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Hundreds of Protesters Arrested In Russia; Dennis Rodman Heading Back In North Korea; May To Meet Leader Of Expected Power- Broker Party. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 13, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Theresa May saves her job. The British Prime Minister admits she got the Tories into this mess; promises she can get them out of it.
WALKER: Plus, hundreds of arrests after protesters clash with police in Russia. And the leading Putin critic is among those who've been locked up.
VAUSE: Dennis Rodman, heading back to North Korea. And you will hear from the basketball Hall of Famer just before he boarded the flight to Pyongyang.
WALKER: Hello, everyone and thanks so much for joining us. I'm Amara Walker.
VAUSE: Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. The second hour of NEWSROOM L.A. starts now. The political faith of the British Prime Minister could now depend on a small party from Northern Ireland. Theresa May is expected to meet with the leader of the Democratic Union as to form a coalition government. Those negotiations though could delay Brexit talks scheduled to start next week.
WALKER: Now, for now, Mrs. May is keeping her job after apologizing to members of the party for gambling on a snap election that backfired. Listen to what she promised her colleagues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW BRIDGEN, CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Theresa May said that she's going to fix the situation, and she's going to get us out it. We'll even back her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us now for more: Dominic Thomas, Chair of the Department of French Studies at the University of California here in Los Angeles; also, Cherrie Short, a former U.K.-raised Commissioner and (INAUDIBLE), currently Professor at the University of Southern California. Good to have you both with us. There is an interesting dynamic having you right now over in Europe, Dominic, because you had Theresa May who is devastated of the election. And she's heading off to Paris on Tuesday to meet with Emmanuel Macron, the French President, who had overwhelmingly won the legislative elections of the weekend Macron now appears to be like the leader of the E.U. in many, many ways. He has absolute contempt for Brexit. He - we've seen, which a very little mercy for Theresa May on this issue.
DOMINIC THOMAS, UCLA DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES CHAIRMAN: Right. It's remarkable. I mean, you could not have more different people. You have the Theresa May, defending Brexit. That's sort of closed-minded, you know, walled off the United Kingdom. And somebody like Emmanuel Macron, who came out of nowhere, won the Presidential election. He's going to pick up the landslide in the legislative elections, pro-European Union, running-candidate that are 50 percent from civil society, 50 percent women, the youngest political list of candidates out of all the political parties, and the total dismantling of the traditional political structure. The Socialists are completely insignificant, as are the Republicans on the right.
In the U.K., you ended up with the Labour Party and the Conservatives scoring the highest turnout in the percentage votes those - for the sort of two-party assistant. As he meets for Theresa May tomorrow, they've actually already announced what they're going to be talking about. There are sort of Internet and fiber security-
VAUSE: In Brexit.
THOMAS: What else can they talk about, right? As they head to the table. Of course, the interest for Macron really is, Angela Merkel is up for election in September. So, as you just said, you know, he really is a sort of a leading figure, English speaker, pro-Europe, and in a very strong position here to sort of control those negotiations.
WALKER: Yes. On the contrast, it really is stunning though. It strengthens the Macron with a weakened, a much weakened Theresa May. Cherrie, and if you talk a little bit more about the strategy going forward for the Brexit, obviously, you know, we're hearing from Theresa May's office that insists that her Brexit strategy hasn't changed. But obviously, it's going to have to because she does now have a mandate for a hard Brexit.
CHERRIE SHORT, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PROFESSOR: Well, that's totally true. I mean, again, she gambled, and the gamble didn't pay off with; has left her, I would say, feeling very wounded. And if you're wounded, you know, it's very difficult then to actually know which direction to actually go in. So, I should imagine, that at the moment, she's thinking: which way do I go? Which - you know, which way shall I take in order to make the strategy here, what I'm thinking about actually works?
VAUSE: And she may not have a lot of choice in that because she is trying to strike this coalition deal with the Democratic Unions' Party, a deal which is not signed yet. This party from Northern Ireland-Gerry Adams, who the leader of Sinn Fein, he says if they do go ahead with this coalition, it will be a coalition of chaos. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN POLITICAL PARTY LEADER: I would hardly call a coalition I have with (INAUDIBLE). I would hardly call that sort of arrangement between the DUP, and the English Tories stable. That's the very least to say as a coalition for a chaos and the time ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: To show you clearly out of Taoiseach's political agenda but, you know, on the surface, is he right?
[01:05:02] SHORT: Well, I think so. The factor of the matter is that Sinn Fein has always been very supportive to the Labour Party and vice versa. They - the agenda is different here because we're actually feigning with the Conservative and the DUP, which they're bound to feel in that way about them. But at the same time, if you look at realism, you can see that coalition too has numerous problems.
And you know, it's not new to Britain and looks what's happened to the Lib-Dems with their coalition with David Cameron. So, you know, I think that Theresa is seriously in trouble. What does she recognize is that - is something else. I mean, the argument is: who will actually step forward to take up from - they are all. We could ask the question too, who's the Trojan horse?
