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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Invokes Nixon, McCarthy in Mueller Attack; Husband Arrested for Murders of Pregnant Wife, Two Daughters; Bolton: China, Iran, North Korea Election Meddling A Security Concern; Bolton to Meet With Russian Counterpart in Geneva This Week; Families Split by War Set to See Each Other After Decades; Couple's Fertility Journey Goes Viral. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 19, 2018 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. JESSE JACKSON, CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND OF ARETHA FRANKLIN: The last event she got was with Elton John in New York, and she was a champion of cancer (ph). She knew that she was dying, and yet a sick woman was there for the sick people.

That, to me, was a signature. Just like Dr. King's last act was with his -- with the gathered (ph) workers in Memphis, her last act was with the people with AIDS in New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Aretha Franklin's funeral is set for August 31st in Detroit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for staying with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And this evening, we begin this hour with a question. What do the Special Counsel, a long-deceased senator, and the whistle-blower who brought down Richard Nixon have in common?

Check out the President's Twitter feed and you'll see the answer. President Trump lashing out at Robert Mueller, saying, he made jokes with McCarthy, the senator known for hunting communists in the '50s, look like a baby.

The President going off as "The New York Times" drops a bombshell that Trump's lawyers don't know how much White House Counsel Don McGahn told the Special Counsel during the 30 hours of interviews he sat for about issues at the core of the investigation into whether President Trump obstructed justice.

The President earlier tweeting, the failing "New York Times" wrote a fake piece today implying that because White House Counsel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Counsel, he must be a John Dean type rat. But I allowed him and all others to testify. I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide.

That's your second historical reference because John Dean is the former White House Counsel who cooperated with prosecutors during the Watergate scandal. And tonight, Dean is speaking out, giving the President a bit of a history lesson himself.

Let's bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles who has been in New Jersey traveling with the President this week.

And, Ryan, what makes Dean's response so interesting here is that it basically is a warning that the President shouldn't presume he knows what McGahn really told Mueller.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he put it very well, Ana. And that seems to be the problem for the President's legal team tonight.

A new "New York Times" report out in just the last couple of hours has said that his legal team really does not have a full handle on exactly what Don McGahn might have said to the Special Counsel over these extensive amount of interviews that took place more than 30 hours over three different occasions.

And this is what John Dean said in a tweet from his experience during the Watergate scandal. He said many things, but he said, importantly, quote, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors because I told him. However, he didn't think I would tell them the truth.

And if there's one thing that's been consistent from Don McGahn and his legal team over this weekend as these reports have gone out -- and people have interpreted the reports in one way or the other -- is that Don McGahn has said definitively that he has told federal investigators the truth.

His legal team has said that he did not go in there with the goal of incriminating President Trump, but he was also going to protect the presidency, not necessarily protect the President.

So what that all means, we don't know. The problem, it seems, Ana, in many respects for this White House, is that their definition of truth seems to waiver over time, particularly when you're talking to people that are speaking on the President's behalf.

Like, listen to what Mayor Rudy Giuliani had to say earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY OF DONALD TRUMP: I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury.

And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn't have a conversation about --

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Truth is truth. I don't mean to go like --

GIULIANI: No, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth. The President of the United States says, I didn't --

TODD: Truth isn't truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize what -- I --

GIULIANI: No. No, no--

TODD: This is going to become a bad meme.

GIULIANI: Don't do -- don't do this to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: And so you heard the Mayor, truth isn't truth. What exactly does that mean, and what does it mean in the scope of this conversation and this investigation? We still don't know yet.

And, Ana, it's important to point out that "The New York Times" also reporting that Don McGahn was concerned when Trump's legal team approached him and said that he could take part in these interviews and was able to waive attorney-client privilege. Don McGahn was worried that, perhaps, he was being set up.

Once again, his legal teams says, repeatedly, that what he did was answer honestly. Exactly what he answered honestly about, we don't know, but it could play a very important role in this investigation -- Ana.

CABRERA: He answered honestly for 30 plus hours. Three separate sessions over the course of nine months. Ryan Nobles, thank you.

And joining us now is CNN's senior political analyst and former adviser to four presidents, including Richard Nixon, David Gergen.

David, I had a chance to speak with John Dean to get his reaction to the President's attacks and also his thoughts on McGahn's cooperation in the Mueller probe. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[19:05:04] JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL (via telephone): We know he is somebody who does not really reveal his full factual problems with his attorneys. They have to sort of find it out the hard way.

