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Iran Looms Large over U.S.-Russia Talks; China Trade Talks Reportedly Stopped, Trump Still Confident; Alabama Lawmakers Outlaw Nearly All Abortions; Trump Jr. Agrees to Appear Before Senate Committee. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 15, 2019 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church with your next two hours of CNN NEWSROOM. Let's get started.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin brings up the Mueller report in talks with the U.S. secretary of state and the Russian leader has an unexpected take on it.

Back in the U.S., the attorney general is on a mission to investigate the investigators. Why William Barr is looking into the origin of the Russian probe.

Plus a CNN exclusive: migrant children in heartbreaking conditions, sleeping outside in the dirt at one of the busiest U.S. patrol stations on the border with Mexico.


CHURCH: The meetings were in Russia but Iran loomed large as the U.S. secretary of state met Tuesday with top Kremlin officials. Mike Pompeo on his first official visit to Russia sat down with president Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Both stressed the need to rebuild their tattered relations. But there are other issues.

The Iranian nuclear deal is unraveling as the U.S. claims Iran and its proxies are threatening U.S. troops in the region. The White House has sent extra warships and troops to the region as fears of a military conflict grow.

Pompeo says the U.S. is not seeking war but it's ready to respond to an attack. Iran's ally, Russia, is urging restraint. Aside from Iran, Pompeo's trip was about improving U.S.-Russia ties.

But there was also some posturing from Russian president Vladimir Putin. He used stealth jets but he definitely wanted to be seen. CNN's Matthew Chance has more now from Moscow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): America's top diplomat arrived in Russia, strongman in the Kremlin made a dramatic entrance of his own. Vladimir Putin's presidential plane is escorted by six stealth fighters as he swoops into a military testing site to inspect Russia's latest high-tech weaponry.

It sends a powerful message about Putin's priorities. Shortly thereafter, meeting with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, about a range of issues but it was Putin who brought up the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): However exotic the work of the special counsel Mueller was, I have to say that, on the whole, he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there were no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration, which we said was absolutely fake.

CHANCE: Not far in the southern city of Sochi the issue of election interference also came up when Pompeo met his Russian counterpart for what was described as frank discussions on a range of issues.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): There was a wave of baseless allegations about our attempts to influence the results and to collude with officials in the current U.S. administration. It is obvious that such insinuations are absolutely fake.

MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: You can see we have some disagreements on this issue.

CHANCE: Pompeo even issuing a warning to his counterpart.

POMPEO: If the Russians were to engage in that in 2020, it would put our relationship in an even worst place than it has been. And I encourage them not to do that that we would not tolerate that.

CHANCE: But on virtually every other issue of international diplomacy the two sides seem fundamentally opposed. Whether on the conflict in Syria, how to best deal with North Korea and its nuclear threat or escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, a key Russian ally.

LAVROV (through translator): I hope very much that common sense will triumph.

CHANCE: Adding insult to injury, the planned meeting with the Russian president was badly delayed. Vladimir Putin is notorious for keeping his guests waiting. Washington may have to wait much longer for Russia to change its ways -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


CHURCH: In Sudan, military leaders and opposition groups say they have agreed to a three-year transitional period leading eventually to a civilian government. Sudan's state media saying the deal is expected to be finalized in the coming hours. The country has been scarred by violence since the military ousted

longtime president Omar al-Bashir last month. Tens of thousands of prodemocracy supporters have been protesting for weeks, demanding the army officers who took power after overthrowing Bashir to step down.

President Trump is downplaying the trade war with China.


CHURCH: But sources say talks between the two sides have halted. Mr. Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month at the G20 summit. He predicts the dispute will be resolved.


TRUMP: We're having a little squabble with China because we have been treated very unfairly for many, many decades or actually a long time and it should have been handled a long time ago.


CHURCH: Our Steven Jiang joins us now from Beijing with more on this.

Steven, President Trump there calling it a squabble rather than a trade war and he's confident his strategy is working.

But if talks have stopped what happens next and what's China saying about this?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Well, Rosemary, the Chinese have not responded to Mr. Trump's latest squabble remarks but they have been getting increasingly defiant and nationalistic when responding to the new tariff hikes by Mr. Trump as well as the trade war in general.

Even today in the Wednesday edition of the "People's Daily," that is the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, there is a scathing commentary against Mr. Trump. Without naming him, saying the U.S. president is only fooling himself if he thinks these tariffs would benefit the American people and the economy.