WALKER: And Dominic, I guess, can you answer that question and how long do you see Theresa May being able to hold on as Prime Minister? Because we heard George Osborne say that, you know, she is a "dead woman walking."
THOMAS: Sure. I mean, this party is completely (INAUDIBLE). I mean, in 2010, as Cherrie just mentioned, they sided with the Liberal Democrats that are absolutely unambiguously pro-European Union. They betrayed them in 2015 to work with UKIP, the far-right Independence Party, and now they're looking to work with a small, you know, ten- seat holding, Northern Irish Party. Who is this party? What do they represent? They're willing to do a deal with just about anybody to hold on to power.
They've got divisions within the party, people are dissatisfied, the country is divided, and as the Brexit negotiations go forward, there are so many different perspectives on what - the sort of what the outcome would be for this. But yet, the Conservative Party, the last thing they would want would be to go and call another snap election, because the outcome would be even more unpredictable that in this particular one, they're already and significantly weaken. And the question is: where does the leader come from, from which fringe of the political party? And so, it really is an issue.
And meanwhile, Germany's doing well, France is trying to sort of repair the years of Sarkozy and Hollande, and move a new and exciting directions. And the U.K.'s, if you look across the Atlantic, things aren't going particularly well. And as you look across the channel, it seems pretty complicated, you know.
VAUSE: E.U. is on its death bed, you know. Six months ago, it was over and everyone was leaving. And now, the situation has completely changed. We said here last week, you and I --
VAUSE: And we said, the worst outcome for the U.K. election would be a hung parliament, exactly what's happening right now.
VAUSE: And the reason for that is because these negotiations are just so complicated, and so detailed, and would such a long time. And right now, no one knows what deal they want.
THOMAS: Right. The clock has started ticking, and its two years' time when its timeout, right? So, you sort of, you go into these negotiations now for what? We know that the, you know, the question of compromise which is exactly what Theresa May try to avoid by trying to extend her lead in the House of Commons. But someone has to compromise, and so the question of E.U. nationals, the question of voting on the final outcome. And the question of even delineating what will work for the U.K. is going to be complicated and will work against the interest of the British people.
WALKER: So, what do you think ultimately, of Brexit deal and negotiation will end up looking like?
SHORT: Well, I'm currently unsure. At the moment, they don't know. I mean, there's a struggle among the party, it's like Dominic has said. What we're actually seeing - we don't really know if Theresa May will be able to actually form a party in itself, because the party is so divided. I mean, it's not a simple thing about just going forward on Brexit, even though that's what the referendum stated. So, we have a very divisive system at the moment, and very divided because that's what you see from Jeremy Corbyn.
What's actually, currently happening is that the youth came out in abundance. I mean, so many people actually - came to actually vote, but it's very diverse at the moment which changes the dynamics as we go forward, and which has never happened in effect. Nobody believed that Jeremy Corbyn was ever going to get such a turn-up, not even the parliamentarians. So, we are struggling to know where we're going-we have to go somewhere with Europe.
VAUSE: In Brexit. So it raises the question with "where."
SHORT: And the question is: where?
VAUSE: Thank you both for coming in. We didn't get talked about the Queen's speech next week, which is going to be delayed because it's written on goat-skinned patch from the (INAUDIBLE), it takes a couple of days. It was held up in the story. Dominic and Cherrie, thank you so much.
WALKER: Thank you. We appreciate it. All right, turning now to Russia, where nearly 1400 have been arrested for taking part in demonstrations and that is according to a monitoring group. The nationwide protests were aimed at tackling corruption. [01:10:04] VAUSE: And they were called for by the man on the left:
opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, he has now been sentenced to 30 days in detention. Here's Diana Magnay with more.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The demonstration was about to start ten minutes ago and the organizers of Russia said that anyone who was here for the protest would be an arrest. And so, now, there are police moving in, clearly, to do just that.
MAGNAY: That chant means, "You will stale everybody." They've been funneling some people who they've arrested out from the crowds, like that as you can see. There are so many more who are determined to keep protesting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): An ill Prime Minister says produce a big, big pond which has a special house in the middle of it. So, has become a single of how easily bribe he is of his corruption.
MAGNAY: Police seems to have their system of detaining people, pretty well-organized. Funneling people out of the square and then sending in riot police back in. They had various buses on standby. We've already seen two or three leave, filled with people who've been detained. But what's interesting is when I spoke to people about whether they were nervous they've said, "Well, what are they going to do? They're going to arrest us to three or four hours, and then they'll let us go."
VAUSE: And that's Diane Magnay there for that report from St. Petersburg. And well, Alexei Navalny, faces 30 days in detention, doesn't it Putin lost his sense of humor, if a recent tweet is anything to go by? It translates to-here it is-to 30 days. "Not only had the whole country but obviously, Depeche Mode concert in Moscow because of them." The 80's band is performing next month.
