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Sources: North Korea Likely Has Missile Ready Nuclear Warheads; Credibility Crisis: Polling Shows Lack Of Public Trust; Jacob Zuma Survives No Confidence Vote; Trump: Fire and Fury if North Korea Continue Threats; Police: No Collusion in British Model Kidnapping; Rising Tensions and Chaos in Mediterranean; Google Engineer Behind Viral Memo Fired. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 8, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the program. I'm Hala Gorani.

We begin this hour with breaking news out of North Korea and new intelligence that shows a nuclear threat from Pyongyang could be even more

immediate than we thought. CNN sources say U.S. intelligence analysts have assessed that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

Now the warhead is designed for delivery by one of those intercontinental ballistic missile, the same missile that the North has recently been

testing. You see some of their range there on the map.

The American president, by the way, Donald Trump is on vacation, but he is going to make comments at another event, perhaps he'll mention North Korea.

He is about to hold a roundtable discussion on the opioid epidemic in the U.S. at his New Jersey golf club.

If he talks about North Korea, we will cut live to that and bring you up to date. I want to cross now to Bruce Klingner. He is a senior research

fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation. He was the CIA's deputy division chief for Korea from '96 to 2001.

So, you've been able, Bruce, to read these reports. CNN is reporting that analysts have assessed but not definitively concluded that North Korea has

miniaturized a warhead that could fit into an ICBM. What do you make of that?

BRUCE KLINGNER, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I am surprised that people are surprised. When I was at the intelligence

community in 1999, we worked on classified national intelligence estimate that predicted North Korea would be able to threaten the United States --

the continental U.S. with a nuclear weapon by the year 2015.

We may have been off a few years, but certainly it is not a surprise, and we've seen statements by U.S. officials in the past that have said they

believe the warhead has been miniaturized for the medium-range ballistic missile, which can threaten Japan and South Korea.

And then we've had four US four-star generals saying they assume or have to assume for planning purposes that North Korea already has the capability to

hit the continental U.S. with a nuclear weapon. A lot of other outside experts say they are not there.

GORANI: But there is a different obviously between assuming and knowing and concluding definitely and that could come in the following weeks or

months, whatever the time line is that North Korea indeed can weaponize a long-range missile. That changes everything.

KLINGER: Right. But we may not know exactly where they are on a path, but we know what path they are on. So, what we've seen particularly the last

two years is a lot of cases of people being surprised because they underestimated North Korea's capabilities.

In the 90s, parts of the intelligence community underestimated or dismissed the plutonium weapons program. In the George Bush administration, people

dismissed the uranium program, and then in 2007, some people dismiss the attack by Israel was on a Syrian reactor built by the North Koreans.

So, there's been this tendency over the years to downplay the North Korean threat until you can no longer refute the evidence.

GORANI: And by the way, what we are seeing now on our screen is the July 28th ICBM test, the one that landed so close to Japan. Obviously very

worrying for the region. And there was that report that it in fact flew quite close to an Air France passenger jet.

There you see the range from where that missile was launched to where eventually it landed in the Sea of Japan. It traveled a thousand

kilometers. What happens now, Bruce?

KLINGER: Well, in that test launch, it was flown to an unusually high trajectory that had it been flown at a normal trajectory towards the United

States experts are saying it could reach 10,000 or 11,000 kilometers.

And as you showed on the map before that certainly Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago and perhaps also New York and Washington D.C. So, you know, again,

North Korea's the most -- it was -- we referred to as the hardest of the hard targets within the intelligence community.

It's hard to get information so you make your best assessment, and it may be a range of dates or range of a number of nuclear weapons, but we should

not be surprised if North Korea is continuing to develop these capabilities and that whatever the date they achieve them, you know, we know that is

their objective.

GORANI: So, the question now is how do you slow this down? Obviously, the region does not want North Korea to continue down this path, no Western

country wants it either.

Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N. had this to say about China's potential role. Let's listen.


[15:05:05] NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: China stepped up and not only said they were going to vote for this. They

announced that they were going to enforce and they encouraged every other country to enforce. So, this was serious.

You have to remember that for China, the last missile launch took place right next to their border. Their ground actually shook. The Chinese

people felt it. They know this is serious.


GORANI: OK. Next, Nikki Haley, Bruce, saying China knows it's serious. Do you agree with her?

KLINGER: I think China knows it's serious. They do not like what North Korea has been doing well, but they have been very reluctant to impose

pressure on North Korea. They turned a blind eye to proliferation occurring on their soil.

They turned a blind to illicit activities occurring by Chinese entities in China that are helping North Korea. So, President Trump criticizes China

for not doing enough to implement required U.N. sanctions, which is true.

