Return to Transcripts main page

HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Fate of Idlib Dominates Talks Around the World; August Labor Report Has U.S. Economy Adding 200,000 Jobs; British Airways Has Vital Customer Data Stolen; Trump Calls for Sessions to Investigate the Anonymous Op-Ed Writer; Elon Musk, Marijuana, Samurai Swords, And Flame Throwers; Trump On Op-Ed: "You Could Call It Treason; Nationalist Party Has Sweden's Center- Left On Edge; U.S. Secretary of Defense Makes Surprise Afghanistan Visit; Kim Jong-un Declares "Unwavering Trust" For Trump; South Korea Cracks Down On Secret Spy Cams. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 7, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, Donald Trump asks his attorney

general to investigate that explosive op-ed from "The New York Times." We'll have the latest from Washington.

And from Tehran to the United Nations, the world is talking about Idlib and Syria. But what action will we see and who will protect the civilians?

And more turmoil for Tesla, their chief accountant quits, the stock price falls, and the CEO, Elon Musk, is filmed smoking a joint during a podcast.

Donald Trump is taking a frantic manhunt in Washington to a whole new level now saying that his Justice Department should get involved in what he calls

a matter of national security. The U.S. president just finished speaking to supporters at a fund raiser in North Dakota and earlier aboard Air Force

One he railed against an anonymous piece in the "New York Times" that claims there's a secret resistance inside the government that is working to

protect America from Trump himself. The president is calling for his attorney general to get on the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Jeff Sessions should be investigating who the author of the op-ed piece was?

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I think so because I think it's national security. I would say Jeff should be investigating the author of who that

piece was because I believe it's national security.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there action that should be taken against "The New York Times."

TRUMP: We're going to see. I'm look into that right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: The blistering op-ed came just days after a u book claimed similar claims against White House staffers. One calling the Trump administration

crazy town. But amid all the damaging headlines, there is some good news for the president as the economy delivers yet again.

Let's bring in White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond and CNNMoney's Paul La Monica. First of all, the president saying, suggesting that he would ask

the Justice Department or that he would order the Justice Department to conduct an investigation against someone who wrote an anonymous op-ed

criticizing him, that goes against every rule in the United States.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, it's certainly an escalation from the president here. And there's no crime so far that the

president nor White House have pointed to that the author of this piece or the "New York Times" may have committed in publishing this. The Justice

Department typically had they do investigate leaks it's because it's leaks of classified information and there's nothing in this op-ed that suggests

that classified information has been revealed.

What the president is reacting against here is an op-ed by a senior administration official that is deeply critical of his leadership of the

country and of the administration which he leads in the executive branch. You know, the senior administration official here talks about the

president's making reckless decisions and that officials in the administration needing to constantly act as a check on some of those

impulses. But certainly, the president is taking it a step further from the anger that he has expressed over the last several days and now saying

he wants his attorney general to investigate this criminal investigation, presumably.

GORANI: Jeremy, correct me if I'm wrong, presidents don't order investigation into their opponents and critics with the attorney general,

do they?

DIAMOND: No. No, they don't.

GORANI: So, this would be -- this would be yet another unusual request or comment or a statement by the president which it comes to, you know,

perceived grievances or in this particular case, direct criticism of him in that op-ed.

DIAMOND: It comes just a few days after we saw the president talk about how the attorney general, you know, how the justice department should not

have prosecuted two Republican congressman who were indicted on some very serious felony charges because it was running up against the midterm

elections. So, we've seen this kind of language from the president before. But you're right to point out that it's just as stark regardless of how

many times he does it.

GORANI: So, Paul, the job numbers are stellar. There's no other way to look at if the we're at 3.9 percent unemployment, though that figure is --

was similar to one recorded in the year 2000. It's not a historic low, but it's a fantastic number. What is it due to?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: These are very, very strong jobs numbers, more than 200,000 jobs added last month. You already

pointed out the unemployment rate and wage growth is picking up also, 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.

[15:05:00] I think that the president can take a bit of a victory lap because of tax reform and some efforts with regards to deregulation. But

we can't forget that President Trump inherited a pretty good economy from president Obama and, to his credit, he has taken the ball and run with it

and has not really done anything despite all the craziness in the White House, to really damage the America economy. Corporations are in very

solid shape right now, consumer spending is doing very well and the corporations are hiring.

GORANI: Jeremy, yesterday Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally in Montana and he actually told his supporters, used the "I" word,

impeachment. He told them if I'm impeached basically, it's your fault. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD: We've got the best employment numbers in our history. We've got best economy in our history. You look at the numbers that every category

is great. We're doing a great job. We're putting on phenomenal judges. And you take that and you do -- then what you're going to have is you'll

have a country that's going to turn in to a third world country. Because if the opposite party becomes president, every time before it even starts,

before you've even found out whether or not he or she is going to do a great job, they'll say, away want to impeach him and you'll impeach him.

