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People Killed, More Injured After Oil Tanker Explodes in Pakistan; Outlook Grim After Landslide in China; 34 High-Rise Buildings Across UK Failed Fire Safety Checks; Trump Trying to Shift Russia Investigation to Obama; Cyberattacks May Grow Bolder and More Sophisticated; Three Doctors Discuss Obamacare; Qatar's Diplomatic Crisis; ISIS Targeting Ancient Sites. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired June 25, 2017 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:00:02] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: -- people killed, dozens more injured after an oil tanker explodes in Pakistan. We'll have the latest from Karachi ahead here.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: In China, search efforts grow desperate with more than 100 people still missing after a landslide, Saturday.
ALLEN: And U.S. President Trump plays the blame game on Twitter, responding to a new report that details how and when Russia was leading a major campaign to sway last year's election. These stories, all ahead here.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN world headquarters, NEWSROOM starts right now.
ALLEN: And our top story is from Pakistan. One hundred thirty-five people are dead after a deadly explosion in Eastern Pakistan. Emergency officials say another 130 have been injured after an oil tanker blew up Sunday morning.
HOWELL: This happened in the City of Bahawalpur, when the tanker collided with another vehicle and then fell off the road. Officials say the death toll is expected to rise. CNN's producer, Sophia Saifi, is in Karachi, Pakistan following the story.
First of all, what more are you hearing about this accident and the situation of the people that are there?
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, George, what we do know is that, like you mentioned, the death toll is continuing to rise. It's at 135 right now. But because of the medical emergency that's ensuing, we're expecting those numbers to continue to rise as the day progresses.
What we know about how the incident took place is that at 6:30 in the morning, this accident took place. The tanker then fell off into a nearby field. This was in a more rural part of the country, outside the City of Bahalwapur. And the people in the nearby smaller village rushed there and thereby (INAUDIBLE) and any containers that they could find to take bake this fuel to this home.
Today was the last day of Ramadan, tomorrow is supposed to be a big day of celebration. People were supposed to be waking up tomorrow two days -- to moments of festivity. However, now, with ensuing medical emergency, with the rising death toll and with the number of victims continuing to rise, we're hearing reports of (INAUDIBLE) reports, the fact that there aren't proper medical facilities to respond to such a massive incident, it's ensuing to be a sort of chaotic situation. George.
HOWELL: Given what you point out there, that the medical facilities are not close by, what are people doing? Or how are officials dealing with the injured?
SAIFI: Well, the fact of the matter is is that where this incident took place, none of the hospitals have a proper burn center there. There has been a statement release by the Chief (INAUDIBLE) office by the military, helicopters have been sent out to transport these injured to cities in other provinces, to cities in -- to cities which have larger hospitals, which have burn units so that they can be treated immediately.
But then (INAUDIBLE) you must understand that the current (INAUDIBLE) victims, 50 percent, 70 percent burn injuries on their bodies. It's very time-sensitive and it's already been over six hours since the incident took place. George.
HOWELL: Sophia Saifi on the phone with us in Karachi. Thank you for the report. We'll stay in touch with you.
We now take you to China. Authorities say the outlook is grim after a landslide that took place Saturday. Officials say that at least 10 bodies have been recovered so far. More than 90 people are still missing.
ALLEN: The disaster struck a village in Sichuan Province and buried dozens of homes. State media report a couple and their baby were found alive, but a local official (INAUDIBLE) it is unlikely more survivors will be found. So let's get the latest on what they're doing there.
At the scene now, our Matt Rivers tracking that for us, live in Shanghai. Matt.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONENT: Yes, we are getting some conflicting numbers over the past several hours. Viewers that have been with us, tracking this story alongside of us over the last several hours will notice that these numbers keep changing.
So the latest numbers that come from -- directly from government officials in Mao County, which is in Sichuan Province, which is where this village is located, are giving the numbers that you just gave, 93 people still missing at this point. And 10 bodies have been recovered since the beginning of the rescue operation on Saturday.
We had been reporting other numbers, but the reason why these are changing is because the local government says that 15 people that they thought were dead have subsequently been found safe. And so, the fact that these numbers are changing give you an idea of how difficult it can be to figure out exactly who is affected when these kind of landslides happen.
To figure out exactly how many are unaccounted for, you have to figure out how many people were in that village at that point. Were people perhaps in their homes or were they traveling? Were they in another town nearby? Had they left for a few days? So that's been part of the challenge for the government over the last several days.