So I suspect -- and there was no indication, in any of this reporting, that McGahn was briefed or debriefed before he went in or came out. So they don't really know what he told the Special Counsel.

And I can tell you this, that even if he didn't go in with the intent to incriminate the President, just giving the President -- or putting everything in a timeline for the Special Counsel is just invaluable information.

CABRERA: I'm curious if you think he is calling you a rat because you told the truth?

(LAUGHTER)

DEAN (via telephone): I think that is what he is doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: David, when the President calls John Dean a rat, implying he's a bad guy for blowing the lid off Watergate, what does that tell you?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, I'll tell you, he is sort of mixing up the history a lot. Let's be clear about what John Dean did, and I -- we go back a long ways. I was there during all of this. We've had offices down the hall from each other.

John Dean initially, you know, had done things which he did not want the special prosecutor to know. He would -- and he was trying to defend himself. But there was a lot of cover-ups, and he was in a vulnerable legal position. And that's when he decided, rather than going down, I'm going to be telling the truth.

And he changed his strategies midway and that, in fact, helped to bring down the President. And John Dean plead guilty to a charge of conspiring to obstruct.

But I think that in this case -- from my point of view, actually, we, the public, should be -- give credit to President Trump for allowing his general counsel, his legal counsel, to go and talk to Mueller. After all, our interest is in having a full story, and then letting the chips fall where they may.

And so for the President to do that, you know, I thought it not only showed certain confidence, but I thought it was for the best -- it was in the best interest of the country. And he has also not claimed executive privilege for over --

CABRERA: Right.

GERGEN: Like three dozen witnesses. They have sent a million documents plus to the Special Counsel. So the cooperation to this point, you know, is, in fact, welcomed. Whether they're telling the truth to the Special Counsel is another question.

And the big question tonight, of course, is whether McGahn, as the President's general counsel, turned rogue on him. Did he do what John Dean did to Nixon? Eventually, to protect himself, Dean felt he had to tell everything but the truth out there.

And McGahn thought he was being set up, possibly, by the President and by his team, and so he said, I'm going to go talk to them. I don't think anybody at the White House had any expectation there would be 30 hours of conversation and potentially more to come.

CABRERA: Given your depth of experience and, again, the Richard Nixon situation, having been there and lived through that, because this president and his legal team have allowed people like McGahn to testify so openly without setting limits -- I saw in "The New York Times" reporting the Whitewater lawyer -- a Whitewater lawyer said, you know, they would have killed for that opportunity in the Bill Clinton situation.

GERGEN: Sure.

CABRERA: I mean, this is somewhat unusual, to say the least. Do you think it indicates the President could be exonerated when this is all over?

GERGEN: Well, I think this, that the President thinks that he is not guilty. That he neither did collude nor obstructed. But his lawyers, you know, have not wanted him, really, to go testify. They don't want to put him in front of Mueller. They've been ducking and dodging this for a long time.

And so they're not at all confident that the President has a full understanding of where he was or that he may have mixed up things from the past. And the Giuliani exchange today is all about the fact that Rudy is worried that Mueller has been told by a variety of people a story and Trump has a different story in his head. And so when Trump comes in and tells his story, Mueller will think he's lying because he has got a different story in his head.

So the question for Rudy was, whose version of the truth is really the truth? He said it extremely inartfully, but it is a legitimate question of whose truth is going to prevail here. Which story is going to be more believable to Mueller and to his team?

And, you know, I don't think we know the answer to that question yet. But they must be shocked in the White House. McGahn spent -- has spent 30 hours filling his -- giving his version, his narrative of the truth.

[19:10:00] CABRERA: Right. It sounds like a significant amount of time.

David, back in 1973, "TIME" magazine asked, can Nixon survive Dean? Do you think it's fair to ask the question now, can Trump survive McGahn?

GERGEN: I think it's too early to ask that -- answer that question because we simply don't know what McGahn has said. I mean, it's significant to me that his own lawyers said this could present dangers to the President.

But we also have to take into account that a colleague, a man who worked at the White House as a lawyer, John Dowd, has said in the last day or two, as we've been getting into this story, that the -- that McGahn was a strong witness for the President. That he was a strong witness. That does not sound like a John Dean figure as we -- as John Dean has been remembered.