It's so ridiculous.

GORANI: It's interesting, Jeremy, that the president himself is using that word.

DIAMOND: Yes, it is. And I think it's something that we're probably going to see the president do more and more of as we creep closer to the November

midterm elections. Listen, impeachment is an issue that some Democrats have raised. But really most Democrats are not trying to campaign on that.

They're trying to campaign on something similar, which is, you know, we want to be a check on the president, we need to make sure that this

president is knotted not unrestrained by a compliant Republican congress.

But most Democrats aren't running on that. However, Republican strategists, particularly those close to this White House view as it a

galvanized issue for the Republican base. It's something we will likely hear more of. It may get those supporters that don't turn now the midterm

years but they will come out and vote for Republican candidates for that reason to prevent the possibility that Democrats retake the House and move

towards impeachment.

GORANI: And his base, as we know, very motivated, goes to the polls. Quick last question on the economy, Paul. Some economists say, yes, this

is a great number, wage growth is also healthier now than a few months ago. But, it's due to, as you said, a reduction in corporate taxes,

deregulation, basically just giving the economy a bit of injection of steroids while accumulating debt. In other words, this could be a recipe

for some very bad news in a few years, that we're living on borrowed time here.

LA MONICA: Yes, you are starting to hear more people make that argument. And I think what's going to be very interesting going forward is that the

federal reserve is continuing to raise interest rates and a lot of people point to this jobs report and say that it could give the fed reason to

raise rates not just once, but twice more this year, several more times in 2019. Will higher interest rates slow down the U.S. economy and end this

very long boom that we've had since the lows of 2009? Also, there's a little trade war going on right now. Eventually a lot of economists think

that will catch up and hurt the U.S. economy as well.

GORANI: Well, what goes up must come down Florida every aspect of life, but mainly when it comes to numbers like this. Thanks so much, Paul, there

and Jeremy Diamond at the White House.

To Syria now, a country whose significant answer to civilization dates back 12,000 years. But cut to 2018 and we're after seven years of annihilation,

it's people are being forced to watch the nation's very survival be discussed miles away from their own home. On one side of the world today

we found Russia, Turkey and Iran talk strikes and strategy at a summit in Tehran. While on the other side of the planet caution and consequences

were the main themes at the united nations.

And the focus of it all is Idlib, Syria's last rebel strong hold. Possibly the last important make or break battle of the war. CNN has the rare

opportunity to be on the ground in Syria with Fred. He's in Damascus. While in Moscow we have the reaction from Matthew Chance. I'll start with

you, Matthew, because Putin holds so many of the cards here. What does he want out of this?

[15:10:00] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's been speaking today in Iran at that tri-lateral summit with the

Turkish and Iranian leaders and he made clear what he wants. He spoke first of all about the need to stabilize the country, the need to

reconstruct it after the conflict's over, and the need for refugees to return there. But his main point during this meeting was that he was, you

know, rejecting any sense in which there could be a truce when it comes to Idlib.

Of course, the Turks have been opposed to a military assault on the region because they fear a flow of refugees into their own territory. But

Vladimir Putin along with his Iranian and Syrian allies is categorical. He says the country will fight terrorists and terrorism. He said it's

important for -- I'm summarizing, but it's important for the Syrian state to take control over all of the territory of that country back from the

rebels. And so, it's a very uncompromising message from the Russian leader.

GORANI: And Fred, you're in Damascus, so obviously we saw the leaders of turkey, of Iran, and of Russia. No representatives whatsoever of the

Syrian regime or any other Syrian group discussing the future of their own country here.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, you're absolutely right. But at the same time, you were talking about before how

these talks were going on about Syria in New York on one side of the world and in Tehran on the other side of the world. And one of the remarkable

things about it is that the talks in Tehran by far seemed like the ones that were more important. Because you're right, it is those three powers

that essentially at that point in time hold the fate, the Idlib province, in their hands.

What happens going forward? It was interesting to hear those three leaders speak about how civilians need to be protected but then the Russians

showing their hard lines saying they of course caller the battle against terrorism needs to continue. President Erdogan rejecting that while at the

same time, of course, there is a reality on the ground. That reality, quite frankly, is that Idlib at this point in time is surrounded by the

Syrian army, is surrounded by some of the most elite and battle-hardened force dollars.

One thing we have to look forward to tomorrow and that will be not pivotal but will be interesting to see is that the Russians have their large-scale

military maneuvers here in the region where they move 26 warships in here that can all fire cruise missiles. Those military maneuvers end tomorrow.

