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Trump's Twitter Tirade; Qatar Crisis; Fight against ISIS; Trump's Contradictions on Meeting Putin; GOP Senators Face Heated Town Halls over Health Care; Venezuelan Attorney General Stands Up to Maduro; President Macron Shakes Up French Political System; Gloomy Weather for July 4th. Aired 2-3 ET

Aired July 3, 2017 - 02:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The President of the United States tweets a fake video of himself. It involves CNN. Just the latest in his attacks on the media.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Mr. Trump was also on the phone to world leaders this weekend to discuss the threat in North Korea and the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. We will tell you about that.

HOWELL (voice-over): And a CNN exclusive: a woman trapped inside Raqqa uses an app to send her mother desperate pleas to come to rescue her.

ALLEN (voice-over): It's all ahead here this hour. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: 2:00 am on the U.S. East Coast.

From his upcoming G20 meetings, health care is a big issue as well for the president. He has a busy plate ahead for him. But that did not stop him from taking his latest attack on the news media. Some dismiss it as funny, a joke; others call it encourage to violence.

ALLEN: The president sent a tweet of a doctored video showing him beating up a man whose face is covered by the CNN logo. It later calls CNN "fraud news network."

HOWELL: In a statement, CNN called the tweet "juvenile" and "beneath the dignity of the office of the President of the United States."

ALLEN: Mr. Trump's recent attacks have intensified the debate over the tone that the White House is setting. HOWELL: The questions about the president's conduct are coming just days ahead of Mr. Trump's trip to the G20 summit taking place in Germany. Here's Brian Stelter.


BRIAN STELTER, CNNMONEY SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. This anti-CNN video from the President of the United States has become one of his most popular tweets ever as measured by the number of people who are sharing it on Twitter.

This is unlike anything we've really ever seen from President Trump or any American president, for that matter. He's taken a video that seems to have come from the pro-Trump message boards of Reddit and then shared his on own platforms to millions and millions of fans.

It is an escalation in his long-running war against the media. That includes outlets like "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," recently the cast of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and this network.

CNN released a statement on Sunday, responding to this Twitter video, saying, quote, "It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters."

The statement referenced deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' recent comments that the president has never encouraged violence in any form.

CNN's statement said, quote, "Clearly Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he's involved in juvenile behavior, far below the dignity of his office."

The CNN statement ends by saying, "We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his."

Now that kind of sentiment was echoed by some other journalists Sunday. Some Democratic lawmakers also weighed in, criticizing the president for the violent tone of the video.

However, some of his supporters said this was all an over-reaction, that the president was just having some fun. This was an obviously humorous video and should be taken in that way.

I can tell you, journalists at CNN and elsewhere are not laughing.

For example, the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press weighed in, saying, "This seemed like he was encouraging violence against reporters."

I asked Twitter PR, Twitter Public Relations if this kind of tweet could violate the Twitter code of conduct, the terms of service that forbid hateful behavior, harassment and incendiary rhetoric and violence, things like that.

Hours later, Twitter said this tweet is not in violation of the terms of service.

Of course, it's an obviously newsworthy thing. Here is the president, once again trying to delegitimize major news outlets, the target this time happens to be CNN; but it's been other news outlets in the past.

The president seems to think this is to his advantage to be picking these kinds of fights and stoking these kinds of fires. And what we saw mostly on Sunday were his supporters definitely on his side and a whole lot of criticism from many other corners.

We'll see if he continues this in the week ahead. Of course, a busy week for the U.S. president, traveling overseas, meeting the Russian president for the first time. This is going to be a very busy workweek in the real world for him. We'll see if he keeps up the tweets in the virtual world -- Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: Joining us now to talk about this is CNN political commentator, John Phillips.

John, thank you for coming in on this holiday weekend.


ALLEN: Sure thing. So we want to talk about the president's latest tweet. He's spending the Sunday before --


ALLEN: -- the 4th of July, you know, mocking, punching CNN in the face. So he's kind of punching free speech in the face, which he has continued to do.

