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North Korea to Retaliate Against Tough Sanctions; Trump's Approval Rating Continues to Decline; Google Engineer Intimidated With Women at the Workplace; Top White House Advisers Laying out Plan to Fight War in Afghanistan. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 8, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Outrage from North Korea, vowing revenge for new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

And in South Africa, a vote in parliament will soon decide the political fate of the embattled and controversial president.

Plus, sexism in Silicon Valley. A Google engineer's memo declares women biologically unsuited for tech jobs.

Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Tough new sanctions do not seem to be persuading North Korea to stop its nuclear provocations. Pyongyang is even threatening to make the U.S., quote, "pay dearly for drafting the resolution," which the U.N. Security Council passed unanimously.

North Korea says the U.S. is desperate to bring the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war, and that under no circumstances would the regime negotiate its nuclear weapons. The new sanctions could cut North Korea's annual export revenue by a third.

Well, a top U.S. diplomat is expected to urge Thailand to enforce the sanctions against North Korea. U.S. officials say Pyongyang uses Thailand as a platform for elicit activities. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Bangkok after a urging Asian ministers gathered in the Philippines to isolate North Korea even more.

CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now from Seoul. So Alexandra, past sanctions have not had much impact on North Korea's nuclear program. Why should these new sanctions be any different? And what role will China likely play going forward?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It will have to be a key role. Look, Rosemary, as you point out, we've had six previous rounds of U.N. sanction, and they left the world with ultimately two ICBM tests last month and five different nuclear tests from North Korea.

So, it's a big question. What does another round of sanctions accomplish even if the administration in the U.S. is touting these as the toughest sanctions ever against North Korea, a gut punch to North Korea as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley described them.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the region. He has been trying to communicate with his counterparts in the region how to effectively enforce and carry out those sanctions.

But as you point out, a lion's share of the burden will fall to China that is something China is acknowledging. Beijing is saying that they will pay the biggest price for these sanctions given the economic relationship between China and North Korea. But they say that they are prepared to fully enforce these sanctions, and they have even said that these sanctions are necessary.

Of course, it was some work to get China to sign on to these sanctions. They did that after President Donald Trump signed a bill in the U.S. that expands the president's authority to sanction Chinese banks and other entities doing illegal business with North Korea.

So certainly the U.S. has ramped up pressure on Beijing to work with the U.S. to try and rein in North Korea. And you do now again saying have Beijing defending the sanctions calling them necessary for peace and for global security. But firmly underscoring the position that they always take, which is

that dialogue is necessary, and the dialogue is the only way forward when it comes to resolving the mounting crisis on the peninsula, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, it may very well be the key. But whether it happens, that's a question, isn't it? Of course these new sanctions as we pointed out appear to be having the opposite effect on North Korea than originally planned. It's vowing to stick with its nuclear program and even threatened to retaliate. So what does happen now?

FIELD: Right. The response is not unexpected from North Korea. This is the kind of rhetoric that they use. I don't think that anyone was surprised to see that Pyongyang would vow some kind of retaliation for what they see as a provocation. They have called this a violent violation of their sovereignty with regard to the sanction.

So certainly this is the kind of response that the U.S. Was likely prepared for. Many are waiting to see when the next missile launch will be. That's the kind of provocation that people in the U.S. might expect to see in return for the sanctions.

China has urged North Korea to respond in a calm way. That certainly wasn't the message that was being delivered by North Korean officials since these sanctions have been handed down. They have responded in saying they won't barter with their nuclear program. They see it as key to survival for the regime, key to their self-defense, protection from the U.S. as they see it.

And previously, you had heard the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson kicking the door open for dialogue, but saying that it would come with a major precondition, which would be an agreement from North Korea to relinquish its pursuit of its nuclear program.

[03:04:59] In recent days in the last day or so, you have heard Secretary Tillerson since the sanctions were leveled sort of inch it back maybe a little bit or at least suggest to North Korea that they could show a willingness for dialogue if they were to take a major step like just stopping these missile launches.

