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Trump's First 100 Days; Pope Francis Opens Laundry in Rome; 30 Years a Slave; Syria Accuses Israel of Launching Air Strike Near Damascus; According to Declassified Letter, Flynn Warned Against Accepting Foreign Payments in 2014. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 27, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:20] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ISA SOARES, HOST: The White House cranks up as President Trump approaches 100 days in power, but more revelations about his former national security
chief could sour the mood. Michael Flynn's payments from foreign sources under intense scrutiny at this hour. We have the latest developments from
Also this hour, a potentially terror related arrest in the heart of London. A man in his late 20s arrested with knives on him. Our correspondent Fred
Pleitgen is on the scene.
Plus, Syria accuses Israel of launching air strikes near Damascus (inaudible) at a military base. Our correspondents in the region have all
the details for you.
Hello and a very warm welcome to Connect the World. I'm Isa Soares in London. I want to begin Donald Trump's national security adviser, a man
who had access to the most secretive and indeed the most sensitive U.S. intelligence is now the subject of a new investigation. A House committee
looking into Trump's campaign ties to Russia made a bombshell announcement about Michael Flynn. And in the last half hour or so, documents obtained
by that committee somehow Flynn was warned by the Pentagon back in 2014 against accepting foreign payments.
Now lawmakers say Flynn apparently received payments from a Russian state- run TV network without permission, and they are accusing the White House of beholding critical evidence. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: Honestly, I do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn. I don't get it after the
president fired him for lying.
They should be bending over backwards to help us. It does not make any sense. And it makes the American people think the White House has something
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, the inspector general of the U.S. Defense Department is investigating these latest revelations on Flynn. CNN's Jessica Schneider
is joining us with more. And Jessica, we heard in the last half hour or so that the new DOD investigation. We also heard from the ranking member of
the oversight committee we just heard there who said he was releasing three documents there, as you
just heard, was releasing three documents that showed Flynn's assertion. What do these documents reveal?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, at least several new revelations in just the last hour or so. First of all, the House oversight
committee revealing that Flynn's former employer, the defense intelligence agency, well, they wrote him a letter in 2014 warning him not to accept
payments from foreign governments without approval. Secondly, there is a new unclassified letter that shows Flynn did not report his payments from
Russia to the defense intelligence agency, even though earlier this week his lawyer said that Flynn had briefed DIA on the speech and the payment.
So no records of any payments there.
And third, it's now known that the Department of Defense's inspector- general has launched its own investigation into Michael Flynn. This is just the latest to come
out indicating that General Flynn actively concealed his payments and his interactions with foreign
government both in Russia and Turkey. This has been trickling out over the past few months.
And as you heard there, members of congress are saying that they believe Michael Flynn broke the law when he failed to fully disclose all of those
Now, granted, of course Michael Flynn was forced out of the Trump administration just 24 days
after it was revealed he misled vice president Mike Pence about the conversations he had with the Russian ambassador, but it does continue to
cast questions, Isa, about the Trump administration's ties to Russia and why perhaps they haven't been more forthcoming about Michael Flynn's
interactions, payments and meetings with members of the Russian government or Russian-state sponsored TV. So a lot of questions arisen there.
And as you heard there, congress members are upset about this and they're demanding more answers - Isa.
SOARES: And yes, and we were hearing from the oversight committee, the ranking member, who basically said the u.s. government administration is
covering up for Michael Flynn. Now, we know Flynn offered to testify with immunity. He said his lawyer said he has a story to tell. Have we heard
any reaction thus far from the White House? And how will the White House distance itself from Flynn?
SCHNEIDER: Well, the White House continues to try to distance itself from Michael Flynn. We have heard this repeatedly. In fact, this week, Press
Secretary Sean Spicer said that it was really up to Flynn to properly fill out his security clearance forms where it was actually revealed that he did
not disclose those payments from foreign governments. And the White House saying that they relied on Michael Flynn to fill out the forms truthfully.
So the White House trying to play this off as really hands-off and saying that they're putting the burden on Michael Flynn, but the House oversight
committee saying they are increasingly frustrated as you heard there from Elijah Cummings, but the White House not providing any information, not
Elijah Cummings really put it bluntly. He said at one point during that press conference he said these guys are playing games.
So the White House still trying to distance itself but members of congress really holding their feet to the fire. So it should get a lot more
interesting many the days to come - Isa.
SOARES: Yeah, and Mr. Cummings also said there was no evidence, zilch were his words, that Flynn had sought approval for those payments. Have we
heard from Flynn yet?