What is your reaction?

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't think he's punching free speech in the face. I think what he's doing here is he's doing what politicians have done for a really long time, which is to find a convenient villain that the public has a distrust for, an inherent distrust for, and go after them.

We've seen Democrats do that through the years with tobacco industry executives or insurance company executives, people in the pharmaceutical industry. Trump has found the primo number one villain for his base, which is the news media and he took this holiday weekend, took time out of his holiday weekend to body slam them.

ALLEN: Yes, he has. But he certainly confirmed that Donald Trump has been in charge of his own fake news.

So how he come into this office, seemingly blindsided, that when you're president, be ready?

The news media is relentless for what is really going on. That's our job. PHILLIPS: He comes into this from the New York tabloid scene, the construction world that he comes from and the tabloid world is a very cutthroat sort of place. So he's used to this blood thirst relationship between him and the media.

The difference between Donald Trump and previous Republicans is Donald Trump hits back. When he feels like he's been attacked unfairly, he doesn't let it go. He doesn't let anything go. And for better or worse, he's decided to take his grievances to Twitter and all of us are looking at it.

ALLEN: How can that punch back be constructive?

How can it help him complete his goals that he set out on the campaign trail?

He has go health care, he has so many important things, jobs in America; how can this be constructive?

Well, it's been a rough couple of weeks for the media. "The Washington Post" had to walk back a story that said the Russians hacked into the power grid in Vermont. We've seen "The New York Times" had one of their reports that really was disputed and James Comey said was not true when he was testifying.

Our own organization has had to walk back some stories this last week. So from Trump's point of view, blood is in the water and he's still being treated unfairly by the mainstream media in his eyes and he decided to take the opportunity to let them have it.

ALLEN: His White House team just said this week he would never support violence like this. And CNN said in a statement, well, that was a outright lie, because despite how you view this and everyone is different in this country, in this world, you know, he is making a mockery of punching the media in the face.

PHILLIPS: Well, I think there's like four people on planet Earth who think pro wrestling is real. And all of them are --

ALLEN: No, there's not. There's many more than that, actually, including my paternal grandparents back in the day, so...


PHILLIPS: Those people realize that professional wrestling is sports entertainment, I think, is what they have rebranded themselves, WWE instead of WWF. So look, anyone who looked at that knew that it was tongue-in-cheek. There is certainly a high temperature in the room right now in Washington, D.C., and no one has been more on the receiving end than Republicans, certainly in Congress and in the White House.

He's had a record number of death threats against him, so much so that the Secret Service says that they have to triage them and only respond to the most credible threats because they just don't have the time or manpower the time to respond to all of them. We of course saw Steve Scalise and other Republicans shot at when they

were practicing for a baseball game --


ALLEN: Yes, exactly, exactly the point. So if you're inflaming American people who really want results from our leaders and want to stop the shenanigans, why go out and do more shenanigans?

And just in the run-up to the G20 summit, where he is sitting down with world leaders who are really questioning his credibility and whether the United States is truly an ally -- and plus he's sitting down with Vladimir Putin -- why go to this extent?

PHILLIPS: Well, I don't think people hate him because of his tweets, I think the people hate him who hate him because he's effective. He got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. It looks like he may get another vacancy and if he picks from someone from the list that he provided, they'll probably get through.

This last week, when all of this was going on, Kate's Law was passed by one house of Congress. So he's moving forward with his agenda. And I don't think that he can get the people that hate him to stop hating him unless he repudiates his agenda, which isn't going to happen.

ALLEN: Well, we appreciate you joining us so much. Thanks for coming in. You might want to check out the story on our website that one of our editors wrote about pro wrestling, because he's a huge pro wrestling fan.

PHILLIPS: Me, too.

ALLEN: Yes. Well, go read it. It's pretty interesting. Thank you so much. We'll talk again.

HOWELL: Making that point on --


HOWELL: -- pro wrestling.