He was asked how long they might have to stop the missile launches by a reporter in order for the U.S. to be open to dialogue. And he said that there wasn't really a set period of time, but that the U.S. would know it when they saw it. So, no easy answer on this, Rosemary. Clearly two sides that are very, very far apart here.

CHURCH: No easy answer now, and now easy answer in the past. Alexandra Field bringing us all the details on these developments from Seoul in South Korea where it's just after four in the afternoon. Many thanks.

Well, President Trump seems to think the media are ignoring the U.N.'s sanctions on North Korea. Right in the middle of not one, but two CNN segments about North Korea, Mr. Trump tweeted this. "The fake news media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15 to zero vote in favor of sanctions in North Korea."

Well, CNN covered the vote extensively in fact throughout the weekend. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was a guest on CNN shortly after the vote, and portions of that interview replayed throughout the weekend.

Well, new CNN polling shows President Trump is losing ground with American voters. Thirty eight percent say they approve of the job he is doing as president. Fifty six percent disapprove. Those are the worst six-month numbers for any U.S. president in the modern era.

Trust seems to be a major factor. Only 24 percent say they trust most of what they hear from the White House. Seventy three percent say they do not. Pretty incredible numbers there.

And for more on all this, we want to bring in Leslie Vinjamuri, she is a senior lecturer in international relations at SOAS University of London. Great to have you on the show, as always.


CHURCH: Let's start with the CNN poll. Six months into the Trump presidency, his a approval rating has dipped to 38 percent, and only a quarter of Americans trust most or everything coming out of the White House. What's driving this falling approval and trust, and how bad could this get for Donald Trump do you think?

VINJAMURI: These are remarkably low approval ratings. They've been low for some time. They've gotten worse over time. And of course another thing that is very significant about these numbers is that the percentage of voters who strongly disapprove of the president is much greater than those who strongly approve, which suggests that shifting these numbers will be very difficult for the president. The recent -- the recent failure of Congress to repeal and replace the

Affordable Care Act, and I think the general tenor of that debate has probably led to some of these diminished numbers for the president seem to be one of his key legislative efforts. It's what he wanted to accomplish has failed.

But really, the fact that the republicans didn't support the president, that Senator McCain, who's got a tremendous amount of respect cast that vote against efforts to repeal and replace will have mattered a lot to many of those voters that Donald Trump has cared most about.

Remember, that the other thing in these numbers that we're seeing is that those white voters who do not have a college education, that was really core to Donald Trump's voting base. Even those numbers have come down very significantly.

So he is losing not only generally amongst those who voted for him, but some of those people who he thinks are most important to him. Inequality in America remains very strong, despite the fact that the economy is in a good place and the stock market is in a good place. Eight percent of Americans own 80 percent of all stock.

So Donald Trump saying the economy is strong doesn't mean that the actual situation of those that he is saying he cares most about is actually changing.

And the proposal that he is putting forward to actually deal to create jobs, nothing has really come through. Now dysfunction in the White House I'm sure has had a very significant effect on how people feel about the capacity of the president and his team to make change happen.

And the trust. The numbers on trust are really very disconcerting. And again, I think this comes out of the fact that the messages have been so mixed that there is a sense of dysfunctionality, that Congress doesn't seem to be backing the president anymore. And that there is just nothing very positive coming out.

CHURCH: All right. Yes. And amid the declining approval and widespread mistrust, Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back on that New York Times article that suggests he may be considering a 2020 presidential run. Did he protest too much here? Or is there nothing to this, do you think?

[03:10:02] VINJAMURI: Well, the vice president is never going to come out at this point and say that he is considering a run. I'm sure that there is a lot of discussion behind closed doors within the White House, within the Republican Party from many chambers on what to do as we approach the midterm elections and the next presidential election.