But the U.S. is also -- can also do things that even this administration is still pulling U.S. punches on enforcing U.S. law. We should be imposing

secondary sanctions on Chinese violators of U.S. law. That would --

GORANI: But sanctions haven't work. I mean, if you look even let's go back to the Obama administration's strategic patience and sanctions.

That's been the recipe for years. It hasn't worked. Why continue down that path?

KLINGER: I would say weak implementation of sanctions has not worked. Certainly, negotiations have not. We've had eight international agreements

that all failed. We've had two party, three party, four party, six-party talks. They all failed.

When President Obama claimed during his ministration that North Korea was the most heavily sanctioned, the most cut off nation on earth, he was flat-

out wrong. We had up until last year we had sanctioned more Zimbabwean entities, than we had sanctioned North Korea.

GORANI: Bruce Klinger, thanks very much joining us there live with reaction to the breaking news of the Heritage Foundation. Thanks for your

analysis. We appreciate it.

Let's go to New Jersey where President Trump is expected to speak anytime now. As I mentioned that he is at another event altogether discussing the

opioid epidemic in America, but were waiting to see if he responds to the news about North Korea.

But he certainly hasn't tweeted about North Korea. He's tweeted attacks against the "Washington Post" and the "New York Times" as we were learning

about this developing story.

Now this will be his first appearance before the cameras since he began a working holiday at one of his golf resorts. Today's events as I mentioned

focused on opioids, an epidemic that is a big issue in some communities in America.

CNN White House reporter, Kaitlan Collins, joins us now live from Bedminster, New Jersey with the very latest. We saw as I mentioned to our

viewers, Kaitlan, tweets attacking the "Washington Post," and not tweets responding to the report that North Korea may have miniaturized a nuclear

warhead that could fit in a missile that could the continental United States from the president?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. That's exactly right. We are about to see the president any minute now. This is his first public

event that he's had since he arrived here in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday.

They are letting a small group of reporters into the golf club for this full spray is what we are calling for the opioid event where he will be

with the health and human services secretary, Tom Price, today.

Now everyone is waiting to see if the president would declare the opioid crisis a national emergency like his commission recommended he do so last

week, but now with this new reporting from the "Washington Post," everyone will be waiting for the president to comment on it.

As you said, he tweeted twice since this news has come out that they have these nuclear missile -- nuclear-ready missiles, but he hasn't tweeted

about that instead he has tweeted out the media's coverage of a meeting that Bill Clinton had with Loretta Lynch and the poll numbers that came out


That did not reflect well on the president. He was saying that they are fake news suppressions polls. But he did not tweet about this news, about

North Korea. So, we'll be waiting. We have not heard anything else on the White House on this front so far.

GORANI: All right. Kaitlan Collins, thanks very much reporting from New Jersey. President Trump has many challenges on his plate today. He's also

facing a growing credibility crisis.

New CNN polling indicates a majority of Americans do not trust most of what they hear from the White House and that includes almost half of all


Let's bring in White House reporter, Stephen Collinson. We are also joined by Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of

Virginia. So, Stephen, those are really not good numbers for the president. We will get to the North Korea crisis in a moment.

But the one I found interesting, Stephen, is that among Republicans. The Republicans who strongly approve of Donald Trump in February, 73 percent

strongly approved. In March, 69 percent strongly approved. Now, 59 percent. The trajectory is clear, Stephen.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That is right, Hala. And I think that's one of the reasons why you've seen the White House in recent

days go out of its way to try and bolster the president's standing among his political base.

[15:10:02] You saw that rally in West Virginia, you'll remember last week, Trump has repeatedly tweeting that his bases actually a lot stronger than

news organizations say it is.

But that is the big danger, the big danger for Donald Trump is that is there is any erosion of his core supporters, those people that have been

with him all along and there is some evidence in polls, the CNN poll and another poll by Quinnipiac University last week that suggested that white

non-college-educated voters are also starting to perhaps hemorrhage a little bit away from Donald Trump.

Those are real danger signs politically because that is the place where he has always been able to call upon support, and given his political strategy

which is not to widen his political base to reach out to those who agree with him, any sort of erosion of that supporters are dangerous political

sign for the president.

GORANI: And Larry, historically, Bill Clinton is the president who had similar approval numbers at this point in his presidency for his first

term. He went on to serve as second term. It's possible to recover obviously.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Of course, it's possible to recover, but there are a couple of big

differences. Bill Clinton actually had a honeymoon. Donald Trump has never had a honeymoon.

The remarkable thing about the polling concerning President Trump is while he has declined among Republicans and independents and even a little bit

among Democrats, he has been steadily low all across the board from January on.

You can argue convincingly that there is not any single day in the Trump presidency where he's been above 50 percent. By contrast, Bill Clinton had

some very good months and years and he started to recover after the Republicans took over Congress in 1994.