ALLEN: Well, yes. You have to read it. One of our editors is a pro wrestling fan and he talks about pro wrestling being a good metaphor for this president.

HOWELL: Interesting.

ALLEN: Something to read.

HOWELL: Moving forward, the president has a busy week ahead on the world stage, if he's not on Twitter. He's set to meet face-to-face with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, at the G20 summit in Germany and to hold talks with Central and Eastern European leaders in Poland. ALLEN: Trump administration officials tell CNN the president isn't expected to raise the issue of election meddling with Mr. Putin but will instead focus on Syria and Ukraine. CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has more of a preview for us.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has a full agenda this week before he even sits down with President Putin. It's Poland on Wednesday to take part in a gathering of leaders from Central Europe and the Balkans to boost regional trade.

The president wants to promote U.S. natural gas exports there but that's making European leaders a bit nervous. They see President Trump as supporting the right-wing nationalist government in Poland in its disputes with the E.U.

When he arrives in Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday for the G20, he could also be headed for a collision course with European leaders. German chancellor Angela Merkel has predicted very difficult talks with the president over climate change and trade when the leaders meet.

Since his last visit to Europe, the president has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and repeatedly criticized Germany over its trade surplus.

Then of course there's the meeting with President Putin. Both sides are playing down expectations. National security adviser H.R. McMaster has said there's no agenda, just what the president wants to talk about.

Obviously, everyone wants to know whether President Trump will bring up Russian meddling in the U.S. election, warn him not to do it again. I think we're more likely to see the leaders put the elections aside and move forward on issues like Syria and Ukraine.

But the body language in that meeting is going to be very interesting and telling -- Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Elise, thank you for the reporting.

President Trump held back-to-back phone calls with leaders of China and Japan Sunday night, with each he discussed the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. With more on this, let's bring in Alexandra Field live in Beijing this hour.

Alexandra, it's great to have you with us. So we understand this latest summary from Chinese state media came out that touched on the issues that these two leaders talked on.

What more can you tell us about it?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there was a lot of speculation, a lot of intrigue about what the tone and tenor of this call would be like. It was clear to everyone who was looking at this in advance of it, the main topic would be the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. That's been the crux of the relationship between the Trump administration and the Chinese president Xi Jinping since President Trump came to office.

That's the ground on which they're trying to build a lot of cooperation because for the U.S., that is the top security concern. But lately, we've all observed what appeared to be a cooling of the relationship between D.C. and Beijing.

So what was this call going to be like?

Well, it seemed that President Xi Jinping touched on that cooling a bit. According to CCTV here in China, President Xi Jinping did acknowledge to President Trump that there have been some negative factors that he says have affected or impacted the bilateral relationship.

But he also said that he believed that a lot of progress had been made since the two leaders met at Mar-a-lago. You'll remember that summit earlier this winter. That's when it was said that the two leaders had established this warm relationship.

Well, it seems that things are largely smoothed over by this call, with both sides saying that there is cooperation here, that they've agreed to cooperate and they'll build on that cooperation and that they look forward to meeting at G20.

But there have been thorny issues that have really begun to separate them. For the Chinese, CCTV is saying that it was important to them that President Xi Jinping did hear President Trump in this call, saying that he will adhere to the One China policy. That's a key issue for them.

As for the U.S.' side, the White House is underscoring the point that President Donald Trump remarked to President Xi Jinping that he continues to be interested in pursuing a more balanced trade relationship. So everyone really putting all their cards on the table here.

But the takeaway is that they say that they are continuing to agree to cooperate on the North Korean issue. We've seen some strange signs from Washington that were being met with some pushback, some resistance from Beijing in recent days or recent weeks.

That included an arms sale to Taiwan, which China sees as a violation of the One China policy. It also included U.S. sanctions on a Chinese bank which officials in Beijing were protesting to.

And, most recently, George and Natalie, you have a U.S. Navy destroyer carrying out a freedom of navigation exercise near islands that are claimed by China in the South China Seas. China sees this as a breach, they see this as trespassing.