And there is some suggestion in the "Times" story that McGahn carefully told Mueller that Trump was acting within his executive power. Does that -- he may have the power, but if he acted for a bad motive, that could be obstruction. So there's a lot here we don't know.

CABRERA: Although "The New York Times" is also reporting today that the President and his legal team really don't know the extent of the discussions between McGahn and the Special Counsel team.

GERGEN: Yes. Right, right.

CABRERA: I also want to ask you about --

GERGEN: And I think --

CABRERA: Go ahead, David, and then let me --

GERGEN: Sure.

CABRERA: I'll ask you about the last panel.

GERGEN: OK. I was going to say I think this whole "New York Times" story puts a lot of pressure on the President to sit down and talk to the general counsel.

But the general counsel has -- now has so many facts or so many different points of information, from McGahn and probably others, that it makes it more dangerous for the President to sit down with Mueller because Mueller has a lot of context from which to question him.

CABRERA: Just a quick reaction to the President's tweet where he is comparing Mueller to infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy. What goes through your mind when you read that, when you hear it?

GERGEN: Oh, I just was horrified. You know, this president intentionally does not like to understand much history. But on this one, he should know this cold.

I mean, let's go back to this. Senator McCarthy had a chief henchman. His general counsel was named Roy Cohn.

When -- after the McCarthy hearings blew up and they were -- you know, he was discredited in the hearing for -- and McCarthy was discredited and went down as a real villain in American politics, you know, Roy Cohn's reputation wasn't exactly terrific either.

But he went to New York and he became the mentor and very close friend of Donald Trump, and much of what Donald Trump knows about in terms of exercising power and leadership comes from Roy Cohn.

And it's -- for a lot of people, they have been sort of thinking what McCarthy did was he singled out people in the government and said they are spies, they work for the Russians, they are commies, and all the rest.

How is that different from what Trump has been doing recently going after Brennan and now going after somebody in the Treasury Department? You know, these are people -- are un-American. They're not patriots. You know, they're my critics and they've --

CABRERA: Yes.

GERGEN: You know, they're behind all this witch-hunt. That is discrediting them and trying to ruin them in the same way McCarthy did.

CABRERA: So you're suggesting there is more of a parallel between McCarthy and Trump versus McCarthy and Mueller?

GERGEN: I am suggesting what psychologists tell us, is that sometimes when we have trouble, we have defects in our soul, we -- when we talk about somebody, we project onto them things that we're dealing with, that we have -- that are deeply troubling to us inside and, psychologically, we haven't come to grips with it.

It's called projection, and that sounds an awful lot like what we're seeing here.

CABRERA: David Gergen, always good to have you with us. Thank you very much for spending some time.

GERGEN: Oh, Ana, thank you.

CABRERA: Now, the other big story we're following is the Colorado man arrested in the murder of his pregnant wife and two daughters beginning to mount his defense now. His neighbors and the entire country expressed horror at this case.

So what goes into defending public enemy number one? Famed attorney Mark Geragos speaks from experience, next.

[19:14:22] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Police haven't said why they believe a Colorado man may have killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters, but they have until tomorrow to formally charge him in their deaths.

We are, however, getting more details about the Watts family lives behind closed doors and what they may have been dealing with privately. Here is CNN's Kaylee Hartung.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From beach vacations --

SHANANN WATTS, WIFE OF CHRIS WATTS: Come give me a hug.

HARTUNG (voice-over): -- to the fun and chaos of everyday life.

BELLA WATTS, DAUGHTER OF CHRIS WATTS: My daddy is a hero. He helps me grow up strong.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Shanann Watts' social media projected a picture perfect image of her family, but the front porch this young family took a smiling Thanksgiving photo on is now a memorial. This home, empty.

Chris Watts has reportedly confessed to killing his pregnant wife and their two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella.

This family story took a tragic turn Monday. Shanann and the kids were missing, Chris Watts gave this plea.

CHRIS WATTS, HUSBAND OF SHANANN WATTS: We had an emotional conversation, but -- I'll leave it at that, but it's -- I just want them back. I just want them to come back. And if they're not safe right now, that's what's tearing me apart.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Late Wednesday night, police arrested Chris on suspicion of killing his wife and children.

JOHN CAMPER, DIRECTOR, COLORADO BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: This is absolutely the worst possible outcome that any of us could imagine.

