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Wall Street Marks Longest Bull Market in U.S. History; Tearful Goodbyes as Koreans Depart Family Reunions; Rohingya Crisis; Growing Protests in Uganda over Bobi Wine's Arrest; Michael Cohen's GoFundMe Page; Trump Depends 2016 Hush Money Payments; White House Says Trump "Did Nothing Wrong"; New Message Purportedly From Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 23, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:46] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, when you're in a hole, stop digging. But not Donald Trump in this White House as they keep trying to spin the latest revelations about hush payments to women alleging affairs with the president.

Australia could have a new prime minister in the coming day since Malcolm Turnbull, throws himself on the mercy of his party.

And a powerful one-two punches. Three typhoons moved through the Western Pacific ready to strike Japan and the Korean Peninsula. All right, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is NEWSROOM, L.A.

It's still an open legal question if the U.S. president violated campaign finance laws when his fixer, Michael Cohen, arranged hush money for two women alleging extramarital affairs with his boss.

What is not in doubt is the ever-changing narrative from the Trump administration which has evolved from outright denial. So, hey, it was Cohen's money to know. The president had so many affairs, he couldn't keep track and he just let his lawyer deal with them all.

And now, from Donald Trump, as well. Another version of what he knew and when he knew it. CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump under siege as one aide's conviction and another ally's guilty plea engulf the White House. The president commenting on Michael Cohen for the first time since he said under oath, Trump directed him to pay two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Did you know about payment?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Later on I know, later on.

COLLINS: Trump claiming he didn't know about the payment until later on. Even though he's on tape discussing how to pay one of the women.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER TO DONALD TRUMP: When it comes time for the financing, which will be --

TRUMP: Wait a second, what financing?

COHEN: Well, I'll have to pay him something.

TRUMP: Pay with cash?

COHEN: No, no, no, no, no. I got, no, no, no.

COLLINS: Trump also claiming the payments weren't illegal.

TRUMP: They weren't taken out of campaign finance. That's a big thing. That's a much bigger thing. Did they come out of the campaign? They didn't come out of the campaign. They came from me.

In fact, my first question when I heard about it was did they come out of the campaign because that could be a little dicey.

COLLINS: The White House, defenseless today.

In his interview today, the president said he found out about those payments that Michael Cohen made later on. But he's on tape discussing how to make one of the payments with Michael Cohen. So, before the payment was made. So, how do you explain that> SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Once again, I've

commented on this pretty extensively. What I can tell you about this is that the president did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him. There is no collusion for anything beyond that. I would refer you to the president's outside counsel.

COLLINS: Sarah Sanders, unable to say anything but this.

SANDERS: There are no charges against him. There are no charges against him. There are no charges against him.

COLLINS: Sanders referring all other questions to the outside counsel.

Rudy Giuliani is not a taxpayer-funded spokesperson for the president, you are.

All this, as Cohen's attorney, says his client is prepared to tell all to Robert Mueller.

LANNY DAVIS, ATTORNEY TO MICHAEL COHEN: My observation that Mr. Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to this special counsel about the issue of whether Donald Trump, ahead of time knew about the hacking of e-mails.

COLLINS: The man who once insisted he'd take a bullet for Trump, now refusing to even take a pardon from him.

DAVIS: His answer would be, no, I do not want a pardon from this man. COLLINS: But a pardon isn't off the table for Paul Manafort, found guilty on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. The president expressing sympathy for his former campaign chair, saying he had such respect for a brave man who refused to break.

Now, what we expect to see over the next few days is President Trump and his allies try to discredit Michael Cohen and his claims by painting him as a liar who isn't a credible figure in all this. Though that's likely only to raise about why if that's true, President Trump surrounded himself with Michael Cohen in the first place.

Now, what we do know from allies who know the president well, he -- they say he's back into a corner, and right now, it's hard to predict what he's going to do next. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:05:08] VAUSE: Joining me now, Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman and Republican strategist Charles Moran. OK, thanks for coming back.

Let's just start with this issue of a possible pardon for Paul Manafort. The U.S. president was on Fox News a couple of hours ago. He was asked specifically about that possibility. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EARHARDT: Are you considering pardoning Paul Manafort?

TRUMP: I have great respect for what he's done in terms of what he's gone through. You know, he worked for Ronald Reagan for years. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked -- I guess his firm work for McCain. He worked for many, many people, many, many years.

And I would say what he did, some of the charges they threw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Caroline, you were shaking your head.

CAROLINE HELDMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, every lobbyist doesn't do this, right? So, he has been found guilty on eight counts. He has another trial coming up next month on failing to register as a foreign agent. If everybody did this, then these laws wouldn't mean anything. And yet, they do.

So, no, Paul Manafort is an outlier and Donald Trump defending him as a clear indication that he plans to give him a pardon. I don't think, before the election because it would harm Republican's chances in swing districts. But I do think at some point he will pardon him, even though this is a man who carried -- you know, the felony water for him.

VAUSE: And Charles, I know you don't agree with the pardon for Manafort, but if it does seem as if the president is leading that way. Is there any possible justification and apart of the fact that Donald Trump likes him, that Manafort could actually be -- you know, deserving of a pardon.