[02:15:00] FIELD: But of course we know that the U.S. does not recognize their claim to these islands. No indication from either side that issues of the South China Sea came up in this call.

We'll expect more from these leaders when they talk at G20 -- George.

HOWELL: Alexandra, also just pointing out here, interesting to note that the president also spoke with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and the two agreed to put more pressure on China to take a bigger role when it comes to North Korea. Obviously, we'll continue to watch these storylines.

Alexandra Field, live for us in Beijing, thank you for the reporting today.

ALLEN: And President Trump spoke by phone with three Gulf leaders Sunday, regarding a diplomatic showdown that's left Qatar isolated. That's after Qatar was granted a little more time by its neighbors to decide if it wants to agree to a list of their demands.

So far, leaders in the capital, Doha, have remained defiant. Some of the requests include shutting down Al Jazeera's TV network, paying hefty reparations, curbing ties with Iran and closing a Turkish air base.

HOWELL: We will have more, a live report from Doha in just about an hour's time, as Qatar runs out of options. Our Jomana Karadsheh will explain what leaders there are likely to do next.

ALLEN: Still ahead this hour --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I wake up in sadness. I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other emotion than sadness. Every day, I live in fear of tomorrow.


ALLEN: The words of a mother, powerless to help her daughter in Syria. Coming up here, how a phone app is offering a needed lifeline.

HOWELL: We're pleased to have you with us this hour, live from Atlanta, Georgia. You're watching CNN, worldwide.



ALLEN: We turn now to the Syrian conflict and ISIS and to a city that considers -- ISIS considers its capital, Raqqa. While the terror group may finally be losing its grip there, the damage it has already inflicted on so many families is permanent.

HOWELL: It's agony that, quite frankly, transcends borders. In this exclusive report, Atika Shubert meets a woman now living in the Netherlands whose lifeline to her daughter is the messaging service, WhatsApp.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As coalition forces circle the ISIS capital in Raqqa, Syria, somewhere in the city a daughter records messages for her mother, a world away in the Netherlands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

SHUBERT (voice-over): She begs for help, whispers for rescue from ISIS and airstrikes. Her mother weeps as she listens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

SHUBERT (voice-over): Wafa is not the mother's real name. She does not want to be identified, fearing ISIS will target her daughter. But her voice is enough to understand the horror of life in Raqqa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When you go to the market to buy food and other things, you see a hand here, a leg here, a head there that ISIS has left. We used to drink coffee there. Now it's full of bodies.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Wafa has already lost one daughter to the sea when she fled for Greece. The boat sank and the little girl drowned. She was 2.5 years old. Her body washed up on the shore months later, now buried on the Greek island of Chios.

Now Wafa is determined not to lose her eldest daughter in Raqqa, to get her out. The 23-year old had tried to leave but ISIS arrested, then beheaded her husband. Her son, Wafa's first grandchild, is almost 2 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language)

SHUBERT: You've never seen your grandson before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, I haven't seen him. My dear, I wake up in sadness. I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other emotion than sadness. Every day I live in fear of tomorrow.

SHUBERT: But when you see those photos and you get those messages, it gives you hope that it might be possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I see the pictures, my heart breaks into pieces. There is no hope. The only hope is their voice. The only hope I have are their voices.

SHUBERT (voice-over): You cannot see her face but Wafa weeps as she talks. She clutches at her phone and her heart, filled with hope and dread at every new message. She doesn't respond straight away, but only once her voice is steady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Sweetie, the most important thing is that you take care of yourself and Adai and, God willing, as I promised, I will come and get you. God will come and get you and we will see each other again. Stay strong.

SHUBERT (voice-over): A mother's plea, only one voice of so many struggling to be heard, amid the terrifying noise of war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

SHUBERT (voice-over): -- Atika Shubert, CNN, the Netherlands.


ALLEN: ISIS is all over the place but it is waning.