CHURCH: But they're only six months in. Why would they be be doing this so early do, you think?


CHURCH: Why would this discussion be taking place at this juncture?

VINJAMURI: Well for the very obvious reason that there is so much dysfunction that the numbers are coming down, that things are very difficult. That it's very unclear that this president will have the support of the Republican Party. But again, the vice president is not going to come out and confirm this kind of story at this point.

CHURCH: All right. Leslie Vinjamuri, pleasure to chat with you. Thank you so much.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

CHURCH: One Midwestern U.S. city is pushing back against the Justice Department. Coming up, the fight over sanctuary cities.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have two kids. I'm working in this country. I support the economy of this country. And I pay in my taxes. I'm a man of God. I'm a man of faith. I'm a pastor. I never commit any crime in this country.


CHURCH: No criminal record yet he is under arrest. Why this man says he is praying for a miracle under the new U.S. immigration crackdown.

Plus, a president fighting for his political life. Jacob Zuma faces a vote that could change South Africa amid growing public concern over his leadership. We're back in just a moment.






NOE CARIAS, PASTOR, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD: I love my family. I love this country. I love my church.

LAH: Carias is the Evangelical pastor for this Los Angeles church. Last week he went to his ICE check-in and never came out. The Guatemalan native crossed illegally in the 1990s and was working to fix his immigration status. He has no other criminal record. So for the past three years ICE allowed Carias to stay.

CARIAS: I'm a man of God. I'm man of faith. I'm a pastor. I never commit any crime in country. LAH: What do you say to the people that say you came here illegally?

CARIAS: I have two kids. I'm working in this country. I support the economy of this country and I'm paying my taxes.

LAH: So if they're going to do this to you, what does this say about the other 11 million undocumented people in this country?

CARIAS: That's a single they want to remove every people do good things and right things in the United States of America.

LAH: The pastor's arrest comes as part of the Trump administration's policy shift on immigration. ICE guidelines now state officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens.

Arrests of undocumented immigrants with no other criminal convictions are up 50 percent as compared to last year.

In a statement, ICE says Carias assumed multiple identities and nationalities to evade immigration enforcement. They add carias was removed from the U.S. three times and his actions established a pattern of misrepresentation or deception to law enforcement.

At the pastor's home, his 5 and 6-year-old children struggle to understand that government policy in their life.

VICTORIA CARIAS, NOE CARIA'S WIFE: He has been here long enough. He has done nothing wrong. We should get this chance, opportunity to make things right.

LAH: To the president, she pleads.

V. CARIAS: He has grandchildren and they hurt the same as mine. Please do have mercy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not political. This is about my faith. And it's about the family.

[03:19:57] LAH: These ministers leading churches across California say white Evangelicals are turning a blind eye when it comes to immigration, even as their faith sees a surge in Latinos. Eighty percent of white Evangelicals voted for Trump.

ZACHARY HOOVER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, L.A. VOICE PICO NATIONAL NETWORK: Today you have a choice. And we need you to choose to stand with us.

LAH: Are white Evangelicals doing enough?

HOOVER: No. No, it's not enough. It's not enough until this stops. That's when it's enough. It's not enough until we aren't sitting here talking about a pastor sitting however many miles it is here from here in a terrible detention center.

CARIAS: I love my wife. I love my two kids. And hopefully we're going to be -- soon we're going to be together. LAH: ICE calls Pastor Carias a repeat immigration violator. They say

in the 1990s he also didn't tell them the truth that he was from Guatemala, but rather that he was from Mexico.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: In Kenya right now, millions of voters are picking their country's president and parliament. There have been long lines since the polls opened just a few hours ago. Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second and final term as president.

But to get it has to fend off seven challengers, including a longtime rival Raila Odinga. Both candidates have focused their campaigns on promises to improve the economy, East Africa's largest, to boost jobs and fight corruption.

