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President Trump Still Don't Believe Intel on Russian Meddling; Another Terrorism Attack by the Taliban; Surge in Violence in Israel; Baked to Death in Human Trafficking Tragedy; Tracking Down Emin Agalarov; The Power of Mother Nature; The Loss of a Great Mother. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 24, 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] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. President Donald Trump still not convinced that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, despite his intelligence chief's unanimous agreement that Russia did interfere.
Plus, tragedy in the U.S. State of Texas. Nine people are dead. Dozens injured in a suspected case of human trafficking. Their bodies found inside a sweltering traffic trailer at a Wal-Mart parking lot. We'll have that story.
And later this.
Outrage and violence in Jerusalem as Israel steps up security at a sacred site.
Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here and all around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Three a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. Did Russia meddle in the U.S. election in 2016 ? That is the question to which U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously agree it did. The President of the United States, is not so sure. That's the word from his new communications director Anthony Scaramucci saying the president, he's still not convinced.
He spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper in an extended ex-change on the subject. Listen.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He said to me yesterday, I won't tell you who, that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they're super confident in their deception skills and hacking. My point is, all of the information isn't on the stable yet. But here's what I...
(CROSSTALK) JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Wait, wait, wait, Anthony, Anthony...
SCARAMUCCI: Let me finish. Let me finish. All right, go ahead.
TAPPER: You're making a lot of assertions here. I don't know who this anonymous person is, as it said that if Russians had actually done it we would have been able to detect it. But it is...
SCARAMUCCI: How about it was the president, Jake.
TAPPER: OK. It's the consensus that...
SCARAMUCCI: I talked to him yesterday. He called me, he called me from Air Force O.
SCARAMUCCI: And he basically said to me, hey, you know, this is, maybe they did it, maybe they didn't do it. I'm going to maintain for you...
TAPPER: OK. This is exactly the issue here. We have experts. The U.S. intelligence agencies unanimous, both Obama appointees and Trump appointees. The Director of the National Intelligence, head of the National Security Agency, the head of the FBI, I mean, all of these intelligence experts saying Russia hacked the intelligence-- Russia hacked the election, they tried to interfere in the election.
No votes were changed, but there was this information and misinformation campaign. President Trump is contradicting it and you're siding with President Trump.
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I didn't say that I was siding with President Trump.
TAPPER: But this is -- this is exactly the point, because here you have a bill, legislation that was passed 98 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, the House is about to pass it. It will probably also be an overwhelming vote to sanction Russia.
And President Trump told you that he still doesn't believe that Russia was trying to interfere in the election. Even though the overwhelming body of the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by republicans, and his own intelligence experts are telling him the opposite. You're saying you're going to side with the president. Don't you owe -- don't you owe a duty to the truth?
SCARAMUCCI: What about the conversation are you missing, Jake? There are checks and balances in the system for a reason, OK? The president will make that decision when he makes a decision. You're telling me that something is true that in fact could in fact be true. I don't have the information in front of me. Once I've cleared my
security clearances and I've looked at the stuff, if I think it's true behind closed doors, I'll turn to the president very directly and say sir, I think this stuff is true. But I don't have it in front of me right now.
TAPPER: My question right now is about the fact that a geopolitical foe of the United States, Russia, interfered in the U.S. election, according to every intelligence expert, both under the Obama administration and under the Trump administration. The one person in the government who says it's not true is President Trump.
SCARAMUCCI: I've got to -- again, one of the reasons why he's upset about it is that this sort of -- that the main stream media position on this that they interfered in the election, it actually, in his mind, what are you guys suggesting, are you going to delegitimize his victory?
SCARAMUCCI: Is that going to make his victory illegitimate?
SCARAMUCCI: Is that the point of it. Well, you know what? He legitimately won the presidency.
TAPPER: Yes, absolutely.
SCARAMUCCI: Do we both agree on that?
TAPPER: He legitimately won the presidency, absolutely.
SCARAMUCCI: OK. OK. Ok, so at the end of the day, let him make the decision. And as I said to you, once I've got a security clearance and I meet with those people myself, if I think it's true, I'm going to turn to the president very honestly, we have a great relation, and say sir, I think this is true.