He's using an argument that we've been hearing, these new tariffs are actually mostly paid for by U.S. importers and the cost being passed down to the U.S. consumers.

What's interesting here, of course, the Chinese have not really shut the door for more negotiations, either, which is what we've heard from Mr. Trump a little earlier. The problem is right now, given how far apart the two sides are on a number of key issues and how neither side is showing any signs of backing down, it's difficult to imagine what can be achieved, even if the two leaders sit down next month at the G20 summit -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Good point. China received some pretty alarming economic data Wednesday.

What impact might that have on where things go from here?

JIANG: Part of the government's argument here is how strong and resilient the Chinese economy is. That is how they are confident they can withstand any storm brought in by this trade war. But these figures show some worrying signs. For example, the growth for industrial output for April was sharply down from March. So was growth for retail sales.

That number actually was hitting the slowest pace in 16 years. That's problematic because the government has been saying how this economy is increasingly relying on domestic consumption instead of exports.

Of course, the officials are saying they are confident in their economy. They are also acknowledging without naming the trade war how this economy is facing a lot of increasingly complex external factors and a lot of uncertainty in the months ahead -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Many thanks to our Steven Jiang, joining us from Beijing.

U.S. farmers have been dealing with the impact of the tariffs for months now. Many of them supported President Trump's policies but that's starting to shift. Martin Savidge reports on the farmers' struggle to stay in business.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Robert Ewoldt readies for another day of battle. An Iowa farmer, he's on the front line of America's trade war with China, a war President Trump says he's winning but Ewoldt says he's losing.

China has stopped buying his soybeans, cutting his income by half. He still has a third of last year's crop in storage and, this season it will likely cost him more to grow his soybeans than he can sell them for.

ROBERT EWOLDT, SOYBEAN FARMER: This is survival, at this point, I mean, for a lot of operations. It is a survival thing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Things are so bad he has taken a second job. He drives a truck all night and farms by day.

EWOLDT: That's what is allowing me to survive. That's what is keeping this farm going.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Ewoldt isn't alone. Across the Midwest, farm incomes are down and bankruptcies are up. Every morning, in thousands of farm towns like this one, farmers gather for coffee and to commiserate.

It's not just tariffs; across the Midwest and Southeast farmers are also reeling from disaster, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, even fires. It's been raining so much in Iowa, farmers are nearly a month late getting into their fields. And every day they delay costs them more money.

SAVIDGE: How far behind are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's almost nothing planted out here.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): To try and help Democrats in the House, joined by 34 Republicans, voted for a $19 billion disaster relief package, some of which would have gone to help --


SAVIDGE (voice-over): -- farmers.

But President Trump opposed the plan, tweeting, "House Republicans should not vote for the bad Democrat disaster supplemental bill."

Now that relief is bogged down in the Republican-controlled Senate over how much assistance to give hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico.

And so, back in Republican voting farm districts, there is a growing bumper crop of frustration, particularly with a president who brags about his negotiating skills.

GREG BEARMAN, IOWA FARMER: My uneducated guess is that he better hurry up and start producing a little bit because this negotiation that I'm seeing so far has not panned out.

SAVIDGE: You voted for this president.


SAVIDGE: Regrets?

EWOLDT: Well, yes.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Larry Engler adds up the money he expects to lose this year.

LARRY ENGLER, IOWA FARMER: Between me and my daughter, together, probably $100,000, 150,000.

SAVIDGE: Did you vote for Trump.

ENGLER: I did. I'll never vote for him again.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Martin Savidge, CNN, Davenport, Iowa.


CHURCH: U.S. farmers aren't alone in worrying about their livelihood. China's pig farmers are losing their herds. What it might take to get a deadly virus under control.

And the U.S. president gets his wish: a closer look at the investigation of the Russia investigation.




CHURCH: In Alabama, the Republican led Senate just passed a bill outlawing almost all abortions in the state, even for victims of rape or incest. Doctors who perform the procedure could get life in prison.

The legislation sets up a direct challenge to Roe versus Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. Listen as one Democratic lawmaker who opposes the bill challenges a Republican leader to think hard about the consequences of his vote.


VIVIAN FIGURES, ALABAMA STATE SENATE DEMOCRAT: Do you know what it is like to be raped?


FIGURES: Do you know what it's like to have a relative commit incest on you?

CHAMBLISS: On me, no, ma'am.

