Return to Transcripts main page


Trump In "A Dangerous Place"; U.S. Tests Missile Interceptor; Police: No Alcohol In Tiger Woods' System. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 31, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, a source close to Donald Trump says the President is now in a dangerous place as accusations against his administration continue to pile up.

SESAY: Plus, they say it's like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet. The U.S. tests its new missile interceptor at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea.

VAUSE: And police said that Tiger Woods had no alcohol in his system when he was arrested for DUI, but the golf star's legal troubles are still far from over.

SESAY: Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. This is now the second NEWSROOM L.A. The White House is calling it another round of false and unverified claims meant to smear the President.

SESAY: That also tells CNN; Russian officials discuss having potentially, derogatory information about Donald Trump and some of his top aides during the 2016 campaign. We get the details now from Jessica Schneider.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The conversations were picked up by U.S. intelligence and showed that the Russians believed they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information. But the sources warned the Russian claims could have been exaggerated or even made up as part of the disinformation campaign they carried out throughout the election. Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said the Intelligence Agencies were monitoring many conversations between Russian officials.

JAMES CLAPPER, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORMER DIRECTOR: I will just say that there were a series of communications and dialogues that we grew - I say we, members of the Intelligence Community were aware of this, we're very concerned about.

SCHNEIDER: This as the White House fends off questions about reports that Jared Kushner pursued a secret communication channel with Russian officials. The FBI is now scrutinizing the meetings between Kushner and Russians, according to U.S. official. On December 1st, Kushner met with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower. In mid- December, Kislyak told Kushner to meet with the Chairman of the U.S. Sanction VEB Bank, Sergey Gorkov, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

When the meeting was disclosed in March, VEB said the meeting part of a "business road show." The White House instead, insisted it was part of Kushner's role during the transition. Now, sources defending Kushner saying his meetings with Ambassador Kislyak was to discuss military strategy in Syria, and the talks involved former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

SEAN SPICER, PRESS SECRETARY: You're asking if he approves of an action that is not a confirmed action. That being said, I think Secretary Kelly and General McMaster have both discussed, in general terms, back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy.

SCHNEIDER: It's still unclear whether President Trump knew Kushner was establishing that secret channel.

SPICER: I'm going to get into what the President did or did not discuss.

SCHNEIDER: Senator John McCain said, either way, the secret communications weren't appropriate.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: My view of it is, I don't like it. I just don't - I know that some administration officials are saying, well, that's standard procedure. I don't think it's standard procedure prior to the inauguration of the President of the United States, by someone who is not in an appointed position.

SCHNEIDER: Reuters reports that Kushner also had two previously undisclosed phone calls with Russian Ambassador, Kislyak, in April and November 2016. Reuters got information about the call from seven current and former U.S. officials. But Kushner's attorney countered in a statement: "Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period. He has no recollection of the calls as described. We have asked Reuters for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received the information."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is refusing to cooperate with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees which called on him to hand over information and appear. Cohen called the request "poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered." Cohen is the second Trump associate to deny a request from Congressional investigators. Michael Flynn refused to comply reply with a Senate subpoena and House request last week through his lawyer.


VAUSE: Since Jessica Schneider filed that report, a source close to Michael Flynn has told CNN that Flynn will provide some documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee beginning June 6th. SESAY: Meanwhile, Trump attendee: Michael Cohen says he will comply

with Senate investigative if he's subpoenaed. Well, joining us now here in L.A.: Democratic Strategist, Matthew Littman; and CNN Political Commentator, John Phillips, a Trump Supporter and Talk Radio Host.

VAUSE: And from Tucson, Arizona, CNN National Security Analyst and Retired C.A. Chief of Russia Operations, Steve Hall. Good to have all of you with us, especially, you Steve Hall - a night like this when there's so much to talk about, and we need sort of clarity about what's actually going on, you know, in Russia. So, let's start with what we're hearing from the Russia operatives - apparently, having this derogatory information which could be used as leverage over the Trump administration at some point. When you hear this, do you think this is genuine, do you think this is actually something real or is it a false claim by the Russians in an attempt to distract - disinformation?

[01:05:26] STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST (via Skype): Well, like so many other different data points that come up with that lead back from the Trump administration or the Trump campaign to Russia, there is some stuff that initially seems to be valid, and then there are some questions. There's no doubt that the Russian - specifically, the Russian Intelligence Services would be looking inside the Trump campaign to try to find out if there are people in there who they can suborn, so they can recruit as their agents. This will not just be for the Trump campaign, this would be other places in the - senior places in the U.S. government as well.

So, that part rings true, they would certainly be doing that. The question though is why they would then be taunting about it? If the United States intercepted those calls, you know, that doesn't a whole lot of sense as to why you would be discussing it. So, there seems to be some truth there; it makes a lot of sense, but then again, you would want to be a lot more clandestine about it and not be talking about it over phone lines - where you know it's going to be picked up by American intelligence.

