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North & South Korea's Top Diplomats Meet; Life In Syria As Ceasefire Holds; Pence Slams Report He's Planning A Presidential Run; U.S. And Russian Diplomats Discuss New Sanctions; Maduro: Today We Beat Terrorism With Bullets; Trump's Popularity in Russia Sinks; Lawmakers Probe Fake News Spread by Russia During Election; Fake News Plaguing Kenya Presidential Campaign; Typhoon Noru Hits Southern Japan; Princess Diana's Private Tapes Air in U.K. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 7, 2017 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:43] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A nuclear free Korean peninsula, it's what everybody wants at the meeting of top diplomats in Manila but the challenge, no clear path of how to get there. We have team coverage of development from the forum. Plus this.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The people here say of course they appreciate the calm since the ceasefire has been put in place but they also say it had almost an immediate impact on life here.


HOWELL: A CNN exclusive reporting from inside Syria as a ceasefire holds there, you'll hear why people are crediting Russia for the new found peace.

And later this hour Princess Diana almost 20 years after her death, a new documentary stirs controversy some welcome learning more others say "It goes too far".

Live from CNN World headquarters in Atlanta welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

Around the world good day to you raining in North Korea that is the big topic of the conference of world leaders that is taking place in Manila. The U.S. pushing for more isolation but others still believes dialogue is the key. One notable meeting did take place at this event, at the top diplomats for both North and South Korea reportedly met face-to-face.

South Korean media say the two foreign ministers spoke briefly at a gala event Sunday at the U.S. Secretary of State also present at the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations but missed that dinner and we'll have more of that in the moment.

New U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang have been a major focus of this event. The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says those sanctions send a very strong message. She says that the whole world wants to see a nuclear free Korean peninsula.

Tillerson said earlier the U.S. was willing to hold talks with North Korea but there are conditions, listen.


REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: A best signal that North Korea could give us that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches. You know we've not had an extended period of time where they have not taken some type of provocative action about launching ballistic missiles.

So I think that would be the first the strongest signal they could send us. It just stops these missile launches.


HOWELL: CNN uncovering the story with our team of correspondence throughout the region our Senior International correspondent Ivan Watson is at the meetings in Manila and Alexandra Field in Seoul, South Korea with reactionary there.

Ivan, we start with you Mr. Tillerson urging regional leaders there to isolate North Korea even more but there is some pushback by those who say more dialogue is the answer here.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean one of the proposals that State Department that state department had issued was for North Korea to be suspended from the Southeast Asian Nations, Asian regional forum.

And that's what the North Korean Foreign Minister is attending here in Manila today along with Secretary of State Tillerson and the South Korean Foreign Minister. And ASEAN, The Association of Southeast Asian Nations they pushback and said no that's not a good idea we rather have - with this Korean crisis we'd rather have some forum for discussion to help deescalate tensions rather than freezing Pyongyang out entirely.

It's noticeable that the U.S. delegation came here with almost a two- pronged approach on the one hand saying they wanted to diplomatically isolate North Korea, which they succeeded in some degree in doing with United Nations security counsel resolution past over the weekend. That blocks North Korean exports of coal and iron and seafood but also indicating that they're willing to talk if North Korea for example stops firing its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Two launches that took place last month that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations issued a statement expressing grave concern about in an unusual move at the start of this gathering here, the ASEAN group is saying that that presents a threat to world peace.

[02:05:05] So again, another sign that the U.S. deligation had some success in pushing other countries here in the region to put additional pressure on North Korea here. HOWELL: Right. Ivan, I also want to talk to you about this brief interaction between North and South Korean foreign minister at a dinner. The U.S. Secretary of State notably absent from that event, some consider that a missed opportunity.

What more can you tell us about that and is there any reaction from either side about this brief encounter?

WATSON: U.S. diplomat say that Rex Tillerson did not attend the gala dinner last night here in Manila because he had to prepare for a whole series of meeting throughout the day here today. But you had several dozen foreign ministers from around the world that did gather at that meeting, among of them of course the North and South Korean foreign ministers.

Now I had managed to catch up with the South Korean Kang Kyung-wha as she was getting in her car to go to the dinner. And I ask her, "Hey, are you planning on meeting with your North Korean counterpart?" And she said she had no plan. But now we're learning from South Korean media that there must have been some kind of interaction. We don't know exactly what or how long it went on and what kind of subject matter the two were able to discuss.

But we definitely saw images of the whole array of diplomats on the stage locking arms, the two ministers were not side-by-side there were a number of people in-between them. But it's notable that the North Korean foreign minister was smiling broadly even though he supposed to be under a fair amount of diplomatic pressure led by the U.S. at this very gathering. George.