GORANI: Larry, I've got ask you, over the last six months, we've talked a lot about Donald Trump and one of the things you say often is he hasn't

faced a real crisis yet. If it turns out that this is confirmed that intelligence analysts can assess definitely that North Korea has

miniaturized a nuclear warhead that could fit into a ballistic missile that could reach the United States. This is crisis mode for the president.

What should we be looking out for?

SABATO: Well, it certainly is crisis mode if all this is confirmed, and we've all said from the beginning, what would happen when a president's

cool head is needed to handle a major crisis? Would Donald Trump who appears so un-presidential in so many other ways, would he be able to

handle this?

Well, no one knows the answer. When presidents handle a crisis wall, they go up as President Clinton did with the Oklahoma City bombing, as President

George W. Bush did with 9/11. Can Trump do that or is he going to fumble it and therefore solidify his low ratings?

GORANI: And Stephen, he tweeted after the news was out attacking the "Washington Post" and the "New York Times" so that was raised -- raised

many eyebrows, but earlier what he did was tweet this, "After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed

by North Korea. We must be tough and decisive." What should be -- what should we expect there?

COLLINSON: Well, I think you can give the administration some credits in amassing that range of sanctions that passed through the weekend and

getting China on board for the first time to respond to a ballistic missile test with sanctions, to ICBM missile tests with sanctions.

But does not mean that the crisis itself is getting any easier and as today's news has shown that window for decision for the United States and

for Trump specifically to decide what to do about North Korea appears to be quickly narrowing.

We are getting very close to the moment when the president has to face a really unpalatable choice that's been moving for many years for U.S.

presidents, but he is going to be the guy that's in possession of the job when it happens.

Does he sit by and accept that North Korea has the means to deliver nuclear weapons to the shores and the mainland of the United States or does he try

to do something about it?

Despite the fact that all the options that he has to do something about it, especially militarily, a very unpalatable and could lead to a much wider

conflict. So as Larry was saying, this is the moment of the crisis -- this is the moment when presidential credibility should be at its most


GORANI: But you need your team in place and all on the same page, right, Larry? I mean, you have -- it appears that two camps are emerging here

between the Bannon and Steven Miller camp and then you have the Rex Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster camp. I mean, is everyone on the same page

enough to come up with a coherent foreign policy that is going to produce the results that the U.S. wants?

SABATO: Well, Hala, they haven't been on the same page yet. In fact, sometimes just within a day, you will have three or four of these Trump

staffers producing different answers to the same question on North Korea.

[15:15:10] So, they are not on the same page. They are going to quickly have to get on the same page. As Stephen said, this is a defining moment

for his presidency and he is either going to shine or he isn't.

GORANI: All right. We'll see if he tweets more attacks on the press. In the meantime, we are following, by the way, an event in Bedminster on the

opioid epidemic. We'll see if he makes comments on North Korea. Larry Sabato, Stephen Collinson, thanks so much to both of you.

A lot more to come this evening, a tale of two African democracies in South Africa's scandal ridden president, Jacob Zuma survives a vote of no

confidence. What he had to say to his supporters and to his critics.

Plus, the polls are closed in Kenya and the ballots are being counted in a tight presidential race. CNN speaks to voters about their hopes for the



GORANI: Welcome back. Eight years in office, eight votes of no-confidence and hundreds of corruption allegations, but South Africa's President Jacob

Zuma has survived them all.

Cheers broke out in the South African parliament today and the man dubbed the "Teflon president" survived yet another attempt to remove him from

office. Today's ballot was held in secret, but Mr. Zuma's African National Congress Party stuck with their leader. After the vote, he thanked his



JACOB ZUMA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: (Inaudible) the support from the members you've been supporting. You came in the numbers to demonstrate

that the ANC is there, powerful, (inaudible) is difficult to defeat the enemy.


GORANI: CNN's David McKenzie is in Capetown, South Africa, where parliament took the vote. So, the secret ballot -- so there was a chance

perhaps that some in his own party would vote against him, clearly they stuck with their leader.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they did stick with their leader, but a significant portion, Hala, did move across aisle and

vote for that motion of no-confidence, perhaps as many as 30. ANC MPs turning their back on President Zuma and that is highly significant.

While he did survive, he is survived bruised and embattled and it's certainly not the end of the story. Thousands of people coming to

parliament also calling for Jacob Zuma to go.

The winds of change, political change in South Africa are certainly blowing. Jacob Zuma was defiant as you showed there, but Hala, certainly

that he will face increasing pressure from South Africans I think to exit the political stage.

[15:20:10] But he survived before and you know, many will say he will survive again -- Hala.