[03:04:58] HOWELL: U.S. intelligence says that it is true. You heard Jake Tapper mention that. U.S. intelligence community and its conclusion that Russia did attack the United States with the 2016 election by cyber hacking. Here's what President Trump's own Intel team has to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you just tell us, is there any dissent within the intelligence community oversee on the question of whether the Russians interfered with the American election?
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: There is no dissent, and I've stated that publicly and I stated that to the president. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is on board.
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES CIA DIRECTOR: I am confident the Russians meddled in this election as is the entire intelligence community.
MIKE ROGERS, DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: No doubt at all. I stand by the intelligence assessment that we produced in January.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Well, there you have it. As we mentioned, President Trump, though, will soon have to decide whether or not to support tougher sanctions on Russia. His communications director Anthony Scaramucci says Mr. Trump has not yet decided, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a different take on that issue. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We support where the legislation is now and we'll continue working with the House and senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved. And it certainly isn't right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: So when it comes to election meddling, there is little evidence Mr. Trump might change his mind. On Sunday, he tweeted this. "As the phony Russian witch hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold. Democrats and Russians," says the president.
Let's put this all into context now with Leslie Vinjamuri. Leslie is a senior lecturer in international relations at SOAS University of London. It's good to have you with us this hour, Leslie.
Let's talk about this. We heard that exchange between Anthony Scaramucci and our own Jake Tapper. This issue of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the intelligence community says unanimously it happened. The answer, though, not so clear coming from the president and his staff. What do you make of this?
LESLIE VINJAMURI, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Well, this has been going on now for several weeks, this sort of mixed message coming out of the White House and by the president.
And of course, it's intensified in the last few days with changes to his senior staff. With this disagreement that you just noted. And of course, it's a very significant distraction.
Once again, we're being taken back into this question of whether or not there's support for the findings of the intelligence committee -- the intelligence agencies, and what will take place next with respect to support for the sanctions. The other thing that we saw over the weekend, as you know, was that
the president sort of made a comment saying that he could pardon those under investigation, which of course, I think would be tremendously controversial and raises a whole host of questions.
But I think the key thing here is that once again, rather than standing up and saying we must investigate, this is very important, it's a grave issue, a risk to the security and integrity of America's democracy. What we're getting instead is a very aggressive response, very mixed messages.
And it's continuing to cast a cloud over the presidency, over the White House, and to be tremendously distracting for the broader set of priorities that President Trump entered the White House wanting to pursue both legislatively and with respect to his foreign policy.
HOWELL: It has been a week of mixed messages. There's that old saying, you know, what's life without a little contradiction? Well, we're hearing from the communications director on one very important issue. Let's take a listen to this. We can talk about this on the other side. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Let me ask you one last Russia question and I want to talk about agenda. In a tweet this week, the president said this, this weekend. He asserted his complete power to pardon. Question, if he and his people had done nothing wrong, why even talk about pardons?
SCARAMUCCI: You see, this is -- again, this is one of those things about Washington and it's the convolution and the nature of things. I'm in the Oval Office with the president last week, we're talking about that. He says he brought that up but he doesn't have to be pardoned, there's nobody around him that has to be pardoned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Here's the question, though. There's been a great deal of talk about the powers of presidential pardon here over the last week, whether the president would look to pardon his staff, family members, perhaps even himself. You know, we're hearing more about that. But now we're hearing obviously that's not the case from his new communications director.
Here's the question, is this just talk? Or could this seriously be considered?
VINJAMURI: Well, I think initially it feels like it's just talk, like the president is in a sense grabbing for straws to try to get this to go away. But of course, the power to pardon is a very important one, it's very controversial one.
But I think what was just said there is very important, which is that to suggest this early in the presidency, this early in the investigation, that there should be a pardon, absolutely raises the question.
[03:10:00] It implies that there is, that there is guilt. And that's not a good road to go down. What needs to take place right now is really to look very carefully to allow the investigations to go forward.