HOWELL: Ivan Watson at that forum. Please standby for us as we now crossover to Alexander Field live in Seoul, South Korea.

Alexander so you reported before about the leader of that nation who's made it clear that he wants more dialogue with the north, the two foreign ministers met briefly as we mentioned with the North though at this summit that this the format.

Is there any sense that there could be an opportunity here some sort of a breakthrough at this forum?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that can optimistic idea at this point George. Certainly the whole world will be watching and ears will be perking up to see what happens at forum that put Secretary Tillerson in the same room as the North Korean foreign minister.

And we know the unexpected can happen as Ivan pointed out with that brief encounter between the South Korean Foreign Minister and the North Korean Foreign Minister. Certainly there's a plan contact between Secretary Tillerson and the North Korean Foreign Minister, that just simple not on the agenda.

And as Ivan explains there were even move to keep this foreign minister from this meeting. But you do hear Secretary Tillerson certainly making the case for dialog with those preconditions and that put the U.S. Secretary of State very much in line with the desires of the South Korean government.

As you point out George, you got the administration here that has openly advocated for some months now for dialogue with North Korea even extending an invitation for that dialogue which went unanswered for weeks now. So they're very much inline with any effort that would open up the possibility of dialogue.

But the Secretary of State has been clear laying out preconditions like agreement for denuclearization at the same time he is saying that the sanctioned can be use to achieve that. He hopes that these sanctions will lead North Korea to choose a different path that could then open up the possibility for dialogue.

HOWELL: And Alexander as you point out it would be interesting to see what happens with Mr. Tillerson in the same room as the North Korean Foreign Minister. We'll have to wait and see optimistic surely but would be significant if there were to be some sort of interaction.

Ivan, switching back over to you now another big meeting took place on the sidelines of Mr. Tillerson and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov at this meeting it comes a time when relations between these two nations is at a low point of following U.S. sanctions.

Mr. Tillerson had this to say about the meeting. We can talk about it here on the other side.


TILLERSON: Russian meddling in the elections is -- was certainly a serious incident. We talk about it in the discussion we had with Minister Lavrov yesterday. And trying to help them understand just how serious this is incident have been and how seriously the damage the relationship between the U.S. and the American people and the Russian people that this had created serious mistrust between our two countries. And that we simply have to find someway to deal with that.


HOWELL: So Ivan clearly we've been covering the interaction here in United States and Washington these various investigation that are underway. And the fallout from that and also been reporting about the reaction in Russia.

The two nations at low but these two leaders Mr. Lavrov and Tillerson have a working relationship.

[02:10:10] WATSON: They do and the State Department have said that this gather ASEAN would be an opportunity for the two diplomat to try to work, show signs of cooperation in some areas while enormous differences remain in other areas like this election meddling.

And specifically the U.S. diplomats pointed out that North Korea was one area where the two governments can work together. And we saw that with Russia also supporting this United Nations Security Council resolution slapping new sanctions on Pyongyang. Other areas the Civil War in Syria and counterterrorism efforts as well but notable that after Sunday's meeting between two diplomats Tillerson address Russia's recent decision to suspend and basically end the employment of more than 700 staff workers at U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia.

Tillerson saying, "Hey, I'm going to need some more time to come up with the response for that and I should have that for you by September first. And of course also notable that he brought up the election meddling and said it was serious incident. Something that his own president, President Trump has been low or very uncomfortable referring to directly actually blaming Congress recently for the deterioration.

HOWELL: I believe we just lost Ivan Watson there but again when Ivan Watson reporting for us from Manila and Alexander Field was with us in Seoul, South Korea. We appreciate the reporting from you both. And we'll stay in touch as this forum continues and is underway.

Now moving on to U.S. politics, the vice president of United States Mike Pence is pushing back against the New York Times reports that he may be considering at 2020 role for president run for president. Their reports said that Pence would plan to run if President Donald Trump doesn't seek a second term.

CNN Athena Jones has this for us.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back hard on this New York Times story taking the unusual step of putting out an official White House statement on White House letterhead to refute the story.

In that statement the vice president calls the story disgraceful, offensive, categorically false, laughable and absurd. Two Pence aids have also push back against the story on Twitter. His spokesman and his chief of staff, his chief of staff was mentioned in the New York Times article, both of them calling the story fake knew.

And White House counsel Kellyanne Conway called the piece a complete fabrication on ABC's this week, watch.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT: It is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020 for reelection as vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So no concern he's setting up a shadow campaign.

