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CNN NEWSROOM

Global Ransomware Attack; North Korea Tensions; Growing Resistance From Dems Over Comey Firing; Interview with James Clapper; Candidates Being Interviewed for FBI Director; Global Security Breach; World Headlines; China Invests in Kenya; Pope on President Trump; Trump Wants to Move Voter Fraud Investigation Forward. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 15, 2017 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL IMTELLIGENCE: I think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally, and that's the big news here; Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.

JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Internally from the president?

CLAPPER: Exactly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: And more than 200,000 computers across the world infected by a global cyber attack, and it may get worse come Monday morning. From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: And I'm Rosemary Church. Thanks so much for joining us. This is "CNN Newsroom."

North Korea is claiming its nuclear program is making major progress.

HOWELL: Pyongyang says the latest missile test proved that it is capable of putting a large nuclear warhead on a missile. North Korea is also warning it can now strike the U.S. mainland.

CHURCH: Now, those are key nuclear ambitions for the regime, but there is no independent evidence to support those claims. Our Alexandra Field joins us live from Seoul, South Korea. So, Alexandra, what more are you learning about this latest ballistic missile test that North Korea has called a success? Does it come anywhere near fulfilling Kim Jong-un's threat to hit the U.S. mainland?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Well, they are certainly celebrating it in North Korea. It is considered a victory personally overseen by Kim Jong-un himself. They are certainly counting the success of this and their analysts even in the U.S. who agree that this was perhaps their most successful missile launch.

This is a missile that went higher and farther than we have previously seen, landing closer to Russia this time even than to Japan. But U.S. officials are also being clear this was not an intercontinental ballistic missile, a missile that would be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

It is, of course, the goal of Kim Jong-un to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead all the way to the U.S. The North Koreans are saying that this launch should be a warning message to the U.S. not to provoke North Korea. U.S. analysts are saying that the launch of this missile does show that North Korea could perhaps reliably launch a missile towards the U.S. base Guam in the Pacific, Rosemary.

CHURCH: That of course is a major concern. And this latest missile test is being perceived as a message to the United States, South Korea, and China. But its also the first missile test since South Korea's president took over. How is he reacting to this and will he still pursue his new approach to engage with North Korea and seek dialogue?

FIELD: He has said that there needs to be a response to provocations from Pyongyang in order to send the right message. But as you point out, Rosemary, this is a president who has advocated for greater engagement with North Korea. He is a Democratic Party president now holding the top office in the country. This is a departure from the conservative party rule this country has had for the last 10 years.

And that should signal a shift in policy towards North Korea, one that is less hard lined, less about sanctions, more about talks and conversations. Of course, he now faces this highly provocative move from North Korea within the first week of his presidency. He has condemned this launch along with so many others, but he has held open the door for the possibility of talks with North Korea saying that the south needs to show the north that talks are possible, that only if North Korea changes its attitude.

Certainly, stuff like this doesn't give any indication that North Korea has any intention of changing its attitude. This is at least the tenth ballistic missile that North Korea has launched since the start of the year, since the start of the Trump administration. Washington also of course condemning this latest launch and calling on all countries to strictly enforce sanctions against North Korea. Rosemary?

CHURCH: It is a story that has a lot of people very uncomfortable and very concerned. Alexandra Field joining there from Seoul, South Korea where it is just 4:00 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

HOWELL: All right. Let's talk about the implications of this latest North Korea missile test. Carl Baker is the director of programs at the Pacific Forum with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Carl is joining us via Skype this hour from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Good to have you with us, Carl. Let's talk more about this missile test so our viewers can really understand the difference here. We've seen other tests, some successful, others that have failed. But is this a game changer? What's different about this missile? CARL BAKER, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AT THE PACIFIC FORUM WITH THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, the big difference on this missile I think is its an intermediate range missile. And the fact is that they were able to launch at a fairly high altitude, which allows them to really examine both the propulsion as well as the reentry vehicle. So that's significant because it certainly does move them toward the capability of actually launching a missile that can threaten

[03:05:00] primarily Japan and Guam for this particular missile, but it does demonstrate capacity to move toward a longer range here (inaudible).