And remember, even if there were a pardon, even if the president decided to use his power to pardon, the investigations would continue. It doesn't prevent investigations from going forward.
But you know, the power to pardon is one that was put into place and to be in the public interest to temper justice with mercy and to think about the stability of the country. In this case, what really needs to take place is that the investigations need to go forward for the integrity of democracy.
So, the pardon seems very inappropriately placed. But again, even raising the issue in the way it was raised casts a whole suspicion over the presidency by implicitly suggesting that there is guilt and there's a need for a pardon.
HOWELL: Leslie Vinjamuri, thank you so much for being with us.
VINJAMURI: Thank you.
HOWELL: President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser is due on Capitol Hill in the day ahead. Jared Kushner will meet with Senate panel staffers to answer questions about alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Additionally, Donald Trump, Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have agreed to have private discussions and provide records to the Senate judiciary committee. Investigators want to know about a meeting that took place at Trump Tower in June of last year, where the Trump team was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Let's go straight to Moscow now with CNN's Clare Sebastian following the story for us this hour. Clare, so the focus this week will be on the people involved at that meeting at Trump Tower with that Russian attorney. What more can you tell us about this attorney and her alleged ties to government?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, George, there's a couple of things here. First of all, it has to be noted that Natalia Veselnitskaya, that attorney, has denied that she had any links to the Russian government and the Kremlin for its spot has also denied that, saying they didn't know her or the meeting was taking place.
But there are a couple of things that are raising questions here. One is that we now know that she did once represent a military unit tied to the FSB, that's the Russian state security service. That was in a Moscow property dispute that ran for eight years between 2005 and 2013. She has responded to that saying, you know, there's nothing to see
here. She's represented all kinds of different people, if we were to look closer at the records. And of course, it is true that this doesn't prove any formal relationship with the Russian government.
But whether or not she was asked to do so by the kremlin itself, she has, for many years been acting in their interest. She's an active lobbyist against the Magnitsky Act, which was a package of sanctions that came in 2012 against Russian individuals suspected of being engage in human right abuses.
She was in Trump Tower according to her with the sole purpose of talking about that act, trying to get an adoption ban lifted that the Russia -- that Russia imposed on American families wanting to adopt U.S. children. That is what she said was the stated purpose of that meeting.
But you know, she has said to us that she isn't going to say anymore for the moment without her lawyers. But she has said she is willing to testify before the Senate if called to do so. So still a lot of questions swirling about this attorney, George.
HOWELL: All right. Clare, and here in the United States, there is a new round of sanctions that is gaining traction. It has bipartisan support and even a provision written in it that prevents the president, if he were to do so, from watering down these sanctions, these sanctions focused on Russia and North Korea, Iran.
So the question I have for you is, is there a new government response given the fact that Russia could face these new sanctions?
SEBASTIAN: George, we got a very brief response from the Kremlin over the weekend. All they told us is that they view this quite negatively, perhaps a bit of an understatement there. But I need to pointed out that the Russian media has over the last couple of days increasingly latched on to the fact that it's not just Russia that views this negatively.
We had a statement out from a spokesman for the E.U. commission over the weekend that warned of unintended consequence from this new round of sanctions that that they signed into law. They said that they could have widespread impact on their, you know, diversification of their energy supply.
So Russia keen to point out here that it's not just them that views this negatively but perhaps the E.U. as well, George.
HOWELL: Clare Sebastian, live for us in Moscow this hour. Clare, thanks for the your reporting.
Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, CNN tracks down the Russian pop star linked to that now infamous meeting at Trump Tower.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Did you arrange that meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and Russian lawyer?
EMIN AGALAROV, RUSSIAN POP STAR: OK. Come join me for the show tonight.
[03:14:59] CHANCE: Yes, we will all definitely.
HOWELL: Find out what else he had to say, as CNN NEWSROOM continues.
HOWELL: In Afghanistan, the Taliban are claiming responsibility for a suicide car bombing that took place in that nation's capital. The blast happened on Monday morning in Kabul. At least 24 people were killed, 42 others were wounded.
This when a Toyota Corolla exploded in the western part of that city. And you see what's left of that vehicle right there. The Taliban say they were targeting a bus carrying Afghan intelligence staff.