FIGURES: Yes, on you. OK. So that's one of those traumas that a person experiences, just like that child experienced. And to take that choice away from that person, who had such a --


FIGURES: -- traumatic act committed against them, to be left with the residue of that person, if you will, to have to bring that child into this world and be reminded of that every single day, some people can do that. You know, some people can. But some can't.


FIGURES: So but why would you not want a woman to at least have that exception for such a horrific act?

CHAMBLISS: Because I believe that when that unborn child becomes a person -- and we need legal guidance on when that is --

FIGURE: But that's not your business. That is not your business. You don't have to raise that child, you don't have to carry that child. You don't have to provide for that child. You don't have to do anything for that child. But, yet, you want to make the decision for that woman that that is what she has to do.


CHURCH: And that bill will take effect in six months, if the governor signs it into law. There are likely to be legal challenges.

Sources say Donald Trump Jr. has now reached a deal to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June. The Republican-led panel issued a subpoena for the president's son last month. He had said he would not comply. Sources say the interview will take place behind closed doors and be limited to five or six topics.

Among them will be the Trump Tower Moscow project and Trump Jr.'s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York.

Meantime, the U.S. attorney general is working with a federal prosecutor to review the origins of the Russia investigation, something President Trump has called for repeatedly. That development comes as the secretary of state warns Russia to steer clear of the 2020 election. Jim Acosta has the details.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After weeks of complaints about the Mueller report, President Trump is getting what he wanted, an investigation of the investigators who probed Trump campaign contacts with the Russians during the 2016 election.

Asked about attorney general William Barr's move to tap a federal prosecutor to launch an inquiry, the president said it wasn't something he ordered.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn't ask him to do that. I didn't know it but I think it's a great thing that he did it. And you know what?

I am so proud of our attorney general, that he is looking into it. I think it's great. I did not know about it. No.


ACOSTA (voice-over): But Barr didn't exactly need a nudge. He could just check the president's Twitter feed, such as this tweet from last month that said, "Investigate the investigators."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, Mr. Director.

ACOSTA (voice-over): It seems the president has already made up his mind on the subject, criticizing his hand-picked FBI director, Christopher Wray, who testified he didn't think federal investigators were spying on the Trump campaign.

TRUMP: Well, I didn't understand his answer, because I thought the attorney general answered it perfectly. So I certainly didn't understand that answer. I thought it was a ridiculous answer.

ACOSTA (voice-over): That answer from Wray came at a hearing last week.

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): Do you have any evidence that any illegal surveillance into the campaigns or individuals associated with the campaigns by the FBI occurred?

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: I don't think I personally have any evidence of that sort.

ACOSTA (voice-over): A rare but notable moment of public disagreement with the attorney general.

WEBER: I think spying did occur.

ACOSTA (voice-over): While the president has aired his frustration with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, that probe did find a fan in Russia's Vladimir Putin.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Despite the exotic nature of the work of special counsel Mueller, we must give him credit.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who is meeting with Putin in Russia, warned the U.S. won't tolerate Moscow's meddling in 2020.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Interference in American elections is unacceptable. If the Russians were to engage in that in 2020, it would put in our relationship in an even worse place than it has been.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The full scale of that interference is still being revealed, as Florida's governor told reporters today, voter databases in two of his state's counties were infiltrated by Russian operatives.

REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLA.: For the 2016 election, two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of election networks. There was no manipulation or anything. But there was voter data that was able to be get.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is eager to wrap up the Russia probe, complaining he doesn't want his son, Donald Trump Jr., to spend any more time testifying in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, despite receiving a subpoena to do so.

TRUMP: I have no idea why but it seems very unfair to me.

ACOSTA (voice-over): On his trade war, Mr. Trump is defending his tariffs on China, tweeting, "Our great patriot farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of what is happening now," despite growing complaints that the U.S. agricultural sector --


ACOSTA (voice-over): -- is suffering.

TRUMP: We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very unfairly for many, many decades, for actually a long time. ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is also rejecting reports that his administration is making plans in the event of a massive military confrontation with Iran.

TRUMP: Now would I do that?

Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully, we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that.

ACOSTA: And the president is certainly applying pressure on the Senate Intelligence Committee, when he says it's unfair for his son to have to spend more time detailing what he knows about Russian interference.

But the GOP-led Intelligence Committee appears to have the support of Republican leadership, as Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said earlier today, he's not going to tell that committee's chairman, Richard Burr, how to do his job -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.



CHURCH: Let's talk more about all of this with Steve Hall. He is a CNN national security analyst and a former CIA Moscow chief.

Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, why would Attorney General Bill Barr order an investigation into the origins of the Russian probe, essentially to investigate the investigators. What's he hoping to find and what purpose does this serve apart from making his boss very happy?

HALL: Well, Rosemary, I think you put your finger on it. There's probably two sides to this. There's a political side and then there is sort of investigative real-life side to it.

The politics I think speak for themselves. Obviously, President Trump would like to continue the rhetoric about there being some sort of spying going on, some sort of illegality with regard to the investigation of his campaign.

This plays very well obviously into his, you know, into his sort of storyline about, you know, the witch hunt, the hoax that was the Mueller investigation. And that was the investigation into possible ties by his team to the Russian government in the lead up to the 2016 elections. That's the politics.

The reality of it is that there have been of course a number of investigations that are either completed or ongoing as to whether this was done properly. But by the same token, you know, you can't really have anybody stand up and say, no, let's not investigate because that looks like you're trying to hide something.

So, I think it's more of a political ploy than it is actually fact finding and trying to determine whether anything was done wrong.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, you mentioned the spying. At a hearing on April 10th, the attorney general said he thought spying occurred on the 2016 Trump campaign. But FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a hearing last week that he had no evidence to suggest any spying occurred on the Trump campaign. It was an answer that President Trump called ridiculous.

What do you make of all that? You've said that you think there is more politics involved here, but it would make Wray particularly vulnerable, would it not?

HALL: Well, I think a lot of these people, like Wray, are sort of between a rock and a hard place. I mean, he's a professional FBI officer. And that's his legal role. But there is of course politics involved in any position at that level.

And so, in this case he did what Attorney General Barr did not do, which is he went with his political -- excuse me -- his professional side and said yes, spying is not the word that I would use.

Barr, who is a very smart guy, he's been around a long time, he's a lawyer he knows the importance of words. And he chose spying, which has a particular usually negative connotation. Pejorative and it's an investigation, not real spying.

Nevertheless, you know, who is going to stand up and say, well, no, let's not investigate this because again, it makes people look guilty. So, it's a very -- it's a very smart political play, I think.

CHURCH: Right. And do you feel that Attorney General Bill Barr is motivated more by politics here than being the professional he should be as an attorney general?

HALL: You know, sadly, the indication of spying, or the use of the word spying would certainly lend itself towards the theory that he is much more concerned about his political status, about keeping his job and about keeping the president happy than he is about being America's chief law enforcement officer.

Something that FBI Director Wray, as you pointed out earlier, chose not to do. And chose to simply say look, you know, this is not spying because that's a pejorative term that we just -- again, professionals don't use these terms.

I used to work in CIA, we didn't use the term spying and I don't think FBI officers do either. It's just, you know, it's not -- it's not a term of art.

CHURCH: Right. We'll watch to see Wray's position where he stands in a few weeks from now.

But I did want to ask you this. Because President Trump has complained about his eldest son Don Jr. being subpoenaed by the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee, saying it's unfair that his son shouldn't have to spend more time testifying about Russian interference. But now we learned that Trump --


CHURCH: -- Jr. has actually made a deal to testify.

Why do you think he reversed his decision to comply with that subpoena and what do you think the intelligence committee wants to hear from him?

HALL: Well, it all gets back to what in my mind is one of the most important moments of the entire Mueller investigation and the entire issue as to whether or not members of the Trump team and indeed, as you indicate, Trump's family, Donald Trump, Jr., were somehow interested in talking to the Russians about obtaining derogatory information about Donald Trump political adversaries, in this case, Hillary Clinton.

You know, the fact that we have in black and white an e-mail from Donald Trump, Jr. that says yes, absolutely, I'm interested in getting any dirt we can on Clinton from a foreign adversarial government is, you know, a really difficult issue.

And to me and I think to maybe a lot of, you know, common sense type of people would say that doesn't sound right. But there's again, the politics of this.

And so, you've got the intelligence committee, which wants to hear more about these very troubling incidents, but by the same token they don't want to get into a constitutionally crisis type of situation where the issue -- where the Senate is issuing subpoenas that are being ignored. That's always a bad thing for, you know, for Congress.

So, again, it's this blend, this mixture of true, investigatory counterintelligence issues, did Donald Trump, Jr. have some sort of interest in talking to the Russians and the politics behind that. And that's always going to be a difficult, you know, tension.

CHURCH: Right. Of course, this will take place next month behind closed doors, so we will see what we learn from that testimony.