SESAY: And Matt, I've got to ask you. These reports about - these Russian conversations; how do they change your understanding of what we've known today about Russian meddling, and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign?

MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's interesting because a lot of people have been saying that this is really a financial issue, it goes back to the financial ties between, maybe Kushner and Russia, and Trump and Russia. And the news that seems to be coming out lately is more about financial ties than anything else. Kushner meeting with the Russian banker, what's the reason to meet a banker unless it's about financial stuff? So, I think that this is really going down a pretty dark path for the Trump administration.

The other thing you have to think is the fact that the Trump administration has not hired in for many, many of the jobs in the administration. You just have to ask, who's going to want to go work in this administration now given all of this stuff that's going on there? If you have a conversation with somebody in the hallway, you're going to have to hire a lawyer. I mean, it's going to be very tough to get people work in this administration.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICA COMMENTATOR AND TRUMP SUPPORTER: I'd love to know what damaging information the Russians have on Donald Trump that they're holding over his head like a sword of Damocles. Is that him telling Billy Bush that he kidnapped the Lindbergh baby? I mean, what at this point can they do? This guy is totally bulletproof. Look, I think people are looking into this, and they're reading whatever it is that they want to read.

Liberals look at this, and they see lots of smoke and lots of collusion with Russia. They've produced no evidence, but that's what they want to see. I look at it, and I see the same guy who just went to NATO and said, "We need to update what NATO is about to protect the West against radical Islamic terrorism." And he sees Russia, and he sees countries that are former enemies of the United States as potential allies in the war against radical Islamic terrorism.

VAUSE: So, you're part of the 36 percent. OK. White House Spokesman, Sean Spicer, had a press briefing on Tuesday; this is the first in 15 days; widely anticipated. First question, right off the bat, did the President know his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to establish a private direct line of communication with Russia back in December? This is how Spicer answered that.


SPICER: If Mr. Kushner's attorney has said that, Mr. Kushner's volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings and he will do the same if he's contacted in - or connected with any other inquiry.


VAUSE: So John, Spicer, he was - you know, reading the answer, he was very cautious, he only seemed hesitant, looked almost like he'd been, you know, advised by a lawyer of exactly what to say. And seriously, that's the best response we've got to this at this point?

PHILLIPS: Well, look - I mean I'm a big believer that you shouldn't hire relatives. I'm against nepotism, and I would prefer that Jared Kushner be some place outside of the West Wing of the White House. But again, to go back to the big allegation that's been made against the Trump administration, it's all about collusion. Well, this was after the election; this was in December, so this wasn't anything that was going down before the November vote.

I would also add, that this was back when President Obama was still in charge with his very partisan Department of Justice, very partisan executive branch, and they were in charge of the investigation. They investigated this thing for over a half a year, including at least a month after this alleged meeting took place and they came up with bupkis.

SESAY: The meeting took place in December. LITTMAN: The meeting took place in December before Trump came in into

the presidency-

PHILLIPS: But still, Obama was in office.

SESAY: Yes, as I was saying.

LITTMAN: Well, but the interesting thing was Kushner meeting with the banker because he wanted sanctions removed to get more money because Kushner needed money for his properties? I mean, that's really what's going on here. Things come out every day; investigations take a long time, they could take years.

SESAY: And to that point, to that point about investigations taking a long time - this is a White House made up of factions as we understand it. How long before Kushner's cloud in the oval office start to ebb away?

[01:10:03] LITTMAN: Yes. I mean, it's hard for me to believe at this point that people I in the oval office are going to feel comfortable talking to Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner is a huge portfolio, right? But is he actually getting anything done in those areas? Not really, but he is operating - in some ways - as a co-Secretary of State. At some point, that's going to have to change. I think people who work within the White House can't trust him.

Now, let me just go back to Sean Spicer and what he was doing for one second. Sean Spicer knows people are interviewing for his job all the time. I mean, its public that is interviewing for his job. At this point, you could see a change in Sean Spicer - the way he's answering questions.

VAUSE: I wanted Steve back in this - into the conversation. Steve, the lineup until Tuesday from senior officials - back channel communications are a good thing, nothing to see here, Jared Kushner was doing nothing out of the ordinary. But in the traditional sense of what a backchannel communication really is, is that what Kushner was doing? I mean, he was meaning not just with the Russian Ambassador, but the CEO of the state-owned bank which is under sanctions - the Russian state-owned bank under U.S. sanctions.

HALL: The phrase "back channel" has been sort of thrown about, tossed about; it can mean a lot of different things. And you know, it's the kind of - this interpretation is, OK, this administration was trying to get a jump before it was inaugurated and just reaching out. But you know, I'd to go back to this whole idea that, you know, the reason that they had to go secretly to Kislyak, to the Ambassador, and maybe even that the reporting is correct is - proposed some sort of visit to the Russian embassy is because the Obama administration, the United States government was looking so closely. That's ludicrous when you think about it, right?

