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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
ISIS Ousted From Last Major City In Syria; Deir Ezzor Defeat Follows Group's Loss Of Raqqa; Trump Flies Out To Hawaii En Route To Asia; Arrest Warrant Issued For Former Catalan Leader; Rogue Employee Briefly Shut Down President's Account; Trump Celebrates Strong Jobs Report On Twitter; Unemployment Rate Falls To 4.1 Percent; British Lawmaker Speaks On Sexual Harassment Crisis; Family Shares Horrors Of Life Under ISIS In Raqqa; Russia Investigation Hangs Over Trump's Asia Trip; Trump: Democratic Rigging Is "Real Collusion"; Trump Embarks On Major Asia Tour; Latest Weinstein Allegations Could Lead To Arrest; President's Cut, Cut, Cut Act Gets Snipped; Is Puerto Rican Death Toll Higher Than Officials Report?; Twitter: New Safeguards After Trump's Account Disabled
Aired November 3, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Hala Gorani. This is THE WORLD
RIGHT NOW. We are coming to you live from London.
Once again, the caliphate is crumbling. For more than three years ISIS has been in control of large parts of Syria and Iraq including big cities.
Their brutal reign of terror bringing misery there and bringing misery around the world.
But today, the Syrian Army says that ISIS has lost Deir Ezzor, the last major city in Syria that they were controlling. Here is the map of what
ISIS now controls. The portion in black (inaudible). The border area between Syria and Iraq.
You're probably finding it hard to see because there's practically nothing left. Our Fred Pleitgen has been covering this story and he has the very
latest on where ISIS stands today.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Syrian Army's final major push into one of ISIS' last strongholds in
Syria. Pro-Assad forces now say they've taken all of Deir Ezzor City in the southeast of the country, a major victory in the quest to destroy the
Units of our armed forces in cooperation with allied forces completed their duties in reestablishing security and stability to Deir Ezzor City
completely, the spokesman for Syria's Army says.
We flew to Deir Ezzor with the Russian military, which backs the Syrian Army when the battle there was raging in September.
(on camera): Even though the Syrian and Russian Army (inaudible) support to ISIS back, there's still are a lot of ISIS fighters here in this area.
Taking the helicopter is the safest place to get to Deir Ezzor.
(voice-over): Deir Ezzor was one of ISIS' most important strongholds right in Syria's oil and agricultural heartland. ISIS' apparent demise in Syria
recently leading Vladimir Putin to praise both Russia's and Iran's role in backing Bashar al-Assad.
Thanks to our joint efforts with Iran and also by Turkey, the situation regarding the fight against terrorism in the territory of Syria is
developing in a very positive way, Putin said at a meeting with Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani.
Russian and Syrian forces are not the only ones beating ISIS back, U.S. allied fighters have also been rounding the terror group from large chunks
of the so-called caliphate it once occupied including Mosul and ISIS' self- declared capital of Raqqa where the U.S.-led coalition is now trying to restore a civilian administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as what happens in Raqqa after ISIS has been cleared and Raqqa is liberated, the Raqqa Civil Council is already
established, and they are already eager to begin work, to restore essential services.
PLEITGEN: Like in so many places in Iraq and Syria, ISIS wreaked havoc on Deir Ezzor's population, besieging a Syrian government enclave in the city
for around three years. Now that the group has been defeated here, both Russian and U.S.-backed groups believed they're in the final stages of
crushing the group and ousting its remaining fighters from almost all of Syria. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.
GORANI: So, a significant defeat there for ISIS, another big stronghold gone after Mosul, Raqqa. What's left for the terror group? I'm joined by
CNN senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon. A few weeks ago, she was in Raqqa, the liberated de facto capital of the group. Fawaz Gerges is
the author of "ISIS: A History." Thanks very much to both of you for being with us.
So Arwa, you were right there on the ground, ISIS obviously it's losing its territory. It's losing much of its sort of manpower in the sense that it
doesn't have big groupings of fighters altogether in big urban areas, but where is it -- what's left of it now?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's the thing. It's physically not a lot in terms of territory that it controls, but this
is something we've actually been discussing for quite a while now.
ISIS exists in cyberspace. It still has a reach within that capacity to be able to attempt to either inspire if not direct attacks, and additionally,
I think a point that's quite important at this stage is let's forget that ISIS previous incarnation.