HARTUNG (voice-over): Thursday, Shanann's body was found on the property of a petroleum company where Chris worked. The two little girls were found in an oil tank nearby. Court documents say they'd been submerged in crude oil for several days.

[19:20:02] Authorities have revealed few details in their investigation. Autopsies are complete but officials have not shared, publicly, the causes of their deaths.

A court motion suggests the girls may have been strangled. A filing by Watts' defense team asks for DNA samples to be taken from the girl's necks and hands.

A judge sealed the arrest affidavit explaining why investigators believe Chris killed his family. That document is expected to be made public Monday when he is formally charged.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARTUNG: Ana, as you could see, Shanann Watts shared so much of her family's lives on social media. But as the case for all of us, social media can't paint a complete picture.

We have since learned through court documents that's this family had financial struggles. In 2015, Chris and Shanann filed for bankruptcy. That was after they bought this house behind me, an asset valued at about $400,000.

They were about $70,000 in debt, most of that student loans and credit card purchases. Now, by all accounts, they were working through that. Again, that bankruptcy filing, three years ago.

But this is the kind of information that investigators will be pouring through as they look to answer this question we're all asking, and that's why. Ana, we expect to see Chris Watts in court on Tuesday morning.

CABRERA: All right, Kaylee Hartung. Thank you. Such a disturbing story.

And I want to talk to a man who has actually defended someone accused of killing their pregnant wife. Mark Geragos was the attorney for Scott Peterson.

Peterson was convicted of killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Connor, back in 2004. And like Chris Watts, Peterson also made public pleas for his wife and son's safety before their bodies were found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT PETERSON, CONVICTED OF MURDER: When people accuse me of some involvement -- and I had nothing to do with her disappearance, but people still accuse me of it -- my response is the same to all of them. Thank you for being aware of her missing from our family. You know, please do what can you to bring her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Mark, first of all, thank you for taking the time to give us an inside look into how these cases work.

Take me to that first meeting. When you were face-to-face with someone who is already being condemned across the country, are you able to detach yourself from any emotions or preconceived notions that you might have?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. I think you go in -- I mean, nobody, unless you're a sociopath, is divorced from the reality of it. You take a look at those pictures, and that gives me a little post- traumatic stress syndrome of my own.

But then when you start to examine what it is or what the motivations are and the surrounding facts, I mean, it's ironic, I suppose, when I see in that report that they start talking about the finances. But when -- but then when you drill down, it predates this by a number of years, at least two or three years old, so that doesn't strike me as being the thing that is the potential motive.

One thing that I did hear in that report that you just did that gave me some pause was the fact that the bodies were discovered -- or at least a couple of the bodies were discovered on property that was owned or -- by his employer or where he worked.

Obviously, that's a huge fact that you've got to deal with. And I always said I never thought Scott would be convicted but for the fact that the bodies were discovered exactly where he had placed himself on an alibi. So those are the kinds of things that you have to examine and then work backwards and figure it out.

Interestingly, I thought, on the defense side, the fact that they were asking for DNA to be taken from underneath nails, DNA to be taken from around the neck, things of that nature, I think are important. Obviously, the law enforcement is going to --

CABRERA: Why do you think that is important?

GERAGOS: Well, I think that the defense wants to show or at least wants to expand the universe of people that could potentially be linked to it. The prosecution is, obviously, going to jump on the fact that well, yes, it's easy to ask for that stuff now. The bodies were submerged in a substance that, arguably, would not allow for the extraction of DNA. So there's always jockeying going on.

CABRERA: Right, because they were found inside an oil storage tank. When you're meeting with a client, Mike, like Scott Peterson, are you trying to feel out whether they are guilty, or do you ask them straight up? Is that even important to you?

GERAGOS: You know, their -- it is, from a curiosity standpoint, I suppose. I mean, having done this for -- I'm going into my fourth decade, I mean, it does not -- you don't take away the humanity of defending against somebody.

But actually, if you're doing your job right, what you want first is to see what evidence that the prosecution has. The prosecution still has, in America, the burden of proof. They have to prove the case. So I, generally, want to know what is their evidence, what's the universe that I have to deal with, and then go from there.

[19:25:03] And I, often times, will tell clients, I don't want to hear your story. I don't want to know right now. I want to know first what is the universe of facts that the prosecution is dealing with so that I can then work backwards from there, and I don't get locked into something.