I mean what it means is the incoming administration decides to go to an adversarial nation, to Russia, those inside their embassy to use their communications, so that the elected American government doesn't know about it? If that's not illegal - and I'm a lawyer - but if that's illegal, it certainly should be. I mean, that's - the idea of doing that is a response to some sort of investigation or to try to keep this from a sort of deep state which is also another crack. You know, it's ludicrous. You just never do that - I can tell you, the Russians wouldn't permit it either because the Russians don't want an American sitting in front of, you know, their sense of communications gear.

Ambassador Kislyak, probably, correctly said - look, I'm happy to relay whatever you want back to Moscow, and so that would be sort of a back channel or a private communication before the inauguration. But the idea of that you would go into an embassy to do that is just outrageous.

SESAY: So, that being said, Steve, what more can you tell us about this Sergey Gorkov and his bank?

HALL: Yes. Gorkov - personally, he's a former intelligence officer. He went to the (INAUDIBLE), the Russian Internal Service School. You know what do that is like, you know, (INAUDIBLE) because you're going to be an intelligence officer. So, he and Putin have that tie. He's also an oligarch; he's a rich guy in Russia and given power by the Kremlin, so he does have connectivity back to Moscow and to the Kremlin. His bank, we know, was used for intelligence purposes when you had basically a Russian (INAUDIBLE) who was covered out of that bank. So, there are a lot of really interesting ties, and you know, again, the idea that somebody like Kushner would be in touch with this bank - you do have to ask the question of: was it for political reasons to try to get some sort of message back to Kremlin? Or might there have been business ties? But frankly, I think is - these strums are a conflict of interest. Perspective is probably something that ought to be looked at more carefully than just using it as a kind of a back to Moscow.

VAUSE: OK. Well, clearly, the drip, drip, drip - the day of drip, drip, drip, of the Russia investigations and the White House leaks is now getting to the President; taking a toll emotionally and physically. Apparently, our Gloria Borger has some reporting on what exactly what the President is going through by now. Listen to this.


GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I was told by more than one friend of his that he not only is glum, but seems to be withdrawing, and that's not a really good place for Donald Trump to be. That he has less and less faith in people who work for him, and his outside friends are more and more critical, I think, of the staff inside the White House.


VAUSE: OK. And even his tweeting is taking a toll; how about a tweet that came out about an hour or so ago from the President? Keep in mind it's six minutes past 12 on the East Coast when the President tweeted this out: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe." So, Matt, clearly, you know- LITTMAN: You know that's my password: "covfefe." Listen, you know, Donald Trump, if the problem is not the staff - and people are telling the problem is staff, they're wrong. The problem is Donald Trump. Donald Trump does not have the knowledge for this job; he doesn't have the temperament for this job. And the question is: how does this all end? Are we going to go through four years of this?

[01:14:47] PHILLIPS: All of my liberal friends always told me for months, and months, and months, the only people Donald Trump hangs out with their other billionaires. Now, it turns out, apparently, all he hangs out with through language experts who were determining his mental state based on how he reacts to them. Look, I mean, there is obviously a leaking problem within the White House, and that needs to be rooted out. We saw the Communications Director of the White House depart today; I think that maybe a good sign at preventing future leaks. And I suspect there might be more people to follow.

[01:15:18] LITTMAN: That's not a good sign.

SESAY: Let me read you the response from the White House. They say they are pushing back against the reporting and they put out the statement, let's read it for you. "President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate -

VAUSE: Unparallel. I'm sorry unparalleled here

SESAY: Unparalleled ability to communicate with people whether he's speaking to a room or three or an arena 30,000. He built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He's brilliant with a great sense of humor and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspires to be more than they ever thought possible.

LITTMAN: Signed John Miller, right? Remember John Miller he's fake, there's no way the hope actually wrote that, right? No, come on. I think that if you work in the Trump administration right now, it's very depressing. They can't get anything done Trump himself is withdrawing, he's not even - not only is he withdrawing from people he can't even walk. When they were in Sicily he would get in the golf cart when he walked with the other leaders in Sicily, he won't walk up the steps in the White House. He has a button for his Coca-Cola. I mean this is how lazy this guy is becoming.

PHILLIPS: He was fantastic at NATO, he was fantastic on this trip. I trust my lying eyes above those body language experts any day of the week.

VAUSE: OK and on that note.

SESAY: Use positive energy.

VAUSE: It does sounds like something out of North Korean state media. OK, John and Matt, Icy thanks so much. Appreciate it.

SESAY: Thank you very much. All right want to get to this word just coming into us at CNN of a huge explosion in Afghanistan's capital. The government spokesman said the suicide attack happened near the German embassy in Kabul.

VAUSE: At least 67 people had been hurt and been taken to hospitals, no claim of responsibility so far, but we will keep you updated as more information comes to us here at CNN.

SESAY: More next on NEWSROOM L.A. after several missile launches from North Korea, the U.S. could have an answer for those threats a missile interceptor.

VAUSE: Also trouble for Tiger Woods while his DUI arrest might need for the embattled golfer's future, that's later this hour stay with us.