Two people died in an attack Sunday inside the Israeli embassy compound in Amman, Jordan. It started when a Jordanian worker stabbed an Israeli security officer with a screwdriver. The officer opened fire, killing the worker and wounding another Jordanian who later died.
The Jordanian worker was in the embassy compound for routine furniture replacement. It's not clear if the incident is in any way linked to the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The U.N. Security Council is set to meet over the Israeli-Palestinian unrest in the coming hours, and clashes continue through the weekend.
[03:20:06] That's a sense of what was happening there. The scene in Jerusalem on Sunday, there's been bloodshed on both sides. Four Palestinians were killed on Friday and Saturday. Three Israelis were stabbed to death in the West Bank.
The surge in violence is tied to new Israeli security at a holy site after the killing of two Israeli police officers.
For more on this situation, let's bring in CNN international correspondent Ian Lee, live in Jerusalem this hour with us. Ian, it's good to have you. First of all, the White House is sending its envoy. We now know that Jared Kushner is leading the outreach for the United States. And a lot of other groups are getting involved.
How do you see this coming to a conclusion with these new groups taking position?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, there's no doubt that there's a strong diplomatic effort to resolve this current crisis, and it really centers around what is behind me. This is Lion's Gate here in the old city. And just beyond it, that's where these metal detectors and security cameras have been installed. And that's really the source of the contention.
Now Israel says that those are put in place to protect their security personnel here, just over a week ago, two Israeli police officers were killed when men with guns came off the Temple Mount also known as the Noble Sanctuary, shot and killed them.
So, they say these security measures are necessary but for the Palestinians, for the Jordans -- for the Jordanians and really for many in the Arab world, they see this as Israel trying to expand its control over this holy site, breaking a status quo that has been in place for decades.
Now, this strong international effort is led by many, but you have the United States, with Jared Kushner, who is talking with the Israelis, talking to the Jordanians and talking to the Palestinians to try to resolve this. Also the Arab League has put pressure on the Israelis saying that they need to resolve this, because they're playing with fire.
They're going to meet on Thursday to discuss this situation. But really without a diplomatic effort, without a diplomatic solution, we're expecting to see the violence continue, George.
HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Ian Lee, live for us in Jerusalem, thank you for the report. And we'll stay in touch with you for sure.
In the U.S. State of Texas, a case of human trafficking. Vigils were held for nine people, now dead after a tractor trailer was discovered baking in a parking lot in San Antonio, Texas. More than 100 undocumented immigrants may have been crammed inside that truck.
The suspected driver is in custody. This case highlights the dangers that immigrants face when crossing into the United States.
CNN's Ed Lavandera has the story for us.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Homeland Security investigators and Immigration Customs Enforcement agents say that the driver of the truck was 60-year-old James Bradley from Clearwater, Florida. He's really the centerpiece of this investigation as investigators try to figure out what they describe as a human struggling operation.
And the key to that is to figure out who else was involved, where this truck came from and where it was going. The acting ICE director says at some point during the journey there could have been more than a hundred people inside the back of this trailer truck. And when it was discovered here just after midnight, there somebody from the truck that had approached a Wal-Mart employee asking for water. And that is what led the employee to make the discovery and call police here to the scene. Eight people were found dead inside. A ninth person died in the
hospital on Sunday. The death toll numbers could change. There were nearly 20 people in critical condition throughout the day. Receiving treatment in various hospitals around San Antonio.
So, a horrifying and gruesome discovery. The fire chief says at some point, he believes that the temperatures inside that trailer reached more than 150 degrees.
CHARLES HOOD, CHIEF, SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT: The units arrived, found the trailer stuffed with victims in the back. And, again, very hot, kind of like being this an oven, if you can imagine. A lot of them have suffered the symptoms of heat stroke. And so with heat stroke, a lot of times you have neurological deficits that you'll never going to be able to recover from.
So again, for those people that survived, they took a beating. And with our temperatures yesterday, we had temperatures of over 100 degrees. So you can imagine the temperature in the back of that semi loaded up with people was probably 150 degrees. And so, the ones that we took out, all the pulse rates were about 130. They were hot to the touch.