What are the Russians going to do with their military hardware? Is that going to withdraw or is that there for another reason?

GORANI: Matthew, Fred just talked about Nikki Haley at the UN this is what she had to say about the anticipated offensive on Idlib.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: The Assad regime and it's enablers, Russia and Iran, have a playbook for this war. First, they

surround the civilian area. Next, they make the preposterous claim that everyone in the area is a terrorist. So, every man, woman, and child

becomes a target. The Assad regime must halt its offensive. Russia and Iran as countries with influence over the regime must stop this

catastrophe. It is in their power to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Matthew, Nikki Haley is saying Russia must stop, Iran must stop. But I'm guessing that in Moscow authorities there see this as basically

just words, right?

CHANCE: Exactly. And also, they show absolutely no sign of doing what Nikki Haley is demand bling, which is to stop killing people. Far from it.

The spokeswoman here in Moscow over the past 24 hours has been again talking about how Russia kills terrorists only in Syria and will continue

to do so. I mean, Russia has good reason for this as well.

This is in some ways, this forthcoming assault if it happens on Idlib, the culmination of all of the strategy that Vladimir Putin and the Russian

armed forces have brought to bear in Syria since they intervened in that country's conflict back in 2015. They said they were going to back their

ally Bashar Al Assad and allow him to regain control over the entirety of the country, and that's exactly what they're doing. And Russia is then

touting that as a symbol of its return and muscle on the international stage.

[15:15:00] GORANI: And we all know now they did that after the U.S. did not enforce any kind of red line after a chemical attack in Ghouta. And,

Fred, there was a report in "The Washington Post" today, very interesting, quoting the most senior Syria official that worked at the state department

saying essentially that the U.S. is reversing strategy.

They're now going to leave after, quote, defeating ISIS, which I don't think many people believe anyone has done yet. But that it's more open-

ended. That they might stay indefinitely, they're not in a hurry to leave. I wonder what the reaction potentially could be of the Assad regime to

this.

PLEITGEN: Well, the Assad government won't be happy to hear that. I don't think necessarily as far as the embattled Idlib is concerned that might

change anything. Some of what the senior official said was towards the Syrians as well so they need to watch out especially if they do start an

assault on Idlib and definitely take care of civilians there. But it was different rhetoric coming from the U.S. than we have heard in a long time.

Especially they said they're not just going to try to defeat is, they want to make sure that ian exits Syria.

Of course, that's something that didn't seem in the cards for a very long time even though the Russians have said that they might be able to do

something in that regard, now everything there is open-ended. Of course, there's two things that really follow from that. On the one hand of

course, it's a whole different posture for the U.S. I think while the Russians and Iranians and the Turks probably as well, have seen the U.S.

give up a lot of its role here in Syria, I think all of them are very well aware of the fact that the U.S., because of the resources it has, because

the firepower it has, could become a very important player here if it choose do so.

So, this must be alarming signals for the folks in Moscow and Tehran as well. Certainly, here in Damascus it seems like it could very well be.

But it certainly is something I wouldn't necessarily say that this is a game changer or anything, but it certainly is a whole different posture

that we're seeing from the U.S. than we have seen at least in the times and months before I would say.

GORANI: And it's a small number of troops and strategy is a little confusing because you hear one strategy and then the opposite strategy a

few months later. So, we'll see how that develops either way. Matthew Chance and Fred, as always, thanks to both of you. Still to come tonight,

fury at British airways as people rush to protect their personal details after the airline admits it suffered a massive data hack.

And we often like to think of something witty to tease our upcoming stories, but when the headline is Elon Musk smokes pot and used a flame

thrower during an interview, there's really not much more we can say. Oh wait, I forgot to mention, the samurai sword. We'll be right back.

[15:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Thousands of British Airways customers are furious after a massive data breach has put their personal details at risk. The airline has

admitted that hackers stole the payment card details of 380,000 customers. The thieves were able to access people's names, addresses, e-mails, and

credit card details, including the card number, the expiration date, and crucially the security code. They have apologized and is vowing to

compensate those affected. Richard Quest earlier spoke to the airline's CEO and asked him how he plans to make it up to these angry customers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX CRUZ DE LLANO, CEO, BRITISH AIRWAYS: The moment we found out the actual data had been compromised we began the communications process, the

process we're now immediately to media, we published big letters in newspapers, we released information, and most important of all, we began to

communicate individually with passengers. So, we began to send e-mails and other communications. One first wave last night we finished all those

communications. We have begun again today. So, we're making every single possible effort as quickly as we could from the moment we found out to,

indeed, reach out to those customers.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: How did this happen, Alex? I mean, a year ago today pretty much the Equifax hacking scandal was announced. We

have had hacking scandals from Sony, every big bank in the U.S., at least most of them, and the major stores like Nordstrom have been hacked. Surely

by now, I mean was data privacy and security your number one priority, I suppose, after safety on the aircraft?