HOWELL: I'll ask you, director, if we have this, the map that shows the range here as we talk about this question here, but what do we know about the range of this particular missile as things stand now? Because we know that North Korea has the ability to strike its neighbors. You see this map here. This indicates the latest site of this missile launch. But, again, North Korea has the ability to affect Japan, South Korea. What more do we know?

BAKER: Well, with this missile, what we know is that basically if you had launched this on a normal trajectory, David Wright estimates that it's about 4,500 kilometers or 2,800 miles which does put Guam in range. So that is new this time. I don't think we've seen a successful launch by North Korea to actually find -- have a missile that can actually exact the launch. So in that sense, it's new. And also it certainly puts Okinawa within range.

HOWELL: We had a guest last hour who suggested, you know what, until we see it happen, until we see a missile that travels a great distance to prove that indeed they do have that capability, that people should have doubts about this. The same doubts many had when they saw missiles or presumed missiles paraded down the streets in Pyongyang. Your thoughts there.

BAKER: I agree completely. That certainly is the case that these are tests, and the North Koreans have historically overstated their case, overstated the capabilities of their systems. So certainly one test does not make the capability. So, again, the real message that North Korea has sent here is that they're working hard at moving toward a capability but that's not to say that they have the capability yet.

HOWELL: So North Korea is sending a message. But here's the question. What message could China send? Does China truly have leverage here? Could they make a difference given North Korea's increasing pace to improve their nuclear ambitions?

BAKER: Well, I think that's what came out of the Mar-a-Lago summit is that there was at least some agreement by China that it would enforce current sanctions, and so it would take a stronger approach to North Korea to reduce its capacity to actually continue this developing process.

HOWELL: Carl Baker, live in Honolulu, Hawaii. We appreciate your insight today. Thank you. BAKER: Thank you.

HOWELL: The White House may be trying to move past a political firestorm with a pledge to quickly name a new FBI director.

CHURCH: Well, the controversy of President Trump's firing of James Comey is far from over. The U.S. Senate must confirm any FBI nominee. Athena Jones has more now on the growing resistance from Democrats.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. The fallout over the president's surprise move to fire the FBI director continues with Democrats ramping up the pressure to name a special prosecutor to conduct a separate Russia investigation. One of those Democrats is Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who spoke about this on State of the Union. Watch.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The silence of my Republican colleagues is choosing party over country at a time when we can ill afford it. Foreign manipulation of our elections no matter who did it is a very, very serious issue. It damages people's faith in our government. So our Republicans should be stepping up to the plate and joining us in asking for a special prosecutor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: So there you heard Senator Schumer calling on Republicans to join Democrats in demanding a special prosecutor. We've also heard from Senator Mark Warner, who is the Virginia Democrat, who is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that's one of the congressional committees that is carrying out its own Russia investigation.

He has said that Democrats should try to block any vote on a future FBI director if Republicans don't get on board with this demand for a special prosecutor. The problem is that they would need some Republicans to do that because the GOP just needs 51 votes to get that FBI director confirmed. I should mention that as of right now, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, has indicated that he doesn't believe a special prosecutor is necessary.

All of this coming as the president prepares to embark on his first foreign trip. He's leaving on Friday. Before that, though, he'll be meeting with Turkish President Erdogan where he's likely to talk about Middle East peace and Syria, specifically this announcement this past week where the president authorized the limited army of Syrian Kurds to help in the battle against ISIS. So a lot on the agenda

[03:10:00] as this fallout over of the move to fire Comey continues. Back to you.

HOWELL: Athena Jones at the White House, thank you. The former U.S. director of National Intelligence has a bleak assessment of how the U.S. government is operating under the Trump administration. James Clapper says other branches of government need to step up to check of the executive branch in the aftermath of Comey's dismissal. He spoke with my colleague Jake Tapper. Listen.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: This week with the president firing the FBI director while this investigation was going on, and then saying that he was thinking about the Russia probe when he was making the decision, have we crossed a line here?

CLAPPER: Well, I will just say that the developments of the past week are very bothersome, very disturbing to me. I think in many ways, our institutions are under assault both externally, and that's the big news here, is Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.

TAPPER: Internally from the president?

CLAPPER: Exactly.

TAPPER: Because he is firing the checks and balances?