Steve Hall, thank you. Always a pleasure to have you on the show. I appreciate it.

HALL: My pleasure.


CHURCH: More trouble for Boeing: CBS News has obtained audio of American Airlines' pilots confronting Boeing executives about the safety of its 737 MAX fleet. The exchange happened just a few weeks after a Lion Air plane crashed and killed 189 people on board.

Investigations revealed a flawed system on the jet likely caused the disaster. In the recording, the pilots are clearly frustrated that the system was not disclosed before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys didn't even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know that understanding this system would've changed the outcome on this.

In a million miles, you're going to maybe fly this airplane, maybe once you're going to see this ever. So we try not to overload the crews with information that's unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're the last line of defense to being in that smoking hole. And we need the knowledge.


CHURCH: Well, less than four months later, that same system caused an Ethiopian Airlines flight to crash, killing all 157 people on board. Boeing has since grounded the 737 MAX fleet as it works to fix its software problems.

The trade war between the U.S. and China could soon take a bite out of your bacon. How pig farmers are getting pinched and pork products are paying the price. Plus exclusive photos from the U.S. border with Mexico shows squalid conditions, migrants sleeping outside on the ground. The latest on the chaos at overcrowded Border Patrol stations. That's next.


[02:30:50] CHURCH: Welcome back to everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. President Trump is denying a report that U.S. has a plan to send 120,000 more troops to the Middle East. The New York Times reports the U.S. would roll out the plan if its forces are attacked or Iran speed up its nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Trump says the reporter is falls and that he would send even more troops in there. Sudanese military leaders and opposition groups have agreed on a three-year transition period for transferring power to a full civilian government according to Sudan state media. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming hours and comes a month after Sudan's military ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir.

President Trump is calling the trade war with China a little squabble. And insist trade talks have not collapsed. Sources say negotiations have halted. Asian markets are reacting cautiously in Wednesdays trading, while the DOW regains some ground from Mondays sell off. Well China is the world's biggest supplier of pork. But the U.S. Trade war combine with the deadliest swine flu outbreak is pushing prices higher than ever. CNN'S Andrew Stevens has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Pig farmers in China are facing a major crisis. Pork is a staple here. In fact half the world's pig population is raised in China's to feed in a sensational demand. But a new deadly and incurable virus is killing millions of pigs across this country. Threatening not only China's but the world's pork industry. It's a familiar sight in China, empty pig pens in provinces across the country.

All signs like this warning to keep clear of herds that are locked down under quarantine. China's pig population, the biggest in the world is being ravaged by the deadly African swine fever. A virus for which there is no vaccination. It's harmless to humans but ASF estimated to have killed millions of pigs in China, since the outbreak was first detected in August last year. Social media shows pig carcasses being dumped in the countryside.

And video obtained by CNN reveals disturbing scenes of animals being slaughtered, driven into pits and buried. The central government says about one million pigs have been cold, but some farmers CNN spoke too, says the scale of the epidemic could be bigger, because it's not been recognized at local level.

(INAUDIBLE) watched as all her 600 pigs died. Many of her neighbor's pigs suffered the same fate. She says, local authorities told her, that if her herd had contracted African swine fever she must keep it quiet. Local officials are afraid to be held accountable she tell CNN. They threatened us that they would be consequences if we reported it higher of the government. CNN contacted her by provincial authorities to comment, but have not receives a response.

At a press conference in March, the Agriculture Ministry said the epidemic was under control. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization the FAO says Beijing is taking the right steps but it may take years to fully contain the outbreak.

VINCENT MARTIN, CHINA REPRESENTATIVE, FAO: I'm not sure we can say it is under control, because we know how complex the disease is. We are experiencing other countries where it took years to get treated hand on these -- on these diseases.

MARTIN: A report from a Dutch Bank says, that China could lose between 150 million and 200 million pigs this year, that's more than a third of its total herd. To put that in context, the U.S. farms a little more than 70 million pigs. It's not just the farmers who are feeling the pain either. This country is not only the world's biggest producer. It's also by far the world's biggest consumer.

And according to the government's own statistics, the prices of pork at red markets like this here in Beijing could rise as much as 70 percent by the end of the year.

[02:35:10] That would mean record high prices for staple ingredients for 1.4 billion people and the potential big inflation problem for the central government. The impact is being felt globally. Pork prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are up 20 percent in the last three months and expected to go higher. The price of bacon has already been rising in some countries. 2019 is the year of the pig in the lunar calendar.