WALKER: Summer basketball star, Dennis Rodman, is heading back to North Korea. CNN spotted Rodman, at Beijing International Airport on his way to Pyongyang. He has visited the country at least four times before, but now he will arrive at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Kim Jong-un's regime has test-fired 16 ballistic missiles so far, just this year. Our Matt Rivers spoke to Rodman at Beijing airport. He's joining us now live. Matt, first off, this was a chance encounter for you, how did you run into Dennis Rodman there?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we actually got a tip. CNN was the first news organization to report that Rodman did plan on heading back into North Korea. And so, we got a tip that he'd be landing in Beijing yesterday. We went and met him at the airport yesterday here in Beijing. Well, he didn't give us any comment. We were the only media there at the airport but he chose not speak with us. This morning, we figured we'd give it another go, so we went back to the airport, to the area where all passengers that go to North Korea have to through; Rodman, himself included. There were a few other members of the media there sighting CNN's reporting. And we were able to pose a few questions to him, and he was a bit more talkative this morning. Here's what had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Have you spoken with President Trump at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a just here as a private citizen, he didn't speak to President Trump at all.
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYER: I'm pretty sure he's happy that the fact that I'm over here.
RODMAN: Trying to accomplish that we both need, to sort of open the door. To open the door that's it.
RIVERS: Are you going to talk about after detaining the Americans?
RODMAN: Well, it's not my purpose right now.
RIVERS: That's not your purpose.
RODMAN: Not my purpose right now. My purpose will (INAUDIBLE). So, that's the main thing to do. I hope we'll the open the doors brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you can make progress in it?
RODMAN: I'm pretty I could something that's very positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVER: That's all Amara, one of the things you heard him say there was that his purpose of this trip is to not discuss the four Americans that are detained currently in North Korea: two university professor, a naturalized U.S. citizen, and of course University of Virginia student. So, he said that's not the main purpose of this trip. He wants to continue to bring sports, as he put it, to the North Koreans with the government into its people.
Now, a couple of things that we didn't show you just there: we did ask a couple of questions that he didn't answer. He wouldn't answer a question that was asked of him, where we asked: was he bringing a specific message from President Trump and or the American government to the government of North Korea; he wouldn't answer that. And he also wouldn't answer whether he would directly be meeting with Kim Jong-un during this particular trip. One thing we should note though, the State Department in the U.S. tells CNN that they are aware of Rodman's trip, but then he is traveling only as a private citizen in no official capacity. Amara.
[01:15:10] WALKER: A private citizen who wants to open the door as he had told you. Matt Rivers, live for us there in Beijing. Thank you.
VAUSE: Soon to come. The U.S. Attorney General prepares his day for the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jeff Sessions about the Russia investigation.
WALKER: Also, the management crisis that Uber deepens. What the company is expected to announce, Tuesday.
VAUSE: Well, a friend of Donald Trump says he President is considering terminating Robert Mueller's role as special counsel in the Russia investigation.
WALKER: The surprise revelation comes just one day before Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify publicly about the Russian investigation and alleged ties to the Trump campaign. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Attorney General Jeff Sessions praising the President in today's cabinet meeting. It follows weeks of tension between the two over Session's refusal in the Russia investigation in March. Sessions will testify tomorrow before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources say he tried to arrange a closed hearing but after objections from Democrats, agreed to speak publicly.
The White House is still weighing whether to exert executive privilege to preclude some of Session's testimony.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It depends on the scope of the questions and it will be in a hypothetical as this point would be premature.
SCHNEIDER: Sessions faces a long list of questions from lawmakers. CNN is told James Comey revealed to Senators in a closed-door briefing last week that Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in April 2016. Sessions could also come under scrutiny for Comey's claim that Sessions did not respond when Comey told the Attorney General he felt uncomfortable being left alone with the President. And questions linger about why Sessions left Comey alone in the Oval Office on February 14th when Comey contends the President directed him to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Donald Trump Jr. seemed to confirm Comey's account of that conversation.
DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: When he tells you to do something, guess what? There's no ambiguity in it. There's no, hey I'm hoping. You and I are friends. Hey, I hope this happens but you got to do your job. That's what he told Comey.
SCHNEIDER: Comey's memo about his interactions with President Trump could be turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Columbia law professor, Daniel Richman, a friend of Comey, has copies the committee wants.
The President continues to criticize Comey via twitter. "I believe that James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal, very cowardly." Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that could get the President in trouble.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), NORH CAROLINA: You may be the first President in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you.
[01:20:35] SCHNEIDER: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deliver his public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's Tuesday, at 2:30 p.m. And right now, Senators are still deciding whether or not they'll ask for a classified briefing that would happen after the public testimony. Jessica Schneider, CNN.