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, the founding fathers in their genius created a system of three coequal branches of government, and a built- in system of checks and balances, and I feel as though that's under assault and is eroding.

TAPPER: Are you surprised at how quiet Republicans on Capitol Hill have been?

CLAPPER: Well, I can't -- I can't say I think each senator or congressman has got to, I hope, will think in terms of their own conscience. And I can't characterize it as being surprised. I just hope they'll speak up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: James Clapper there talking with Jake Tapper. Joining us now from London is Leslie Vinjamuri. She is a senior lecturer in international relations at SOS University of London. Thank you so much for being with us. So...

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SENIOR LECTURER IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT SOS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Good morning.

CHURCH: ... we just heard from James Clapper calling on the two other branches of government, the legislative and judicial branches to step up and check the executive branch, the president. Do you agree that the checks and balances established under the constitution are under threat as a result of President Trump's actions?

VINJAMURI: Well, it's undoubtedly the case that there are a whole series of checks not only across the branches as James Clapper has told us, but within the branches that are looking -- like, they're not being protected in the way they should. Remember that the FBI itself within the executive branch needs to have the independence, the credibility, the legitimacy in the eyes of the American public and internally in order to conduct the investigation its been leading. And so the firing and the questioning surrounding the motivation for the firing of Comey really calls that into question. Now we need to see a new FBI director. And there is a genuine concern as to whether or not the person appointed will be able to carry forward that investigation with the degree of independence that is due. So it is absolutely an issue that the checks and balances are crucial.

Congress now has a very important role as an independent branch of government to ensure its investigation, the senate intelligence investigation, the house investigations proceed. But I think if you look at the recent polls, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 78 percent of Americans polled would like now to see an independent commissioner, independent prosecutor.

There is a loss of confidence I think that these investigations can continue to play or take place within the existing structure. So I think even the broader American public is lacking confidence that there are checks and balances operating.

CHURCH: So how possible is it for the White House to move beyond this political firestorm that's ignited, caused by the firing of the FBI director, the former FBI director, James Comey, by quickly naming his replacement? And just how careful does the White House need to be in choosing this person?

We know Lindsey Graham has said, let's make this an FBI agent. People don't want to see politics involved here. But it's going to be difficult isn't it, when you have President Trump deciding who is going to replace Comey?

VINJAMURI: That's right. And I think one concern, one of the names that came up is a senator from Texas who seemed to be very, very partisan. The question of who becomes the next FBI director is absolutely essential. He needs to be somebody who can gain the confidence internally. Remember that most people still think the contrary to

[03:15:00] President Trump's allegations that Comey continues to have the support and deep respect of many people across Washington, but absolutely within the FBI. So having a replacement that seems to be not partisan with the credentials is absolutely critical. And as we know, there were many people interviewed over the weekend. And this appointment, if it's not a very good person who has that respect, it could be very deeply problematic just as Donald Trump is getting on an airplane.

Remember tomorrow, he meets with Turkish President Erdogan. And then in a few days, he gets on an airplane to head on his foreign trip. He won't have control over the fallout in Washington, and so it could be a very difficult time if he actually chooses to put somebody forward before he goes on that trip.

CHURCH: Yeah, and some suggestions that whoever he does put forward might reveal why he fired James Comey. But I want to talk to James Clapper's comments. We didn't hear them there, but he has said that President Trump's behavior is disturbing. He did actually say that in that part we played there. Do you agree with that, that his actions have been disturbing?

VINJAMURI: Well, many of Donald Trump's actions have been very disturbing. What's perhaps more disturbing is how much we're all acclimating to many of the things that Donald Trump says, the things that he does. But undoubtedly the use of Twitter to try to scare Comey over with the threat that he's taped his conversations and that perhaps there's been something said that he will leak or reveal, is very injurious.

It's threatening the independence of the former FBI director. So I think on a number of dimensions, we're seeing Donald Trump begin to erode or continue to erode basic norms of the way that a president should conduct himself in office. It's not clear how to respond to this, because of course when we talk about strictly speaking the law, many of the laws have not been violated so far as we know.

But it's the norms that we hold deeply that are being eroded incrementally. So I think it is up to congress to try and challenge and to stand up for -- maintaining a degree of (inaudible) and dignity in the White House.