CABRERA: Being a lawyer for such a high-profile defendant accused of such a heinous crime, you're essentially signing on to become the one person willing to be the public face speaking out on their behalf. What is the toughest part of that, both personally and professionally?

GERAGOS: I think, personally, it's always what happens with your family. I mean, the -- unfortunately, people identify -- unlike a doctor who may operate on the most hated man in America or the most hated woman in America, people don't generally attack the doctor for trying to save the life.

The lawyer, unfortunately, in our society -- and this has been the case for hundreds of years. The lawyer is identified with the client and then gets vilified just like the client.

The lawyer should put on their big boy pants and understand that that's just part of the job. The people who didn't really sign up for that are the kids or the spouses or the parents, or they're just the relatives or the people who work with him. That's the -- those are the people that suffer the collateral damage.

CABRERA: Mark Geragos, thank you for your perspective and experience, for sharing it with us. Good to have you with us.

GERAGOS: Thanks, Ana. Coming up, America in the crosshairs. A stunning Pentagon report

suggesting China may be training pilots to target the U.S. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:31:00] CABRERA: With the midterm elections fast approaching, concerns about election hacking is at an all-time high. And just today, troubling admission from the president's national security adviser.

John Bolton revealing the U.S. is concerned about election hacking, not only from Russia but from other countries as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Just to be clear, have you seen any credible evidence of the Chinese meddled in our elections in the past or are doing so now? Is this a genuine national security concern?

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I can say definitively that it's a sufficient national security concern about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling and North Korean meddling that we're taking steps to try to prevent it. So it's all four of those countries really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: That brings us to your "Weekend Presidential Brief." A segment we bring you every Sunday night highlighting some of the most pressing national security information the president will need when he wakes up tomorrow.

And joining us now is CNN national security analyst and former national Security Council adviser Sam Vinograd. She spent two years in the Obama administration helping to prep for the president's daily briefs.

So, Sam, you've been on national security adviser trips. John Bolton's statements about this election hacking as he hits the road, how do you see things playing out for him this week?

SAM VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, as you said, I've been on these trips. And the key ingredient to success is having interlockers that think you're in power to speak on behalf of the president. I think that's iffy in this case because the president often undercuts his team.

That said, starting in Israel makes sense. John Bolton needs to compare notes with the Israelis on key issues like Syria. And the Israelis have really good intelligence on Iran and on Russia. And we know that John Bolton is going to see the Russians later in the week.

Going to Ukraine, second, is also a smart move. Bolton will be literally sending a signal that he stands with Ukraine and against Russia's illegal activities in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. He could announce something like more defense sales to the Ukrainians to really show solidarity.

And, finally, he's going to Geneva where he'll see a man who have actually been in meetings with, Nikolai Patrushev. The last time Bolton saw the Russians, it was to prep for a summit. So (INAUDIBLE) 2.0 is in the works.

My gut is that Patrushev is going to take a play from Putin's playbook and try to distract Bolton from a really complex agenda and point to domestic political tensions in the United States and even things like Brennan's politicization supposedly of intelligence to distract from Russian misbehavior and focus Bolton on other threats.

CABRERA: Now this week, of course, the big news was President Trump reversing or revoking the security clearance that John Brennan, former CIA director had.

You worked with John Brennan. You say this move actually helps Putin.

VINOGRAD: Most definitely. I mean, Donald Trump at this point is a gift that never stops giving for Vladimir Putin, because this decision helps accomplish so many of Putin's goals against United States.

Our Intel community has said Russia wants to sow divisions. Well, the response to the Brennan decision has been so partisan for the most part. Democrats are opposed to it. Republicans have stayed silent or even supported it. We know that Russia wants to undermine our democracy.

Well, the narrative that Trump is trying to silence Brennan certainly looks like an attack on a key democratic pillar like freedom of speech. We know that Russia wants to undermine our institutions.

The White House has said that Trump took this decision -- the final decision without consulting the DNI and the CIA. So it looks like he is undermining his own intelligence community.

And, finally, Ana, we know that Russia likes to pedal U.S. conspiracy theories because they're inflammatory and they divide us. Well, the president tweeted really questioning Brennan's tenure at the CIA and saying he made mistakes. That sounds a lot like the deep stake conspiracy theories that he's been telling about the FBI.

CABRERA: The president also tweeted about China. That the U.S. should focus on the threat from that country. We are seeing China ramp up the potential threat against the U.S. Our reporting from Barbara Starr exclusively this week about and Ryan Browne this week about potential of China training their fighter pilots for a potential attack against the U.S.