The Islamic State of Iraq, al-Baghdadi and his top leadership did manage to hide out in Iraq Al Anbar Province, their former stumping ground for three
years from 2010 to 2013 in the past. So, it's also possible they are already preparing themselves --
GORANI: That they should re-emerge under another name, form, but then, of course, now the battle between those who've defeated ISIS and driven ISIS
out of big cities like Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, the conflict between them, between those groups?
[16:05:09] FAWAZ GERGES, AUTHOR, "ISIS: A HISTORY: Absolutely. I mean, you have ISIS and I think we are beginning to see the dismantling of the
physically caliph of the Islamic State. This is a very development. We should not underestimate that.
But the reality is here the world goes on. So, you have a race against time between the U.S.-led coalition, led by the Kurds mainly, and the
Russian-led coalition. You have the Syrian Army. You have Hezbollah and you have Iran.
And the next battles are going to be very fierce and very brutal. In fact, as a fear is a real danger of escalation between the Kurdish forces, which
are supported by the United States, and the Syrian Army and its allies.
So, even though ISIS might be defeated physically, the reality is the war is far from over in Syria and in Iraq, the escalation is very complex.
GORANI: Yes. And certainly, it means more misery for civilians. I want to play a portion of your report from Raqqa where you spoke to a family
that survived Raqqa under ISIS rule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: (Inaudible) says she and her family had nothing to do with ISIS. That they tried to flee so many times. The 5-year-old (inaudible) mimics
what the ISIS fighters would say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, we're going to see your full report a little later in the program, but I mean, civilians in all of this obviously always caught in
DAMON: They are and it's not just about the fact that giving humanitarian assistance to civilians should be an obligation. It's also about the
reality that if these families are allowed to fester in these camps, if these children are not taught or shown something that is different to the
violence, which is all that they've known for the last (inaudible) lives, we are not going to be able to eliminate the factors that allow an entity
like ISIS to then re-emerge.
And that's why it's so critical in so many levels to help these populations. They cannot feel abandoned at this stage because they are
incredibly vulnerable right now.
GORANI: But yet so many do. What does this mean for Assad do you think?
GERGES: Well, in fact, Assad yesterday made it very clear that he has one (inaudible) that Syria will not be divided, decentralized, that he will not
accept any kind of talk about the duration. In fact, in his eyes and his supporters, Assad has won the war. Remember, Deir Ezzor was --
GORANI: With the help of the Russians, Iranians --
GERGES: And Hezbollah force. Remember that the reality is the Syrian Army is on the move. The (inaudible) Canal is the next target. The Syrian Army
is almost 40 kilometers away from (inaudible) Canal. But just on Deir Ezzor, Hala, ISIS still controls 35 percent of Deiz Ezzor Province.
So, even though the city itself has fallen to the Syrian Army and its allies, there are many battles probably --
GORANI: More rural areas, certainly less populated areas. Do some of the ISIS fighters -- is it the belief of the -- whether it's the Syrian Army,
the SDF or whoever is fighting them, try to blend into the civilian population of fleeing refugees. That's the concern.
DAMON: It's a huge concern and there's various different reporting. There's been a handful of instances at this stage where we've actually seen
attacks taking place, and this again, is something that's going to have to be dealt with not just as a security concern.
But also in terms of let's not prosecute the whole refugee population because it may have been infiltrated and again, ISIS is an entity that is
quite skilled at adapting itself and re-emerging and targeting these various vulnerabilities that exists.
GORANI: Now, you mentioned that, of course, the two sides of the battle fighting ISIS, one supported by Russia, the other by the United States.
What does this mean for the countries, the nation states themselves, Iraq and Syria do you think?
GERGES: Well, I mean, I think we might be seeing in Iraq at least a central government being established in Baghdad. The question is not
whether there's a central government and a strong army, an army that has proved itself against ISIS and even against the Kurds in the past weeks.
But the reality is we are talking about the lack of governance, good governance. The big challenge in Iraq is really an inclusive government,
is to co-opt the various communities in particular the Sunni-Arabs and the Kurds, in Syria, the war goes on without political transition even though
Assad thinks he has won.
Without political transition, the war is going to last for years in Syria and not just few weeks or few months.
GORANI: The lack of good governance, always the problem in that part of the world. It favors, you know, these groups, ISIS and others from taking
hold. Thanks so much, Fawaz Gerger and Arwa Damon, to both of you. Really appreciate your time on the program.