CHARLES MORAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it would be really hard for the president. And I think his advisors would argue against giving him a pardon because of so many of the charges against him and what they've come down on are things like tax evasion, failing to register.

VAUSE: Bank fraud.

MORAN: This -- and -- I mean, a lot of these laws -- you know, again, as somebody who works -- we've all worked in the sphere. You know, the rules and the laws exist to protect transparency. Clearly, everybody has to pay their taxes. We all -- we all know that.

But there, I don't think that there is enough there for really the president to go out and say -- you know, putting all the things that everybody else -- everybody has to pay their taxes, ever. You have anybody in D.C. whose look rich works for foreign country has to do this.

There is not enough there for him to -- I think, issue a pardon. I don't think he will, and I think his legal team would advise against it because there's just not enough there.

VAUSE: The Democrats have made it clear, the president should not pardon Manafort, different situation with the Republicans. Here we go.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, everybody. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, everybody. We got to go inside. Thanks to all. Thanks to all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll let the legal process work out. Thanks.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: All we know about it is that he's pled guilty and everything else that you're asking me is speculation, and I don't think I should be speculating.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: You know, Caroline, you know, they -- that's the -- these are the lawmakers are sticking with the president. These Republicans, they've stuck with him for a very long time now. And some ways, I guess it shouldn't be surprising because is it anything which has happened over the last couple of days which has revealed something about the president that hasn't already been known for some time?

HELDMAN: No, John. We know that he tells an average of about seven lies a day. The courts are now confirming what we knew about the various people surrounding him. He has admitted on national television that he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation which is a clear obstruction. He tweeted that his son met in order to get dirt on a competitor in the election. That would be collusion with his campaign. There have been 87 connections between his campaign and his White House and Russian operatives. So, nothing, nothing is new, right?

The lying, the -- that surrounding himself with criminals. And the fact that this is a president who does not respect the rule of law.

VAUSE: And Charles, you know, well, congressional elections in November are less than 80 days away. Is this what he says is the Faustian bargain the Republicans have? They just cannot essentially separate themselves now from this president, should they want it?

MORAN: The big question is going to be, I think for American voters is "Are this -- is this a referendum on Donald Trump or is this a referendum on the direction of the country?

Right now, history is stacked against the president in terms of the Democrats taking control of the Congress. There's a very high likelihood that the president will recapture the House of -- or excuse me, Democrats will take control of the House, the Republicans will probably gain in the Senate. Probably, hold on and gain in the governorships?

But looking at the -- looking at what's going on, I still don't think that the Democrats have necessarily advanced a message of what they would do better. Other than resist Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

HELDMAN: Healthcare, not separate with children from their parent. They have the Democrat, some are very good at left.

MORAN: Once again, we don't have -- the Democrat, and get which started by President Obama. There is so many things here, the Democrats have not -- it's just been anti-Trump, anti-Trump.

And I think, if you look its statements from leading Democrats, they're not jumping on this -- you know, Manafort-Cohen bandwagon. There are Democrats in the -- in the Congress need to create clear policy contrast for the American people, and that's not going to happen.

(CROSSTALK)

[01:10:03] HELDMAN: It's not a bandwagon, it's conviction. It's not -- it's a court of -- two courts of law.

MORAN: It's a bandwagon, it's -- once again, it's -- Democrats have not put something says because come vote for me because we forget to happen.

VAUSE: OK. Let's see with -- let's see with -- OK, let's move on to Cohen because, you know, Cohen doesn't want a pardon, his lawyer said that. And of course, there's now the possibility that he could cooperate with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Saying this at the White House briefing on Wednesday, he was asked about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the president feel betrayed by Michael Cohen, and does he concerned about what he might say to Robert Mueller.

SANDERS: I don't think the president concerned at all. He knows that he did nothing wrong. And that there was no collusion and we're going to continue focusing on the things that Americans care about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Yes, things that American care about. Like this petition, they put out a couple of hours ago demanding ESPN which the president described as spineless to broadcast pregame performances of the national anthem.

Charles, I mean, you know, this stuff is worked in the past about as a distraction. Is it going to work this time?

MORAN: I think that in this situation, I mean, there's we're having Manafort and Cohen occur simultaneously. So, again, the focus. But, I think in some ways it's probably better that this is all happening at the same time.

We have two people who have basically pled guilty or been convicted of crimes concerning -- you know, tax evasion and proper registration. You know, doing deals that -- you know, should not have been done.

I don't know where this is good. I know where it started, I don't know when it's the best stop. But 78 days out from the election, I'd rather be having this conversation now and getting it done, so we can talk about the past.

VAUSE: OK, OK, I just to see that it seem that -- you know, your company likes to Americans might not care about Russia, they might not care about -- you know, obstruction of justice. I think they care about truth. And so, with that in mind, let's get back to this lie that has been told by the Trump administration -- you know, even before the inauguration. And this is about the hush money, the payment.

OK, November 4th, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reports $150,000 paid to Karen McDougal by the National Enquirer. Hope Hicks, spokesperson, we have no knowledge of any of this.

January 12, Wall Street at 2018, Wall Street Journal again, $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, the porn star. This is from Michael Cohen. This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client, denies at all.