Could the losses ISIS faces in Raqqa and in Iraq offer any hope for people in the region, like that mother's daughter?

Let's get some expert analysis.


ALLEN: Joining us live from Abu Dhabi is Fawaz Gerges. He's the chair of Contemporary Middle East Studies at the London School of Economics.

Good to have you with us. Let's talk about -- first of all, let's talk about Mosul. We know that Mosul in Iraq is maybe a city block or two from being rid of ISIS' grip. So let's talk about the significance of finally being almost there.

FAWAZ GERGES, DIR. MIDDLE EAST CENTER, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I mean, as you have just said, Mosul is the second largest Iraqi city. It's the cultural capital of ISIS. It's the economic -- a major economic source of finance for ISIS. It basically -- ISIS won Mosul in the summer 2014, the fall of Mosul.

And Raqqa in the next few months, I think, it will represent a major, a significant military and symbolic defeat for ISIS. When Mosul and Raqqa fall, Raqqa in Syria, I think you're talking about the end of the physical territory caliphate, the physical territorial Islamic State.

This does not mean the end of ISIS. I think both in Iraq and Syria, you have at least one year of hard battles in order to defeat ISIS militarily.

And the bigger question, how do you cope, how do you deal with the aftermath?

You're talking about probably thousands of ISIS fighters, who have melted into local populations in Iraq and Syria and also returned to their home countries in Europe and the various Middle Eastern countries.

ALLEN: That's the question, isn't it?

And with so many countries involved in this Syrian war has been so complicated, you talk about the physical territorial ISIS may be over. But how could they or could they, with all that the world has learned about ISIS, regroup?

GERGES: I mean, remember, for your own viewers, in 2006, 2007, Al Qaeda in Iraq was almost defeated. In fact, when the American military forces left Iraq in 2011, we estimate there were between 200 and 300 Al Qaeda members in Iraq in 2011.

In 2014, Al Qaeda in Iraq mutated into the so-called Islamic State, more than 30,000 or 40,000 or 50,000 fighters. So we have at present, whereby it defeated Al Qaeda organization, mutated and evolved into a greater threat.

The question is not just to defeat ISIS militarily, as President Trump keeps on repeating. The question is how to defeat ISIS ideologically.

The question is, how do you turn local populations against ISIS?

The question is the challenge, how do you reconstruct the areas after you defeat ISIS militarily in Mosul, in Raqqa, in Deir ez-Zor, in Mayadin, in other cities?

So while you and I and all of us and even the President of the United States is focusing on defeating ISIS militarily, we have not really thought a great deal about the morning after, about the social and political reconstruction.

And I fear if President Trump keeps doing what he's doing in Iraq and Syria, I think I could easily see a situation whereby the so-called ISIS or the Islamic State really tries to regroup in the next one or two or three years from now.

ALLEN: Well, that's a terrible thought. But we want to continue our discussion with you and talk about how do you defeat the ideology, what does this mean for the bigger picture of the Syrian conflict in the next hour. So we'll see you then. Thank you, Fawaz.

And coming up here, a look at the history between the U.S. and Russian president. How this week's G20 summit might not be their first meeting ahead. And...


HOWELL (voice-over): Republican lawmakers bracing for more angry protests as they face voters over the Senate health care bill. Stay with us.



[02:32:37] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It's good to have you with us. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top stories this hour.


HOWELL: President Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin have a highly anticipated meeting coming up set for this week at the G-20 summit.

ALLEN: It will be their first face-to-face since the U.S. president took office. But it's unclear if they've met before now.

For more, here's Victor Blackwell.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I never met Putin. I don't know who Putin is.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a claim President Donald Trump made many times during the campaign.

TRUMP: I never met Putin.

I don't think I've ever met him.

I've never met him.

I don't think I've ever met him.

GEORGE STEPHANAPOUOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: You would know it, if you did.

TRUMP: I would think so.

BLACKWELL: The White House says next week's G-20 summit in Germany will offer the first opportunity for President Trump to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin face-to-face.