But of course, the far greater challenge is trying to get to those people, the 93 people at this point that we know are unaccounted for, presumed buried inside that rubble. We know that there are more than 2,500 rescue workers on scene with specialized equipment -- life detecting equipment, rescue -- search and rescue dogs. We also know that they have equipment, 150 plus machines there, trying their best to sift through this massive amount of rubble generated by this landslide.
But there are numerous challenges facing those rescuers and the vice governor of Sichuan Province addressed some of those challenges when he spoke to reporters a bit earlier. Let's hear what he had to say.
GAN LIN, VICE GOVERNOR, SICHUAN PROVINCE (through translator): According to the geologists who have participated in the rescue operations, the chances of the missing person surviving a landslide from such a height are small, particularly because the landslide site is so narrow that large scale search operations are hard to conduct in the area.
In addition, the rescuers can't dig too deep, so as to avoid triggering a new collapse of the rocks. However, despite all these adverse factors, we will spare no effort and regard saving people's lives as our top priority.
RIVERS: And so, of course, putting forth their best efforts, but exactly how successful they will be really remains to be seen. The local government clearly taking the point of view that the likelihood of finding anyone alive moving forward gets slimmer as each hour passes since this landslide occurred.
And in terms of what caused all this, what government researchers are saying is that this can likely be traced back to a massive earthquake that happened in May of 2008 in Sichuan Province where tens of thousands of people were killed. And during that earthquake, researchers say that mountain structures in this area were likely loosened, and therefore, when it rained quite a bit over the last several days, those combination of factors likely triggered this deadly landslide.
ALLEN: (INAUDIBLE) that area that is prone to landslides as well. Thank you, Matt Rivers, for us. HOWELL: All right. For more now, let's bring in our meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, tracking the weather impact, the conditions there, and what led to this disaster.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: We're trying to learn more about what caused this deadly landslide in the Sichuan Province across Southwestern China. We know that rain triggered the landslide, but we're also learning from authorities that an earthquake in May of 2008 actually de-stabilized the mountainous terrain across this region.
So when you have that combination of the destabilized rock and topography, and then you add in the heavy rainfall that they've experienced within the past week, it leads for a recipe of disaster, really, and that's exactly what's taken place here. It was one of the worst possible outcomes with a two-kilometer wide stretch of rock and debris that slid down this mountainside.
Now, the forecast going forward does call for dry weather in the Chengdu region, but it's the mountainous area that has chances of light to moderate precipitation. It doesn't take much in the mountains to produce rainfall, it all is thanks to think moist flow of air that cools and condenses as it gets forced up in overrising terrain. That allows for clouds to develop, and eventually, rain to develop as well, especially in the higher mountainous regions.
It may not rain in the valley, but across the high altitudes of the mountains, we see that precipitation fall, and that's exactly what we're learning from authorities, that's where the landslide started and was actually triggered in the highest parts of that mountainous terrain.
Now, rainfall going forward will be light to moderate, perhaps 25 upwards, 50 millimeters over the next two days, but nonetheless, chances of showers are in this forecast, so that means that search and recovery efforts going forward will definitely be impacted by the oncoming rainfall. The cloud cover and the mist within the region may make it difficult for helicopters to fly in and out of the area. This is all part of the onset of the monsoon season that continues to move from south to north across Central and Eastern Asia. Back to you.
HOWELL: Derek Van Dam, thank you so much.
Pressure is mounting on the British Government over fire safety, an apartment tower blocks across that nation, 34 high-rise buildings in 17 different areas across the U.K., they failed fire safety checks since last week's Grenfell Tower fire.
ALLEN: Thousands of people in North London had to evacuate this weekend when their buildings were deemed unsafe. Some people are refusing to go. ITN's Rebecca Barry reports from Camden.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: You're moving back in?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Sorry? UNIDENTFIED MALE: You're moving back in?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
REBECCA BARRY, REPORTER, ITN (voice-over): They've been told to go, but some are refusing.
BARRY: Why are you staying put? Why are you --
UNIDENTFIED MALE: You want us to stay on the streets?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: They couldn't find a place for us. (INAUDIBLE) they want to put us somewhere (INAUDIBLE)
BARRY: Even though officials say their building has failed fire safety tests.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
BARRY (voice-over): Steve Peroli (ph) was told to leave at three o'clock this morning because of concerns over the fire doors, external cladding and gas pipes.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: This is where I live. This is the (INAUDIBLE) I've got (INAUDIBLE) but apparently, what's behind those is wrong. The (INAUDIBLE) looks at it, (INAUDIBLE) stench.
BARRY: In the past?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: In the past. Some of these (INAUDIBLE) that's fine.