CRUZ DE LLANO: It is indeed. Ba.com has been running for more than 20 years and we've never had a data breach of this particular type. We now

have teams working together with our national crime agency and very large team of actual forensic experts to find out what happened. We want to make

sure the customers feel all their concerns are being addressed. As you mentioned before, if any of them have suffered any financial loss as a

consequence of this event, we will compensate them.

QUEST: Do you know if anyone has any loss so far? Has anyone been in touch with you to say there has been identity theft or dishonest

transactions?

CRUZ DE LLANO: We've spoken to a handful of passengers who are trying to understand what some charges on their credit card may be, but at the moment

we don't have any verified accounts of fraud. But we will continue to work with them. We are interested, we want to be able to be with them when that

happens and, again, we will compensate them if they have suffered a financial loss as a consequence of this data theft.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Richard Quest there speak together CEO of British Airways who admitted a massive data hack.

He may no longer be the foreign secretary in this country but Boris Johnson still dominates political discussion in the UK. He is seen by many as the

favorite to succeed Theresa May as prime minister and to lead a more radical, harder Brexit. But news about his personal life circulated wildly

today and he was forced to confirm that he and his wife are getting a divorce. The former foreign secretary resigned in July in protest he said

at the time over Theresa May's plans for Brexit.

In the world of fiction, the eccentric billionaire is always a winning archetype from Tony Stark building a robotic suit to turn him into a

superhero, to Mr. Burns trying to get Smithers to pilot a toy plane at gunpoint.

So, when you hear about a billionaire whisking out a samurai sword and smoking a joint during an interview, it might sound relatively tame.

There's just one crucial difference with the last example, though, it actually happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: I mean it it's legal, right?

JOE ROGAN, RADIO DJ: Totally legal.

MUSK: OK. How does that work? Do people get upset with you if you do certain things? There's tobacco and marijuana if in there, that's all it

is. The combination of tobacco and marijuana is wonderful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:25:00] GORANI: Obviously taking a drag from a joint. Part of a strange interview with Joe Rogan. The Tesla CEO also used a flame know, at

one point and chatted about everything from AI to flying cars. We have more. So, that was something.

HADAS GOLD, CNNMONEY EUROPEAN POLITICS, MEDIA AND GLOBAL BUSINESS: That was something. I mean, within the last two days Elon Musk smoked marijuana

live on YouTube, at least two Tesla executives left the company and the stock dropped almost ten points. That's an insane two days for any company

and then he goes on and does this 2 1/2-hour long podcast/interview with this comedian and does everything that we've talked about. It's wild to

think that a CEO that is already in a lot of turmoil the last few months does this as well.

GORANI: What are people say is going on here? Because we've reported a lot on this erratic behavior from musk.

GOLD: It's Elon Musk being Elon Musk, this is what he does. In this interview he touched a little bit on his personality and perhaps why he

decided he can to do this. He is said at one point his mind is like a never-ending explosion and wondered if he might be insane as a child. When

he was younger felt like his brain was moving so fast he wondered if he was crazy.

And you can see that there's sort of no adults in the room for him. A lot of investors are wondering is this the time to bring in adults in the room,

sort of like a Sheryl Sandberg COO who can kind of help control this company.

GORANI: Do we know why the executives including the chief accountant -- what's the difference between CFO and Chief Accountant? Why did they

leave?

GOLD: The chief accountant only joined last month. He actually said in the security exchange statement that he resigned because of all the public

attention on the company. He actually felt confident in terms of what the company was doing, but just all of this crazy chaos around was too much for

him and he decided to step back and he left a lot of money on the table by doing that. Som it's clear, we when you see an executive stepping down

like that and their chief human resources officer decided not to come back from leave, this is a lot of change and a lot of chaos for a company.

GORANI: It's chaos on the -- I mean, I guess in terms of how -- in terms of the behavior of the CEO and then these executive departures. The

company itself, though, I mean, is it doing OK?

GOLD: Other than the stock price.

GORANI: Yes.

GOLD: The production targets, apparently, they're doing well with that. That's what's so mind boggling. If you've got that cool company that

everybody's excited about and is able to hit its production targets, why are you trying to mess all of that up with this sort of behavior? You

would never see a CEO of a Toyota or Apple or any of these other innovative companies we think about doing that sort of thing. Why are you risking it

with this?

GORANI: Interesting. Thanks very much. Thank you.

Now to an update on a story from last night. The leading candidate says he could have died in a knife attack if he hadn't reached a hospital when he

did. The disturbing incident was caught on camera and a warning that the video you're about to see is graphic. It happened as he was carried

through a crowd on the shoulders of supporters. You see him there doubling over. The man dubbed the Brazilian Trump for his outspoken views is now

recovering from his wounds.