However, all the denials contradict what Candidate Trump said in an October 2015 radio interview.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO SHOW HOST (voice-over): Have you met Vladimir Putin?

TRUMP (voice-over): Yes.


TRUMP: One time, yes, a long time ago.

BLACKWELL: Mr. Trump did not say during that interview when or under what circumstances the two men met.

Days before their meeting in Hamburg, there are several unsettled opposing claims about their history.

The White House says Trump and Putin have spoken by phone at least three times since the 2016 election. But on conversations before the election, more contradictions.

In July 2016, Candidate Trump said this.

[02:35:02] TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Putin. I've never spoken to him. I don't know anything about him other than he will respect me.

BLACKWELL: But that contradicts two years earlier.

TRUMP: I was in Moscow recently and I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.

BLACKWELL: During the campaign, Candidate Trump denied any relationship with Putin.

TRUMP: I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius.

BLACKWELL: But when asked about their relationship during a 2013 MSNBC interview, another contradiction.

UNIDENTIFIED MSNBC HOST: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, a conversational relationship, or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?

TRUMP: I do have a relationship.

BLACKWELL: The G-20 summit begins on Friday.

Victor Blackwell, CNN, Atlanta.


ALLEN: As far as domestically, U.S. Republican lawmakers are suggesting another approach to passing a health care bill, repeal Obamacare now and replace it sometime in the future.

HOWELL: The president has also voiced this idea. But many Republicans and Democrats are worried that it could harm millions of Americans.


SEN. BEN SASSE, (R), NEBRASKA: If we can do a combined repeal and replace over the next week, that's great. If we can't, though, there's no reason to walk away. We should do repeal with a delay. Let's be clear, I don't want to see anybody thrown off the coverage they have now. I'd want a delay so we can get straight to work.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I), VERMONT: This Congressional Budget Office indicated that if you simply repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, you will throw 32 million Americans off of health insurance, 10 percent of the population of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: The challenge is it goes against what the president said before. I remember an interview on CBS where he said there would not be a gap between repeal and replace. So this is a definite change.

The health care bill is delayed in the U.S. Senate until after the July 4th recess at the earliest. But that doesn't mean Republican lawmakers are getting a break here.

ALLEN: Not when they go back home these days, back in their home districts, and facing constituents' heated reactions to the Senate health care bill.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye with that.



RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republicans in Congress know they need to get the health care bill right.


KAYE: They haven't forgotten the stinging reaction to the House bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2020, you're gone!



KAYE: The man yelling at Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana --


KAYE: -- had to be escorted out by security.

With the dismantling of Obamacare under way, the atmosphere is ripe for anger. And members of Congress across the country are feeling the wrath of voters.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton's town hall in Arkansas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm an angry constituent. You work for us.

KAYE: Representative Tom MacArthur's town hall in New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife was diagnosed with cancer when she was 40 years old. She beat it. But every day -- every day, she lives with it. She thinks about it. Every pain, every new something going on somewhere, is it coming back? Is this cancer? Do i have it again? Is it going to kill me this time? Is it going to take me away from my children? You have been the single-greatest threat to my family in the entire world. You are the reason I stay up at night. Sit on down! You're done!


KAYE: Republican Senator Joni Ernst's town hall in Iowa.



KAYE: At Republican Congressman Paul Labrador's town hall in Idaho, the more he said, the more fired up the crowd became.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're mandating people on Medicaid accept dying. You are making them --


REP. PAUL LABRADOR, (R), IDAHO: No one wants anybody to die. That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care.


KAYE: In some cases, members of Congress lost complete control, unable to even make their presentation.

SEN. TOM REED, (D), NEW YORK: If I'm allowed to complete the nine slides --


KAYE: Representative Tom Reed in New York was drowned out by angry naysayers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can you say you're representing your constituency when only 70 percent of the U.S. population is supporting this?

KAYE: It was all too much for this man in the crowd to take.