Well, meanwhile, in South Africa, corruption allegations are part of what led to today's scheduled no-confidence vote in the country's parliament. It's by secret ballot and if it passes, President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet will be forced to step down.

CNN's David McKenzie is standing by for us in the capital Cape town. He joins us now. So David, what's being said in South Africa about the likely outcome of this no-confidence vote?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Rosemary, South Africa is on the edge of its seat, because this is a momentous political day in South Africa. A surprise to many that the speaker calls for this secret ballot in the no-confidence vote, which will be happening just in a matter of hours in parliament behind me. There are thousands of protesters scheduled to move on to this point in the coming hours. And really, this is the biggest test yet for an embattled president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corruption in this country is demoralizing our country.

MCKENZIE: Sampiwi Madau (Ph) lives and breathes the ANC. Like his father before him.

You're whole life, you've been an ANC supporter.


MCKENZIE: And you will remain an ANC supporter?


MCKENZIE: But these are strange times for the party of Nelson Mandela. Should President Jacob Zuma step down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's my view. I think our president must step down for the good of the country.

MCKENZIE: South Africa's president seems out of step with many in his own party, a politician in survival mode. Facing anger and sustained protests from the people.

President Zuma faces more than 700 counts of alleged corruption. He used public money to fund his private homestead, and the highest court in land says that he didn't uphold his oath of office. The list of scandals is long.

SUSAN COMRIE, JOURNALIST, AMABHUNGANE: They've really managed to infiltrate and capture sort of every part of the state.

MCKENZIE: And the list is getting longer. A new throve of more than 200,000 leaked e-mails suggesting alleged corruption with tens of millions of dollars between the Gupta family, wealthy Indian expats with vast business interest in South Africa and cabinet members, state owned industry bosses, even members of Zuma's immediate family.

COMRIE: He hasn't answered those allegations.

MCKENZIE: The Gupta's called the leaks fake news, and Zuma has long denied any corruption. But the South African journalists uncovering the e-mails are now facing sustained harassment.

COMRIE: Once you start digging and you start investigating, you don't really know where it's going to end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a new beginning.

MCKENZIE: The official opposition sees an opening, calling for another vote of no confidence against Zuma in parliament.

MMUSI ALOYSIAS MAIMANE, LEADER, DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE: Jacob zuma is a corrupt individual. He has lost the interests of South Africa and more than anyone. He has acted in a treasonous manner by selling off the republic for private use.

MCKENZIE: And can you do it? Can you get him out?

MAIMANE: Absolutely.

MCKENZIE: Many here say they want a new beginning. For the liberation party of South Africa to focus on the people's problems, not the politics of patronage.


MCKENZIE: Well, only a few ANC members of parliament have come out publicly to say they will support the notion of no confidence. But the opposition, if they get to around 50 to 60 of those votes in their favor, you could see the president of South Africa stepping down later today. Rosemary?

[03:25:07] CHURCH: Incredible. And David, if President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet are forced to step down, then what? Who will run the country? And what will be done about these corruption allegations?

MCKENZIE: Well, certainly that is a big question. If he gets voted out, the cabinet gets dissolved, he has to step down. The speaker will become an interim president for around a month, and then they'll have to vote in a new parliament and president.

Now some analysts say it's still a long shot that the ANC even in a secret ballot will turn their back on their president. But members of the opposition say they have the numbers. The whole of South Africa will be looking at this. And as you say, should he get turf out, then there is the question will those corruption allegations and those charges accelerate against the president and his allies. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Extraordinary developments there in South Africa. Our David McKenzie joining us there live where it is nearly 9.30 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, North Korea remains defiant, even after facing the toughest sanctions ever over its nuclear program. Now Pyongyang is threatening to retaliate against the United States.