WALKER: And joining us now, CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson. And Republican Strategist, Ashley Hayek. Thanks to you both for being here. Let's start with that really surprising revelation f the President considering getting rid of Robert Mueller. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER RUDY, NEWSMAX MEDIA CEO: He's considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option. I think that's pretty clear what one of his lawyers said on television recently. I personally think it would be a very significant mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Do you think, Ashley, it would be a mistake if President Trump tried to get rid of Robert Mueller? And if you do support it, are you concerned about the political storm that would follow?
ASHLEY HAYEK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think after tomorrow, when Jeff Sessions makes his testimony, that it's going to be at least, washing off all of these issues and allegations with the Russian investigation. It will be a nonissue. I think that the speculation that's being - called into question right now is just speculation and it's just looking for more drama from the Russian investigation.
WALKER: That's going to be a non-issue the fact that President Trump may get rid of Robert Mueller?
HAYEK: I think after tomorrow, when Jeff Sessions puts this issue to rest, the President is going to focus on his workforce development plan and hat he's trying to accomplish. That will be a non-issue.
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think if Donald Trump were to fire Robert Mueller, it would eviscerate a minimal credibility that the President has. I don't think he has the credibility as the man himself, the human Donald Trump, but the office, it will minimize and eviscerate and do away with all credibility. It will speak volumes about what kind of cover-up or what Donald Trump is hiding and whether or not there was any criminal wrongdoing in terms of hard evidence.
VAUSE: I mean, do you think there's any way possible that Sessions appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee could put all of his to rest?
JACOBSON: No. It's going to be into flames. The reality is -
VAUSE: Look, I like your optimism actually but-
JACOBSON: Look I think like I think if I'm Donald Trump I want to have blinders on and I want to defocus week as jobs this is not Sessions week, right? But the reality is we're living in deja vu we're just reliving what happened last week, we had Comey gave last week, we've got Sessions gave this week and the reality is nothing it's going to raise more questions and make this continue in the weeks ahead rather than diminish this story.
WALKER: Regarding Sessions gave when we do listen to the public testimony from the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. What do you expect we will hear and do you think Ashley that Sessions will answer questions about his reported third meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S.?
HAYEK: They said there's not a third meeting, he said that he attended the first two meeting at the Senator and so I think that they'll be a lot of clarification and like I said I think that there is so much speculation I think that he'll be able to a drop a lot of the issues that Comey brought up. It's a he said, he said, he said the situation right now? And I think it's a really difficult to say like what's going to happen tomorrow.
JACOBSON: I think the question is like is there hard evidence that Jeff Sessions was actually at that third meeting at the Mayflower Hotel in April of 2016. But I think two other questions are going to be raised, I think, number one is Jeff Sessions refused himself not simply just from the Russian probe but in his recusal letter, he actually said I'm going to recuse myself from anything related to either Presidential candidate from last cycle. So that includes Hillary Clinton's e-mails which was the justification that Deputy A.G. obviously for the firing of James Comey. So I think questions are going to be raised about why he didn't recuse himself from the firing process and then of course obviously in the hiring process of the FBI Director who will be overseeing the Russian investigation.
VAUSE: Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump planning to all of this terms right now because he didn't recuse himself from the Russian investigation so we've been told, also another best terms because Donald Trump is made the point of saying you're that second water down version of the travel ban was awful why didn't we go that I wish we've gone with first one. But the second water down version again has being rejected by an Appeals Court saying that it is not legal it's just another setback for the administration when it comes to the travel ban. So at this point though, Ashley, you know, the travel ban it had been implemented 90 days ago it was set to expire on Wednesday, isn't it should the administration at this point, can I just cover losses and move on?
[01:25:29] HAYEK: Well I think that President's what's best for our national security -
VAUSE: So what was under that 90-day period though? Then to improve the security of the country when it comes to vetting.
HAYEK: I think that, well right now nobody's (INAUDIBLE) and so I think there needs to be an enforcement effort and it needs to be followed. And I think that one ticket to the Supreme Court, the President will be vindicated and putting forth the executive order and hopefully in will strengthen our national security as we move forward.
JACOBSON: I think this is been shot down every way you look at it, it's been called unconstitutional it's been called a Presidential over read of executive authority and that, of course, it's been called not a travel ban by Sean Spicer, by the Secretary of Homeland Security and then, of course, the President just last week shown himself in the foot calling it a travel ban of course. So I think it's literally been shut down any single sort of way that you look at this issue and so repeatedly Federal Courts have knocked the down, the question is that's going to happen in Supreme Court? That sort of the game changing opportunity for the Trump Presidency and I think they're desperate for a win here, so they're looking to the Supreme Court. It's a real question on whether or not it's going to get shut down or they're going to, you know, move forward with it.
