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Streets Quiet As Hong Kong Government Closes Offices; Hong Kong Chief Executive Condemns International Riots; India Braces For Tropical Cyclone Vayu; St. Louis Blues Win First-Ever NHL Championship; Boris Johnson Launches Campaign For U.K. Prime Minister; Amanda Knox to Speak at Criminal Justice Conference. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 13, 2019 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, batons and pepper spray on one side, umbrellas on the other. Dozens are hurt after police and protesters clashed in Hong Kong but it's a very different scene there now.

Plus, hundreds of thousands are being evacuated from what could be the strongest storm to strike Northwest India in decades. And later, it's getting tougher to tell what's real and what's not online. How deep fake videos are getting better and harder to stop.

It is 1:00 p.m. in Hong Kong and a very different scene from the chaotic protests we saw just 24 hours ago. The government has closed its central offices for the rest of the week and most of the people out on the streets are picking up trash.

At least 79 people were injured, two of them seriously in Wednesday's clashes with police. CNN's Andrew Stevens is live this hour in Hong Kong. He joins us now. So Andrew, what is the latest from the streets there?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the protest is certainly have gone but they haven't forgotten, Rosemarie. We've been on the streets around Hong Kong for the past five or so hours and it's pretty much back to normal. All the barricades have gone. The streets are being cleaned up. There is still obviously a heavy police presence.

So here we are at the moment in Tamar Park as it's known as it's just outside the Legislative Council. Behind me you can see there are -- there are scores of young protesters who have gathered here today. As you say, nothing like the numbers we've seen before. But I have seen a couple of stations where you can obtain if you want to, supplies which would protect you or help protect you at least against teargas attacks.

And we you know, we've been walking around the town. We've been talking to students and protesters. Many of whom say they will come back. They haven't given up this fight yet even though it was such a shocking end to the -- for Hong Kong as to the protest yesterday with the use of force by the police.

Both Amnesty and Human Rights -- Human Rights Watch are saying that the police force was excessive and they use the actions of just a few and they're referring there to protesters who tried to storm the Parliament building, using the actions of just those few to take extreme measures against the masses of peaceful demonstrators.

But the government is showing no sign of turning. The Chief Executive Carrie Lam says it was a blatant act of rioting and says that the police responded accordingly. Mrs. Lam has, of course, from the protest has come under intense criticism for her position. She's not wavering on her position at this stage. She says it is going to go through, the bill. The government is still going to push this all through when they can.

Carrie Lam though is now the focus of so much anger here. We just wanted to show you a little about -- a little bit about exactly who Carrie Lam is.


CARRIE LAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HONG KONG (through translator): They say I sold out Hong Kong. How could I? I am born here and I grew up here with everyone. The love I have for this place has led me to sacrifice a lot personally.

STEVENS: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam's reaction to this week's anti extradition protests in Hong Kong. A career civil servant, Lam's decades of government experience eventually led her to become Hong Kong's fourth Chief Executive and the first woman to hold the job.

Prior to her election in 2017, she had worked towards giving everyone in the former colony a vote.

LAM: I have to state that it remains our most important objective to achieve universal suffrage in the selection of Chief Executive in 2017. And we will work according to that objective.

STEVENS: But that didn't happen. And most of Hong Kong's 7.4 million citizens had no say in Lam's election. Lam was chosen by an election committee made up of nearly 1,200 people stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As candidate number two, Mrs. Lam Carrie has obtained more than 600 valid votes in the election. I hereby declare Mrs. Lam is returned at the election.

STEVENS: Before becoming chief executive, Lam had a track record of reassuring Hong Kong citizens.

LAM (through translator): We respect citizens freedom to express their opinions. We will carefully listen to their opinions and refer to these opinions for our policymaking later.

STEVENS: However, critics point to how she dealt with the 2014 umbrella movement protest. Lam was Hong Kong's chief secretary at the time, essentially the government's top civil servant.

LAM (through translator): In 20 days, citizens and the whole society have used a lot of tolerance toward the unlawful occupation of students. Students have been orderly and peaceful in their demonstration and we appreciate that but it is still an unlawful act.

STEVENS: Lam told protesters that Hong Kong could not decide its own political fate and threatened them with arrest if they didn't get off the streets. The Chief Executive's job has been described as part representative for Hong Kong citizens and part enforcer for Beijing in the Special Administrative Region.

Here's how Lam herself explained the role speaking with CNN's Kristie Lu Stout in 2017.