CONWAY: And he's also getting ready for 2018. Zero concern, that is complete fiction, that is complete fabrication and I know that his advisors who had common distributed to them has pushed back very strongly and says the vice president and as migrate now unequivocally.

Vice President Pence is a very loyal, very dutiful, but also incredibly effective vice president, active President with this president.


JONES: And very loyal is the operative phrase there. Kellyanne Conway, the Vice President and others want to make it very, very clear that the vice president has no design President Trump's job in 2020. And it's important to note that President has made it clear himself that he plans to run again, that he hopes to be a two-term president.

He filed paper work to do so, very early in his presidency and his already held more than half a dozen campaign rallies to run again on 2020. That is why we're seeing a such strong push back from White House officials on this story.

Athena Jones, CNN Bridgewater, New Jersey

HOWELL: Athena, thanks. Let's have (ph) contacts now from Lanhee Chen. He is the research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Standford University and former Public Policy Director for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

It's a pleasure to have you here with us from Mountain View, California on the show. Let's start with this news of the vice president, what do you make of that story in the New York Times itself and also what you make of the pushback?

LANHEE CHEN, FORMER MITT ROMNEY PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR: Well, obviously the push back comes from folks who are very concerned that there are may be some impression that there is a developing field for 2020. There may be other Republicans who were considering running against a sitting president, that's a kind of unusual obviously.

There's a situation in the United States where the President usually controls the party that he comes from. And so, it be unusual to have somebody running against him obviously through there are others in the party whether it's Vice President Pence or may be some sitting United States senators or maybe even some governors who are thinking about potential vulnerabilities down the road and are thinking about positioning themselves appropriately for 2020.

[02:15:05] So, this intrigue that we seize all entirely consistent with the presidency that had, have doubts.

HOWELL: It's a bit more about that. So behind close doors multiple Republican officials. They tell CNN that there is a reality of what you could describe as Plan B option. You know those who see Mr. Trump is vulnerable as point who wants to keep their options opened by continuing to fundraise.

Is there a sense that the campaigning, the fundraising needs to continue just given what's happening here?

CHEN: If it is to continue, I'd ask to continue very much surreptitiously that's the continue under the surface because one of the worst things that anybody who is seriously considering a run against the President could do is to really pop their head out there and to appear officially as they're campaigning for the nomination of the Republican Party.

I think that would be very damaging politically, both to the president but also to the person who is potentially trying to run, so to the extent this activity is happening. Yes, I expect it will continue and yes I expect that we'll continue in secret.

HOWELL: Lanhee, so all of these happening, the timing comes into play because in the background there is the Mueller investigation, the newest revelation of a second grand jury that's been in paneled and subpoenas.

CHEN: Right. Well, that certainly is absolutely in the background here. And that adds to the uncertainty in terms of where the Mueller investigation is going. You know one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that this investigation is going to be done quickly.

If you look at past similar investigation, they have tended to go on for a very long period of time. I don't expect that we'll see resolution from the Mueller investigation anytime soon. So obviously discontinues in the backdrop to the extent that it gets more serious, to the extent the President himself is directly implicated.

I would expect that you would see more political activity happening both in the Republican and Democratic aside in terms of people thinking about the next election. But really the next big water that have been here that we know is coming is that 2018 congressional election, which will certainly have an impact depending on how well the Republicans do on President Trump's political fortunes.

HOWELL: Lanhee Chen and Mountain View, California with insight today and perspective. We always appreciate you here on the show. Thank you.

CHEN: Thank you.

HOWELL: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

And still ahead this hour Israel follows up on its accusation against Al Jazeera with plan for the network and its supports. Al Jazeera's response as NEWSROOM continues.


HOWELL: Al Jazeera is denouncing Israel's decision to shut the network out of that country. Israel's communication minister announce a plan to pull Al Jazeera broadcast from local cable and satellite providers after accusing it of inciting violence.


[02:20:00] AYOUB KARA, ISRAEL COMMUNICATION MINISTER (through translator): I'm going to ask the government press office to demand that the press credential of Al Jazeera TV journalist working in Israel be revoke.

The security of our citizens and their well-being proceeds freedom of speech in times of terror. The freedom of speech is not the freedom to incite, democracy has boundaries as well. When it comes down to the question what precedes what, I have no doubt. I'd prefer citizens and soldiers alive in Israel.


HOWELL: Al Jazeera denies the accusation saying "It finds the justifications made by the Minister of Communications as odd and biased as they are in unison with the actions carried out by a number of Arab countries Saudi Arabia, UA, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan that have closed the network's bureaus, shut down it's cable and satellite transmission and blocked its websites and applications."