Still to come, Donald Trump kicks it up a notch and asks his attorney general to get involved in finding the mystery author of that "New York

Times" op-ed. And then Barack Obama is back? The former American president delivers his strongest rebuke to Donald Trump to date as he gears

up to hit the campaign trail this fall. We'll be right back.

[15:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Donald Trump is presiding over an urgent hunt to try and ID the person who wrote the anonymous "New York Times" op-ed. He's calling on his

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the matter and says it's a matter of national security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Supposing I have a high-level national security, and he has got clearance, you know we talked about clearances a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

TRUMP: Recently. And he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russia or North Korea or something. And this guy goes in, I don't want

him in those meetings.

GORANI: Well, meanwhile sources tell the New York Times that the White House has short listed 12 people as top suspects and that advisers to the

president are considering all their options, including the idea of a lie detector test. Or having officials sign affidavits that could be used in

court.

My next guest says the op-ed's author must identify him or herself. David French is a writer for the National Review and he joins me live from

Nashville, Tennessee.

I spoke to Norm Eisen who used to be of course in the White House an ethics czar. He said he considers anonymous to be a hero protecting the American

people from a reckless president, you disagree. Why?

DAVID FRENCH, WRITER, NATIONAL REVIEW: I disagree. Look, I fully recognize that there are anonymous leaking as part of the stock and trade

of Washington. That happens all the time. But it's one thing to anonymously leak that the president has odd television viewing habits or

he's subject bouts of temper.

It's another thing entirely to leak that there are members of the president's handpicked cabinet that are so concerned, they whispered that

the 25th amendment should be a vote. The mechanism for involuntarily removing a president from office.

That is an incredibly serious allegation that we have no way, because the author's anonymous, because we don't know anything about him, because we

don't know any of the facts, we have no way of judging its credibility.

So a senior official has made a claim this serious yet also doesn't see fit to come forward to testify under oath to give us the information that we

need to weigh the veracity of --

GORANI: But I get that the anonymous op-ed is one thing. Then you have the Woodward book. Let's assume only half, only 20 percent of what's

written in the Woodward book checks out. Let's just assume that. Or, 20 percent of that anonymous op-ed.

What in your opinion, then, should be done? What should people who are within the administration concerned by the president's behavior do?

FRENCH: Well, it depends on which 20 percent is right or which 50 percent is right.

GORANI: Let's s he's acting recklessly and he's about to withdraw the U.S. from an important trade deal with South Korea without thinking it through,

that type of thing.

FRENCH: Well, again, if this is something where there is evidence that he's violating the oath of his office, that there's evidence that he is

engaging in behavior that is impeachable, you do not just anonymously leak about that.

What are we supposed to do with anonymous leaks? What they do is then they just become part of the fodder of Washington argument and debate. They

don't do anything constructive.

If he is doing something, there's evidence he's violating the oath of his office, there's evidence he's engaging in impeachable offenses, or he's

engaging in behavior that demonstrates instability of his mind, the American people need to be able to weigh that in a form where we can

actually judge its accuracy.

Otherwise, it's just fodder for the left to say, look how bad the president is and it's fodder for the president's supporters to say there's a deep

state out to get him. You put a man under oath in front of Congress and you can begin to weigh how credible they are.

GORANI: David, you wrote in your column, in the National Review. "Here's what you have to do." This speaking to the anonymous author. "You have to

identify yourself. You have to state the basis of your claims. Name the cabinet members who whispered about removing the president and state the

reasons for their alarm. If what you say is true, the American people need to know. You need to tell them and you need to do it not in a television

interview or the pages of the Times but in Congress under oath in front of the nation."

This is basically what you just said. But this person might say, if I speak out and I resign, nothing will happen. At least while I'm working

from within, I'm doing something to try to protect the American people.

FRENCH: How am I supposed -- how am I supposed to judge that? I mean, look, we have a constitutional process for dealing with presidents who are

out of line, who are engaging in an abuse of office who are unstable. I would prefer to trust a constitutional process than a person I don't know,

I've never heard of for, all I know, whose character I cannot judge. How do I know that I'm going to then trust them? I have no basis for trusting

them.

In fact, they're demonstrating in some ways how untrustworthy they are by attacking their boss behind the veil of anonymity and raising these serious

allegations behind the veil of anonymity.

This was far beyond an allegation, as I said earlier, that the president has temper tantrums. We all know that. Or he tweets rage tweets, we all

know that. Or that he watches too much Fox and Friends, we all know that. Or that some of its policy positions are bad, that's something I also

believe.