WALKER: What about those tapes we keep hearing about these tapes that President Trump first hinted about, you know, he kind of hinted it there were tapes that were recorded when, you know, if he had these conversations with James Comey. I hear Sean Spicer answering these questions from reporters in the daily briefing today about these potential tapes, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President may clear in the Rose Garden last week that he has an announcement shortly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have any sort of pun on what that announcement will be?
SPICER: When the President ready to make it. I think the President made it clear what his intentions is on Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But is, I mean it's an open question that -
SPICER: I understand that and he said he would answer that question in dear time. He's not waiting for anything when he's ready he just further discusses he will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ashley there are no tapes?
HAYEK: So the wiretaps. The question is did the wiretaps, wiretapped the wiretapper? That's the question on this table.
VAUSE: There are no tapes, right?
JACOBSON: There is no eldest secret service today so they don't have any tapes, I don't think there's any tapes but again it just begs the question of like why Donald Trump continues to rain on his own parade. He's creating these scandals he's creating this controversy and he's diverting attention away from his message which this week apparently supposed to be jobs were not talking about jobs.
WALKER: If there are no tapes Ashley, why not just say there are no tapes or is there are there's evidence that I don't know perhaps Comey lied under oath and why doesn't President Trump just - what is he waiting for? Just turn it over.
HAYEK: You know I think he's just, at this point it's all speculation again it's that he said, he said I think until the testimonies tomorrow we'll get to hear more of what is and what isn't. So there's so much speculation all of this.
JACOBSON: I think we could look back 10 years from now and say this was the final nail that Donald Trump hammered into his own coffin because at the end of the day that is what sprung James Comey to leak the memos essentially to the New York Times and the Washington Pos had he not sent out that Tweet about this so called tape perhaps that would have never happened. And he might not have had a special -
HAYEK: Timeline is totally wrong there sorry.
VAUSE: There are so many nails. Good to have you both with us and of course a big day with Jeff Sessions at the Senate Intelligence Committee. The question of course is what will he answer, what he won't answer and we will see.
WALKER: Will he invoke executive privileges well.
VAUSE: Dave and Ashley thank you for being with us.
JACOBSON: Thank you.
HAYEK: Thank you.
WALKER: All right up next here on the program. Illegal fight over the Trump International hotel could lead to the President being forced to release his tax returns; we'll have the details coming up.
[01:31:24] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker.
The headlines this hour
VAUSE: The cover story for next week's U.S. edition of "Time" magazine is a deep dive into the Trump International Hotel in Washington. They call it "The Swamp Hotel," described as a deal maker's paradise for diplomats, lobbyists and insiders. The story is already online detailing how some foreign governments are especially eager to do business there.
Between October 1 and March 31, lobbyists working on behalf of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia ran up a $270,000 tab on rooms, catering and parking. In December, diplomats from Bahrain shifted that country's nationalist activities to trumps international gilded 13,000 square- foot presidential ballroom. As if on cue, Kuwait moved it's on annual gala in February from the Four Seasons across town to Trump International, even though the former location had already been reserved. The Embassy of Azerbaijan cohosted a Hanukkah party in the hotel's elegant Lincoln Library. And it goes on.
Trump's D.C. hotel is one example in a new lawsuit filed against Donald Trump accusing him of violating parts of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits a U.S. president from accepting payments or benefits from a foreign government. And this suit was brought by attorneys general from the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL RACINE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements or a president who refused to adequately distance themselves from their holdings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: If this all sounds familiar, that's because it is. A similar case was filed earlier this year by a group known as CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, in Washington.
Norm Eisen is the chairman of CREW. He's also the former ethics czar in the Obama administration. He's a CNN contributor.
And now it seems, Norm, a regular almost on NEWSROOM L.A.
And it's good to see you.
NORM EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: John, it's great to be back.
VAUSE: Let's talk about these lawsuits. We talk about the attorneys general from Maryland and D.C. Their lawsuit, in substance, it seems very similar to the lawsuit you and your fellows at CREW brought earlier this year. But it seems that because this latest lawsuit is coming on the behalf of government entities, telling us it has the best chance of actually making it to the Supreme Court. Why is that?
EISEN: Well, John, our Constitution prohibits presidents from doing exactly what Donald Trump is doing, taking cash and other benefits from foreign governments or, for that matter, from our own U.S. states. That Constitution was an original contract with the states and the other sovereign entities of the United States. So who better than a state attorney general to enforce it? Now we like our case that's filed in New York, but this case, there can be no questioning that the state A.G.'s have the constitutional authority to enforce the prohibition on Donald Trump accepting these cash and benefits.
[01:35:24] VAUSE: So you're playing a role in this case being brought by Maryland and the District of Columbia, so could this be the moment, could this be the legal move which actually forces Donald Trump to release his tax returns?