Now, let's turn our attention to Donald Trump, who's on his way to Asia, but in the meantime, Hawaii will be saying aloha to him. Air Force One is
on route to the island of Oahu right now. Here you see the U.S. president and the first lady.
They left Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and it kicks off a tour of Asia for the president and he is meeting the region's most powerful leaders. Of
course, he tweeted about it, "Just took off for a ceremony at Pearly Harbor. We'll then be heading to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and
the Philippines. We'll never let you down!"
[16:10:12] CNN's Ryan Nobles is standing by in Honolulu. What are we expecting from the president in Hawaii on his way to Asia, Ryan?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a stopover on way to his very important trip in Asia, but he does have some business to do here
while in Hawaii. He's going to meet with some leaders of the Pacific Command to get an idea of exactly how the military is responding to the
growing threat of North Korea.
And then he's going to go to a very solemn ceremony at the "USS Arizona" in Pearl Harbor to remember those that were killed in that World War II
attack. This, of course, a big trip for the president, Hala.
He is going to be spending the longest period of time in the Pacific region, the Asia-Pacific region of any presidents since George H.W. Bush.
He's going to be meeting with some of the key players that have a lot to do with the threat of North Korea and exactly how that impacts that region.
So, even though the president has a lot that he's dealing with back in Washington, he's hoping to put that aside and deal with these very pressing
issues in this part of the world.
GORANI: All right. Ryan Nobles in Hawaii, thanks very much for that report. Still to come tonight, back as quickly as it vanished, but this
was no glitch, what led to the 11-minute shutdown of President Trump's Twitter account.
And as sexual misconducts claims engulfed the Houses of Parliament, I'll speak to an MP, Rupa Huq, about the crisis. Stay with us.
GORANI: Welcome back. We have some breaking news for you. Spain has issued an international arrest warrant for sacked Catalan leader, Carlos
Puigdemont. Puigdemont left Spain and appeared in Brussels on Monday. The same day Spain's state prosecutor announced he was seeking rebellion
charges against the ousted Catalan leader.
On Thursday, Spain's high court also jailed eight former ministers from Catalonia's dissolved government. Spain stripped the region's autonomy
last week after it declared independence unilaterally so a very -- some have criticized the central government saying this is very heavy handed
there against those who saw independence from the central government.
To Twitter and Trump now, for 11 minutes on Thursday night, the online world was a flurry. The U.S. president's Twitter page went down and looked
like this. Theories quickly started swirling about what happened to the account belonging to the Twitter-in-chief.
A glitch was one belief, but then a stunning plot twist, Twitter admitted that a customer service staffer did this intentionally on his or her last
day at work. Twitter quickly lit up with jokes, but there is a larger concern surrounding the shutdown.
CNN tech senior correspondent, Laurie Segall, joins us now from New York. So, can any Twitter employee then just sort of tamper with users' accounts
on Twitter? Is it that easy?
[16:15:09] LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECH CORRESPONDENT: Well, ideally no. I would say the answer to that should be a resounding no, but you know,
talking to folks then, I was told that right after the election, apparently, there was tiny group that was allowed access to Donald Trump's
There were also, I was told, some alarms that would go off if anyone was trying to access that. Clearly, something went awry to enable an employee
that likely didn't have access and we'll find -- I'm sure we'll find more about that.
But to be able to take this account down for 11 minutes, now 11 minutes you might think isn't a big deal, but remember, Hala, we have tech execs on
Capitol Hill this week trying to tell lawmakers that they have control over their platform and trying to accept this role as gatekeepers of
And at the same time, you have, you know, an employee who is able to take the president of the United States off the internet because he felt he did,
you know, for whatever reason. I think that's a big deal and that's worth looking at it especially as these tech companies are under scrutiny.
GORANI: And what about other user -- I mean, should we be worried about our accounts that Twitter employees can just kind of sign in to them, take
them down, tweet for us in our name?
SEGALL: What I'm told is that as you get high, that's not all Twitter employees have access to all people's accounts. You got to go higher up
like the trust and safety team, for example, will have more access to users' accounts.
You know, that being said, you know, I think there's this lack of transparency, right? I asked Twitter. I said, would these people be able
to tweet from an account. Now, a source within says, you know, that's highly unlikely and I said, you know, what is highly unlikely mean?