[15:35:09] What he raised was steps beyond that. Same in the Woodward book. When you have claims that there are members of the president's own

administration are essentially stealing papers off his desk and the president is too disengaged to even realize that, those things are more

serious than your run of the mill anonymous leaks.

And that's why when you're dealing with serious allegations like that, I'm going to trust the constitution more than I'm going to trust --

GORANI: But the thing is that Congress and the eyes of those who criticized the president from within and even try to stop some of the

actions they deem to be harmful to the nation and perhaps beyond will say, Congress and the country and the political landscape is so divided and that

you have elected representatives on Capitol Hill who are unwilling to openly, even criticize the president, let alone do anything against the

president because they know it will hurt them electorally. Especially with the midterms coming up.

So in their mind, they might think, why bring it up, you know, on Congress or, you know, go down that official route? How would you answer that?

FRENCH: Then I'm confused, why do the anonymous leak in the first place? Because if Congress --

GORANI: To warn the country. To say someone's doing something.

FRENCH: And which we have no way of knowing the veracity of this. That's the problem with these anonymous leaks, what people read the anonymous

leaks in the prism of their preexisting bias. But if the person then says, if I went to Congress and testify under oath in a way that people can weigh

my credibility about specific claims of serious misconduct or serious instability and just say I'm just assuming that will have no effect, no, I

think that that's an unfair assumption.

Look, I live around Trump's quarters. I live in Trump country, and people have not priced in actual instability. They do not believe the president

is actually unstable and nothing should be done about it. What they believe is that he is actively being undermined by his own team and that's

what this anonymous reinforces. But they do not believe he's actually unstable.

And my view is, if you have evidence that he is, to such an extent that his own handpicked cabinet has allegedly whispered about the 25th amendment,

it's your obligation to step forward.

GORANI: David French of the National Review, as always, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate your time in this interview.

FRENCH: Thank you. I appreciate it.

GORANI: Barack Obama has jumped back into the political fray delivering a strong rebuke of Mr. Trump today. Obama accused him of capitalizing on

resentment and playing to people's fears.

The former American president spoke at a university in Illinois giving a preview of the message that we expect he will take on the campaign trail

for Democratic candidates ahead of the midterms.

Obama says the stakes have never been higher.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States,

need to determine just who it is that we are. Just what it is that we stand for. And as a fellow citizen, not as a next-president, but as a

fellow citizen, I'm here to deliver a simple message, and that is that you need to vote because our democracy depends on it.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: And voters will soon head to the polls in Sweden and the result could be a game-changer. The Sweden Democrats, a hard right party, is on

the rise as is the case in so many European countries with its anti- immigrant stance becoming more and more popular.

It is inspiring moderate parties to make more conservative policies to keep up against something we've seen in many other countries.

Atika Shubert boils down the key issues.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, for the last seven decades, the social Democrats have really been the dominant

political force in Sweden and they have built a prosperous welfare state that's really been the envy of many other countries.

But recent polls seem to show that voters aren't happy, they want a change and it could be a historical change. I mean, consider that the recent

polls seem to show that the Sweden Democrats, the anti-immigrant, far-right party, is now polling at around 20 percent, possibly more. That could put

them in a very powerful position where they could even become the second largest party in parliament.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Rallying supporters ahead of Sweden's decisive election, Jimmie Akesson, looks poised to translate nationalists policies into big electoral

gains. Once denounced as neo-fascist, his party has broadened its appeal largely with one issue.

JIMMIE AKESSON, HEAD OF THE FAR-RIGHT SWEDEN DEMOCRATS (through translator): Our election manifesto is about a more responsible and less

costly immigration and integration policy.

[15:40:03] SHUBERT: Just days away is Sweden's first general election since taking in a record number of refugees in 2015. Sharing its wealth

with more refugees per capita than any other European country.

Akesson's far right party wants to freeze most immigration and have monetary incentives to persuade migrants to leave.

Once unimaginable and progressive socialist Sweden, the Sweden Democrats are hoping to follow a trend of populous gains in several European

countries as their right-wing policies gain more traction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We've had very high immigration here and I mean that puts a strain on everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think that the refugees coming here will make things worse for those who live here.

SHUBERT: Also stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, some right-wing parties have linked an influx of foreigners to an uptick in violent crime,

particularly in lower income neighborhoods. Gang violence is another major area of concern.

In August, a group of young people set fire to dozens of cars in Sweden's second biggest city and nearby towns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Security is very important. In the village, there's a lot of violence and drug trafficking. People of all

ages, they just don't dare go out.

SHUBERT: The prime minister, Stefan Lofven, has toughened his stance on crime and immigration walking back a once open door policy for refugees.