January 18th, we had the White House spokesman, Raj Shah. This matter was asked and answered during the campaign, and anything else could be directed to Michael Cohen.

The following month February 13th, Cohen tells New York Times, "He made the payments on his own." The next month the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. "I've had conversations with the president about this. There was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he's denied all of these allegations."

Two days later, Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, he puts out those e-mails showing that Cohen used the Trump Organization e-mail address arranging $130,000 grand. Cohen says, "The funds are taken from my home equity line and transferred internally to my LLC account in the same bank.

Another one, March 26th, after Daniels, appears on 60 Minutes on CBS. This is from Raj Shah again. "The president strongly, clearly and consistently denied the underlying claims.

April 5, which I get to Air Force One, the president is asked about it. He weighs in, says "I know nothing about it." And the rest we know, we've caught up with.

So, you know, this is an administration on this one issue, Charles, so they're lying about this. What else are they lying about?

MORAN: John, I stopped listening to you when you said that the Americans don't really care about Russia.

VAUSE: No, I said they may not. I'm just asking.

MORAN: No, no, it's done at that point. Because this is the whole reason the investigation exists is to see if there was collusion between the Russian government. And --

(CROSSTALK)

HELDMAN: And we still don't know that. The investigation has not -- the results are not out.

MORAN: But still you don't basically stutter admitted that this whole thing, everything that you said from that point forward is the Americans do care about foreign government.

VAUSE: No. That goes a really lame attempt. Its pity what they can --

MORAN: No, the foreign -- the foreign government -- a foreign government interfering. Yes. That is what America is paying attention to.

VAUSE: I said -- because this was -- OK. This is what Republican say, "America, you know, the voters don't care about the Russia investigation. You know, they don't care about -- you know, the obstruction of justice.

(CROSSTALK)

MORAN: It's the reason for the season. The whole reason is -- you know, this thing is this investigation exist.

VAUSE: Caroline.

HELDMAN: You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right, Charles.

VAUSE: Right. OK.

HELDMAN: Which means that so, we don't know what Mueller has.

(CROSSTALK)

MORAN: And the investigation still go on and (INAUDIBLE) shut down.

HELDMAN: We don't -- we don't know -- exactly. And you know what, you know what happened?

VAUSE: OK. Charles, you've taken this all off -- you've taken this off topic. Republicans continually say -- you know, voters aren't interested in the Russia stuff, they don't care. You know, as long as the economy's getting better. And you know that -- you know that NFL players are kneeling before the national anthem and -- you know, all that kind of stuff.

That's why -- that's why preference I say -- you know, they may not I didn't say they did they may not care, but maybe they do, I don't know. But maybe they care a lot more about an administration which lies day, after day, after day. And that's the proof here now.

MORAN: They knew who Donald Trump was before they elected them. That and I think that people are still going to be doing it.

HELDMAN: So, it's OK, is that, that our president is a pathological liar because people knew that.

VAUSE: He didn't run a platform of being a consistent pathological liar.

HELDMAN: No, he didn't.

MORAN: I think the American people knew.

HELDMAN: You knew he was a liar before he was elected, is that what you're saying, Charles?

MORAN: I think people knew the character of the president and they still believe that he's the person moving forward. And really, there, you can sit there and be sanctimonious on one side of the T.V. screen. But when you have extra dollars in your pocketbook to be able to pay for things, you just add Ben Stein on your show talking about the economy in the progress we're having.

(CROSSTALK)

HELDMAN: $300,000 to hush two women and he said he never had sex with.

[01:15:00] MORAN: I mean, this president which is still did not breaking the law. VAUSE: Did not be trait between honesty and a healthy economy?

MORAN: When it comes down to what can you pay your bills with, trust or --

VAUSE: But you can have both.

MORAN: Well, I'd like to be able to have both. But the options we had in the last president election made me know that -- you know, that there is one candidate on that stage who is going to be able to do something that was more important for me.

HELDMAN: So, Charles, felony violation of federal campaign laws don't matter to you, is that what you saying?

MORAN: I do not know. There is no federal violation of campaign law.

HELDMAN: Is there absolutely is you know how we know? Michael Cohen just pleaded guilty to two counts of it, which make our president an unindicted co-conspirator. That is what that means.

VAUSE: I'm not a judge-executive. OK.

MORAN: I mean, you can keep trying to use your magic markers connect those dot imaginary --

HELDMAN: It's not mine, it's actually a court of law.

VAUSE: I just got a hand wrapped it. Do telling me I wrapped it. OK, we'll leave it there. Do you realize how long it took me? I noticed with the Washington Post has helped. But yes, that's a good world with the other. But, I guess it what.

MORAN: I appreciate the effort.

VAUSE: Thank you. Charles and Caroline, thank you so much.

OK, we'll head to Australia now with the Liberal Party. The ruling Liberal Parties in the middle of a leadership crisis. But Minister Malcolm Turnbull, says his party will hold a leadership vote on Friday. And if the MP's decide he should go, well, he'll go.

Mr. Turnbull slides a challenge on Tuesday from Peter Dutton and the home affairs minister to resign after the vote. But he now claims he has enough support just two days later to take over the top job.

