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Category Five Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall On Dominica; Puerto Rico Bracing For A Direct Hit From Maria; Antigua And Barbuda Under A Tropical Storm Warning; De Facto Leader Defends Response To Rohingya Crisis; Investigators Wiretapped Trump's Ex-Campaign Chair; Unclear If Trump Was Picked Up On Manafort's Surveillance; White House Tried To Distance Itself From Manafort; Trump Calls For Bold Reforms On United Nations; Trump To Issue Harsh Warnings To North Korea and Iran Myanmar's President Address Persecution; Emmy's Get Political as Stars Target Trump. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired September 19, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, another powerful hurricane gaining strength in the Caribbean, battering a region still reeling from the last devastating storm.
SESAY: Plus, Myanmar's de facto leader tries to calm critics who say that Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi is not doing enough to stop the Rohingya crisis.
VAUSE: Making the U.N. great. Donald Trump takes his America First presidency to a global organization committed to international cooperation.
SESAY: Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. You're now watching the second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
SESAY: Sadly, here we go again. A category five hurricane is hammering islands in the Caribbean that just took a beating from Hurricane Irma less than two weeks ago. This time it's Hurricane Maria battering Dominica, where top sustained winds around 257 kilometers per hour. It is the strongest storm on record for the island.
VAUSE: Puerto Rico is bracing for a direct hit expected Wednesday. According to the current forecast, Maria will be the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico in 85 years. Well, Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is tracking Hurricane Maria. He joins us now from the National Weather Center in Atlanta. So, Pedram, that's the key here; if these current forecasts hold the course. If this is what we're expecting, who's in the firing line, I guess?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, in the firing line are the Virgin Islands, and eventually Puerto Rico. And the confidence, John, is just high that these two islands will get, at least, whether it'd be direct or indirect, I think its figure to very close call for that. But I think the confidence is very high that the storm will move ashore either as a category four or a category five. Dominica made landfall within this island here in the past couple of hours. 75,000 people live there. Moving across portions of Terre-de-Basse, which an off-shore French territory, south of Guadalupe there. A thousand of people live there, and the storm is moving ashore as we speak. Really, one of those nights. You've got to keep people in your prayers.
You almost get goosebumps when you think about winds of this magnitude going over a region -- home to just a few hundred, a thousand or so people, and this will literally devastate the area. We saw it Barbuda. We saw it across parts of Antigua. And it is certainly playing out as we speak right now across Terra-de-Basse and the southern portion thereof the Leeward Islands. And this storm system, you know, when you get up to category four and category five, the National Hurricane Center puts the damage scale a catastrophic. But notice the area in red, most of the areas are inhabitable for a period weeks or months, power outages lasting for a period of weeks or months as well. This is the sort of scenario playing out right now.
And of course, we saw this happen just to the north, just less than ten days ago. So, category five storm pushes towards portions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, that would be early Wednesday morning. The landfall there, potentially, before sunrise on Wednesday. And then, by lunchtime on Wednesday afternoon, around Eastern Puerto Rico, the storm system begins moves ashore -- can move towards the Turks and Caicos as a category four, making another landfall after their first category five hurricane in recorded history with Irma about a week and a half ago. So, here's what we're looking at and notice the population density as you approach Puerto Rico.
I know, Isha, just talked about the population here, and, of course, the last time, I should say, here that we had a hurricane being back in the '20s, I should say. This storm system comes ashore with the population in Puerto Rico that's three times the population it was back about 80 years ago. So, this storm, of course, can cause far more damage, much more infrastructure to be had across this region, as well goes directly over San Juan, the population hub across the area. And notice the rainfall potential, we're talking on the order of 300 to 500 millimeters or as much as a foot and a half to almost two feet and a few spots, widespread across this very mountainous island.
That could be a major element in loss of life, and damage with the storm in a mountainous region. And notice the model concentration, extremely confident on that Eastern Puerto Rico track, and then beyond that, we begin to see a little bit of spread as it approaches Turks and Caicos and then breaks apart as we go in towards the latter portion of this week. And the European model in blue, the American in red -- again, when they're on top of each other, the confidence is high. Notice as we go in towards late week and to early next week, one of the models picks this off and put that off-shore, while another one keeps it close to the Eastern United States. So, definitely a lot of people in the impact.
And you know, guys, it's incredible to think that Harvey, Jose, Irma and now Maria, all of them at category for or category five. These are storms you would see once in a decade and we're seeing these back to back to back to back coming across the Atlantic Ocean. Incredible.
SESAY: Frightening norm.
VAUSE: And everyone, all the experts are saying this could very well be the new normal and it will get worse. Pedram, thank you.