Moving now to Syria, there is calm from now in Southwestern town there as ceasefire holds. The United States and Russia brokered a truce agreement for several areas and Syria but some local and government troops are giving Moscow all the credit for that piece.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has this exclusive report, a look at life in the town of Quneitra.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): It was one of the most violent battlefields in Syria, Syrian army video shows fighting between government forces and rebelled in Quneitra right on on Israel's doorstep.

But now there's a ceasefire, tanks are part, soldiers relaxed.

The fighting has significantly decreased since the ceasefire this officer tells me, you totally noticed that. We don't hear shelling anymore but sometimes groups like the Nusra Front break the troops. Nusra is not part of the agreement. If they start shooting we have to retaliate.

This is the frontline right in the heart of town, while both the U.S. and Russia brokered this truth the Syrian government troops feel it's Russia that has the upper hand.

Russia has helped a lot he says they made the groundwork for the ceasefire. They have the most power.

Quneitra is one of three areas in Syria where the U.S. and Russia negotiated truces between government and opposition forces.

(on camera): The people here say of course they appreciate the calm since the ceasefire has been put in place but they also say it had almost an immediate impact on life here, with more people venturing out and many businesses opening their doors once again.

(voice-over): Allow (ph) on the battlefield means more commotion at the barbershop where Hadi Al Assad (ph) works and many soldiers and towns people now come to get a trim.

We want this to be solved for good, he says. We just want our lives to be the way they were before. Farming is also ramping up again, Nezar Alsayyad (ph) spend hours in the blazing sun threshing wheat, while he recommends both Russia and America for brokering truce, his grateful only to Moscow.

America would have wanted to solve this. They could have done it a long a time ago, he says. Russia is working hard, they are strong allies.

From post on Golan Heights, Israel is observing things with growing on ease. The Israel fear the ceasefire could allow its arch-enemies Iran and Hezbollah supporters of Assad government to move forces into this area.

But at the moment the people in this town aren't worried about speaker, a Middle Eastern security concern. They're just enjoying the calm while it lasts.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Quneitra, Syria.


HOWELL: In Venezuela police and protesters faced off. The confrontation taking place near military base in the town of Valencia on Sunday, that was after official say they stop what they claim was a terrorist attack of the paramilitary nature -- I should saw on the base.

President Nicolas Maduro says his government will not be defeated.


NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): A week ago we won with votes and today we had to beat terrorism with bullets.


HOWELL: President Maduro says they were 10 attackers and that two of them were killed.

CNN's Leyla Santiago has more now from Caracas.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The government is calling this a terrorist paramilitary style attack. They've said they had several people in custody and they're actively searching for others. And believe even seen the stronger military present on this troops.

Now this revoke came shortly after a video was posted online by a group of uniformed men saying that this was a legitimate rebellion that they wanted to reestablished constitutional order in Venezuela.

[02:25:08] According to the government these were all civilians except for one person involve in this group. And the government also claims that this group was backed by outside influences specifically naming Columbia and Miami.

And this come on the same day that they now ousted Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz has spoken out yet again. She's been a very vocal critic of the government even though she once supported President Maduro. She is now saying that his actions are illegal or not legitimate.

And she claims that she is still the attorney general of Venezuela despite who the new constituent assembly may have named as her replacement. Remember this new constituent assembly is very controversial. It is expected to rewrite the constitution and could give President Maduro extended power.

The new position assembly has already said that it will establish a truth commission. One that the president says was put in place today and will move forward with getting to the bottom of the political and react of violence that has played out on the street of Venezuela.

But many in the opposition, the critics fear who that commission will target next.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Caracas.

HOWELL: Leyla, thank you for the reports.

Still to come here on NEWSROOM, Kenya's presidential election is suffering from fake news. What Facebook is doing to warn voters before they go to the polls?

Around the world you're watching NEWSROOM.


HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

The foreign minister and North and South Korea meet face-to-face in the Philippines Sunday, this according to South Korean media. They're in Manila for meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN as it better known.

New U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang have been a major focus of that event. Also in Manila, Russia's say that it's foreign minister warn the U.S. secretary of state. The Washington new sanction on Moscow are "Unfriendly and dangerous."

Sergey Lavrov also told Rex Tillerson, U.S. military preparation are escalating tensions with North Korea. Israel is moving to shutdown Al Jazeera's operation in the county accusing the network of inciting violence. Israel communication minister announce plans to revoke the media credentials of Al Jezeera reporters close its Jerusalem bureau and poll broadcast from local providers? Al Jazeera has denounced that move.