LAVANDERA: A highly dangerous, volatile situation inside that truck. And of course, all eyes really kind of focused on James Bradley, the driver of this truck, who hasn't formally faced any criminal charges filed just yet.
[03:24:58] But that could change dramatically here this Monday. Bradley is expected to make a court appearance Monday morning in San Antonio. So the criminal charges could change here in the coming hours. So we'll continue to monitor that.
But this Wal-Mart where this truck was discovered is just along interstate 35 in southwest San Antonio. It takes a direct shot about a two-hour drive to the Texas-Mexico border. And in this part of South Texas, these kinds of human -- this kind of human smuggling operation is very common. Oftentimes, undocumented migrants are moved in truckloads like this.
So, you know, very dangerous situations like this have unfolded in the past and sadly, this is just all too common in this part of the United States.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.
HOWELL: Ed, thank you for the report there.
For a long time, CNN has been leading the fight against human trafficking in places like Texas and quite frankly, around the world. Coming up, the story of three Cambodian girls who survived being sold for sex by their own mothers. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: Eight twenty-nine a.m. in London. Twelve twenty-nine a.m. in Seattle, Washington. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM worldwide this hour. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you.
The U.S. President Donald Trump facing a decision whether to support tougher sanctions against Russia. But his new communications director says the U.S. President is still not sure if Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Anthony Scaramucci claims the media are trying to delegitimize Mr. Trump's victory, though, Mr. Trump is the President of the United States.
[03:29:56] The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a deadly car bombing Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan. At least 24 people have been killed and 42 others wounded. This happened in the western part of that city. The Taliban say they were targeting a bus carrying Afghan intelligence staff.
Poland's president is supposed to meet with the head of the Supreme Court in just a few hours' time. President Duda is under growing pressure to veto a judicial reform bill that puts the Supreme Court under government control. Thousands of protesters are calling for a veto to that measure.
The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte will give his annual state of the nation address on Monday. The speech will likely focus on the economy, on terrorism, and on the war on drugs.
Over the weekend, lawmakers approved Mr. Duterte's request to extend Martial Law on the southern Island of Mindanao until the end of the year.
CNN has managed to tracked down the Russian pop star link to that infamous meeting at Trump Tower last year. Emin Agalarov's publicist, Rob Goldstein, arranged the meeting promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now with the details on this. And, Matthew, you tracked him down. What did he have to say?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I did indeed track him down. Because we've tried repeatedly to get a proper statement from Emin Agalarov, and his lawyers in New York, about why it was that he was such a key figure and so instrumental in organizing that very controversial meeting that took place in Trump Tower last June with Donald Trump, Jr., President Trump's son and other senior members of his campaign team, like Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was the campaign manager at the time.
We got a flat rejection from his legal team for any kind of official statement, so we came here to Jurmala in Latvia. It's a beach resort, and where Emin was giving a performance on stage to a crowd of his fans along with other pop stars here. I tracked him down in the streets outside the venue and put some of those important questions to him. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHANCE: Did you arrange that meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and Russian lawyer?
EMIN AGALAROV, RUSSIAN POP STAR: OK. Come join me for the show tonight.
CHANCE: Yes, we will all definitely.
AGALAROV: Excellent. Excellent actually.
CHANCE: Any comments? It's an important question. The American public wants to know.
AGALAROV: Guys, can I have a drink first without your presence? Thank you very much.
CHANCE: Let me ask you. Did the Russian authorities give your family information to pass on to the Trump administration?
AGALAROV: Talk to me lawyer.
CHANCE: When I talk to him he said you wouldn't comment.
AGALAROV: So I wouldn't comment.
CHANCE: Come on, these are questions that you're not going to be able to not comment at some point.
CHANCE: You're going to have to answer that.
AGALAROV: I'm here to perform.
AGALAROV: To enjoy the show and I'm not going to answer any questions.
CHANCE: Why did your publicist...
AGALAROV: Guys, I'm not going to answer any questions.
CHANCE: I'm trying to get a comment.