EISEN: Well, the D.C. A.G., the Maryland A.G. will I believe make it past the Motion to Dismiss and get into discovery, and in order to prove the full extent of these foreign and other governmental payments, cash benefits that are coming to Trump, they are going to need to get Donald Trump's taxes. And as their outside counsel, I'm very proud that CREW, the group I chair, and myself, are acting as outside counsel. We're going to need to see those taxes to establish the foreign government cash and benefits. So, yes, I think we will get the taxes in order to prove up our case.
VAUSE: You mentioned getting past the Motion to Dismiss, because that's exactly where you are at right now with the CREW lawsuit. The Trump administration, they want it dismissed because of standing, and they're arguing that there's no particular plaintiff who has alleged injury. Explain what their argument is.
EISEN: Well, it's the same argument the Trump administration makes whenever parties step up and say, Mr. Trump, you're violating the Constitution. Essentially, what they try to do is find a technicality to get the case thrown out. Their arguments do not hold up. Their brief has been condemned, even by those who are somewhat critical of our case, think the government papers are not right. They've gone too far in saying the president can put a "for sale" sign out on the front lawn of the White House and nobody can stop him. Just like in the Muslim ban case, John. Today, they made similar arguments. Today, the Ninth Circuit joined the Fourth Circuit and said, bosh. They threw out the government arguments. The same thing is going to happen in these cases.
VAUSE: White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, he was specifically asked on Monday about the D.C. and Maryland lawsuit. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In the president's interests, as previously discussed, does not violate the Emoluments Clause. It's not hard to conclude that partisan politics may be one of the motivations behind the scenes. The suit was filed by two Democratic attorney generals. The lawyers driving the suit are an advocacy group with partisan ties. (END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: What's your response to that? Is this just about politics?
EISEN: John, it's not. In terms of what he says about our group, it's nonpartisan. As you know, CREW is chaired by myself, the Obama ethics czar, and the vice chair is the George W. Bush ethics czar, from a Republican White House. And these two attorneys general are fine public servants who are standing up for the Constitution. That's what A.G.'s are supposed to do. That's just a distraction technique to get away from the real problem. The Constitution does not allow Donald Trump to hoover in these foreign and other governmental cash pots and benefits from all over the world, as he's doing at the Trump Hotel just a few blocks from the White House. It's forbidden. And the courts are going to take him to task.
VAUSE: Quickly, in the "Time" magazine article, there's a line where they quote a Republican, a senior Republican operative, who basically says, "This is an attempt to gain influence over the demonstration by these foreign governments but it's ineffectual, it doesn't work."
Does that have any play here at all?
EISEN: I disagree with that, John. We've seen with Donald Trump that he is susceptible even to small acts of flattery. So I think when you have the Saudi's spending over a quarter of a million and you have other foreign governments moving events to that hotel -- and this is being replicated in New York City, at Trump Tower, all over the world -- of course, that will have an influence on him, not to mention the Chinese trademarks and the rest that are in our lawsuit. So I think that this matter. And the courts are to have their say.
VAUSE: Norm, we'll leave it there. We're out of time. But thank you so much. Norm Eisen, former ethics czar in the Obama administration, and now a regular on NEWSROOM L.A.
EISEN: Thanks, John. Pleasure to be here.
WALKER: Great conversation.
The state of California has been very vocal in opposition to some of President Trump's policies, including trade, climate change and clean energy. And with the sixth-largest economy in the world, other countries are taking note.
Our Kyung Lah has more.
[01:40:07] JERRY BROWN, (D), CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: We're not opposing for the sake of opposition. I'm opposing to uphold the truth.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The truth, says California's governor, is what drives his opposition to President Trump. Jerry Brown, the head of the most vocal state resisting Trump --
BROWN: Thank you for being here.
LAH: -- now calling open season on the White House withdrawal of the Paris Accord. The governor continuing cooperation in a climate deal with the German government.
UNIDENTIFIED GERMAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: (INAUDIBLE)
LAH: The German environment minister in San Francisco instead of Washington.
BROWN: This is very good that we're here.
LAH: That comes fresh off of a weeklong trip in China where Governor Brown signed green technology agreements, expanded climate deals, and met with President Xi Jinping in what could be mistaken for a visit by a foreign head of state.
(on camera): You're the governor of a state. The president of this country has directed our policy to go a different way.
BROWN: Well, we're in a very unusual unprecedented situation in America. We've never had a president like Donald Trump. In effect, he stands against the world and he won't be able to stand, I don't think, much longer.
LAH (voice-over): Since Trump's election, California has been ground zero for the opposition. The overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature working on a flurry of laws, from one that makes the entire state a sanctuary for immigrants, to proposing its own single- payer health care system.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: California, in many ways, is out of control.
LAH: The president unable to ignore the state's rebellion, pledging to pull federal funds from California if the state doesn't fall in line.
TRUMP: If we have to we'll defund.
XAVIER BECERRA, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you don't get in our way, no problems. You want to get in our way, that's where I come in.
