that are expected to come out. But of course, that attack last week, it has caused a shadow over the whole trip. People are waiting to see what if anything is said about this attack and attack that again as I say India blames on Pakistan.

Pakistan of course rejects that allegation. But we're waiting to hear what the Saudi prince has to say about it if anything at all later today, John.

VAUSE: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) MBS actually made this huge promise of investment money for Pakistan and they gave him a gold-plated gun on a national holiday (INAUDIBLE) it will be interesting to see how that is dealt with by Narendra Modi there if at all. Nikhil, thank you. Appreciate being with us. Still to come, music that makes a difference. Legendary guitarist Gary Clark Jr. like you've never seen it before. The man once dubbed the savoir of the blues (INAUDIBLE) on racism and the U.S. president.


[02:35:07] VAUSE: Age doesn't build character but reveals character. Critics and opponents would argue the past two years have revealed much about Donald Trump. In particular, that racism and bigotry are a feature of his presidency not an admiration. It's been a unifying motivation for many artist and performers. The political protest (INAUDIBLE) the music and lyrics in many cases are powerful, moving, and personal, and more than driving force of their anger and despair is obvious.

Often, the president himself and his supporters are implied and not named. That is until now.



VAUSE: That's part of the title track from a new album from one of the most talented musicians of a generation, Gary Clark Jr. It's called This Land (INAUDIBLE) about racism, discrimination, the U.S. president, and his supporters (INAUDIBLE) pack into three minutes and forty-one seconds. Gary Clark Jr. joins us now from Los Angeles. Gary, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.

GARY CLARK JR., MUSICIAN: Thanks for having me.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) the backstory here. The, you know, to the song because these events actually really did happen. You do live in Trump country, you know, Mr. Williams is a real person. He's your neighbor and this song is any indication. He's a miserable racist. So go back to the day you had that run in with Mr. Williams.

CLARK: Well, just to clear it up, Mr. Williams is not this gentleman's name. It's kind of a figure used throughout the album a little bit. But (INAUDIBLE) for the song was, you know, it was around 2016 around the elections. Everything was going on (INAUDIBLE) information and also having conversations with people that I was in the studio with, you know, we have young kids and we were just talking about what kind of world we're in and it's that time I had this incident (INAUDIBLE) walked up to my house or drove out to my house and, you know, we exchanged some words and it made me feel it was sad to feel like I wasn't equal to, you know, another man.

VAUSE: You know, on the weekend, you performed This Land as the closing number on Saturday night live. Here it is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


VAUSE: You know, there are rules and regulations when it comes to language. It can use on a broadcast freeway television network like NBC which, you know, (INAUDIBLE) certain words are banned including the N word which is in the song. Now, the (INAUDIBLE) SNL version, it seemed to lack, you know, some of the power and used of the anger of the studio recording (INAUDIBLE) a lot of praised. But how did you feel about it?

CLARK: Well, I'm a fan of the show and I would like to be invited back and they asked me to take out a couple of words and I understand what that is. But I think overall you can understand what the messages of that song and where I'm coming from.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, in 2012, President Obama, he invited you to perform at the White House. At the time, you know, he called you the future of music and so there's no pressure at all (INAUDIBLE) again, let's go back to 2012 and take a quick look.



VAUSE: It's a great shot of him up there enjoying the music. You know, (INAUDIBLE) presidency, the theory was that President Obama (INAUDIBLE) because there's this fear of alienating white voters by coming across the mythical angry black men. Do you see this taking the polar opposite approach now this latest album, you know, obvious, (INAUDIBLE) but are you worried that, you know, some white Americans they'll just see the anger (INAUDIBLE) and they'll miss the message?

[02:40:09] CLARK: Maybe. You know, I've actually had a little bit of pushback and that this song has done for me is to social media I've been able to have a conversations with people directly and it started a dialogue which has ended in a peaceful resolution and it's -- and it's basically giving each other perspectives, you know, and at the end of the day, I'm not angry all the time. But some things make me angry. Some things make us angry, you know, as a human being.

I go through all the emotions and so to deny this for fear of alienating people would not be -- I wouldn't be being by authentic true self and everything that I feel and I feel like art reflects life and if you're going to do the happy, love, hope, you know, let's put everything into it.

VAUSE: You know, this new album, well, it comes out next week and it seems (INAUDIBLE)



VAUSE: Your first two albums seemed to come with all of this pressure. You know, you were the guy (INAUDIBLE) it seems that, you know, this album (INAUDIBLE) to be a success for the critics like the first two, but also really be commercial here and I think that's a lot.

CLARK: Yes. I'm really excited about this album. I put a lot into it. I wanted to push the limit, you know, not just be the guitar player and, you know, Texas guitar that people may know me for. But, you know, really write and compose songs, you know, and arrangements, so I got to really lock down in the studio and realized a vision fully and that was this land. I'm really proud of it and I'm excited about the buzz that it has so far, and I'm excited to share with the people.



VAUSE: Hey, well, best of luck. I don't think you need it. But I'm sure that everything is, you know, this is (INAUDIBLE) Gary, thank you. Great to have you with us.

CLARK: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.