SCHNEIDER: We haven't. The person we have been hearing from is Michael Flynn's lawyer. I have been in touch with him, Robert Kelner, but really
the last time we heard from his lawyer was to say that Michael Flynn, did, in fact, brief the Defense Intelligence Agency
about these meetings that he was having over in Russia about some of the payments, but as we heard today, that may not actually be true, because in that letter that was
declassified, there was no such record that Michael Flynn had disclosed these payments or briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency. So now we're
waiting to hear once again from his lawyer.
But as for Michael Flynn himself, he's not been heard of in quite some time - Isa.
SOARES: Jessica Schneider there for us in Washington. Thanks very much Jessica for breaking breaking that story down for us. Of course, we will
keep on top of that story.
I want to turn our attention to here in London, because police in the city say a man has been
arrested just yards from the British parliament. Let's bring you - see if we can bring you live pictures. They say he's being held under the
terrorism act and knives were recovered. No one was injured in the incident in White Hall, the street that leads of course from parliament
square to Downing Street for those of you who know the area well.
That is where Prime Minister Theresa May (inaudible) just off Downing Street and her office says she was not there at the time.
CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins us now. He's on the scene for us. Fred, what more do we know about this man?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this point in time, the investigation here is ongoing. It seems to us as though right
now, the forensic workers who are are out here collecting evidence, they seem to be wrapping up. We suspect that they might be leaving fairly soon.
But it's actually quite interesting, the information that was released by the Metropolitan Police about the man who was arrested. They say that he
was in his late 20s and that he was arrested right here, of course, in the heart of London by a police officer here as part of an ongoing operation.
So it is unclear whether or not he might have been under surveillance for an extended
period of time, but the police saying that this is an ongoing operation that this arrest was a part of.
Now, they also say that he is being held under the Terrorism Act for trying to instigate acts of
terrorism. And so certainly they are treating this as a terrorist investigation. They say that he is being held in a police station in the
south of London.
So it really doesn't appear as though the Metropolitan Police here in the British capital, they have thwarted what could have been quite a serious
security incident here right here in one of the most prominent places in this country, and indeed in the entire world, Isa.
SOARES: Yeah, we have heard he's 27 years of age. And Fred, like you were pointing out, the security, can you imagine, remains tight, painted a
picture of the security around you, is it cordoned off? This follows-up from the attack on March 22 isn't it outside parliament.
PLEITGEN: Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it is really only a couple yards away from where that major attack happened on March 22 where, of course,
the attacker at that point drove a car over the pedestrian side of the bridge, across the Thames and penetrated the outer ring of the House of
Parliament killing several people on the way to doing that.
So certainly the security here has been stepped up, but it's been stepped up in that very difficult British way, of them really keeping calm as they
are doing all this. In fact, right now, as I'm speaking to you, a police officer right in front of me is starting to remove the cordon, because it
appears as though they are reopening that street.
And the police officers who are here on the scene really are very, very calm. At this point in time, there's not really that many armed police
officers here on the scene, any more. Of course, the suspect himself was arrested as we've heard by police officers.
But yes, security here is quite tight. It has been since that incident, that attack happened on March 22. But, at the same time, of course,
Londoners and many people who are visiting this place are not allowing any sort of feelings of fear to come into this city
to disrupt what they have been trying to do as right now we can see right in front of us, that cordon is being removed. I'm not sure you're able to
see that, on those live pictures, but we believe police here may want to open the entirety of this road after this incident took place, Isa.
[11:10:02] SOARES: Yeah, we don't have the live pictures, but we take your word for it. We're seeing forensics, earlier pictures of forensics on the
scene. The cordon is still standing at White Hall. Fred Pleitgen for us in White Hall bringing us the latest on this breaking news. Thanks very
I'm going to take you now to war-ravaged Syria where the facts are disputed as the land
itself. And here's the latest case. In the early hours of Thursday morning, this huge explosion right here near, take a look, Damascus'
airport. That rocked the capital.
Now, we don't know what or who caused that blast. On the one side, though, Syria state TV claims it was caused by Israeli missiles, reports say a
weapon supply center for Hezbollah. That's on on side.
On the other side, this man is Israel's intelligence minister not confirming this Israeli involvement, but critically saying that the move
would be, quote, completely compatible with this country's defense line.