You know, so I think a lot of us want a little bit more transparency and a little bit of color for you, Hala. I've been talking to employees for the
last, you know -- for the last year or so and there's a debate internally about Donald Trump's Twitter account.
There are some disgruntled employees and we are seeing that playout in a very interesting way, but when Donald Trump tweeted about North Korea
recently in September, some -- one employee told me, you know, this looks like he's inciting violence. This is against our policies. We believe we
should have taken it down.
Another employee said, no, it doesn't violate our policies, and then, of course, you have an employee, who just took the account down for 11
minutes. So, all of these -- these questions and these discussions happening behind closed doors are playing out and we are seeing that
playout on a very big way.
GORANI: We don't know who this employee is. We don't know if it's a man or a woman. We don't know how high up they were. We just know it was
their last day, kind of going out with a bang kind of thing.
SEGALL: And Twitter has said that it was a customer support employee. They are reports out that it was a contractor. You have Twitter tweeting
that it was an employee. So, I think there are a lot of questions as to who this person was and what one person said to me was either.
This is someone who had access to the account or was someone -- a low-level person who didn't have access to the account who is able to get a hold of
it. Neither of those things was good for Twitter especially as they are facing scrutiny about the weaponization of their own platform -- Hala.
GORANI: Laurie Segall, thanks very much.
Now that his Twitter account is back up and running, Mr. Trump is making use of it. He is celebrating today's good news on the economy and this
message says it all, "Jobs, jobs, jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate at now at a 17-year low."
CNN Money correspondent, Paul La Monica, is breaking down the numbers for us. Can the president take credit for these good numbers entirely?
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: He partly can. I mean, this is happening on his watch. So, of course, any president will want to take
credit for that, but it's important to remember, Hala, that these numbers were pretty strong in the last couple of months of the Obama presidency as
So, it's not like a switch flipped and all of a sudden, companies are hiring again. The unemployment rate did go down to 4.1 percent, which is
good. The 261,000 jobs added while sounding great is actually a little lower than what many economists were predicting.
Because they did expect a broader rebound after the hurricane disruptions in September, but the biggest problem, and this was one for President Obama
that continues to be one for President Trump as well, wage growth. It's only 2.4 percent over the past 12 months.
For many Americans, they just aren't getting the big raises that they want to see to feel more confident about the economy.
GORANI: So, good numbers on employment, but not so good numbers on purchasing power, for instance.
LA MONICA: Exactly. I mean, it is great news that you are seeing consumers being able to keep a job and get a job. That's not the issue.
It's when they are going to get their paychecks --
GORANI: Is it a quality job too?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think that is --
GORANI: (Inaudible), is it the job you want? Is it the salary you want? I mean, is it -- because there are so many metrics here, Paul, as you know.
LA MONICA: Definitely. I mean, one good bit of news also is that the, quote/unquote, "underemployment" rate is also following and that's had a
more than 10-year low, which means that more people are finding full time jobs and not forced to just do part-time work.
[16:20:10] But it really is a testament to the fact that this economy, the recovery has been so slow, so sluggish. There were a lot of people I think
who are happy to be back in the work force even though they had to take a pay cut to return to the labor force.
GORANI: Paul La Monica, thanks so much.
Here in the U.K., a high-profile resignation rocked Westminster this week. The U.K. defense secretary quit on Wednesday, Michael Fallon. He admitted
his behavior toward women had, quote, "fallen short" during his career.
This, of course, come amid a swirl of sexual harassment allegations from Hollywood all the way to British politics and it has been sweeping British
political circles in recent weeks. The crisis triggered from the fallout in the very beginning. It's been four weeks already of the Harvey
One British lawmaker can speak firsthand about what it's like to be at the receiving end of unwanted attention by a male politician. It wasn't in
Westminster, but in the European Parliament in Strasberg when she was volunteering there as a student back in 1995.
Labour MP Rupa Huq joins me now. Hi. Thanks for being with us. So, I'm not going to dwell on what happened to you, that's fine. But it's
important also to note that this is widespread in the sense that really I think most women have a story. You have a story that happened in the '90s
in Strasberg, which was what?
RUPA HUQ, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: Half a lifetime ago.
HUQ: Twenty-two years ago, I mean -- yes, I mean, but look, I do think there's lesson that we can learn. We need to look at moving forward so
that, you know, women still confident and able to come forward if they have or men as well who maybe on the receiving end of unwanted attention.