But Prime Minister Turnbull, says Dutton may not even be eligible to sit in Parliament, and his legal opponents have undermined him. It is always trying to work out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: The reality is that I -- a minority in the party room supported by others outside the parliament have sought to bully, intimidate others into making this change of leadership that they're seeking. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining us now and to try and work out exactly what is going on, our Rodney Tiffen the Emeritus professor of political science at the University of Sydney. Thank you for being with us. If we look at the -- if we look what's happening right now, how it's all playing out, the reality is that within Australian politics, no Prime Minister has managed to serve up a full three-year term since John Howard back in 2007.

What is the end result of this political turmoil which is on both sides of politics, and what's driving it?

RODNEY TIFFEN, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Well, it's -- well, one of the outcomes is public disaffection, alienation from the political process. Because people are sick of this parties fighting within themselves.

I think what's driving this one is a lot of personal revenge from the leader that the Turnbull displaced Tony Abbott. Plus, a feeling inside the Liberal Party that he's not really one of us. That he is -- he is not a conservative at heart that he is sort of -- I think in the U.S. they have used to have the expression RINO, Republican In Name Only.

Well, that's what the Liberal Party thinks about Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal Party do.

VAUSE: You know, to think about Peter Dutton, who is essentially in the charge against Turnbull. He's the public face of it, but he gets his support from the -- you know, the hard right territory of the Liberal Party. You know, you would call them the dries back in the day of Andrew Peacock and John Howard.

And that is basically Tony Abbott country, the former prime minister who was forced out of the leadership by Malcolm Turnbull. So, how much of a goal is Abbott playing in all of this?

TIFFEN: Oh, I think he's been central. I mean, he's been bent on revenge ever since he was defeated. And that's the nature of these leadership coups, they create such bad blood internally. And people are looking for revenge and Abbott has been central in stirring up trouble whenever he can against Turnbull.

And he's had some allies in the media in the -- in the Murdoch tabloid press and some commercial talk radio and so forth. Where in a very partisan way that's sort of been unusual in Australian politics before.

VAUSE: Yes, Turnbull replaced Abbott, he went on had this very narrow election when he's been sort of -- he's had this majority of one seat for some time in the lower House which effectively he's been able to do nothing. He's got none of his agenda through. He seem -- you know, as pretty ineffective that's seen his popularity fall amongst the electorate.

So, I mean, was his leadership pretty much a life support -- you know the moment he had that pretty awful result at the election.

TIFFEN: Well, he -- he's gotten some legislation through. His problem in a way actually isn't the state of the House, except in that he is very vulnerable to threats by Liberals to cross the floor. So, what we've seen is especially on issues of global warming, are these constant retreats by him.

And after he was defeated by Abbott for the leadership in 2009, he is all -- he's been determined to stave off any coup from the right wing. And ironically, now that's what's happened. The one thing you spent years trying to avoid has now come to pass.

[01:20:26] VAUSE: Rodney, is fascinating times in Australian politics they seem to be in fascinating times on a fairly regular basis. Thank you for being with us. Most appreciated.

TIFFEN: My pleasure.

VAUSE: And still to come. No one has seen or heard from him in many months. But now, ISIS claims there's a new message from its reclusive leader. Also Japan and the Korean Peninsula on alert, where the two typhoons heading their way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: The leader of ISIS hasn't been heard from in almost a year. But apparently, that may have changed on Wednesday with the release of a new audio message claiming to be from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The voice on the recording admits the terror group is losing ground but calls on followers to continue the fight. CNN Sam Keily joins us now from Abu Dhabi.

So, firstly assuming this is, in fact, Baghdadi, why would he release this recording now, is there an obvious reason for the timing?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, John it is the period of Eid celebration. So, it is a time when people will be focusing their minds on matters religious in the Muslim Sunni community.

So, this is the opportunity being taken by the man who once declared himself the head of the so-called Islamic caliphate to remind everybody first of all that he is still alive and that whilst the caliphate may have been destroyed the idea of it still lives on.

He's exhorting his followers, in particular, to focus their attention on trying to topple the monarchy in Jordan. At to continue operations -- that is terrorist operations around the world appealing and reminding the followers of the lone wolves his term of the sorts of people that terrorist that we've seen attacking Manchester, Brussels, Paris and elsewhere. Particularly in Europe, Tunisia too.

And he is also saying that although the so-called caliphate has been knocked back, he's admitting very heavy losses this doesn't matter so much as the -- what will prevail in his words will be the strength of the faith of the worshipers.

I think really this is a rallying call to the followers around the world there are estimated to be some 30,000 adherence to his sort of ideology in Syria and Iraq, he learned, John. So, if that's the case, then this is an opportunity really to remind them that he still exists.

So, there were reports last year coming from the Russians that they killed an American. Sources told CNN about seven months ago that he'd been wounded, and I think this is him saying, "I'm back." But of course, we also have no evidence, John, really that this is indeed a Baghdadi and not some kind of ersatz facsimile of him. John?

[01:25:48] VAUSE: Yes, OK, Sam. Thank you for that. And they have a timing always a question. Then, I guess the question of what happens next? Does it -- is that a privilege to something? I guess we'll see. Sam, thank you.