So, what to make of it all? CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us now from Istanbul in Turkey. And Ian Lee joins us from Jerusalem. Ben, to you first, just
bring us up-to-date, if you will, on what you're hearing happened in this instance?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the facts are fairly simple, Isa. We understand that some time before sunrise, there was a
large explosion in the area of Damascus International Airport, which is about 20 kilometers from city
Now the Syrian Arab News Agency, the official news agency say that it was a military-positioned southwest of the airport that was hit it said by
Israeli missiles fired from within what it called occupied territory.
According to this SANA (ph), Syrian Arab News Agency, it hit a warehouse, it caused some material damage, did not harm any civilians; however, the
opposition is saying that, in fact, it was some sort of military target. There are reports that perhaps a Hezbollah commander was killed in this
attack. It wouldn't be the first time that something along those lines happened.
In May of last year, a Hezbollah commander was killed in this attack. It wouldn't be the first time that something along those lines happened in May
of last year, a Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badradine (ph) was killed at the military section of the airport. But as I said, the details are scanty
at best at this point - Isa.
SOARES: Let's see what Ian can bring to this discussion. Because, Ian, we have heard the
Israeli obviously saying intelligence minister saying that we completely compatible with this country's defense lines, but not confirming Israeli
involvement. So what does Israel have to say. And why would it strike Hezbollah?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Israeli military is sticking with a line that we have heard many times before, which is,
frankly, they are not commenting.
What makes this unusual is that comment from Israel's minister of intelligence. Israel kept saying it is compatible with their policy.
Now, Israel is known for carrying out strikes within Syria. Last march they carried out one which the prime minister said they did, which went
after targets near Palmyra. This came to news after Israel's Arrow missile defense system shot down one of the surface-to-air missiles that was going
after an Israeli jet, but it is believed that Israel, from time to time, goes after targets that are weapons going
to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Now, Israel says they are afraid of Hezbollah getting their hands on sophisticated weaponry and that includes missiles. So from time to time,
you do hear reports of these mysterious strikes within Syria, but when you look at it, and look at who could possibly carry it out, a lot of times it
looks like it is the Israelis.
SOARES: So, Ian, as Israel continues its campaign against Hezbollah's weaponry, can we assume that it has some sort of tacit understanding with
Moscow? Could Moscow interfere if it wanted to?
LEE: Well, Moscow came out and said they don't want any country to interfere in the sovereign territory of Syria, but there is an agreement
between Russia and the Israelis, a coordination, rather, when these type of events happen, because the one thing that Israelis don't want, the Russians
don't want, is some sort of mishap in the air that brings tensions between the two countries.
So we don't know the extent of this coordination or what really happens behind the scenes, but
it is believed there is some sort of working relationship when this happens. So the Russians, they have sophisticated surface-to-air missiles
inside Syria, but they don't target the Israelis and there's nothing that could spark a conflict there.
But as we heard from Ben as well as the Syrians have said that they are willing to or are going to try to shoot down any sort of Israeli plane that
tries to enter their air space. So whatever coordination there is, it seems likely just between the Israelis and the Russians.
[11:15:16] SOARES: And Ben, on that point that Ian just made there, the Syrian government, I believe, had mentioned or warned I should say that it
would retaliate against any attack target in its own areas. Have we heard anything? Is there any reaction?
WEDEMAN: Well, you know, the Syrian government has talked a hot line, so to speak, when it comes to defending itself against, for instance, Israel,
but reality is something to the contrary. In fact, in Lebanon, they have a saying in Arabic, (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) which means that Syria is
a lion in poor Lebanon, but is something of a bunny rabbit in the Golan Heights when it comes to confronting the Israelis.
Before the Syrian civil war broke out, the demarcation line between Syria and Israeli forces in the Golan Heights was the quietest border Israel had.
And so that was really the case until relatively recently. So the Syrians, they talk a lot, but when it comes to Israel, they don't really like to
mess with the Israelis going back several decades.
And now in the aftermath of the 7th of April, a U.S. missile strike on that Arab base in central Syria, the Russians did say they would beef up Syria's
air defenses, but it appears that maybe there is a hole in that beef when it comes to anything coming from Israel.
SOARES: Ben Wedeman there for us in Istanbul. Ian Lee joining us from Jerusalem. Gentlemen, thank you to you both.
Now, still to come tonight, we'll head to the White House where President Trump is welcoming the Argentinian president and changing course on NAFTA.
We'll bring you both of those stories right here on Connect the World.
You are watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Isa Soares.
SOARES: You are watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
Now, U.S. President Donald Trump is welcoming Argentina's president to the White House. Now, tried, Will, is expected to be high on the agenda during
Mr. Trump's meeting with Mauricio Macri. You are looking at live pictures there. We are expecting to see them both shortly.