SESAY: Hello everyone. This news just in to us of a huge explosion in Afghanistan capital, we want to get the very latest on the sequel. Well hoping to get someone from the scene, a journalist there to tell us more but he is a - we're trying to establish contact we don't have him yet but we'll bring him to you.

VAUSE: This happened outside the German Embassy and what we're been hearing 67 people have been hurt.

SESAY: And no claim responsibility so far.

VAUSE: A chaotic moment phone lines and communications out at Kabul, difficult at the best of times right now. Clearly harder now than you thought, so as soon as we get our journalist on the scene, we'll bring it to you.

SESAY: All right now, the U.S. military said it successfully shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. Tuesday's launch was the first live-fire test of the upgraded interceptor. VAUSE: As Brian Todd reports it follows a flurry of North Korean

missile launches and as seen as a test of the U.S. ability to counter an attack.


[01:20:24] BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. official say it's like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet. The U.S. military attempted an exceptionally difficult missile interception, it's first ever to shot down a model of a long range intercontinental ballistic missile in a test taking place over the Pacific Ocean. A mock enemy ICBM fired from the Marshall Islands was targeted by an interceptor fired from an underground silo in Vandenberg Air Force Base north of Santa Barbara. U.S. officials say the interceptor hit its target the takes couldn't be higher.

How much pressure are they under to make this work?

KINGSTON REIF, DISARMAMENT AND THREAT REDUCTION POLICY AT THE ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR: So this is a very crucial test for the Pentagon and for the missile defense agency. North Korea is working on development of intercontinental ballistic missile that would be designed to target and hit the United States.

TODD: Adding to the pressure, the U.S. military's spotty track record in this test. In a little over a decade, only about half the interceptor have hit their targets and three of the previous four tests failed. Critics say the interceptors based in California and Alaska were rushed into deployment and have had several mechanical problems.

REIF: Sometimes the kill vehicle did not separate from the rest of the interceptor and a times there have also been problems with the kill vehicle itself.

TODD: The interceptor test comes as Kim Jong-un crows about a missile his regime test-fired this week. Which it claims has new in-flight guidance system to make more accurate.

VICTOR CHA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: North Korea is on the missile testing warpath right now.

TODD: A borage of about a dozen missile test fired by Kim just this year and now he's regime in an announcement, brags that Kim is preparing to send a quote bigger gift package to the Yankees. Senator John McCain tells an Australian broadcaster he is not confident in America's missile defense systems to counter the North Korean threat.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I don't think that it's acceptable for the United States of America to have an intercontinental ballistic missile where a missile aimed at Australia with a nuclear weapon on it and depend on our ability to counter it with an anti-missile capability.

TODD: A key question now, what are the alternatives to these flawed missile interceptors?

CHA: In addition to missile defense, you have so called left of launch cyber capabilities they were designed to hack North Korea's rocket systems. You also have preemption the possibility of a preemptive attack on the missile on North Korean missile launch pads or on their missiles themselves.

TODD: Analysts say that is the most risky option that it could provoke Kim Jong-un to turn his guns on Seoul or on the roughly 28,000 Americans troops in South Korea. Experts say the U.S. might launch a preemptive strike military strike on North Korea only if it became convinced that Kim Jong-un was about to fire a missile as an act of war and not just test one. Brian Todd CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Go back down to Kabul, Afghanistan (INAUDIBLE) journalist in the Afghan capital joins us now on the line with more details on a huge explosion not far from the German Embassy. Are you in the scene there as you may see what can you see? What's the very latest? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well everything here is pretty quite obvious at

the scene police had closed off the area around the place. That's an area of a couple hundred meters. But even down here people have sweeping off the broken glass from the windows that have been shattered and people are searching outside. (INAUDIBLE) that affects the damage, but things are pretty chaotic.

SESAY: Suni, we're having a little trouble understanding what you are saying. A poor connection understandable under these conditions chaotic there in Afghanistan with this blast. We appreciate you joining us on the line Suni Angerolrasusan joining us there on the line from Kabul. After a massive explosion, a suicide attack near the German Embassy at least 67 people wounded. We're working to get you more information and we'll bring it you as soon as it comes into us here at CNN.

All right moving on the U.S. military is also arming Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in Syria, the U.S. is providing small arms, ammunition, and vehicles but the move is likely to anger a key ally in the region Turkey. Let's go to our Ian Lee who joins us from Istanbul with more. Ian basic question the first one has there been any response from Turkey?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Isha, Turkey has been against this announcement from the very beginning when it was first made. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with U.S. President Trump about this expressing his displeasure for the Turks. They see the YPG one of the main fighting forces in the U.S. collision against ISIS in Syria as a terrorist organization and Turkey has said that you don't fight one terrorist organization with another terrorist organization. And their real fear is that those weapons that the U.S. supplies to the YPG to the STF could find their way to the hands of the PKK, which is a Kurdish group inside Turkey that is currently fighting some Turkish security forces.

[01:25:47] SESAY: Ian will the Turkish response go beyond words do we expect a change in their military engagement in the Syrian conflict?