SESAY: Pedram, thank you. All right, well, let's -- we're already hearing of significant damage to buildings in Dominica. Hours ago, the prime minister posted on Facebook: "My roof is gone. I'm at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding." But he later posted an update, saying I have been rescued. Let's bring in Michael Joseph from St. John's, Antigua. He's the President of Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society. Michael, thank you so much for joining us. Right now, the projected path of Maria had this essentially skirting Antigua, though the expectation is there will also be some fairly strong winds in the hours ahead. What are conditions like right now?
[01:05:35] MICHAEL JOSEPH, PRESIDENT, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RED CROSS: Well, I can tell you we're already starting to feel very, very strong winds already. (INAUDIBLE) if this storm (INAUDIBLE) because of it hold -- how sustained kind of wind gusts at the moment. So, it's quite strong, I would say, and you can hear the wind whistling and even, you know, shaking in the rafters.
SESAY: You know, I've got to ask you, Michael, given everything that Antigua's been through and Barbuda. I mean, how are people taking this, just the notion of another storm being in the vicinity of the area?
JOSEPH: To be honest with you, I mean, at this point in time, people are just calling on prayers right now, people are just asking how much more. And you know we're still very much feeling the active part of the hurricane season. We are not even -- we still have another two months to undergo. And this is a concern for many, many people, particularly the Barbudans -- they're eager to go back home and they're eager to help as they get back home. However, you know, we just started the clean-up in Barbuda on Saturday, and now today, Monday, we already faced with Hurricane Maria. And then, the concern is what is going to happen next week, what's going to happen the week after? They just seem to be a phenomenal time -- year for us.
SESAY: Michael, are you still with me.
JOSEPH: I'm still here. I'm still here. Can you hear me?
SESAY: Yes. The line dropped just for a second. I mean, let me ask you this, I mean, even though, you know, Maria is not projected to bring significant damage or get close to Antigua and Barbuda, I mean, what does a little bit of rain and a little bit of sustained winds, what does that mean for the recovery effort?
JOSEPH: You know, well, for Antigua, if we're talking about one to two feet of water, that could mean significant flooding. Particularly, in a lot of low-lying communities. So, we could be talking about persons who, by morning, will have to be getting pushing water outside of their home, communities that completely locked up until the flood level gone down to access. And then, (INAUDIBLE) again, with it just would've started to pump a lot of those settled and stagnant water from the mainland. That would contribute to a growth of mosquitos, and we have this water again being brought back onto Barbuda, so you'll have to repeat itself over and over, over and over, and over, and over.
SESAY: It is. It is incredibly distressing. People have already been through so much and now they're worried about what could come in the hours ahead. Michael Joseph, thank you for all week, all week. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We'll continue to check with you, and, of course, we wish you the very best -- you and all the folks in Antigua and Barbuda. Thank you.
VAUSE: Myanmar's de facto leader has broken her silence on the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims. While the U.N. suspects they're the victims of ethnic cleansing, Aung San Suu Kyi says she just doesn't know what's driving their mass exodus out of the country. The Nobel Prize Laureate is under increasing international pressure to do more to stop a violent military crackdown on the Rohingya. More than a thousand have been killed in less than a month. Many activists and refugees have told CNN, entire villages have been destroyed and the Rohingya themselves claims they're the victims of rape murder and torture. But Suu Kyi says, again, it's just not clear why almost half a million have decided to pack up their bags and flee to Bangladesh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, STATE COUNSELLOR OF MYANMAR: It is not the intention of the Myanmar government to apportion blame or to abnegate responsibility. We condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence. We are committed to the restoration of peace, stability, and rule of law throughout the state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN's Senior International Correspondent, Ivan Watson, joins us now from the capital of Myanmar, and Alexandra Field is in Bangladesh near the Rohingya refugee camps. And so, Ivan, first to you, this is a speech that will be greeted with much approval, almost even joy in Myanmar, but almost utter disbelief by the rest of the world.
[01:10:01] IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And there was a viewing party at city hall in the commercial capital, Yangon, and our team of reporters there say some of the crowd were cheering, you know, "long live mother Suu," when Aung San Suu Kyi was speaking. One woman said, I can't understand anything she's saying but I agree with all of it. We have to take note that Aung San Suu Kyi spoke in English, which she has mastery of that language but that is not really a language that the majority of the people in this country speak.
So, this was clearly a speech intended for the international audience, for the international community and there's been a great deal of condemnation coming from many, many circles, including the United Nations -- which has basically called the mass exodus of more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims. A textbook case of ethnic cleansing. That was not used in this half-hour-long speech, instead, we heard Aung San Suu Kyi invites diplomats from around the world to travel to the conflict area to take a look first-hand at what she says are the real facts on the ground.
She insists that there are pockets where there are peace and harmony there between the Muslims living in that state and Buddhist living there. And made some assertions that were directly contradicted by a commission that she, herself, called for, led by Kofi Annan, which in called for immediate freedom of movement, education, and healthcare for all people regardless of their ethnicity or religion in Rakhine State. That is simply something that is not allowed for members of the Rohingya Muslim population right now.