CHURCH: Leslie Vinjamuri, thank you so much, joining us there live from London where it is up 8:15 in the morning. Appreciate that.

HOWELL: All right. Up next here on "Newsroom," a story that people should think about going to work. Your entire computer locked down until you pay a ransom.

CHURCH: That international cyber attack isn't over, either. And we will tell you how to protect your own computer when we come back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST AND WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN: Good Monday to you. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. It is May 15th, which means the eastern Pacific Ocean's

[03:20:00] hurricane season getting underway today. The condition then across the tropics at least quiet for right now and across the southern United States much the same as well as high pressure firmly in place but it is around the north eastern U.S., getting some rain showers, exiting the picture in much of Sunday. Foggy across this region, going to be a little slow to move out of this region.

But we think beyond this, a very rapid warm up here intense over the next several days. Some areas are going to approach record territory. Back out towards the central portion of the U.S., a little quieter story develops there. But notice this, temps in the New York City from the 18 range up to around 32 degrees. Same story develops across the south while in places like the U.S. capital there in Washington D.C. 20 (ph) give way to the lower 30.

Denver around 27 degrees. Rain at Vancouver. San Francisco a blustery but beautiful day. Same story out of Los Angeles there at 18 degrees with sunny skies. And notice down across parts of the tropics, Bali City, Mexico City, maybe a few thunderstorms there. Thinking Mexico will stay mostly dry.

Guatemala City should see a few storms and 26 expected. Panama comes in at 29. Baleen looking at the lower 30. Salvador also has temps expected on the dry side with 32 degrees there. Here is what we want to see from you. If you have any weather photos you like to share with us, just get on your favorite social media platform. Use the #cnnweather.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: All right. Welcome back. The past few days we've been telling you about this international cyber attack that has paralyzed thousands of computers. It's not over yet. The malicious software shows a message like the one you see right here, demanding a ransom until you unlock your files.

CHURCH: Now a researcher was able to temporarily contain this over the weekend. But experts are concerned that more companies may be targeted Monday as people return to work.

HOWELL: So earlier we spoke to Steve Ranger. Steve is the U.K editor- in-chief at Tech Republic.

CHURCH: Yeah, and here's how he explains the spread of the cyber attack.

STEVE RANGER, U.K. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AT TECH REPUBLIC: Well, I think the biggest problem is because this ransom ware attack started on a Friday afternoon, many people have gone away for the weekend and come back to work. And actually while they've been away for the weekend, this malware has spread from computer to computer and when they get to office, they found they've been hit by it, too.

CHURCH: So, Steve, what do hospitals, particularly companies and of course individuals need to do to protect themselves from being hit by this ransom ware going forward? What advice would you give them?

RANGER: Sure, there are pretty basic cyber security things they should be doing. So if you're a company or an individual, make sure all patches you have on your software are up-to-date. Software vendors often send out little bits of extra software to patch holes they've found. Make sure you are up-to-date. So also be careful on clicking things that aren't from your friends.

Just be a little cautious on in terms of what you click on or what you open. And also think about backing things up. Now that might be important business information or family photos. This ransom ware doesn't care what it encrypts or locks up. So if it's valuable to you, store it somewhere else as well.

HOWELL: All right. So let's say that you become a victim of this cyber attack. What do you do? I mean, so there will be some people who will say, well, maybe I should pay the ransom.

CHURCH: Like a hospital.

HOWELL: Yeah, yeah. Should people pay the ransom? Should they not? What should people do?

RANGER: Generally, you're dealing with people who are cyber criminals, right? Even if you pay up, there's no guarantee they'll give you your data back. Ransom ware could be around for a long time. The advice is generally not to pay because you don't know what you're paying for. Also if you pay you encourage them to do more.

CHURCH: Yeah, it's difficult though if you're in a hospital, you can't move forward and you have to leave people needing care. How difficult is it to trace the origin of this malware and ultimately apprehend those people behind this?

RANGER: The speed this spreads to pretty much every country on the globe and hundreds and thousands of companies just shows you how fast this spreads. It could have come from anywhere. Maybe impossible where it came from in the first place or you may find beyond the jurisdiction of your country or whatever. So really hard. It's an example of these incredible threats we now face because we rely on technology.