Now, Mr. Macri is hoping for more access to the U.S. market for Argentinian goods, but that
could be a tough sell with President Trump. The two leaders are also likely to discuss a deepening political and as well as economic crisis in
Venezuela. They know each other well. They've worked together before. Both business men and also both golf players.
We'll keep on top of that story for you as when it happens, we shall bring it to you.
Now, top story we're following here on the show, President Trump said he's not planning to scrap a major trade pact with Canada and Mexico right now.
Instead, he says he'll focus on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Now trade is just one of the many policies Mr. Trump
is racing to put his personal stamp on this week. Saturday, you will know marks the100th day in office. Joe Johns reports on the White House plans
to reform the tax code and indeed more.
[11:20:31] GARY COHN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We have a once- in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After much hype, the White House unveiling a one- page summary of President Trump's tax wish list, which
includes slashing tax rates for corporations; reducing the number of tax brackets; and doubling the standard deduction for individuals. The skeletal
outline would mainly benefit wealthy Americans and is devoid of any details of what it would cost and how it would be paid for.
STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: This will pay for itself with growth and with reduced -- reduction of different deductions and closing
JOHNS: Many economists are challenging this as a magic wand of growth saying the cuts could increase the national debt by trillions. A reality
that would make Trump's tax goals a tough sell with fiscal hawks in Congress and goes against the president's repeated pledge to reduce the
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will simplify the tax code. It will grow the American economy, and all of this does not add to
our debt or our deficit.
JOHNS: Democrats immediately calling the administration's bluff.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CALIFORNIA: They're saying, "Oh, the growth in the economy will cover it." But the fact is, it never has.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a plan to help the wealthiest in this country, the wealthiest corporations in the world, at the expense of our nation's
JOHNS: One of the many unknowns: how the Trump businesses stand to benefit from these steep cuts, given the president's refusal to disclose his tax
MNUCHIN: The president has no intention. The president has released plenty of information.
JOHNS: Meanwhile, the White House announcing that the U.S. will not immediately pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement after
speaking to the leaders of Mexico and Canada. This comes only hours after White House officials told CNN that the president was considering an
executive order to withdraw from the deal.
The White House also eager to show progress on health care.
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: The big block that we need to come over is the Freedom Caucus. And certainly, some indications are that that's
moving in the right direction.
JOHNS: Republicans publicly posting their amendment online for the House to review, as it remains unclear if moderates will sign onto the changes or
how soon they'll take it to a vote.
Trump's big push to show action in the final stretch on display Wednesday when senators were bussed to the White House for a classified briefing on
North Korea. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say little was learned.
[08:20:23] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it was an OK briefing.
SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, (D) ILLINOIS: I seriously felt like I could have gotten all that information by reading a newspaper. It felt more like a
dog-and- pony show to me than anything else.
SOARES: Now, whilst you were listening to that report, we are showing you live pictures you can see there on your screen of - out of the White House
in Washington. You can see President Trump there. He is waiting for Argentinian president to arrive. He is visiting
the White House. Mauricio Macri will be visiting with his wife. We expect trade to be high on the agenda during this trip. Mr. Macri is hoping for
more access to U.S. markets for Argentinian goods.
But we have to see what President Trump has to say to that. And the two leaders expected, perhaps, to discuss the deepening political as well as
economic crisis in Venezuela.
We are seeing the Argentinian flag there. You are looking - that is Mrs. Macri there. And the president should be arriving from the red side, there
he is, just left the car.
Two leaders know each other well. They have worked together before as businessmen, both businessmen, but also they have played golf apparently
together. And it is interesting that Argentina is one of the first countries out of Latin America to visit. Normally, traditionally I should
say, it is Mexico that is visiting first. But this, of course, will be important as a trading partner for Mauricio Macri and for Argentina. They
are expected to hold meetings with the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House Speaker (sic) Paul Ryan before attending the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Now, in terms of business, and this is potentially a lot to do with trade. Macri has a - U.S. has a trade deficit of $2.5 or so billion with Argentina
last year. So, hoping to sustain that if not to increase that. You're looking at the live pictures there of Mauricio Macri, the president of
Argentina, arrives at the White House.
Now, we shown you the report there earlier on President Trump's 100 days, the take of what he's achieved or has yet to achieve. CNN senior political
analyst Ron Brownstein joins me now from New York to talk about NAFTA, and indeed more as that 100-day mark looms.