AGALAROV: You're not going to a comment. Am I clear? You're not going to get a comment.
CHANCE: All right, so pretty adamant there on the part of Emin Agalarov that he wasn't going to give us any sort of official statement on why he set up those meetings.
But of course, this issue is not going to go away, particularly because later on today in the United States, Jared Kushner, the son- in-law of President Trump and his special adviser, who was at that meeting in Trump Tower of course along with Donald Trump, Jr., is going to be testifying to congressional investigation committees about that meeting amongst other things.
And so as I say, this issue, this reason for this meeting is going to be explored further.
HOWELL: Matthew, you took a great deal of effort obviously to track him down, to try to get some sort of an answer, as you pointed out his attorney not answering any questions. So is there a sense that he understands that this is a major issue, that these questions will continue?
CHANCE: It's not clear, because what I got from his sort of body language and his attitude is that he wanted to laugh this off. I mean, he chuckled a bit. He's just like that guy who wanted to drink, come on, I'm here to perform.
You know, I tried to emphasize to him, as you saw, that these are issues that cut to the heart of the political crisis in the United States right now. And that the American public, amongst others, are you know, keen to hear whether their administration or the Trump campaign team, you know, engaged in collusion or was prepared to engage in collusion with the Russian authorities.
And of course, that meeting in Trump Tower, the reason it's so important and the reason it's so sort of interesting for people who want to know about this, it's the best sign we've got yet, that at least there was a willingness on the part of the Trump campaign team at that time, to hear from the Russians, so hear about damaging information they might have.
HOWELL: Matthew Chance, following the story. Matthew, thank you for the reporting today.
[03:35:00] Heavy rain turned into a powerful and dangerous amount of flood water in the U.S. State of Kentucky on Sunday. Authorities are searching for an elderly man who may have been swept away in it. Local politician said the flooding tossed cars around like a hurricane.
Look at this image here and you get a sense of what happened there. And there are some reports that some homes were washed away. The state of emergency was declared in one area. The storms dumped about 13 centimeters of rain in just a short amount of time. Great deal of rain there.
People are feeling the heat in a lot of places, but none other than the midst of wildfires that are waging in the western part of the United States.
Our meteorologist Karen Maginnis is in the international weather center following the story for us. Karen? KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, George, this is dreadful. And a number of states across the west but just about everybody experiencing an enhanced fire season, if you will. This is typically when we see the fires blaze across California, Nevada, but extending into Montana, one of the largest blazes has caused the governor of Montana to issue a fire emergency across the state.
Low humidity, hot temperatures that have prevailed for quite some time, and an exceptional drought across this region. And they have in excess of 226,000 acres that have burned there, about 91,000 hectares.
Well, a weather system is moving across this region, and the lightning activity level is going to be about a three. That means we're looking at just about the mid-range of the lightning activity level. So the dry thunderstorms could spark more fire activity. Certainly, firefighters not going to be able to really get a handle on this huge blaze.
Now we had reports that some homes were burned, lots of farm land, grazing areas for cattle. This is essentially a baron area, but it is somebody's property that has been affected. Their livelihood has really been impacted along east central sections of Montana.
But a lot of these areas across the interior west you can see dry to moderately dry, and areas in Montana and into the Dakotas exceptionally dry across those regions.
And wow, what a different story it is as we head towards the desert southwest, where those temperatures as you would expect would be hot. But we've got that monsoon, that's that shift in the direction of the wind. Brings in the moisture, coming up from the south.
We've got reports coming out of the Puma County, Arizona area that you can see kind of this flare up in our water vapor imagery. Coming up of Sabino Canyon they had to do some rescues, there were 17 hikers that were stranded. They've taken roughly half of them away with helicopter rescues. But others are stranded.
We don't have any reports of any fatalities, but this is an area that is looking at the potential for flooding, so they have flash flood warnings and watches out. George, we've got lot of activity across the U.S. and it's not giving up any time soon. They need a little bit of a break.
Back to you.
HOWELL: Yes. They always welcome a bit of rain there in the valley of the sun in Phoenix. But at the same time, too much rain too fast, just too problematic.