BARRY: Does it concern you that that's right by your front door (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTFIED MALE: It didn't, until yesterday.
BARRY: So you've been told that you should leave. Tell me why you're not going to leave and if you're ever going to go.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Because it's pointless. And it's just making Camden look good. (INAUDIBLE)
BARRY: Do you think this is just people covering their backs?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Of course.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: It's disgusting. Absolutely awful. (INAUDIBLE) hopeless.
BARRY: Overnight, residents from the Chalcots Estate in North London were put up in a local sports center and hotels, almost 4,000 people are now facing weeks in temporary accommodation.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Well obviously, last night was deeply stressing for people, you know. People knocking on your door with no notice, saying you need to leave your home. I completely understand people's distress, in light of Grenfell, this changes everything. We have been doing tests on all of our blocks, and they said to me we do not think people are safe to sleep in these blocks tonight. That is our view. And I think when someone says that to you, you just have to ask.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Well, I came to pick him up and I heard about it from a friend in Scotland and are very nice. (INAUDIBLE) get your medication, get what you need, I'm on my way. And I came up from (INAUDIBLE) to pick him up.
BARRY: Camden Councils say it could take a month to get the tower blocks safe, but they need the buildings empty. Whether residents have chosen to stay or go, it will be an uncertain few weeks ahead.
ALLEN: You can certainly see, while that angers some people, even though they want their buildings safe.
HOWELL: Right. I mean, their lives are turned upside down, but obviously, these safety checks continue there.
Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, the U.S. president is trying to shift the Russia investigation away from himself, now pointing the finger at the man who held the job before him.
ALLEN: Plus, Russia's big investment in cyber warfare and what it means for the U.S. and its allies.
HOWELL: And later this hour, if Qatar wants to reestablish ties with four Arab nations, it must comply now with a list of demands. How Qatar is responding to this ultimatum, as NEWSROOM continues.
HOWELL: Well, to recap a (INAUDIBLE) story we're following here for you this hour, 135 people were killed and 130 injured after an oil tanker exploded in Pakistan. This happened Sunday morning in the Eastern City of Bahawalpur.
ALLEN: You might be wondering how one tanker exploding would hurt so many people. Well, villagers, after the tanker crashed, gathered to collect the oil. And then the truck exploded. Officials say the death toll is expected to rise. We'll bring you more on the story as it comes in.
HOWELL: Now back to U.S. politics. The President of the United States is trying to shift the Russia investigation away from himself and to the person who held the job before him, former President Barack Obama.
Mr. Trump is reacting to a bombshell report from "The Washington Post." That report detailed how the Obama White House responded to Russian interference in the U.S. election. And it also says that the call came from the top, from Vladimir Putin, to disrupt and basically interfere with the election process. ALLEN: The report says the CIA first told Mr. Obama last August about Russia's meddling and that Russian President Putin wanted to help Donald Trump win the White House and to beat Hillary Clinton.
President Trump wrote on Twitter about this. "Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not Trump."
HOWELL: The Obama administration did take actions, though, did take actions to retaliate against Russia, but "The Washington Post" says some former senior Obama officials were frustrated that not more was done to punish Moscow.
ALLEN: President Trump also tweeted about that, saying Obama Administration officials said they choked when it came to acting on Russia meddling of election. They didn't want to hurt Hillary?
Earlier, our colleague, Ana Cabrera, spoke with one of the reporters who helped break the story. Here it is.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: A lot of officials think that that sentiment -- the choked sentiment accurately reflects the views of many Obama administration officials. Other officials that we spoke to thought that that did not take into account the complexities that the top officials who had access to all the intelligence had to make these very tough decisions.
These are not black and white issues. And when you weigh the pros and cons, you know, you end up, potentially, deciding to do less rather than more. And so, you know, these are very complex issues that Obama was dealing with at the end. And so, you know, we were trying in this piece -- in this article to explain those and lay them out so people can understand what was going on behind the scenes.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Based on what you're hearing, I know you talked to more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials from all these experts who knew this investigation well, what could the Trump administration now do, moving forward, to combat the threat?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Well, I have seen nothing, really, to suggest that the Trump administration is looking at trying to combat this threat. Maybe my reporting is faulty there, maybe I haven't dug deeply enough to see what they're doing on this, but I have not seen anything, in my reporting, to suggest that they are addressing this issue.
And congress is so divided, you know, that I'm personally skeptical that there would be a major effort to try to do something.