It's supposed to be an auspicious year. In the pig industry, it's anything but. To cover the shortfall in China, pork producers around the world are ramping up their own production. But the U.S. is at a disadvantage here. Under the Trump trade tariffs, any U.S. pork export to China comes with a 62 percent tariff attached.


CHURCH: Well, migrants living on top of one and other, children sleeping in the dirt, these exclusive photos obtained by CNN show the desperate and worsening conditions for migrants detained at the U.S. border with Mexico. A source says patrol stations like this one in McAllen, Texas don't have the resources to cope with an influx of migrants. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, these photos came from a source who has access to the facility and was disturbed by the conditions over the weekend. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the photos are of the McAllen border patrol station in Texas. And the images reflect what CBP has been saying for months. Agents are being inundated with migrants, but we haven't been able to see the reality at these types of affiliate ease until now.

This one photo shows a young girl sleeping outside with other children on dirt with a Mylar blanket covering them and with a baby bottle with milk nearby. Another shows a woman sitting outside on rocks, clutching a child. And then others, we see temporary tents at capacity. Now CBP says, stations have been stressed with overcrowding. When agents get backlog would processing, indoor holding areas get full, forcing people to wait outside.

And now, this McAllen station is also frequently visited by elected officials, including President Trump who visited earlier this year in January. And this past weekend, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security McAleenan and acting Defensive Secretary Shanahan tour this facility to assess the surge coming across the border.

And it isn't just CBP raising the alarm DHS told us. They've been raising this issue for months too saying "Border patrol agents are doing everything they can to protect and care for migrants in their temporary custody. Border patrol stations are simply not equipped to handle the number of families and children arriving along the southwest border. And we need Congress to act to provide immediate relief."

And just to put the numbers into perspective, this weekend apprehensions at the border surpassed half a million in 2018, the total for the year was 400,000. So these photos are reflective of this surge happening at the border. Back to you.

CHURCH: Thanks so much for that. Next here on CNN NEWSROOM, Donald Trump's former strategist expanding his brand of populism to Europe. Why some far-right parties there are shutting him out. And coming up later. The heartfelt story of a boy, his hero and the racing car that arrived in his front yard. We're back in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:41:22] CHURCH: Well, another Democrat has joined the race for the White House. Montana Governor Steve Bullock is officially running for U.S. President in 2020. In his campaign announcement he outlined plans to take on money in politics and painted himself as a rare Democrat who can win over Republicans specifically former Trump supporters.


GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a Democratic, a state that Trump won by 20 points, I don't have the luxury of just talking to people who agree with me. I go all across our states 147, 000 square miles. I look for common ground to get things done. That's how I was able to being Democrats and Republicans together.


CHURCH: Bullock is now the 22nd candidate seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, he entered the race late and has to hurry to qualify for the first two primary debates this summer. Well, European elections are less than two weeks away and the fight is on in France. Where the far-right a national rally and its leading candidate have energized their base. Meanwhile President Emmanuel Macron's party is struggling to connect with voters, but it's still anyone's race.


JORDAN BARDELLA, FRENCH POLITICIAN (through translator): If we come in second place and Emmanuel Macron is in the lead it will be a failure for his policies. But today we are neck and neck and I'm confident, I think the French people will vote with purpose and will vote to beat Emmanuel Macron on May 26th.


CHURCH: Far-right parties across Europe are expected to perform strongly in the elections and Steve Bannon was hoping to help them, but most are distancing themselves from Donald Trump's former chief strategist. As CNN's Melissa Bell explains there's a problem with trying to unite nationalists across national borders.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: It was at first discreetly that Steve Bannon begun turning up in Europe. In March 2018, Donald Trump's former chief strategist was seen wandering the streets of Rome just ahead of an Italian election that would bring to power in alliance of populist lead by Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini's far- right.


BELL: Just days later Steve Bannon took center stage in France at the far-rights annual conference. His message, were Italy lead other European countries would follow.

BANNON: You are a part of a worldwide movement that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary bigger than all of it.

BELL: But Steve Bannon didn't just want to be speaking at events. His plan was to unite and coordinate European populous with concrete actions like help with (INAUDIBLE) advice on messaging and data targeting. And his plan was to do it to an organization called the Movement based here, inside the mansion of the Belgian lawyer who runs it.