Well, a pair of typhoon set to strike on Thursday. One taking aim at the Korean Peninsula, the other bearing down on Japan wins floods and heavy rain in the forecast. CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with the latest now from the CNN Weather Center.

You know, typhoons heading towards Hawaii, typhoons of the Korean Peninsula in Japan, as well.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, absolutely. You know, it's actually exceptionally rare as well across this particular region. Not necessarily Japan but once you cross over into South Korea it is unusual to see a typhoon cross that region but Soulik, Cimaron, high probability of formation not far there from the Taiwan Strait.

And an incredibly busy season across the Western Pacific nearly doubling the number of tropical storms, but more in line with typhoons and super typhoon so far into the season in 2018. And here we go, Soulik to the north. Notice it has already really pushed through the Jeju Islands, produced tremendous rainfall in that region.

But as it crosses over now into the western periphery of South Korea, that's what we're watching carefully. You take a look at this. Since the 1980s, only 13 systems have made landfall as tropical systems across portions of South Korea.

And, in fact, in recent years, you've had to go back to 2010 when Kompasu made landfall in South Korea, and Olga in 1999 prior to that. So, again, rather unusual to see across this far towards the West. At this point we're looking at this relate tonight into early Friday morning for this system across in somewhere south of Seoul could come in as a tropical system.

And Seoul certainly, feel the brunt of this, and gusty winds, heavy rainfall continue over the next 24 hours. And you see the conditions go downhill quickly across Seoul.

So, travel plans here is certainly going to be disrupted. That's what is left of a Soulik to the south here is Cimaron coming in. Literally, twin typhoons here. A lot of similarities in this particular system also sitting there as a Category 2, going to weekend potentially to a Category 1, as it makes landfall somewhere near Kochi around the same exact time.

Thursday evening into Friday, side-by-side here we go, notice the track. And eventually, notice where they end up. Northern portions of Japan could see the brunt of this for both systems coming ashore.

So, an incredibly busy season across this region and very unsettled the next couple of days, as well. John.

VAUSE: Pedram, thanks to the update.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back here on NEWSROOM, L.A. The bull on Wall Street running longer than ever before while it may be a record, it's also the most hated Bull Run ever. And we'll have a columnist Ben Stein explain why, in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:43] VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Donald Trump brushing aside claims from his former lawyer that he directed payments to keep two alleged affairs quiet during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump says the payments were not illegal because the money came from him. But he also says he didn't know about the payments until later on.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he's not stepping down, at least not yet. Mr. Turnbull's party is to hold a leadership vote on Friday. He says it was decided that he should go. He won't contest. But he says a key challenger, former Home Affairs minister Peter Dunham, may not even be eligible to sit in parliament.

ISIS has released a new audio message, supposedly from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The speaker admits ISIS is losing ground, calling it a test from Allah. But he encourages followers to keep up the attacks with knives, bombs, as well as vehicles.

The trade war between the U.S. and China is heating up yet again with both sides slapping new tariffs on each other in the past hour. President Trump started a tit for tat back in March, and since then $50 billion worth of goods on both sides have been affected.

U.S. and Chinese officials have been meeting in Washington to try and work through their differences. The latest tariffs from the U.S. will hit nearly 300 Chinese products including those seen there.

Wall Street has been celebrating a milestone -- the longest running bull market in U.S. history, or maybe not. Economists put the exact start date has March 9th, 2009. That was the end of the great recession. U.S. financial markets have been slowly moving upwards ever since.

For the record that's 3,453 days, and there's no sign it will end anytime soon, or maybe there is. While the economy remains strong, there are the problems of inflation, trade wars, tariffs, rising interest rates, and of course, political turmoil.

Actor, comedian and economist Ben Stein joins us here now for more to explain all this. We're glad you're here. Thank you.

BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST: I'm honored to be here. Thank you very much.

VAUSE: And you like the carrot cake which is great.

STEIN: Your wife made a delicious carrot cake, it's in the dressing room, and I invite everyone in the world to come get some.

VAUSE: Ok. Let's talk about -- let's talk money.

Let's put this in simple terms that I understand. If someone invested $1,000 at the beginning of this bull market in 2009, reinvested the dividends every year, they now have just over $5,000. A return of about 19 percent a year, which is pretty good, but this has been called the most unloved bull market in history. Why is that?

STEIN: Because it has gone up in fits and arts. It's had some big, big, big upward days, and it's had some days that it's gone down a lot, and it's had some days it's been flat. It has been not -- as the economist say -- monotonic upward movement.

And it's an interesting fact about investments if you miss the big days, you miss everything. So that when you get into the stock market you cannot pick and choose the days you're going to be in it. You just have to stay in. And if you miss the day that it's up 3 or 4 percent in one day, which is a very rare day, but it's a wonderful day when it happens, then you are really missing out.

So it's unloved because people don't understand how to invest properly.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, when we talk about people investing, we're talking about $18 trillion in wealth over this bull run which has been created.

STEIN: That's a lot of money.