By the way, we're seeing some movement right now, because Aung San Suu Kyi has been speaking invited diplomats to participate in a question and answer period closed doors. So, we're seeing some of the officials now coming out on the red carpet, possibly emerging from that moment, John. And there is the State Counsellor, the Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, herself. Aung San Suu Kyi, was their ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State? So, there we had Aung San Suu Kyi just walked past after his closed-door meeting with diplomats here who were invited to the capital, Naypyidaw, for the government's explanation of that kind of orgy of violence that has led to more than 400,000 people fleeing across the border, John.
And she is calling for more investigation at this time into the reasons why this could be happening, and she's also framed this as a government battle against terrorism. That being militants from within that Rohingya Muslim community who have carried out and claimed responsibility for attacks against some of the security forces taking place there. But clearly, there are very divergent narratives for just what is happening in that corner of Myanmar right now. John?
VAUSE: Well, Aung San Suu Kyi could never claim that she didn't hear you when you asked that question, I guess, about ethnic cleansing. It's strange she didn't answer. Ivan, thank you. Stay with us if you can. Let's go to Alexandra now in -- Alexandra Field in Bangladesh. And just to pick up on Ivan's point there about Aung San Suu Kyi, wanting help to understand, what's driving this? She doesn't understand what's going on.
I mean, there was this report which came out from Amnesty just today: "The latest evidence published by Amnesty International points to a mass scale scorched earth campaign across northern Rakhine State, where Myanmar security forces and vigilante mobs are burning down entire Rohingya villages and shooting people at random as they try to flee. In legal terms, these are crimes against humanity -- systematic attacks forcible deportation of civilians." And Alexandra, you've been there with the refugees, you've spoken to them and that matches up pretty much what they have told you about their experiences.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Due a person, John, and we're talking about some 410,000 people who have crossed over this border running for their lives. The speech that was made by Aung San Suu Kyi will fall far short for these refugees who are here, who are hoping to one day go home to a safe place in a country that they have lived for generations. She is, as Ivan has pointed out, this global human rights icon.
Her election-inspired so much hope for the Rohingya Muslims, a group that has long been referred to as the world's most persecuted people. And what you see right now is the greatest suffering that has potentially ever been inflicted on these people. You heard Aung San Suu Kyi in that address to the nation and, really, in that address to the world say that action will be taken against anyone who violates human rights.
She went on to say that her government has never been soft on human rights. But she also said that what she knows is that there have been allegations and counter allegations and that she needs evidence before any action can be taken. She said several times, that it wasn't clear to her why some 410,000 Rohingyas have left in exodus, fleeing Rakhine State.
[01:15:16] She also pointed out that 50 percent of their villages in Rakhine State remain intact. That would be a low bar by most international standards. Why are these people fleeing that country? Well, it's very clear when they come across the border. We have visited them in the camps and we have spoken to them in the hospitals. We have seen people whose bodies are ripped apart by landmines that have been laid along the border as they try to run for their lives.
What are they escaping? They say that they are escaping attacks from the military -- shootings, fire bombings of homes, burning of entire villages, gang rapes of women, children being thrown onto fires. They say the military is conducting this campaign against them. Aung San Suu Kyi was clear in her speech that the military has responded to a series of terror attacks pulled off by Rohingya militants in October, and then again in August, that they were conducting clearance operations.
She maintains that those operations stopped on September 5th, but certainly, John, the refugees have not stopped coming across the border. And just as recently, a few days ago, when I traveled the sectioned border, I could still see the smoke rising from the side of Myanmar where these people are running from, where they say their homes and their villages are being burned.
She went on to say that the military will adhere to a code of conduct to avoid collateral damage, and those are going to be some very hard words for the Rohingya people here in Bangladesh to hear -- collateral damage. We're talking about some 1,000 people who have died in the violence that broke out after that initial militant attack on those border posts back on August 25th. John?
VAUSE: The speech sounded so much like there's blame on both sides. Alexandra Field there in Bangladesh; Ivan, we're out of time -- our Ivan Watson in Myanmar, thanks to you both
SESAY: Quick break here. New revelations about Donald Trump's former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, who is listening to his conversations and what did they hear?
VAUSE: Also ahead, world leaders will be listening closely as President Trump addresses the U.N. general assembly, the first time he's done this. That will happen in a few hours.
VAUSE: Well, the investigation of Russian meddling into the U.S. election is closing in on Donald Trump's former campaign manager. New York Times reports prosecutors have told Paul Manafort, they plan to indict him.
SESAY: The Times called the move just one example of the aggressive tactics the investigators are using. The federal agents raided Manafort's home in July. The special counsel has issued a number of grand jury subpoenas.