And Ron, before we start talking about what has achieved, let's talk about Michael Flynn, because we have heard in the last hour or so, he is the
subject of a new investigation. We also now there are documents that show that Flynn was warned by the Pentagon back in 2014 against accepting any
sort of foreign payments.
What kind of trouble do you think this gets him in?
LU STOUT: Well, I mean, I think there are specific, you know, violations that are being investigated, including registering as a foreign agent for
his work with Turkey, which ultimately would be more consequential. The larger question here is whether this changes his posture, how this affects
his posture, I think, toward the broader investigation of the Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. You saw a few weeks ago
from his attorney an offer to testify and return for immunity. There were no takers at that point, as you wouldn't expect, because of the legal
processes move forward and there is more pressure on him.
I think the belief of the investigators is that he will be a more willing witness. But I think this is one piece of the - what happens to Michael
Flynn I think is probably less consequential than how this affects the broader investigation, ultimately, of what happened in 2016.
SOARES: Let's talk more about that, because we heard from the ranking member of the oversight committee and I'm quoting here, why the U.S.
administration covering up Michael Flynn, I'm quoting, why, does the White House have something to hide? We will follow
the paper trail. How damaging and damning is this for President Trump?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, : We don't know yet. I mean, certainly, the overall issue of Russian involvement in the 2016
election and the biggest cloud hanging over the administration, the question of whether there was, in fact, active collusion between the
campaign and Russians who were involved, that has been an ongoing headache for the administration. There's no other way to look at it.
And when you look at polling, the significant majorities of Americans continue to believe there should be an independent investigation of this.
We have investigations going on in the Senate and House intelligence committees. There's obviously a criminal investigation at the FBI.
There's this peripheral but related investigation of the former national security adviser. It is all kind of -- you know, there's a lot of
different fronts that are open, but I think most Americans are still uncertain whether any of them are going to provide the full picture, and
that is why you saw this discussion of an independent commission, as unlikely as that seems, with Republicans controlling both
chambers of congress.
SOARES: Ron, let's move on to the 100 days or a look ahead at the 100 days, because President Trump said no administration accomplished more in
90 days. We have definitely seen a lot of movements coming from the White House, but has POTUS achieved anything?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, that - you know, the idea that no administration accomplished more in 100 days is kind of absurd. I mean,
the 100 days concept or frame was created under Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in 1933, and incontrovertibly a lot more was accomplished in those 100
Look, I think there are - you know, you have to look at this along two different axes. I think one is on executive action. They have been very
aggressive at beginning, in many cases, the legal process of overturning regulatory and other actions taken by President Obama. They have made a
lot of progress on that front, or at least started some of those fights.
For example, on energy, on the clean power plant, on carbon, on rolling back fuel economy standards, on cars, basically rolling back regulations
disliked by business.
Legislatively, it's very a very different story. I mean, you know, there has been essentially no significant accomplishment legislatively, apart
from the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch at the Supreme Court. And in fact the reversal on health care is one of the biggest that we've seen for a
president in their first 100 days.
The other point, I think, if we get to NAFTA, I think is the second axis that we have to look at, which is that many of the edgy America-first
economic nationalist ideas that made Trump distinctive as a candidate is where he's mostly with the exception of immigration taking a step back
where he's made more progress is where he's acted as a more conventional Republican, talking about deregulation, cutting taxes, cutting spending.
So in some ways, he's been more successful to the extent he has become more conventional as a
Republican, but even there as we saw with Obamacare, it's no slam dunk.
SOARES: I'm glad you mentioned NAFTA because I was going to ask you about that, because we saw the president tweet about it today. I want to ask my
producer to bring those tweets up if we can. Because what I found interesting is that he said during the campaign trail that he would
renegotiate NAFTa. So my question really is this a win for him? We're seeing the tweets here. He
said, I received calls from the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed
subject to the fact if we do not reach a fair deal for all we'll then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are a good. Deal, very possible.
So, Ron, is this a win for him in many ways?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think it's - we are putting off the final verdict here. I think it is very revealing that, again, the president did say he
would either renegotiate or pull out of NAFTA. And that is what he said as a candidate.
But the emphasis was on a disaster that it was. And I think you saw in the last 48 hours from the idea that he was going to sign an executive order to
begin the process of withdrawing from NAFTA to one in which now he's talking about renegotiating is a measure of
what we were discussing. All of the pressures from with in the Republican coalition to kind of sand down the edges of the distinctive economic
nationalism that he ran on - not naming China a currency manipulator, for example. The one exception is immigration where they are full speed ahead
except for on the wall.