LAM: The chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has what we describe as a dual responsibility and dual accountability. He or she has to be accountable through the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and also the central People's Government.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: That's tough. You have to be accountable to both.

LAM: That's unique.

STEVENS: Ultimately, Carrie Lam may be forced to choose between the wishes of the Hong Kong public and those of the communist government in Beijing.


STEVENS: Now, we should point out here, Rosemary, that we have attempted to interview Ms. Lam. We've invited her onto the CNN shows and also members of her government, but at this stage we have not received any replies.

I guess that the big question now is where does it go to from here? This movement unlike the movement we saw back in 2014 which had strong leadership, the umbrella move and I'm talking about which had strong leadership, and those leaders did end up in prison as a result of that leadership.

This movement in 2019 doesn't have clear leadership. It's more organic. The messages are coming through social media and there doesn't seem to be any clear messages being sent out about what to do next other than the fact that the people who have been here and who were here yesterday say they will continue to protest in some shape or form.

How that looks, what they do is now what Hong Kong is waiting to see. But they do at this stage have broad support from a community which marched on mass just on Sunday, a million strong according to protest organizers covering all ages, covering all types of backgrounds. All Hong Kong is marching against Carrie Lam's bill on Sunday who continue to support what the students have been doing. CHURCH: A much quieter day in Hong Kong today. Andrew Stevens

bringing us the very latest there. It's just after 1:00 in the afternoon. We'll continue to keep you updated of course and I'll be talking to you, Andrew, next hour. Many thanks.

Well, Moscow authorities were quick to crack down on a public demonstration in support of journalist Ivan Golunov. The ministry of internal affairs says more than 200 people were detained but an independent monitoring group says the actual number could be twice that.

Public demonstrations began last week after the arrest of Golunov, a well-known investigative journalist. The charges against him allegedly for drugs were dropped on Tuesday for lack of evidence and he was released from house arrest.

Northwest India is bracing for what could be the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 20 years. Cyclone Vayu has turned slightly away from land and is no longer expected to make landfall but it's still full power to batter the coast with heavy rain strong winds and storm surges. About 300,000 people are being evacuated from low- lying areas.

So let's turn to our Meteorologist Derek Van Dam who's keeping a very close eye on this storm and joins us with more. So Derek, it is good news that it will likely not make landfall but of course they're still going to be a lot of damage, a lot of lives affected. How's it looking right now?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, especially along the coastline, Rosy, but undoubtedly the 300,000 people plus that have been evacuated from low-lying areas, this will save lives. You're looking at the India National Disaster Response Force out in hundreds that helped with the evacuation of those 300,000 plus souls.

And when we talk about the latest on the satellite imagery, we can see that general west to northwesterly movement away from the Gujarat state, 160 per hour sustained winds at the moment. We do believe the storm will stay about 100 to 150 kilometers just offshore of Northwestern India. Still, however, bringing impacts right along the immediate coastline. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimeters for the next 48 hours and storm surge over a meter and a half as well so that could cause some coastal inundation.

But look at the computer models just picking up on all that movement just into the Arabian sea. The latest projected path from the joint typhoon warning center agrees with that moving in the west to northwesterly direction and starting to weaken as it moves into some drier air. We will talk about that in just one moment.

But here's the rainfall totals, you can see the Gujarat state right along the immediate coastline there, 50 to 100 millimeters of rainfall. That's certainly enough precipitation that could bring in some localized flooding. I want to show you why we expect a weakening trend with the storm system. What you are looking at is an indication of the availability of moisture in the atmosphere. Anywhere you see the deep shade of red, that's the tropical moisture from the tropical cyclone, but the drier air indicated with the shading of purple is going to become in train into the system. And the good news is, that's going to help degrade the storm and eventually allow for the storm to weaken, as well.

And just to give you an indication of how dry it's actually been in parts of Northwest India. Well, here's a dust storm that was swept up by the outer rain bands of the tropical cyclone. So it just give you an indication of how dry, dusty and arid this part of the world actually is pre-monsoon, of course, it, will be changing in the next couple of weeks as rain sets in. Back to you.

CHURCH: All right, Derek, thank you so much for keeping us up to date on the situation there. I appreciate it. We'll take a short break here. Still to come, years after being released from prison, Amanda Knox is returning to Italy. we will look back at her controversial murder trial and the media frenzy surrounding it.

Plus, the first of 50 people caught up in the U.S. college admissions scandal hears the sentence, we will tell you what the judge decided. We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: For the first time in the team's 52 year history, the St. Louis Blues are the national hockey league champions.