CHURCH: All right. Samuel Burke is following this story as well. He joins us from London.

[03:25:00] Samuel, we heard how to respond to these problems. Hospitals of course have particular risk with this latest ransom ware, exploiting weaknesses in Windows, computers particularly. So let's talk more about what companies, hospitals, individuals need to do because we know that most people use the password 12345 or even password.

SAMUEL BURKE, BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Yes.

CHURCH: So people are not educated enough as to what they need to do to personally protect themselves here. But also hospitals have very old equipment, don't they?

BURKE: That's right. And it's not just hospitals. It's also companies and individuals. In fact, you heard Steve just say that he was worried what would happen Monday morning. In fact, Rosemary, we're seeing people have already been at work in China today, and state run media there are saying they see over 40,000 infections just today.

So people were at home over the weekend seeing the news about this and not knowing that it was already on their computers. And the real root of this problem is people use windows computers and I'm sure, Rosemary, you've been at work, you've seen that update at the lower right-hand corner saying that you need to restart Windows and you think, oh, I'm about to go on air, I'll do it tomorrow.

But if you just update your computer, you can avoid all this. This is not some complicated patchy you have to go through. It is just restarting in nature, Windows has been updated, but you have so many computers at hospitals, businesses, and with individuals that haven't been updated since March. A lot of companies are on software that's priority to just their companies, and so they don't do the updates because they would have to change their software, too. So this is message to all of us, to every company, every individual to know you just need to do those updates to your computer and you can avoid all of this. But it's a big change because so often we heard about stealing password or stealing credit card numbers. This time around, we see for the hackers, it's easier for them instead of stealing your information to just hold it hostage.

CHURCH: For all of us. Samuel Burke, thank you so much, joining us here from London where it's nearly 8:30 in the morning. Appreciate it. Next on "CNN Newsroom," China is backing Kenya's biggest investment since its independence. Beijing's part in this ambitious and expensive project still to come.

HOWELL: Plus a look at the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his first full day on the job. We have a live report from Paris as "CNN Newsroom" continues.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. The former U.S. director of National Intelligence says U.S. institutions are under assault both externally and internally. James Clapper said the internal assault is from President Trump. The external assault is from Russian interference with the election system. He said other branches of government must step up to check the executive branch.

CHURCH: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has also made request to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said Mr. Trump was being very measured about the decision. Trump is said to meet Netanyahu and Palestinian authorities Mahmoud Abbas on a trip to the region next week.

HOWELL: Going to work, plugging your computer, think about this. Hackers have created a new version of the ransom ware virus that's already hit more than 200,000 computers worldwide. A security expert was able to shutdown the first version of this harmful software on Friday. But more computers could be affected Monday again as people head to work. It's not clear though who is responsible for the attack.

CHURCH: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party has scored a major victory in crucial election. Exit polls show the Christian Democrats surging ahead of the social Democrats (inaudible). The party hopes to build on the booth in September's federal elections when Merkel seeks a fourth term.

Well, North Korea is claiming it has achieved one of its nuclear goals. Pyongyang says Sunday's missile launch showed it can put a large nuclear warhead on a missile. The regime is also claiming it can now strike the U.S. mainland. There's no independent evidence to support those claims. That launch came as North Korea's main allied China hosted a major trade forum. David McKenzie has more now from Beijing.

DAVID MCKENZIE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: I think what's very important to note here is that this appears both to foreign experts and to the North Koreans to be a successful launch of this. It appears mid to long-range ground to ground missile according to (inaudible). Now, that is important because in recent months there have been a great deal of failures in the missile tests out of North Korea.

Sometimes that has been attributed to possible cyber operations from the U.S. that have never been completely verified. This appears to be a successful test personally supervised by the leader Kim Jon-un. And they're really pushing the fact that this missile might be capable of carrying a large scale nuclear warhead as they called it and that it would be for testing the capability of that.

They claim that the U.S. mainland is in striking distance. It appears to be exaggerated at this point according to experts. Certainly, this is a worrying (ph) development for those wanting them to stop the missile program. The statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in China, they sometimes don't even mention when there's a missile test, saying they oppose anything that breaks U.N. sanctions like this missile -- U.N. resolutions like this missile test.