Where do you see this going?

[19:35:00] VINOGRAD: Well, we're engaged with -- in multiple battles with the Chinese including a war of words, which President Trump added to this weekend and John Bolton added to as well when he made a statement about election meddling. We know that we have a trade war that's on going. $16 billion worth in tariffs against China are going to effect this week while their trade delegation is in the U.S.

They are looking at launching strikes against the United States. Conventional military threat. And, unconventionally, we know that they're attacking us in cyberspace whether it be election meddling or hacking the IP. So on all these fronts, the Chinese war gaming is really active.

CABRERA: Oh boy. Thank you, Sam Vinograd. Good to see you.

Imagine waiting 68 years just to see your child again. Coming up, a mother and son wrenched apart by the Korean War prepare for an emotional reunion. This is a story you don't want to miss. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:40:14] CABRERA: Imagine being separated from your son, father, sister, or brother for nearly 70 years. Tens of thousands of families have endured that horrible reality since the Korean War.

Now some of those torn apart, all those years ago, are about to see their relatives for the first time in decades.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now from South Korea, where buses are waiting to reunite these families.

Paula, the anticipation, I know you spoke with a woman who hasn't seen the 4-year-old son she left behind while fleeing the war. What an incredible story.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, this is an incredibly emotional time for these families. Just a matter of minutes ago, these buses, 14 buses left here in Sokcho, just south of the border with North Korea. They'll drive for four or five hours, get to North Korea and finally see family members that they didn't even know were still alive in some cases, but in all cases, that they haven't seen for decades.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Lee Keum-soom is 92 years old. Oblivious to the crowds in the Seoul shopping center, she has an outfit to buy for a very special occasion. On Monday, Lee will meet her son for the first time in 68 years.

Lee and her husband were among many North Koreans who fled South as the Korean War took hold in 1950. She recalls walking for days, carrying her 1-year-old daughter, her husband carrying her son. She left the road to breastfeed her baby, slipped and sprained her ankle. When she returned, she couldn't find her husband.

LEE KEUM-SOOM, NORTH KOREAN REFUGEE: (Speaking foreign language) HANCOCKS: As the fighting caught up with them, Lee had to take a train, then a ship and waited in South Korea for her husband and son to catch up. They never did.

LEE: (Speaking foreign language)

HANCOCKS: These reunions happen only when the relations between the two Koreas are good. The last one was three years ago. It is an emotional and highly-controlled three days at a mountain resort in North Korea.

LEE: (Speaking foreign language)

HANCOCKS: Jung Kea-hyun is still waiting. He's one of thousands who can only wonder if their chance will ever come. He's 85. His two brothers -- one older, one younger -- did not manage to escape the North during the war. He has heard nothing about them since.

JUNG KEA-HYUN, SEPARATED BROTHER: (Speaking foreign language)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS: Now Jung said even though he is bitterly disappointed not to be chose, he still holds out some hope that he will be in a future round of reunions. But it's bittersweet even for the lucky ones who are going to North Korea to see loved ones. It's only for three days. And then after three days, Wednesday, they get on the buses, they come back across the border to South Korea knowing that that is more than likely the last time that they'll see their loved ones.

Ana?

CABRERA: I can only imagine the hugs and how long those will last.

Paula Hancocks, thank you.

Coming up, a photo of hope after a heartbreak after heartbreak. Now one couple's fertility struggles culminated in this now viral photo. A beautiful baby girl surrounded by hundreds of needles.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:49:07] CABRERA: I want to show you a photo that is a testament to undying hope in the face of heartbreak after heartbreak.

This photo shows a 2-week-old baby girl. Her name, London O'Neill. She is wearing a rainbow swaddle and encircled by hundreds of IVF needles. It took four years, three miscarriages and more than 1600 shots to make this baby girl.

Her parents join us now. Patricia and Kimberly O'Neill.

First of all, congratulations, ladies, on your beautiful baby girl, London. And we see she's there with you now. So, so sweet and peaceful. Thank you for joining us.

KIMBERLY O'NEILL, PHOTO OF NEWBORN BABY WENT VIRAL: Thank you.

PATRICIA O'NEILL, PHOTO OF NEWBORN BABY WENT VIRAL: Thank you for having us.

CABRERA: So tell me what this story is behind that now viral photo and why you decided to share your personal journey in this way.