GORANI: So, what are his plans then for the future if he is feeling the pressure, even from within his own party and from the streets if there are


MCKENZIE: Well, certainly, the plans of the opposition on their front, they will be happy with this vote I think even though they did not get

through their vote of no confidence, they will believe that they've shown the fishes within the ruling ANC.

And they will be pushing even harder in the coming days to find other avenues to potentially get him out. President Zuma will face the fact that

very few of the ANC MPs slated for that debate actually even mentioned his name or defended him or his reputation.

They really just went into procedures and said this was an attempted palace coup, but wasn't a full-throated defense of President Jacob Zuma. I think

he will feel embattled, but certainly emboldened that he won yet another political round.

GORANI: All right. We'll see whether even some of his own party have plans of their own for the future. David McKenzie, thanks very much.

David is live in Capetown, South Africa.

Meanwhile, another one of Africa's wealthiest nations is waiting to learn what its political future will hold. Ballots are now being counted in

Kenya's hotly contested presidential election.

One of these two men will be Kenya's next leader, on the left of your screen, current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, on the right his challenger,

Raila Odinga. He is a former prime minister who is making a fourth run for the presidency.

Could it be his day, time? Presidential election 10 years ago you'll remember sparked widespread violence in Kenya. However, today's process

was peaceful and filled with a sense of pride.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo has been speaking to voters. What have they been telling you, Farai?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, it was an incredible thing to witness. I mean, sometimes where the democracy kicks in and it works and

you see cheers of people around the block and you wonder why are they doing this? Why on earth are they voting?

That's what we were trying to understand from the voters who queued all morning to cast their vote in this momentous president election. This is

what they told us.


SEVENZO (voice-over): The 23-year-old Susan Mukami (ph) is voting for the first time. One by one she drops her votes into the boxes and then marking

in purple ink on her little finger, proof she's voted.

SUSAN MUKAMI, VOTER: It won't change. We want leaders that are going (inaudible) that's why we are here. We are here since (inaudible). Some

of us were since (inaudible) so we want to (inaudible).

SEVENZO: At this polling station in Nairobi, people gathered early.

(on camera): What time did you get up in the morning?


SEVENZO: By five. Are you looking forward to the votes? What do you think will happen tomorrow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will see the results.

SEVENZO: You will the results. You sir, are you looking forward to the votes?


SEVENZO: What time did you get up in the morning?


SEVENZO: By five. (Inaudible) extremely early.

(on camera): It was a similar picture across the country as Kenyans cast their votes at over 40,000 polling stations. Kenya's electoral commission,

the IEBC, says some opened late, but they compensated for the lost time.

They also reported technical glitches, but they say the issues were minor and quickly resolved. There were reports of skirmishes at some polling

stations like this one in Nairobi.

But when CNN stopped by, it was orderly and relaxed. Election monitors were deployed across Kenya including 130 from the European Union.

MANETJE SCHANAKE, E.U. CHIEF MONITOR: I think scars from the past have underlined the importance of democracy and peaceful coexistence. I think

it is a very welcome step to see wide and diverse participation in these elections and I really hope that the rights of all Kenyans will prove to

have been respected.

SEVENZO: The main (inaudible) for president is between these two men, the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta and his long-time rival, opposition leader, Raila

Odinga, they too cast their votes in this tight race. And as the count begins, Kenyans wait to find out who it will be.


SEVENZO: As you can see, a very exuberant crowd, people wanted to cast their vote, to get their voices heard, Hala, and incredibly a lot of

international voices trying to tell them the one message that everyone has been repeating peace, we need peace in Kenya.

We will find out in the next 24 hours or so how much that message has come across to them -- Hala.

GORANI: And what about the results, when are they expected?

SEVENZO: That's really an interesting question because in the last elections, Kenya has waited like 48 hours to get their results, but in this

election, they are coming in thick and fast.

[15:25:05] At the moment we know that a quarter of the polling stations and they are 40,883 of them have already declared. We do not feel comfortable

telling you those results at the moment.

But they are coming in, and they are coming in fast, but tomorrow, I will be able to tell you just exactly who is Kenya's next president.

GORANI: All right. We'll talk then. Thanks very much, Farai Sevenzo reporting live from Kenya.

Coming up, much more on our breaking news about the North Korean nuclear threat. We'll have details of a troubling new intelligence assessment in a

live report from Seoul.

Plus, Italian police tried to quell a controversial theory in the case of a British model, who says she was drugged and stuffed into a suitcase. I

spoke to her lawyer who tells me why he thinks she's telling the truth. Stay with us.


GORANI: All right. We're going to go to New Jersey for President Trump's first public remarks since he began a long holiday on the North Korean

development today. Let's listen in.


GORANI: So we missed the first part of that sentence, he said, North Korea better not make any more threats to the United States, I'm paraphrasing

what he said, that it would be met with fire and fury is what the president said there.