[01:15:00] They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in game 7, at the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, to claim the title. Back home in St. Louis, fans packed the hockey arena and the Major League Baseball stadium to watch the game. St. Louis center, Ryan O'Reilly was named the series' Most Valuable Player.

While the front runner to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May says he is in a battle to restore faith to British democracy. Boris Johnson officially launched his campaign for prime minister on Wednesday, promising to unite Britain, defeat opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and deliver Brexit. Johnson says he's prepared to leave the E.U. without a deal but it's not what he's aiming for.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER CANDIDATE: We can get Brexit done and we can win. We can unite our country and our society, and that is why I am standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. Because this contest is not chiefly about any one person or even about the Conservative Party, it is the opening salvo in a battle to restore faith in our democracy.


CHURCH: During the campaign launch, Johnson's previous drug use was brought up. He has admitted to using cocaine in the past, but dodged the issue when pressed by reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you telling the truth, then? And do you regret the fact that you took a Class A drug?

JOHNSON: Well, I think the canonical (INAUDIBLE) event when I was 19, has appeared many, many times and I think what most people in this country really want us to focus on, in this campaign, if I may say so, is what we can do for them.


CHURCH: Johnson is one of 10 candidates vying to succeed Theresa May, the first secret ballot to start whittling down the field is on Thursday. By June 20th, two candidates will be left and Tory members will choose between them. The winner should take over 10 Downing Street by mid-July and they will have to hit the ground running as the deadline for Brexit is October 31st.

So, let's turn back now to India, where we know they are bracing there for Tropical Cyclone Vayu. World Vision Humanitarian Director Franklin Jones joins us now from Southern India. Thank you so much for talking with us.

Do we have you on the line? Franklin Jones, can you hear me? OK, we don't appear to have Franklin Jones. We will -- we will try to establish contact and get back to that story because we do want to update people on what procedures and preparations have been put in place as that cyclone Vayu approaches northwest India.

Let's move on for now. And a criminal justice conference in Italy is making headlines because of high-profile guest Amanda Knox. She is returning for the first time since being released from an Italian prison in 2011.

Remember, Knox was the American exchange student who was convicted, then exonerated, for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins us now from Milan. So, Melissa, talk to us about the struggle that Knox would have experienced, really -- does making this decision to go to Italy, considering what has gone on and also what she is expected to be doing there in Italy?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that she is feeling freight about the idea of returning, because she has said as much, Rosemary, on social media. But for the time being, remaining very tight-lipped when it comes to speaking to the media or sharing her precise plans with them because she says she wants to save her remarks for the conference at which she's coming to speak.

We understand that she is arriving here today, in Milan, before heading up for a conference that will deal with the question of criminal justice reform. She will speak on Saturday, Rosemary, on the question of trial by media.

She believes she was tried in the media before being given a trial in the Italian justice system. And that is something that she wants to raise awareness about, eight years after having left Italian soil for the last time.


BELL: It was a case that gripped the world, back in 2007, and continues to divide today. It began with a sexual assault and murder of 21 year old British student Meredith Kercher. Within days, the suspicions of Italian investigators turn to one of her roommates, 20- year-old Amanda Knox. Then, her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who she claimed to have spent the evening with, changed his story.

Knox then blamed her boss, Patrick Lumumba, for Kercher's murder, while under questioning. He was later found not guilty. But another man, Rudy Guede, who was arrested and convicted of Kercher's murder, is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence. Yet, prosecutors continue to insist on Knox and Sollecito's involvement. And in 2009, the two were found guilty and sentenced to prison.

[01:20:09] Media interests, both Italian and international, was intense, throughout the trial, fed by headlines that labeled Miss Knox, Foxy Knoxy, focusing on her character and on the alleged sexual nature of the crime. One Italian commentator described her as having the face of an angel, but the eyes of a killer.

After four years in jail, Knox and Sollecito were freed when an appeals court (INAUDIBLE) their convictions.

AMANDA KNOX, ACTRESS: What's important for me to say is just thank you.

BELL: She returned to Seattle and was exonerated by the Italian judiciary in 2015. All along, she maintained her innocence.

KNOX: It means that everyone is vulnerable, and that's everyone's nightmare. Either I'm a psychopath in sheep's clothing or I am you.

MATTEO GHISALBERTI, ITALIAN JOURNALIST: Actually, I think that Amanda Knox was unlucky. She was judged by the media before, and then her rights and defense were not respected. A lot of people were interested in this history because there was a sex crime. There were young people, students, foreign students. And so, there was a lot of elements for good plot for a good crime plot, but it was -- this was reality.