They haven't said much more than that because they don't really want to sway any attention away from this plan that Xi Jinping has unveiled formally here in Beijing for all these world leaders.

HOWELL: David McKenzie, thank you. North Korea's missile launch comes as a slap in the face to China. Timing matters here. Beijing kicked off its belt and road forum on Sunday, the same day as the test. North Korea delegation kept a low profile at that economic summit after the U.S. warn Pyongyang's presence could affect the participation of other countries. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin

[03:35:00] was one of the 29 leaders to attend that forum and he spoke at the opening ceremony. Let's listen.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia sees the future of the Eurasian partnership as not just an establishing of new ties between countries and economies, it should change the political and economical landscapes of the continent, bringing Eurasia peace, stability, prosperity, fundamentally new quality of life. Our systems need very obvious things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And as China expands its global reach with it's one built, one road initiative, it also offering loans for infrastructure in Africa.

HOWELL: Many of the continents cash strapped governments are taking them up on it. Farai Sevenzo tells us about China's game changing railroad investment in the nation of Kenya. FARAI SEVENZO: It's a towering achievement, Kenya's standard gauge railway. Built and 90 percent financed by the Chinese. It will run almost 300 miles from the port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi. With plans to connect Kenya to six other east African countries. It's the country's largest investment since independence in 1963. And it's been called a game changer.

Replacement to more than 100-year-old (inaudible). Its planned to take half the load coming through east Africa's largest port which currently travels down a slow and congested two-lane highway. For now, all trucks lead to here. To Nairobi's brand new terminal which will become operational this June.

They hope it will open up the east African markets, but it has come with it's own share of controversy. For one, there's a $3.8 billion price tag, which is 6 percent of Kenya's GDP. It is a massive risk which they hope will pay off.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

ALY-KHAN SATCHU, FINANCIAL ANALYST: That's what people are saying. Look, this is a very big bet that you've taken in comparison to your economy. I think there will be a very strong return from this investment. But obviously it has been expensive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEVENZO: Kenyan officials involved in the project did not respond to CNN's request for comment. The Chinese authorities referred us to Chinese headquarters which has not responded either. Chinese prisons are the continent, has seen allegations of corruption. And over reliance in Chinese labor at the expense of African labor and the lack of transparency.

But the company behind the project stayed back China Road and Bridge Corporation or CRBC employed 25,000 locals on this railway. And for environmentalists protesting the effects on wildlife, CRBC have designed wildlife corridors. Locals, though, appreciate the dependable construction.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're the best. We have had a lot of problems with the African contractors, feeling (inaudible). But wow with the Chinese, they are doing. They are doing extremely good work.

SATCHU: There's been a dramatic change. Africans saw China as Santa Claus. You want a stadium? You got it. What else do you want? You got it. I don't think the days of that enormous (inaudible) are there anymore. They still have the capacity to do big things, but they're going to make sure their interests are covered.

SEVENZO: While this infrastructure presents a massive economic potential for Kenyans, it's up to them what they do with it because in the end, it's not aide the Chinese are providing, it's business. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The new president of France is starting his first full day on the job. Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated Sunday after winning an election over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen a week ago. The former economy minister is just 39 years old, the youngest president in French history.

CHURCH: He thanked his supporters in his speech after taking office.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: The French made their choice. And let them be thanked. The responsibility in which they conferred on me is an honor. And I'm aware of the gravity of that honor. The world and Europe need France more than ever. They need a strong France, sure of its destiny. The France in which posed high the voice of freedom and solidarity. They need a France which knows how to invent its future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: For more now let's bring in our senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann live in the French capital. Jim, always a pleasure to have you here on the show. Emmanuel Macron, he is the fresh new face among political elites. He has promised a lot with regard to hopefulness and national confidence. But now, it's his job, his job to do it. He has a lot to do.

JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Well, he does. And first on the agenda this morning is to name a prime minister. That's something that's going to be very telling

[03:40:00] about what direction his government is going to head. In any case, the leading contender seems to be the mayor of Le Havre, Edouard Philippe, and Philippe like Macron is young, 46 years old. He's had affiliations with both socialist on the left and Republicans on the right. Also he graduated from the same school as Macron did. The elite, they call national administration (ph), elite schools generate a lot of the leaders of France.