Perhaps we could rerack their what he said with regards to North Korea especially the developments today that there has been an intelligence

assessment that North Korea has been able to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that could fit into a much longer-range missile that it tested on July 28th

for the second time in intercontinental ballistic missile.

And the range of that missile if it flies really as far as it can could potentially reach portions of the continental United States. Certainly, it

is a huge threat to the neighbors of North Korea, South Korea, Japan, other parts of that Asian region.

So, as I mentioned there, the president is on a working vacation as he called it, that is the range of the North Korean missile. And he said

essentially that any threat to the United States would be met with fire and fury.

A short statement there by the president as his first reaction to these reports. Will Ripley joins me now with perspective from Beijing. He

traveled to North Korea back in June.

So, we know that now and Nikki Haley we heard from her, the American ambassador to the U.N. saying China is on board. They realized how serious

this is. I mean, what is China's strategy here?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I expect in the coming hours, Hala, we will hear the Chinese government although they do not

normally respond to provocative rhetoric from President Trump.

But to hear the U.S. president threatened fire and fury like the world has never seen. Given that North Korea has threatened to unleash fire and fury

on the United States in the form of a nuclear attack, China will urge all sides to remain calm, as they often do when there is an escalation on the

Korean Peninsula.

[15:30:00] Because, keep in mind, China really thinks that the United States shares the blame for ratcheting up the tensions because of the

ongoing joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.

North Korea sees those happening just miles from their border. They then feel completely justified in developing their ballistic missile program.

What China would like to see is for both sides to suspend their military activities and then come to the bargaining table. But both North Korea and

the United States had basically refused to do that, pointing to the actions of the other as justification for their own.

And so that's where we get to what China is willing to do, which is enforce this new round of U.N. sanctions, round seven, intended to cut a billion

dollars from North Korean exports, roughly a third of the income that they generate from selling their key revenue money makers -- iron, coal, seafood

exports -- and also further restricting their access to international banks and financial institutions.

But, Hala, you've seen North Korea has been able to work around sanctions for so many years.


RIPLEY: Sanctions also take a long time to take effect, and analysts do believe North Korea will have that ICBM in a matter of months, a reliable


GORANI: Now, you visited North Korea 13 times, I believe, and your last trip was in June. So you're familiar now with how officials there and the

regime there would react to a statement like the one we just heard Donald Trump make, that he would react with fire and fury if North Korea keeps

threatening the United States. What do you think the reaction of North Korea would be to a statement like that?

RIPLEY: Well, they will respond with a fiery statement of their own because this plays right into the North Korean narrative that they tell

their citizens from the time they're born, that the United States is preparing for the next Korean War.

North Korea teaches its citizens that the United States actually started the war, even though every other outside historian has the other version of

events that it was, in fact, the North that invaded the South, trying to retake it after it was divided. Much like Germany at the end of World War


But North Koreans are told they have to train and prepare. Most North Koreans serve a time in the military. Certainly, pretty much all North

Korean young men serve up to 10 years of compulsory service. And so you have a nation with military training being told that the United States is

preparing to attack.

And now you have a quote from the U.S. President that North Korea can undoubtedly broadcast in its state media, that President Trump of the

United States is threatening to rain fire and fury down on North Korea, which they will then use as justification for spending a considerable

amount of their resources developing these weapons that are quite expensive for a country that is as impoverished as North Korea.

But citizens have been told they have to be prepared for financial hardship even if it means going without things like food and electricity and other

comforts because their country is telling them that their national sovereignty is under attack.

So this kind of rhetoric just plays right in to the North Korean narrative. And I -- and I've had discussions on the ground with officials about it

repeatedly over the last few years.

GORANI: Will Ripley, thanks very much. He's live in Beijing. It's 3:30, past 3:30 in the morning there. Thanks for joining us.

Just a reminder of what Donald Trump said about North Korea minutes ago in New Jersey.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury

like the world has never seen.

He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this

world has never seen before. Thank you.


GORANI: Strong words there from President Donald Trump -- North Korea best not make any more threats toward the United States. They'll be met with

fire and fury like the world has never seen before.

Let's get some perspective now from retired U.S. Army Colonel Peter Mansoor. He served as a top aide to General David Petraeus.

I want to ask you first about North Korea before we move on to other topics. Today's developments, what's your reaction?

COL. PETER MANSOOR (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: This is a continuation of the Trump administration's claim that the era of strategic patience is


They -- this administration does not want to see North Korea get an ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the United States. And they are

ratcheting up the military rhetoric because as Henry Kissinger once said, diplomacy without the threat of force is like an orchestra without

instruments. And so --

GORANI: Yes, but what are the options here for the administration? And this is the end of strategic patience but it's also the result of the last

administration's foreign policy, North Korea foreign policy, which really didn't produce the desired results.