Plus, the U.S. considers a controversial new plan for fighting the war in Afghanistan. How it would impact American troops in the region. We'll take a look when we come back.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

[03:29:59] I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. A new CNN poll shows U.S. President Donald Trump with an historically low approving -- approval rating. Only 38 percent approve of the way Mr. Trump is handling his job. Fifty-six percent disapprove. Nearly three out of four people say they don't trust information coming from the White House.

North Korea is defiant in the face of tough new sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council. Pyongyang says the U.S. is desperate to bring the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. North Korea also says under no circumstances would the regime negotiate its nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the top U.S. diplomat is urging Asian leaders to enforce the sanctions against North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Thailand, which North Korea is said to use as a platform, Tillerson met with Asian ministers gathered in the Philippines.

Well, the U.S. pressure campaign on North Korea comes amid a very delicate nuclear standoff. Our Brian Todd has more now from Washington.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Kim Jong-un, biting insults. His regime referring to the U.S. as, quote, "gangsters," and a threat from one of his news anchors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): there is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean.

TODD: Kim's regime is lashing out at the U.S. for pushing through a tough new round of economic sanctions from the United Nations against Pyongyang, choking off North Korea's coal, iron and other exports. After leading that charge, Ambassador Nikki Haley talked even tougher on CNN.

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We're prepared to do whatever it takes to defend ourselves and to defend our allies. We have tried to say multiple times that all options are on the table.

TODD: Among those options, so-called preventative war according to President Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster. But at the same time, the president's chief diplomat signals a potential opening.

REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: The best signal that North Korea could give us that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches.

TODD: That appears to inch back from America's long held stance that the U.S. would only negotiate with North Korea if Pyongyang abandons its nuclear program.

ABRAHAM DENMARK, FMR. UNITED STATES DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR EAST ASIA: I think it makes sense to have that negotiation and to allow for those conditions to have. The challenge, though, from what we've seen is that North Korea is not giving us any indication that they're actually interested in talking to us right now.


TODD: Analyst says the hard line from one side of Trump's administration with a softer approach from the other is a carrot and stick tactic to get North Korea's dictator to stop acting so aggressively.

PATRICK CRONIN, SENIOR ADVISOR, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: You can see the dual track, defense and hard line coercive pressure on the one hand and diplomacy and engagement on the other hand. We're trying to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

TODD: But experts say that could be a risky move, depending on how Kim Jong-un reads it.

DENMARK: For our adversaries they may see that the United States is uncoordinated, doesn't have a plan and is not really committed to this issue.

For allies, they may see what the United States doesn't really have a plan, is not necessarily committed to this, and may act in ways that they would not be comfortable with.

TODD: The concern now is that all this diplomatic jockeying at such a critical moment might leave Kim Jong-un or President Trump or one of America's allies in the region to miscalculate, to take a certain signal the wrong way and possibly launch a military action that would make these tensions spiral out of control.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump is said to be frustrated with the war in Afghanistan. And the debate over what to do next is dividing his administration. Now one of the president's top strategists is pitching a plan to privatize parts of the war.

CNN's Barbara Starr explains.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: A military plan for Afghanistan has been delayed for months amid sharp disagreements in the White House between the president's top advisers.

TILLERSON: We've had now three sessions within the National Security Council exploring a full range of options. When I say a full range of options, I mean the entire landscape.

STARR: The president's chief strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly seeking the advice of Erik Prince, the controversial former head of the now disbanded contractor firm Blackwater. Prince's plan, use military contractors instead of U.S. troops for a variety of unspecified missions in Afghanistan.

While leading Blackwater, Prince's mercenary force was criticized for how it dealt with civilians in Iraq. Several former employees were convicted in a 2007 incident in Baghdad in which 17 Iraqi civilians were shot and killed.

[03:35:01] One of those contractor's convictions was overturned just last week. The Trump administration defending Prince and his proposal.

SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look at Erik Prince's track record, it's not about bilking the government. It's about the opposite. It's about saving the U.S. taxpayer money. So this is a cost cutting venture. We open the door here at the White House to outside ideas.