He seems like kind of an ideal candidate and that's what all the press is talking, he's the man all the press is talking about this morning. However, there could still be some surprises. We expect that decision to be made any moment now. And then after that, this afternoon around 3:00 o'clock, Macron is going to fly to Germany, his first foreign trip, symbolically to solidify, with Andrea Merkel, although he's going to get a very warm reception.

She was known to be quite relieved that Macron got elected because he is pro-European. That will be on his agenda. And then before the week is out, we also expect him to take another foreign trip perhaps to Mali or Iraq to visit French troops on the ground there. George?

HOWELL: Typically when a new French president takes power, they know who their allies are, they know where they can have support. But in this case, Macron created his own political movement. Does he come in to this new role with uncertainty with who his allies will be when it comes to getting things done?

BITTERMANN: That uncertainty, George, is really symbolized by the fact that this morning the choice of prime minister, there's really no certainty about the fact it's Edouard Philippe. It could be anyone, frankly, from either side of the political aisle. He does seem to be leaning toward someone from the right in order to solidify his standing on the right.

But it's not clear which way he's going to go. But that prime minister who will only be in office until the new legislature comes in on June 11th, will have to lead the fight for those new legislative seats for Macron. George?

HOWELL: Senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann live in in Paris this hour. Jim, thank you for the report. Still ahead here on "Newsroom," Pope Francis speaks out on his upcoming meeting with the U.S. president. Why he says he won't judge Donald Trump just yet. Stay with us.

CHURCH: Plus the White House is creating a commission to try to prove the U.S. president's bogus claims of massive voter fraud. That story still to come. Stick around.

[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back to "Newsroom." Pope Francis says that he refuses to judge anyone before he hears what they have to say, that includes the president of the United States, Donald Trump. The pope is scheduled to meet with President Trump at the Vatican later this month.

CHURCH: The church leaders (ph) have sharp (ph) differences on topics like immigration and climate change, but Pope Francis says he will be sincere when he chats with Mr. Trump.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can we expect? Peace. Whatever the topic or whoever it is in front of me, whoever that person may be, it's peace. I never make a judgment about a person without listening to them. I don't think I should do that. During our talks, things will come out. I will say what I think, and he will say what he thinks. But I have never, never wanted to judge a person before hearing what they have to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump wants to prove his unfounded claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

HOWELL: Unfounded and bogus because there's no evidence to support it. Though, he signed an executive order forming a commission to investigate voter fraud in elections. Tom Foreman has the story. TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite her electoral walloping, the facts say Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 3 million. But not the way Donald Trump tweeted, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. So write after the inauguration he said, I will be asking for a major investigation of voter fraud, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to protect the integrity of the ballot box and we are going to defend the votes of the American citizen.

FOREMAN: Never mind the credible evidence of even small scale fraud is extremely rare. Never mind some in his own party oppose the effort.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

MITCH MCCONNELL, U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: There's no evidence that it occurred in such a significant number that would have changed the presidential election. And I don't think we ought to spend any federal money investigating that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Those who believe in rampant fraud often cite this research paper suggesting non-citizens may vote heavily enough sometimes to change results. That paper's analysis has been strongly criticized by other experts. There is a respected few reports saying millions of voters are registered in more than one state but the author says that's mainly a problem of sloppy record keeping.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BECKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER AT CENTER FOR ELECTION INNOVATION AND RESEARCH: There's a big leap between an out-of-date record and administrative inefficiency on a list and the act of voter fraud.

TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report?

FOREMAN: Nonetheless, leading the president's new commission will be Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an unabashed advocate for voter identification laws and a man who says he's caught people voting in his state and another at the same time.

KRIS KOBACH, SECRETARY OF STATE OF KANSAS: My office prosecutes it. I just got that prosecutorial authority a year and a half ago. We've already filed nine cases and we have six guilty police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: But facts are facts and the facts show there is no evidence to support that bogus claim. Tom Foreman reporting for us. Thank you. Still ahead, a lot of places in the northern hemisphere are getting sweltering summer heat a bit early.

