iPhone X R cannot connect to itunes

So I got a spanking new iPhone last night, but I just can’t get it to connect to my iTunes… Even had to do a factory reset so that I could use the quick set up to restore my data from my iPhone 6s since the person in the store skipped all that for me.

Ok details. I updated my iPhone(s) to the latest 12.1.1. My 6s too, which connects to iTunes just fine.

I’m on mojave 10.14 on my late 2015 iMac. My iTunes should already be the latest: I tried to download and reinstall iTunes, but apparently the iTunes 12.8 is only for older versions of the Mac. Both my phone and Mac date and time are accurate and internet synced.

I get that “need to download a new software to connect to this iPhone” pop up, but when I click yes, it is suck forever in the download page… And then after hours of wait, says that “can’t download the software because of a network problem”

Tried changing several USB cables, including the brand new USB cable out of the box.

Not too sure what’s the network issue or how to fix it. I did notice that asking my mac OS to check for system updates took forever before it finally said operation timed out.

Recently I installed a new vpn for work use, but that’s not on right now. Also had to get an anti virus to get the VPN to work, but I already uninstalled that because of this issue and restarted my comp several times since.

What am I missing here? This should be a mac issue rather than a phone issue right? Thanks folks!

Update: just installed iTunes on my work windows pc. It detects my iPhone just fine. Arghs…

Update: finally got it working after reinstalling macOS!

Tried resetting PRAM and some other stuff before that no to avail.