LAH: he is Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, the top cop in the state. Brought in by Governor Brown, in part, because of his two decades in Washington as a congressman, now spending much of his time in his new job filing lawsuits defending California's path away from Washington.
BECERRA: California is a forward-leaning state, and it's worked. We're prepared to resist any effort to diminish the rights of the people of the state of California. LAH: California's leaders leveraging their state's economic heft. In
the last seven years, the world's sixth-largest economy created more jobs than most other states.
(on camera): As powerful as California is, can one state make much of a difference?
BROWN: One state can by getting other states to follow and getting other countries to join in, in this coalition. Yes, if we were isolated, California, all by itself, no, we could have the impact. But we're not isolated.
LAH (voice-over): A battle cry as California leads in the fight ahead.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Sacramento, California.
VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, another top Uber executive hits the road as the ride-sharing company considers changes in its workplace culture.
[01:45:16] WALKER: Uber is expected to announce policy recommendations Tuesday from an independent investigation.
VAUSE: There's a leadership void at the ride-sharing company. It's senior vice president, Emil Michael, seen on the left, quick the company on Monday, and Uber reportedly is considering a leave of absence for it's CEO, Travis Kalanick.
WALKER: Uber has been plagued by accusations that turned a blind eye sexual harassment claims. And former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder conducted the independent investigation.
Ross Gerber joining us now. He is the president and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth Investment and Management.
Thanks for joining us.
ROSS GERBER, CEO, GERBER KAWASAKI WALTH INVESTMENT AND MANAGEMENT: Thanks for having me.
WALKER: This high-profile departure, how surprising is it, considering a lot of controversy that Emil Michael has surrounding himself with, crises that Uber continues to deal with?
GERBER: This are like -- it's like a case study for business ethics of everything you could possibly do wrong at a company. So it's almost like the entire senior ranks have been cleared out and many of the mid-level managers, too. You're talking about a company with actually no leadership at all. And the CEO is dealing with personal tragedy right now. Because he has control of the company, he has singular control of the company, which really is a shareholders' rights issue, in the way that he was able to raise money without any accountability, he really decides the fate of Uber and himself. So this is a big problem for the company.
WALKER: So there's no board of management --
GERBER: Well, there's a board but it's controlled by him, 100 percent. So that's why it's drifting like it is. Uber should be sold to another company as soon as possible for whatever they can get, because it's a valuable platform but it needs an entire new management.
VAUSE: I think we're going to disagree on this. You look at Uber and the structures it is right now and it looks like kind of a Ponzi scheme, because this is a staggeringly unprofitable company right now. It's burning through $1 billion every quarter. You say it's got $70 billion on cash, which is --
VAUSE: -- a billion and a quarter. That only lasts so long. And it also, it wasn't actually profitable. The fares, which they charge, would have to quadruple. So this is not a business model that's sustainable. When I look at Uber, I think Blackberry, great idea, market leader, terrible management, the whole thing went kaput.
GERBER: I think the premise of what you're saying is true but you can say that about a lot of companies. You have to understand the difference between investing and earning capital to make those investments, like charging less for rides to build up your ridership, which they've done, and what the actual cost of a ride. Really, what is -- it's not a Ponzi scheme. It's a business that loses money. And you can make money, it just has to raise its fares, for example.
VAUSE: But --
GERBER: But we would all still use Uber. And that's the mistakes that Uber management is making right now, is by not raising fears, they think they need to compete. But people are using Uber and they're going to keep using Uber, even if it's a little bit more expensive. And it can be a very profitable company if run correctly.
VAUSE: But my point about the Ponzi scheme, it needs more venture capital to keep coming into the ground floor, otherwise the whole thing collapses.
GERBER: I think they could be cash-flow positive within a year, like if I was running it, for example. And I'm certainly available. But, no, I think that Uber has built an incredible transportation platform that's worth tens of billions of dollars, and somebody should buy this company. And I think a possible buyer would be a software company or somebody. But you need to have somebody that can put management in and immediately change the culture and immediately change the direction and business strategy to a profitable model. And I think that can be done.
WALKER: But how do you change the culture when you have Travis Kalanick at the helm and --
WALKER: -- and everything else. I mean, you think he would be willing to resign amidst all these problems?
GERBER: If he's smart, that's what he does, because he does what's best for the company, he's made a fortune, and he's going through a very hard time, and he has to -- sometimes you move on. And it's a smart thing to do. But it's also an incredibly difficult thing to do as a founder. So I don't know if he has that maturity level to make that right decision at this point in his life. So we'll see as he fights to hold on. And this is going to be an interesting battle and one definitely worth watching as this goes on, I think.
WALKER: Ross Gerber, thanks so much for being here.
VAUSE: They're looking for somebody maybe a management position.
GERBER: Yeah, well, Twitter is, too.
VAUSE: Thanks, Ross.
[01:49:39] WALKER: All right, up next on CNN NEWSROOM, many actors fly high as superheroes but then they tumble when taking on roles in other types of films. Is there a superhero curse? We'll discuss, next.