VAUSE: It's a lot of money. But it's only going to a small number of people. One --

STEIN: That's not true.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, let's talk about this -- because this study found the top 10 percent earning roughly 84 percent of the value of the shares. STEIN: You know, that's not true, because an awful lot of the money

that's invested in the stock market is in pension funds. And those are pension funds for teachers, trash collectors, truck driver, taxi drivers, even agricultural workers. So everybody gets a bit -- gets a dip of (INAUDIBLE) gravy in some way.

Now, in terms of direct ownership --

VAUSE: Right.

STEIN: -- not enough people own stocks, and that's a real problem. And something that is an astonishing problem in this day where we're so conscious of gender roles is that women are much, much less likely than men to be in the stock market. And that's a real tragedy because that is a very big way towards gender equality is them having more money.

VAUSE: One thing which is also -- tell me about it -- one thing which is surprising is how many people are actually taking time to argue about is this the longest bull run in history or is it not.

[01:34:57] Bespoke at Market Research Phone (ph) tweeted this, "The only way this is the longest bull market on record is if you one, pulled a 19 percent decline in 1990 a bear market; two, don't pull a 19 percent decline in 1998 a bear market; and three, don't pull a 19 percent decline in 2011 a bear market. Nonsensical."

Then if you go by trading days some argue as opposed to calendar day the milestone isn't reached until the last day of August. Some take exception with the actual start date. The bull market actually begins when the market reclaims it old high, not when it bottoms. By this measure, the bull market began March 2013. You know, this goes on and on and on.

STEIN: I know, but that's all nonsense.

VAUSE: Who cares?

STEIN: Exactly -- who cares? It's been a very, very good time to be in stocks. And it's been engineered that way by the Federal Reserve because the main issue for investors is do you buy stocks, or do you buy bonds. And since the Federal Reserve has been keeping the return on bonds very, very low they are more or less squeezing all the toothpaste in the tube into this stock market.

And that will some day end when bond yields are allowed to rise, then the bull market is going to be something we all look back on with great, great glee and hope it comes again. But as long as the Fed is keeping interest rates low, the market is a golden place to be.

VAUSE: So essentially when you're looking at how much longer we've got of the gravy train, how much longer, you know, the stocks will continue to rise, you know, the economic fundamentals are strong, right?

STEIN: Very, very strong. VAUSE: So these are the things that matter, not the politics, right?

Not what's happening --

STEIN: No. No.

VAUSE: -- in the White House.

STEIN: Nobody cares --

VAUSE: Not the Cohen stuff, the Manafort stuff.

STEIN: Couldn't care less. Couldn't care less. There's no bearing on it whatsoever. What counts is earnings and interest rates, and that's it. And earnings are way, way, way up, fantastically up, and interest rates are quite low still. Although they're higher than they were, they're quite low still.

VAUSE: You know, we're just talking about new tariffs being slapped on Chinese exports by the U.S. global trade war, potential, you know, the rising interest rates. I mean does that stuff matter? All the trade war stuff.

STEIN: It matters, but not very much. The U.S. is not a huge exporting country, unlike say, England or Germany. The U.S. is not largely dependent on exports, so it really doesn't matter to us that much if our exports are trimmed. We're very different from most countries in that regard.

VAUSE: Ok. Finally, who gets the credit? Does Obama get the credit? Does Donald Trump get the credit? Do they have to share it?

STEIN: I would say Bush 43, Obama, and Mr. Trump all get the credit. But Mr. Bush stepped in and kept the banks from collapsing, Mr. Obama kept a low interest rates and kept feeding the economy with deficits, and Mr. Trump is continuing to feed the economy with deficits.

The problem with that is we've now got a $21 trillion deficit. You're a much younger man than I am. You may live to see a default. I don't think I will, but somebody is going to live to see a default.

VAUSE: Wow. The bull run born of quantitative easing -- I guess.

STEIN: Yes.

VAUSE: Stein -- a pleasure.

STEIN: Pleasure for me, too. Thank you.

VAUSE: Thank you -- sir.

STEIN: Thank you for the cake.

VAUSE: You're welcome.

It was a brief moment -- it was true brief, and now it's over. Just a few families from North and South Korea reunited for a few days. There was heartache. There were tears, and painful emotions, and they were the lucky ones.

Here is CNN's Paula Hancocks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Saying goodbye most likely for the last time. Lee Kyum-seum (ph) waits for the son she was separated from when he was 4. The 92-year-old allowed a total of 12 hours with her child in North Korea to catch up on a separation of nearly 70 years.

It's now over, and they must go back to living on opposite sides of an impenetrable border. This is the brutal legacy of the Korean War -- countless families torn apart in the 1950s, a fraction reunited for a brief moment in time.

Lee and her then one-year-old daughter separated from her son and husband while fleeing the fighting. Lee says her favorite time with Sung-chol (ph) was sharing a meal her hotel room. They shared family photos, images of grandchildren and great grandchildren Lee didn't even know she had.

Arriving back in South Korea, Lee tells us she thought she was dreaming when she first saw her son, but when she hugged him, it felt real. On the drive back to Seoul, she is philosophical about being separated from Sung-chol for a second time.

LEE KYUM-SYUM, SEPARATED FROM SON: I'm ok. (INAUDIBLE) from the beginning, I know that I cannot be with him.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE GRAPHICS)

HANCOCKS: Lee's daughter Cho Seum-ok (ph) was too young to remember her brother. Sung-chol didn't remember he had a sister until they met.