MISCHAEL MODRIKAMEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE MOVEMENT: The problem we face very quickly in Europe is that the legislation for one of his reason. In many countries, it is forbidden for a national party to get contributions in kind or on in money from foreign sources. And we made our own work and let's say, almost half of the countries in the E.U. it was impossible.

BELL: The other problem for Steve Bannon was that some of the European populists he was hoping to help like France's Marine Le Pen began to take their distances after all. Nationalists tend to be defined by their nationalism.

MARINE LE PEN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RALLY (through translator): Mr. Bannon is not from a European country, he is an American. But the political force that will born of the European elections, it is us and us alone who will build it.

BELL: So, it's has been in the absence of Steve Bannon and with the matter of weeks until the European election, that European populists have been trying to build bridges among themselves.

[02:45:04] In April, Matteo Salvini brought together the Danish, Finnish, and German populist far-right. And earlier this month, he met with Hungary's Viktor Orban to inspect a border. But if fences make good neighbors, they hardly encourage unity between the parties that sits her resolutely on either side of them, and cooperation has been hard to agree on.

Back at the movements, headquarters in Brussels' aspirations have been lowered from actually helping unify and coordinate Europeans to encouraging and monitoring the broader spread of the populist wave.

MODRIKAMEN: When Bolsonaro wins election, I mean, The Movement is winning. When Trump is reelected, The Movement is winning. If we have a good score in the election, The Movement is winning. And but it's not -- a better that will end after 26 of May, just starting.


BELL: Later this month, Matteo Salvini will hold another meeting of populist parties ahead of the May 26th elections. His hope that unity may help populist make progress in the polls that for now, do not predict them the victory they seek Europe-wide. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


CHURCH: The outlaw for pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, looks grim as lawsuits pile up. A jury in California has awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claim Bayer's weed killer Roundup caused them to get cancer. Bayer bought Monsanto, the maker of Roundup just last year. Anna Stewart has more.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It's that time unlucky for Bayer on these lawsuits. But the company released a statement today, confirming that will also be the third verdict it appeals.

Now, once again, the company today cited health regulators and the U.S. environmental protection agency, which have all said that the weed killer ingredient, glyphosate at the center of this battle is not a carcinogen. The company says it's safe when used as directed.

However, that does conflict with what the World Health Organization have said. They've classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

Now, while this latest jury verdict has awarded over $2 billion, the (INAUDIBLE) question, the largest award we've seen by far. That amount is likely to get reduced, but the big problem for Bayer is the fact that there are over 13,000 other lawsuits lining up in the U.S.

Bayer shareholders aren't happy. We witnessed an unprecedented backlash at the most recent AGM. A majority of investors refused to endorse supports actions from the last year. And the big event, of course, of that, was being the $63billion acquisition of Monsanto, which owns these controversial weed killers. And already had a pending lawsuit against it, just before the acquisition.

Now, since by Monsanto, Bayer share price has fallen more than 40 percent. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

CHURCH: Coming up next, the story of some senior citizens who know how to rock and we don't mean the 69-year-old Bruce Springsteen, though they slay his music. Find out how they are transforming song into a spark of youthful hope.


STEVE MARTIN, MEMBER, YOUNG@HEART CHORUS: It's a blessing to both of us. The persons and to us. We mix between the grandfather or the grandmother that they can't see or may not even have. We're saying to them, look, you're OK. You're going to be all right. Don't quit.



[02:50:07] CHURCH: Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you when you're young at heart. Those are lyrics from an old song, and it's through song that one group of seniors is discovering a youthful spark. CNN's John Berman brings us their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The young at heart chorus has a unique membership.

BOB CILMAN, DIRECTOR, YOUNG@HEART CHORUS: It's a performance group of older people ranging in age now from 75 to 90.

BERMAN: And how young are you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will be 90 in November.

BERMAN: When you're up there, singing --



BERMAN: Do you feel 90?

MARTIN: No, I don't feel any age.

BERMAN: And the chorus has a unique repertoire.

Seniors singing rock and roll is a simplistic way of saying it, yes?

CILMAN: It is. It's very limited way of saying it. Yes.

BERMAN: But why limited?

CILMAN: Because there's more to it than that.

I think for older people, I think it's a real joy to see old people on stage as opposed to in the seats in the audience. I think that, that breaks a lot of rules. And I think that the music we choose to do breaks a bit of the mold of what seniors are used to singing.

MARTIN: Don't give up when you get older. Don't be afraid of getting old, because you have so much to offer, you have so much to give.