[19:50:00] P. O'NEILL: I think that we started the journey not realizing what it was going to entail. And my wife, Kimberly, decided that she was going to start saving shots, to take a photo at the end. To document what our journey was and never anticipating that it was going to take this long or these many shots to get there.

And we contacted the photographer, Samantha Packer, and asked her to do this shot for us. And she shared a sneak peek for us on it and then it blew up on the internet.

CABRERA: Yes, I know you didn't expect that. This is supposed to be personal, and yet obviously your story resonates. I mean, that photo, it showcases the struggle that you and so many experience with infertility.

Kimberly, what has the response been like?

K. O'NEILL: Overwhelming. I had no idea that so many people struggled with the same situation that we did. And it's nice to see that our struggles can bring hope to others in similar situations.

CABRERA: Patricia, you two were trying for four years. You experienced a lot of heartbreak along the way. What was that roller coaster like?

P. O'NEILL: Just like you said, it was a roller coaster. You know, you'd have your highs. We would get pregnant and we thought we are going to -- this was going to be the one and we get there and to go back to the next doctor's appointment to be told that we have lost it. And then you are at a low.

And we had to really rely on each other to pick ourselves up to try again. And, you know, there were times that I wanted to give up. I was done and ready to throw in the towel. And my wife really helped me through it to process everything.

CABRERA: And Kimberly, for you, what kept you going?

K. O'NEILL: There were definitely some points where I felt like she needed to quit. It was a lot of wear and tear on her body. Her emotions. A lot of tears. But we knew we had a choice to make especially with London. She was the last embryo. And the thought of discarding that and throwing it away was -- that's just not the way I believe. And I felt like we needed to give -- we started a project and we needed to see it through as completely as we could.

CABRERA: 1,600 plus shots, Patricia. Why were you having to give yourself so many shots? P. O'NEILL: They found out after a second miscarriage that I had a genetic blood clotting disorder. And in order to help keep the pregnancy, I had to make sure I didn't form any blood clots. So they put me on blood thinners, which were at three a day. And I am actually currently still on them. But that was to keep the pregnancy to get to where we are today.

CABRERA: Wow, we are so happy. You are where you are today. You have a beautiful baby. I'm really glad that it all ended the way it did. Thank you so much, Patricia and Kimberly O'Neill for joining us and for sharing the story.

P. O'NEILL: Thank you.

K. O'NEILL: No problem.

CABRERA: Coming up, this Labor Day, a CNN special event, the television premiere of "RBG." And as we take a closer look at the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, we are also examining of the experience of all American women has dramatically change.

Today, we are looking at the evolution of women in the work place.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Work has changed dramatically for women since 1933 when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born. Back then, pursuing ambition was for men, unless you are Frances Perkins, the first woman appointed to a cabinet position.

As a child RBG watched as millions of women entered the workforce during World War II only to see them pushed back out when men return home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: Victory and the return of happier face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she graduated at the top of her law school class, she found no law firms willing to hire her. Later, when she began teaching at Rutgers, she was paid less than her male colleagues. She was told this was because she had a husband to foot the bill. Motivated by the history of workplace bias, she used her legal talents to build a foundation of case law in support of women's rights as workers.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Society would benefit enormously if women were regarded as people equal in stature to men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watch "RBG" on Monday, September 3rd at 9:00 p.m. on CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:58:00] CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York and from the same White House that brought you alternative facts comes a new line, "The Truth Isn't the Truth."

And that's why the president won't testify.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK TODD, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": Truth is truth. I don't mean to go like --

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, it isn't -- truth isn't truth. The president of the United States says I didn't --

TODD: Truth isn't truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize what -- I --

GIULIANI: No. No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: This is going to become a bad meme.

GIULIANI: Don't do this to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, there clearly in damage control mode today because this isn't the only head spinning claim he is making.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is near the president's golf club in New Jersey where he spent the weekend.

And, Ryan, what else is Giuliani saying?

NOBLES: Yes, Ana, and it was in that same interview with Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" where Rudy Giuliani was asked about that infamous meeting at Trump Tower with the president's son, which has become an important part of the Mueller investigation. And even though he had been talking about truth in that interview he wasn't exactly honest about what we know, about what happened in that meeting. The mayor did concede that the initial purpose of the meeting was to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton. But he claimed that the participants including the president son were not even aware that there were going to be Russians involved.