HOWELL: Karen Maginnis, thank you so much.
Twenty years after Princess Diana's death, her sons have given their most candid interview yet. Princes William and Harry shared touching memories of their mother.
You want to stay with us for that.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: CNN is leading the fight against human trafficking in the United States and across the world with the CNN Freedom Project. Today, we're starting a special week of investigations to expose the abuse of children and workers in Cambodia.
For our first installment, we have reunited with three girls we first met four years ago after they had been sold for sex.
Our Alexandra Field has the story.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was once the heart of a dark world, the epicenter of child sex trafficking in Cambodia. Svay Pak, a place where pedophiles came to prey. More than four years ago, while filming the CNN Freedom Project's documentary, every day in Cambodia, we met three girls sold into the system by their mothers.
Their parents have since expressed remorse for their actions. Ku's mother had sold her virginity and then kept selling her for sex to pay her family's debt.
(Inaudible) story was the same.
FIELD: It happened to her when she was 14. The children we met then are women now. They work alongside other survivors in a factory run by anti-trafficking nonprofit Agape International Missions, or AIM, the organization that rescued all three girls. They earn their own money by their own hands. Their lives are better and they're even stronger.
What did you hope would happen from telling your story?
FIELD: At the trial, investigators say Toha (Ph) had been raped 198 times in 22 days. A number so shocking, that AIM is now using 22 to raise awareness about sex trafficking around the world.
FIELD: Are you worried about the young girls, the little girls who live here? Are you afraid that they could be forced to go through what you all lived through?
FIELD: When I asked the women how they feel about the families that betrayed them, Toha (Ph) says she understands.
FIELD: But Ku (Ph) is still angry, and you can see how much she still hurts. She's a mother herself now, to a baby boy. She says she's working here to make sure his future is better than her past.
Alexandra Field, CNN, Svay Pak, Cambodia.
[03:45:02] HOWELL: On Tuesday, the CNN Freedom project will introduce you to an anti-trafficking group that works with police in Cambodia to track down criminals.
FIELD: This is the fight to rescue women and girls, children in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a brothel their front is a coffee, selling coffee. So you have customers who are also downstairs and on the way you also going to see upstairs.
FIELD: (Inaudible) is working with AIM, an anti-human trafficking organization that works alongside police to track down criminals. He's part of the coffee shop operation. It was clear to you that there were children inside there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we knew there was children there. This is an investigation that had been ongoing for about three months.
HOWELL: And now the questions of what they uncover at the coffee shop and what's next for the victims. That story tomorrow, only here on CNN.
HOWELL: British Princes William and Harry are opening up in a way we've never seen before about their mother. In a new documentary, the royal brothers reveal they deeply regret the last conversation they had with their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
[03:50:00] William, who was then 15 years, and Harry, who was just 12 years, neither had any idea that the phone call would be their final call with their mother.
Diana died in a car crash on August 31st of 1997. And now the princes are sharing touching memories of their mother 20 years after her tragic death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HENRY OF WALES: Our mother was a total kid through and through. When everybody says to me, you know, so she was fun? Give us an example. All I can hear is her laugh in my head. And that sort of crazy laugh of whether it was just pure happiness showing on her face.
One of matters she said to me was, be as naughty as you want, just don't get caught. She was one of the naughtiest parents. She would come and watch us play football and, you know, smuggle sweets into our socks. I remember walking back from the football match and having sort of five packets of star bursts. And just the whole shirt was just bulging with sweets and as I was looking to her right at the top box threw all in lock it up.
PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: A couple of memories I have that are particularly funny. Just outside this room where we are now. She organized when I came home from school to have Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell waiting at the top of the stairs.
I was probably a 12 or 13-year-old boy who had posters of them on his wall. And I went bright red and didn't know what to say. And sort of fumbled and I think I pretty much fell down the stairs on the way out. I was completely and utterly sort of awe struck. That's a very funny memory of her loving and embarrassing and sort of being sort of the joker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: "DIANA, OUR MOTHER: HER LIFE AND LEGACY", the documentary airs Monday night on I-TV in the United Kingdom and on HBO here in the United States.