BELL: It is that question of her trial by media that Amanda Knox will address at a Justice Reform Conference in Italy this week. A first return to the country that she'd vowed never to revisit again that is likely to place her, once again, firmly, in the media spotlight.


BELL: So, all eyes very much on Amanda Knox and what she will have to say, as she arrives here in Italy, Rosemary. And bear in mind, that the judicial part of this isn't quite closed. While she's been acquitted on the conviction of the charge of murder, she has not been acquitted so far on that charge of maliciously implicating another person, Patrick, remember the man who had been her boss at the time.

She still, today, owes him several thousand Euros in damages and the European Court of Human Rights did exonerate her on -- did go with her in the sense on the question of the fact that she had not had all of her rights represented in the Italian trial here, around that conviction that remains outstanding.

But it did not accept her charge that the Italian judiciary had, that she had been abused during her questioning, that she'd been slapped around by police, or that she had been mistreated in any way.

So there are, again, a number of issues that remain outstanding in this case. And, of course, all of that attention is likely to remain just as important today, because everyone has an opinion on Amanda Knox. This was so closely covered by the media at the time. The media scrutiny was so intense that there's going to be an awful lot of interest about what she has to say all of these years later.

And bear in mind that the lawyers of the family of Meredith Kercher have spoken about the fact that she is returning, saying that it's a regrettable decision and an inappropriate one. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to our Melissa Bell, joining us live from Milan, in Italy. Well, let's turn back now to India, which is preparing for Tropical Cyclone Vayu, and we are joined now by World Vision Humanitarian Director, Franklin Jones, in Southern India. Thank you so much for talking with us.

So, as you monitor the approach of this cyclone, what's your organization doing right now to prepare?

FRANKLIN JONES, HUMANITARIAN DIRECTOR, WORLD VISION (via telephone): OK. For World Vision India, we have got two dozen projects in the state of Gujarat, which is in (INAUDIBLE) Bharuch. You know, we have been (INAUDIBLE) even though it's not on the part of the cyclone.

But as there were information that there'll be (INAUDIBLE) so have prepared our communities (INAUDIBLE) in terms of how to learn preparedness and if there is a need to come in (INAUDIBLE) to evacuate, then there should be a need for that one.

And if situation warrants in the place where we are expecting that (INAUDIBLE) storm surge in the coastal area, if there's a need, World Vision India is put there to respond while -- with relief and all our national disaster management team members are on standby as of now.

CHURCH: And what do you see as the major challenges ahead as you planned for this cyclone's approach?

JONES: One is -- as for the (INAUDIBLE) from the India (INAUDIBLE) department updated the cyclone has (INAUDIBLE) so, as of now, we don't know what -- how, exactly, the storm surge and the wind speed would be, and how much the damage would be, if it happens.

So, the challenge for us is definitely, one is on the assessment part, as it happens, then once the assessment is there, then we'll have to plan for our relief.

[01:25:16] CHURCH: And, of course, so many people affected. We already know 300,000 people are being evacuated from the area. What (INAUDIBLE) being done to make sure that they're going to be housed and fed. And, of course, ultimately, if they return home and they have no shelter, then there is another problem going forward, isn't there?

JONES: Yes. The government will be taking care of that one. And from World Vision India, if there is a need for us to provide the shelter materials to them, we will be providing them shelter materials, which normally happens in most of the storm affected -- cyclone affected areas after the -- aftermath of that.

CHURCH: Franklin Jones, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it. All right, we'll take a short break here. Still to come, it was a campaign move that sparked intense scrutiny, but President Trump says he might do it again, getting information on political opponents, ahead.


CHURCH: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church, the headlines this hour, Hong Kong has closed its central government offices for the rest of the week after days of protest against a controversial extradition bill. Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned what she called intentional riots. At least 79 people were injured Wednesday, in clashes with police.

A powerful cyclone that's forcing about 300,000 people to evacuate parts of northwest India, maybe turning slightly away from land, now. But experts predict Cyclone Vayu may still be the worst storm to hit the region in decades. It's expected to battle the coast with heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges.

The St. Louis Blues have won their first-ever National Hockey League championship. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in game 7, at the Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday night, to claim the title, Blues center, Ryan O'Reilly, was named most valuable player.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would be willing to listen to information from foreign governments about his political opponents. In an interview with ABC, President Trump said he wouldn't necessarily report such contact to the FBI, even though his FBI director has said the agency would want to know.



GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: You campaign this time (INAUDIBLE), if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. I don't -- there's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from another country, Norway -- we have information on your opponent -- oh, I think I would want to hear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It's not an interference. They have information, I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong I would go, maybe, to the FBI. If I thought there was something wrong.

But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right -- they come up with oppo research, let's call the FBI. The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. But you go and talk honestly to congressman, they all do it, they always have. And that's the way it is, it's called opposition research.


CHURCH: Meantime, President Trump welcomed his Polish counterpart to the White House but the focus was on recent comments Mr. Trump has made about North Korea.

Abby Phillip reports.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump pulling out all the stops for Poland's President Andrzej Duda, ordering a rare fighter jet flyover of the White House before his Rose Garden press conference today.

TRUMP: It actually came to a pretty -- close to a halt over the White House.

PHILLIP: But it was President Trump's comments about North Korea and the next steps with Kim Jong-un that raised eyebrows.

TRUMP: Strong force. We're the strongest force in the world, but that's a strong force.

PHILLIP: President Trump not offering much clarity on his comments yesterday, when he said he wouldn't allow the CIA to use Kim Jong-un's half-brother as an informant.

TRUMP: No, it's not what I meant. It's what I said. And I think it's different than maybe your interpretation. I think we're going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time. I'm in no rush.

PHILLIP: Minutes earlier in the Oval Office, Trump slamming reports that his campaign's internal polls show him lagging his 2020 Democratic rivals in key states.

TRUMP: There were fake polls that were released by somebody. There were fake polls that were either put out by the corrupt media --

PHILLIP: And insisting that he's in the best position possible to win reelection.

TRUMP: We have some internal polling, very little, and it's unbelievably strong. The strongest I have ever been is exactly today.

PHILLIP: Trump, defiant as Democrats make it clear they will use their subpoena power to bolster their investigations.

TRUMP: I think what the Democrats are trying to do, because they know they're going to lose the election, so they're going to give this a shot, they're going to just -- every day, they're going to be going more and more.

PHILLIP: The President also making this false claim about the Mueller report.

TRUMP: In fact, it said we actually rebuffed your friends from Russia, that we actually pushed them back. We rebuffed them.

PHILLIP: But the report made it clear that Trump campaign officials believed they could benefit from Russian help.

Trump also talking up his planned meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, at the G-20 later this month, even jokingly dangling the prospect of inviting reporters into the room for the meeting.

TRUMP: You people are so untrusting, so it's probably better if I -- would you like to be in the room? Ok? Would you like to be? I can imagine you would be. I think it's probably easier if we have people in the room, because you people don't trust anything.

PHILLIP: President Trump was also asked to clarify what was in that beautiful letter that he said he received from North Korea's Kim Jong- un on Tuesday. The President wouldn't add more details about what was in the letter. He only described it as warm and appreciated but a source tells CNN's Kiley Atwood that Kim did not provide a way forward for talks between the U.S. North Korea on denuclearization. All of that seems to suggest that those talks remain stalled as of right now.

Abby Phillip, CNN -- the White House.


CHURCH: Political analyst Michael Genovese joins us now from Los Angeles. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So let's just listen again to how the President responded to a question put to him in that ABC interview, about whether he would accept information from another country about an opponent. Let's bring that up.


TRUMP: If somebody called, from a country, Noraway, we have information on your opponent. I think I'd want to hear it. STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: Not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong I'd go maybe to the FBI.


CHURCH: Given all the scrutiny of the Mueller investigation over Russian interference in the 2016 campaign why would the President think it's acceptable to take get information about an opponent from a foreign source? And why would he not understand that this amounts to interference in an election.

[01:24:50] GENOVESE: You're right. Have we learned nothing from the past two years? This has been the headline every day. He's faced scrutiny and yet he's still trying to defend himself. This time he's doing it with a real gut punch to democracy. Saying that it is ok for foreign governments, adversarial governments to interfere with the U.S. Election. That devalues democracy. It undermines the integrity of our system.

And here's the President, who during the campaign, was inviting Russia to get involved saying Russia if you e-mails of Hillary Clinton, release them. He said that was a joke.

Well, this was no joke today. This was very serious and he basically said it's ok for foreign countries to interfere in our elections. That's just wrong on so many levels, and it devalues and undermines democracy in America.