HOWELL: Let's talk more about this report. Let's bring in Brian Klaas. He teaches comparative politics and the London School of Economics. Brian, good to have you with us live in London this hour. The President of the United States pointing the finger now at the former president, Barack Obama, asking why that administration did not do more. Does President Trump have a point here? Should more have been done, more have been said, given the weight of the information they had?
BRIAN KLAAS, FELLOW OF COMPARATIVE POLITICS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I think President Obama was in a catch-22 situation. The intelligence show that Putin was directing Russia to interfere on the U.S. election to help Trump. If he had gone public about that earlier, he would have been accused immediately by the Trump campaign of meddling in the election himself and trying to help Hillary Clinton.
But I do think he should have done more. I think that he should have put politics aside and taken the heat, and done more to deter Russia interference in the election. But it's very rich, coming from President Trump, because his accusation that President Obama did not do enough, we have no evidence that Trump is doing anything to prevent this from happening again, and Russia is still trying to interfere on our democracy. It's an ongoing problem.
So I think, you know, we need to take stock of the fact that this is something where, yes, maybe Obama did not do enough, but President Trump is not even acknowledging that this is a problem and he's having -- he's trying to have it both ways. Like with news and with polls, when the story does not fit his narrative, it's fake or a hoax.
And three days ago, he called the Russian hack a hoax. Now, yesterday, he says Obama did not do enough to prevent the Russian hack. You cannot have it both ways. Those are mutually exclusive claims, and it's illogical the President of the United States to make them simultaneously.
HOWELL: We're hearing more about how Obama officials in that administration, how they were conflicted in deciding how to handle this information. Listen here to the former Director of the National Security Agency, General Michael Hayden, speaking with my colleague, Michael Smerconish. We can talk about it here on the other side.
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: The saddest chapter in that long narrative yesterday was when the administration sent the experts up to the Hill to brief the senior leadership of American congress seeking some sort of bipartisan statement with regard to this, and they couldn't get it.
The republicans particularly backed away -- speculating here -- because they felt joining that kind of consensus might have hurt their candidate's chances, I don't know. But coming out of that meeting, you now have the administration pulling back, not being as forceful as I've suggested they should have been, again, to avoid the appearances that they were partisan and they were trying to rig the election. This was not our finest hour.
HOWELL: So pointing out that that was not their finest hour, again, the question though being raised, given the information that they had, this came straight from the top, from Russian President Vladimir Putin, to disrupt and discredit the U.S. election process. Do you get the sense that with these officials now talking about this report that they should have done more?
KLAAS: Yes, I think they should have. But I think what Michael Hayden is rightly highlighting is that this should be a wakeup call for our democracy. We were attacked by a foreign adversary, and people are not taking that seriously enough.
But beyond that, the reason why Obama probably did not act was because we live in such a partisan, polarized world that even something like an attack on our democracy polarizes people. Some people think it's a big deal, some people do not. Many republicans still do not believe that Russia was involved, in spite of the fact that all intelligence agencies agree on this. Everybody on the Hill agrees with this.
And the only person who is still acting as an apologist for Vladimir Putin is in the Oval Office. So I think, you know, we have to take into consideration the fact that our democracy is under threat. It's under threat from abroad, and it's under threat from -- at home, where we are turning on each other and not even being able to agree that this threat is something that we need to defend the United States against.
And that is where, I think, we need to put partisanship aside. Yes, Obama made mistakes. But Trump needs to fix them. He doesn't need to just put blame on the Obama White House. He needs to fix this problem and defend American democracy from the ongoing attacks that Russia is launching against the United States and its democratic system.
HOWELL: And Brian, one other question here -- and briefly, we have a limited amount of time -- but the President is soon to face the Russian President, face to face at the G20 at about two weeks' time. But whether they will meet for substantive discussions, that's another matter and another question.
But the optics of this face to face, given the various investigations that are underway, what do you expect?
KLAAS: Well, I mean, it's very hard to tell because Putin's view, and from mine, seems to be somebody who has a positive force in the world, which is baffling. But I think that, you know, any normal president should be talking about ramping up sanctions against Putin and punishing him for this unprecedented attack on American democracy, and I can only hope that he would do it. But I don't have high hopes for that medium.
HOWELL: Brian Klaas, live for us in London. Brian, thanks for the insight.
KLAAS: Thank you.
ALLEN: So debate over Russia's cyber abilities has, of course, dominated the political news ever since the election here.
HOWELL: That's right. The former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, is among those warning that cyberattacks will only grow bolder and more sophisticated in the years to come.
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think we have to assume, for all the reasons that have been discussed here, that the Russians will be back and possibly other state actors and possibly other bad cyber actors.