So, I mean, my own case as if I don't really want to dwell over it, but I mean, some of the facts in the case relevant to what's going on now. So,
you know, I was early 20s -- you know, you have in politics, in the House of Commons, you know, maybe in the system here with Weinstein, we can see
all these things.
You have huge, massive imbalances of power. So, you have the very powerful and then you have the sort of young people trying to get hold -- you know,
maybe desperate to make a career in the -- and that's -- sort of those asymmetrical power relations.
You know, you can't get people who take advantage of those and you know, there's further allegations coming out today that we've seen.
GORANI: We need to take a quick break. We have some light technical issue we need to take care of. We'll be right back after a quick break. Stay
GORANI: We're back. (Inaudible) to be with me here. By the way, I want to mention the defense secretary's resignation over something that happened
15 years ago where he patted or touched the knee of a journalist, who herself said, was not big deal. Were you surprised by that resignation
here in the U.K.?
HUQ: I mean, look, we don't know what else is going to come out and with all of these things, the facts are disputed. We don't know what really
happened because we weren't there so --
GORANI: So you think it couldn't be just that?
HUQ: There may be more to come. I mean, every day we are hearing so did allegations, more stuff keep coming out.
GORANI: What's the solution?
HUQ: I think we need a proper process where these things are investigated by an independent body because it's just within the parties themselves.
(Inaudible) parties that seemed to, you know, want to cover these things after --
GORANI: The government has promised this?
HUQ: Yes, I mean, let's see detail of what they come with and -- because I think it needs to be someone domestically violence trained as well because
they may know how to spot these things. If they just want to shove it or turnover to a House of Commons committee (inaudible) someone else --
GORANI: But how bad really is the problem? Is it (inaudible), harassment? Is it serious? Are we talking about rape here? Are we talking assault?
HUQ: There are 650 members of parliament, most of them are just very public spirited people, all of them --
GORANI: You'd have to be if you're a member of parliament.
HUQ: But I mean, you do also have at the same time a culture where there are late nights often people away from home. I mean, I'm a London MP so
(inaudible) so I always get to sleep in my own bed. But, you know, alcohol, readily available. You could see how that combination if there
was, you know, weak willed people could add up to --
GORANI: But I guess, there's a difference between people having a drink and maybe it gets a bit rowdy and actual assault here or harassment. Those
are two entirely different things.
HUQ: I guess. It hinges on whether there is concern. So, I mean, again, the touching of the knee, whatever, many things may have started like that.
If everyone reports touching of knees, none of us could be here.
GORANI: That's right. But you were interviewed on a British show and one of the things the presenter asked you, a female presenter, was a question
we hear lot. What if it happened to you in 1995 and you were so troubled by it, so troubled that you remember it 22 years later, why didn't you
bring it up then?
HUQ: Well, I mean, look, to be honest, I have forgotten about that until Monday I was asked by a British journalist, has it ever happened to you?
And the answer is no, not as a member of parliament. I'm 45 years old. I've got plenty of grey hair. I have a status. It wouldn't happen to
someone in my situation.
But in Westminster, you have the situation there's a lot of young staff around. There's a lot of voluntarily and paid staff, which is what I was
half a lifetime ago. And you know, there's -- this abuse of power that we are talking about, and you know, if it's unwanted, if the woman or the --
it could be a man as well on the receiving end feels uncomfortable --
GORANI: We've heard men say it's happened to them.
HUQ: That's right. It crosses the line, yes. I mean, we heard this week about another conservative minister, who maybe secretary go buying sex
toys. I mean, buying things at (inaudible) for the boss is not illegal, but then if she feels uncomfortable about that environment she's going into
then it's wrong. That has crossed the line.
GORANI: But things have changed in the last 23 years. I mean, I know in my industry and yours and others, women will say yes, in my time, it was
different. We still have some progress to make.
HUQ: I mean, this thing is wrong in anytime. I think what you can get away with that's changed. So now, we have more of a cultural transparency.
You know, in 1995, there wasn't even the internet, not on the scale it is now. There wasn't social media. So, this climate, we haven't seen some of
the scandals of Betty Hill, this kind of thing.
So, I mean, I think with all these things, due process has to occur. These things need proper investigation and the facts need to come out.
GORANI: Rupa Huq, thanks very much for joining us, a member of parliament.