CHURCH: And this is what President Trump said in that same ABC interview while defending his son Don Jr. for not calling the FBI about an e-mail promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Let's bring that up.


TRUMP: This is somebody that said we have information on your opponent. Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn't work that way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that's what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.


CHURCH: "The FBI director is wrong."

Have you ever heard a U.S. President use those words?

GENOVESE: Not in public. And that's the FBI director that President Trump appointed so he's disagreeing with his own administration, his own people. And so Donald Trump is kind of isolated on this one. None of what he said passes the smell test. Of course you would be

concerned when you receive something like this and you would probably think that maybe there's something fishy, maybe I need to check with the lawyers. At least check with our attorneys in the campaign.

But instead, what does Don Jr. say? He says that if you have dirt that would be great. We'd love it. And so he's defending -- the President is defending the indefensible. I understand why you'd want to defend your son. But again, none of this passes the smell test having gone from denying that there was Russian involvement to now saying it was really ok. That is a 360 that is just amazing. I mean it leaves your head spinning.

CHURCH: Right. And this is what FBI director Christopher Wray said when testifying on this very subject.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: My view is that if any public official or member of any campaign is contacted by any nation state or anybody acting on behalf of a nation state about influencing or interfering with our election and that's something that the FBI would want to know about.


CHURCH: So, that's what the FBI director said and that's exactly what President Trump said was wrong. Why do you think the President chose to dismiss Christopher Wray's directive on this and clearly called him out. What might that signal, do you think?

GENOVESE: Well Mr. Wray was right and anyone I think in his right mind would say he's right. I think the President is trying to be overly defensive at a point where the Mueller report says that there was a tremendous amount of Russian involvement. There was a lot of connection between the President and his people and the Russians.

And now I think he's trying to sort of make lemonade out of these lemons. It's not working. He's wrong on so many levels, both morally and legally. You can't defend democracy and let others interfere and undermine it. And that's what he's been defending.

And so you're devaluating democracy, you're tolerating interference and again, you can't have a fully functioning robust democracy under those circumstances.

CHURCH: Now also on Wednesday, more mixed messages as the President seemed unable to clarify those comments he made the before when he said he would not allow the CIA to use Kim Jong-un's family members as informants. This is what he said about those comments.


TRUMP: No, it's not what I meant, it's what I said and that's -- I think it's different than maybe your interpretation.


CHURCH: What does that mean? And how is that comment being interpreted by U.S. intelligence community, Japan and South Korea?

GENOVESE: Well, first of all it's quite convoluted. I mean it's not what I mean, it's what I said I mean when I meant what I said. And I think, obviously, you parse every single word the President says. And I think what our adversaries are probably thinking is this guy is confused, he's confusing, and he doesn't know really what talking about.

The U.S. intelligence agencies are saying wait a minute, he's throwing us under the bus are you trying to give away all this information that you need not give away that could only help our adversaries. And how will this play out when we try to get other high-level people turn on their governments and give us information.

The President has long been against what he calls the deep state which is the intelligence agencies, FBI, the government. So he's basically in charge of the government he's now complaining about. He's in charge of a government that he will no longer defend that he's assaulting.

[01:39:57] I think Mr. Wray, the FBI director, just made common sense. Anyone in his right mind would say something like that.

And so I think the President is getting incredibly defensive, I think he's feeling the heat. He feels a little bit cornered and he's trying to squirm his way out but this, as I said, does not in any way pass the smell test.

CHURCH: Michael Genovese -- always good to get to your analysis in all these matters. Appreciate it.

GENOVESE: Thanks. Thank you -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: In U.S. politics, the word "socialism" is often misunderstood, misused and utilized as a political weapon. But Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders embraces the term. In a speech Wednesday Sanders said he sees democratic socialism as the unfinished business of the New Deal Era.

He touted his plan for universal health care called Medicare for All and calls for a 21st century economic bill of rights. That it says every American is entitled to a decent job that pays a living wage, also affordable housing and a clean environment. And he took Republicans to task.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I and other progressive will face massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word "socialism" as a slur. They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people. But they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires. CHURCH: A new Quinnipiac University poll out Tuesday shows Sanders

and several other Democratic candidates beating Trump in hypothetical head to head matchups.

Another break here. Still to come a new political weapon is being unleashed. Why soon you may not be able to believe your eyes and how dangerous that could be. The details when we come back.


CHURCH: A dangerous new political weapon is slowly being unleashed. It's called deepfakes -- altered videos or images made to show something that did not happen. It could arguably be more dangerous to democracy than what happened in the 2016 election.