ALLEN: One reason Jeh Johnson and others worry about Moscow is the amount of time, money and energy the Kremlin is putting in to preparing for cyber warfare.
HOWELL: To better appreciate how much Russia is investigating in the digital battlefield, our Clare Sebastian gives us a rundown.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Guns and laptops, a slick appeal to Russia's top scientific brains to join the army. If you have technical skills that says, we want you.
It's about modernizing the Russian military, says one programming expert.
UNIDENTFIED MALE (through translator): It's not about the Defense Ministry hiring hackers. This is about attracting young graduates who can use their intellect to create new military technology.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): But there's another message here, that much of Modern Warfare is not tanks and missiles, but the battle in cyberspace.
UNIDENTFIED MALE (through translator): We created information warfare forces. It is way more effective than powerful, than what we created before in this area.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The view here, it's an arms race.
UNIDENTFIED MALE (through translator): When the U.S. created its Cyber Command, which had a global function, including influencing the enemy, of course, we understand that by the enemy, they usually mean Russia.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And it's not just the military Russia's intelligence services are also part of its hybrid warfare.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: They did it with purpose, they did it with sophistication, they did it with overwhelming technical efforts. SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Former FBI director James Comey saying there's no doubt the Russian state tried to influence the U.S. election, this, following sophisticated efforts to disrupt and sow doubt in Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Russia tries to recruit hackers and talented information professionals in exactly the same way as other agencies do elsewhere, and they face the same challenges. They are competing with organizations that can pay much better than organized services.
But Russia does have the additional leverage of being able to offer people a choice between prosecution and cooperating with the authorities.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Russia has aggressively sought Western technology for its cyber programs. Two years ago, WikiLeaks released a trove of emails stolen from an Italian company called Hacking Team.
Those emails reveal that Hacking Team's sophisticated software, which allows governments to spy on internet users were obtained by this Moscow-based research institute called Clamp (ph). Clamp (ph), as it turns out, is controlled by Russia's state security service, the efforts being.
One of the Italian executives wrote of their business relationship, they're already testing our products and we're going to arrange with their support, a visit to Moscow in May, where we'll be able to meet FSB people.
Clamp (ph) used another company here, Advanced Communications, to seal the deal. Neither Clamp (ph) nor Advanced Communications would comment. Hacking Team said their software was designed to keep people safe.
While that case is one example of Russia's first for cyber superiority, this is an extremely sensitive topic here, partly because Russia is constantly being accused of foreign influence campaigns, and also perhaps because of the sometimes hazy line between the state and what Vladimir Putin calls patriotic hackers.
However, (INAUDIBLE) either message, Russia's focus on this hybrid is easy to see. That's for CNN Moscow.
ALLEN: A major political battle over health care is brewing in the United States senate. Next here, you will hear from three doctors about what they think of the latest plan to replace Obamacare.
[05:31:05] ALLEN: And, welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And, I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. ALLEN: An oil tanker exploded in Eastern Pakistan Sunday morning and
then ended up killing 100 people. This happened in the city at Bahawalpur. Officials say, at least, 135 people were killed, 130 injured. This is how it happened. The tanker reportedly went off the road and crashed and then villagers gathered to collect the oil and that is when the truck blew up and they also believed that death toll is going to rise.
HOWELL: A grim situation, I'll tell you that. In China, officials say, at least, 10 people are dead, more than 90 missing after a massive landslide. You can see the aftermath there. This struck the southwestern part of China, the Sichuan province, early Saturday, state media report that it hit a village and dozens of homes were buried. About 2, 500 rescuers are searching for survivors.
ALLEN: The number of high-rise apartment buildings deemed unsafe in Britain is rising. Officials say, 34 has failed fire safety examinations since last week's Grenfell Tower tragedy and that number could go still higher. Thousands of North London residents had to evacuate their homes this weekend when their buildings were deemed unsafe.
HOWELL: U.S. President Donald Trump blaming the former President Barrack Obama for Russian interference in the U.S. election. Mr. Trump took to Twitter, quote, "The Obama administration told way -- was told way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not me!"
ALLEN: The U.S. senate republicans are gearing up for a major political battle on healthcare with coverage for millions of Americans on the line, repealing and replacing Obamacare was a major campaign promise of President Trump but the senate legislation on healthcare may not have enough support to move forward.
Five republican senators say they won't vote for the new bill and its current form.
HOWELL: Mr. Trump took to Twitter again and then wrote the following, quote, "I cannot imagine that these very fine republican senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken Obamacare any longer."