[02:39:58] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Don't shout each other down. If you're Americans, then act like Americans.

KAYE: Perhaps the general feeling of hostility among voters angry about changes to Obamacare can be summed up in a single tweet like this one: "Rep Tom Reed, you're done. I don't usually vote in the midterms, but I will now. Start packing your bags you Muppet."


KAYE: A warning shot or a sign of things to come?

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: Thank you, Randi Kaye.

Still ahead here, after months of deadly demonstrations, a look now at how one attorney general is standing up to Venezuela's president.

And a drug lord gets caught after decades on the run.


HOWELL: The crisis in Venezuela. For the third time this year, the president of that nation, Nicolas Maduro, is raising his country's minimum wage.

He's also dealing with almost daily demonstrations, like the one you see here on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. People demanding his resignation.

ALLEN: This weekend's rallies are centered around the treatment of Attorney General Luisa Ortega.

Rafael Roma takes a look at how this former Maduro ally has become one of his biggest critics.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPODNENT (voice-over): She's a self-described longtime loyalist of the late Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, and one of the top officials in that country's embattled government. But Attorney General Luisa Ortega has become President Nicholas Maduro's most outspoken critic.

LUISA ORTEGA, VENEZUELAN ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translation): I believe that we are destroying the legacy of President Chavez.

ROMO: Ortega has argued in favor of cracking down on protests and jailing opposition leaders, like Leopoldo Lopez.



[02:45:09] ROMO: Now, amid three months of anti-Maduro demonstrations and violent clashes and dozens of deaths, she's made a dramatic turn around. In recent weeks, Ortega has started investigating incidents of police violence against protesters. And charged the former head of the National Guard with human rights violations. She has spoken out against Maduro, accusing him of creating a climate of terror, condemning his plan for a special assembly to rewrite Venezuela's constitution. And taking on the country's Supreme Court, seen as loyal to Maduro, by questioning the legitimacy of its judges.

ORTEGA (through translation): The Supreme Court is made up of the main actors denigrating the constitution and I will not allow that.

ROMO: The court has moved to weaken the attorney general's powers and opened its own investigation of Ortega, accusing her of serious offenses.

Ortega calls the charges a political witch hunt and continues to speak out.

ORTEGA (through translation): The nation is in danger. The rule of law is in danger. The law is in danger. Peace and citizens are in danger. This is the death of law. This will be the death of the law if we allow these judges to continue on the court.

ROMO: Ortega faces a July 4th hearing on whether she should face trial for alleged professional malpractice. Until then, the Supreme Court has frozen her bank accounts and assets, and banned her from leaving the country, actions the United Nations calls deeply worrying.

Rafael Romo, CNN.


ALLEN: One of south America's most-wanted drug lords could face more than 50 years in jail after decades on the run. He's been caught. Brazilian authorities arrested Luiz Carlos de Rocha in a raid Saturday.

HOWELL: Look at that. You see the image here. Police say that de Rocha, his drug empire trafficked five tons of cocaine each month into South American and aboard. He spent three decades evading authorities. Police say he was using fake names and changing his face with plastic surgery.

So he's already shaken up his country's political system. And in the hours to come, the French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver his first promised State of the Nation address.

ALLEN: CNN's Melissa Bell has more on this young president's administration, from showdowns with world leaders to his party's stunning success in parliamentary elections.



MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From his first determined steps as France's president-elect, Emmanuel Macron has sought not so much as to fill the role as to redefine it. France's youngest ever president seems also to want to be the strongest since the founder of the fifth republic, Charles de Gaulle.


BELL: Through his handshakes with other world leaders, like Donald Trump at the NATO summit in May, and Vladimir Putin, who was welcomed there five days later and then given a lecture on human rights, Macron has not hesitated to impose himself on the world stage. Going so far as to twist Donald Trump's campaign slogan after the American withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, in an address to the world, delivered in English.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Make our planet great again.