STARR: Still, defense officials have long noted that in some operations, contractors are not less expensive than active duty military members who are paid considerably less.

The man leading the fight in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson is arguing for a few thousand more troops to train Afghan forces mainly in addition to the 8400 U.S. troops already there. A plan believed to be backed by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

JOHN NICHOLSON, COMMANDER; RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION AFGHANISTAN: We have a shortfall of a few thousand. And this is in the NATO train adviser's mission. So this can come from the U.S. and its allies.

STARR: Still, Nicholson may not have the full backing of the president, who is thought to be frustrated with Nicholson's command of the Afghanistan war. Something that McMaster denied in an interview with MSNBC.

H.R. MCMASTER, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I've known him for many years. I can't imagine him a more capable commander in any -- in any -- on any mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Secretary Mattis does the president.


STARR: Aviation analysts say all of this could lead to commercial airlines being much more careful about where they fly in Asia.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


CHURCH: And former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince spoke with CNN's Erin Burnett about his plans for contractors in Afghanistan.


ERIK PRINCE, FORMER CEO, BLACKWATER: Imagine them as a skeletal structure that provides leadership, intelligence, medical, communication, and logistics supports so it works reliably.

Second, they need air power. Less than 40 percent of the U.S. provided air power to the Afghan forces still even functions because the maintenance and training have been such a failure. So they need government support. They need mentor support and they need air power, all attaching to the Afghan government.


PRINCE: It doesn't mean -- you guys like to throw the mercenary word around. They're not mercenary.

BURNETT: But then what are they? If they're being paid by the Afghan government or U.S. taxpayers, but they don't work for the Pentagon.

PRINCE: Under the U.N. law -- no, they don't need to. If we want the Afghan eyes this, this is the longest war in American history.

BURNETT: Are they Americans?

PRINCE: They could be Americans. They could be foreign nationals, they could be NATO allies, they could be from the global SAF community of professionals. Most of whom have served in that country already, that have a lot of experience that want to go back.

I mean, I've been in contact with, you know, remember, in the months after 9/11, 100 CIA officers and a couple hundred Special Forces guys backed by air power crushed the Taliban. The more we've gone to a conventional war with a conventional army we have gone backwards, every year since then. They surged up to 140,000 troops. As soon as they pull back, it fails again.

BURNETT: So, I know that you said you wrote an op-ed. Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster, Steve Bannon then reached out to you.

PRINCE: Correct.

BURNETT: And they wanted to hear more?

PRINCE: They wanted to hear more. And then weeks later they said OK, figure out what that actually costs. Give us a comparison. And so rationalizing and going down to a true battalion level mentor program that supports the entire Afghan army, remember, the Afghan Special Forces works.

There is about 17,000 of them because they have been mentored by U.S. Special Forces in exactly the same way I'm recommending. They used to do village stability operations that works really well. Again, it was shut down by conventional army generals.

So mentoring the rest of the Afghan army in that same proven model works. Second, give them some air, give them some governance support so when the battalions orders resupply they get their food, their fuel, their ammunition their parts on time.

That's what you need to keep the Afghan force ace float. All the rest, that goes from $45 billion span this year. Next year the Pentagon needs over $50 billion. More than the entire U.K. defense budget. All that takes you down to less than 10.

BURNETT: Less than 10 is what you say...


PRINCE: Forty billion back to the Pentagon.


PRINCE: So look, there is a lot of people that say just pull out of Afghanistan. I disagree with that because I think the Taliban or ISIS would raise their battle flag over the U.S. embassy in six months or a year. That's bad.

But continuing the same, I would say insanity that we've been doing for the last 16 years has to change. And I think the president is uncomfortable with that level, with that continuing on.

BURNETT: Have you spoken to him?

PRINCE: I have not. BURNETT: Directly about this?


BURNETT: So when you talk about H.R. McMaster the National Security Adviser and Steve Bannon, are you still talking to them about these ideas?