As expected, independent Senator Bernie Sanders is harshly criticizing this new bill, listen.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VT.: Let me be as clear as I can be, this so-called healthcare bill passed in the house last month is the most anti-working class piece of legislation, passed by the house of representatives, in the modern history of this country.
And the senate bill, in some respects, is even worse.
(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: Bernie Sanders there. Critics say that the healthcare bill in the senate will benefit the rich and the young while hurting the poor and the old. So here's the thing with healthcare in the United States, who understands it more than, you know, anyone --
ALLEN: Patients. It would be --
HOWELL: Yes. That's right, patients and also, basically, the doctors, the doctors that are on the frontline.
ALLEN: Yes. Our Martin Savidge spoke with three doctors about what they think about Obamacare and this new plan to replace it.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kitsap County, Washington State, an hour's drive west of Seattle. Like anywhere in America, a place where people need healthcare and a way to pay for it.
Kristan Guenterberg is a surgeon, Peter Lehmann, a primary care physician and Niran Al-Agba, a pediatrician. Different doctors, different politics.
DR. PETER LEHMANN, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: I voted for Gary Johnson.
SAVIDGE: The libertarian?
LEHMANN: The libertarian candidate.
DR. NIRAN AL-AGBA, PEDIATRICIAN: I voted for Donald Trump.
KRISTAN GUENTERBERG, SURGEON: I voted for Hilary Clinton.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): You might think there's little they agree on, wrong. They all believed that current healthcare system is unsustainable.
LEHMANN: Can I say it's broken?
SAVIDGE: Yes, I don't know (INAUDIBLE)
LEHMANN: I say it's unequivocally broken.
LEHMANN: Ask any patient.
LEHMANN: Do they think it's a system that serves their needs and that they're happy with?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Under programs dominated by health insurers they say doctors are stressed to see more and more patients to make ends meet. Patients are frustrated because they can't get an appointment to see a
doctor and when they finally do only get a few minutes. It's all about numbers.
GUENTERBERG: We're, kind of, looking the direction, I think. We need to be looking at how to provide quality care for patients without granting a price.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): That's the democrat doctor criticizing Obamacare and the Trump doctor says the new GOP plan is just as bad and will cover fewer people.
AL-AGBA: Well, I don't think it's better. I think we're probably on the wrong track.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Dr. Al-Agba even told Trump back in a letter she posted online, begging, please, go back to the drawing board and start again.
The problem, they say, is not all the talk about which party's healthcare plan is better, it's that Washington's having the wrong conversation.
SAVIDGE: We're spending too much time talking about how do we cover people with insurance rather than, what?
AL-AGBA: Rather than talking with patients about the price for care and what is really -- what is the real cost.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The skyrocketing cost of everything in healthcare they say is what makes it unaffordable and thereby, inaccessible and because they daily battle with cost versus care, doctors have a lot of good ideas on how to fix things, except, whenever democrats or republicans discuss healthcare reform, the doctors say there's always something missing which they noticed again in the photo of Trump and his team.
GUENTERBERG: There were no physicians.
GUENTERBERG: Not one.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): What about the doctor Trump appointed secretary of health? Tom Price, they say, has for a long time been more politician than physician.
SAVIDGE: Why wouldn't we come to you? I mean, you are all on the front lines, so to speak.
AL-AGBA: Front line practicing physicians have a long history of not necessarily being at the table and I think it's a shame that we haven't been because if we had been more involved from the beginning we might be in a different position.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SAVIDGE: I should probably point out that these doctors don't want to come across as just dumping on health insurers. They believe that health insurance has a role to play. It's just not the whole solution and they want to be part of the active discussion because they say, maybe, more than anybody, they know that whether it's Obamacare or the latest republican plan, when it comes to healthcare in America, we just can't keep going the way we're going.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Bremerton, Washington.
HOWELL: Martin, thank you for the report. Still ahead, Qatar is in the middle of a diplomatic crisis with other Gulf nations, what one country says will happen if Qatar doesn't comply with their demands, the story ahead of you.
ALLEN: Plus, no tapes no (INAUDIBLE) moment. The U.S. President makes a major admission and says it was all for effect. We'll have reaction to that in the story coming up here.
ALLEN: The diplomatic crisis seems to be escalating between Qatar and other nations. Qatar said the list of demands from four Arab nations is unreasonable. The demands include reducing ties with Iran and closing the Al Jazeera news network.
HOWELL: And there is a timeline attached to these demands. In the last month, nine countries had boycotted Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism. It is a charge that nation denies. A senior UAE official says that if Qatar doesn't comply with the demands, they will part ways. Listen.