[01:40:08] Lee falls asleep -- the emotional strain of the past days taking its toll. Cho questions if she will ever be able to sleep well again. .

(GRAPHICS)

HANCOCKS: One family left with all-too brief memories, photos, hopes that some day they could send each other a letter. Lee does not expect to see her son again.

Paula Hancocks, CNN -- Sokcho, South Korea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, they were promised a safe, dignified return but Myanmar's government is accused of imprisoning, torturing and persecuting Rohingya refugees coming home from Bangladesh.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: A year on since they were forced to flee a military crackdown in Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in camps in neighboring Bangladesh have celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, many praying for better lives, maybe even the chance to go home.

But according to Human Rights Watch those who have made the journey back to Myanmar have been the victims of government ordered imprisonment, torture, and persecution despite being guaranteed a safe and dignified return.

Brad Adams is the executive director of Human Rights. He joins us now from Berkeley in California. Brad -- thank you for taking the time to be with us.

With this report, you specifically looked at six Rohingya men and boys who made this trip back to Rakhine state in Myanmar. They were in Bangladesh. Once they got across the border, they were what, sent to jail and then after that they were used as props for government propaganda. What else happened to them?

BRAD ADAMS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Yes, it's pretty distressing. These people went back because the conditions in the camps are terrible. They're hungry. Many people in the camps are struggling to survive. And so they went back to collect fishing equipment and other things they thought they could bring back to Bangladesh to make a living. And while they were there, they were arrested and accused of being terrorists.

[01:44:49] This happened on multiple occasions. These six people were arrested in different times, different locations by different units, but they all shared the same fate, which was being badly beaten, including being burned, punched, kicked, dragged.

And then to add insult to injury they were brought in front of the international media in June by the Burmese authorities, who tried to say that people were now coming back from Bangladesh voluntarily because it was safe. They had done it of their own volition. And put them on display, as if they were happy returnees.

And when the cameras disappeared, these people all fled back to Bangladesh.

VAUSE: Just a little more from your report, that happened to one of these teenager there, a 17-year- old boy called Brahmed (ph) who was held by border police, here's what he said.

"They burned a plastic bag and let the hot plastic drip on to my body. They also took a heated iron bar and branded my legs, pressed burning cigarettes to my skin, poured hot wax from a burning candle on my skin, scratched my body with blade and hit me with rod and sticks."

You know, and what you've been saying and what this young man says, it flies directly in the face of that deal that Myanmar had made agreeing to, you know, a safe return. Your report says it's a farce. This is what you found. "Despite Myanmar's rhetoric guaranteeing a safe and dignified return,

the reality is that Rohingya will go back and still face the persecution and abuses they were forced to flee."

So I mean if you look at all of this, in other words not much has changed in the space of a year.

ADAMS: No, very little has changed. The Burmese authorities whether it's the army or Aung San Suu Kyi deny any atrocities, they deny human rights abuses. The one case in which they held anyone accountable was the case where Reuters published evidence of a massacre and a mass grave. The government says they prosecuted 10 soldiers but they also prosecuted the two Reuters journalists who are still in prison awaiting trial. They're facing up to 14 years in prison.

And the authorities have done nothing to create conditions that would make Rohingya want to return. We have people in the camps regularly. And we have not met any Rohingya who want to go back, because they are afraid of exactly what happened to these six people.

VAUSE: And when we talk about the authorities, we're talking about the de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been roundly condemned. She will soon be the second person in 200 years strip of a Freedom of Edinburgh Award -- that will be the seventh international award which has been revoked.

Despite all that, she continues to deny what her military is doing, and it seems she can't even say the word Rohingyas.

Here she is. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR LEADER: The danger of terrorist activities, which was the initial cause of events dating to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine remains real and present today. Unless this security challenge is addressed, the risk inter-communal violence will remain. It is a threat that could have grave consequences not just for Myanmar, but also for other countries in our region and beyond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, I just wonder about Aung San Suu Kyi because is she actually in a position to take a stronger stand? Could she actually make a real difference? Or is she that -- her position so tenuous that if she speaks out, you know, the military will just take over again?

ADAMS: Well, the military have everything they want, so they have no incentive to stage a coup even though there are diplomats who say -- they defend her by saying she has to avoid a coup because they've never really had it better. They were isolated. They were considered to be pariahs. And they're behavior in Rakhine state towards Rohingya is leading to sanctions in some cases. But still they are able to travel the world and meet other militaries. I mean I think her speech is really scandalous. I mean she basically is hiding behind the fake threat of terrorism, which doesn't really exist in Burma. Yes, there is attacked by militants, but only a few members of the border guards were injured or killed.

And in retaliation, we had thousands and probably tens of thousands of Rohingya were killed. Over 800,000 forced into Bangladesh as refugees. She actually called them internally displaced persons in that very speech you just showed instead of calling refugees giving them the dignity they deserve of people who have a well-founded fear of persecution.

And you know, she could really change the course of things in Burma. She is still the most popular person in the country. She has great authority -- political authority. I would say her moral authority has certainly diminished.