But by and large you're seeing on both NATO, trade, pressure from the republican Party to become a little bit more of a conventional Republican.
SOARES: Ron Brownstein, thank you very much. Always a pleasure to get your insight.
Now, you are watching CNN. We'll have much more world headlines coming - and other news in just a few minutes.
SOARES: Now police in London say a man has been arrested just yards from the British parliament. They say he's being held under the terrorism act
and knives were recovered. Now no one was injured in the incident in Whitehall and the street that leads from that leads from parliament square
all the way to Downing Street.
Let's go live to the scene. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins me now. And Fred, what more do we know about this man and indeed motive?
[11:35:12] FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely, Isa.
First of all, I want to show you, though, this is exactly the scene where it happened riht now. And talk about a city not missing a beat after a
security incident. This is exactly the scene where this happened. And as you can see, there's literally dozens of pedestrians already walking
around. You really can't see that any sort of security incident would have taken place here. That's because the forensic work that was taking place
here right after this arrest happened, that wrapped up I would say about 15 minutes or so ago. And the police was very quick to then lift that cordon.
Now, we know that this man was arrested is at 27 years old. The police says that he was arrested by armed officers of the Metropolitan Police, a
specialist firearms command. They say that he was arrested as part of an ongoing operation, which seems to indicate that he may have been under some
sort of surveillance in the run-up to what happened here today.
They also say that he was arrested on possession - on suspicion of a possessive of an offensive weapon and suspicion of the commission,
preparation, and indeed instigation of acts of terrorism, so certainly held under the terrorism act. And as you said, apparently knives were found in
his possession. It is unclear how many knives. We do however understand that he is apparently being held at a south Lsondon police station at this
point in time where we do expect that there will be further information coming from the police at some point later today, Issa.
SOARES: Yeah, and as we look at your shot, maybe you can put it in a bit of perspective, Fred, was it I saw earlier, I think was a backpack just
behind you. Was that in fact crossing behind you. Give us a sense for our viewers tell me where Westminster is, where Downing Street is, and of
course because we saw an incident, a terrorist attack back in March, hence why there were so many concerns we are there again.
PLEITGEN: So many concerns and also so much more security presence as well. That was one of the things.
Now, Downing Street obviously where the British Prime Minister Theresa May sits, is in this direction over here. However Westminster - of course the
houses of parliament is literally right here. You can see it. We are very, very close to it. So the area where this arrest took place, only
about an hour or half or two hours ago, is literally only a couple yards from where that major attack occurred on March 22nd of this year, where, of
course, a man plowed across the bridge that leads across the Thames on the pedestrian part of that bridge killing several people in the process and
then managed to penetrate the outer ring of the houses of parliament.
You do understand that when this happened, at least for a while, the gates to the house of parliament were closed. Of course, people there trying to
be careful as well. However, right now, the houses of parliament once again in full session. There is no security procedure or additional
security procedure there.
Again, obviously, the city continuing as usually they do not allowing itself to get bogged down by this arrest that took place and the threat
that clearly persists, Isa.
SOARES: Yeah, and I suspect, I can see the cordon is now gone. But I suspect security remains rather tight, Fred.
PLEITGEN: Yeah, it certainly does. I mean, there are certainly additional police officers here. But again, they really are in a very calm mood. You
don't see them sort of brandishing weapons. Of course, we do know that this man was arrested by police officers carrying firearms. So it's a
typical scene that you will see here in London where you do have a security presence, you do want to make the people here feel safe, but it certainly
isn't something that would appear oppressive.
And I can tell you from seeing the folks that are walking around here, they seem pretty calm even after this incident took place -- Isa.
SOARES: Yeah, and plenty of tourists in that area, too. Fred Pleitgen there for us in Whitehall in London. Thanks very much, Fred.
Now in a rare move, the Trump administration briefs senators to the White House on the growing North Korea threat. At the same time, it was
bolstering military support to South Korea, deploying a controversial anti- missile system. Now, originally planned to be ready by the end of the year, the chief admiral of the U.S. Pacific command says part of the
defensive hardware will be operational in just days.
Now, China opposes the system known as THAAD. Beijing says it damages the strategic balance as wel as stability of top region. CNN's Alexandra Field
is there and filed this report from Seoul.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question for people here in South Korea and well beyond was whether this unusual meeting at the White House
would yield new information about the U.S.'s strategy toward North Korea. High-level Trump administration officials have repeatedly said that the era
of strategic patience is over and that the U.S. would look for new and different approaches to dealing with North Korea.