And in a matter of hours, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee will try to expose and learn more about this.

Our Donie O'Sullivan has our report.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're going to Mexico. They're going to many other countries.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Here's President Trump.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: They took my microphone to Kenya and they broke it, and now it's broken.

O'SULLIVAN: And Alec Baldwin's impression of him from "Saturday Night Live."

[01:45:03] But now, take a look and listen at this.

BALDWIN: Can you hear that? I'm picking up somebody sniffing here.

O'SULLIVAN: That's not really President Trump. It's just his face mapped on top of Baldwin's.

Researchers at USC created this clip and many others of prominent politicians showing just how easily viewers could be tricked.

UNIDENTIFIED COMEDIAN: Listen, America, Donald Trump cannot be president.

O'SULLIVAN: Videos like this are known as deepfakes -- a new, sophisticated way to create fake videos using artificial intelligence and their potential damage is catching attention on Capitol Hill.

While some technology experts say the threat is exaggerated, it's very real for lawmakers like House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It is a race between the A.I. to create them and the A.I. to detect them. O'SULLIVAN: His committee is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow discussing national security challenges of artificial intelligence, manipulated media and "deepfakes".

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): There are visuals that obviously were planned.

O'SULLIVAN: Highlighting this altered video of Nancy Pelosi. It is not an example of a "deepfake", but was edited to make it looks like she was slurring her words.

SCHIFF: It would be very easy to introduce a doctored video that could have a very sizable impact anonymously at various places around the globe at one time. And whoever introduced it, would always have some level of plausible deniability.

O'SULLIVAN: Other technology experts agree.

HANY FARID, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY: We are going to get to a point at some point in the near future where you are not going to visually be able to distinguish between the two. And we sort of want to get out ahead of this before we get to that point.

O'SULLIVAN: Hany Farid's team at U.C. Berkeley studied hours of footage of political figures and 2020 presidential candidates movements when they talk, constructing a system called fingerprinting. Aiming to help the government and news organizations separate the real from the unreal.

FARID: By the end of '19 and the lead up to the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, is that we will have most if not all of the candidates fingerprinted.


CHURCH: Donie O'Sullivan with that.

Hemu Nigam is an Internet security analyst, a former federal prosecutor and the founder and CEO of SSP Blue which specializes an online safety and security. He joins us now from Los Angeles.

Good to have you with us.

HEMU NIGAM, CEO, SSP BLUE: You too, Rosemary. Thanks for having me.

CHURCH: So how dangerous do you think these fake videos or deepfakes as they're called could prove to be? Particularly in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

NIGAM: I think this actually goes way beyond the 2020 election and the lead up to it because what we're seeing here is yesterday we were debating how do you figure out fake news and everyone was gathering together to solve that problem.

And even as a cyber intelligence company, we get hired to figure out if somebody is spreading false narratives online through things like fake news.

What you're seeing now is a taking that concept and putting it on a real human form way and making putting it, in essence putting on steroids to the extent that you can't tell what's actually going on. And there are humans who are watching -- either watching television right now, watching us right -- a lot of times people see something, they make their judgment. They're moving on to the next topic.

So when the presidential election is coming, they'll see something, it could be safe. It could be a tape video and a maker to be up you'll, see something that could be fake or could be a fake video and they make their judgment call and then move on to the next topic. But, it is going to affect what happens in that voting booth when they walk in. And that's the danger and it gets worse than that after the election.

C6; Right. And of course, we know now that experts at Berkeley are using what they call fingerprinting to help separate the fake video from the real one. But that won't be available until the end of this year. What damage could be done in the meantime? And how do ,most people watching us right now figure out if something is generated by artificial intelligence or if it's real?

NIGAM: Well, that's the thing. What I find really surprising actually is somebody saying that we are going to be able to figure out the difference because the way the algorithms are working is one algorithm identifies how to create it. This is why it's deepfake. It's deep learning with something and creating something fake. So one of algorithm is creating it, another algorithm is trying to identify it. When that happens the first one says you caught me let me make it better.

And it's having this dialectical thing is happening where at some point, you are not going to be able to tell the difference. Even if the algorithm can, the question is whether the human eye can and the human ears -- it's both. It's not just what you see it's also what you hear. And then it's also what your bias is already and combining all those things.

You can believe it in your heart. You can it in your ears and you can believe it in your eyes.

So I don't actually think it's going to be as easy as people think. Even today, I don't think most people would be able to figure it out as much as things like blinking, speech, movement and you know, movements that are shifting or shaking and things like that.