Returning now to our top story, we heard earlier about ISIS being defeated in Deir Ezzor. The latest blow to the terror group comes two weeks after
Raqqa fell. Now we are hearing stories of unimaginable oppression there. Arwa Damon was on the ground in Raqqa and has this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She rips open her black abaya and is almost hysterical in her relief. She and her children threw
themselves at their savior's feet. It's a miracle they're alive. An airstrike hit the five-story building they were in during the last days of
the battle for Raqqa.
When we meet Najah Al-Hamid some ten days after they got out, the family is still in the same clothes.
NAJAH AL-HAMID, RAQQA RESIDENT (through translator): All my neighbors thought we were dead. They were shocked we are alive.
DAMON: They are now at the main refugee camp, but kept in an isolated segment under armed guard along with others who were the last to escape.
Many of them are suspected of being the families of hardcore ISIS fighters.
Najah says she and her family had nothing do with ISIS, that they tried to flee so many times. Five-year-old Mays mimics what the ISIS fighter would
MAYS (through translator): I swear to God, I will put a bullet in your head.
DAMON: They say they were held as human shields as Raqqa crumbled around them, terrified, under siege, with barely anything to eat. ISIS kept any
available food for themselves.
AL-HAMID (through translator): My daughter, this is one, she would go to the burnt-out cars and suck the gasoline out with a hose, so we could bake
DAMON (through translator): You did that?
AL-HAMID (through translator): Yes, tell her.
DAMON: Haneen is just 9 years old.
AL-HAMID (through translator): What did you use to bring us?
HANEEN (through translator): Water and food. And gasoline.
DAMON (through translator): And you weren't afraid? No?
AL-HAMID (through translator): All the kids were afraid, but she would go.
DAMON: One day, she somehow managed to beg a tiny piece of meat off of ISIS. Just the sight of it made the children shriek with joy. It's such a
heartbreaking depiction of just how deprived they were of even the most basic of things.
Haneen would also scrounge through abandoned, often bombed-out homes looking for food. Haneen had to go not just due to her bravery, but
because Najah says her older children couldn't. ISIS was conscripting youth and 15-year-old Shaimaa had to stay hidden. An ISIS fighter had
already tried to take her as his bride.
SHAIMAA (through translator): My mother went to the kitchen and confronted him. She said, "Either you leave or I will kill you."
DAMON (through translator): You pulled a knife on him?
AL-HAMID (through translator): It's my daughter, what was I supposed to do?
DAMON (through translator): You pulled a knife on him?
AL-HAMID (through translator): Yes, and I wasn't scared and I won't be scared. It's my daughter. My daughter. What could I do? I would die for
DAMON: The fighter even offered $10,000. She said she would never sell her daughter no matter what cost.
In the last weeks, the children's father says ISIS asked for his 11-year- old. The family stayed hidden with no electricity, in pitch darkness once night fell, yet somehow still able to giggle despite the horrors.
A handful of photos show how they tried to pass the time, even playing dress-up. Najah who says she never prayed in the past, spent her time
reading the Quran. She's an avid smoker, something banned under ISIS and now she relishes every drag.
But where and how do they even begin to find that comfort and stability of home? Their lives, their reality have been so upended, they don't even
know how to begin to come to grips with all they have endured.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Ain Issa, Syria.
GORANI: ISIS is claiming a link to the New York terror attack by the way, saying one of its soldiers carried it out. It's offering no evidence to
back a direct link. US President Donald Trump said this today to reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every time we're attacked from this point forward and it took place yesterday, we are hitting them
ten times harder. So, when we have an animal doing an attack like he did the other day on the west side of Manhattan, we are hitting them ten times
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: President Trump has a lot on his plate as he travels to Asia. And no doubt he'd like to leave some of it behind, like all the headlines over
the new revelations in the Russian investigation.
It's been quite a week. Let's talk about it all with CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. Thanks for being with us.
So, let's talk about this assertion that ISIS is being hit ten times harder. Donald Trump there taking credit for defeating ISIS and pushing it
away from some of its territory in Iraq and Syria. We've heard that as well.
What should we make of those statements, do you think, at this stage?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, there's two different fronts on which this battle is being fought. One is territorial and the
losses that ISIS has suffered started under Obama and they have continued.