ARWAN GARGASH, UAE STATE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The alternative is not escalation. The alternative is parting of ways. Parting ways because it's very difficult for us to maintain a collective (INAUDIBLE) with one of the partners in this collective grouping through this platform or, you know, is actively promoting what is extremist and terrorist agenda.
ALLEN: But, for more, let's go to Jomana Karadsheh. She's in Amman, Jordan for us and saying like it is there, if that -- they part ways, what would that mean to Qatar? How could that hurt Qatar?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there was a feeling, Natalie, that no matter how this crisis ends or what happens next that the Gulf Cooperation Council that emerges following this crisis is not going to be the same and you've heard the warning there, basically, saying that Qatar is not going to be part of the GCC if they don't comply and, you know, we've heard from Qatari officials, Natalie, as they say, that this list proves what they've been saying all along. That this is not about combating terrorism, that this is about Qatar's
foreign policy that its neighbors have had an issue with and they wanted to see that change. And, you know, while Qatar's foreign policy may have gotten it into this crisis, it is also helping it survive.
Qataris have this survivalist foreign policy where it's tried to keep more friends than enemies. You know, countries like Turkey and Iran, for example, coming to the rescue during this crisis, helping out Qatar. And again, today we heard from the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also, yet again, voicing his support for Qatar.
Take a listen to what he have to say.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): We support the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands.
This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country, according to international law.
KARADSHEH: And Natalie, it's no surprise that we are hearing this from President Erdogan. Turkey and Qatar do have a strong bilateral relations when it comes to the economy, for example, Qatar have a large amount of investments in Turkey and Turkish construction firms are part of that construction boom we are seeing Qatar.
Also, reportedly, the Mayor of Qatar and President Erdogan have strong personal ties and then comes the issue of military cooperation between those two countries and, as you know, that is also one of the demands that these Qatar's neighbors want to see is Qatar scrapping that plan of military cooperation, a base and Turkish soldiers inside Qatar and we've heard President Erdogan saying that that is disrespectful of Turkey.
So, this crisis is not just about Qatar. This is a time where you're seeing so many different regional actors really flexing their political muscle too.
ALLEN: Right. The question is, who's hurting whom more? You have reported on the fact that if Qatar does not come to accept these demands, that families could be separated. There's been a boycott of food. How much could this hurt Qatar? They're certainly a very wealthy country.
KARADSHEH: Well, look, Natalie, one of the main problems Qatar has faced is that it shares one land boarder that was Saudi Arabia. It relied on that, really, for importing food. Qatar doesn't produce its own food.
That was one of the main issues at the start. They found a way around it and that is also part of Qatar's foreign policies that you have seen them getting around what they've described as this illegal blockade with countries like Iran and Turkey flying in and shipping foodstuffs to try and help them out.
But there's also, as you mentioned, that humanitarian aspect. You know, the Gulf States are very interlinked. You have families all across the Gulf in different countries and this crisis is really tearing families apart.
ALLEN: Jomana Karadsheh for us. Thank you Jomana. We'll wait to see what happens.
HOWELL: Iraqi forces say that they are getting hundreds of civilians out of the old city of Mosul. Iraqi troops are battling to retake the remaining district from ISIS. The terror group is mounting a last stand in what has been their stronghold and the U.N. has voiced alarm at the rising civilian death toll there.
ALLEN: A third journalist has also died from wounds in a mine blast while covering the battle from Mosul. Veronique Robert worked for French T.V.
HOWELL: Even as Iraqi forces close in on ISIS, the terror group leaves behind a chilling legacy of death and destruction. The latest was blowing up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul. The U.N. says that could be considered a war crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Night vision video from the Iraqi military shows the moment Mosul's historic al-Nuri Mosque was destroyed, as the latest explosive example of an attempt by ISIS to destroy history in Iraq and Syria. The extremist group has long waged war with the regions cultural heritage, targeting ancient sites of importance to both Christians and Muslims.
In the Syrian City of Palmyra, parts of the revered Roman amphitheater are now reduced to rubble. Also, from Mosul, video captures ISIS militants toppling stone statutes and using sledgehammers and power tools to destroy ancient artifacts.
And in Nimrud, ISIS wired the ancient city with explosives, setting off a massive blast. CNN's Ben Wedeman witnessed the aftermath firsthand.