[01:50:04] All that is already getting figured out. For the masses too, it's not just about politicians.

CHURCH: Right.

NIGAM: This is about taking a picture of your friend and making it into that.

C6; You feel we'll get to the point when we won't be able to trust what we see outside of reliable news sources. For instance on social media platform's, cross the Internet particularly younger people -- they tend not to watch the more reliable news sources right?

NIGAM: Exactly. There is a Navy Seal friend of mine who one day said to me, it's not that I don't trust people it's I don't trust -- it's that they have not earned my trust. And so now I think what's going to happen is a shift will have to happen in the young and the old which is, do you really trust it at first glance or do you distrust it until trust is proven.

And this is that whole story of guilty until proven innocent or innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately in court it's innocent until proven guilty. In the news, in what we're seeing online, it may end up becoming the opposite and that is a disruption to not only democracy, but it's also a disruption to social society and humanity overall.

And I know I sound a bit extreme here, but this is one of those where I normally don't come on your show and say things like this. And I actually think we need to sound a bigger alarm than it is being even sounded -- it's sounded here. But I think this needs to be a global issue that is dealt with by the government and society, civil society together now, not in six months.

CHURCH: Right. I mean the silver lining here maybe that this is going to teach people to be more discerning and to ensure that they get then use their information from reliable sources right? I mean that's the one thing.

NIGAM: Right.

CHURCH: And you as an Internet security analyst and any other expert in your field -- are you able to differentiate between the real and the deepfake videos? Or will we all be relying entirely on this new fingerprinting technology to count on this?

NIGAM: Well, I think -- I did that today actually just before I was coming on. I went online and I actually looked at how easy would it be for me to create it and I found out that I can actually do it.

There's not only apps, there's videos that teach you how to do it. If you have the time, you have the patience in three to four hours you can actually learn how to do it and start doing it.

So the reality is, that yes, people will hopefully become more discerning and I actually think they are. The other reality is, there's an opportunity here for all the platforms that we already have debates about on the fake news side to step up and say ok, what is my moral compass? Will I use that fingerprinting technology or will I leave it up to the masses under the guise of free speech.

And that's the debate we can have on the next time I come back, but those are the kinds of things that I think are starting to prove that beyond just the debate about can you figure it out.

CHURCH: All right. Don't necessarily believe your eyes or your ears apparently.

Hemu Nigam -- thank you so much for your analysis. Appreciate it.

NIGAM: Thanks -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: And coming up next, the first of 50 people caught up in the U.S. college admissions scandal hear his sentence. We will tell you what the judge decided.


CHURCH: The first sentence has been handed down in the huge college admissions scandal that has stunned campuses across the United States. John Vandemoer was head of the sailing program at Stanford University in California. He admitted accepting $270,000 dollars in bribes to get two students on to the sailing team even though neither had ever sailed before.

[01:55:07] CNN's Brynn Gingras has the details.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The former head sailing coach for Stanford University won't spend any time behind bars for his involvement in the college admissions scandal. John Vandemoer apologized to the university, his former student athletes and his family just before the judge handed down a sentence of two years supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

Now, prosecutors had recommended he spent 13 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one conspiracy charge and admitting that he bribes to get two students into Stanford as sailing. recruits. Neither student actually attended the school and then had he never pocketed the money exchanged instead, he put it towards the sailing program.

And that was something Judge (INAUDIBLE) took into consideration, who said it was hard to monetize any loss or gains in this case. Prior to today's ten sentencing, the judge received 27 letters from people who know Vandemoer asking for his leniency. And about the judge said they are an that are highly unusual in this setting.

She also said she considered Vandemoer to be the least culpable in this case. Vandemoer more is the first person sentence that 50 people charged overall, prosecutors have asked that his punishment not be a slap on the wrist, but rather enough to send a message that cheating and bribery will land you in prison.

So we'll have to see what happened from here.

Brynn Gingras CNN -- New York.

CHURCH: Well, as if looking straight down from 103 floor isn't nerve- wracking enough, look closely at this. A protective layer of the sky deck, of Chicago's Willis Tower splintered thousands of pieces Monday. One man captured the scene from a few feet back. He says a woman and two kids were on it when the floor cracked and they turned pale. Of course. The ledge is designed to hold five tons of weight. Town management said no one was in danger and the protective layer did what it's supposed to do. It also cracked in a similar incident five years ago.

And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news right after this.

Please stay with us.