CHURCH: Pedram Javaheri will have the latest on where it is getting dangerously hot ahead. You see him there working hard. We will talk to him very soon. Stay with us.

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PATRICK SNELL, SPORT ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Hi, there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN world sport headlines. We start in Barcelona with the Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel (inaudible) race but (inaudible) Lewis Hamilton (inaudible) and then came back powerfully overcoming the rest of the field. The other mistake (inaudible) out with a stunning audacious double dummy to overtake (inaudible). And Hamilton, it's Hamilton roaring past on lap 44. And it's Britain's Lewis Hamilton who gets the second win of the season.

On a weekend, another victory for Rafael Nadal, the king of clay, living up to his nickname in Spain. Dominic Thiem, the young Austrian, threw everything he had on Rafael for about an hour but was just ruthless not to mention relentless in his quest to victory. The first set was very close to the fourth but decided only onto tiebreaker, the 38-year-old Nadal, taking the second set as well, breaks fifth Madrid Open title and a record time 30th Master's crown.

Sunday was the last time Tottenham Hotspur (inaudible) White Hart Lane and a final game there with Manchester United (inaudible) Harry Kane scoring goals for spurs (inaudible) United 2-1. This famous home (ph) ground means so much to so many. And when that final whistle went, they simply could not contain themselves from swarming into the field of play. That's CNN world sport headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Live from New York, it's Sean Spicer kind of. Actress Melissa McCarthy reprised her role on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend as the White House press secretary.

HOWELL: That's right. McCarthy announced that spicy is back before poking fun at all the other things playing Washington this week. Take a look.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: Now, I'm filling in for Sean today. As you know, Sean is fulfilling his duty as on officer in the naval reserve and that's why he cannot be here. I'm pretty sure I can see him hiding in those bushes.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCARTHY: I believe that naval exercise, he's trying to blend in with his surroundings. Are there anymore questions?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I have a question. Can you just do this full time instead of him? (LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he's your friend, why is everyone saying he's about to fire you and replace you with Sarah?

MCCARTHY: This is my first time hearing that.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to find Trump. I'm going to New York. The press interview is over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Very clever. All right. Well, we turn from that to the weather if we can make that (inaudible) change. Parts of India and Pakistan are suffering from terrible heat. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on that. And Pedram, tell us about what people can do to protect themselves against this sort of heat wave.

JAVAHERI: Yeah. Very little at this point. Official guys are saying this is a very serious setup, this time particularly, middle of May, the hottest time of year across parts India, parts of Pakistan, the pre-monsoon hitting place, you see what folks are doing, some of the kids trying to cool off.

But even at this hour, 51 degrees Celsius. By the way, 124 degrees Fahrenheit, what it feels like outside across places like (inaudible) Delhi as well as climbing into the 40 Celsius range 110 to 120 generally speaking in degrees Fahrenheit. But typically

[03:55:00} the large scale fatality anywhere in the world associated with the weather comes as a result of excessive heat. It is the number weather-related killer just about any place on earth. You notice in the area in the top five here, 2500 fatalities in India from heat back in 1998, similar numbers bacn in 2015 as well.

And again you get the pre-monsoon heat that is here with tremendous radiation building across the India. And the disparity between the cooler water temperatures and the warmer land here creates essentially what the monsoons are over the next several weeks. And then you get the shift in the winds and the moisture begins to pick up but temperatures cool off.

I want to show you something here because fascinating thing when you think about trees in particular, a lot of ways when you think about parts of India, of coursed electricity nonexistent, 300 million people without electricity. So even around getting around a tree has a net cooling effect of about 10 portable air conditioning units of 20-hour period together.

So something fascinating to keep in mind there and a lot of people take that into consideration of course when you are talking about an area that has very little on the way of being able to deal with such excessive temperatures. In fact, look at the observations we think over the next couple of days. Getting up to the middle 40s. Again, this is without the humidity. You factor in with the humidity 60 degrees Celsius is what they expect over this region, guys.

HOWELL Pedram, thank you so much.

PEDRAM: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: And thank you for being with us this hour for "CNN Newsroom." "Early Start" is next for viewers here in the United States.

CHURCH: And for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London and have yourselves a wonderful day.

[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)