Now let's bring in our royal commentator, Kate Williams, live this hour from our London bureau. Kate, I want to show you something. This just crossed our news desk. And I think you'll find this interesting.
But again, we're getting these new images from Kensington Palace twitter, the Duke and Prince Harry sharing two more family photographs with the late Diana from the Princes of Wales personal photo album. You're seeing it right there. As you see these, again, these images will be featured in the documentary, what are your thoughts?
KATE WILLIAMS, HISTORIAN: Well, these are really very moving insights into the lives of the young princes. There we just saw William and Harry talking so eloquently there about how informal Diana was as a mother, how loving and naughty she was, how naughty she was.
And this real bond between mother and sons, really incredible bond really comes across as any in their words, but also as you say, George, in these new photos that Kensington Palace tweeted out this morning, private photos and the family photo album of William, Harry and Diana and her in happier times, in times when they were all happy together.
And it really underlines what a wonderful mother she was and what a great hole she left when she died in 1997 and left them without a mother.
HOWELL: Kate, one can only imagine what it was like for these two young boys when this happened 20 years ago. The documentary focuses on that final phone call between a mother and her sons, a chat that Harry says will haunt him for the rest of his life. They just want to get away and go back to playing. They didn't realize that that was it.
WILLIAMS: Yes, this is very sad, that William and Harry of course at the time Diana was in Paris, William and Harry were in (Inaudible) with the queen with Prince Charles with their cousins, and they were having a wonderful summer holiday, they're enjoying playing outside with their cousins. And when Diana phoned to speak to them, they really wanted to get back out and play outside again.
So harry spoke very quickly to Diana. William spoke very quickly to her. And they both said how much they regret that now. That if they had known, they would have spoken to her longer. William said I was blase, Harry said it haunts me.
But you really do think how much they're blaming themselves. That's how children are. They want to get out and play outside. They don't want to chat to their parents for hours, especially when they're 12 and 15. So that really shows that they were normal children, and how much they are still blaming themselves for Diana's death and still in pain over it.
This is -- this video reminds us that even though they're incredibly privileged, that children who lose a parent very young, it gives you a wound that is very difficult to experience and get over.
HOWELL: We also get some insight into the actual relationship, when you read between the lines when you listen to what they have to say, you get some insight into the relationship that this mother had with each of her boys.
[03:55:01] WILLIAMS: Well, it's a wonderful relationship. They're talking about how informal she was. We know the royal family is quite formal. Prince Charles can be very, very formal. But Diana was there saying I'm going to take you out in my car we're going to drive around, I'm going to come to the football matches and give you sweet.
That was great when William was saying she was one of the naughtiest parents and that she was always thinking about them. And what is very moving is when Harry said I miss her every day. I missed her hug. I'm a grown man now, but I miss her, I missed her hugs, I miss my mother's love. And it showed what a massive part of their lives she was.
And Diana was a wonderful charity ambassador, a wonderful princess, a great part of the public life. But also to her, her greatest role was her mother. She saw being a mother as her most important role and she was absolutely devoted to those princes. So it was -- it was -- it just shows how heartbreaking it is that they lost her so very young.
HOWELL: The death of Diana 20 years ago, you know, this was very important in the United Kingdom, and quite frankly around the world. But what did it mean for so many people to lose her?
WILLIAMS: It was so affecting. I remember at the time seeing people get off the tube, businessmen getting off the tube in floods of tears carrying bunches of flowers for her. And Harry talks about that. And he said it was very hard for me, because here are all these people who didn't know her in tears, weeping for her, and I couldn't feel the emotion, because he was obviously in shock.
WILLIAMS: And this was a moment of great seismic emotion for Britain, for the whole world in which not only was this young mother, young mother with her whole life ahead of her taken away from -- too young.
WILLIAMS: But also it was -- it affected the whole family's popularity.
HOWELL: It was...
WILLIAMS: It was a difficult time for them.
HOWELL: Definitely, Kate. Many people remember that day. Thank you so much.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
HOWELL: Thank you for being with us. You're watching CNN.
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