LEE: Well Isha, Turkey has always reserved the right to defend its national interests and its national security and they have carried out air strikes before in northern Iraq and northern Syria. They say that their main concern is that this thing this weapons transfer could really threaten the security, the national security of Turkey. So it really is uncertain whether they'll make that move. In the past, the U.S. has put troops along the border where Turkish troops and the YPG have been placed to kind of deter any sort of engagement between the Turks and the YPG, but there is tensions between the two groups.

SESAY: All right Ian Lee joining us there from Istanbul, Turkey. Ian thank you so much.

VAUSE: Manchester police have released three men who were taken into custody in connection with last week's deadly terror attack, they were released without charge.

SESAY: On Tuesday authorities once again stressed the importance of finding this blue suitcase, they're asking anyone to come forward who may have seen the suicide bomber Salman Abedi with that case, they say it's different from the bag he carried during the bombing.

VAUSE: Well the pop star Ariana Grande will return to Manchester on Sunday. The headline a benefit cause concert for the victims of the attack, she's bringing some her famous friends.

SESAY: Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay and more will perform all proceeds will go to the victims and their families.

VAUSE: And while in Burnage, Manchester are in took to the stage Tuesday night it was epic. Former OASIS frontman Liam Gallagher perform the benefit concert in his hometown eight days after the attack.

SESAY: And the show solidity the crowd belted out the band hit song "Don't Look Back In Anger"




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back, everybody. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay with the headlines this hour.


VAUSE: Police say Tiger Woods' car had fresh damage and flat tires when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was found asleep at the wheel early Monday in Florida on the side of the road with the car running.

But police say Woods blew 0.00 on a breathalyzer test.

SESAY: Well, that would support his claim that he wasn't drinking. Woods said he had a bad reaction to prescription drugs but it still might not protect him in the eyes of the law.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus offered some kind words for his friend.


JACK NICKLAUS, PRO GOLFER: Obviously I don't really know what happened or what went on (INAUDIBLE) but I feel bad for Tiger. Tiger is a friend. He has been great for the game of golf. And I think he needs all our help and we wish him well. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Criminal defense attorney Trey Slaten (ph) joins us here now for more on this. We now know a little bit more from the police report and it does back up the statement that Woods put out last night that this was because of medication and not alcohol. But under Florida law it could be alcohol, illegal drugs or medication. It doesn't really matter, does it?

TREY SLATEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Under Florida law, you can be charged with a DUI whether you were driving the vehicle or whether you just had operational control of the vehicle and you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs -- whether they be prescription or illegal drugs -- or a combination of both.

We know that Tiger blew 0.0 on a breathalyzer test, also a urinalysis that he gave apparently showed negative for alcohol. But drugs is going to be the issue.

VAUSE: Describe the control of the vehicle.

Does that mean having a key in the ignition, the key in your pocket, asleep in the front seat, which it sounds like this was the case.

So (INAUDIBLE) he was in control?

SLATEN: When we are talking about somewhere like here in California, you actually have to be driving the vehicle. There has to be volitional movement to the vehicle.

In Florida, you can be in the back seat of the car with the keys out of the ignition and the car off and as long as you could control the vehicle --


VAUSE: That's tough.

SLATEN: -- that's a DUI. But apparently he was asleep at the wheel, the engine was going, he had his foot on the brakes, the blinker was going --

VAUSE: I thought it was in the middle of the road. I'm not sure where the car was; that seems to be one point which is unclear.

If you look at the statement that Woods made last night, part of it read, "I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions."

At this point, that would seem to indicate that he is not going to fight this (INAUDIBLE) some kind of plea deal.

SLATEN: That's what it looks like at this point. And in Florida, a disposition -- that means what your punishment would be when you are convicted of DUI -- is pretty standard. He is going to get -- if he accepts responsibility and pleads guilty or no contest --

VAUSE: Will this save, in effect, future proceedings in a court? SLATEN: Well, he didn't really admit guilt. One of the things that will be interesting is with regard to urine analysis, it's not as good as blood. It will tell what he had in his body at some point in the past.

But there is a real difficult way to tell what the timeline is when you are doing a urinalysis.

VAUSE: So that the penalty in Florida for drugs, medication and alcohol...

SLATEN: It could be a $500 fine up to about $1,000. He is not likely to do any jail time.

VAUSE: Can he plead this down to reckless driving?

SLATEN: It's possible.

VAUSE: OK. Anything's possible.



Some of the --


VAUSE: -- details in the police report about the damage to Woods' car, both rims on the driver's side of the vehicle were damaged, both tires on the side were flat. There was damage to the driver's side bumper area with white scrapes and stuffs on the rear bumper and the rear taillight was not working. Woods fell asleep during his encounter with police, clearly something happened before the law enforcement arrived.

How does all this play into his legal trouble?

SLATEN: There is no evidence that he was in some sort of hit-and-run accident. There is some damage to the vehicle; we don't know when it happened. There's no other parties that have stepped forward at this point that said Tiger Woods crashed into me or we saw him crash into our house or a parked car. There's no evidence of that.