PRINCE: I would say General McMaster does not like this idea because he is a three-star conventional army general. And he is wedded to that idea that the U.S. army is going to solve this. But I think for president, he's got to say after 16 years, when do we -- when do we try something different.


[03:40:00] CHURCH: Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince speaking there with CNN's Erin Burnett.

A Google engineer goes on a rant about diversity at the company, slamming his female coworkers in the process. The fallout, just ahead.

Plus, a British model allegedly kidnapped to be sold online is safely back home. Now the 20-year-old woman is speaking out about her terrifying ordeal. We're back in a moment with that and more.


CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Well, Google's CEO is condemning parts of a controversial anti-diversity memo shared by a male engineer in company. The employee claimed women were not biologically fit for tech jobs because they show high interest in people over things, are too cooperative, are more prone to anxiety, and want work-life balance.

Now that rant may have cost this engineer his job. A company spokesperson has declined to comment on media reports that he has been fired. Here is how Google's CEO responded to the memo, and I'm quoting here, "Our job is to build great products for users that make difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues of traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK."

CNN's Laurie Segall has more.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Obviously this memo he is getting a lot of attention. And I'll say this. I think there is a reason it leaked. So this was posted internally in a Google forum, and it did leak.

I think there is a lot of frustration, other things that this engineer said was, you know, apart from women aren't suited for tech jobs for biological reason, he also went on to say that men have a higher drive for status, that Google's commitment to hire more women was actually bad for competition.

[03:44:59] And he went on the say that the gender pay gap is a myth. So I think there is a lot of frustration. You know, when you kind of pull back the curtain and look at some of these attitudes. I'll tell you this. I have spoken to folks within Google. And one person said obviously we don't feel this way. I don't feel this way. This is jarring.

But, you know, those attitudes do exist. Google's diversity chief actually came forward and she made a statement. I want to read to you, guys. She said "I found this memo had advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. Not a viewpoint that I or this company encourages, endorses or promotes."

Now, you know, Google has done a lot to try to change those diversity numbers. But, you know, at the end of the day, the diversity reports show that they are pretty bad. You have 69 percent of the workforce male employees. Fifty six percent of the workforce white employees.

And a do think there is a bit of frustration. A woman named Erica Baker who is a former Google engineer posted something and then I think encapsulates what a lot of women, especially who have been dealing with a lot of sexism and unconscious bias in Silicon Valley how they're feeling.

What she said is this isn't new behavior, what's new is that this employee felt safe enough to post this in a semi public forum. I think it's going to get a lot of people talking.


CHURCH: All right. Laurie Segall there. And here are a few more numbers to consider. Google says 31 percent of its employees are women. That's across the company. If we break it down to just take employees, the number falls to only 20 percent. Google says that's a 1 percent increase from last year.

And let's take a look at Google's leadership positions. A quarter of those jobs are held by women. Google says that's also a 1 percent increase from 2016.

Al Jazeera says Israel's intention to shut the network down is an attack on independent journalism. Israel announced its plans to close the network's Jerusalem bureau revoke its reporters' credentials and block the broadcast.

The Doha based network promises a legal challenge. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence, a charge the network denies.


JAMAL ELSHAYYAL, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, AL JAZEERA: This is something that we find outrageous that a government which claims to be one of the only democratic ones in existence in the Middle East thinks that in the 21st century it can actually go after journalists and media institutions in order to silence any form of reporting on its actions and its policies that it may not like.


CHURCH: Pop star Taylor Swift is in court this week facing a lawsuit and launching a countersuit over what happened at a photo op.

CNN's Scott McLean has the latest from Denver.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now at the time Taylor Swift says that during a fan meet and greet former Denver radio D.J. David Mueller lifted her dress and grabbed her bare bottom. He denies that ever happened but he did end up losing his job over it. So he is suing her for damages. She turned right around and countersuit claiming assault and battery.