In the aftermath of this meeting, though, the U.S. secretary of state and the U.S. secretary of defense, both said that the goal remains the
denuclearization of the peninsula and that the Trump plan going forward would be to work with international partners like China, for example, to
apply increasing economic pressure and diplomatic pressure on North Korea hoping to force cooperation from the regime.
That would create the kind of conditions that would be needed for conversation in the view of
the secretary of state and the secretary of defense.
At the same time, though, the U.S. continues to build up its defensive posture here in the
region. First, there was the decision to deploy the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier strike group to the waters off the Korean peninsula. That
was meant to be a show of force.
So was the arrival for a powerful U.S. submarine, the USS Michigan, which docked at a southern port in South Korea. Now, now they are moving ahead
with the controversial deployment of a missile defense system. It was slated to be fully installed by the end of the year, but now the U.S.
Pacific command commander says that the system will be operational in just a matter of days.
U.S. defense officials and South Korean defense officials are saying it is important to get this installed and running quickly in face of mounting
threats from North Korea.
In Seoul, Alexandra Field, CNN.
FIELD: Now very few of us have had the chance to visit North Korea. I certain lip haven't. But virtual reality brings us closer to it than ever
before. Join us on the immersive look at thousands of people taking part in a dance and celebrate the Kim dynasty as you can see there. You can watch it on a computer, a phone or indeed a
headset, just head to CNN.com/VR.
Now, you are watching Connect the World live from London. Up next, 30 years a slave: we meet a Mexican woman sold by her mother at the age of 10
who is now trying to make up for lost time. We'll have that report for you, next.
SOARES: You are watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I am Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
Now, at least 28 people have died in Venezuela this month as anti- government protesters clashed with riot police. The latest protester to die was a 20-year-old university student who passed
away after getting hit with a tear gas canister.
And now a heartfelt plea from the unlikely source. The son of Venezuela's human rights
ombudsman has posted a video online urging his father to, quote, do what's right. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YIBRAM SAAB, SON OF HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN (through translator): I condemn the brutal repression by the government security forces, which I was a
victim of today, as was Juan Pablo Pernalte (ph), of 20 years of age, a university student, who died because of this terrible and inhumane use of
tear gas after he was hit in the chest. That could have been me.
Lastly, I would like to directly address my father. Dad, at this moment, you have the power to put an end to this injustice that has sunk this
country. I ask you as a son and in Venezuela's name, which you serve, to reflect and do what you are supposed to do. I understand this is not easy,
but it's the right thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will strike her. You will strike her until her flesh is rent and meat and blood flow or I will kill everyone in
my sight. Do you understand me? Strike her. Strike her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: The movie there, 12 Years a Slave.
Well, you may think that slavery and every rancid, horrible part it only exists in movies about the past like you just saw in movies like 12 Years a
Slave. If you think that, well, you would be wrong. Right now, millions of people are living in chains. Sometimes you can see them, other times
CNN's Freedom Project is dedicated to exposing the plague of modern-day slavery. So now we go to take you to Mexico where one woman tells our
Rafael Romo she was a slave for 30 years.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Life's simple freedoms, a walk in the park, ice cream on a sunny day, still seem foreign
to Lupita Perez Castillo.
LUPITA PEREZ CASTILLO, MEXICAN SLAVE FOR 30 YEARS (through translator): They took away my innocence and the hope of being a self-assured person.
ROMO: Lupita says she was kept as a slave for more than 30 years. Her story begins as a 10-year-old girl living in an impoverished community in Vera
Cruz, Mexico. That's when she says a woman accompanied by a translator approached her mother, offering the recent widow money in exchange for
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And they told her mother that they were going to take her daughter with them and send her to school and
that they were going to send Lupita's family her monthly salary. They also gave her mother some money at that moment.
ROMO: Once taken to the new family, Lupita said she was forced to do housework and care for the other children, she was not paid and she
remembers the lady of the house gave her only leftover scraps to eat, and not giving her a bed.
CASTILLO (through translator): She would say that we indigenous people were used to sleeping on the floor like animals. She had a sofa but wouldn't let
me use it because she said I was going to ruin it.
ROMO: Lupita said she tried to escape several times, but nobody in the new city understood her indigenous dialect and she was punished for trying.
CASTILLO (through translator): They would pull my hair. Sometimes when I had to take frozen meat out of the freezer, they would hit me with it in
ROMO: It wasn't until she was almost 40 that she got the opportunity to finally break free.