BELL: And nationally, Emmanuel Macron has also shaken up the established order. Having seen off the mainstream parties in his campaign, his movement won an unprecedented victory in June's parliamentary elections, handing him an absolute and historic majority.

In his new official portrait, Charles de Gaulle's memoirs sit on the desk behind Macron, a portrait that's been described as more imperial than presidential.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


HOWELL: Still ahead on NEWSROOM this hour, strong storms and heavy rain may put a damper on the Fourth of July festivities for millions of Americans in the United States. Take a look at that map. If you're under those clouds, fireworks may be hard to see.

Stay with us.




[02:53:00] HOWELL: So here in the United States, everyone's excited about the Fourth of July just a couple of days away here. And look, there are some places that will be able to see the fireworks great. And others -- Natalie, you want to tell them?

ALLEN: Maybe not so much. You can always watch it on television. Looks great.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the forecast for the U.S. Fourth -- Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I think a lot of people, at least several million people, guys, are going to have to deal with getting Mother Nature's version of the fireworks. You look at places like Seattle -- we'll start there. That's a city where in a six-month period they had conditions go within 180 days or so 171 of them either had cloudy conditions or rainy conditions. We add one more to the list. Light showers at best there on Monday. But going into Tuesday night looks pretty good. Working your way toward the U.S. capitol, you notice not a bad day on Monday. But as you go toward Tuesday, the thunderstorms increase as you go toward the fireworks time period. That's an area we're watching closely.

Want to show you what's going on as far as the broader perspective of things. Here we go across the southern and central portion of the country. That's where the highest likelihood is for some thunderstorms. Also around parts of the northern portion of the country. That's for Monday afternoon. Really a harbinger of the setup for Tuesday. The areas indicated in green that's where you'll have cloud cover, some thunderstorms at around 10:00 p.m., right before the fireworks festivities are set to take off. You notice if you're across these regions, that's where the wet weather is most likely.

But around the west, if you're staying up late with us, joining us around the western United States, extreme heat's been the story. We've had not only extreme heat but places such as Tucson, Phoenix, and Fresno and Cedar City, Utah. Not a drop of rain fell in the month of June. And not only that, it was extremely hot. Record territory. And once again as we go towards Monday afternoon, we're talking about 112 in Phoenix, well above average. Working your way out toward Yuma, 111. Albuquerque approaching 100. Salt Lake City around 100. The forecast for the month of July keeps it that way, in fact. Extreme heat possible also around the northwest. And also the portion around parts of New England as well.

As far as wet weather is concerned, if you think it's been soggy in the month of June, the month of July looks much the same around the southern and southeastern corner of the country. At least that's what the long-range forecast indicates. Notice the temperature trend going into Monday. Looks to be cooling off around parts of the northeastern United States. That's great news across that region.

We're also watching something in the way of tropical activity forming off the Cape Verde Islands out there across the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center gives this about a 60 percent chance of forming into a tropical disturbance going in by the latter portion of this week. It would be Tropical Storm Don if it does form. We're in line for a D-letter storm.

In the Pacific, couple areas of interest. One with a 60 percent chance, another one with a 40 percent chance of forming. So the tropical activity certainly warming up across parts of our planet.

I want to take you out toward portions of Asia because we do have a tropical storm as well. Just east of Taiwan, this particular storm eyeing portions of Japan. Notice the wet weather, the thunderstorms that are blossoming right there toward portions of China. If we've got video, I would love to share with you video coming out of China. It shows what folks across this region have been dealing with. Some 300,000 hectares of land have been submerged across this region. And around 300,000 people have been displaced as well in what is really historic flooding across that region. Getting a tropical storm, guys, across this region and just general area is not going to be good news for a lot of people there.

[02:56:22] ALLEN: But that makes it still better than just not getting to see the fireworks, what those people are going through.

JAVAHERI: That's true.

ALLEN: All right, thank you.

HOWELL: Pedram, thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

ALLEN: Thank you for watching this hour. We have more to go here.

I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell.

The news right back after the break. Stay with us.