It's fair to say the battle is still being conducted effectively. But then, there's this other question related to terrorism. And often, what
we're talking about is not organized ISIS, it's not territorial ISIS, it's the thin loose inspirational connections between lone wolves, as we call
them, and this organization.
[16:35:12] And that's where this president, like many other leaders, is having trouble putting together an effective response.
GORANI: Right. It's been such - really, a headache for so many Western countries, especially those, not the United States in particular, but those
who have returning citizens who fought in Syria and Iraq.
One of the things that Donald Trump said that raised eyebrows in the last 48 hours is he was complaining that he cannot - even though he really wants
to, cannot be involved in ongoing investigations. This is what he said on a radio program. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The saddest thing is that, because I'm the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I'm
not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I am very frustrated by
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Julian, it's interesting, though, that he would say this out loud, right? I mean, does that not show that there is just a basic
misunderstanding here of what the president's role should be and how separate he should be from those institutions technically?
ZELIZER: It's interesting, but not surprising. The president, from the very beginning, has shown a reluctance to adhere or respect to some of the
boundaries that exist in the Constitution or boundaries that have been created in recent decades, such as rules and norms really limiting what the
president can do in terms of what the Justice Department is doing.
We have all these systems in place to ensure that everyone follows the law and that there is no interference in investigations. And so, we've seen
this repeatedly. And this is something that concerns many observers. And it is part of the reason we actually have a special counsel right now
because, in firing FBI Director James Comey, the president showed that he's willing to go beyond what many presidents will do when this kind of process
is in place.
GORANI: And some might say, file this in the not-surprising category, a tweet that used an insensitive racial slur in reference to Sen. Elizabeth
Warren. Let's put up the tweet. Trump referred to that and used the disparaging name for Elizabeth Warren, writing " Pocahontas just stated
that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept."
Pocahontas once again. He's used that before during the campaign.
ZELIZER: He certainly has. This is how he referred to Sen. Warren all the time. It's stunning to read this, coming off the Twitter account of the
president the United States. So, whether he's saying it verbally or writing it down, this is not what we expect of presidents.
Even those who are cynical about presidents, even those who understand that presidents are far from perfect creatures, he employs a kind of language
that really has lowered the bar for what we would expect.
And often, it involves race or other kinds of social and ethnic slurs. And this has been a very disturbing part of his presidency and his campaign.
And those words matter.
His followers read this and those words circulate even among people who are not his followers.
GORANI: But, Julian, to all those who think this is unacceptable, there's been great economic data today. Lots of analysts say, look, if the economy
is still just as good in a couple of years, he will be reelected. There's no real democratic strategy to oppose him.
ZELIZER: Well, that's fair enough. And it's true. Regardless whether he's responsible for this or not, he will claim credit and his supporters
can certainly say that his presidency has not sidetracked the economy at all. It's remarkably well.
Importantly, the indicators in the parts of the economy that bothered so many of his supporters, the insecurity that many middle and working-class
Americans face and the kind of jobs that they are able to obtain, those are still very much part of their lives.
He has not really done anything to address the structural problems of the economy. So, that is somewhere where Democrats can certainly exploit a
weakness of this administration to argue they have better policies that will not just make the economy robust, but better for middle-class
GORANI: Julian Zelizer, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.
Coming up, Kevin Spacey is just the latest in a long list of actors, politicians and journalists to be accused of sexual misconduct. The trend
has been dubbed "the Weinstein Effect," but we'll be joined by a scholar who says the whole thing may be going a little too far. We'll be right
[16:43:05] GORANI: As we told you earlier, President Donald Trump is kicking off his tour of Asia with a stop in Hawaii. On this trip, he will
meet some of the region's most powerful leaders, and there's a lot on the agenda.
Our CNN reporters around the area take us through the major challenges.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Tokyo, the top priority is the US-Japan alliance. So, you can expect to see Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump projecting friendship as they tackle two major issues - trade and North Korea.
Over in Pyongyang, officials are still furious over President Trump's speech at the United Nations when he threatened to totally destroy their
country and insulted their leader, calling him rocket man.
They are also angry about ongoing joint military exercises. The North Koreans tell me the time for talk is over and it's time to send President
Trump a message.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Manila, President Trump will meet a fan of his in Philippine President Roderigo Duterte. The popular, but controversial
figure, has had nothing but praise for the US leader and the two will discuss Duterte's ongoing war against drugs.