[15:35:04] MANSOOR: Really dates back to 1994 and the Clinton administration. Three administrations did nothing as the threat

metastasized. And this administration, I don't think, is going to allow it to bloom and become a full-blown threat to the United States.

And step one is increase sanctions and diplomatic pressure. And if that doesn't do the trick, then I would not be surprised if a military strike is

in the future, in the offing.

GORANI: Really? So a military, what, it would have to be targeted against nuclear facilities, that kind of thing?

MANSOOR: Missile launching facilities and perhaps the regime itself, if they feel threatened enough. I don't think this is business as usual.

People think that Kim Jong-un can be deterred like any other government, and that's questionable.

GORANI: Yes. But diplomacy hasn't worked in the past. Although Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State, in the region, and even before

leaving, has said, look, we're ready to talk. If you give up your program, we can have a conversation about this and try to find some sort of

agreement that satisfies everyone. Do you think that could work?

MANSOOR: Well, diplomacy has not worked in the past because North Korea thinks it can get away with what it's doing without consequences. And

unless there are a credible threat of consequences, economic and military, then North Korea will continue to do what it's doing. And this

administration is trying to change that dynamic and you see that playing out with the President's statement today.

GORANI: What were some of the missed opportunities? You mentioned U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea going all the way back to the mid-90s.

What should have been done --

MANSOOR: Back in --

GORANI: What should have been done earlier, according to you?

MANSOOR: Right. Right. Back in 1994 and 1995, the Clinton administration was actually considering a military strike on the North Korean nuclear

facilities back before they had any nuclear weapons at all. And had that been done, then we wouldn't be where we are today.

But they let the -- they created the comprehensive agreement that would supposedly give nuclear power to North Korea without nuclear weapons. And

that failed when North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon in 2006.

GORANI: But, Peter Mansoor, as you know better than most, there is not necessarily agreement in the White House about which foreign policy to

pursue, and there is division between two camps.

You've also been quoted in the press as saying the Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to the President, Stephen Miller, versus H.R. McMaster -- he's the

national security adviser -- Secretary of Defense Mattis, Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State, there are two sort of camps. How -- what

impact does this have on managing a crisis like North Korea?

MANSOOR: Well, this is the interesting thing. There are two camps on most issues, but I think they are both united on this particular issue, which is

what makes it the most dangerous crisis in the world today.

I don't think either the Bannon camp or the McMaster-Mattis camp want to see North Korea get a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the United

States. And I think they're in agreement on the way ahead here.

GORANI: One of the -- our sources are telling CNN that the intelligence community has assessed but not concluded definitively. I'm sort of

paraphrasing the second part, but essentially that they've made the assessment that it's quite possible that the North Koreans have

miniaturized this warhead but hasn't definitively concluded.

Why would they still hedge on a statement like this? What would they -- what kind of intelligence would they be missing to make the definitive


MANSOOR: Well, the intelligence agencies calculate their assessments in terms of degree of confidence in what they are claiming, and it's never a

hundred percent. They have a lot of technical intelligence, satellite photographs and so forth, but there's not a lot of human intelligence

inside North Korea that could definitely corroborate what our sensors are telling us. And so that's why they're hedging.

GORANI: Peter Mansoor, as always, thanks so much for your analysis and expertise. We really appreciate your time this evening on the program.

And check out our Facebook page,, for more of what you've seen on the program tonight.

Now, to something completely different. We'll get back to North Korea in a moment, but this is a story pretty much everyone has been talking about and

everyone has an opinion on.

Italian police say there is no proof of collusion between British model, Chloe Ayling, and her alleged kidnapper. The 20-year-old model says she

was seized by at least two men in Italy, one of whom told her he had earned $15 million selling women to buyers in Arab countries, which sounds

completely outlandish.

[15:40:07] Now, there has been some skepticism about her story. She says she was stuffed in a suitcase, that she was held captive, and she was hold

hostage in a house close to the French border in the Alps in Italy. And people have said, well, you know, is all of it true?

I spoke to Chloe's lawyer earlier today, and I started by asking him, what exactly happened to her?


FRANCESCO PESCE, ATTORNEY FOR CHLOE AYLING: Well, she was kidnapped. She was lured for a fake photoshoot, and she was kidnapped by a group of men.

She was then put inside a bag and driven to Turin, near Turin, in a very small town, where she was held for a number of days. She then was released

by one of her captors, and she is now safe home.

GORANI: We have pictures of the house where she was held. What happened to her when she was inside that house?

PESCE: At first, she was tied up, ankles and wrists, to a chest of drawers. Then by using threats, death threats, the -- one of the captors,

Mr. Herba, who has been captured and is now currently detained in Italy, he told her that she could've left the house if she wanted to, but there were

people watching her. So she would've been killed if she tried to run away or flee or seek help.