His social democratic party has dominated Swedish politics for decades, overseeing a thriving economy with low unemployment but enthusiasm for the

mainstream center left party may be slowing, as immigration and violence add to a list of issues stoking concerns.

Unprecedented wildfires burn thousands of hectares around Sweden after record heat waves across Europe bringing climate change on to the agenda.

Meanwhile, some Swedes are frustrated with the lack of access to healthcare as a shortage of nurses and doctors means outrageous waiting times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): A patient who needs a checkup may have to wait for a while, and that could take four or five years.

SHUBERT: All of those issues will come into the fold during this weekend's election. That could make for an unusual result in socialist Sweden. No

one party a clear winner or a loser.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Hala, I think it's also important to remember that both the social Democrats and the center-right moderates, the other two large

parties, have said that they would not enter into a coalition with the Swedish Democrat. So it's not clear how the country will move forward,

what kind of coalition would be in place if there will be any real winners out of this election at all. Hala.

GORANI: Atika, thanks very much.

Anti-American propaganda is out and a declaration of unwavering trust is in U.S./North Korea relations obviously may not be perfect, but they have

dramatically changed in just a few months. Will Ripley is in Pyongyang. His report, live, is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:12] GORANI: The U.S. defense secretary, Jim Mattis has made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to discuss the possibility for peace talks

with the Taliban. Mattis also held talks with the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, over U.S. concerns about the increase in violence in the country

ahead of upcoming elections in October.

The American delegation also met with the new commander of NATO forces in the country. Over the summer, Taliban officials and U.S. state department

representatives met in Qatar in an attempt to lay a framework for peace talks. The fight in Afghanistan is now the longest-running conflict

America has ever been in, 17 years and counting.

2018 has been the deadliest year on record for civilians in Afghanistan at a trauma hospital in downtown Kabul, 50 cases, five-zero, are received

every single day.

CNN's Sam Kiley has the latest from Kabul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A teenage boy returns for yet another round of surgery. His arm was torn off by a bomb. He'll

be back for more operations before he returns to a home, so insecure that we cannot use his name. And his is a relatively minor case in a hospital

that only treats war wounded in a conflict that's bloodier by the day.

After 17 years of war, the number of civilian deaths this year hit the highest point since records began. According to the United Nations, 1,692

civilians have been killed by the end of June.

Run by the Italian charity emergency, this hospital often treats more than 50 new victims a day, each injury logged. Shrapnel, mine, shrapnel,

bullet, bullet, bullet, shrapnel, shotgun, bullet, shrapnel, bullet, bullet, bullet, bullet, on this ward, every patient is a child.

This young boy here was injured in Ghazni. Now that is a town to the south of Kabul, the main strategic town on the highway south. It was almost

overrun by the Taliban a couple of weeks ago. More than 100 people were killed. There was mayhem. And he spent 20 hours with his bowels hanging

out of his stomach before he was able to get medical help, a child.

Here, the doctors live in fear.

NAJIBULLAH HEKMAT, SURGEON: Every day is getting worse, and the fighting is increasing. But honestly, I don't have any -- me, I don't have any

clear future.

KILEY: The U.S. will spend 45 billion here this year, most of it is on training Afghan forces to take over. But poor morale, drug abuse, and

relentless combat has driven Afghan desertions and deaths so high that the numbers are now secret. One frontline government brigade is down to 30

percent of its fighters, NATO sources say.

Niaz (ph) has lost three sons and three grandsons, all in government forces. Four others are still alive, but they've all been wounded fighting

insurgents.

"Some of my children and grandchildren were killed on the frontline, and some of them near our village. They were beheaded," she says, "by ISIS."

Now, she looks after the 32 children who have so far survived, while she tends the graves of her dead.

It's been a bad year in America's longest war. But for Afghans, there's another generation of torment.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Kabul.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:50:36] GORANI: From all-out nuclear threats to warm handshakes, the Washington/Pyongyang relationship has seemingly thawed in the past year

with North Korea's Kim Jong-un giving his first timeline for denuclearization. And the U.S. President, Trump, is vowing to get it done

together.

Our Will Ripley is on his 19th trip to the -- just in time for its 70th birthday witnessing the change in relations firsthand. And in between this

trip and your last trip with the warming of relations between the United States and North Korea, you're seeing signs of that inside the country.

Tell us more.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly visually, Hala, when you go around this city, it's really unrecognizable, the propaganda that's up now

versus the propaganda a year ago. But as you've probably experienced many times in your on-the-ground reporting we are experiencing here right now.

The sentiments of the people don't necessarily reflect what's being said back and forth between the leaders of the country, even though President

Trump expressing his unwavering -- or rather Kim Jong-un expressing his unwavering trust in President Trump, North Koreans here telling me they

don't trust the united states. And, in fact, some of them still feel hatred toward that country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: At the height of U.S.-North Korean tensions last year, when fire and fury rhetoric was at a fever pitch, anti-American propaganda was

everywhere in Pyongyang, from missiles blowing up the U.S. Capitol to a personal attack on President Trump.