So at this point, he is just being charged with unlawfully parking and the DUI.

VAUSE: One of those is more serious than the other. On a plus side, the report says he was cooperative.

Does that play in any way into getting a plea deal?

SLATEN: The prosecutors are human. When they look about what type of disposition that they will offer on a case like this, they want to see was the person cooperative, were they nice, did they put up a fight, did they try to battle the police officer at the point of arrest? None of that happened here.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) there were some reports early on that he was arrogant in dealing with the police. Clearly that wasn't the case.

Bigger picture here, how could something like this impact his sponsors?

He's got a deal with Nike, for instance, I think worth $20 million. You would imagine there's a morals clause in those deals, right?

SLATEN: Absolutely. And every single contract that a sponsor has, especially of a big athlete, there is a morals clause. And this will give them a way out if they want to get out. So they have to make a determination whether they think that Tiger Woods can still be a valuable asset.

VAUSE: Do they have a timeframe on that decision?

Or can they pull the trigger anytime?

SLATEN: I think they can do it at any time.

If Tiger Woods is going to do something that is going to bring disrepute to the brand, then they can cut him loose.

VAUSE: So it's very important how he handles it and rehabilitates his image from this point on.

Trey, thanks for coming in.

SLATEN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Appreciate it.

SESAY: The U.K. Labour Party has been gaining ground on Prime Minister Theresa May's (INAUDIBLE) in recent polls. But with just eight days to go until the election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made a pretty big gaffe that could hurt the momentum.

In an interview with the BBC, Corbyn couldn't answer a question about the cost of a child care policy he was there to promote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me understand, then.

How much will it cost to provide un-means-tested child care for 1.3 million children?

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: It will cost -- it will obviously cost a lot to do so. We accept that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I presume you have the figures.

CORBYN: Yes, I do. We'll -- it does cost a lot to do it. The point I'm trying to make is that we're making it universal so that we are in a position to make sure that every child gets it and those that can, at the moment, get free places will continue to get them. Those that have to pay won't and we'll collect the money through taxation, mainly through corporate taxation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how much will it cost?

CORBYN: I will give you the figure in a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are logging into your iPad there. You've announced a major policy and don't know how much it will cost?


VAUSE: Well, an hour later, Corbyn clarified the cost of the program in an online Q&A session, saying it could exceed $6 billion a year.

VAUSE: Coming up, chaos in the courtroom, the man accused of stabbing three men on a Portland train goes on a verbal tirade in court. His message to what he calls enemies of America is next.





SESAY: The suspect in the deadly train stabbing in Portland, Oregon, went on a loud courtroom rant on Tuesday. Jeremy Christian is accused of killing two men who came to the defense of two teenagers on a commuter train.

VAUSE: Police say Christian was shouting racial slurs at the pair, one of whom was Muslim. Dan Simon now has the latest.


JEREMY CHRISTIAN, STABBING SUSPECT: Free speech or die, Portland.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty-five-year-old Jeremy Christian launching into a verbal tirade at what was supposed to be a routine court hearing in Portland. He didn't specifically acknowledge the stabbings but the message was clear: no remorse.

CHRISTIAN: Death to the enemies of America. You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism.

You hear me?

Die. SIMON (voice-over): It was Friday night at the height of rush hour, when Christian began yelling anti-Muslim epithets at two women, including one wearing a hijab.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia. And he told us that we shouldn't be here and to get out of his country.

SIMON (voice-over): Fifty-three-year-old Ricky Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche confronted the hate-spewing assailant. That's when Christian pulled out a knife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just started stabbing people and there was just blood everywhere. And we just started running for our lives.

SIMON (voice-over): Best, a father of four and Army veteran, and Meche, a recent college graduate, were both killed. A third victim, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, survived and is being treated for serious injuries.

On a train the very night before, a woman was so alarmed by Christian's behavior, she began recording on her cell phone.

CHRISTIAN: Oh, it looks like we have a Christian or a Muslim (INAUDIBLE) bus driver. I'll stab you, too.

SIMON (voice-over): Christian's Facebook page also shows a fondness for Nazism and white supremacy.

President Trump condemned the attacks yesterday on Twitter, notably from the official White House account, not his personal one.

"The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are with them."

To his critics, it came two days too late, who know the president had time to tweet about fake news before weighing in on the stabbings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not my job here as the mayor of Portland to wordsmith for the president but I will tell you this, the country needs his leadership on these issues.

SIMON (voice-over): Portland's mayor is also concerned about an upcoming, quote, "Trump free speech rally," with the community still reeling, he is urging organizers to cancel the event, saying these kinds of rallies have the potential for bloodshed, like past events in Portland and Berkeley, when groups from the far right and far left violently clashed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just trying to keep a lid on this. We want everything to be as safe as possible for everybody.