A big part of this trial is going to focus on one single photograph from that meet and greet that shows Mueller's arm around Taylor Swift. But out of picture he says that the picture shows that the skirt is still in place, and there is no way he is doing what she said that he did.

She says that the photo speaks for itself. She says she is quite sure of what happened. Or she is absolutely sure of what happened. In fact, she said in court filings she has never been so sure of anything in her life.


CHURCH: KYGO, the station where Mueller worked as a D.J. is a CNN affiliate. Swift says she will donate any potential monetary awards to organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault.

A British model is speaking out after allegedly being attacked, drugged and held captive for a week in Italy. Police say 20-year-old Chloe Ayling was kidnapped after arriving in Milan. And the suspect may have wanted to sell her online.

Barbie Nadeau has the latest now from Rome.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The young model is back home safe in the U.K. with her family and her young son. But she did speak to reporters outside of her home.

CHLOE AYLING, MODEL: I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour. I'm incredibly grateful to the Italian and U.K. authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release.

NADEAU: Investigators here in Italy are focused on the suspect. They have a 30-year-old Polish man in custody right now. He is the person that delivered this young woman back to the British consulate in Milan after six days in captivity near the French border by Turin.

During that period of time he bragged to her saying he was an expert in sex trafficking, that he had made over 15 million euro selling young women just like herself.

[03:50:06] After the six days, though, he decided to let her go once he realized that she was a mother.

Investigators, though, are wondering if he is really part of this larger sex trafficking organization or if he was perhaps acting alone, fantasizing about being part of a larger organization.

This is Barbie Nadeau for CNN in Rome.


CHURCH: Very disturbing story there. We're going to that take a short break. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: There is no doubt the Donald Trump presidency has provided lots of material for comedians and impersonators have plenty of White House characters to play with.

Here is Jeanne Moos with all of that.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They came, they were seen, they were impersonated. From spicy.

MELISSA MCCARTHY, IMPERSONATOR: This is soapy water, and I'm watching that filthy lion mouth.

MOOS: To Scaramucci.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. I frigging love you!

MOOS: And we hate to see you go. Faces are changing so fast in the Trump administration that fresh impersonators are needed. So when this happens.

STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF POLICY ADVISOR: Jim, Jim, Jim, I appreciate your speech.

MOOS: There is someone to do this.

[03:55:01] PAULY SHORE, COMEDIAN: Jim, I love your little speech and all.

MOOS: Comedian Pauly Shore said he needed to watch the exchange between Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller and CNN's Jim Acosta only three times to mimic it.

SHORE: I don't know. I felt what he was feeling. Condescending and Mr. Know it all.

Look at me directly in my forehead and tell me I'm not lying.

MOOS: Though CNN contributor Ana Navarro tweeted "Pee-wee Herman has got to be Stephen Miller," the point isn't just to create a mirror image, but to distort it for comedic purposes.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Wrong, wrong, wrong.

MOOS: Comedian Fortune Feimster seems right portray Sarah Huckabee Sanders, reading letters at the White House briefing.

FORTUNE FEIMSTER, COMEDIAN: My name is Dylan Harbin, but everybody calls me pickle.

This is one is from a real little boy called cucumber.

MOOS: Feimster calls on her southern roots to nail Sanders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And do you feel like you're lying all the time?


MOOS: But even old impersonators are new again. Bill Maher used Reggie Brown to demonstrate that the conservatives would go nuts if President Trump's words came out of Barack Obama's mouth.

REGGIE BROWN, IMPERSONATOR: I'm speaking with myself. Number one, because I have a very good brain.

MOOS: These days, imitation is the sincerest form of mockery.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

BROWN: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.

MOOS: New York.


CHURCH: So much material. Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter. I would love to hear from you.

Early Start is next for our viewers here in the U.S. For everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London.

Have yourselves a great day.