VAUSE: CNN has exclusive details about investigators received some of the evidence against Manafort.
SESAY: CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown has the exclusive details.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, sources tell CNN that the FBI received permission from the secret surveillance court to monitor Paul Manafort, the former Trump Campaign Chairman, before and after, the election. This isn't an extraordinary step for the FBI to do surveillance of a high-ranking campaign official, and, of course, Manafort is now at the center of the Russian meddling probe. We're told that there are intercepted communications that raise concerns among investigators about whether Manafort was encouraging Russians to help with the campaign.
[01:20:23] Some sources, though, cautioned that this intelligence was not conclusive. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been provided all these communications, so they are in his hands, his team's hand. We did not get a comment from Paul Manafort's spokesman, but Manafort has previously denied he ever knowingly communicated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election, and he's also denied helping Russia undermine U.S. interests. Now, the secret order began back in 2014 after Manafort became the subject of an investigation that centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine's former ruling party.
Our sources say, at some point that surveillance was discontinued. And then, there was a new FISA warrant that the FBI received related to the investigation into Russia meddling. What's interesting here is that during the same timeframe of the second FISA warrant that went through at least early this year, there were conversations between Paul Manafort and President Trump. But it's unclear if President Trump was picked up as part of the surveillance. Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Joining us now, CNN Political Commentators, Democratic
Strategist Dave Jacobson, and Republican Consultant John Thomas. So, Dave, first to you. So, we've got the wiretapping investigation, there was a warrant issue to that. We've got the New York Times reported that that, you know, (INAUDIBLE) plans to indict Paul Manafort. It really seems that this investigation is being driven almost with a sort of a sense of urgency. Is that because there's fear that Donald Trump may fire Robert Mueller at any time or that they just want to avoid the appearance of a fishing expedition?
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It could also be that there's fear that Donald Trump will pardon Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn or some of these other entities. But I think what it reflects is the fact that Bob Mueller looks like he's got the goods and he's given Paul Manafort the squeeze to try to get more goods. And the fish rots down from the head, and so I think he's trying to intimidate Paul Manafort to try to get to Donald Trump. The question is: will Paul Manafort, you know, give any indication of what happened and will we see anything beyond we've already heard about in the report.
SESAY: Yes. And John, if that's the case, and that the tactic, are we on a collision course between Mueller and the president, more substantially in the days and weeks ahead?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Well, I mean, part of my concern, I'm sure the president's concern about having a special counsel in the first place is just the pressure to find something and do it, you know, quickly. And we're seeing that Mueller is moving as fast as he can, perhaps, as a legal tactic to smoke out other people on this process, I'm not sure. But you're right, Trump does have that trump card. He has the power of the pardon -- which can alleviate some pressure of Manafort feeling the need to spill the beans. So, time will tell. This is not good if you're Manafort, and it's expensive if you're Manafort.
VAUSE: But here's the point, pardoning someone for tax evasion or campaign violence or whatever, that's one thing. Pardoning someone if, you know, it turns out that there is sort of active proof that, you know, just allegedly, that someone was involved helping Russia, you know, in helping Russia interfere with the democratic process of the United States. That's a whole different political story. That is really difficult. Can the -- you know, politically, could the president do that? I mean, technically, he can, but it's a whole new --
JACOBSON: The president can do whatever the hell he wants. But that would be politically Earth-shattering. And I think he'd start to see Republicans come out of the woodwork and move forward on an impeachment process -- both in the House and the Senate. I think Republicans and Democrats, obviously, respect the former FBI Director Bob Mueller, and so I think that would be a really, a sort of, massive shift and a turning point in how Republicans are perceiving the president and the Russian instigation.
SESAY: Do you agree it would be a red line? THOMAS: Yes. I mean, it just depends on what they accuse Manafort
of. If it is inappropriate conversations, paperwork things, I could see Trump pardoning him in the way that Arpaio was pardoned -- if, in fact, there was a collision and it was just tangible. You're right, I think would be -- even if Trump's instincts were to pardon, I think his political advisers would say, look, this is -- especially, even his fellow Republicans would say, absolutely, not.
JACOBSON: Here's the issue, though, that, like, I think, really stings at the Trump administration, is that this is such a toxic issue that has clouded the Trump White House at a time when like Donald Trump has his first opportunity to speak before the U.N. general assembly to, sort of, change the narrative and change the conversation. That drip, drip, drip, still hovers over Trump and I think it's impacting his ability to get anything done.
SESAY: And we're talking about, you know, allegations of collusion. But, you know, Mueller is also investigating the potential for obstruction of justice here. I mean, this is a wide-ranging investigation. And we're unclear, you know, in terms of whether that track of the investigation is going.