[01:51:27] VAUSE: For the second time in three years, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions. They beat Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 129 to 120 Monday night, gave five of the NBA finals.
WALKER: It's the third straight year these teams have faced each other in the finals. This time around, the Warriors' superstar Kevin Durant, who joined the teach last summer, seeking his first title, and he was also named final's most valuable player.
VAUSE: To the world, he is Marvel's Captain America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACTOR: Final warning. I could do this all day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Now actor Chris Evans has a new film out, called "Gifted."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (MUSIC)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: They're not really blockbuster material, I'd say.
WALKER: Chris is not the only actor whose career has struggled after starring as a superhero.
VAUSE: Lifetime movie of the week.
Sandro Monetti joins us.
SANDRO MONETTI, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Sorry, I fall asleep --
MONETTI: I've seen the whole movie. It doesn't get better than that. Yeah.
VAUSE: Robert Downey Jr, a dream runner as Spiderman. What has he done since "Spiderman?" This is a problem these guys are facing. In a recent interview, Chris Evans said he was initially reluctant to sign on for Marvel movies "because, if things worked out, I'd have to do all six of them. And at the time, that was the most terrifying aspect of it, that is was going to be so dominating, all encompassing." And he's right. The audience can't accept anybody in another role.
MONETTI: It's because of the cape. And casting directors because they are so identified in people's minds with these huge characters. But I think they should stop complaining. Just enjoy the success.
MONETTI: Remember, unemployment rates among actors is 97%.
MONETTI: No, that's the figure from the Screen Actors Guild.
WALKER: Is there something they can do to recover from this superhero curse, to they're not typecast into this one role? MONETTI: Only take a superhero role when you have a well-established career. If you look at people like Chris Henworth (ph), who plays Thor, and Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, they didn't have the well-established careers beforehand than, say, Robert Downy Jr did going into it. So it's a message for all actors, yes, you can chase the stardom and the money but you've got to think strategically, think down the line. And if you want to be more than just a cape, then establish your acting credentials first.
VAUSE: With that in mind, playing a superhero does not have to be a career killer, even when that movie, without a doubt, is one of the worst movies ever made. Full stop. Period. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (INAUDIBLE)
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I'm Batman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: George Clooney playing Batman with nipples. How did he survive that movie? Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger there as well. As you say, they had a good body of work before that.
MONETTI: George Clooney only keeps one film poster in his office. It's the poster of "Batman and Robin." It reminds him, never go there again.
MONETTI: Yes, so it is a lesson. You can learn a lot from George Clooney.
VAUSE: Arnold Schwarzenegger as well.
MONETTI: You won't get --
[01:55:00] VAUSE: Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling, they were never cast as superheroes and we've seen their careers flourish.
MONETTI: Yes, those actors have a freedom. Now they have been offered every superhero role you can imagine.
VAUSE: -- DiCaprio?
MONETTI: Of course. Why not.
VAUSE: Can you see Leonardo DiCaprio as Superman, seriously?
VAUSE: Maybe Robin.
WALKER: I think he'd have to be a bit more manly looking to take --
MONETTI: The fact is that Ryan and Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon have been offered every single superhero movie, but they've turned them down. They've thought strategically. As a result, they are able to take a whole range of roles. Look at Ryan Gosling. He's gone from "La La Land" to "Blade Runner." That's the kind of versatility that actors die for. He hasn't -
WALKER: I loved him in "The Notebook." That was great.
VAUSE: Oh, my gosh.
WALKER: Yes, I must confess.
VAUSE: These actors, especially these big names, walking from the choice, hate the money because these films earn a boatload of cash, or don't do it and you can have a very fulfilling career.
MONETTI: You can get opportunities by taking the money. Chris Evans got to direct his first film a couple of years ago. I doubt he would have got that opportunity that early if it wasn't for -- it also gives you market value for future movies as well, because you all well- established. My feeling is that they have opportunities and typecasting, yes, it can be curse, but it can also be an opportunity in foreign markets. So stop complaining.
VAUSE: It's also not the only curse. Christopher Reeves playing Superman, not only was he typecast, but there was the ongoing of the Superman curse. All those people face that.
MONETTI: But Ben Affleck has managed to thrive. He played Superman.
(CROSSTALK) MONETTI: He was also "Daredevil" and he's also "Batman." So he's been a superhero three times and he seems to have bounced back. So it's not the same for everybody. There's an exception to ever rule.
WALKER: A huge actor and now a cruise ship singer.
VAUSE: Sandro, that's for joining us.
MONETTI: Fantastic. Highly rated. The women can save us.
WALKER: All about girl power.
MONETTI: That's right.
WALKER: Sandro Monetti, thank you very much.
Got to check out your superpowers next.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Amara Walker.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause.
Stay with us. More news after a very short break.
[02:00:08] VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.