[02:30:08] In Russia, there was an optimism when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and that -- it's relationship with the U.S. would improve. But those hopes have faded with Congress and President Trump approving new sanctions amid Russian election meddling in an investigation that's underway.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has more for us.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The champagne flowed freely on inauguration night. Russian adoration for President Donald Trump on display. Trump was given fawning press converge.


LIEBERMANN: A favor he returned.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia? Wouldn't that be -- wouldn't that be nice?


LIEBERMANN: In Trump, Russia saw someone whose world view aligned with their own. Seven months later, the Trump-Putin bromance has come to an end. And with it, the Russian love for the American president. His approval rating sliding.



LIEBERMANN: The leading weekly talk shows saying Donald Trump shot himself in the leg, started limping, and lost a good chunk of his powers. Now they see a weak president, a Congress suffering from what they call Russophobia hysteria, and an expanding Russia investigation the Kremlin calls absurd and groundless.

(on camera): What do you think of President Donald Trump?

"I don't think things have changed with Trump in office. Of course, we expected there would be changes for good," this woman says. "He gave us some sort of hope, but I think nothing has changed."

"My opinion of him has changed a bit," says this woman. "There's little hope now that our relations will get better. He behaves more like a business man, not like a president."

Trump's signing of the sanctions bill hitting Russia's energy, finance sectors dispelled any notion of the two countries getting along any time soon.

The anger playing out, where else, but on Twitter. Trump tweeting, "Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us health care."

Trump's frustration against Congress seen as submission in Russia. The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tweeting, "The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way."

Trump and Putin have avoided criticizing each other directly. But hasn't saved the American president's image in Russia, not portrayed as impotent and weak, a very different image of Putin on holiday in southern Siberian, seizing the moment. The president proudly bearing his own popularity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Putin is the best friend of the world.

LIEBERMANN: Oren Liebermann, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: The investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election is focusing, among other things, on the spread of fake news. Now lawmakers are looking at how fake new spreads on Facebook and who was involved.

Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, has this story.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's no question, according to the FBI, that Russia used fake news to try to influence the 2016 election.

UNIDENTIFIED FBI AGENT: They also push fake news and propaganda. And they used online amplifiers to spread the information to as many people as possible.

GRIFFIN: What Democratic congressional investigators want to know is whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to spread false information about Hillary Clinton through Facebook.


GRIFFIN: Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has traveled to Facebook headquarters in California. While he won't discuss specifics of the meeting, he tells CNN he wants to know whether the Trump campaign helped Russians to target fake news to specific Facebook users.

WARNER: I'd like to look into the activities of the Trump digital campaign. I will point out this, Facebook, which basically denied any responsibility around our elections, by the time the French elections took place this spring, they took down 30,000 fake sites.

GRIFFIN: Fake sites spreading fake news, mostly negative about Hillary Clinton. The Democratic theory? Somehow, the Trump campaign and Russians colluded to do it.

(on camera): Go ahead and tell me what we see right here.

(voice-over): This is why it matters. Look at this program that tracks social media. You can clearly see the explosion of completely fabricated stories, fake news, in the months just before November's election.

GABRIELE BOLAND, CONTENT STRATEGIST, NEWSWHIP: In the fall, it just became so much of a problem.

GRIFFIN: Gabriele Boland, content strategist with NewsWhip, a social media analytics firm, says fake news spiked astronomically in the months before the election, mostly fabricated stories about Hillary Clinton or Democrats, with headlines like "Donald Trump protester speaks out: I was paid $3500 to protest Trump's rally." The story is from a fake news site made to appear like the real ABC News. It was created by Paul Warner, who told CNN he writes fake news to make money, but that did not stop his completely fake story from spreading through conservative media.

And there's this story, "FBI agent suspected in Hillary e-mail leaks found dead in an apparent murder-suicide." This story was 100 percent made up, released on a made-up news site called the "Denver Guardian." Nothing about it was true. The author admitted that to CNN. Yet, it had nearly 570,000 shares, likes or comments on Facebook and published four days before the election.

The questions Democrats want answered are, how did fake stories from fake websites become so popular so quickly, and did someone pay to boost fake news.

[02:35:49] ANNOUCER: Decades of lies, coverups, and scandals.

GRIFFIN: Facebook was a massive part of the Trump campaign's online advertising efforts.

CARTOON CHARACTER: I went to Wall Street --

GRIFFIN: 95 percent of Trump's fundraising ads were placed on the platform, according to campaign officials.