This is why the -- the case is now unfolding, but this is why Chloe was able to move. And she was seen with her captor in a town next to where she

was being held.

GORANI: Did he assault her? Did he molest when he kept her --


GORANI: -- inside the house? What was his behavior toward Chloe Ayling, this Lukasz Herba character?

PESCE: He stated that the rules of this organization prohibited for the captors to touch these girls. So in this case, he did not assault her.

She told this to me, to the police, to everybody.

GORANI: You can understand there has been skepticism surrounding the case because people have had so many questions. For instance, and you mentioned

it, Chloe went out shopping with her kidnapper.

The other aspect, too, of this is that there is no record of an agency that's booked this job for her. Did she go through an agency? How was she

contacted by this man?

PESCE: There was an agency who set this appointment with this photographer. Now, I do not know if things were checked, if there was a

background. It's not my job, of course. I have no idea of how it works.

GORANI: Can I ask you one question? Is it true that this Lukasz Herba tried to sell pictures and the story to the "Daily Mirror" tabloid while he

still had Chloe in captivity? Is that true?

PESCE: So it -- apparently, it is true. I cannot be sure, of course, if it was --

GORANI: And she wasn't aware of this?

PESCE: -- his doing but during her captivity --


PESCE: I really do not know.

GORANI: You say you believe everything she says. I mean, we -- nobody has any reason to doubt it, unless they have proof that, in fact, it's not

true. But what makes you believe that her account is truthful?

PESCE: Well, more of human experience than anything because when I -- on Saturday, we had to go for the site inspections in Milan and in Bourjal,

and we did have to go inside the house. And she told, through the police, this is what happened. I was untied then I was tied there, and this is bed

and this is the shower. And she described everything with true detail.

I believe her because I've seen her reaction to getting back inside of that place. It was terrifying and she had to relive everything once again. And

when she came out of the house, I saw her smiling truly for the first time. She was happy. I don't think you can fake that too much.

GORANI: Why do you think they ruled out any type of cooperation? Did they check her phones? Did they check her computer? Is that what they -- I

mean, what did they do that gave them --

PESCE: I've --

GORANI: -- got them to that conclusion?

PESCE: Well, every investigation, every item, is kept secret by the police. They certainly don't tell the offended party or their attorney.

But I believe they -- in my experience, they must have checked her phone and her e-mail address and everything that was around this. So I'm pretty

sure that they did everything to ensure that she was uninvolved, and she went home on Sunday, yes.


GORANI: Well, there you have it. That is the lawyer for Chloe Ayling who says she was kidnapped and held in that remote house for six days in Italy.

[15:45:01] This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. An ugly confrontation in the Mediterranean, the latest on rising tensions in the migrant crisis, next.


GORANI: All right. Well, we've been covering, of course, the latest developments on North Korea and reports that North Korea has been able to

miniaturize a nuclear warhead that could fit in into an ICBM. So that is the longer-range intercontinental missile.

We're going to speak with Larry Sabato of UVA in a moment, but first let's remind ourselves of what the U.S. President said minutes ago about North

Korea and this new development. He used very strong language. Let's listen.


TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this

world has never seen before. Thank you.


GORANI: Let's bring back Larry Sabato. So what do you make of the language Donald Trump chose to use today?

SABATO: It's very tough. It's brinkmanship. I'm sure, again, it plays with his base. They love tough talk, whether it's on Iran or North Korea

or other places.

But, of course, it's also very dangerous because this is not a regime you want to push too far. That is, the one in North Korea. And as a result,

you have to remember there are no good options. There are no easy outs. If there had been, prior presidents would have taken them.

GORANI: Well, prior presidents have been criticized by some, especially former military commanders. I spoke to one this hour who've said prior

presidents didn't act decisively enough. And I guess the question is, are we out of political options here?

SABATO: Well, we certainly have additional sanction options that are coming into effect, and we ought to give that time to work and see whether

it starves the regime. But if you push this to military confrontation, no one's going to win.

Everyone knows the United States can bomb North Korea back to the Stone Age, but millions of people would probably die, at least hundreds of

thousands in South Korea, our U.S. troops in South Korea, potentially in that parts of the world. This is an extremely serious situation and it

calls for a cool head and thoughtfulness.

GORANI: And lastly, when was the last time a U.S. president used this type of rhetoric, this type of strong language, toward another country?

[15:49:56] SABATO: Probably when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire. And, yes, the Soviet Union fell but we need to remember there

were some very tense years in between the use of the term "evil empire" and the fall of the Soviet Union. And there were other forces at work that had

nothing to do with what the United States had been up to.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much for that context, Larry Sabato. We appreciate it.