BENJAMIN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The scale of the vandalism that took place here boggles the mind. Only ISIS could turn ruins into ruins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Archeologists call this latest attempt by ISIS at cultural cleansing, especially heinous. Destroying the more than 800 year hold mosque in Mosul, so revered, its picture is included on Iraq's 10,000 dinar note.
MICHAEL DANTI, DEPARTMENT OF ARCHEOLOGY, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: It was a site that transcended sectarianism and Mosul which is a -- obviously, a multiethnic, multi-religious city. It was revered by all of Mosul's residence.
So, this is a horrible act of retribution by the Islamic State and an act of propaganda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Experts are left asking why ISIS would destroy a place that inspired its ideology. The very mosque where it's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his vision for an Islamic State, now lies literally and metaphorically in ruins.
HOWELL: According to the latest count from the international organization for migration, more than 425,000 Iraqis are currently displaced by this ongoing battle for Mosul.
We'll be right back after the break.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN world sport headlines. We started Russia where the 2017 Confederations Cup is betting stage.
Saturday was a must win game if the host were to stay alive in this eight team tournament but it was not to be after taking the lead against Mexico. Nestor Araujo's equalizer put them in real trouble there. Then Mexico wing Hirving Lozano taking advantage of an awful mix-up in the Russian defense. The score a strange and brave (INAUDIBLE) two-one, it ends. Mexico through to the semis, Russia are out.
For F1 fans this weekend it's all eyes on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The big race itself takes place on Sunday. Look for three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. Saturday, already a day to remember, Hamilton have to overcome inconsistent practice form and a mistake in Q3 as well but a breathtaking final lap by the Englishman denying his teammate Valterri Bottas (INAUDIBLE) division.
It's Hamilton 66th carrier (ph) poll, only two behind now the all-time lead held by Michael Schumacher.
This year has already been a year to remember for Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard finally coming of age by winning his first major title recently at the Masters and he's clearly hitting top gear at the BMW International Open in Munich. He's a (INAUDIBLE) of the lead after three rounds after a five under 67 on Saturday. That leads him at 13 under par there in Bavaria.
That's a look at your world sport headlines, I'm Patrick Snell.
HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Muslims around the world are now celebrating Eid al-Fitr.
It is one of the most important Muslim holidays, marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The start of the holiday depends on the siting of the new moon. Some -- so, some countries will begin it on Monday.
ALLEN: And for the first time in two decades, the White House did not host a dinner commemorating Ramadan, instead, President Trump and First Lady Melania released a statement and it reads in in part, "On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr. During this holiday this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."
Well, it was all about strategy, apparently, U.S. President Trump wanted to have an effect on James Comey, the FBI chief he fired, over the Russia investigation.
HOWELL: A few days ago, the President, let it be known that he had not taped Comey, even though he had hinted on Twitter last month that he might have. In an interview with the friendly news agency Fox News, where Mr. Trump expanded a bit on that issue, saying that it was his way of keeping the director honest. Listen.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My story didn't change. My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth but you'll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed but I did not tape.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that.
HOWELL: For weeks, Washington wondered, did the president taped his conversations with the fired FBI Director James Comey?
ALLEN: Well, this week the president revealed the answer, where else, but on Twitter. Here's our Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tapes? What tapes? As President Trump shrugs this one off, Twitter reaction range from a laidback, "Oh," to, "Are you kidding? You literally threatened Comey with tapes and now you say you don't have them." A man's mind games are exhausting, tweeted someone else. Sorry, Mr. Comey.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Lordie, I hope there are tapes.
MOOS (voice-over): The actual Trump tapes, according to this tweet, are duct, Scotch, and masking, all (INAUDIBLE) the President's supporters fired back. Trump did what was necessary to make lying Jim Comey speak the truth, tweeted another defender, lordie, POTUS just bluffed one of the most powerful men in the world and it paid off. Imagine playing poker against Trump. Actually, he revealed his hand early.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there tapes, sir?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don't worry.
MOOS (voice-over): Maybe, disappointed isn't the right word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, this is nutty.
MOOS (voice-over): You've got to keep your eyes on the magician's hands at all times. I never believed there were tapes but now Trump's says there weren't any, I'm not so sure.
ARI MELBER, CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, MSNBC: Donald Trump is a national version of Candy Crush wasting our time whether we like it or not.
MOOS (voice-over): Some Trump critics took the president admitting the obvious inside, it's OK, he'll take care of it, referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after the president tweeted, "I did not make and do not have any such recordings."
One critic used a previous Trump tweet to reply, "What a load of covfefe?" Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. To our viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next.
For other viewers around the world, "MOSTLY HUMAN" with Laurie Segall is right up after the headlines. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.