(on camera): But the Trump campaign flatly denied any Russian collusion whatsoever. And, though, not appearing on camera, the Trump campaign official who oversaw all of the Trump campaign's digital advertising, is going on record at CNN to say it simply didn't happen.


GRIFFIN: Gary Coby, the former director of advertising for the Republican National Committee and the Trump for President campaign told CNN by phone, "We'd never put money behind someone else's Facebook page or source." And added, "We did not back anyone's Hillary's stories, had nothing to do with fake Hillary stories, or any Hillary stories that weren't our own."


GRIFFIN: Brad Parscale, a lead contractor on Trump's digital campaign, has also denied involvement with Russia. Parscale has been called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee to swear to that under oath.

Facebook has done its own internal review and has reported it did find malicious actors with fake accounts spreading misinformation during the campaign, but said in a statement to CNN, "We've been in touch with a number of government officials, including Senator Warner, who are looking into the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We'll continue to cooperate with the officials as their investigations continues. As we said, we've seen no evidence Russian actors bought ads on Facebook in connection with the election."

Drew Griffin, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Drew, thank you.

On a similar theme, in the East African nation of Kenya, as voters go to the poll on Tuesday to elect their next president, their choice may be tougher than in the past because, this time, they are also being bombarded by fake news. These are phony stories that were doctored up to look like legitimate news stories.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo shows us how the technique is being used in Kenya, including fake reports that are made to look like they're from CNN, but they're not.



FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at this slickly produced news bulletin. At first glance, it appears to be a CNN report. But it's not. It is fake. The bogus report cuts from a legitimate CNN Philippines broadcast --

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: News just in from Kenya.

SEVENZO: -- to a fake voice-over segment that falsely claims one candidate is leading over the other in a recent poll.

(on camera): And as the elections get closer, fake news is increasingly being used as a campaign tool, targeting news organizations and NGOs. It's a sinister and, frankly, desperate attempt to sway the voters.

(voice-over): The BBC's "Focus on Africa" program was also manipulated last week, edited to include the same false poll as the one in the CNN fake report.

The problem is so bad, that Facebook has put out ads in national newspapers and on its site with tips on how to spot false news.

Both CNN and the BBC called out the reports as fake, warning viewers to be careful. But it's a worrying trend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a video that has come to you on your mobile phone on WhatsApp or on Telegram. So you have no option but to watch it. So you cannot go back to CNN to try and verify that video. So you'll have to depend on fact-checkers or depend on CNN to put out a statement or the BBC to say, no, that's not us.

SEVENZO: And it's not just news organizations being targeted. This doctored "Transparency International" report appeared on social media, accusing an opposition politician of corruption. The Dutch ambassador to Kenya called them out. And "Transparency Kenya" issued this statement denouncing the use of their name and logo to, quote, "spread propaganda for seemingly political mileage."

It's sometimes not easy to spot fakes, especially when they're distributed on social media that's not easily traceable.

Alphonze (ph) tells us voters must be vigilant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always try to verify. If you see something online or you see anything as a text message on your Facebook account, if it's even a leaflet or a picture, try to verify, is it even real.

SEVENZO: And if you're trying to spot bogus CNN news reports, remember, if it's not on our official channels, website or social platforms, it may well be fake.


[02:40:33] HOWELL: Joining us now live from Kenya's capitol, Farai Sevenzo.

A very interesting and insightful report, Farai.

Here's the question though, are Kenyans buying into this fake news? How will it affect their voting intentions?

SEVENZO: That's a very good question, indeed, George. The thing is, in Kenya, people vote along their ethnic affiliations. If someone happens to be Kue (ph), he will go for Kenyatta. If someone happens to be Lur (ph), he will go for Mr. Odinga. And there are 42 different tribes. A 43, I beg your pardon, and a 44th has just been added, and that's the Asian population.

Will fake news effect their voting intentions? That's a really hard call to make. But, certainly, they do share this. This is the way it affects it. Where if someone sends off this video, which is purported to be from CNN, to the village, and the people in the village see it, they will be happy to know what they were going to vote has been reinforced because their man has the numbers. In that respect, it does affect how they intend to vote. But, in other words, we haven't seen how many people have watched that video.

HOWELL: The challenge, a lot of times, Farai, when people see something online, they see it the first time, that's the first impression they make, they get an emotion either way. And many times, people don't go back to check or to read to confirm whether that is accurate news. It is a difficult problem that's plaguing, quite frankly, around the world, people and governments. FARAI: Yes.

HOWELL: Here's the other question. No less than 24 hours before the polls open, what is the mood like there before this election?