A dramatic confrontation in the Mediterranean is the latest development in the migrant crisis. A Spanish organization says the Libyan coast guard

chased away its rescue boats.

Proactiva also says a boat carrying three migrants was denied entry to ports in Italy and Malta. I should say 300 migrants. Nic Robertson



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): That's the Libyan coast guard. Firing warning shots at a Spanish NGO ship, Open

Arms, as it tries to come to the aid of migrants 13 miles off Libya's coast.

Next, sending this blunt message --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been monitoring you for the last two days. You are conducting suspicious activities. There is information that you are

dealing with smugglers. Do not come back close to our waters. Next time, you will be targeted.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The message and this shooting, confirmed by the Libyan coast guard, signals a dangerous rise in tensions over Mediterranean


Last week, Italy, overburdened by migrants arriving from Libya, authorized its Navy to deploy near the Libyan coast to deter smugglers at the request

of Libya's Government of National Accord. But Libya has no central authority. And days later, one leading Libyan commander, General Haftar,

ordered his forces to confront ships sailing into Libyan waters.

And the situation is only getting more chaotic. A growing concern that NGOs who rescue migrants are encouraging people smugglers. Right wing

European vigilante groups are in the Med and threatening NGOs.

Here, Defend Europe C-Star challenges NGO vessel, Aquarius.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We advise you to leave the SAR area because you're acting as a pool factor for human traffickers making them billions.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Both Italy and NATO are trying to impose order, rescuing migrants, rounding up smugglers, and setting standards for NGOs,

including forcing NGOs to take armed Italian police on future missions. A move NGOs feel compromises their independence.


ROBERTSON: With smugglers, NATO, the Italian Navy, the Libyan coast guard, NGOs, vigilante groups, and normal commercial traffic crowding the Western

Med, the chances of a more serious incident are growing.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

GORANI: Still ahead, Google fires a male engineer who said women weren't emotionally suited for roles in tech. Reaction to that, coming up.


GORANI: Well, the male engineer who said that women weren't necessarily suited to being coders or engineers and who harshly criticized Google's

diversity policy in a memo that went viral is now fired.

James Damore's manifesto suggested women, as I mentioned, weren't suited for the tech industry. Senior Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall joins us

now from New York.

So what's been the reaction from inside Google to all of this?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting. The CEO made -- Google CEO made a pretty strong statement.

Last night, a memo went out to all Google employees. I got my hands on it.

And I'll tell you something. You know, he came out and he said there were many parts of this memo that violated Google's code of conduct. And he

said that many parts of this were not OK. Let me read you a little bit of what he said.

[15:55:01] He said, our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. And to suggest that a group of our colleagues

have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.

And, Hala, what he said was this was violating Google's code of conduct because this was advancing harmful gender stereotypes. And I spoke to a

source within Google who said, you know, once you violated Google's code of conduct, it's only a matter of time until you're fired. And sure enough,

someone, you know, told me today he's no longer in the employee directory.

So it's a bit of a controversial decision, but, you know, it is a decision where so many people and so many women who are frustrated were speaking out

against some of the rhetoric that came in this memo, Hala.

GORANI: What about issues -- I mean, are some people saying, well, this is a freedom of speech thing?


GORANI: He shouldn't have been fired. Are some people saying that?

SEGALL: It's really -- the conversation is moving in a pretty interesting direction because when Sundar set out -- sent out this memo, he did say

that there are parts of the memo -- and he sent out the e-mail to Google employees.

He said there are parts of his memo that were OK, that he wants to encourage. You know, this engineer did have a lot of thoughts, questioning

the role of ideology in the workplace. He talked about -- he criticized Google's training programs. So, you know, he did say that he wants to

encourage free speech there.

Now, you got to look at the larger question of, does that speech create a hostile work environment? And I think you could see a lot of the --

GORANI: Yes. Also, would it be acceptable

SEGALL: -- a lot of the women --

GORANI: Would be acceptable to say this ethnic minority is inescapable?


GORANI: This religion is inescapable. Why would it be OK to say that about women? I mean, that's just kind of a question that pops into my mind


SEGALL: Exactly. And I think every company reserves the right to build out their code of conduct. And I -- you know, Google's code of conduct

says you make a workplace culture that's free of harassment, intimidation, bias, and unlawful discrimination. So, you know, if you see that it's

determined that that is the case, then action will be taken.

But you have a lot of folks -- because this memo did contain some rhetoric about how Google is left leaning and biased in these ways and doesn't

create an open environment for different types of opinion, you see people kind of jumping on that train as well. So it's been interesting to watch


And I -- and look, I think the larger conversation we don't want to ignore is the lack of diversity in technology. There is such a problem with

getting more women and diverse people in some of these jobs, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Laurie Segall, thanks very much.

I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next. See you tomorrow.