And my plea to her would be, you know, Kofi Annan died last week, and he led an advisory commission that she appointed. He was a friend of hers. And if she would simply read the very good document he wrote, which is a road map for peace and stability and rights in Burma, things could be much better in the country. She knows that.

Obviously the Rohingya -- maybe she doesn't care about the Rohingya, she can care about the legacy of her friend, Kofi Annan.

VAUSE: And you know, we're out of time, but you know, this is the woman who was, you know, years ago was described in terms of the Nelson Mandela of Asia. It certainly seems that maybe that's not the case.

Brad -- thanks.

ADAMS: No. Her star has fallen.

VAUSE: Yes.

[01:49:56] Well, some of the biggest names in music like Chris Martin (ph) and Chrissie Hynde (ph) are joining the call for many in Uganda for the release of Bobi Wine, a pop star turned opposition politician. Wine was detained last week during clashes between protesters and security forces. He's expected to appear in court within the next hour.

We've got details now from CNN's David McKenzie.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The group of journalists proceeds cautiously. Their phones capture the moment soldiers fire off live rounds into the air, while live TV catches this -- a photographer beaten by a baton. The military has since apologized.

Bystanders raise their hands in fear, desperate to get out unharmed. A heavy-handed deployment meant to quell protests that have been building throughout Uganda -- a growing chorus to free one man.

(MUSIC)

MCKENZIE: Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, a the pop star turned opposition politician.

Having grown up in one of Kampala's slums, Wine styles himself "the ghetto president", boldly criticizing President Yoweri Museveni as out of touch.

Last week, President Museveni said his cavalcade was stoned during campaigning. Wine's driver shot and killed in the aftermath. Wine was arrested by the military.

EDDIE YAWE, BROTHER OF BOBI WINE: My brother was tortured.

MCKENZIE: His brother is one of the few people to see him in military detention.

YAWE: That was the last time by himself, (INAUDIBLE) with his seat by himself. That was the last time I saw him.

MCKENZIE: A military spokesman refused to comment to CNN. In a statement, Museveni called the torture allegations fake news, and that military doctors always take precautions in such situations. He accuses Wine of intimidating voters.

Museveni, who has been in power for nearly 33 years, has quelled protests before. And late last year, the parliament amended the constitution to rescind age limits, so M7, as he is known, could rule for life.

But about 70 percent of Uganda's population is now under 30. Most of the country wasn't even born when Museveni was sworn in.

(on camera): Are they tired of politics in Uganda?

YAWE: No. Actually they are not tired of politics, but they are tired of empty promises. Some dating years down the road -- promises have become empty. I mean Bobi Wine is almost a grandson to the president of Uganda.

MCKENZIE: Bobi Wine has been riding that deep current of resentment among younger voters leading what he calls a people power movement.

In a battle between the pop star and the president, these people have chosen their side.

David McKenzie, CNN -- Johannesburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Next up here on NEWSROOM L.A., would you like to help Michael Cohen? We'll have details on the fund taking donations for this now down-on-his-luck, financially strapped, former bagman for Donald Trump. > (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Who says crime doesn't pay? After Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges, his GoFundMe account soared more than $100,000. Yes, Michael Cohen has a GoFundMe account.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[01:55:00] JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Feeling generous? Michael Cohen would like you to donate to his GoFundMe page.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was, like, are you nucking futs? I couldn't believe it.

MOOS: Believe -- Cohen's lawyer was all over TV asking for donations.

LANNY DAVIS, MICHAEL COHEN'S LAWYER: He's without resources.

Wanting to help Michael Cohen tell the truth -- we've set up a Web site called "Michael Cohen Truth Fund".

MOOS: "Are you kidding me," read one tweet. "How about you get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) account?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, no, no. I won't give him a dime, not one dime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not one dime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not even a dime that I found off the street.

MOOS: But someone is donating towards the goal of half a million dollars -- a woman who contributed $5 using Melania's name says she did it to see if the site was legit. On Megyn Kelly's show, the audience laughed out loud.

DAVIS: Some help from the American people so we can continue tell the truth.

MEGYN KELLY, TALK SHOW HOST: The audience -- they don't appear ready to donate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm thinking they're all dirty. I'm thinking they've all been grabbing the money. And now they just want to grab mine.

MOOS: Some wondered why Cohen needs cash when he bought a $6.7 million apartment that he now rents out for $25,000 a month.

Read another tweet. "Here is who he is really is," linking to audio of Cohen threatening a reporter.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: So I'm warning you. Tread very (EXPLETIVE DELETED) lightly because what I'm going to do to you is going to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) disgusting. Do you understand me?

MOOS: We understand some of those willing to contribute want Cohen to bring down President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so --

MOOS: How much would you be willing to give him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think $20 would be the most, because I think, like, I gave, like, $30 to World Wildlife Fund, so I can't give more are to Cohen than I give to pandas.

MOOS: Cohen, like pandas may end up in captivity -- who would you rather contribute to?

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause. Stay with us.

The news continues here on CNN after a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Malcolm Turnbull's gamble -- Australia's embattled prime minister is digging in for a fight amid a revolt within his own party.

[02:00:04] Donald Trump's attempt at damage control -- he defends hush money paid to women ahead of the election insisting there's nothing wrong with it.