This propaganda banner says that the workers are motivated by their burning hatred for the United States. And in fact, it reads "Let's tear apart the

mentally deranged U.S. President Donald Trump."

What a difference a year makes. This is my first time back in Pyongyang since President Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-

un. Almost three months since their June 12th meeting, North Korea's nuclear program is still here. What's not here, at least as far as we can

tell, images like this.

A year ago, when we were here in Pyongyang, you couldn't turn a corner without seeing anti-American propaganda. Now, you're seeing much more of

this. This is about building a socialist economy. Even the missile imagery itself has kind of faded into the background.

Government guides are always with us in North Korea, showing us exactly what the state wants us to see. This time, it's all about the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

RIPLEY: Nice to see you again.

I visit the same Pyongyang silk factory and the same worker, Kim Jong Hyang, I first met two years ago.

A lot of people used to describe to me emotions like, you know, burning hatred when they talked about America. Do people still feel that way now

or is it changing?

"Our burning hatred won't go away overnight," she says. "The Americans are approaching us diplomatically, but they're not very sincere."

Workers like Kim used to be surrounded by anti-U.S. slogans. Not anymore.

This one here says, "Compete with the world, challenge the world, overtake the world." A lot different than nuclear annihilation.

What happened to all those signs?

"Those posters were everywhere," she says. "They may be gone now, but that hatred is still deep in our hearts. We don't have any illusions about the

Americans, we can't let down our guard."

Here in North Korea, taking down posters is much easier than building up trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: We can't let down our guard, that seems to underscore the sentiment that have felt by many North Koreans, Hala, and it also

underscores, frankly, the difficulties that the United States is going to face in denuclearization talks with the North getting them to give up their

nukes without a peace treaty first. The North Koreans say, why would they do that? They still worry here that the U.S. might attack at some point.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much Will Ripley, coming to us live from Pyongyang.

Well, south from where Will is in South Korea, the country's cracking down on what some consider to be the ultimate invasion of privacy. Spy cams

hidden in the most personal of places.

Paula Hancocks has this story from Seoul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a spy cam patrol looking for hidden cameras intended to film people in restroom cubicles. It's part of

a disturbing trend of illicit filming in South Korea. Seoul City says it will check every one of its 20,000 public bathrooms daily.

[15:55:00] One victim we will call Chei (ph), was filmed in her owned apartment on the 22nd floor. Police came to her door one night, showing

naked footage of her that a man had filmed through the window.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm scared to be at home right now, because that's what just happened. I was filmed in my own place, so I don't want to be

here, but also I'm scared to leave the apartment, even though it's broad daylight.

HANCOCKS: Police say the man who filmed her was taken in for questioning and released the same night. Chei was told a search warrant for his

apartment took a week to be approved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody knows who he is, and he just likes to live on, like, I have to spend time, like, to speak up, because I want to speak up,

but, you know, like my life is consumed after this incident, and I didn't do anything wrong.

HANCOCKS: Lawmaker Kim Yong-ho (ph) is pushing a bill through parliament to strengthen punishment and change attitudes.

"When an illegal video spreads," he says, "it robs a person, it ruins their life. Even though it's a grave crime, the law and punishment have not been

strict."

The law currently states a five-year maximum sentence for illegal filming, but only five percent of those charge since 2011, served any time in

prison. Kim wants a minimum sentence of two years.

This issue has sparked the largest women's rallies in South Korean history, tens of thousands have come into the streets and the slogans like, "My life

is not your porn."

Women that hide their identity for fear of retribution, unapologetic in their anger. They ban on all males at their rallies though has sparked

criticism.

The police response has come under scrutiny. This poster portraying the criminal as mischievous, and goofy, is clearly a failure. It was soon

taken down.

But this police piece video using reconstructions of what spy cams are useful, is more serious, highlighting that women here have killed

themselves of becoming victims of illegal filming.

1,300 spy cam cases in 2011, jumped to more than 6,000 last year, and those are just the ones that were reported.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: That's all from us today and all from us at this current timeslot. From next week onward, so next Monday, we move an hour earlier, everyone.

That is 7:00 p.m. If you're here in London and 8:00 p.m. Central European time so you can catch us same exact program, the same roundup of the news,

one hour earlier.

And thanks for watching tonight. If it's your weekend, have a great weekend. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CLOSING BELL RINGING)

[16:00:58] RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. Dow Jones well off the lows of the day. But still down.

Boarder markets and that is all over. Funny sorts of session. And sir, do the honors.

END