THOMAS: Yes. I mean, we don't know. I mean, we do know that Mueller's looking back at Trump' real estate transactions from 10 years ago or whatever. So, we just don't know. I mean, time will tell. But Dave's also right, if you're the Trump administration, you need this to go away quickly, because it does have a cloud and it gives the opposition party fodder to keep making these allegations.
[01:25:20] VAUSE: Remember when Spicer was still the White House Press Secretary, and he talked about Manafort's role in the campaign and really tried to minimize it. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not looking to relitigate the election or -- but I believe Paul was brought on sometime in June and by the middle of August, he was no longer with the campaign. Meaning that for the entire final stretch of the general election, he was not involved. And so, to start to look at some individual that was there for a short period of time, or separately, individuals who really didn't play any role in the campaign, and to suggest that those are the basis for anything is a bit ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I mean, OK, we know that that was deliberately misleading because, you know, Manafort joined the Trump team in March. He became the campaign manager in June, fired by August. So, you know, they've been trying to minimize Manafort. They knew that -- is there a suspicion that the Trump administration knew that there was a problem with Manafort for months now, and they've been trying to walk away from it?
JACOBSON: Sure. I think it was totally disingenuous for Spicer to say that. And it been something different where Paul Manafort, perhaps, wasn't part of -- wasn't being wiretapped or wasn't part of any potential collision or investigations. And they would've just had him out front, and we would've testified publicly before the House or the Senate Intelligence Committees, and we wouldn't be having this conversation about wiretapping, we wouldn't be having this conservation about Bob Mueller knocking down his front door, right? And like storming into his house --
VAUSE: I think (INAUDIBLE) and we find out through the media.
JACOBSON: Look, the reality is it was Paul Manafort who oversaw the RNC Convention where the Russian ambassador was there. They changed -- mostly changed the platform for the Republican Party as it relates to Russia. I mean, that's a really big deal.
THOMAS: To Dave, you're right, he was brought in to whip votes because he's the only guy who knew how to win. Remember, the nomination was not locked up, Trump had to make sure that he got the job done, and that's why Manafort came in -- was to whip votes. And as soon as the convention was over, and I remember, us having this discussion going, why is this guy still around? He has no utility to the campaign -- enter Bannon and others. So, Spicer made an effective point in the sense of there was a lot that happened in the home stretch that Manafort really didn't have anything to do with. But to dismiss it outright is not appropriate. Yes, that's not appropriate.
SESAY: President Trump making his inaugural address at the United Nations on Tuesday. I got to ask you, but bearing in mind he's railed against the global organization as a candidate, as a civilian, if you will. What are your expectations, Dave?
JACOBSON: Well, this is the president who campaigned saying that the U.N. is not a friend of Democracy, is not a friend of freedom, is not a friend of the United States of America. But what we can read from the tea leaves, at least, some of the previous that we've seen, I saw earlier in "Roll Call" today that the president is going to pursue sort of an isolationist message, a sort of, you're on your own dynamic. And we already think that --
SESAY: Well, in a multilateral way.
JACOBSON: Right, of course. But we're already seeing that in Mexico. If you remember correctly, after Hurricane Harvey, Mexico offered to send in their military -- like they did after Hurricane Katrina to help aid folks in the Houston area. But then after Mexico had this earth-shattering earthquake, just a couple of weeks ago, it took Donald Trump six days to call the president to offer his condolences. I think that is reflective of the dynamic that Donald Trump's going to speak his speech tomorrow.
THOMAS: I completely disagree. I think he's going to talk about coming together but not needing the U.N. to come together. I think he's basically going to bring a free market approach, saying, I know we're talking about American first, but you need to put your interests first and it's in all of our interests to come together to battle North Korea. And what will be fascinating for me to watch is if, in fact, he tears up the Iran nuclear deal. I think he's going to signal whether or not he's doing that tomorrow.
VAUSE: So, you're saying that in every man for himself approach is what the president wants moving forward as far as the international community is concerned?
THOMAS: I'm saying what's -- yes, what self-interested. And in this case, it's in everyone's self-interest to stop North Korea.
SESAY: And then, what happens when you have global issues beyond, you know, what's happening between, you know, within your own borders, pandemics, and (INAUDIBLE)?
THOMAS: Well, I think the big conversation tomorrow is going to be -- you're right. And Trump's saying we need to pull out of climate change. But the big question tomorrow is North Korea.
VAUSE: You want to have a (INAUDIBLE) for World War I, right? OK.
VAUSE: Thank you so much.
SESAY: Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, on the sidelines of the U.N. general assembly in New York, CNN's Christiane Amanpour sat down with Iran president for an exclusive interview.