The big question, will Trump bring up alleged human rights abuses committed by Duterte's government while targeting not only drug dealers, but drug
users as well.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The priority for South Korea during Trump's visit is North Korea. President Moon Jae-in has gone
along with the US policy of sanctions and pressure, but ultimately Moon wants dialogue, more engagement with the north. And it's a desire that, in
the past, Trump has called appeasement.
And then, there's trade. Trump has convinced Seoul to renegotiate the trade deal between the two countries, but Seoul doesn't want many changes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump's biggest schedule challenge in Vietnam will likely be convincing APEC leaders of his views on free trade. He'll
address the Asia-Pacific Economic Committee, telling them he wants fair trade and balanced trade.
Perhaps the most watched event, if it does happen, is a possible bilateral between President Trump and President Putin of Russia, although if it does
place, it's likely to be surrounded by discussions of Russian meddling in US presidential elections.
[16:45:08] The other event still not on the schedule that may happen, a trilateral between President Xi of China, President Putin and President
Trump, likely on that agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest issue for China when President Trump arrives here in Beijing will be North Korea. The Trump administration
wants China to do more to force North Korea to stop developing its nuclear weapons.
China says it's doing enough already. That issue will dominate conversations, though expect discussions over things like trade and opioids
GORANI: And there you have it, the major challenges for the president.
Coming up, some news about us here at THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Stay with us.
GORANI: I want to bring you some new developments in the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal. The latest sexual assault allegations against
him could result in the first criminal charges. That's what an NYPD source familiar with the investigation is telling CNN.
The source says this is the strongest case we've had that fits within the statute of limitations.
Also, the floodgates unleashed by the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein aren't closing anytime soon.
The actor Kevin Spacey is the latest high-profile figure to be accused of misconduct. Eight people tell CNN the star turned the set of his show,
"House of Cards", into a toxic work environment.
One former production assistant said Spacey assaulted him during one of the show's early seasons, among other allegations. They follow an earlier
accusation against Spacey by the actor Anthony Rapp.
President Trump is known for keeping his messages very short. So, when it came to a title for the new US tax proposals, he boiled that down as well.
With this, here is Jeanne Moos.
[16:50:00] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, the master brander, dreamed up a name for the tax bill that cut to the
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW: The cut, cut, cut act.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: The cut, cut, cut act.
MOOS: Cut it out with the laughter. This was a serious name proposed by the president to convey -
TRUMP: A giant tax cut, a tremendous tax cut, a massive tax cut.
MOOS: But somehow cut, cut, cut didn't sound serious.
COLBERT: That name truly sucks, sucks, sucks.
FALLON: I guess that beats the name for his immigration bill, the bye, bye, bye act.
MOOS: Instead of the knives coming out, the scissors did. GIFs ranging from The Big Lebowski to Edward Scissorhands were posted. The cut, cut,
cut act, activated memories. And you thought 999 was bad.
HERMAN CAIN, ACTIVIST, TEA PARTY: I have put my 999 plan on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your 999 plan?
CAIN: My 999 plan is a bold solution.
MOOS: A little too bold. Pizza chain CEO Herman Cain and his tax plan never made it through the Republican primary.
CAIN: The 999 will pass and it's not the price of a pizza.
MOOS: In the end, President Trump didn't get the name he originally wanted. It was cut, cut, cut down to size. Only one cut survived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
MOOS: Republicans wanted to emphasize that their plan did more than just cut, cut, cut. Simplifying the code means many taxpayers could file on
form the size of a large postcard, which the president kissed. But he also had to kiss goodbye his preferred name and leave it for kids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut, cut, cut, ouch.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hurt.
MOOS: New York.
GORANI: And before we sign off tonight, a final word about last hurrahs. One of our top stories today was about an outgoing Twitter employee who has
the world wrapped. Here is she, went out with a bang, taking down the account of the world's most notable tweeter, Donald Trump.
We've seen a few blazes of glory throughout the years, like the time Bill Clinton staffers removed Ws from keyboards in the West Wing in an effort to
needle incoming President George W. Bush.
It's fitting in some ways that today is the last day of this show, but don't expect any practical jokes from our WORLD RIGHT NOW team, though,
because we will be back Monday same time same place with a brand-new show called "Hala Gorani Tonight." So, this has been the last WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Thanks for watching. More with CNN in a bit, followed by "Quest Means Business".
(CNN DOMESTIC SIMULCAST)