FARAI: George, my team and I, we came to our bureau this morning. Usually, Nairobi is packed with people. Sometimes we risk our lives trying to negotiate incredible traffic that happens in Nairobi. But the streets are deserted. The mood is very apprehensive. We don't know whether people are leaving in such droves because they fear what might happen, come tomorrow or the day after the results are announced, or whether they are going out to their ancestral lands to where they have registered to vote. There's been an overwhelming plea for peace. I popped into a church here today to catch the mood, and everything is about peace. The priests, everybody is saying the same thing -- George?

HOWELL: Farai Sevenzo, on top of this story. We'll stay in touch with you as we find out the result of this election.

Thank you for your reporting today.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, Typhoon Noru has slammed southern Japan with strong wind gusts and heavy rains. Ahead, the very latest on this storm as it moves north over the country. Stay with us.

Stay with us on CNN NEWSROOM.


[02:45:12] HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. Typhoon Noru is weakening as it slowly moves north towards central Japan. At least two people have been killed in the southwest of the nation. Authorities have notified more than 180,000 homes to evacuate. They're concerned now about potential flooding and landslides.

Our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is following the story, this storm, at the International Weather Center -- Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: George, I think some of the heaviest rainfall is still yet to fall from this storm system. The reason I say that is it's moving in towards a very mountainous area. And we're talking about some of these areas picking up half a meter of rainfall or greater, upwards of 600 millimeters -- which, by the way, is what London gets in an entire -- we've seen just since Saturday and Sunday across this region of southern Japan.

The storm system itself is still there. It's still equivalent to a category 1 storm as it pushes in towards the eastern coast of Japan. So partial interaction with water and land will keep the storm system organized for another 10 to 12 hours. Then this will begin to fall apart. But this has been a historic storm all over when you look back at when it formed some 18 days ago in the latter portion of July. And 14 consecutive days now where it's retained at let a category 1 status as a typhoon. So we're talking about the second-longest living typhoon in recorded history, dating back to some 50 summers ago when this occurred back with Typhoon Opal. That was across this region.

But this storm will gradually weaken. We think it will be a tropical storm by this time tomorrow as it interacts with the Japanese alps. Those mountains will do a great job in shredding the storm apart. And that is when we see significant weakening. But at the same time, they will squeeze all the moisture out of the clouds as well. So if you're tuned in from Osaka across areas of the areas of Tokyo, work your way to Tosaka (ph), we're talking at least 40 to 50 millimeters in the major metro areas. While into the other regions south of Tokyo, we could see upwards of 150 millimeters of rainfall in the next couple of days.

Here's what's going on across portions of the Atlantic. We're watching an area of disturbance. Low probability for this. Franklin has already formed. Are friends in Mexico, also parts of Belize as well, concerned about this because not only has tropical storm warnings been issued with this, but this storm is expected to strengthen, make an initial landfall south of Cancun, Mexico, very much a tourist destination this time of year, and then cross the bay. George, this could potentially impact the eastern coast of Mexico. So Mexico could get struck twice with this storm. And we'll follow this as the week progresses.

HOWELL: Pedram, we'll, of course, keep an eye on that.

Thank you so much.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

HOWELL: Private tapes of Princess Diana aired in the United Kingdom on Sunday, angering those who say her candid conversations shouldn't be made public. Why one journalist says his opinion changed after watching that documentary.


HOWELL: Protests from family and friends of Princess Diana were not enough to keep a controversial documentary from airing in the United Kingdom. "Diana, In Her Own Words," shows her speaking candidly about her upbringing, her courtship with Prince Charles, and the collapse of their marriage. Many say those tapes should have stayed private but broadcaster Channel 4 aired them to mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.

CNN's Max Foster has this story



[02:50:07] MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These were supposed to be her private moments. Diana, Princes of Wales rehearsing with her voice coach, relaxed, her guard down, sharing some of her most intimate thoughts.

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: (INAUDIBLE) FOSTER: The tapes, recorded by her voice coach, Peter Settelen, in 1992 and 1993, at Kensington Palace, and never before seen in the U.K. A part of the Channel 4 documentary, "Diana, In Her Own Words."

But they're also a source of great controversy, with family and friends saying the airing of these moments in Britain amount to a betrayal.

The tapes were first discovered in 2001 at the home of the former butler, Paul Burrell. He, too, is speaking out against the broadcast.

BURRELL: It's almost like reading her diary. That's wrong. That shouldn't be. It can only upset Prince William and Prince Harry. I understand it's a source of new information, but I think it's a step too far.