BERMAN: So, the first time I visited with the Young@Heart Chorus, it was 2008. I had spent much of the previous five years going back and forth to Baghdad covering the U.S. war in Iraq. I meet Young@Heart, and what I really need more than anything is a story that's -- you know, not violent, and will just make me smile, and man did I find it.

When I first met you, which was 11 years ago --


MARTIN: Right.

BERMAN: You told me that --

MARTIN: That's like the Super Bowl, it's like the world's best bar mitzvah and being ordained as a pope. I still feel that way. It gave me a purpose to want to wake up in the morning, and come to rehearsal, and participate in something that just was great.

BERMAN: And everyone needs to participate. As I learned, even a reporter can't stand around and watch.

And we are pretty much getting ready to go, and you said to me, no, wait a minute.

So, I sang Barry Manilow's Copacabana.

At the copa, Copacabana. The hottest spot north of Havana.

The Chorus, as you told me is always about 25, 26 members and it changes.


BERMAN: The membership changes.

CILMAN: Yes, it does. You know, we lose a lot of people, we've lost a lot of people. There's probably maybe four or five people left from the Chorus you saw in 2008.

BERMAN: So, 11 years ago, Young@Heart had performed in a prison. Basically, once or twice. They went in, and they sang before the prisoners and it was a very moving experience but it was performance.

Now, 11 years later, it's part of their program. They're inside the prisons singing with the prisoners.

When you hear the Young@Heart's coming, when you see on the calendar.

AARON FOGG, INMATE, HAMPSHIRE COUNTY JAIL: I get excited. I get excited. I, like, and be said, it will be like the night before and I already want to go to bed early, that's what keeps me going indefinitely.

CILMAN: They know it's an hour, an hour and a half where they're going to be able to really just express themselves in a way that they feel really comfortable doing.

ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ, INMATE, HAMPSHIRE COUNTY JAIL: never done this out of my comfort zone. I'm just doing this because -- you know, I want to -- I want to change, you know, and what I mean, I want to be a new person and this is not just new side of me.

BERMAN: Today inspiring?

RODRIGUEZ: Of course.

MARTIN: It's a blessing to both of us, the prisons and to us. We mix between the grandfather or the grandmother that they can't see or may not even have. We're saying to them, look, you're OK, you're going to be all right, don't quit. BERMAN: What's changed for you since we first met?

CILMAN: My age. I've -- I think I'm one of them. You know, it's like, I'm now 65, you know. I get Medicare. If the average age of this group is 84, and I can't imagine what I'm going to be doing when I'm 84. So, I look up what they're doing, and I have a deep appreciation for it all.

BERMAN: And I do too. Because if they can do it, who am I to say no? To a little James Brown.

[02:55:09] MARTIN: This course, someday, people look back and they'll say they did good things for the people of all ages.

BERMAN: So good, so good, I got you.


CHURCH: I love that story, totally inspiring. And John Berman's report is part of our "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" series. We will keep sharing these inspiring stories all this week and tune in this Saturday for an hour-long report starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, only here on CNN.

We now want to tell you about 5-year-old Harry Shaw. He is fighting a rare form of bone cancer. And also happens to be a big fan of World Champion Formula One, race driver Lewis Hamilton. Now Harry reached out to his hero before the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend to thank him for some gifts that Louis had sent along.


HARRY SHAW, FAN OF LEWIS HAMILTON: Hello, Lewis Hamilton. Good luck winning the races in Spain, and thank you for all the gifts. Lots of love from Harry and goodbye.

Now, Hamilton did indeed win and little did Harry know that a much bigger gift was about to arrive. A Formula One race car courtesy of his hero. Hamilton sent along his Spanish Grand Prix trophy and dedicated the win to Harry who also inspired a hero closer to home, his father.

JAMES SHAW, FATHER OF HARRY SHAW: Harry loves cars, more than anything he loves cars. And the only celebrity and sportsman he knows is Lewis Hamilton. I got in touch the Mercedes team and (INAUDIBLE) far from there, really.

We couldn't believe it yesterday when Lewis send that message. Firstly, on Instagram to Harry. But then, when he dedicated the Grand Prix to us, it was an emotional day in the house since today.


CHURCH: And a very emotional young man offered his congratulations to a driver who won for both of them that day.


H. SHAW: Hello, Lewis Hamilton. Well done for winning. I congratulate you. So, well done for winning. I'm very proud of you. Goodbye. Love you, goodbye -- and goodbye.


CHURCH: Wow, more inspiration there. And I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.