SIMON: By all accounts, the rally is still going to happen on Sunday and here's why the mayor is so concerned. These rallies tend to attract people from the alt-right and some have begun to associate the suspect as a member of the alt-right. Now throw in some left-wing anarchists and you have the potential for a very toxic environment -- Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


SESAY: Joining me now is the communications director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Edina Lekovic (ph).

Edina, thank you for joining us. Always good to have you with us.

Following these tragic events in Portland, Robert McCall (ph), who's a top official with the Council on American Islamic Relations, was quoted as saying this, let's put it up on the screen.

"The president contextualizes Muslims as foreigners and as national security threats and seems his hostility toward American Muslims is promoting this narrative of hate that led to the stabbings in Oregon."

Do you see what happened in Portland as in that same context, as a climate of hate that in McCall's (ph) view, is propagated by the president?

EDINA LEKOVIC (PH), MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: The climate is certainly there. And it's not just a matter of opinion. It's a matter of fact. If you look at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is documenting hate groups and hate crimes and hate incidents all over the country, they are seeing an unprecedented spike in the amount of white nationalist, alt-right, white supremacist activity and the rise of these groups.

So this current climate that we are in, with this current administration, is only feeding into that. And part of -- let's just look at how President Trump has responded to Portland --


LEKOVIC (PH): -- or to other incidents that have involved hate crimes targeted towards people of color, like the church bombing in Charleston, where it took him 16 hours to comment on Twitter about that. In this case, it took a few days for him to comment.

SESAY: Indeed, and to that point, in terms of the president's response, the attack took place on Friday; the response came on Monday. A number of people have pointed out that the response came from his official White House Twitter account, not his personal account.

What does that say to you?

Why would this president not respond on Friday?

Why would he choose to respond from his official account?

What is your thought?

LEKOVIC (PH): Well, his track record shows to me that he, if he is not turning a blind eye to these kinds of horrific incidents that are un-American, he is turning a lazy eye to them. It is taking him an awfully long time to come out and stand for American values and protect the individual rights of all Americans.

When it comes to so-called Islamist terrorism that takes place, like whether it's the Louvre incident or the San Bernardino attack, he comes out within a matter of hours to talk about those issues.

And in this case, this isn't just about the Muslim community. It's about our American values. It's about these three individuals, who represent the best of what America has to offer. What took place in Portland represents the best and the worst of our country. It represents the best in those three individuals, who stood up to defend American values of equality and all of us belonging here together and tried to deescalate that situation.

And that deranged individual, Mr. Christian, represents the worst of America. And that's the lazy eye that President Trump is turning because that's one of the main threats that faces our country. And unless we can look it in the eye, President Trump called it "unacceptable," the Portland attack and said that he sends his prayers out to those families.

While that's laudable, that's unacceptable from a president, to simply just send prayers. We need federal action, hate crimes investigation and prosecution to take place in this case and in every other case that involves immigrants, people of color, who are being targeted all over our country today under the kinds of policies that President Trump is advancing.

SESAY: The president just got back from his 9-day trip that involved a stop in Saudi Arabia. And there have been others who have said that there is a contradiction in the president's position when it comes to Muslims abroad. We know that he engaged in Saudi Arabia with a number of Muslim leaders. There's a willingness to engage there but there's a willingness to engage with American Muslims.

Do you feel the same way?

LEKOVIC (PH): Certainly. If we look at President Trump's recent statement at the start of Ramadan, the holy month --


SESAY: And let's put that up. We have some of that. Let's put up that statement --

LEKOVIC (PH): -- almost entirely focuses on terrorism with a little bit of spirituality thrown in.

SESAY: Let me read some of it.

It says, "At its core, the spirit of Ramadan strengthens awareness of our shared obligation to reject violence, to pursue peace and to give to those in need who are suffering from poverty or conflict."

It goes on to end this way, "I reiterate my message delivered in Riyadh, America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it. During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of the scourge and able to worship and commune in peace."

A lot of focus on terrorism and conflict there, people saying missing the meaning of Ramadan.

LEKOVIC (PH): Precisely. Well, missing the reality of who American Muslims are. We are 3.5 million strong in this country and we are doctors, physicians, cab drivers, school teachers. We're contributing every day in communities around the country and to simply be looked at as either a potential national security threat or national security asset is insulting to us as Americans.

Our country deserves better. And at this moment in our history, President Trump needs to step up and show the kind of leadership that reflects what the Constitution is about and reflects what America is about.

Thousands have Americans have stepped forward since Friday to donate to the families left behind, that include an Army veteran and his 5 children, a recent college graduate. And over $300,000 has been raised to date.

This is the spirit of America that is the America that I know. And President Trump needs to not just talk about that America but actually further policies that will reinforce that America.

SESAY: Before I let you go, I want to read this. It's part of a letter that was written by the mother of one of the Portland victims. The mother's name is Asha Deliverance. And her son, Taliesin Namkai- Meche, was -- sadly lost his life in this train attack and she said this to the president.

"You have said that you will be president for all Americans. So I ask you, Mr. President, to take action at this time. Your words and actions are meaningful here in America and throughout the world.