SESAY: And during it, Hassan Rouhani warned the U.S. president not to pull out of the joint nuclear deal, saying withdrawal would cost the U.S. greatly and could damage attempts to rein in North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:29:53] HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Exiting such an agreement would have -- would carry a high cost for the United States of America, and I do not believe that Americans would be willing to pay such a high cost for something that will be useless for them. It will yield no results for the United States, but at the same time, it will generally decrease and cut away and chip away at international trust placed in the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And you can watch Christiane's entire interview 10:00 a.m. in London.
Take a short break. When we come back, U.S. investigators have warrant for the Facebook ads that were placed on operations in Russia, how that could change the Mueller investigation in scope and in practice.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay.
The headlines this hour.
VAUSE: A lot of countries have specific rules about disclosing the person or organization authorizing or paying for political ads. In New Zealand, voters head to the polls this weekend, and here's part of an ad for the opposition Labor Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: I'm ready. We're all ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And right down at the bottom in the right-hand corner, in very little print, you can read who it's authorized by a name. He's the campaign manager and general secretary for New Zealand's Labor Party. That's how it works. When Australians voted last year, same deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAELLE LANDRY, AUSTRALIAN CANDIDATE: I'm Michelle Landry, asking you to back a strong new economy here in Capricornia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: For the record, Michelle Landry won her seat for the conservatives.
Disclosure rules apply all the way up to presidential elections in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:35:14] ANNOUNCER: America is winning. President Trump is making America great again.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm Donald Trump and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It's a legal gray area. If the same rules apply to social media and in particular, Facebook, which recently disclosed in last year's election, fake accounts likely operated out of Russia, spent $100,000 to focus on social and political messages across the ideological spectrum.
Now, Robert Mueller, heading up the Russian investigation, has a search warrant to access all the information Facebook has on those ads. But beyond finding out who may have been behind the Facebook ad campaign, that search warrant says a lot about the scope and direction of Mueller's investigation.
Ronaldo is a former prosecutor joins us now from Chicago.
Ronaldo, thank you for being here.
RONALDO MARCELLI (ph), FORMER PROSCECUTOR: Thank you.
SESAY: Is it too early right now to connect the dots between this warrant for the Facebook information and CNN's exclusive reporting that investigators wiretapped Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman? And also "The New York Times" report that says they plan to indict him?
MARCELLI (ph): Big question. I say, I would say these three things have some connection to each other, and let me explain exactly what those are. First of all, what the Facebook warrant tells us is that the FBI and Robert Mueller is closing in on foreign individuals who tried to undermine the U.S. election through the use of Facebook. That is significant, not only because I suggest there be foreigners, likely Russian nationals, who are, you know, charge by Manafort, but it could create liability for people in the United States, potential associates of President Trump, if they helped the Russia succeed in their effort. In other words, if they knew there was a crime being committed and they helped it succeed. Now as for Paul Manafort and the wiretapping of the phones, that is related in the sense that what we learned today, CNN has learned, that there were wiretaps. In other words, foreign intelligence wiretaps of Mr. Manafort both before and after the campaign. Was some language in the wear taps that gave the concern that Mr. Manafort was encouraging efforts by the Russians to interfere in the United States election. That's not conclusive and it' unclear exactly what evidence the FBI would have or Mueller would have in order to pursue charges, but in terms of -- you ked me -- we learned today from "The New York Times" that Mueller intends to convict Manafort, we don't know exactly why, what charges he'd bring. There are some very narrow charges that Mr. Mueller cold bring, like false disclosures, so at this point, it's all three of those things are very huge and change our view of the Mueller probe and where it's going to go.
VAUSE: With regards to the Facebook search warrant, would that warrant be able to tell investigators once they get the information, how those ads on Facebook were actually targeted, who they targeted, do they live in swing states, were they older white voters, was there campaign? for yourself.
MARCELLI (ph): Those are very good questions and those are the sort of questions that Mr. Mueller and his team are going to be asking when they look through that data. What they'll be looking for is communications on Facebook. They'll be the thing to match up what they find from the targeting data that you mentioned, with communications they have you know, or from Facebook and from other sources, to indicate whether or not people in the United States helped the Russians target specific voters. So t that they will be using the Facebook data, both to cover Russian interference because I the United States courts, you can't assume any facts. You actually have to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt. So they'd use that data to prove the interference and also use it to try to draw connections between the Russians and people here in the United States.
VAUSE: What crimes would have been broken if in American citizen was proving that type of l2l information about voters, their preferences, that kind of stuff?
MARCELLI (ph): So the crime, the underlying crime, in other words, the main crime is that feigners are not able to make contributions in connections with United States elections. So people from any country, where they cannot, for example, donate in connection with an election. If a person in the United States helps that effort, if they know that foreigners are trying to influence the election and they help make that succeed, they're guilty of something called aiding and abetting that crime. And so that's what -- and that's a separate crime. That's what I would expect Mr. Mueller would be trying to he also might investigate -
MARCELLI (ph): I'm sorry.