CASTILLO (through translator): That night, the lady's son, the youngest, the one I used to babysit, had an accident. She went to the hospital and
that's when I escaped.
ROMO: Her captor was convicted of slavery and forced domestic work charges. Still after three years, transitioning into a life of freedom is proving
difficult for Lupita.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She couldn't stop. If we went to a restaurant, she wanted to do the dishes. If we traveled and stayed at a
hotel, she wanted to do the beds, wanted to do chores. They really stole 30 years of her life from her.
ROMO: Lupita has been in therapy for some time. Because she was held captive for nearly three decades starting when she was a child, she never
learned to make her own decisions, manage her own money and have a sense of self-worth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you ask what your favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate or strawberry, she says, what do you want it to be?
ROMO: Now 43, Lupita has a paying job, working as a seamstress, and she's hoping to make up for lost time.
CASTILLO (through translator): My dream is to study nursing. It was my dream since I was a little girl. I'm trying hard. I'm reading because
that's the only thing I want to do, even if I never make it.
ROMO: A dream deferred by a nightmare no one should ever have to face.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.
SOARES: It is devastating. A very strong Lupita we heard there. And I'm sure that right now like many of us you're thinking, what can I do help
people like Lupita you saw there? Well, we have put together plenty of information on what you can do on CNN.com/freedomproject. There you will
find how you can report any human trafficking anonymously, also how to help and how you can contribute in terms of funding for organization. That's
You are watching Connect the World live from London. Coming up, Pope Francis is changing lives one fresh set of clothes at a time. The new
service he's opened up for homeless people in Rome. We'll bring you that story next.
[11:52:14] SOARES: We have some papal Parting Shots for you now. Pope Francis leading by
example, it seems, helping the less fortunate in rather unexpected ways. He opened a laundromat in Rome where the poor and homeless can wash their
clothes for free. Our Delia Gallagher has a look inside the Pope Francis laundry.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside this former hospital in the heart of Rome, Pope Francis has set up a place which offers
a different kind of care, a free laundromat for the poor.
Kiro (ph) and Rosanna (ph), two of the estimated 7,000 homeless in Rome, have brought their clothes here where volunteers do the washing for them.
Kiro (ph) says he sleeps wherever he is, often in a hospital on a bench.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): In the summer, it's OK. In the winter, we are like popsicles, penguins.
GALLAGHER: Before the pope's laundromat, he said he would wear his dirty clothes until they were falling apart and then throw them away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): For us, it's a very personal thing. I want to thank Pope Francis. It's really an amazing gift.
GALLAHER (voice-over): There are six washing machines and six driers here, as well as ironing facilities next door. The volunteers tell me they can do
about 17 loads of laundry in a day. Most important for them is that the name of the person gets on their load of laundry so they can be sure, once
it's washed, dried and ironed, it gets back to the right person.
(voice-over): The laundromat is the latest in Pope France's projects for the poor in Rome. He has already opened a dormitory for men and women, and
showers, a barbershop, and medical facilities at the Vatican.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bodies of the poor are taken care of by someone and it's beautiful because Pope Francis really understood that this is what
GALLAGHER: This man remembers one of the homeless smelling his freshly laundered clothes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said it reminds me of home. That's what we do here. This is a little like a family, which helps people to feel at home.
GALLAGHER: A home where doing the laundry is not a chore, but a gift, for which they are grateful.
Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.
SOARES: A wonderful idea there. Well, it seems it's not the only charity initiative by the pope. He also paid one year's rent on a private beach
for people with disabilities. It's a donation to the charity group Work of Love. That's provided a portion of the beach for years. Now volunteers
installed ramps, boardwalks and you can see there and water vehicles to help people get access. Work of Love says hundreds of people with
disabilities use the beach every year. Some positive stories.
And along with his charitable endeavors, Pope Francis heads to Cairo on Friday. Now, the visit comes on the heels of recent attacks against the
Christian community. Last week ISIS, as you can remember, militants targeted a monastery, and then on Palm Sunday, two Coptic Christian
churches were bombed.
The pope frequently speaks out against terrorism and is expected to do so the same on this trip.
Well, there's been a busy show today and a busy hour indeed. You can catch up on all the very latest from this show online and every other Connect the
World, of course. Surf over to our Facebook there, you go, Facebook.com/cnnconnect. And while you're on social media, you can find me
also on Twitter. Catch me @Isacnn.
For myself, the team and the team in Abu Dhabi and in London, thanks very much for
watching. That was Connect the World. The news continues.