"Please encourage all Americans to protect and watch out for one another. Please condemn any acts of violence which result directly from hate speech and hate groups. I am praying you will use your leadership to do so."


SESAY: What would be the most powerful thing the president could do at this point in time in your view?

LEKOVIC (PH): I think that he should step up to reinforce what our American values are, that none of us should be targeted and nobody should be afraid to walk down the street based on the color of their skin or their faith or any other -- of their sexuality or any other factors.

The president needs to step up and show leadership. But we as Americans need to continue to step up and show leadership, too. That is what's critical in this day and age. This administration is -- presents one problem after another to our

democracy. And this is not the time to get lazy. It's the time to remember -- honor the memories of these three men, these two men who passed --


LEKOVIC (PH): -- and a very seriously injured third person -- and step up because we need to look white supremacy in the face. This is one of the greatest threats that faces our country today. And the president is turning a blind eye. None of us can afford to do that.

SESAY: Yes, I agree. Edina, thank you very much for joining us.

LEKOVIC (PH): Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you, appreciate it.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) diplomatic relations with Cuba was a signature part of President Obama's legacy but now the new administration in Washington is looking to roll back the policy (INAUDIBLE) Cuba. Details in a moment.




VAUSE: It may be soon once again for Americans to visit Cuba, hard to bring back (INAUDIBLE) into the United States. President Trump is expected to announce a partial rollback of U.S. policy toward the island nation very soon. Sources say he could tighten trade and travel rules which were relaxed by the Obama administration.

SESAY: Mr. Trump once looked into opening hotels in Cuba but during his election campaign, he took a harder line under pressure from Cuban American lawmakers. Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015.

VAUSE: Alex Cherin (ph) is a senior vice president for (INAUDIBLE). He writes a weekly column on international trade, tourism as well.

Alex, good to see you. This is not a president who came to office to promote human rights. Yet it seems that it's a reason that this partial rollback is being put into place by Donald Trump.

ALEX CHERIN (PH): It is. It's interesting. And it certainly raises a lot of uncertainty. And I think that that's becoming a hallmark of this presidency and this administration for better or for worse.

I think you will see that play out in two major ways with this new attempt to roll back the Obama era changes to the Cuba policy.

Number one, in the short term, we will obviously see changes in tourism. I think if you look at the statistics, last year, Cuba had 2 million visitors, which was a 12 percent increase over the year before. I think they were predicting another 12 percent increase for the next year. So companies like Starwood certainly will rethink the strategy in Cuba. In the longer term, though, more significantly, I think you will see companies who are really testing the waters of investing in Cuba start to scale back in the wake of this uncertainty from the Trump administration.

SESAY: Is there political benefit for the president by doing this?

CHERIN (PH): It's ironic and I think that there -- I think that's to be determined. There is really two great ironies with this.

The first, as you mentioned, was that this was done, the announcement was made to roll back the Obama era changes under the auspices of human rights.

Yet two weeks ago, we all saw the visuals of President Trump in Saudi Arabia, certainly touting some of the deals --


CHERIN (PH): -- that he and his administration had made. So there is certainly a contrast there.

The second irony I think, which the international trade community is really picking up on, is that the people who will be the most hurt by this rollback are those businesses, the investor class, the entrepreneurs that the Trump campaign tried to woo during the campaign and certainly well into his administration.

VAUSE: Clearly, this (INAUDIBLE) Cuba but there will be an economic cost on the U.S. side significantly as well, depending on how big that cost is, how many U.S. jobs could be on the line here, could that be a limiting factor in how far the president's going to go?

CHERIN (PH): It absolutely could be. And all you need to do are look at some of the announcements that companies looking to invest in Cuba have made and the type of job creation that that would.

Part of the global strategy for some of these multinational corporations is to go into Cuba as potentially a manufacturing center as part of the hemispheric strategy, take some of the manufacturing dominance away from China and Asia and put it into Latin America. That will be gone if the Trump administration succeeds in rolling this back.

SESAY: And briefly, because we are almost out of time, how is this going to be received by ordinary Cubans, especially given the fact that Raul Castro is due to step down in 2018?

CHERIN (PH): Well, I think there's no doubt that the Cuban people are benefiting from obviously this renewed vigor in trade, in tourism in Cuba. I think where it's going to be interesting to see how it plays is in D.C.

I think you will see a rift in the Republican Party over this issue. And I think you have a little bit of a dichotomy on one hand; you've got Marco Rubio, who obviously was a big advocate for Trump to roll back what the Obama administration has done.

On the other hand, just last week, you had Senator Jeff Flake, Republican from Arizona, introduce legislation in the Senate that would essentially go further than even the Obama administration did. So I think it will be fascinating to watch how this plays out in D.C.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) said before that Donald Trump's problem with Congress is not the Democrats but the Republicans.

SESAY: The Republican Party.

VAUSE: It will be interesting.

CHERIN (PH): Agreed.

VAUSE: Alex, good to see you.


SESAY: Thank you so much. Thank you.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. We will be back with more news after a short break.