[01:40:28] VAUSE: No, I'm sorry. We're just almost out of time. But quickly, I want to get to the president and his defense team because you make the point there are big implications here for President Trump.
MARCELLI (ph): Without a doubt. The CNN story today indicated that Mr. Manafort and speaking while Mr. Manafort was being wiretapped, that means that the president's words when he thought no one was listening, have been captured by the FBI. That is very significant and it mean that, you know, whatever he said, could be used against him we just don't know exactly what those words are.
VAUSE: Ronaldo, we'll leave it there. But obviously, a very big news day, a big legal day. Thank you for walking us through it.
MARCELLI (ph): Thank you.
VAUSE: It just keeps getting bigger.
Next on NEWSROOM L.A., Aung San Suu Kyi was once described as the Nelson Mandela of Asia, but now she's widely criticized for doing almost nothing to help hundreds of thousands of people being persecuted by Myanmar's military.
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR PRESIDENT: The government is working to restore the situation to normalcy. Since September, there has been no armed clashes and there have been no clearance operations. Nevertheless, we are concerned to hear that numbers of Muslims are fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. We want to find out why. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, that's Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, defending her response or lack thereof to the crisis in her state. It's the first time she's addressed the violence facing Rohingya Muslims.
VAUSE: She never said the word Rohingya, which is how members of the group identify themselves. Her addressed will not appease many critics who urged her to break her silence, but not like this.
We get more now from CNN's Nima Elbagir.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORERSPONDENT (voice-over): Humanity's heroine, a light in the dark, or just simply "The Lady."
ELBAGIR: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi sacrificed much of her life fighting for what she believed in. The daughter of a revolutionary leader who was assassinated after fighting for independence from British rule, she later spent nearly two decades under house arrest as a political prisoner. But from seeing her children grow up, and her husband die of cancer.
[01:45:12] ELBAGIR: Here dedication to human rights and democracy, her time in captivity inspired her country and won her a landslide election victory in 2015. Internationally, she was also cognized with a Noble Peace Prize and became known as Asia's Mandela.
But now the pride and her halo have been tarnished. She's now criticized for her silence over her country's crackdown on the minority Rohingya Muslim population in her state, which the U.N. calls textbook ethnic cleansing. Her fellow Noble laureate has called on her to speak her conscience
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very disappointed. She is an icon of the whole world stood for democracy. She worked for people. She put a lot of sacrifices and the whole world was behind her. They wanted to see her dreams and luckily her dreams came true, she was overwhelmingly elected. And then what happened?
ELBAGIR: The government says it's carrying out what it calls clearance operations, targeting terrorists suggested of attacking police posts in late August, and say they're trying to avoid collateral damage. Aung San Suu Kyi said last week that Myanmar was trying to protect everyone in the conflict zone.
KYI: We have to take care of our citizens, we have to take care of everybody who is in our country whether or not they are our citizens and very best. ELBAGIR: But the refugees who fled tell a different story. More than
300,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in the past few weeks. They accuse security forces of atrocities, burning villages, indiscriminately, gang raping women.
ELBAGIR: The rest of the word has been slow to criticize, with condemnation from many Muslim nations, but only muted comments from the Western countries that supported her cause for years. Her supporters say her hands are tied. Balance of power in Myanmar's government and institutions, and it can retake control at any time if they decide the country unstable. What price power?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has completely lost herself. She's now become sort of a spokesperson. So that's really disappointing. And I feel really sad about it.
ELBAGIR: Aung San Suu Kyi has a tricky balancing act, to try to lead the country to progress, keeping peace with the generals who could tip the balance of Myanmar's future, even as a worsening humanitarian crisis unfolds and the hopes of a nation ride on her back, the message to her is clear. As the lady tries to hold on both to power and the political her so long to achieve.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
[01:50:36] VAUSE: Television wasn't a big hit with eve4rybody. The ratings are out for the Emmy Awards.
SESAY: The show averaged 11 million viewers, tying as the least watched Emmys ever. Some say the blatant roasting of President Donald Trump that was to blame.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: Back in 1980, in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist egotistical, lying hypocritical bigot.
LILY TOMLIN, ACTRESS: And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, ACTRESS: We did have a whole story line about impeachment but we abandoned that because we were worried someone else might get to it first.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: This exchange actually happened in the debate HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was even a
time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three yea in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmy were rigged.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I should have gotten it.
COLBERT: But he didn't. Because unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ooh. OK. OK, let's take a close look at the ratings for the Emmys.
SESAY: Doing a data dive.
VAUSE: Big data dive here. OK, so 2017, 11 million, 11.3, and 15.6 in 2014, and 17.6 in 2013. So clearly, there's a drop-off there. Are people sick of the politics? Or are people just bored with Emmys awards shows?
SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: No, I'm going to steal a line from Dan at ESPN, politics have become pop culture. So we're not tired of it. We just have more channels to watch. Like they're going too down. First of all, they went opposite Sunday night football in America. You're not going to be -- I mean football, you're not going to beat that show. You have more opportunities with Netflix, the ones that Stephen Colbert made up. So award shows are going to go down.
SESAY: And to pick up on that point, I also think there was a time when people did not have as much access to celebrities. Sole opportunity to hear them, to see them, to get close to them. Now with social media, people have their fill of celebrity all day every day.
SESAY: They know what they think, what they're wearing. I think that also contributes to the fact that these shows aren't special anymore.
ODUOLOWU: They're not special anymore. I can follow an actress's Instagram and I do follow a lot of you. So if you see my name, follow back.
VAUSE: You're not a stalker?
ODUOLOWU: Not at all. But you can see what they're wearing, what they're eating. You can see them on Twitter and hear them. You're right, b,2ore them, you had to go to the award show to see all this stuff.
VAUSE: All very reasonable, logical --
(CROSSTALK) ODUOLOWU: Here we go
VAUSE: But with that in mind, here's Kellyanne Conway to explain why numbers are down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP ADVISOR: They got plucked and polished and waxed. Some of them didn't eat for two months. And all for what? To sound the same. They have a right to speak, but if you're tuning in to watch -- if you're American and tuning in to watch your favorite actor and actresses and shows -- and I did it routinely as a kid, who's going to win and, oh, she lost -- there's very little of that. It's between the Emmys, the Miss America Pageant politicized, sports are politicized. It looks like the ratings are suffering. Looks like America is responding and tuning out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Keeping in mind, 63 million people did vote for Donald Trump.
ODUOLOWU: To Kellyanne Conway's point, if the Botox filler and waxing fits, let's all wear it, because that's the pot calling the kettle black and I'm one of e stage.
[01:54:49] ODUOLOWU: Like, come on, Kellyanne. Look, it's a show, all of these awards shows are where Hollywood gets to pat itself on the back and love itself. If you feed into that, you enjoy these award shows. I enjoyed the Emmys. I'll be honest with you. I will write about them, I talk about them. I don't always like to wat the awards shows. But you had Oprah in the front row. You had so much diversity. You had women winning awards in areas that you never saw women before. I mean, listen, the guy that created "Atlanta," I an, he's Hollywood's darling. He won an award that a black director hadn't won for over 30 years.
SESAY: And his co-writer.
ODUOLOWU: You had a lesbian writer standing next to an east Indian guy winning an award these things don't happen and they definitely don't happen at the Oscars. The Emmys, diversity, I watched it, I loved it.
SESAY: It's this notion that Kellyanne Conway was getting at, these shows aren't representative of America. But to your point, the Emmys yesterday shocked America in its full diversity and showed the different faces, colors and sexual persuasions.
VAUSE: And it also showed a different side of Sean Spicer. He came out and talked about the crowd sizes and that kind of STF. When he came out and said, he basically made a joke of himself, saying, I'm a liar to the American people, ha, ha, isn't that funny?
ODUOLOWU: But he poked fun at himself in a way that Hollywood had been poking fun of him his entire run. How can we be mad at that? I found him humanizing in this. More humanizing in anything Melissa McCarthy did playing him. Because this was him in an audience that had grown to hate him.
SESAY: Where do you think that Hollywood betrayed their media brethren, by bringing him on stage and is reputation and basically -- Hollywood basically stabbed journalists in the back?
ODUOLOWU: Well, first of all, Hollywood and rehab, they go together like Kellyanne about Botox. So let's back that up a bit.
SESAY: Leave Kellyanne alone.
ODUOLOWU: We'll leave her stuff alone, but that's what Hollywood is Hollywood is rehabbing an image. And the fact that he was willing to go on there and make a joke of himself, I have no problem with that. I don't think people should. He was like, basically, OK, I did it all the time.
SESAY: He was part of an administration that pushed a line that journalists are the enemy.
SESAY: That we were reporting fake news.
ODUOLOWU: And he came and basically said, you know what, I basically had a gun to my back the whole time. Look at me now. I'm one of you. I'm human, too.
SESAY: Look at me now. I'm going to speakers' circuit and I want big checks.
VAUSE: Are we mad at that?
ODUOLOWU: You don't think he can get a job after this?
VAUSE: I think he got very good selfies backstage and that's all he got.
ODUOLOWU: I think you're going to see more of Sean Spicer.
SESAY: All right.
VAUSE: Segun, thank you.
SESAY: What did you say, the blackest guy on the set?
ODUOLOWU: The blackest guy on the set. Power to the people.
ODUOLOWU: I'm not, I'm not. I'm saying power to the people.
SESAY: You have been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause.
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