FOSTER: Marcus Rutherford, attorney for Settelen, defended the release of the recordings in a statement saying, "He was not her priest, doctor, therapist or lawyer."

Channel 4 says it made the decision to broadcast them as they're important to the historical record, saying, quote, "We careful considered all the material used in the documentary. And though the recordings were made in private, the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story."

In the tapes, some of which have already aired as part of a U.S. documentary in 2004, Diana talks openly about her marriage to Prince Charles.

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: Before we got married, I was brought up to think when you marry someone, you love them.

FOSTER: Diana speaks freely on the recordings about their dull sex life and hints about the prince having an affair with Camilla Parker- Bowles. She also candidly reveals her attempt to get the queen's help concerning the marriage difficulties.

The royal family has declined to comment on the recordings.

Almost 20 years have passed since her death on August 31, 1997, but no matter which side of the controversy surrounding the release of the documentary people may fall, one thing is clear, the Diana in these videos is so very vibrant, her essence so real, it's almost impossible not to be taken back to the time when her every move seemed to captivate the world.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Max Foster, thank you for the report.

Now let's bring in Sandro Monetti, in Los Angeles. Sandro is a film and entertainment journalist, who covered the death of Princess Diana in the United Kingdom.

Thank you for being with us today.

So this documentary, specifically these clips, aired for the first time in the United Kingdom and touched on some very personal topics. "Princess Diana, In Her Own Words," speaking candidly on a variety of topics, from her marriage to Prince Charles, their sex life, to his mistress's divorce, and the issue of bulimia.

I want to play one clip from this documentary where Princess Diana spoke about Prince Charles and his questions about love. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And, I suppose, in love?


PRINCE CHARLES: Whatever in love means?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- these two very happy people.




DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: Thank you very much.

PRINCE CHARLES: Thank you. Very kind.

DIANA, PRINCES OF WALES: And we were at a cottage on the day we announced our engagement. And this ridiculous news man said, are you in love. What a sick question. So I said, yes, of course we are. I was. Charles said, whatever does love mean, and that threw me completely. I thought, what a strange question.




HOWELL: Sandro, so, again, this is Princess Diana, comfortable, speaking candidly in what she believed to be a private setting about some very intimate details. Some say, as you heard from one critic in Max Foster's report, it's like reading her diary. Others say it provides valuable insight.

What impact do you believe it has had so far on people who watched it?

SANDRO MONETTI, FILM & ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: It's clearly incredibly controversial, especially so in the leadup to it. But now we've seen the documentary, it's incredibly moving. Diana, over the last 20 years, has existed only in memories and in photographs. But to see her talking so emotionally, so much vulnerability there, serves to remind us why we fell in love with her in the first place. So, yes, I think myself and other people have changed our minds about this, having seen the footage.

[02:55:05] HOWELL: So the documentary coming out at a time when Diana's sons have opened up about their mother, does this in any way undermine, undercut what they've already shared about their mother publicly?

MONETTI: It's part of the legacy of Diana that they have opened up emotions. For so long, the British royal family, and to a large extent, the British public was about hiding your emotions in public. Princess Diana was the first royal in history to have been publicly seen crying. I think it's a great step in direction and a great tribute to her as a mother that she was able to teach her children to express their emotions in public, because that has been something missing from the royal family for a long time. The fact that Diana did it then, and we're reminded of her in this new footage now, shows us that, yes, it's about time there was more emotion in the royal family.

HOWELL: The reaction seems to vary. You say you like what you saw. It gave you a lot more insight into her relationships. Others, they didn't like it. Others said it went too far. That some things are better left unsaid.

Talk to us about the blowback of what we're hearing from people who watched this documentary, on either side? What are you seeing and hearing online?

MONETTI: Well, I'm sure that the royal family wouldn't like it. And certainly, reactions online. Remember after Diana's death how there was so much negativity towards the royal family? That stirred that up all again. Because people can see Diana here wearing her heart on her sleeve and exposing how it really was. It's like she's talking from beyond the grace, to say, look, I just wanted to be loved. I wasn't. This is a very negative portrayal of the royal family. Yes, it stirred up a hornet's nest.

HOWELL: It is a controversial documentary. Again, a lot of people watched it and the reaction varies.

Sandro Monetti, thank you so much for your insight today from Los Angeles. We appreciate it.

MONETTI: Thank you.

HOWELL: And thank you for being with us.

Stay with us. We bring in our U.S. viewers to CNN NEWSROOM worldwide right after the break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [03:00:07] HOWELL: A high-level meeting takes place between North and South Korea just as the U.S. secretary of state lays out conditions for talks --